In the pre-dawn hours this morning, our group of over 50 volunteers gathered at Boston’s Logan airport to embark for Santo Domingo, DR. In a testament to the logistical planning of Roya Ghazinouri and Doris Strnad, it went off without a hitch. The sun began to rise as our plane climbed over the Eastern seaboard and we all were excited for what the next week will bring.
Greeting us in Santo Domingo were a small group of volunteers who arrived three days prior and have been organizing and preparing at the Hospital General de la Plaza de la Salud. After a late winter storm hit Boston earlier this week, it was wonderful to trade sub-freezing temperatures for a more comfortable 82 degrees in Santo Domingo.
Once settled, the Boston contingent met with members of the Dominican Republic team during an introductory/planning dinner, launching the 2016 Op Walk Mission.
Dr. Thomas Thornhill introduced the various healthcare provider groups—surgical, anesthesia, nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy, central supply, and research. Our goals over the next week will be demanding, but it is reassuring to see the professional members of our team eager to work together to achieve those goals.
Tomorrow we hit the ground running, excited to meet the patients in the pre-operative clinic, consolidate our operative plans and begin the first operations.
-Dan Tobert, Orthopaedic Surgery Resident