Peace Care Blog

Better. Together.

“Introducing COPE, Sharing Knowledge”

“Introducing COPE, Sharing Knowledge”
Author: Nahreen Ahmed, Chief ResidentDate: 2/21/14

In the afternoon of Day 3, we traveled to La Romana, the largest city near Guaymate and the third largest city in the Dominican Republic.  This evening, we were hosting a dinner meeting with physicians from Guaymate Hospital and Clinica de Familia La Romana (CFLR – the leading HIV care center in La Romana).  Almost all of the physicians from Guaymate Hospital live in La Romana, and it can be difficult to arrange to meet with them in Guaymate, so we decided instead to meet in La Romana to introduce our project and also to do some medical knowledge sharing.
We ventured to La Romana via “guagua,” which are small buses that frequently run from Guaymate to La Romana.  I was amazed at how frequently the bus ran, and at constant intervals, which is actually better than what I have seen in the US even, and fairly comfortable too!
The drive from Guaymate to La Romana by guagua – sugarcane as far as the eye can see!
In La Romana we first went to Crema Pasteleria, the restaurant for the evening meeting, to ensure our reservation and make any final arrangements. The restaurant staff were phenomenal, walking us through the set up for the night, the menus and the timing of events, they were very patient and accommodating which is something this entire country seems to have in common. The dinner itself was set to start at 6:30 pm and we started up the presentations at around 7:30.
Minesh did a wonderful job introducing PeaceCare, the collaboration with Guaymate and Peace Corps-DR, and the plan for the current visit (COPE quality improvement and Guaymate health fair).  Johanna Lendor is a HIV educator at CFLR, and for the past 4 years has been the director of COPE there.  Johanna will serve as the external facilitator for COPE at Guaymate Hospital.  She did a wonderful follow up by really explaining the details of the COPE, what everyone’s role will be, and what we hope the results will be from this process.
Me, Mina Halpern (Executive Director of CFLR), Dr. Oscar Estevez (Medical Director of Guaymate Hospital) listening to Johanna’s COPE presentation
What surprised me most was how engaged the guests from Guaymate Hospital were.  Many of those who attended have been working at the hospital for greater than 10 years, and it was clear to see they were invested in improving the care there.  The presentations seemed well received and the group seemed hopeful.
The last presentation was the recorded version of a presentation on “Early Diagnosis & Management of Sepsis” that I created, and that Ana Mauro, the outstanding medical student on our team, had translated and recorded in Spanish.  All of the members present were engaged in the presentation.  In order to catch the last guagua back to Guaymate, we unfortunately had to end early.  We were asked by many to send them an electronic copy of the presentation, and it was clear to see how eager physicians there are to gain knowledge to improve their medical skills.
As we rode the guagua home, I recounted all of the events from the day – I started to doze off realizing, we accomplished a lot today, it is no wonder I am exhausted from the excitement of the day. Today was hopeful, that there were so many who were motivated to come talk about the cope process meaning that there are so many people who are motivated to enact change.

Leave a Reply