LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — 8 News Now got an inside look at a temporary medical clinic, spearheaded by some of the best medical professionals in the valley.
Southwest Medical is teaming up with several groups on this mission, but the location is not in Nevada. It’s in the Dominican Republic.
For seven days, the clinic in the DR was able to provide medical attention to hundreds of locals living in poverty. Each one was carefully examined by Las Vegas professionals, like Dr. Hilary Schroeder.
“We saw our typical high blood pressure, diabetic, heart problems, leg swelling and flu patients, with symptoms like cough and cold,” she shared.
Schroeder was one of several local medical staff who traveled to the Caribbean to offer services free of charge.
“The partnership between Optum and One World Surgery started years ago, but because of COVID, it was delayed last year,” she explained. “So, we were the first group.”
Volunteer accommodations are located on the property of project partner Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, a children’s home 45 minutes outside Santo Domingo. Patients are paired with local medical staff for any follow-ups.
A surgical facility under the same program operates in Honduras.
“Every day, we would load up the safari truck with thousands of pounds of medical equipment, vitals and electronic equipment and everything you need to set up a field clinic,” shared Jeff Battinus, regional director of clinical talent acquisition for Optum Care.
His role is non-clinical, but crucial to the effort. His ability to speak Spanish alone was a major asset to the team.
“I personally received far more and appreciate what we have, even with the trials of COVID and social challenges,” Battinus told 8 News Now. “It’s nothing compared to the challenges they face in Santo Domingo.”
Southwest Medical tells us anyone can volunteer for these missions, including general practitioners, pharmacists, medical assistants and nurses.