Sunday, August 17, 2014

Working Gems

August 16, 2014

We have several patients in Teopisca and one family gave us Chiapanecan free-range eggs.
Yesterday I spent the morning with a local named Sebastian who works for DIF (Desarrollo Integral de la Familia). This is a foundation in which wives of the Mexican politicians help support charity organizations in various ways.

Sebastian took me to a local non-profit healthcare facility called Esquipulas. This clinic is supported (almost single-handedly) by a family out of Monterrey, Mexico and physicians that are trained there. Part of their training is working at Esquipulas for their social service. They provide primary care to those that speak a Mayan language.  In addition, they work with various non-profit global healthcare campaigns. Like Clínica Amistad  (a free clinic that provides primary care to Tucson, AZ's low-income uninsured), they provide free services and patients have to pay for their medication. The difference is Esquipulas is much better and consistently funded, has a better building, better rooms and nice equipment and they are highly culturally sensitive to their patrons (as we are at Clínica Amistad). They are also open daily M-F compared to Clínica Amistad being open two nights per week. It was quite impressive and seems a paradox since the US appears monetarily wealthier than Mexico.
Entrance to Clínica Amistad, Tucson, AZ.

Entrance to Esquipulas, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

Exam room Esquipulas. To my companeros de Clínica Amistad: eat your heart out.

They have a strong connection with select physicians from Monterrey to work there and it is a very organized operation. They have good reasons for doing it this way, which from my perception include keeping it small and collective. This maintains focus of their mission, prevents dilution of quality of care, maintains continuity of care, supports cultural awareness, and builds a family-like environment center for those that work there. Many of the employees speak a Mayan language and are born into the respective culture.

Other side of the exam room, a desk and chairs.

Esquipulas is a nice resource for Don Sergio to have to refer the Mayan patients that consult him for conditions he cannot care for.

After seeing all this it made me realize why Don Sergio has kept things small for himself; he likes medical professionals to come help, but he also likes that he can control how people are treated (cultural sensitivity), the care given (he oversees that the optimum care is given within his means), chooses his own projects (in which he receives donations from various sources), and learns from those with more expertise. This is all part of his 'healing' process and is why when one comes to work with him, their experience is so rich.

Sergio and Iker visit with Teopisca family on the patio porch after wound care is given to a abuelita.

Finding the 'working-gems' in the world like Don Sergio, Esquipulas, Clínica Amistad is inspiring. We all see the deficiencies in larger systems and instead of complaining, protesting, expending energy trying to move a mountain, there are some (gracias Adios) that provide solutions to the immediate needs and take care of those in our respective communities.
Juevos revueltos de Teopisca.
These REAL free range chicken eggs are a vibrant yellow and more flavorful than any store-bought eggs I've tasted in the US.
Posted by Patricia Ferrer.

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