Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Operation Walk 2011 - Day 0, March 23

It is the end of arrival day in the Dominican Republic, and despite a long day of travel the team's spirits are high. The majority of us flew down from Boston this afternoon to join Mission Coordinator Roya Ghazinouri, and OR Coordinator Paul Laemmle (who had arrived earlier in the week to make final preparations) at our hotel in Santo Domingo. There were no major travel mishaps, and everyone (and their luggage!) made it safe and sound.
The evening was filled with team meetings over dinner, and was highlighted by a discussion of outcomes data from previous Op Walk missions (2008 - 2010) by Dr. Jeffrey Katz. Data from the initial cohort of patients has shown that they are doing remarkably well -- with drastic improvements in pain and functional measures. Qualitative analyses of patient's perceptions of their illness and the recovery process have also been undertaken, which will assist future providers by creating a cultural context for treating our patients. Further studies are under way, with the goal of ensuring we are providing the highest quality care. (Of note, we were lucky enough to celebrate Dr. Katz' birthday with him tonight -- Happy birthday!) The mission begins in earnest tomorrow, with preoperative clinics and afternoon operative cases scheduled. We are all excited to begin, and feel extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here and working with our Dominican colleagues and patients. Many months of preparation and incredibly hard work by a whole host of people has gone into making this mission a success. Both in Boston and in Santo Domingo team members have spent considerable effort in procuring implants and supplies, organizing cargo, pulling together manpower, identifying and screening patients, and preparing the patient wards, ORs, and cargo rooms for the more than 60 total joint replacement surgeries planned for this week. Photos below give a hint at the sheer magnitude of stuff this number of surgeries requires, and only through the diligence and hard work of our own Roya and Paul is there any semblance of organization...

A special thanks to the many local personnel who have made a incredible effort to prepare rooms, wash mattresses, changing ceiling tiles, and do literally anything and everything to prepare the hospital for Op Walk's arrival and create a space for us to work and care for patients. Below are just a few of these people...

This blog will be updated daily, so check back for tomorrow for the latest Op Walk news!

No comments: