We had another wonderful visit from our Avera partners from South Dakota at the end of May and this visit was dedicated to the care of women. Dr. Gil English, an OB/gyn physician, came down for his fourth visit, along with his wife Kathy, who organizes all the Avera teams. Dr. Gil has been doing Pap smears for our female patients and then follows up with those who have abnormal results. He examines the cervix with a machine called a colposcope, to see if there is evidence of cancerous cells and sometimes does a LEEP procedure to remove cancerous cells if necessary. All of this technology is unheard of in a remote place like Gatineau. But, Avera has helped us bring advanced medical care to our patients and they are grateful. For us in the clinic, we are thrilled to be able to not only diagnose abnormal Pap smears but to also treat early disease that could lead to overt cervical cancer. It is a luxury and we appreciate it very much.

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Dr. Gil doing a patient consultation


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Kathy English helps out by doing a pregnancy test for one of Dr. Gil’s patients.

Dr. English was trained as a Family Physician before he specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology. So, when he’s in Haiti, he’s often asked to see some of our medical patients. His FP training comes in handy when he’s diagnosing hypertension, diabetes and acid reflux! It’s a huge help to us for him to offer “full service medical care”.

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Dr. Gil examines a patient’s eyes as part of a complete physical examination

Other members of the Avera team included nurses Caitlin Powell, Kaitlyn Rooney, ultrasound technician Jodi Lienhard and radiology technician Rhonda Engebretson. Everyone pitched in to help where needed as Dr. Gil and I saw over 80 patients a day.

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Jodi does an ultrasound on an OB patient as Cherlie looks on.

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Rhonda helps out by providing new tennis shoes to one of our patients.



Kaitlyn looks on as Cherlie interviews a patient.

While the team was with us, a young boy was brought to the clinic by his parents after falling out of a tree. He had a laceration on the left side of his forehead, but he also had an obvious deformity of the right side of the head that appeared to be a depressed skull fracture. We evaluated him quickly and decided that he should go down to the government hospital in Jérémie for xrays and a surgical evaluation.

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Dr. Wolf examines a young boy with a head injury and possible skull fracture


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Caitlin and Cherlie put a dressing on the boy’s laceration before sending him and his family to the hospital in Jérémie

We were pleased to be joined on Wednesday by the Avera “breast team” including Dr. Andrew Soye, Jo Ellen Deschamp and Jill Schultz. They spent the week in Jérémie doing breast exams, ultrasounds and biopsies for breast cancer screening and came to Gatineau on Wednesday to do the same for our rural patients. It was definitely a week for women as we offered both cervical cancer screening and breast cancer screening. We are very grateful to the Avera teams for offering these sophisticated services to our patients. Thank you Avera!

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Cherlie and Dr. Wolf pose with the “Avera breast team” (Cherlie, Jill, Rhonda, Dr. Soye, Jo Ellen and Dr. Wolf)


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