Clinic Blog: 2011 Thailand Clinic Blog
January 31, 2011
Day 7 & 8 came really quick for us as we concluded our clinic at GIVING the GIFT of SIGHT to 17,166 recipients in the province of Maha Sarakham. Our referrals ended at an impressive twenty five percent or over 4,000 for the week! Our Production Team Lead Terrence did a fantastic job of manufacturing well over 500 or more ciabellas or "cha-belly" as he would say to give an exact match to a recipient's prescription.
The last day of clinic we dedicated an hour to two of our time to our wonderful group of volunteers. We laid out our gifts on the table as each of them picked up their items and we also gave them prescription glasses to those who needed it and sunglasses to those who didn't need it. It was a teary eye moment for us all as we have made our own special connection with these group of students. But afterwards, we broke down the clinic site for another two hours and left for our hotel.
Later on in the evening, a farewell dinner from the officials of Maha Sarakham was held at a beautiful restaurant in appreciation for what One Sight Foundation is doing to impact & change the lives of their people. Lots of celebration on both sides was done over a lovely night of good food and great company.
January 24, 2011
Day 6 is ALOHA day! So MAHALO from team Thailand in Maha Sarahkam! Last week Wednesday was SPORTS day and today everyone is wearing an “aloha” attire with an assortment of poly leis to go with it. As we arrived to the site, our local team comes prepared, wearing their “Thai” version of Aloha Day. Great show of support from our local partners!
The crowd is bustling and streams of people are coming in from every side of the clinic site. Our team anticipates another successful day and our goal is 2500.
As the day progresses, the quick pick area is constantly filling up. Our doctor team is prescribing more multiple pairs (Sun & Readers) to balance out our inventory of available ophthalmic prescriptions. Our doctors are seeing more cases of epiretinal membrane (diabetic retinopathy) today compared to our excessive cases of cataract & pterygium (growth on surface of eye from sun exposure). More of these cases are highly common in a population of people who work outside in the rice and sugarcane fields for example.
Our fellow Dr. Lynda showed more emotion of why we do what we do since we started. She was in tears as she was sharing her story about dispensing a pair of high distance prescription to a recipient right there at the doctor & IMS area. It was meaningful to her because she's only been scoping patients all six days rather than making that connection with them once they're at the end of the process. Our IMS leader Mark was also in tears after he had diligently searched for the perfect eyewear for a patient that needed minus 21 diopters of correction. These are just a few stories that we hear about in every clinic and that is what it's all about.... GIVING the GIFT of SIGHT!
The total for the day was 2447 & WTD total of 12,618! Number of referrals today was around 300 which totals to close to 2346 WTD.
Thank you for your support & we will give you more updates throughout the week.
January 24, 2011
After Day 4 last week, the team got to recoup & recover over the weekend. Some stayed in the hotel, others visited a national park 2 hours north of the province while most went to shop. At about 4pm on Sunday the team converged at the hotel for their massage appointments and that was quite a treat to have the masseuse service us at the hotel site.
So Day 5 comes around and like every morning of clinic day our wake up call comes at 7am. After it rings in each team member’s room, you hear it echo throughout the whole entire floor.
Day 5 started out very well & continued to do so throughout the day. Once our bus arrived, there were hundreds and hundreds of people going through registration and the flow of people continuously came through the building doors. We ended the day at 2404 with a WTD of 10,171. Our referrals remain steady at 446 with a WTD of 2046.
January 23, 2011
Here are some photos from the entire first week including our weekend. This can only allow me to post 20 photos per entry. Still more to come! Enjoy!
January 22, 2011
Day 4 was another huge day for the team! We closed the day with a total of 2510 and the first week of clinic at 7767.
One aspect of the clinic that's been a huge success worth mentioning is the number of referrals we had. So far this first week, we had approximately 1600 referral cases. Half way through the day Dr. John Broaddus diagnosed a fresh retinal detachment on a female recipient that received special care immediately and then Dr. Do Jun Pak met a patient presenting severe exophthalamos and what appeared to be a goiter on her neck. She was referred for Graves disease.
Our group of doctors are phenomenal and it's exciting to see them engage & ready at all times by bringing their "A" game-face-on each day! So kudos to them for a job well done!
Unlike most clinic, we held our SILENT AUCTION today instead of the usual end of the second week. Great items such as 3 "Swatch" watches, OAKLEY apparel & sunglasses, Kodak digital camera, authentic Thai porcelain pottery & tea sets, One Sight Crystal Ball and other OS items, and many more were donated by the team. The event was lively and filled with laughter! Our emcee Gary and his Italian model Luca (both team members) did an amazing job entertaining us! Our total funds raised was about $2500!
Please visit our group's fundraising page and help us reach our goal of $20,000. We appreciate your support!
P.S. A special "shout out" to our team member Andrea from Italy who concluded his clinic with us today. We miss you & wish him the best this year!
(photos will follow soon....)
Good night from Maha Sarakham!
January 20, 2011
Day 2 was an improvement from the day before. We saw a total of 2147 recipients with a week to date (WTD) total of 2824. In the early part of the day, we had an official visit from the Prime Minister and his entourage of officials and local media. Many spectators among the crowd were hundreds and hundreds of recipients anxiously waiting to receive the Gift of Sight. After the ceremony, the prime minister toured the clinic site by walking through each station and experiencing the process. He was very engaging with his people and remained in the clinic site throughout the entire day.
Day 3 went exceptionally well! We saw 2433 patients with a WTD total of 5257. The patient flow was seamless and the transition was much smoother from station to station. The most challenge we had the day before was in the dispensing area. It was hysterically chaotic and backed up perhaps majority of the latter day. Therefore, the leadership team made an adjustment in the morning by separating the “quick pick” area (non-prescription sunglasses & readers only) from the dispensing area. Not surprisingly, this allowed for a more controlled traffic and better flow.
The team dynamic is growing and bonds are being formed among members from different branches of the company. This was clearly evident in the way we executed from point “A” to point “Z”. Despite recovering from jet lag our minds are fully engaged and our hearts lay tender towards every recipient we come in contact with. Our team had a lot of “first timers” and here’s what they had to say about their experience so far:
Tiziano, who is an Italian from our China branch said it this way (with his Italian accent), “I’m not very good in expressing my feelings but this experience is very emotional not so much because of the patient but more so because of the relationship I’m building with my teammates.”
Anna from Switzerland was beaming at the dispensing area and enjoying the interaction she had with all the recipients as they received their eyewear. Her heart was warmed by the expression of love & joy through a touch on her bare fair skin, a huge smile on their faces and the “wai” (bowing with hands in prayer like position).
Dr. Do Jun from the Chicago area said it’s “a lot of fun but a whole lot of hard work”. The pace is fast and he learned to catch up. He is quite the “superstar” among our young volunteers and has become very popular on the site.
Our volunteers, young teenagers from ages 12 – 16, caught on very quickly and bridged the gap between the recipients and the team. Their unwavering support & excitement is truly what makes the experience with our recipients all the more memorable.
January 18, 2011
Sawasdee or Hello,
We apologize for the delay but we are here now in the beautiful province of Maha Sarakham! Our team travelled from different parts of the world like Croatia, Argentina, China, Italy, Switzerland, Dubai & the USA. Majority of us from the U.S. arrived late Monday afternoon while the rest of the team arrived later that evening. The USA team (22 members) converged at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) last week Friday and departed for Thailand some time after 9:30pm. It took about 18 hours before we reached Bangkok International Airport (BKK) and had another three to four hours layover before we departed for Khon Khaen Airport (KCC), our final destination. Awaiting our arrival at KCC was our Clinic Director Oscar Wilson and our local partners with a fiery red two story charter bus. Of course, everyone went for the second level and drove out for an hour before we finally got to our hotel. On the way there we visited the "Monkey Temple" briefly which was a small park with nothing but monkeys. The gatekeeper gave us bananas and peanuts to feed them and they were awfully friendly. Once we checked in, it was already after 4pm and dinner was scheduled for 6:30pm. We had our first local Thai meal as a group outside of the hotel and the food was interestingly very spicy and tasty. For some it was totally out of their comfort zone and others it was nothing.
Our first day of clinic began Tuesday (1/18) afternoon at the Conference Hall of Borabue (a village or district located on the southern part of the province with a population of 14,026). Set up was already done by our leadership team prior to our arrival and so we kicked off the morning with intros of the entire team, a brief orientation of the clinic set up and then training for each individual stations. We had about 60 volunteers dispersed to different stations and 6 nurses at pathology station for referrals. As the day progressed, we ended up with 677 patients for the day.
We concluded the evening with a WELCOME dinner at the Ar-go Restaurant or a raft house where we were all greeted by the Prime Minister and his wife with a "lei". A live local band played wonderful music and soon followed by a group of dancers performing traditional Thai dancing for a good hour. While the performances kept going, servers were busy filling our tables with varieties of colorful Thai Cuisines from one end to the other. The evening was beautiful and we couldn't have asked for a wonderful welcome party!
January 11, 2011
GOOD MORNING & HELLO out there!
WELCOME to our BLOG & we THANK YOU in advance for your show of support through following & hopefully participating in our experience!
Our team of about 40 volunteers & doctors are only days away from opening up ONE SIGHT'S first clinic in 2011 at the "Land of the Free", THAILAND! Since the announcement of team members this past December 1st, our leadership team has been diligently corresponding with our partners in Thailand in jump starting our clinic for this upcoming Monday (Jan 17th). As they continue to iron out every details, majority of our team has come together through our Group Page in FACEBOOK. The excitement from everyone is evident as we get acquainted in getting to know one another.
We are informed that our clinic site will be located on the northeastern region of Thailand and 470 km north of BANGKOK. It is the home of Mahasarahkam University, the largest university in the northerneast side of Thailand in terms of student enrollment. Our team will arrive next week and immediately go to work. We are stirred up and profoundly moved to be part of a life changing experience. We have seasonal members who have been to numerous international clinics & a few who are present as their first clinic ever. Therefore, It is with our distinguished pleasure & honor to "GIVE the GIFT of SIGHT" to the people of Thailand for the next two weeks!
Please stay tune for more to come.....
About the Clinic
2011 Thailand Clinic Blog Clinic
Our team of 40 volunteers and doctors from around the world will provide much needed eye care and eyewear to the people of Maha Sarakham.