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 (www.hacketthemwall.org) 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.
Peter A. Fields, MD DC The Athletic DocSMand Ironman Triathlete Board Certified Medical Physician and Chiropractor Prolotherapy/PRP/Bone Marrow-Stem Cell Orthopedic & Sports Medicine/Integrative Health