For people in the Dominican Republic, the small hospital in San Juan de la Maguana strives to provide the best medical care available. Dr. John Mann sees a disaster waiting to happen.
The Christian Clinic for Integrated Health provides excellent care, thanks to medical professionals like Dr. Mann who visit from the United States, but in 1998, it was covered by more than five feet of water. The hospital still sits in that uninhabitable flood plain and it is only a matter of time before a catastrophic flood strikes again.
Dr. Mann is working with Solid Rock International, a Christian non-profit organization trying to improve lives in the Dominican Republic. The group is trying to build a brand new 20-bed hospital in a safer location with state of the art equipment.
"Another major flood could destroy the current hospital, and past flooding has caused damage and maintenance problems that are beyond repair,” explained Dr. Mann. “The new hospital will be in a better location and revolutionize healthcare in the Dominican Republic while dramatically increasing capabilities and capacity.”
Dr. Mann, an orthopaedic surgeon with Carilion Clinic specializing in joint replacements, sees this mission as an opportunity for the entire Roanoke community. He’s working to bring colleagues, friends and members of the medical community to visit and contribute time and service to those in need in the Dominican Republic.
“Here in Roanoke we have a state-of the art, 700-bed hospital to meet all our needs,” Dr. Mann says. “Imagine having a nothing but a small clinic that could be destroyed by a hurricane next month. They need our help and we all have the capacity to help in some way.”
While the hospital operating room is currently not capable of supporting advanced procedures such as joint replacements, Dr. Mann says the group is working on ways to expand the medical services available in the country. They are also working with another non-profit to collect and refurbish out-dated medical equipment that can be used in the Dominican Republic and other under served parts of the world.
For more information the project and other initiatives such as student sponsorship, child nutrition and clean water, visit www.solidrockinternational.com.