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Yale Pediatrics Head to DR to Give Back; Gain More

May 23, 2019
by lauren perry

The Yale International Clinic (YInc) is a pioneer project created by created by Yale Pediatric resident Pedro Gonzalez, MD and Instituto Tecnológico (InTec) de Santo Domingo Department of Medicine graduate Elianny Lantigua, MD. Born from their bidirectional collaboration, YInc is led by Dr. Lantiuga and Marietta Vazquez, MD, General Pediatrics and Pediatric Global Health Track.

From May 9-13, 2019, a group of Yale Pediatric medical and dental providers partnered with InTec colleagues to provide needed clinical services to an underserved, rural community south of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — a milestone operative in clinical and educational interdisciplinary global health. In two days, more than 300 children received medical and dental care. Services included dental cleanings and extractions as well as treatment for pediatric GI, respiratory, and skin diseases. The clinic was set up at a local elementary school in Gualey where classrooms were used as triage stations, dermatologic stations, dental areas for procedures, pediatric evaluations, a pharmacy, and an educational area for attendees.

This effort was the result of nearly a year of planning, donation requests, and strategizing to ensure a bidirectional exchange of knowledge and experiences for all participants as well as quality medical care. The Yale team initiated the didactic component of the mission with formal lectures on HPV immunization, pediatric oral health, and an overview of the Yale innovative model in group well child care.

Dr. Vazquez and Tyrone Rodriguez, DDS, director of pediatric dentistry represented Yale faculty and were joined by Dr. Gonzalez and fellow Pediatric residents Nicolle Ocasio Abrams, MD; Isabel Hiciano, MD; Henna Shaikh, MD; pediatric dentistry resident William Keeton, DDS; and Melissa Campbell, MD, pediatric infectious diseases fellow.

The operative was able to impact this community because of the support of more than 60 volunteers from InTec medical and dental schools, including graduated trainees. In addition to the anticipation of a rewarding clinical experience in tropical medicine, the operative provided a unique educational exchange between Yale and InTec doctors and trainees — like lessons on planning, organization, team work, collaboration, and an invaluable take on humanity in medicine.

MammothRx and Vivera Pharmaceuticals provided most of the antibiotics and medications, and Crest and Gum Butler provided the dental products that were distributed — all have committed to continued support of this effort in the future. Host institution InTec also provided dental supplies as well as the 60 volunteer medical and dental trainees, mentioned above, who made the experience a priceless exchange of ideas, knowledge, and service.

YInc’s hope moving forward is to maintain as a collaboration that can impact the health of targeted communities while enriching the knowledge, enhancing the hearts, and humbling the minds of everyone involved — and providing an understanding of health and its plasticity in relation to politics, economy, education, technology, culture. and more.

A must for every training doctor... it's definitely different when you are in the first row!

To see more photos and experience an even more robust recap of the group's trip to Santo Domingo, check out their Instagram: Yale International Clinic (yale.internationalclinic).

Submitted by Lauren Perry on May 23, 2019