Day 0: March 21, 2012

Energy and anticipation were high as the 2012 Op Walk Mission has now officially begun! Today was a travel day for the majority of the group, as volunteers made their way from Boston to Santo Domingo. We arrived to sunny weather with some brief showers on the drive in culminating in a rainbow over the ocean to welcome the travelers to the Dominican Republic!

We joined the rest of the team who had arrived a few days prior and have already been hard at work preparing for the week ahead. Over 400 boxes of supplies were delivered to the Hospital General De La Plaza De La Salud, including palates full of donations from our generous sponsors which will allow us to provide total joint replacements to 37 Dominican Republic residents over the coming 7 days. Op Walk members Paul Laemmle and Debbie Pitts spent the day organizing this mass of boxes into a central supply room that will serve the 4 ORs during the course of the mission. Elsewhere, others including chief medical officer Dr. Collin May, Chief Operating Officer Roya Ghazinouri, and nursing coordinator Barbara Aggouras were hard at work preparing the preop, postop and clinic for the mission.

With the final steps after months of preparation complete, the Op Walk team met for a welcome dinner to kick off the start of the week. Dr. Thomas S. Thornhill welcomed new and returning team members, and Dr. May outlined the schedule for the upcoming week. There was an air of excitement amongst the over 50 Op Walk team members as we look forward to a what is sure to be an amazing week!