Luc F Joseph, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Joseph earned his medical and doctorate degrees from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He later earned his Master of Public Health degree from Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Joseph has been a physician at Boston Children’s Hospital for more than 15 years and has more than 10 years experience with medical missions overseas including the Bahamas and more recently the Dominican Republic.
Our short term goal is to alleviate the suffering of the workers in the sugar cane plantations or Bateys of the Dominican Republic by attending to their urgent or chronic medical problems. We provide relief for medical conditions such as back pain, gastritis, headaches, wounds/abscesses, burns, gastrointestinal parasites, tinea capitis, vaginal discharge, etc. One very common and endemic chronic condition is hypertension. It is no longer unusual to have patients walking to clinic with blood pressure of 210/110 and without the financial means to buy prescription medicine. Many of these patients are educated about reducing their salt intake and are also given anti-hypertensive medications for an entire year.
Our long term goal is to establish a mobile health clinic that would be available weekly to the workers of these Bateys. Daily on-call care can also be provided for very urgent medical problems. The mobile health clinic will be staffed by paid locally-trained health professionals and the foundation, JCHISPANIOLAFUND, will keep the mobile health clinic well supplied.
In the past few years, we have become preoccupied with oral health education and prevention after a teenager presented to our clinic session with golf ball-size dental abscess. The following year we started our Oral Health Campaign which is still on going. The oral health campaign relies heavily on education and prevention. Our education and prevention piece is delivered by college student volunteers via poster presentation. Interpreters are readily available to translate the most salient points in Spanish and also in Haitian Creole. A local dentist married to one of our volunteer pediatrician joined us a few years ago. We are in the process of securing the help of dental residents at Boston Children’s Hospital for our yearly oral health campaign.
We need your help for such endeavor. If you are a healthcare professional,non-healthcare professional, medical student, or college student we invite you to join the medical team for our medical mission trip which takes place yearly toward the end of May. I can assure you that you will have a life-changing experience. If you cannot join us this year, there are many other ways you can help. Contribute financially to our cause by clicking on the Donate button of our website or send us dental supplies, such as toothbrushes and toothpastes and other care packages of hygiene such as soap, deodorant, and shampoo. Gently-used sneakers and almost new clothes are also needed.
Finally, I leave you with one thought: “it is better to donate than to receive”. Also, keep us in your prayers.