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Mission Work

Nov 2016 Optical Mission

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To JOP Board of Directors, Mission team, and Dr. Zimm

Re: Nov. 1 to 6, 2016 Eye Care Mission Trip Report

Submitted by Jeanne Stamant

Missionaries: Dr Alanna Edwards (Atlanta, GA), Dr. Paul Russo (Cooperstown, NY), Ohio team: Paul Connor, Ashaunda Edwards, Amy Kuzma, Peggy Johnson, and FL team: Jeanne Stamant & Ginny Lazar.  Also Ray Shawcross accompanied us to do Education work and audits.

This team was exceptional and devoted to our ministry to help the poor; they were great to work with and are people with huge caring hearts.  Two doctors new to our mission did not have any trouble acclimating to our clinic facilities and worked so efficiently we were ready to close the clinic and eyeglass dispensary by 5:30 pm all 3 nights (a first for me in my 14 years doing these mission trips).

275     Exams completed

223     Pairs eyeglasses to be made by Wandering Eyes/ Paul Connor in OH

Many  reading glasses dispensed (we did not count those).

Some repairs of eyeglasses.  These were minor repairs like replacing screws.  The edger that Paul Connor had shipped did not arrive until after our departure, so major repairs and on-site eyeglasses were not possible this trip.  Paul delivered and fitted the eyeglasses prescribed by Dr Zimm for his August mission trip patients.

32      Cataract patients diagnosed as ready for surgery; list and patient records will be delivered to Dr Zimm.

26      Glaucoma patients diagnosed and prescriptions given (additional refills will be coordinated by Ms. Bradford and Dr Lee Martin).  The Alcon donated eye meds were delivered to St Pius after we had departed, so they will be there for the next mission team.

14      Special surgeries or other eye disease and treatment – list and patient records will be delivered to Dr Zimm.

We did not have a nurse this trip so blood pressure screenings were not done.

Immaculate Convent Hostel continues to be managed by Ms. Odette Creary.  Supper at $9 per person was simple but convenient; there is a new rule in place that catered meals must be for a minimum of 10 persons (i.e. $90 min fee); we were 5, 9 and 8 missionaries on those 3 catered nights so we invited Paul the driver and Boxer to join us.  WIFI service at the convent was much better than in past years.  Ms. Bradford obtained our groceries (per list we had provided her in advance) before we arrived. Paul Deacon served as our driver and in spite of the van breaking down on Saturday, he, Vivienne and Fr Thomas were able to drum up alternative transportation (a wild ride in and with a police escort was the highlight of the week).

Thursday evening dinner was Pizza Night and attended by some of the staff from St Pius.

Friday evening we were the guests of Kevin and Rosemarie Williams and enjoyed traditional Jamaican foods, followed by a walk to the ice cream shop.

Our missionaries were all favorably moved by the experience and indicated a willingness to do it again in the future.  We had a Saturday night assessment session with ideas flowing about potential future improvements and I believe Ashuanda took notes. Ashaunda: please email me your notes or, if you did not take them, perhaps Paul C can direct me to the person who did.

Miss Bradford greeted us warmly and handled our needs efficiently and graciously. Tanicia, Peta-Gaye and Jody were our registration and frame selection team and were indispensable.  Boxer was ever-present and served his usual ambassador role and facilitator for security, lunch, supplies and water. The St Pius grounds and facilities were clean and tidy.

Fr. Collin Henriques and Archbishop Ken Richards met with Ray and I on Nov 2nd; Ray and I will update the JOP Board at our upcoming meeting.

I arrived a day early to conduct audits of St. Pius and St Benedict/AMU for JOP related grants. Ray conducted the audits of St Peter Claver and DuPont School. Those reports will be sent to the JOP Audit Committee when completed.

Some things to consider for the future:

  1. Continue to have Paul and/or Amy come one day early to clean and setup the clinic making sure all equipment is ready and operating.
  2. Continue to have 2 doctors when possible.
  3. We can always use more reading glasses.
  4. I am asking the other missionaries to email me their suggestions (I can’t recall all of them).

This mission was very successful and on behalf of the JOP Board, I extend its thanks to all who contributed their time, money, and talent.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jeanne Stamant, mission coordinator

Link to PDF

 

Sept 2016 Dental Mission

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GREETINGS FROM THE JAMAICA OUTREACH PROGRAN

REPORT OF THE SEPTEMBER 2016 DENTAL MISSION TEAM

PIUS CAMPUS, KINGSTON, JAMAICA

sept-2016-dental-mission

To:  Board of Directors, missionaries and other interested parties
From:  Roger Plante, Dental Mission Leader
RE: Mission Trip Report September 26-27-28, 2016   St. Pius X Mission, Kingston, JA

As usual, I was privileged to serve with 13 extremely devoted missionaries on this our 21st organized dental mission trip at the Van Domelen Dental center.   These missionaries included:
Dr. Cara Corning, Mt. Juliet, TN
Dr. Manijeh D’Amelio (Dr. Jenny) Naples, FL
Dr. Brian Van Slootan, Arlington, VA
Wendy Gibson Mills RDH Brohard, WV Team Leader
Regina Johnson, Dental Asst, Nashville, TN
Berline Joseph, Dental Asst., Ft. Lauderdale
Cindy Weldon  RDH, Naples, FL
Marie Do, RDH, Va Bch, VA
Rachel Dalida, RDH, Va Bch, VA
Rachel Yacoub  RDH  Phoenix, AZ
Brittany Knapp, RDH, Washington,  WV
Jamel Woods, Lay Assistant, San Diego, CA
Jhenell McLeod, Lay Assistant, Kingston, Jamaica

This team far exceeded the established goals for this mission.

Following are the mission tallies:

Extractions    Fillings       Cleanings    Other        Total clinic patients   DuPont School

55                     22               19               4                97                      147= Day 1

48                     28                38               4               70                      240=Day 2

36                     41                40               5               71                      270=Day 3

139                    91                97              13            238                       657 Total

Total clinic procedures:  340 Total patients in clinic:    238 Total patients seen:  895

As usual, our mission team was enhanced by the presence of Miss Vivienne Bradford, Rosemarie Warren and (Boxer) McEwan without whose help many of our little problems would not have been handled so smoothly.

The mission was conducted without incident or any breakdown of equipment and the communication and accord between the missionaries was stellar.

The DuPont staff was extremely cooperative and they again expressed their appreciation for all that JOP does for their student body.

On Thursday morning, Dr. Bran Van Slooten and I left with Boxer for the motor trip to Seaford Town with a truckload of equipment and supplies which we have been collecting from generous donors here in the states, along with some purchased goods to set up the upcoming mission there.  The scheduled dates for our first dental/medical mission there is October 20-21-22.  That mission will include a dental team of 3 persons, a medical team of 4 persons a team leader and two support persons.    This is a maiden voyage and our first real mission outreach to Bishop Burchell McPherson’s diocese. We know there is deep poverty there, and we are looking forward to more such missions at that location.

We are always in need of dental personnel plus ER or clinic type of medical people at our missions and additionally, we are trying to equip our clinic in Montego Bay, so we are also always in need of instruments, equipment and supplies.   Anything you can donate will be acknowledged with a Letter noting your donation.  We are a 501-3-c corporation.

As usual, huge THANK YOU to this team of devoted and dedicated individuals who made up this team, for spreading God’s love to the less fortunate.

Link to PDF

Aug 2016 Optical Mission

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ALL SAINTS EYE CENTER
“Excellence In Eye Care and Dermatology”

JEFFREY L. ZIMM, M.D.
CORNEAL, CATARACT AND LASIK SURGERY SPECIALIST August 15, 2016  Board of Directors
Jamaica Outreach Program
St. John Evangelist Catholic Church Naples, FL

To All Board Members:

I would like to give you a summary of our latest mission trip to St. Pius from August 11 to August 14, 2016. Four All Saints Eye Center staff members accompanied me and we examined approximately 200 patients. As usual, it was the normal mixture of adolescents, young adults, as well as elderly patients. Numerous cataracts were identified as well as a handful of “special cases” including patients that require strabismus, corneal transplant, and retinal surgery.  Overall, the equipment at Pius has been working adequately. However, one examination room’s equipment is somewhat old. Follow up on patients who have been identified as glaucoma patients and suspects has been disappointing. Very few patients went for testing at a local ophthalmologist’s office. However, there are some patients that do consistently come through the clinic and are seen on regular intervals. These patients are given samples which appear to be their only access to medication. Therefore, I do feel that best way to handle the glaucoma is to simply see patients at the clinic and give them samples. Along that same line, we need to continue to work with the pharmaceutical companies to get as many samples as possible so that patients who are compliant with their follow-ups have a continuous supply of medication.  “Special need” patients such as corneal transplants, advanced glaucoma, and diabetics are receiving care in Naples. The model seems to be working quite well. In most cases, there is good follow up care with, patients returning to the clinic when I am in Kingston or with Dr. McIntosh. I suggest no significant changes in this area and l remain hopeful that we will continue to be able to find donors who are willing to sponsor these patients.  I met with Dr. Maynard McIntosh during my recent trip and visited his office and operating room. It is a brand new facility with state of the art equipment, and I am exploring the possibility of personally doing the cataract surgery at Dr. McIntosh’s facility. Serendipitously, there are some advances to this idea as we both use Alcon equipment and supplies.  As always, it is a pleasure visiting Jamaica.

Sincerely,  Jeffrey L. Zimm, M.D.

P.S. It is hard to believe, but I have been visiting St. Pius for over 12 years!

www.allsaintseyecenter.com

Link to PDF

Concert fundraiser successful

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The Spring Concert put on by the Jamaica Outreach Program on March 2, 2015 was a smashing success. Patrons left the venue with glowing remarks: “Fantastic … like being on Broadway!” and “Incredible feast for the ears.”

Performers included the very popular Southwest Florida talent of Billy Dean and Dawn. They were joined by our favorite Jamaican tenor Kevin Williams who not only performed several spiritual hymns but charmed the audience with beautiful ballads including “Perhaps Love” and “Unchained Melody.” Also featured was Dino Vallee, a well-known supporter of the arts and popular opera personality in Southwest Florida and Detroit. His renditions of “Old Man River” and “Largo” from The Barber of Seville were superb.

Chairperson Roger Plante welcomed the audience of nearly 300 and gave a brief synopsis of J.O.P.’s work in Kingston, Jamaica. Funds raised from this wonderful event will support the annual food drive for Jamaica as well as the dental, optical, and medical clinics on the compound of St. Pius X.

See the photos here

Casino Night 2015

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Jamaica Outreach Casino Night Raised over $13,000

The Casino Night held February 6th, 2015 was sold out and a great success, raising over $13,000 for the poor in Jamaica. Guests were greeted at the door with a flashing red carpet entrance and early bird donation specials on raffle tickets or casino chips. Fun and joy were reflected on the faces of guests as they enjoyed fine food & drink and got great deals on the Silent Auction. When the Casino opened there was a mad dash to favorite gaming tables: Roulette, Blackjack, Craps, Texas Holdem and Slot machines…. People were 3 and 4 deep watching others play or waiting to get in on the action. Cheers, moans and groans could be heard throughout the ballroom as winners and losers reacted to the turn of a card or roll of the dice. The atmosphere was electric and everyone left happy (especially those who won the great raffle prizes… the grand prize cruise was won by Nancy Tuck). Casino Party Nights Florida created a very professional Casino and the dealers were real characters. We will definitely do this again next year (save the date Feb 4, 2016). Thank you to all who contributed to the success of this event, especially our sponsors: Gary & Peg Wendlandt, Jeanne & Bob Stamant, John & Mary Tingle, Steve Pala and 2 anonymous donors.

See all the photos: click here

Choir visits Naples Feb 2015

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The weekend of February 6-8, 2015, was special in many ways.  A Jamaican choir under the direction of Kevin Williams graced the liturgies at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Naples, FL with beautiful voices and hymns. That weekend a special collection was taken up in the church to support our sister parish St. Pius X, the medical, dental and optical clinics at St. Pius X as well as education programs there and elsewhere in Jamaica. We extend heartfelt thanks for your support and loyalty to our mission to help the poor in Jamaica.

Hosting the choir for three days in private homes involved a concerted effort on the part of many.  Hosting involves chauffeuring, lodging, feeding, and providing a home away from home to a choir that gives its all with cheer and good will.   The fact that those amenities are extended by our hosts to people they have never met says a lot about our parish. Inviting perfect strangers into your homes takes a leap of faith and a special kind of courage; they delivered both with grace and style.

Other groups and families “hosted the hosts” and their Jamaican guests for their evening meals throughout the weekend.   It was a great service to many by a very special few.

We told our Jamaican guests that they were missionaries to Naples.  As they shared their energy, time, and talent on behalf of their fellow Jamaicans, they renewed our own energy, time, and talents on behalf of the very same people.

And aren’t we all lucky to have someone like Kevin Williams befriending our cause? What a great ambassador he is for Jamaica’s poor!
See all the photos here 

Christmas Tea 2014

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JOP Christmas Tea 2014

The poor in Jamaica will be blessed with net proceeds of over $5,900, as a result of the 7th annual JOP Christmas Tea, which was held Wednesday, December 3, 2014.  

Christmas Tea 2014

Christmas Tea 2014

287 people attended, which included a champagne reception, vendors, entertainment and the traditional tea, sandwiches, scones and sweets.

“The scones and food served by Here’s Howe were exceptional,” said Jeanne Stamant, event organizer.

Ten gentlemen served the guests champagne upon arrival or sold raffle tickets or photographed the event. Tom Palmeshan played Christmas music on the piano and Bob Lyons gave a Jamaican style to Christmas music on his steel drums. Donors of gifts made it possible for us to offer 4 valuable silent auction items and 28 lucky ladies won raffle prizes; 14 others won door prizes. Three vendors sold gifts, floral arrangements, jewelry or crafts and each donated a percentage of their sales to the charity. “The ballroom always looks so festive at this event” said one St John’s staff member.

Thank you to the committee, volunteers, and St John’s staff for helping to make this one of the most successful Tea’s yet. 

See all the photos here .

Dental Mission July 2014

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Roger Plante, JOP’s Dental Chairman, prepared this report on the July 2014 dental mission trip to the St. Pius X dental clinic in Kingston Jamaica.

A group of dental volunteers headed down to Jamaica on July 23, 2014.   After a quick stop at the market to procure personal items, the team headed right to the clinic to prepare for the following day’s work, and they were very busy unpacking supplies, setting up their work areas and in this case readying the new work station that was just installed (our fourth complete work station).   Each time a team arrives it is necessary to completely sanitize the work areas; in this case the clinic had been inactive since our March mission.   The group was housed at the Immaculate Conception hostel which was extremely safe and comfortable.

This dental team consisted of:   Dr. Eric from Macon, Georgia , Teri from Tampa, FL, Kruti from N.J., (who will soon be Dr. Kruti as she will be graduating from the dental program at Columbia University in NYC next month), Dental Hygienists Glenna from Tennessee and Sanibel Island, Roger Plante, group coordinator, Dr. Maria from Naples, who is a St. John the Evangelist parishioner, and Dr. Maria’s dental assistant Juana also from Naples. In addition, Jeanne Stamant who was at St. Pius to conduct her annual financial audit also joined in to lend a helping hand.

Thanks to the support of a generous donor, hygienists and assistants were again blessed to receive assistance towards their travel and housing expenses.

Each time I write one of these reports It boggles my mind to see how each volunteer group arrives, being from various religious denominations, from different parts of the country, from various ethnic backgrounds, yet they are all so filled with the enthusiasm to give and to help the lesser fortunate of God’s children; and this mission, and this team truly were no exception.   Each day Father Raphael came to bless the mission group —–sometimes just putting his hand on each of their shoulders as they worked which created a warm feeling of God’s presence.

Statistics for this mission are as follows: Cleanings 86, Extractions 64, Fillings 31, Number of patients treated 157, Number of treatments administered 281, Consultations 15, Students educated & screened 90, Number of patients placed in queue for September mission 54.

A huge “THANK YOU” goes out to Doctors Maria, and Eric, to Kruti, Glenna, Teri and Juanita for their untiring devotion to the cause………when 6:00 p.m. rolled around it was so apparent they were hoping this might be the last patient, only to find out there were four more cleanings, two more extractions and three more fillings…….and when I suggested putting them on tomorrow’s schedule, they all refused and insisted on taking care of all of them that day.

Following is an excerpt from an e-mail I received from one of the missionaries late Sunday after the team had headed home:

Once I got off the plane, I was overcome with emotion by what we had done.  It was hard to hold back tears just thinking about how much we gave of ourselves and the difference it made to the people of Jamaica.  I have never worked so hard in my life, maybe because the teeth were so difficult to get out. It was truly an emotional experience for me! I am still riding this rush that has come from helping those people and I feel like it has changed my perspective on life. 

Jamaica Outreach Program has more dental missions planned in the near future: September 10th through 4th, October 15-19, 2014, and November 19-23, 2014. Staffing for the November 2014 and March 2015 missions is complete, however we still need two dentists, and one assistant for the October mission (fully staffed with hygienists)…..we have many doctors nearly ready to commit for that and working on it each day.   We are seeking a full complement for the January mission.

For 2015, it is hoped that missions will take place in each of the odd numbered months of the year, and it is my hope that each team that comes agrees to continue their great endeavor on an annual basis….and so far it is working out that way.

Again, Jamaica Outreach Program thanks all who have been involved with this and our other ministries.

Corneal Transplant Program

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From its very beginning the Jamaica Outreach Program (JOP) has dedicated many mission trips to the eye clinic on the compound of St. Pius X in Kingston. Those trips are made possible through the service of the lay missionaries who visit there two or three times a year. The journey to improved sight is a long and involved process for those Jamaican patients who are in need of corneal transplant surgeries. This type of surgery is not available in Jamaica and therein lies an untold story about what the JOP does to make a difference in the lives of the people we meet at our clinics.

In August 2013, while working at the JOP eye clinic in Kingston, Dr. Jeffrey Zimm identified nine patients who would benefit from corneal transplant surgery. Since then, four of those patients have come to Naples and benefited from the transplants with Dr. Zimm  and his staff performing the surgeries at no charge and other out-of-pocket expenses paid by donor-sponsors (sometimes supplemented by the patient’s own fundraising efforts) . The process for these patients is a long one involving many people who help them along their way to a more perfect sight and a better life.

The following report has been submitted by Dr Zimm’s surgery coordinator, Alison Burberry:

When Dr Zimm identifies a patient who would benefit from a corneal transplant, the patient is then put on a priority list based on age and the severity of the problem. The need for a corneal transplant is usually from keratoconus (a corneal dystrophy), or infections causing scarring or trauma. Once the patient has been identified and the JOP has found a donor willing to fund the costs associated with the transplant, Dr. Zimm writes a letter to support the granting of a non-immigrant visa by the U.S. embassy in Kingston.

The average out-of-pocket cost of a transplant is $ 5,000. Corneal tissue is $3,200 and visa applications, air flights, post-op prescriptions and surgery center fees account for the rest of the cost. In many cases host families are arranged by the JOP for our patients who generally come for a 10-day stay. During that time, a patient is placed with host families for three or four days each. The hosts provide shelter, sustenance, and transportation for their guests. While in Naples, the patient undergoes a pre-operative exam, the surgery, and several post-operative exams by Dr Zimm.

In our dealings with Jamaicans, we have been impressed with their graciousness, patience, and gratitude. The entire surgical team is also impressed by the dedication of the JOP and its commitment to the eye care mission. We are fortunate to work hand in hand with them.

Anyone interested in serving as host for a future corneal transplant patient or interested donors are invited to contact us through this website.

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