On October 22nd, 2016, a sunny Saturday morning, we were delighted to celebrate the 16th Aniversario of Centro Médico Humberto Parra. Originally founded on July 14th, 2001, this clinic is the realization of the dreams and hard work of Dr. Susan Hou, Dr. Douglas Villarroel, and Dr. Mark Molitch.
Community members dedicated their time, hearts, and talents to celebrate 15 years working in partnership with North American doctors, medical and nursing students, volunteers, and of course the Molitch-Hou family. The service to others demonstrated by community members in preparation for the day’s celebration was a testament to the example of service to others and to community begun by Drs. Hou, Villarroel, and Molitch in 2001.
The celebration of the clinic’s Aniversario began with many thanks and well-wishes to the North American partners who were celebrating from afar, and continued with a brief history of the clinic. Current clinic coordinators and representatives from the office of Dr. Douglas Villaroel thanked the many people who make patient care at Centro Médico Humberto Parra possible. Among these outstanding individuals include the clinic staff, group leaders, and promotoras de salud.
Community members shared well-prepared traditional dances, recited poems, and sang songs. The Promotoras de salud prepared a drama with an important message speaking out against domestic violence, which was both engaging and educational. Each community brought healthy versions of traditional recipes to share and beautiful handmade crafts. With full hearts and stomachs, the celebration of the 16th Aniversario of Centro Médico Humberto Parra concluded with many embraces and smiles. We would like to thank all the members of the communities served by CMHP who participated in this celebration, and to express our sincere gratitude for being part of such an inspiring group of individuals who dedicate their lives to improving the health of others.
In response to the high prevalence of diet-mediated chronic illnesses seen among our patient population we have begun to build upon a pre-existing nutrition program to promote and facilitate healthy eating and cooking habits. Diet, and ultimately food access, are fundamental causes of many of the diseases,such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, which have a significant burden on our patients’ wellbeing. The approach we have taken to promote a healthy diet is by starting a garden at our clinic for the benefit of our patients with the future goals of incorporating nutritional consults and a diabetes health education class into patients’ visit to clinic.
We have partnered with our clinic’s caretaker, Don Pepe, in preparing the land for the garden and the daily maintenance it requires. The produce grown will be used in healthy cooking demonstrations led by each communities’ promotoras de salud, or health promoters. We recently held our first cooking demonstration with the garden’s first harvest—radishes. Guinda, a promotora de salud of the community of Yapacani and one of our clinic’s nurses, demonstrated how to prepare pickled radish to the delight of our patients. Patients in attendance all left with a recipe card so they could prepare the recipe at home. The radishes were a hit and patients were happy to share the health benefits they knew of radishes with each other.
In addition to radishes, we are also growing tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, lettuce, Swiss chard, eggplant, onions, squash, basil, cilantro, and parsley. As our produce matures and is ready to harvest, we will coordinate with our promotoras de salud to find new recipes to share and prepare with patients that respect local cuisine while introducing more vegetables and healthy cooking techniques into their preparation. We also hope to inspire patients to grow produce in their homes as an affordable and local alternative to buying produce at markets, which are not readily accessible in all the communities our clinic serves. To support this intention, patients will be invited to help plant seeds, maintain the garden, and harvest produce as it matures.
In addition to the garden project, we are planning on building upon a nutritional consult program stated by clinic coordinators in 2014. Our goal is to equip our promotoras de salud with the skills and resources necessary to educate and promote a healthy diet with the patients in their community and work with their patients in setting attainable health goals to support and demonstrate their progress. In conjunction with nutritional consults, we are developing a diabetes health education program with our promotoras de salud for our diabetic patients. Classes on how to live a healthy life with diabetes will be held at clinic and taught by our promotoras de salud and clinic staff for our diabetic patient population. Our promotoras de salud are peers and neighbors of the clinic’s patients and thus have the best insight into the daily lived experiences of our patients and what barriers to preparing healthy meals or adhering to their disease management are experienced. We are excited to work alongside our Bolivian colleagues and community partners in finding solutions that make a healthier life more attainable. We look forward to learn from the insight of our patients to improve our efforts in health promotion and ensure that our patients are receiving the best possible care and support needed to achieve their health goals.
The Daniels Hamant Foundation and Centro Medico Humberto Parra has teamed with tix4cause.com, a website that sells tickets to sporting events concert and other entertainment. Earn money for the clinic when you buy tickets to the Chicago Symphony, Blue Man Group, Steppenwolf, Cirque Shanghai, the House of Blues and many more! Also, stay tuned as they are helping us to organize a Chicago White Sox outing this summer.
Through Tix4Cause, you can:
- Donate Tickets to Tix4Cause in our name and then when they are sold, we earn 90% of the proceeds!
- Purchase Tickets through Tix4Cause to ANY event listed and we earn 7.5%
Check it out! When you select a Charity look for Daniels Hamant Foundation- Centro Medico Humberto Parra
The clinc held a Feria de Salud (Health Fair) for our diabetic patients. It was a day of education and fun. There were talks in the morning about the effects of diabetes on your health, how to avoid complications, and how to manage the disease. After the talks the clinic held a variety of fun exercise activities including a hula hoop contest, dance contest, a walk through the forest and a water balloon fight. The goal was to show some fun, easy ways to fit in exercise and move more in everyday life. Referenced on the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black, this video, explains what a little exercise can do
These beautiful children met us at the door when one of our volunteers came for a home visit. When patients are very sick, unable to make it to the clinic, or if one of our health promoters or nurses recommend we make a visit, our coordinators and doctors make home visits to assure patients get their care. These home visits can provide a great deal of insight into how patients go about treating their chronic illnesses and also lets us get to know the whole family. If a patient is very sick, it gives us the opportunity to provide care to those who need it most.