Without the transport of medical supplies, implants, and surgical instruments this mission simply wouldn’t happen.
The logistics for this trip started soon after the 2017 mission was over. First, the necessary items are shipped to Creighton University in Nebraska where they are collected into larger packages. These packages are then shipped to Miami where they are loaded into a shipping container and sent to the Dominican Republic (DR).
When the mission team arrives at ILAC, the pallets are waiting. These supplies are then bussed across town to Juan Bosch Hospital. In 2016 we acquired a storage room at Juan Bosch which holds supplies at the Hospital so we don’t have to take the heavier or bulkier supplies and equipment back and forth to ILAC.
Getting items back from the DR is in some ways more complicated. The mission’s Queen of Logistics, Shandy Welch, says “There is a lot of finger crossing.” She relies heavily on the mission volunteers to bring items back in their luggage. She also ships items through DHL which she says is much better than any of the previous companies she has used (one shipment took a detour to Africa before it was located and rerouted back to the U.S). Shandy also said that many missions will simply leave stuff in the country as a donation but the nature of the expensive implants required for orthopedic work makes that impractical.
Here are just a few pictures of the part and parcel of logistics.
Space blankets and Bair Huggers make a big difference on the first day of surgery at Juan Bosch Hospital
One of the auction items up for bid was 100 space blankets. On the first day of surgery it was clear just how significant this item was. Before surgery, patients must wait in a drafty room with dressed only in their surgical gowns. In years past, patients have commented on how cold they were. This year, we auctioned off the purchase of 100 space blankest similar to those you see runners wearing after a marathon. Sometimes waiting for surgery can seem like a marathon but this year we were able to make that wait a lot more comfortable by providing patients with space blankets. They held on to the blankest and used them after surgery as well. What a difference it has made! Susan William's auction donation provided blankets for all the 2018 patients. Thanks Susan!
Hello my friends, long time no talk. I hope each of you are well and doing great! I am happy to say that your favorite Mission team is at it again! Well some of us that is. Mother nature has placed her fingerprints on the beginning of our mission this year as many of our team is delayed in Portland (JFK airport woes) with most arriving on Monday and Tuesday nights. We miss them and wish them safe travels, but still the show must go on.
We have just enough of us to get things rolling tomorrow as our guardian angel has once again helped us out. All of our surgeons and supplies are here and our surgery schedule is bursting at the seams. We borrowed a surgical tech from our St. Louis team, and ran into some PT students and their instructor last night at ILAC. When we asked them if they could provide the PT for our post-op patients until the rest of our team showed up they jumped at the chance.