San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

February 26, 2007
For Immediate Release


By Elayne Caldwell
and Andy McIntosh

The Flying Samaritans (Sams) medical team came to San Felipe February 15 for a three day visit to treat local people who otherwise would not receive needed medical attention. The visit was sponsored by the recently-chartered Lions Club San Felipe, B.C.

Local Lions Horacio Aleman and Guadelupe Perez, working with president Gary Dilley, signed up more than 200 prospective patients for pre-screening by San Felipe physicians during the last week in January. Dr. Victor Abasolo, a Lion member, coordinated the triage team of San Felipe physicians Drs. Raphael Gracia, Daniel Arzamendi, and Alan Espinoza.

During last weekend's visit, the Sams, led by Walter J. Schimon MD, Valley Associated Urology Medical Group and President of the Flying Samaritans Central Valley Chapter, treated residents and performed the operations at San Felipe Hospital (formerly St. James). Carlos Kuttler, administrator of the hospital, offered the services of his staff to provided nursing and organizational aid.

The team saw about 125 optometry patients and 50 ear, nose, and throat (ENT) patients on Friday February 16. On Saturday, the Samaritans performed 7 tonsillectomies on patients ranging from 12 months to 17 years old. They also placed myringotomy tubes (ear tubes) in a 3 year old boy with chronic ear infections. The ENT and optometry clinics ran from 8 am to 6:30 pm on Friday. ENT surgery ran from 8 am to 8 pm on Saturday, with the last post-op patient leaving the San Felipe Hospital at 11:30 pm that night.

Dr. Jerry Bush, vacationing in San Felipe from Spokane, and RN Ray Mostowy, a Sooke, British Columbia, Lion assisted the Flying Sams in the triage of those patients who were not pre-screened but sought medical treatment. Dr. Bush and Mostowy also helped in the operating room.

San Felipe Lions and volunteers were on hand to provide needed services. Reverend Gary Lewis of Mission San Felipe, Horacio Aleman, Jose Gomez and Lupe Perez acted as translators. Irene Cogley and Rosarura Coda, both of St. James, and Gardenia Kimmey a volunteer from El Dorado, organized the arriving patients and coordinated their visit.

The Samaritans will be returning to San Felipe in May to perform eye surgeries and treatment to residents.

The Flying Samaritans
Working under the direction of Dr. Walter J. Schimon, the following Sams provided services in San Felipe:

ENT clinic and surgery medical team:
Alan Yates MD ENT surgeon
Lyn Raible MD Internist
Cindy Gabert RN
Rosie Bishop RN
Bill Wims

Operating Room Tech Enid Picart (UC Merced student)

Optometry clinic:
Dr. John Demshar Optometrist
Pat Coleman
Richard Screen
Brandon Brazil
Joey Castro
Linda Scherer
Mike Stone
Mohammed Ahmed (UC Berkeley student)
Avace Dani (UC Berkeley student)
Aaron Nisley (UC Merced student)

Kelly Mabe
Jon Maring
John Stokman

Rev. Gary Lewis, Irene Cogley, Ray Mostowy, and Horacio Aleman, as well as Dr. Shimon, provided information for this report.

CLICK HERE for a slideshow of the recent clinic.