Your Account
close button

Use our patient tools for secure, convenient, 24/7 access. Learn more

OR

This facility is a member of


Connect with us:

Compassion is a Verb

Nov 9

Written by:
11/9/2017 5:08 AM  RssIcon

Today we went to a new batey, located at the bottom of a hill too steep to drive down (at least with all of us on the bus). We piled out of the bus and headed down a muddy trail and set up our clinic in a cinder-block building still under construction.

The patients here were excited to learn English and we had fun speaking to them. Sometimes the third day of a mission trip can be very difficult. By the third day, the team is physically and emotionally exhausted. The weight of what you’ve been seeing pulls at your heartstrings.

Our triage team is the first people patients see when they arrive, and they have been instrumental in the successful flow of patients each day. The team is made up of Heidi Fuentes, Tommy Manion, Daisy Corona, Michelle Ciero, Steven Almazan and Jill Pateros, and today they were working in challenging conditions. They were set up at one end of the clinic, near a steady stream of sewer water. It was hot, humid and unforgiving. Even with these conditions, the team tries their best to look beyond the physical need and see to the heart.

Jill, director of AMITA Health GlenOaks and Bolingbrook’s ED, was trying to include a little boy named Isaack in some photos, but he wouldn’t smile. “I can be pretty funny,” she laughed, “but he wouldn’t crack a smile. He held my hand and was very sweet. The people he was with told me his parents had died. It made me sad that we couldn’t connect with him.”

“We try our best to connect with those who may need it more than others,” said Tommy, a firefighter/paramedic with the Bloomingdale Fire Protection District, “and then we send them along and trust them to God.”

Our host, Kevin Adair, who has run a ministry here since 2005, said he has seen improvements in overall health here, and lot of it has to do with mission teams like ours. Even though we are here for a week, it’s like we have teamed up with other doctors across the world, he said. “It’s this effort of putting boots on the ground to the most underserved,” he said. “Birth rates and STDs are down and life expectancy is up. The futility is still there but you’re ebbing away at it.”

We saw 285 patients today – sometimes a doctor like Mary Lewis would see a family of six at once. When we reflect on this trip so far, we think of our AMITA Health values – especially our value of Compassion.  “Sympathy is an emotion and empathy is more about putting yourself in someone’s place,” said our leader, John Rapp. “Compassion is a verb. It’s about actually DOING something. It’s not a feeling, it’s an action – a behavior.

“Every person Jesus interacted with in the Gospels was shown compassion,” he continued. “He wasn’t sitting back feeling sorry for people. He was transforming them.”

 

16 comment(s) so far...


Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

Great Job to the Triage Team !! A special thank you and shout out to Jill, Tommy and Heidi for putting their desire to serve others into action. This team’s compassion for helping those in need in an every day event - not just once a year. Although these may be austere conditions, the “front door” of the triage team welcomes all bodies and souls - through the heat, rain and mud. Always remember - if this was easy anyone could do it. The only easy day was yesterday ! Well done and many thanks for all you do.

By Zack on   11/9/2017 6:14 AM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

So proud of all of you, especially Dr. Lewis (Mom!).

You are changing the lives of these people, and showing them compassion like they have never seen before, and giving them hope. I'm not surprised that Dr. Lewis took on 6 at once, and I'm sure she handled the stress with composure and grace as always. Reminds me of her carrying the little boy to the ambulance last year. :)

I can't stop telling everyone what you are doing, and how incredibly proud I am of my Mom. I'm We love you so much, and have a safe rest of your trip.

-Mike & Brittany Lewis

By Michael Lewis on   11/9/2017 7:59 AM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

A big hello to my wife, Dr. Rema Johnson, and the rest of the team. Keep up the great work you are doing there, transforming and having a huge impact on the lives of each person you come in contact with. We are praying for your continued strength, emotionally and physically, as you treat the many patients each day.

Karl Johnson

By Karl Johnson on   11/9/2017 8:11 AM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

Thank you, all, for you very generous and caring contribution to the health of these otherwise forgotten individuals. Your investment of time, skill and compassion is to be applauded. You are living the Mission of AMITA Health. God bless you on your journey.

By Peg Wendell on   11/9/2017 8:29 AM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

We had quite a laugh this morning @ our WIS Huddle when we read aloud the story about holding an OB Clinic in a resident's bedroom and doing 35 OB/gyne exams! We can only imagine. We are astounded by the number of patient's you are delivering care to every day! Keep up the amazing work--we are in awe! ~Laura

By Laura Bravos on   11/9/2017 9:06 AM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

Thanks to the entire team for your compassion and awesome work extending the ministry! Innovation and creativity are certainly being applied along with your medical talents! Prayers as you continue your work this week - Blessings! Sue

By Sue Herrmann on   11/9/2017 9:13 AM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

Thank you isn't enough...you are all amazing and don't forget that!! Praying for all of you and a safe return!

By Katie Baio on   11/9/2017 9:17 AM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

Congratulations on making it through the third day! The third day can be one of the toughest, but for your amazing triage team - Jill, Tommy, Heidie et al - their "low" energy is higher than most people's high energy! Hang in there - it's all downhill from here (or was it uphill from this last batey???)...

By Bonny Chen on   11/9/2017 9:24 AM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

What amazing Spirit filled work you all are doing! I was touched by the story of the boy who wouldn't smile. While it's hard to not have that connection, I know that God is with him and you all. Hopefully one day he will remember your presence and smile. You all really are God's compassion in action. Great work! God bless you all!

By Liz Hulford on   11/9/2017 9:29 AM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

In absolute awe of the work you all are doing! So proud to be part of an institution that gives freely of themselves to help others. Missing Royal McKenna, MD who is there with you, but so happy he is able to join the team and be the passionate, caring doctor that he is! Hope you are all well and keep up the great work!!

By Becky Webb on   11/9/2017 10:03 AM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

My goodness day 3 proved to be another emotional and physical day for all of you. Not only the road blocks of steep muddy trails to get to your destination then set up practice in a 1/2 built cinder block building in the heat. Dr. McKenna and team we can only be in awe of you all. Your eyes and hands have seen and touched so many 628 and counting in the last 2 days alone. What a rewarding experience to practice the ministry of Christ. God Bless all of you.

By Janice Recio on   11/9/2017 10:34 AM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

Very proud of our daughter, Dr. Robyn Gutierrez, that she is led to minister to those in such great need. Also, impressed by the dedication of the entire team as they continue to serve a much neglected population. The effect upon the people you are serving is truly immeasurable. God bless you as you continue to serve.

By Duane and LaVonne Slocum on   11/9/2017 12:54 PM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

To Sam and all you wonderful compassionate people-
Treating the human spirit is just as important as treating a physical disease. Considering the large quantity of patients you have seen, you are still all holding strong, showing compassion. No matter what role you have in this mission I am sure the people of the Dominican have been touched in a way that will not be forgotten. You are an inspiration to me, and everyone that reads about your journey. God is watching over you and helping carry you through. We here in the states are sending strong vibes to help you push through these last couple of days. God is with each and everyone of you.
Like I tell my little girl before every shift - “Make a difference in someone’s life today” it could be just a smile, or a few kind words be creative 😉 you decide.
I am humbled by all of you. God Bless, stay safe.
Sam we all miss your smiling face. Max misses his “cuddles” too.
With love
Mom

By Kathy Armando on   11/9/2017 1:17 PM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

Your week will be coming to an end but the Dominican people will not forget the American doctors who gave up their time to come and care for these people. God Bless u all, Dr McKenna I want to hear all about it when you get back, enjoy Friday your R&R but be ready for work when you get back. We are packing your schedule to the max. Safe return.

By Diane Novak on   11/9/2017 1:41 PM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

Great compassion being shown by your team. Thank you for taking us along for the ride through your testimonies and stories. I am sure that the mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ will never have the same meaning after your experiences.
Keep up the fabulous work.

By Adam Maycock on   11/9/2017 3:59 PM
Gravatar

Re: Compassion is a Verb

Was a rewarding experience this must be for all of you! God is good! Dr Mc Kenna we miss you in the clinic but we know the work you are doing and the difference you are making. Safe travels back home.
We are all keeping you in our prayers
Mary Ann

By Mary Ann Harrelson on   11/9/2017 11:37 PM

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Title:
Comment:
Add Comment   Cancel 
You must be logged in and have permission to create or edit a blog.
AMITA Health  reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.