Aeromedicos of Santa Barbara
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Volunteer Medical and Dental Missions to Mexico

November 2003


The trip started on a beautiful Friday morning, with all our planes in the air within half an hour of each other. Fast Frank had left the day before, of course, not wanting to risk arriving second to anyone! We made good time, with a tail wind, but hit dense cloud cover just north of Mulege, and had to poke through the clouds over the water to land. We had our pre-trip meeting at El Candil Restaurant. Fortunately, the clouds lifted that night for a spectacular ride to Cadeje in the morning. As usual, we were met by half the trucks and half the children of the town.


The dental clinic was again the busiest. J.C. Ramirez and Lance Mason were joined by Dick Cline to see a huge number of patients. Aided by Ruth Ann Quarles, Marilynn Zellet, Lisa Quick (who was everywhere), and Kristen Avery, they worked non-stop until about 3:30 p.m.

The medical clinic was humming with three ER docs, Debbie Weinstein, Eric McFarland, and Bob Gayou. No one is faster than ER docs!! They were helped by Chris Snider, DeeDee Clutts, Carola Matera (a fabulous translator), Don Zellet, and Janie McCaw. Jamie Patton and Lisa Runyen ran the pharmacy like a Swiss watch, with much less confusion now that we have an organized formulary. Margo Kenney took blood pressures while Fast Frank Heintz was acting clinic director, putting to work anyone who came in line of fire. Pilots Elwood Schapansky, Jim Gaskin, Tom Koff, Jack Darian, and newcomers Tom Keenen, and Scott Gordon were kept hopping trying to keep it all running. Ted Kenney was makng gas runs, despite an alleged case of pneumonia (great stamina, Ted!) Jo Duffy helped with the urines and blood sugars. Newcomers Jerry Goff and Lorane Bailon were trapped in an improvised room down the street where they fit numerous glasses and obtained prescriptions for many more.



Pilots: Jim Gaskin, Frank Heintz, Elwood Schapansky, Ted Kenney, Tom Koff, Tom Keenan, Scott Gordon
MDs: Eric McFarland, Debbie Weinstein, Bob Gayou
RNs: Chris Snider, Janie McCaw, DeeDee Cluts, Jamie Patton
Dentists: J.C. Ramirez, Lance Mason, Dick Cline
Dental Assistants: Ruth Ann Quarles, Marilyn Zellet, Kristen Avery
Lab: Jo Duffy
Optometry: Jerry Goff, Lorane Bailon (tech)
Translators: Don Zellet, Lisa Quick, Carola Matera
Construction/helpers: Margo Kenney, Lisa Runyen, Jim Gaskin, Frank Heintz (clinic coordinator), Jack Darian

After the trip, Kristen Avery wrote, "I just wanted to let all of you know how much I enjoyed my first Aeromedicos experience this weekend… Everyone in the group was extremely welcoming, generous, and friendly. It was obvious that everyone’s heart and soul was in the work we were trying to accomplish this weekend… It was so touching to see small miracles made for each and every patient. The clinic and the way it was run was truly amazing to me. All of you did an excellent job!"

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