This blog is an archive of a medical mission trip to Piedras Negras, Mexico in March 2010. It follows University of Kentucky physician assistant students, faculty, alumni and other participants during a week of providing medical care in free clinics throughout the city. Posts are in reverse chronological order, meaning the newest posts are at the top.To view the first post, click here, then scroll to the bottom.
For more information about the UK physician assistant program, visit www.mc.uky.edu/pa or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ukpas.
The trip was organized by Crossroads Missions, based out of Lousiville, Ky. For more information about Crossroads, visit www.crossroadsmissions.com.
You always seem to get good at something right about the time you’re finished doing it.
Everything today seemed to fit that scenario like a glove. Though we arrived at the site (a large church with a congregation of nearly 1,000 members) a full 40 minutes late, we were able to set up the clinic in a fraction of the time it took us on previous days.
The expansive facility gave us the flexibility to create a smooth and efficient patient flow we were unable to achieve at other sites.
Like the past four days, our students, seasoned medical professionals and other volunteers treated patients and provided them with reading glasses, medicine, necessary toiletries and health counseling. Children not being treated could go across the street to a park and play games, sing with a guitar-playing clown and make colorful paper crafts.
The comment constantly repeated by the entire team was how quickly the last day of clinics had come and gone. After treating approximately 100 people, we broke down the stations, packed all the supplies and loaded the buses back to our home site for the last time.
Daniel Hunt walks inside after hanging a banner that reads brigade closed on our final day of clinics.
A patient wearing a University of Kentucky Wildcats t-shirt waits between triage and provider stations.
Adrienne Parks fills a prescription while working in the clinic’s pharmacy.
Doctors Jim Frasure, Cindy Hundley, Mark Harrell and PA student Rebekah Basham inspect a patient’s x-rays.
Daniel Hunt, Tali Hunt’s son, takes a child’s weight using an electronic scale.
Today’s clinic was held at the home church of yesterday’s site by the train tracks. It is home to a congregation boasting nearly 1,000 members.
A twenty-minute drive from our home site sits a poor, dilapitated neighborhood built with a few feet of a busy railway. Children play on and along the tracks, moving away just long enough for the freight trains on their way to Kansas City to pass.
Our clinic site was held in a small mission church established in the heart of the neighborhood by a larger local congregation. It is a compact, exposed wood-frame building covered by metal sheeting and surrounding by a worn chain-link fence.
The limited space inside meant we had to set the waiting area outside the clinic and move patients through a station only when the following station had an open slot. Triage and eye glasses areas were set around the back of the building, next to an old, worn shed. Patient’s then moved inside the cramped space to wait for one of four medical providers stations. Two more benches tucked in the opposite corner served as a counseling area, health fair and pharmacy waiting area.
By the time we closed the doors, the clinic had treated nearly 100 local residents.
Workers in the triage area can be seen under the belly of a passing freight train. The clinic was using a mission church’s building, located in the heart of a neighborhood illegally built along the railway’s right of way.