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Taking Care To Kenya

For 11 days in June, four DMH employees helped staff medical clinics for the Maasai people of Kenya, part of a 20-member medical mission trip sponsored by First Christian Church of Decatur.

“We saw patients who were acutely and chronically ill,” says DMH Endoscopy’s Michelle Peterson, RN, who has served on this mission trip to Kenya five times. “We saw many children with chickenpox. A special focus this time was to educate and screen women for cervical cancer.”

This was the second mission trip to Kenya for DMH Nurse Practitioner Linda Klemm

 “The Maasai have such a joy and a sense of community in the midst of having so little,” Linda says. “It definitely changes your perspective on priorities in life.”

Traveling to Kenya for the first time were DMH Millennium Pain Center’s Sue Hall, RN, and office manager Mike Stewart.

 “At first it was a challenge working in the pharmacy,” says Sue, who filled prescriptions and provided medication usage education. “The Kenyan medication names and dosing are very different.”

Mike coordinated patient flow and facilitated hand offs between vitals, intake, provider, lab and pharmacy—a busy job since the team saw an average of 200 patients in seven hours each day (many patients walked several miles to be there and some had to be turned away due to limited time and resources).  

“It was an honor to serve with such an amazing team,” Mike says. “I returned grateful and humbled. I have a new perspective on basic healthcare and amenities that we take for granted here in the United States.”

Michelle Peterson in the clinic
Linda Klemm, who worked in the clinic, took some time out to entertain children with her cell phone
Sue Hall helped in the pharmacy
Mike Stewart coordinated patient flow