The 2016 Op Walk Mission Closes

This morning the last of the volunteers dispersed from Santo Domingo. As we leave, we thank the hospitality of the Dominican Republic, Hospital General de la Plaza de la Salud and Dr. Luis Alcantara. Our partnership with Dr. Alcantara and HGPS has expanded and strengthened over the past 9 years. We are here for only 1 week but Dr. Alcantara and his team will follow the patients’ entire recovery. Dr. Alcantara’s compassion, work ethic and orthopaedic expertise will provide longitudinal care, which is a fundamental component of this mission trip.

A special thank you goes to the fantastic medical students and recent graduates of UNIBE medical school who helped make this trip a possibility. Over 60 of them mobilized this year, coordinated by Caroline, Andrea and Aaron. Their invaluable service helped us care for patients, and we hope learning to care for orthopaedic patients was a worthwhile endeavor for them.

Most importantly, Op Walk Boston thanks the 37 patients who entrusted us with their lives to replace 56 different joints this year. Arthroplasty is a procedure performed to eliminate pain and restore function, but it is a major operation that requires conscientious compliance with rehabilitative protocols. We thank the patients for having faith in us to minimize the peri-operative risks as much as possible, and for the hard work they will put in during the coming weeks. Ultimately, Op Walk Boston distills down to improving the lives of those 37 individuals, and all of us are grateful to be a part of that effort.

 

Dan Tobert, orthopaedic surgery resident

Dr. Luis Alcantara and Dusty Hambright (PGY-5) with one of the patients on the day of discharge.

Dr. Luis Alcantara and Dusty Hambright (PGY-5) with one of the patients on the day of discharge.

Residents from Boston with the UNIBE medical school coordinators

Residents from Boston with the UNIBE medical school coordinators

Students from UNIBE medical school celebrating at the conclusion of this year's mission.

Students from UNIBE medical school celebrating at the conclusion of this year's mission.

Lauren Ehrlichman (PGY-5) applying the physical therapy skills she learned on this year's trip.

Lauren Ehrlichman (PGY-5) applying the physical therapy skills she learned on this year's trip.