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The Issa Trust Foundation is pleased to announce the 13th Pediatric Medical Mission to be held in Westmoreland and Hanover. Over the last 13 years, hundreds of volunteers have been involved in the program impacting the lives of thousands of children. We deliver sustainable, quality and impactful results with integrity, compassion and dignity for all.

This year we have a team of 40 volunteers including pediatric pharmacists, intensive care physicians, hematology oncology physician, general pediatricians, neonatologists, and pediatric nurses. Children will receive, at no cost, complete pediatric exams, labs if needed, pharmaceutical medications, fluoride treatments and eye exams, with glasses if needed for children ages birth to 18 years old.

In addition, a team of biomedical engineers will also be partnering with the local maintenance team at Sav La Mar Hospital. The team will work side by side with the staff providing hands on training, repairing equipment and conducting maintenance on incubators, warmers, ventilators and other selected equipment. The biomedical engineers will also bring parts to help repair as much of the equipment as possible.

The Issa Trust Foundation was established in 2005 by Couples Resorts as a nonprofit organization. The mission of the Foundation is to provide a system of prevention, health promotion and education, community health improvement and other services to promote well-being and development for the people of Jamaica.

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We are thankful for the generous donation of medical supplies valued at US $1,000.00 courtesy of the Panetta family and The Valley Hospital. The donation will help serve approximately 1,000 children during our September 2017 medical mission.

Pictured left to right, Linda Ohnikian, RN
Debbie Panetta, Director of Radiation Oncology
Julie Karcher, Vice President
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Wow, just like that 4 weeks have flown by!  Our experience here has been one that words will not adequately describe. On arrival, we were extremely overwhelmed with the health system, the lack of resources and the handwritten (rarely comprehensible) notes. Slowly but surely, we learned our way around and fell in love with the patients and the support staff. The nurses, doctors and residents were all extremely helpful at explaining how to navigate the system and helping us with day to day tasks.

During our time, we saw the cutest babies on the planet and were exposed to many diagnoses that we simply don’t encounter as frequently in the US such as rheumatic heart disease and myiasis. We also practiced independently and gained a new sense of autonomy. As we leave, we will take with us renewed strength (thanks Ms. Caryn for the massage), increased knowledge and the overwhelming amount of love that has been showered on us since day 1.

  Memorable moments:
  • Telling a mom that her baby’s name (Chloe) was beautiful and asking her where she got it from. Her responding pleasantly, “Thanks! At first I thought it was a white persons name but now I love it!”
  • Having 1 chair in my exam room and telling a young boy to sit down, then his mom walking in and him getting up to allow her to sit, stating, “Have a seat my love!”
  • Hearing patients describe ‘mold germs’ and ‘balloon germs’.
  • Riding in the ambulance to and from work.
  • Walking around the resort and at any given moment, someone walking by and recognizing you and yelling, “HEY DOC!!!!!”
  • Indulging in a beef patty every day after returning from work.
  • Taking our first Noni juice shots (my eyes are still cringing as I write this!)
  • Walking by the talking parrots (before knowing they were talking parrots of course) and hearing them say, “HELLO!” Then looking at each other for confirmation that we both heard the bird speak.
  • Super Bowl party on the beach (man Jamaicans really know how to party 🙂 )
  • Friday lobster nights at Eight Rivers!

Thank you to the people of Jamaica for instilling their trust in us and allowing us to care for their children, Issa Trust for the wonderful opportunity and the staff at Couples Resorts for taking us in and truly making this feel like home for us. One Love and we’ll meet again soon.

 

A little girl with Hand, Foot & Mouth showing off her fancy tongue

Our final dinner with Diane, Ernie and Carrie!

With all our love,

Shanna and Wanda

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So… this is something I never thought of and something you may never see in the USA… Myiasis… Maggot of the head!! We were stationed in Accident & Emergency when the patient was referred from a community clinic to the hospital for treatment and admission. Upon arrival the patient was having head pain and very hesitant to be examined.  While at the community clinic the area was dressed with gauze. Although hesitant the scalp was examined and we were shocked to see a tiny maggot poke its head out of the 1×1 cm wound and then retract back in. After examination labs were drawn, IV placed and patient was then admitted. This is obviously a condition that happens in tropical regions due the screw worm. Just thought I would share Until next time…. Wanda and Shanna
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While in Port Antonio, we saw a baby for the concern of enlarged breasts.  Grandmother had recently started taking care of her so she didn’t know the specifics as to how long they had been enlarged and so forth.  We didn’t think much of her examination because in infants, breast hypertrophy can be related to stimulation from maternal hormones, and can persist for several months in girls. Prior to her leaving, grandmother mentioned that the older sister (who was also present during the visit) also had enlarged breasts.  Her question was, “Can this run in the family?”  On examination of the older sister we noticed a striking difference in the size of her breasts- Unilateral Gynecomastia. A common normal variant in breast development is the unilateral onset of enlargement, which can be misdiagnosed as a tumor.  Unilateral breast development can exist as long as 2 years before the other breast even becomes palpable.  Although pathologic breast conditions are rare in children, we sent our patient for further evaluation of the breast with ultrasound.  Our hope– to identify normal breast tissue and a normal variation of breast development, while ruling out a tumor, cyst or abscess.

– Your friendly neighborhood pediatricians, Shanna and Wanda

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Week 2 brought more patients to see and a new location. Since we began in the middle of the week, we finally got to visit Port Maria Hospital and we absolutely loved it.  There was always a great steady flow of patients…with many of the common pediatric conditions… cough, viral illness and asthma. We are getting into the routine… wake up, work out, breakfast, to the hospital, back to the hotel, beef patty, cappuccino, dinner, sleep and repeat. The hotel is very welcoming and feels like home now… On Friday of last week we visited Port Antonio hospital for the first time. Although we were located at the hospital we only saw patients in the clinic and accident/emergency. The hospital advertised our presence so as soon as we arrived we were handed 10-11 charts of waiting patients.  We worked hard and was able to help a lot…. saw a child with unilateral breast mass, posterior auricular abscess that spontaneously began to drain during examination!! and a baby with bilateral polydactylyl. Can’t wait for week 3!! Until next time, Wanda Out!!
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Another interesting and busy day at Port Antonio Acute Care. Steady patient flow, until closing… Many patients with cold symptoms/ URI.  But one patient had acute onset facial rash and conjunctivitis (pictured below) treated for impetigo and bacterial conjunctivitis. Then I had another patient with presumed viral AGE, mother was giving coconut water and he was now well hydrated and active!!! Tried coconut water at the resort and it is delicious!! The nurses where great! For my first patient the nurse gathered much of the history before bringing the patient to me. Port Antonio had more resources than Annotto Bay.  There was an otoscope and ophthalmoscope in the room, gloves and tongue depressors. Also, I found the vaccination schedule… BCG at birth and a lot less shots than in the US. Great way to end the week.  Monday Port Maria for the first time, so I’m excited to see what’s it like there.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ~      
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“Excuse me ma’am, is there anywhere to eat at this hospital?” I asked the resident at Annotto Bay.  She chuckled and responded, “Yes, there is a tuck shop right around that corner.”  I thanked her, but in the back of my mind I had no idea what she was talking about.  After multiple conversations with Diane, our driver Everton, and finally just breaking down and following the signs to the ‘Tuck Shop,’ I am pleased to say that I now know where to purchase my snacks! Yes, a snack shop! Now, for a little history on the origin of a Tuck Shop brought to you by our neighborhood sponsor…Le Google – The term “tuck”, meaning food, is slang and probably originates from such phrases as “to tuck into a meal”.

                   

Along with being enlightened, we also managed to squeeze in some clinical experience.  We saw, literally, the CUTEST babies everrrrrrrrr in clinic this morning.  I joked with the mom’s while giving lots of advice on seborrheic dermatitis and breastfeeding.  Meanwhile, Wanda saw a patient with congenital syphillis!

                   

To wrap up our day, we saw a little girl who had stubbed her toe on a dresser and developed a painful abscess.  We performed an I&D in A&E with the help of her mother and the sweetest nurse ever.  I’m sure that little girl will thank us….not today….but some day…perhaps.

     

Signing off,

Wanda and Shanna (while sipping smoothies at the fruit and veggie bar and watching the waves hit the shoreline)

…until next time!

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First day in Jamaica and we are loving the people and the place. Can’t wait to go the hospital and meet the staff and all the children. Day 1 of an incredible journey so let’s get started!!  
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child

[Click Here] to Register for the Issa Trust Foundation Pediatric Education Conference to provide practitioners with general information regarding pediatric cardiology, gastroenterology, hematology-oncology and genetics.

Dates & Times: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. July 18 to 22, 2016 Lunch and Refreshments Provided

Location:  Couples Sans Souci, Ocho Rios Conference Room

Seminar Description: Who should enroll: This seminar will provide practitioners with general information regarding pediatric cardiology, gastroenterology, hematology-oncology and genetics. The educational program will be geared toward “take home” messages that can be instituted in to medical practice. In addition to didactic lectures, interactive sessions, team-based learning objectives and newborn resuscitation skill sessions and simulation will be incorporated into the seminar.

Instructors:
  • Jeffrey Segar MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Iowa. Course Director. Medical Director, Issa Trust Foundation
  • Rolla Abu-Arja MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Nationwide Children’s Hospital/Ohio State University
  • Princy Ghera MD, MBBS, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Iowa
  • Luis Ochoa MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Iowa
  • Riad Rahhal MD, MS, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Iowa
  • Pamela Trapane MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Iowa
Monday, July 18th
9:00a – 9:15a Introduction, Overview of Program, Distribute materials
9:15a – 10:00a Neutropenia/thrombocytopenia
10:00a – 11:00a Anemia
11:00a – 12:00p Palpitations/dizziness/”racing heart”/dysthymias
12:00p – 1:00p Lunch
1:00p – 2:00p Sickle Cell update
2:00p – 3:00p Pediatric Hypertension
Review of neonatal resuscitation, hands on with simulation – bag/mask ventilation, intubation, umbilical line placement (will limit participant number each day)
Tuesday, July 19th
9:00a –10:00a Evaluation of Abdominal Pain
10:00a – 11:00a Overview Pediatric Nutrition and malnutrition
11:00a – 12:00p Visual diagnoses:  genetic red flags in well checks
12:00p – 1:00p Lunch
1:00p – 2:00p Reflex and Vomiting
2:00p – 3:00p Connective tissue diseases
Review of neonatal resuscitation, hands on with simulation – bag/mask ventilation, intubation, umbilical line placement (will limit participant number each day)
Wednesday, July 20th
9:00a – 10:00a Asthma/reactive airway disease
10:00a – 11:00a Chronic cough
11:00a – 12:00p Congenital Heart disease
12:00p – 1:00p Lunch
1:00p – 2:00p Chest Pain: Lung, heart, muscle, bone
2:00p – 3:00p Break out sessions: meet the subspecialist
Review of neonatal resuscitation, hands on with simulation – bag/mask ventilation, intubation, umbilical line placement (will limit participant number each day)
Thursday, July 21st
9:00a – 9:00a GI “itis” : hepatitis, pancreatitis, esophagitis, gastritis
10:00a – 11:00a Introduction to oncology – when to be concerned and when to refer
11:00a – 12:00p Using online resources in medical care
12:00p – 1:00p Lunch
1:00p – 2:00p Upper respiratory diseases
2:00p – 3:00p Interesting Case presentations – audience presents to speakers
Review of neonatal resuscitation, hands on with simulation – bag/mask ventilation, intubation, umbilical line placement (will limit participant number each day)
Friday, July 22nd
9:00a –10:00a Acquired heart disease- Infection, rheumatic, valvular, tumors, cardiovascular involvement in systemic diseases
10:00a – 11:00a Early Childhood cardiovascular risks-
11:00a – 12:00p Constipation
12:00p – 1:00p Lunch
1:00p – 2:00p Respiratory Infections (from baby to adolescent)
2:00p – 3:00p Evaluating the “delayed” child
Review of neonatal resuscitation, hands on with simulation – bag/mask ventilation, intubation, umbilical line placement (will limit participant number each day)
Seminar Fee: JA$1,215.78 [US$10.00]

Conference registration has reached capacity, please watch for forthcoming information.

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