Health
 Nicaragua
Project #2680

Healthcare for Pregnant Women in Nicaragua

by Clinica Verde
Peace Corps volunteer Kelly Stam.
Peace Corps volunteer Kelly Stam.

Dear Global Giving Supporters:

We've been busy at Clinica Verde these past couple months! Since our opening in January of this year, we've seen over 6,500 patients. Under the able guidance of our Clinic Director Jennifer Owen, the staff has been fine-tuning processes and procedures, constantly looking for ways to improve our services. We're so proud of the dedication and commitment of our Nicaraguan staff to our goals and mission! Here are some highlights:

• Peace Corps volunteer Liz Malenk has been providing weekly "charlas" (talks) on Nutrition and the importance of getting Pap tests at the clinic, regularly engaging patients in our waiting room with her visual presentations. Patients are responsive and attentive!

• Peace Corps volunteer Kelly Stam has been proving business counseling to Connie, the woman who rents our on-site cafe, to help her turn it into a successful business. Kelly is working with Connie on marketing, managing costs and growing the business. Connie has decided to call it Cafe Verde!

• HIGHER (Helping in Global Health and Education Reform), our Clinica Verde summer program for teens, is off to a good start. The students have been certified in Basic Life Support, have been practicing their medical Spanish at a local community clinic in California, and learned how to suture on pigs' feet. The students head to Nicaragua for 2 weeks on July 15!

• We happy to welcome two new advisors: Dr. Robert Moore and Jonathan Drewry. Dr. Moore will serve as Chief Medical Advisor to the Board. He is currently chief medical officer at Partnership HealthPlan of California (PHC). Prior to that he served for 13 years as Medical Director of Clinic Ole, a non-profit community health center serving migrant and agricultural workers in Napa, As a medical student, Bob spent time in Managua, Nicaragua at Bertha Calderon Women's Hospital and Lenin Fonseca Hospital studying the primary health care system. Jonathan Drewry is currently finishing his Ph.D. has a Master's in Public Health and is currently completing his dissertation at the University of Alabama on health care organization and policy with a concentration in maternal and child health. He's also worked as Director of Community Health with the US Peace Corps in Nicaragua and as a Community Environmental Health Advisor with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We are grateful for the contributions of both Bob and Jonathan!

• Our awesome (possibly superhuman) Clinic Director, Jennifer Owen, is returning to the States after 6 months in Nicaragua helping to get Clinica Verde launched. Jennifer's work has consistently impressed the Board – we simply could not have made the progress we have without her able leadership. We will miss her dearly – but are heartened by the fact that she'll stay involved with Clinica Verde once she returns to the States.

• We are happy to welcome Dr. Alba Castillo as our new Clinic Director. Dr. Castillo is an M.D./MPH whose specialty is in Pediatrics. She served as a consultant on maternal-infant health to USAID working to improve quality of attention,  developing standards and measurements for quality for hospitals serving women and children and providing data analysis on processes and results from the country's plan to reduce maternal mortality and improve neonatal services. Dr. Castillo also served for 10 years as Coordinator for the Program on Integral Childhood Health focusing on Nutrition for the Ministry of Heath, providing training to staff on new standards of growth and development for children, including early stimulation, lactation, human rights for children and adolescents, family planning, and domestic violence. You will hear more from her in the coming months!

But most importantly, we continue to reach out and touch the lives of the patients we serve. Thanks for being such a vital part of our success! Feel free to email me anytime with questions: susan@clinicaverde.org.

Saludos,

Susan

Clinica Verde waiting room.
Clinica Verde waiting room.
Teen mothers with their babies at Clinica Verde.
Teen mothers with their babies at Clinica Verde.

Hola, Awesome Supporters:

Just wanted to check in with you to give you an update on our first 3 months of full operations! From January through March, we saw 3,310 patients at Clinica Verde: 2,451 females and 859 males. Our staff has been working hard! 

Our Clinic Director, Jennifer Owen, reported this recent story that makes all of us proud and illustrates the spirit and intention of our excellent staff in Nicaragua: "A busload of women and children showed up today from some pueblo quite a ways away. By the time the bus got here, all our consults for the morning had been given out (they got here at 7:30 a.m.). The waiting room was packed, but the staff immediately sprung into action. Dr. Zeledon popped up to do some "charlas on" cervical cancer to keep people occupied, Yazmina and Leticia worked the busload of women to see who we needed to treat urgently and who could wait, and Iris continued to process the patients who were waiting before 7 a.m. Our staff made a good faith effort to accommodate what we could, and that means a lot!"

We also have community volunteers from the capital of Managua eager to help us out – including 2 dentists who will be visiting the clinic next week to provide cleanings and education on dental hygiene to a group of children and their mothers. Every day there are new challenges and new gains – and it continues to be a great honor to do this work.

Thanks to all of you for sticking beside us on this meaningful journey. We are thankful for you every day!

Saludos,

Susan

p.s. We always have equipment needs at the clinic. If any of you works for an organization that may be able to help us, please let me know! You can contact me directly anytime at: susan@clinicaverde.org

Clinica Verde waiting room.
Clinica Verde waiting room.

Dear Awesome Supporters:

In the final weeks of January, our Board of Directors traveled together to Nicaragua for our annual meeting – and to see Clinica Verde open and serving patients. We wish you could have been there with us!

Between January 9 and 31, we served 837 patients: 624 women, 213 men, 231 children under the age of 9. Our Clinic Director, Jennifer Owen, reports that common concerns include bronchitis, pneumonia, dehydration and diabetes. We have a superb, committed staff in place on the ground and excellent leadership moving forward. 

Said Owen: "I see evidence every day that we are making tangible changes in people's lives, and I see places where we can grow and improve every day. People are proud to be able to come to a facility like this, and people are very proud to work here. There is a really special kind of joy in coming to work every day, confident that you have a stellar staff in place that is committed to achieving the mission of Clinica Verde in a measurable way. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and that is going to require a lot of resources. But I know we are doing something that matters, and I know we have the right team in place. That's a pretty great place to be in, one month into operations." 

Thank you for believing in Clinica Verde and our work to create a new model of care for families living in poverty. Clinica Verde belongs to the community, but it is there because of people like you.

Please don't hesitate to contact me personally if you have questions or ideas for our work in the world.

 

Saludos,

Susan 

susan@clinicaverde.org

Links:

Training Day at Clinica Verde in Boaco, Nicaragua.
Training Day at Clinica Verde in Boaco, Nicaragua.

Dear Awesome Supporters:

On Friday, Dec. 16, Clinica Verde held a training day for all of its new employees. I delivered a welcome and congratulation to the team in Nicaragua via Skype at 6:30 a.m. Pacific and our leaders on the ground took over from there – doing an superb job orienting the group to the work ahead.

Our employee manual and job descriptions were distributed and reviewed, and Dr. Incer led a presentation that reviewed our mission and goals, standards of care and service, protocols, and the spirit and culture of excellence we expect to impart from Day 1. 

Local staff from the Ministry of Health joined the group for lunch and got to know the team and our goals, while discussing ministry requirements and expectations. We look forward to partnering with local government agencies so that we can support each other's goals.

Our new Director, Jennifer Owen, helped to organize and oversee the day, doing the fabulous work we've grown to realize is second nature to her. We are thrilled to announce that Jennifer has agreed to serve in Boaco for a full year to help lead our services and develop our organization on the ground at this critical stage of our growth. She is a blessing beyond anything we imagined.

Thank you so much for your continued commitment to our work in the world. Clinica Verde belongs to the community and each of you who have supported it, and we feel a great responsibility to serve all of our constituents with excellence, determination and respect.

As I reminded our team on Friday morning, we are servants to the poor. I shared these words from Peter Drucker: "Rank doesn't confer privilege or power. It imposes responsibility." Ours is to care for impoverished women and children with professionalism and love.

We wish all of you a holiday season filled with health and hope.

Gratefully,

Susan

Links:

Job Applicants at Clinica Verde.
Job Applicants at Clinica Verde.

Dear Global Giving Supporters:

Just a quick note to check in with you and let you know how we're progressing! In October we received our permit to operate from the Ministry of Health of Nicaragua and we're moving forward with the formal process of hiring and official clinic opening. The photo features a picture of job applicants in our clinic waiting room. Our interview team was very impressed by the quality and attitude of nurses and health professionals who applied!

We're eager to open our doors but want to give a lot of thought and consideration to our choices and preparation. We've worked so hard and persistently for these past few years and the next few steps in our journey are essential to our success. We hope to be the best-run clinic in all of Nicaragua – and know that this will be another great challenge. We are up for it!

This week, as you gather with your families and think of the many blessings in your lives, know that we are giving thanks for you. Thank you for believing in our vision to provide health and hope to women and children living in poverty. You are more important to us than you could ever know.

Gratefully,

Susan

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Organization Information

Clinica Verde

Location: Angwin, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.clinicaverde.org
Project Leader:
Susan Dix Lyons
Staff member
Angwin, CA United States