Dear Clinic Supporter,
If you went for a morning jog and had a bad fall, you may curse yourself and wonder, “Did I fracture something?”
You may apply some ice and give the injury a rest, but if it gets worse – you’ll decide to go in for an X-ray at a facility close to you. No problem.
I expect you would do the same thing if you had a bad cough that turned into a fever. If you started to feel weak, you’d get it checked out to make sure it wasn’t pneumonia. Very easy.
In North America, getting an X-ray to check out a potentially serious problem is pretty fast and easy… so easy that we often take it – and most of our medical services – for granted.
Now Imagine It Wasn’t So Easy…
Such is the case for our friends in Nicaragua. Like me, you’ve been attracted to the warmth and friendliness of the Nicaraguan people and the beauty of the land. I really appreciate your interest and support. Most families that live in this region critically need humanitarian support. They reside off remote dirt roads in deplorable conditions.
We are making great strides. But it’s not enough. We continue to need your help.
The challenges to provide basic health services here are evident. Nicaraguans often share two-room tin shacks, without clean water, in dusty or muddy conditions. They suffer from chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and asthma, in addition to preventive diseases. Especially for those living in the remote hills and countryside, it’s extremely challenging to get to any healthcare facility, let alone one that offers X-rays.
The facilities are hours away, sometimes a full day away…
With your support today, you can help a family get their injury diagnosed and stabilized, their infections treated before they become serious and more painful. We make health services more accessible. We can help thousands get the exams and care they need now – not after their painful ailments worsen… or it becomes too late.
The Solution is Easy. We Need Your Help Today.
Since 2004, The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic has been a model nonprofit health center for Central America.
As you may know, we named it after a famous baseball player who died while en route to help Nicaraguans after a devastating earthquake in the ’70s. Today we don’t just care for the sick and injured there… we also help the local citizens with education, healthy eating and clean water distribution.
We are making real progress. But the challenges are immense, and your support is badly needed. Obtaining a small, modern X-ray machine is still a BIG deal in this part of the world… not to mention training the medical staff and building the proper facility to house the X-ray services.
The Clinic has come a long way over the past decade, helping more than 10,000 patients each year with urgent care. The programs we’ve initiated are making a huge impact. For example, we have a new large vegetable garden planted behind the Clinic. And we started a Healthy Eating Initiative to battle the prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure, tooth decay, weight gain and anemia. We have 30 community gardens.
A lot of what we treat at the Clinic is the direct result of contaminated water. Most families in the community do not have potable water; either their wells are contaminated with bacteria from a nearby septic system or the water is too calcified. We now have our own Water Treatment Plant and distribution system for the community.
We also expanded our Volunteer Program. More and more nursing and pre-med students from all over the U.S. and Canada are coming down to volunteer at the Clinic. This is not surprising. “Travel with purpose” is more popular. Not only is the Clinic an easy place to make a big impact, but it’s also located right near the Pacific Ocean, where the views are quite spectacular.
I’m writing to you today because it’s urgent that we start to offer basic diagnostic services like X-rays at our growing clinic. We are in a small, increasingly crowded facility and cannot help the community to the extent that we would like to – or to the extent that it needs.
We still lack the larger facility to offer better patient privacy, much-needed X-ray equipment and pediatric services, like a hydration room, a fever room and a nebulization room.
With Your Help, We Can Cut Down on the
Wait for a Patient in Pain
We are also short on personnel and need to expand medical staff training, as we are now a 24/7 facility. Our ambulance – the only one in our community – is in constant need of service because it travels on bad, muddy roads to reach patients in remote regions.
And we lack some medicines and basic equipment, like a portable infant incubator, surgery tables, surgery cold lamps, cardiac monitors and medical furniture. All of this must be imported, which is neither easy nor inexpensive to make happen in Nicaragua.
This year’s top goal is to get an X-ray machine to our Clinic and expand our facilities and training in order to accommodate this basic and necessary service.
On This Poor Community’s Wishlist:
“Please Have a Digital X-Ray Machine!”
This equipment can be used in any mobile hospital. We can take the image and send it to a radiologist in another facility (at a modern hospital in Managua, for example) for evaluation and immediate results. Having a portable digital X-ray machine will support our Clinic and trauma patients in situations where it’s important to take immediate and accurate assessments of an injury so we can stabilize the patient and get them to a hospital if need be.
Our budget for the 2017 “X-Ray Initiative” – for the equipment, training and facility – is $42,000. We currently do not have those funds. We are a small nonprofit registered in Maryland as a 501(c)(3), and we still need to rely on individual donors like you. We don’t get government grants, but we do get limited corporate matching funds for your donation.
Our services and medicines are provided for free to those who cannot afford to pay for them and at a low cost to those who can.
With Donors Like You – We Bought an Ambulance
In the past, donors like you helped change the entire emergency care landscape when we received enough donations to buy the region’s only ambulance, one that is capable of traveling on remote, muddy roads and through small rivers to reach patients in critical condition.
The community has been overwhelmingly grateful for that additional service to our Clinic.
With Donors Like You – We Bought an
We also majorly improved the quality of care with an ultrasound machine. We’ve had it for six years. It is carefully used and maintained, and it is the only broadly used ultrasound machine in the area. We use it to perform abdominal ultrasounds, thyroid ultrasounds, vascular ultrasounds and evaluations on pregnant women. This service is provided once a week with the support of a specialist doctor who comes from Managua. The ultrasound machine is used approximately 12 times a week.
The community has come to depend on us, as you depend on your local firemen and paramedics. We provide the only emergency response service to much of this region.
Now we need to do more so we can provide basic emergency exams that can give emotional and physical relief to unwell and injured locals. For the holidays this year, we would love to present the community with the new X-ray machine so they won’t have to make a trip that can take all day – if making the trip is even possible.
With Your Donation – We Can Offer X-Ray Services Very Soon
Today I’m asking to help enhance – or even save a life in this wonderful region of the world, because you easily can. By donating today to our Roberto Clemente Health Clinic, you can help us fund the 2017 X-Ray Initiative, training and construction for the expansion wing of our Clinic to offer the desperately needed exam space. You can help us with maintaining our ongoing programs – all greatly valued in this region.
Your donation will help this impoverished community in so many ways. Here’s how we have a dramatic, positive effect on the community…
How Donors Are Helping Rosa
Rosa is a 40-year-old woman who was assaulted by her husband, resulting in life-threatening injuries. Our medical team offered emergency attention, transporting her to the hospital in Rivas after she was stabilized at the Clinic. Her five children, with support from the Clinic, were cared for by the Ministry of Welfare until she recovered a month later.
Since then, the Clinic has supported Rosa in many ways, even helping her and her children to obtain identification cards through the National Registry of Persons.
Two of her five children participated in the Padrino Program, in which students receive school supplies in addition to biannual medical and dental exams. Rosa and her kids are also participating in our Nutrition Program.
In January 2017, in a joint effort with Francisco Perez, a community leader from Community Limón 2, Rosa received a donation of land from the mayor of Tola so that the family could have a place to live. With support from her eldest son, who is 13 years old and working in a brick factory, they were able to build a home.
The clinic team is currently helping Rosa build a latrine. Eventually, they hope to be able to build a bathroom as they presently don’t have any bathrooms in their house.
We continue to work with Rosa and her family for a more positive, healthier life.
Join Us – We Know How to
Effect Positive Change
I hope you’ll consider joining me, our Clinic team and the local community in making this region an inspiring place for its young people to grow up in.
After Haiti, Nicaragua is still the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. There is a tremendous amount of work to do to get Nicaragua up to first-world standards of healthcare and education.
Over the past 13 years, we’ve proven how effective we can be – and how your support can go a long way.
I’m asking you to consider donating to The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic. We can make a tremendous impact with your donation in both our urgent care services and our X-Ray Initiative.
We are a donor-supported 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered in Maryland, so your donation is 100% tax-deductible.
Thank you for taking the time to read about the impact our Clinic team and programs are having on this impoverished, remote part of the Americas. I’m proud of our initiatives, but we need to do so much more in order to make basic care accessible to those who really need it.
Please join me today by donating. You will have an immediate and positive effect on the impoverished families of this Nicaraguan region.
Julia C. Guth
Chair of the Board, The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic
P.S. As I mentioned, The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered in Maryland. Your donation is 100% tax deductible. Also, for this year, The Oxford Club is offering matching funds up to $50,000. Please donate before October 1, 2017.