Docs Who Care/DOCS Emergency Medicine Newsletter
2014 Annual Edition / Issue 28
On a Mission Serving with a heart
inside this issue pg 2-3 A Week in Haitiâ€Ś Memories for a Lifetime pg 4 A Rewarding Return pg 5 DWC 1995-2014 pg 6 Message from the President and the CEO The mission of Docs Who Care has always been one of service. The scope of our vision exceeds the boundaries of who we are, and we encourage everyone to be inspired to serve and volunteer in any capacity when an opportunity presents itself. This year, Docs Who Care organized the first All DWC medical team to serve with Heart to Heart International in the country of Haiti. In this edition, you will discover a glimpse of their inaugural journey.
A WEEK IN HAITI...MEMORIES FOR A LIFETIME
s I stepped out of the airport, the cacophony reached my ears as the heat ripped through my skin. The fetor assaulted the nostrils as my eyes alerted me to my minority status. Welcome to Haiti, all my senses told me simultaneously. This dynamic team of providers consisted of Jenifer Cook, M.D., Cristina Goodwin, M.D., Sarah Hiam, D.O., Timothy Lawton, M.D., Karen Skiles, RN, Paul Wardlaw, M.D., and me. I have been on medical mission trips before, but I knew Haiti would be different. I was not wrong. There were walls everywhere. If you have anything of value, the first thing you do is construct a wall to protect it from outside hands. There are vague road rules, when you can actually find a road, and there is still strong evidence of an earthquake that wiped out over 300,000 people over four years ago. Our work was concentrated in the Sud-Est, or Southeast, region of the country. Over two days it took us about 10 hours (and 7 SUV tires) to reach our first site – 17 miles as the crow flies from our initial base of operations near Port-au-Prince. It is so uncharted that HHI was told by the government there were about 1,500 people in one of the areas when the population was actually about 17,000, and most of those people had never seen a doctor of any kind prior to HHI’s initial foray six months ago. As in many of the developing nations, the ailments mostly stem from overwork and malnourishment, compared to the U.S. epidemics of inactivity and over-nourishment. We worked side-by-side with a large HHI Haitian team, consisting of doctors, nurses, translators, and drivers. Thanks to a devoted HHI medical director, we learned much about the complicated history of this nation, both before and after the earthquake. Continued on page 3
Resourceful, resilient, patient, independent, strong, caring, and proud… I have come to a new appreciation of the spirit of the Haitian people. The week I spent in Haiti will be one that I will remember the rest of my life. Tim Lawton, M.D. DWC Provider since 2006
Top: l to r: Karen Skiles, RN; Cristina Goodwin, M.D.; Jenifer Cook, M.D.; Tim Lawton, M.D.; Sarah Hiam, D.O.; Paul Wardlaw, M.D.; Andy Bukaty, D.O. Bottom: Karen Skiles, RN
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On this trip, I was impacted by the incredible lack of access to health care that has existed, as well as the tremendous work of Heart to Heart International in maintaining a presence in such remote areas of the country. Paul Wardlaw, M.D. DWC Medical Director
A WEEK IN HAITI...MEMORIES FOR A LIFETIME Continued from page 2
lthough some mission trips run the risk of being “feel-good adventures” for the participants, HHI’s commitment to the people of Haiti and remarkable organization and mobilization of resources made sure that we did not have that experience. As one of our drivers who had been to the U.S. said, “In your country, you’re trying to make everything perfect. Here we’re trying to make everything passable.” I know that the people we served needed my help and they will continue to get the much-needed care they deserve because of HHI, one patient at a time. So many memories were made in a whirlwind week. I’ll remember eating spaghetti for breakfast, eating goat for the first time, not seeing myself in a mirror for five days, realizing that no patients had addresses, and witnessing the beautiful metalwork that local artisans crafted by hand.
My most vivid memory was an 81-year-old woman, who thought enough about what our team was doing to walk 12 hours round-trip over mountains, starting her journey at 3:00 a.m. She told me she was happy to come back in a month to get a refill because they had made such a difference for her. All I could do was thank her, re-evaluate my own perspective, and change the 30-day supply of medications I was going to dispense to 60. I was fortunate to have this opportunity through HHI. And I was even more fortunate to go on this trip because of the love and support of my family, the flexibility that Docs Who Care allows, and because DWC not only allows such experiences, but encourages them among all of us who work with them. Andy Bukaty, D.O. DWC Associate Medical Director
Although I have traveled, worked, and lived overseas, this was a whole new experience. I have never spent this much time with people living in such a basic existence (no roads, electricity, running water or sewage), many whom have never had access to a doctor their whole lives. I am forever changed!
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Jenifer Cook, M.D., DWC Provider since 2001
There is a quiet strength and resilience in the eyes of the Haitian people. Looking into their eyes, I felt I was bearing witness to their pain… and their hope. Karen Skiles, RN
Docs Who Care medical team with the local Haitian providers.
Paul Wardlaw, M.D.
A REWARDING RETURN
Working in the rural mountain clinics in Southeast Haiti was humbling, encouraging, and rewarding. I am so glad I had the opportunity to go and serve.
had the privilege of participating in the Docs Who Care provider trip to the remote I Sud-Est region (Southeast) of Haiti through Heart to Heart International (HHI). This
was my third trip with HHI but was unique in that I was able to experience a part of the country I had never before seen and hold clinics in two different locations. I was humbled when I heard that some patients began their journey down the mountain as early as 2:00 a.m. to make it to the clinic by the time it opened, and then had a seven-hour return trip back to their homes. The patients, dressed in their best clothes, waited patiently, sometimes for several hours before they could be seen. Not once did I hear a complaint—only gratitude from all those I served. We saw patients with malaria, worms, upper respiratory infections, diarrhea, GERD, and musculoskeletal aches, to name a few of the more common maladies. I have come to realize that making this trip is a necessary part of my personal and professional fulfillment. I always return to the U.S. with a renewed passion for medicine and a powerful reminder of why I chose to become a physician. In Haiti, we don't deal with electronic records, extensive paperwork, insurance companies, or any of the other realities of our daily practice of medicine. We can sit down and spend as much time as needed with our patients, which leads to a satisfying interaction for both physician and patient. I also appreciate that HHI is working to establish clinics in partnership with the Haitians, providing a consistent source of health care locally, led by the very people who are being served.
Cristina Goodwin, M.D. Local Provider, Larned, KS
One of the reasons I work with DWC is to be able to participate in medical mission trips, due to the flexibility my work schedule allows. In fact, this is one of the reasons why DWC was founded. I have always had a strong interest in serving those who need help, both domestically and abroad, and DWC's mission fits these ideals perfectly. Sarah Hiam, D.O. DWC Provider since 2011
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PARTNERING WITH HOSPITALS ACROSS THE MIDWEST Docs Who Care was founded with a focus to serve rural hospitals, and to this day, it is the driving force behind what we do. Individualized service may include a combination of full-time, part-time, or temporary coverage options. Our goal is to provide quality and excellence in healthcare to the communities where we serve.
OUR MISSION: Docs Who Care is a group of physicians and other health care providers who partner with community hospitals to provide clinic and emergency department staffing, hospital inpatient care, and other administrative services.
RESPECTING LIFE OUTSIDE MEDICINE Docs Who Care is about serving others first, including your own family.
1995 - 2014
Jenifer Cook, M.D.
or nearly twenty years, Docs Who Care and DOCS Emergency Medicine have embraced an unwavering commitment to our mission of service. President and Founder, Dr. Gary Morsch, has dedicated his life to all capacities of service, and serving others has always remained the founding principal of both organizations. Many DWC providers choose to work with us so they can have a flexible schedule that supports time for service projects. For some, this means having time to volunteer locally or internationally, participate in missions, or respond to disasters when needed. For others, it means serving regularly in a rural community to provide needed healthcare.
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Sometimes, serving can mean something as simple as having more time for family. Wherever, or however, you feel called to serve, working with Docs Who Care will help support a lifestyle and schedule to make that happen for you. If you like the idea of making an impact and serving rural communities, contact us today. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Spirit of Service…making a difference We hope you’ve enjoyed this special edition of life.line. One of the great things about Docs Who Care, is the volunteer mission that our providers strive to be involved with across the globe. Last month, we had our first, all DWC team in Haiti, partnering with Heart to Heart International (HHI). Many of them kept journals and shared their thoughts and reflections with the DWC staff. All of us were deeply moved as we read about the incredible work of this team. Our medical professionals take personal time off and cover their own travel expenses, all for the sake of serving others. I could not be more proud of the good work being accomplished through the working partnership of DWC and HHI. In this issue, you read personal accounts of this recent trip from Dr. Andy Bukaty and Dr. Sarah Hiam. Of all the 120+ countries Heart to Heart International helps on a consistent basis, the country of Haiti is where HHI has one of its highest levels of sustainability and commitment. Since the devastating earthquake of 2010, HHI and DWC providers have been serving week in and week out with providing quality medical care and taking time to relate on a personal level with the local medical staff and patients. Since the beginning of this year, I personally have served in several of our DWC hospitals across Kansas and Colorado. Every time I visit with the staff from a DWC site, nothing but the highest praise is given to our DWC family of medical professionals. DWC is truly making a difference - both in small community hospitals we serve across the Midwest and in the lives of hurting people throughout the world. Gary Morsch, M.D., President and Founder
Each spring, we are encouraged by the green grass pushing through the soil, the blooming trees, and the anticipation of baseball’s Spring Training. At Docs Who Care, we have a team committed to serving the rural communities across the Midwest. Each person contributes in a different way, but in the end, it’s all about service. By putting others first, the entire team wins. The value we bring to those we serve is a clear collaboration of “off the field” efforts combined with a spirit of service. Our team continues to make a difference each day with the hospitals and patients with whom we partner. As we serve the hospitals, the partnership is all about finding the right solutions for their needs. Our team works tirelessly to help bring relief to communities who find themselves with urgent and ongoing coverage needs.
Docs Who Care DOCS Emergency Medicine 1337 South Fountain Drive Olathe, KS 66061 (913) 397-7800 (877) 397-7800 www.docswhocare.com
This partnership also allows physicians and midlevels the freedom to do the things they enjoy – more time with their families, flexible schedules, mission trips, and vacations. Basically, gaining control of their lives. Whether you are a baseball fan or not, we have a lot in common with America’s favorite past time. We are a team of individuals, each with a well-defined role committed to serving together in a shared purpose – a spirit of service! Ken Wood, CEO