So many events over the last few months. We welcomed Mark Grant, our new Coordinator at the end of August. In September, we had a special visit from Dr. Douglas and some of the residents from Hospital Foianini in Santa Cruz. Physical therapist Cielo, from Santa Cruz, learned about the clinic, and since mid-September, has been coming twice a week to work with our patients.
Sadly, September we also said goodbye to Jenna, who was the Clinic Coordinator since April of this year.
During October, we had Dr. Jennah Lahood, a 3rd year family medicine resident at Northwestern, joined us as a volunteer at the clinic for the month. With her dedication and assistance, we completed the second round of deparasitation in 2017. We were able to distribute antiparasitic medication and toothbrushes to more than 250 children in and surrounding Palacios.
October 14th was the clinic anniversary celebration. Patients from all areas served came to share food, dances, costume, and kind words. We were lucky to have Dr. John Ball with us during the festivities. It was uplifting to see how the clinic has created a strong-knit community here in Bolivia and how it has become a beacon of hope and inspiration for many of our patients.
On October 22nd, 2016, a sunny Saturday morning, we were delighted to celebrate the 16th Aniversario of Centro Médico Humberto Parra. Originally founded on July 14th, 2001, this clinic is the realization of the dreams and hard work of Dr. Susan Hou, Dr. Douglas Villarroel, and Dr. Mark Molitch.
Community members dedicated their time, hearts, and talents to celebrate 15 years working in partnership with North American doctors, medical and nursing students, volunteers, and of course the Molitch-Hou family. The service to others demonstrated by community members in preparation for the day’s celebration was a testament to the example of service to others and to community begun by Drs. Hou, Villarroel, and Molitch in 2001.
The celebration of the clinic’s Aniversario began with many thanks and well-wishes to the North American partners who were celebrating from afar, and continued with a brief history of the clinic. Current clinic coordinators and representatives from the office of Dr. Douglas Villaroel thanked the many people who make patient care at Centro Médico Humberto Parra possible. Among these outstanding individuals include the clinic staff, group leaders, and promotoras de salud.
Community members shared well-prepared traditional dances, recited poems, and sang songs. The Promotoras de salud prepared a drama with an important message speaking out against domestic violence, which was both engaging and educational. Each community brought healthy versions of traditional recipes to share and beautiful handmade crafts. With full hearts and stomachs, the celebration of the 16th Aniversario of Centro Médico Humberto Parra concluded with many embraces and smiles. We would like to thank all the members of the communities served by CMHP who participated in this celebration, and to express our sincere gratitude for being part of such an inspiring group of individuals who dedicate their lives to improving the health of others.