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FEATURE


primary care providers who can provide surgical clearance, anesthesia providers to support local anesthesia techs on sur- gical days and orthopedic surgeons spe- cializing in upper and lower extremi- ties. “We plan to eventually expand the program to include general surgery and other specialties,” Doria says. To sign up, complete an initial application. Once the application is approved, OWS will send an approval email with a link to an external sched- uling application where applicants will sign up for their volunteer shifts. To sign up for additional future shifts, return to the external scheduling site. Write OWS at medicalmissions@


oneworldsurgery.org or call 847.267.3539 with additional questions.


Local Care Continues Locally, OWS is working with its teams to continue its care services. “In the DR, we recently hired a local primary care physician (PCP) and she has been going out to the com- munities to do home visits,” Doria says. “She has a team of health pro- moters who do health education with patients. We also have one local PCP, two health promoters, a patient assis- tance coordinator and a program coordinator.” As of August, the Hon- duran surgery center of OWS—which has more than 20 people on staff— resumed performing a limited num- ber of surgeries, she says. “We have a local orthopedic surgeon there. We are also beginning to develop rela- tionships with local surgeons and, just recently, developed relations with an ophthalmologist who will be provid- ing pro bono services to OWS.” Even before the COVID-19 pan-


demic hit, the hospitals in Hondu- ras and the DR were already under- resourced, Doria says; now, amidst the pandemic, providing adequate care has become even more challeng- ing. “The safety precautions that we are having to take mean we are limit- ing the number of staff and patients in


Site rendition of OWS’s 25,000-square-foot facility in the Dominican Republic, which will include a surgery center, primary care clinic and visitor center.


the facility at one time. Despite these challenges we continue to offer care, and more volunteers to virtually clear patients for surgery would be of great help now.”


Other than medical missions,


OWS also offers an education pro- gram through which it provides edu- cation to its local teams. “We are turn- ing our education program virtual,” Doria says. “Over the past few years, we have done a series of workshops for local anesthesia techs and will turn those virtual for future sessions.”


New Center in the DR


“Our success in Honduras demon- strates that we play a vital role in addressing global health inequities in under-resourced communities,” Cunningham says. “We are making a deliberate and prudent strategic decision to expand to the Dominican Republic—a country with pressing needs among Dominicans and Hai- tian immigrants.” The organization conducted a needs assessment in the DR and began hosting mobile primary care mis- sions in fall 2019 to address acute and chronic health conditions of patients in the


surrounding communities.


“We are excited about our expansion and the impact One World Surgery,


together with our local partners, will have on surgical and primary care in the Dominican Republic,” Cunning- ham says.


Construction has begun on the


second facility, which will include a surgery center, a primary care clinic and a visitor center in the Dominican Republic. The facility will be located between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana on the property of its partner, Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH). “We have signed the contract for the new facility at DR and are working with a local construction firm,” Doria says. The facility will be 25,000 square feet. “In the first phase, the visitor center and the pri- mary care clinic will open, and we anticipate that to be completed by the second half of 2021. In the sec- ond phase, the surgery center will be completed in 2022.”


ASCA has made a contribution to the $6 million capital campaign for the new center. “One World Surgery is incredibly grateful for our part- nership with ASCA who has played a key role in expanding our impact over the years by engaging volun- teers, providing strategic direction and financially supporting both Hon- duras and Dominican Republic,” Cunningham says.


ASC FOCUS FEBRUARY 2021 | ascfocus.org 15


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