By Danielle Dimacali
Photo by Manmit Singh
“Donde estamos hacia dónde vamos” which is Spanish for, “where we are and where we are going.” This is the quote on the presenter slide of “ADAMES“ which was celebrating 15 years of operating as well as a despedida for Dr. Jenny Foster.
This entire trip has been such a privilege and we are so fortunate to have serendipitously been able to explore Dr. Fosters last trip bringing students, and we just so happen to be a part of a luxurious and grand ceremony! It was so moving to see how the grassroots and community based program evolved over the years to tackle issues with innovative solutions such as through canguru implementation, establishing a new clinic, and most recently, hablameme bebé (a Georgia Public Health initiative)!
Through partnerships with the University, we were able to foster an education connection and give presentations about these initiatives as well as a pharmacology course to Dominican Republican nursing students so they can be leaders at the forefront of their communities. The dedication of multiple community health leaders to invest their own time and energy to the health of their localities highlights the community- oriented attitudes of the Dominican Republic.
We also saw this first hand when we saw how remarkably innovative and comprehensive their clinic was, including: patient education in the waiting room, a colorful poster about contraceptives, a dentist office, a stocked pharmacy, a casita for residents to sleep in over nights, and an entire map of their local region with little thumbtacks for each constituent.
A testament of the health and strength of the mind and body came from a 105-year-old-grandma we did a home visit too, who immediately went to the clinic after our recommendations and blessed all of us with good fortune. Through all of our various experiences throughout the week, we truly saw how far this program has come and the energy and momentum for how far it will continue to go. Donde estamos hacia dónde vamos.