Information About Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean region on the island of Hispaniola. Hispaniola is divided into 2 sovereign states, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The Dominican Republic has been at the heart of MMI’s work since the founding of our ministry in 1969 after the Christian Medical Society (MGM) project in Puerto Plata in 1968. John and Sheila Shannon, local DR Plymouth Brethren missionaries from Canada provided leadership until 1984. Willie and Janice Hunter, Evangelical Mennonite Church missionaries in DR, began assisting the Shannon’s in the early 1970’s. Willie Hunter was named Director in 1984, later served as Executive Director of MMI until 2012. The Elias Santana Hospital was established in los Alcarrizos outside Santo Domingo with generous donations after hurricane David in 1979. MMI Canada continues to support programs at the Elias Santana Hospital. Graduates from the Ophthalmology Residency Training program have returned to their countries around the globe where many continue to serve those in need.
Through our one and two week projects many have been trained by our faithful leaders Drs. Teo Beato and Frida Luna, carrying our mission to many of the other countries where MMI is located today. Our vision for the future is that the work will not only continue to serve the poor in the DR, but also serve as a bridge for volunteers and leaders to ultimately serve those in need in other locations.
Elizabeth (Betty) Seunarine, RN from Toronto has served in the Dominican Republic for over 20 years. Betty has trained local health workers in countries around the globe in her specialty: Integrated Health & Counselling, part of the Preventative Care Program.
Project Site Examples:
- Las Matas de Farfan
- Monte Plata
- Rio San Juan
- Sabana de la Mar
- Sabana Grande de Boya
- San Jose de las Matas
- Villa Los Almacigos
Each day the team will set up a mobile clinic. The clinic will be held in very basic facilities, such as schools and local health centers. There may be some outreach opportunities available depending on the needs in the local communities. The surgery team will work at the local hospital in partnership with the community health organization.
Specialized medical, dental, and surgical volunteers will work with the local staff as mentors to help improve their skills.
The national insurance program is giving better health care than it has been in the past; however, there are still many patients who are thankful for care.
We welcome opportunities to coordinate projects and support the efforts in the Dominican Republic.
The team will stay at a basic hotel or guest house while on the project.
Bed Linens: bring linens
Bath Towels: bring a bath-size towel, hand towel/washcloth
Laundry Service: available for additional charge
Hot Water: no, bring a solar shower if you wish
Internet: it’s possible
Phone Service: check with your cell phone provider
Voltage: 110 v – same as Canada/USA
Meals: provided by MMI -DR staff. Be sure to bring your own re-usable water bottle with a wide mouth for refilling with purified water supplied by MMI -DR.
At the clinic site the project team will provide medical consultations, dentistry, IHE and optometry. At the local hospital the project team will provide surgical services based on the specialty of the volunteer (General surgeries, OB GYN, reconstructive plastic surgeries, orthopedic, etc.).
The Dominican health program is growing and MMI -DR comes alongside local providers and increases the access for needy people in different communities. The local needs are many, medically and surgically speaking. For example the most common surgical problems are abdominal hernias, circumcisions, gallbladder stones, uterine fibroids, cystoceles, prostate (hard to be done in two weeks project), etc.
Project teams work with the local hospital staff. In one community an expample is: 60 staff in a community of about 15,000 people. The location is a small building, two floors, surgery in the second floor, no elevator, 25 – 30 beds, one OR, one delivery room. The MOH offers general consults, pediatric, OB-Gyn, Internal Medicine, surgery, etc. MMI-DR has long term relationships in communities and works with local Churches.
A passport is required, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure. Travel Visa is not required. A $10 tourist card must be purchased when you enter the airport in the DR . All minors travelling need to leave with the same parent or guardian that they came with.
Please send a copy of the following to the MMI Canada office:
- Current diploma and license
- CV for MD, DDS, DMD, RN, NP, PA, and surgeons
- Surgeons - Surgical privileges list
MMI Canada will provide our designated travel agent information after your acceptance on the project.
Santo Domingo Airport - Las Américas International Airport (SDQ), Terminal A.I.L.A. unless noted on project specific information