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Expanding Mission Efforts in the Dominican Republic

Florida Hospital has planned and conducted two successful medical trips to the Dominican Republic, one in August 2010 and another in May 2011. In total, 133 surgeries were performed by our surgeons with only two minor post-operative infections. 
 
The trip in May 2011 was at the clinic, (Hospital Dr. Alberto Gautreaux), in Sanchez, a small town in the Northeastern portion of the country on the peninsula of Samana. After only two days treating patients, it became obvious to our team that this was the place we should support and return to each year. Discussions with the Medical Director of the Clinic, Dr. Sara Green and our team, led us to adopt the town and Clinic. As a result, this August 2011, Warren Santander, Dr. Jorge Gonzalez and Chaplain Juan Colon will be returning to Sanchez for planning talks with the local government leaders, representatives from the Department of Health and local church leaders. The purpose of these talks will be to determine how Florida Hospital Heartland can help the Clinic and the town of Sanchez in providing quality health care to its residents. Our hope is that we will be able to secure more reliant systems of electrical power, a clean water supply, medication access and a clean facility. 
 
Our desire is to incorporate the citizens of Sanchez, as well as our team from Sebring, in activities that will raise the level of awareness about personal hygiene, sanitation and infection control. We believe that with the Lord’s help it will also improve a better quality of life for generations to come. Chaplain Colon will be working with the church leaders. As our medical team tends to the physical needs, Chaplain Colon will tend to the spiritual needs of the patients. 
 
Our goal is to rally the church members and town volunteers who would like to receive training in how to be a Chaplain. Chaplain Colon will train volunteers who will then be used in the “Pre” and “Post” operative wards, praying with patients and their families. This will hopefully blend our message of “Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ” in a very tangible way, much the same as we strive for here in Highlands and Hardee counties. 
 
Plans are proceeding with the intention of organizing a construction team to travel to Sanchez during April 22-29, 2012, immediately joined by the medical team to see patients April 29-May 6. When we return to Florida next month in August, there will be a debriefing meeting scheduled for September to inform everyone about our discussions with the leadership in Sanchez. Thank you for your continued support of our mission efforts.  
 
Warren Santander 
Administrator - Florida Hospital Lake Placid