So far 2014 has been one for the Floating Doctors record books.
In February, we jumped head first into the year with a joint clinic with Mending Kids International, providing pediatric orthopedic surgeries for some of our most vulnerable patients in the archipelago.
In March, we had a record number of volunteers. So many that for the first time ever we ran two simultaneous multi-day clinics, one in Playa Verde and one in Bahia Azul.
That same week, thanks in large part to you, our Global Giving supporters, we opened our first Remote Outpost! On a rainy March day the entire Floating Doctors team in Panama gathered at one of our most remote communities, Playa Verde for the official opening ceremony.
That morning our 40+ volunteers were released on the clinic for finishing touches: sanding, painting, clearing brush, digging drainage ditches, building basic stools and tables, etc. After a thorough painting and scrubbing the town mayor, Ito, called the community for the opening ceremony. An emotional ceremony featuring the beloved Peace Corps worker Eta, the mayor, other town leaders, the construction crew and Dr. Ben spoke about gratitude and the communal hopes for the future of the clinic. This was followed by the required official photos and a big community feast. After that is was back to work providing health care and breaking in our brand new clinic.
Opening this clinic was an important step for us. So often when we are in a community we see a real acute emergency that needs immediate attention: a machete wound, a high fever, a childbirth going bad very quickly, etc. Each time we are grateful we were there to help that person when they needed it most. But each time we leave we know that the next person not be so lucky. There are no doctors, no drug stores, no emergency rooms or urgent care clinics in these communities. Help is a long, expensive trip away.
By setting up this remote clinic we hope to be the help that the next person needs.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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