Aeromedicos of Santa Barbara
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Volunteer Medical and Dental Missions to Mexico

October 2005


The weather was great… tailwinds on the trip down for all the planes. One plane left on Sunday; most planes left on Thursday, and two planes left on Friday. One adventurous SUV drove down, piloted by Sandy Burney. The weather on the way back was not as cooperative. There were tailwinds for the return but also some rain for those who arrived in Calexico later in the afternoon. Three planes chose to stay the night in Calexico.

Eye Clinics

There was a school screening on Friday. The optometrists, Dr. Groff and Dr. Nomura, saw both the primary and secondary students on Friday, then returned on Saturday to screen and treat the adults. 79 exams were performed. Glasses were dispensed as needed and one referral to a specialist was made.

This service is always appreciated, especially in this remote location.

Medical Clinic Notes

Dr. McFarland and Dr. Scheib arrived so early from San Juanico that there were only a few patients waiting to be seen. Dr. McFarland and Dr. Grube took the mayor, Eustaquio Aguilar, to the school to show him how to use the internet so that we could respond to questions about patient care while we were away. One of the students showed him how to set up a Yahoo account using the satellite internet service that our group installed on a previous trip.

On return to the clinic, a crowd had gathered and the planes from Mulege had begun to arrive. Stacy Norris, a dietician, saw groups of diabetic patients and counseled them on good food choices to help with their blood sugar levels. RNs Nancy Jesse and Christine Snider helped with the overflow of medical patients. Thanks to a great team effort, all ran smoothly.

Dental Notes

On Friday the Dental Clinic was freshly renovated by Melodi Willis and the helping hands of Don Zellet, Frank Heintz and Jim Gaskin.

Saturday, as we arrived from Mulege, we found Dr. John Grube busy with patients, while Tony Riparetti was triaging. Dr. Eric McFarland and Sandy Burney graciously came to help, numbing awaiting patients and extracting loose teeth. Newcomer Dr. Liza Fartash jumped right in doing extractions. Don Zellet kept all patients coming in an orderly fashion, while Tony Riparetti was busy sterilizing the dental instruments. Scott Gordon stepped in to assist Melodi with cleanings. All in all over 30 patients were seen and a good job was done by all.

CPR Class

Joel Chappell and Leslie Valle put on a great CPR- first aid class in the adjacent town of San Juanico. There were two sessions, at 10 and 2, with 28 people in attendance. The reception and enthusiasm were such that additional classes have been requested. Thanks to Tom and Sue Smith for the use of their home as the classroom.

November Trip

Depart Santa Barbara November 11th Clinic Nov. 12th

Volunteers and pilots for November: call Melodi at 736-7123.


The pre-trip potluck will be held 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2nd at the Kenney's. Click here for map and more info.

October Volunteers

Drs: Jim Scheib, Eric Mc Farland Dentists: John Grube, Liza Fartash, Eric McFarland Pilots: John Grube, Frank Heintz, Jim Gaskin, John Goerke, Brian Coryat, Scott Gordon, Craig Arcuri, Don Bates Dietician: Stacy Norris Nurses: Nancy Jesse, Christine Snider, Lola Rosales, Marilynn Enns, Gail Hurley EMTs: Leslie Valle, Sandy Burney, Joel Chappell, Jeremy Way

Dental Assistants: Melodi Willis, Sandy Burney Optometrists: Jerry Groff, Taka Nomura

Helpers: Tony Riparetti, Ben Nomura, Beth Flynn, Debbie Donley Construction: Don Bates, Bob Nussbaum, Jim Gaskin, Frank Heintz, Craig Arcuri, John Goerke, Devin Goerke Translators: Teresita Carmelo, Don Zellet, Brian Coryat

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