Happy belated New Year! I trust that you all had a happy holiday season. I spent ten days in Milwaukee helping out in two Emergency Departments over the holidays, so I was able to experience the snow and cold of the Midwest once again. I was glad to return to the warmth of Haiti again last week!
Our clinic is off to a good start after all the holidays. Each time we talk with patients, they tell us how grateful they are that we are there and how much they consider this “their” clinic. This sense of ownership is something we are glad to see. It shows us that our relationship with the surrounding communities is growing as is our reputation. I asked a young man this week what they say about our clinic in his community. He said people who have been here tell everyone what good results they’ve gotten from their treatment. And another patient said “people say you have good medications here”. We give glory to God for providing the experience and wisdom that allows us to make good decisions about the medications we give! We appreciate your prayers with us in this regard.
As we look ahead to the future, our most immediate goal is to continue to develop the clinic, and through it to deepen our relationships with the surrounding communities. It is through these relationships that behaviors can change, allowing people to use the resources around them to improve their health themselves and to positively influence the health of those around them. We use “teachable moments” during patient consultations to begin the process of community education. Everyone in the clinic listens closely as we give instructions to patients regarding their own specific illnesses. They even enter into the discussion as Cherlie explains to others how to take their medications. “She said to take it twice a day. Didn’t you listen?” they’ll say to the patient having difficulty understanding Cherlie’s instructions. Then, when their turn comes, others listen closely to see if they “get it”. Community participation, community education, all occurring in a small little clinic in a house!