Dominican Republic Trip January 2019
Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery, McLean, VA USA
- Dr. Michael Timothy Gocke, DDS Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
- Michael Gocke – Doctor’s 15-year-old son
- Alejandra Castillo – Surgical Assistant
- Michella Saad – Surgical Assistant
- Julie Banalja – Surgical Assistant
On January 26th, 2019 our team flew from Dulles Airport to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The excitement from the team was palpable, yet this being the team’s first medical mission trip there was a little fear of the unknown. We were greeted by our contacts from the mission and oriented on how the week would flow. As the next morning arrived, so began the journey. The team drove to La Romana to deliver oral and maxillofacial surgical care to those in need. World Mission Partners, a non-profit 501 (C)-3, coordinated the logistics of our mission trip. In La Romana, we treated both children and adults of Dominican and Haitian backgrounds. The current state of the infrastructure and quality of life in Haiti is still dire. After the earthquake which devastated Haiti in 2010 followed by a tsunami, many people fled to neighboring Dominican Republic to seek refuge. Many Haitians are living in the Bateyes (small villages) and work in the sugarcane fields. There are several hundred Bateyes in La Romana, and these Haitian residents have not had any medical or dental care since they have arrived. A majority of the treatments and patients, during our trip, were performed at The Good Samaritan Hospital.