The Brooklyn-based community group, Action, Performance, Commitment (APC) Community Services, Inc. says it has conducted a very successful medical mission to Guyana.
Dr. Janice Emanuel-Bunn, the group’s Guyanese-born president, told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview, that over 1,500 Guyanese nationals benefited from free medical clinics and health symposiums that the group conducted during it recent trip to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member-nation.
“This was an extremely successful mission, and I thank all the doctors, nurses and other professionals for volunteering their time and expertise,” said Dr. Emanuel-Bunn about the three-week mission.
“The words of appreciation and smiles on the patients’ faces meant a lot to our team,” she added.
Emanuel-Bunn said the Loma Linda University Dental team in California, under the leadership of Drs. Alan Woodson and Larry Holloway, also provided “valuable dental services” during the mission, disclosing that they were able to serve more than 500 patients.
The APC Community Services, Inc. head said clinics were held at Parika; LBI; Bath Settlement; New Amsterdam; Grove; Charity; Bushlot; Pomona; and Georgetown, the Guyanese capital.
Two dental symposiums were also conducted in Georgetown and Kuru Kururu. The presenters were Loma Linda University Dental students Dallas Frantz, Ronald Walker, Luke Czar, Minyoung Cho and Diana Ferguson.
“This was an incredible and a well-executed experience,” Dr. Woodson said. “Everything was well organized. The people were so appreciative of the services, and they were so patient as they waited for service.
“I was intrigued at the learning curve experienced by students, who went from no oral surgery experience to gaining so much experience, because of the number of patients they served,” he added. “The support staff was also amazing.”
Dr. Emanuel-Bunn said the medical team arrived in Guyana on June 23 “and set sail for the Essequibo coast on the beautiful Malalil.”
She said the team spent an entire week in Essequibo, conducting two clinics in Charity at the spacious Stoll’s Residence. She said clinics were also conducted at Pomona and Bushlot.
While waiting for clinical services, Emanuel-Bunn said she and Registered Nurse Dawn Caesar educated patients on disease management and nutrition. Registered Nurse Caroline Howell also “actively engaged” patients in exercises sessions, Emanuel-Bunn said.
“This was an experience filled with energy and compassion,” said Dr. Edward Kankam, a Ghanaian residing in West Palm Beach, Fl, who participated in the mission for the first time.
“As we saw the patients, we recognized that their needs could not be left unattended,” he said. “What we had to offer was greatly appreciated.
“I will encourage those who have resources to support this mission and invest in providing quality medical services to the needy,” he added. “This mission was enhanced by the addition of the dental team, which was really an asset.”
Dr. Wendy Reece and her husband, Carlisle Reece, a registered nurse, originally from Barbados and currently residing in New York, also participated for the first time in the medical mission.
“This mission was a humbling experience,” Dr. Reece said. “The little we did for the patients to assist them with their medical problems was so greatly appreciated.
“What we did,” she added, “made such an impact on the lives of the people. I believe that volunteering time to do these missions can make a difference in the lives of the needy people around the world.”
Dr. Karen Cummings, one of APC’s local counterparts, who assisted in the mission, said: “This was a great experience.”
During the mission’s second week, Emanuel-Bunn said clinics were conducted in Kurukuru, Georgetown and New Amsterdam “to benefit the residents of Bara Cara.”
Emanuel-Bunn said she was very grateful for the extraordinary work of the doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, who set aside “precious time” to help those in need.
“We thank our doctors – Dr. Edward Kankam, Dr. Orin Douglas (Medical Director of the Mission), Dr. Wendy Reece and Dr. Karen Cummings,” she said.
Emanuel-Bunn said new team members included registered nurses Afua John Lyte, Johanne Norville, Lisa Norville, Lathania Norville, Enid Ross, Caroline Howell, and Carlisle Reece; and student nurses Jevoni Mc Allister, Lennox Norville, Robin Seeram and Natalie Williams.
“I believe that we have fulfilled our mission statement – “Realizing that by giving to the poor we are lending to God,” she said.
Emanuel-Bunn said APC Medical Mission provides free, comprehensive medical care in the promotion of health and wellness to underserved peoples of the world.
“It is in this vein that APC is committed to travel wherever God leads, to seek out and serve without regards for ethnicity, religious persuasion and socioeconomic status of the recipients,” she said.
Emanuel-Bunn said the group plans to take its medical mission next year to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as to Guyana.