Thursday, July 19, 2012

Honduras 2012

Dear All,
In March of this year I again volunteered as a physician with the Hackett-Hemwall Foundation (HHF) in Honduras. Every year, I look forward to donating my time in this third work county. The foundation takes over 100 physicians and volunteers each year to Honduras. These physicians come from the US and around the world not only to treat the local people but to be taught the art of Prolotherapy. We also invite several Honduran Medical Physicians who are doing their residency training to join us.
Prolotherapy is an injection technique that requires skill and training. The two weeks begins with an eight hour day of lectures in which I gave a one hour lecture on the knee. Then we move off to each of the three towns to set up the clinics. The HHF has three clinics in Honduras and I was the co-Director of the Olanchito clinic, a small town in the mountains where we use a local community center as our clinic.
Every day there are many people lined up waiting for us as we arrive at the clinic at 8am. we see between 60-90 patients a day. People come from all over to have their joints treated. In one of the eight individual 'rooms' (loose term since in my clinic we have sheets hung from metal tubing as the framework) there are two 'student' physicians and one supervisor physician. The other co-director and I either supervised in one area each or moved around the treatment areas to help out wherever we were needed.
The days go by fast. Each day at noon we take a break and give a one hour lecture and a demonstration of treating an area of the body. By 5:30 or 6pm, after seeing between 60-80 pts, the day is done. It is then off to dinner and back to the hotel for the night. The mid weekend we go over to a resort island off the coast of Honduras for a break. Then it is back for another week's work. All in all, the experience is always very enjoyable and rewarding.
Treating those in need and teaching others is very special for me. The patients come from near and far and sometimes take days to get to us. They then line up early and wait many hours to be treated. Honduras is one of the poorest countries in all of the Americas and the people subsist on very little. Every year, they are always very grateful for all we offer. Seeing how we can make a difference in their lives is something that I cherish.
The HHF ( is the nation's leading educational and teaching organization for Prolotherapy. It is run by two very special and dedicated people: Dr Jeff Patterson, the Medical Director and Mary Doherty, the Director of Operations. Their commitment to the foundation and to the Honduras Project is unparalleled. I am very proud to be associated with them not only in Honduras, but as an instructor/lecturer at the only US based Medical School course on Prolotherapy held annually at the University of Wisconsin Medical School.
If you would like to donate items or volunteer, please see below.
Yours truly,
Peter A. Fields, MD DC
The Athletic DocSM and Ironman Triathlete
Board Certified Medical Physician and Chiropractor
Prolotherapy/PRP/Bone Marrow-Stem Cell
Orthopedic & Sports Medicine/Integrative Health
Donations and volunteers are always welcome.
If you would like to volunteer your time or have any other questions please contact Mary Doherty at:
There is also a page on their website to donate:
They have 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS so donations may be tax deductible.
Common things that are needed:
Basic medical supplies - gloves, bandages, syringes, needles, alcohol swabs, gauze, surgical instruments (hemostats, forceps, scissors)
Non-prescription drugs that will not be expired until after March 2013.  (we cannot take expired medication or opened bottles/boxes):  Acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, rehydration packets, etc
Basic School supplies - crayons, paper, pencils, pens, rulers, spiral notebooks, markers, scissors, glue, etc. Wheelchairs

All supplies should be shipped to: Hackett Hemwall Foundation - Honduras project c/o Chet's Car Care Center 2020 Aberg Avenue Madison, WI 53704
To read more about my trip go to:

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Final Week

The rest of the week went smoothly. The docs that where being trained in Prolotherapy where more confident in their injections techniques and therefore needed less supervision. We let them work up patients on their own and call for us when they felt that they needed help or to show them something. We treat lots of knees, backs, shoulders, necks and all other joints too.That's because Prolo works! One of the docs with us from Puerto Rico was interviewed on local TV about Prolotherapy. Our dentist, Dr Disbel Mansilla, was interviewed about the dental side of things.

On Wednesday evening, after dinner at Erica’s Café, we had a farewell party. Erica had arranged to have a DJ. So we all ended up dancing for a while with the encouragement of Disbel, who is avid dancer. She would go around and get people up one by one when they were just sitting around. Plus Erica had all kinds of hats for us so it was a good time for all. After the dancing we did karaoke, and I even sang “My Girl” for mi novia (girlfriend).

Thursday we only worked for two hours in the am and then had to leave to get back to the main town, La Ceiba. Once there we all did a bit of gift shopping and then got ready for the final evening party for all three clinics. It was held at the main hotel where we all stay in that town. After drinks and appetizers, we all went into a room where Dr. Jeff Patterson, director of the Hackett-Hemwall Foundation, spoke for about 30 minutes about the foundation, our trip and acknowledged a few of the pertinent people. As co-director of the Olanchito clinic, I was asked to say a few rods. Disbel, as the second week dentist, also was asked to say a few words. Then we all went outside poolside, for the final dinner and to say goodbye to the new friends that we all made over these two weeks and to the old friends that we sometimes only see once or twice a year.

The next am we all made our way to the next town, San Pedro Sula, where the flights leave back to the US. Disbel and I flew to Miami to spend another 24 hrs with my mom and brother. This is always a great way to end my trip. The next am I went for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean (nice warm water) and while Disbel ran on the beach. We then went back to my mom’s for a brunch. My aunt Shirley came by and we got to show her, my mom and brother all the pictures of our trip. Then it was a 5 ½ hr flight back to Los Angeles.

This is my sixth year and it always gets better. The people of Honduras have so little and appreciate whatever one can do for them. They are very grateful and thankful for whatever we can offer. The feeling one gets form doing this is without words. Thank you all for taking the time to read this.

All the best,

Peter A. Fields, MD, DC
“The Athletic Doc" and Ironman Triathlete

PS Anyone wanting to contribute items (clothing, school supplies, or whatever) I only ask that they either be dropped off at my office or shipped directly to Wisconsin for the January shipping down to Honduras.


If you or anyone else would like to volunteer time with us next year, please let me know and I will start the process of getting signed up. Anyone is encouraged to volunteer and many high school and college students love the experience it gives them.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mid weekend break in Roatan

For the mid weekend, we get a break from Prolotherapy.

The flght over to Roatan was only 15 mins. Disbel Mansilla, DDS (my girlfriend) and her assistance were supposed to meet us in LA Ceiba. She and her dental assistant are coming down for one week to run the dental clinic in Olanchito. They missed a flight so will be arriving on Saturday. After getting everyone together at the island airport, we took taxis to our respective Hotels. Most of us stay in the West End, a very laid back town on the island. I stay at Coco Lobo, a small group of bungalows. There are only about 8 rooms. I have stayed here for a few years. The room I get looks directly at the ocean from the balcony. The other docs are scattered throughout the West End at various inns (there are no large buildings here; mainly one or two story buildings with no more than 10-15 rooms- mainly small bungalows).

Friday night we all attended a dinner party at a café that is outdoors and on the water. This is given by the foundation (Hackett-Hemwall). It was a good time to see the other docs from the two other clinics and catch up with colleagues that I see only once year. Sat and Sun, I organized scuba diving for those that wanted to go. The island is well known for scuba diving and there are many good dive sites there. I did dives two times on each day. My girlfriend and her assistant (Erin) flew in on Sat afternoon.
Disbel went diving with me on Sunday. Both days the diving was really good. We saw lots of turtles, a hammerhead shark, a barracuda, several moray eels and lots of fish and coral.

The rest of Saturday we spent just hanging around and chilling out. Sat night we went with a small group of docs to a new restaurant. Sunday after our two dives, we took a water taxi to another beach on our side of the island. There is an all inclusive resort there. One of the docs from Italy was staying there. About 20 of us met him there and hung out.

After a nice two day break we all got picked up by cans at 5am Monday am for the return flight back to the mainland and then a three hour ride to your clinic (the others went to their respective clinics).

More soon,

Peter A. Fields, MD, DC
“The Athletic Doc" and Ironman Triathlete

Friday, March 16, 2012

First week- the last three days

The next three days were very busy with seeing patients. We see on average of about 70 patients a day. The “student” docs get better each day. Some are doing Prolo for the first time; others have same experience. The cases vary in the degree of difficulty.. In the more difficult cases, either one of the directors (Dr B or myself) would take the case and let the others watch. Or we would be in the room with the others to give them hands on directions. We also have a dentist in our clinic. Mainly what they do is pull teeth as there is no x-rays and after care. It is a hectic day as I am being pulled in many directions by the other docs to help them with cases. It is very rewarding as they improve their techniques as the week goes on. Every day at noon we give them a lecture so there are plenty of new questions all the time. We see just about every joint in the body and necks and backs too. Knees are without a doubt the most seen with low backs and shoulder being the next most commonly seen areas.

But there is not a joint of the body that we do not see. If there is an interesting case, then we gather most of the docs inot that room and show them hwo we do it. All in all the docs are very attentive and ahrd workers. There is an air conditioner here but it works only so-so. There are a few overhead fans, but with the 95+ temps outside, it is always a little warm inside.

On Friday all we had was a lecture in the am and then headed back to LA Ceiba (our base city) to catch a flight with the others to Roatan. Roatan is a small island off the coast of Honduras that is basically a resort island. Originally part of British Honduras, the primary language there is English (Caribbean style, that is).

More from the Island.

Peter A. Fields, MD, DC
“The Athletic Doc" and Ironman Triathlete

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day four- first day in clinic

After a 7am breakfast, we walked the half mile down to the clinic. There were over 80 people waiting for us there when we got there at 8am. Dr Ben (the co-director with myself) and I set up the working schedule. We put one new doc with one experienced doc. We each took two new docs plus would rotate around the other treatment rooms.

The am went fast. We have translators with us too. These are kids between 12 and 17 that go to the bilingual school in town. There they get an excellent education. We also have several docs form the US that are fairly fluent in Spanish. And we even have one doc that is from Puerto Rico, so he is our go to guy. At noon, lunch was brought to us by Erika, the woman whose restaurant we go to for dinner. After that it was lecture time. I gave the lecture today showing the injections for the knee. Each day at lunch we will present a different joint. Dr Ben and I will do most of the lectures but sometimes will ask one of the more experienced docs to do one too.

We closed the clinic at about 5pm. The day went well and we saw over 40 patients. Tom’w’ we should significantly more patient’s tom'w since Dr Jose was on local TV. He was interview for over an hour on live TV with call in questions. Towards the end of the hour several women called in asking if he was single or if they could have his phone number. This we kidded him about for the rest of the week.

All in all we have a great group of docs here.

That’s all for now.

Peter A. Fields, MD, DC
The Athletic Doc and Ironman Triathlete


After closing we were taken by one of the translators to a local gym. Basically a one from gym but in this rural third world town, it was a blessing. Several bikes, one elliptical machine, one treadmill. Also a few (as in very) free weights and two machines. And it is housed in a one room concrete building hot!). But it will work for know.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

3rd day in Honduras

local transport

Dr F & Dr Patterson- head of the HHF

Sunday I was finally able to gt to work out. It was an off day, so I went for a for a five mile run. Then I met up with a few other docs you wanted to go for a walk so they accompanied me to the waterfront and I went for a 25 minute swim in the ocean. Then it was a casual walk back through town, see the city and stopping at the local street market to get some mangoes. At 11:30 our bus to Olanchito (the clinic town) left with a third of the docs- the other two thirds are split between two other clinics. It was a three hour ride to Olanchito, which sits in a valley surrounded by small mountains. Once there, we set up the clinic. It is house in a building that is used for general functions (weddings, parties, town meetings and the annual livestock show- the animals are outside though!).

We leave support bars (actually piping) which must be laid out on the floor and put together and the lifted up and put into place as a framework. Along with these bars, we lave many other supplies here plus we have and lots more shipped down each year too. Then sheets are hung to give the individual rooms some privacy. All the tables and supplies must then be put into each cubicle. All in all it take a few hours and by then we all tired an sweaty. It was back to check into the hotel and shower before we went off to dinner. Dinner, and the lunches that are delivered to us at the clinic, are provided by Erika. She is the owner of a local café that serves excellent homemade food. She has been serving us for many years and her food is delicious. Then it was back to the hotel. Tom’w we start seeing patients!

Peter A. Fields, MD, DC
“The Athletic Doc" and Ironman Triathlete