Community Members on a Mission to Provide Care in Haiti and Honduras

Community members from northeastern Wisconsin are on a mission to provide care in both Haiti and Honduras in the coming months.  Up first, a mission trip to a remote region of central Haiti called Los Cacaos, February 15th through the 25th to provide free dental care.

Our own Dr. Paul Feit will join Dr. Scott Zak of Shore-line Legacy Dental (Manitowoc) and Dr. Chris Hansen of Two Rivers Family Dental along with many other missionaries in providing much needed dental care to the people of Los Cacaos, Haiti. This mission trip was organized by Dr. Hansen in conjunction with the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Green Bay, Sister Maria Marciano Projects.

Dr. Paul Feit providing care in Haiti in 2018.

Dr. Chris Hansen providing care in Haiti in 2018.

This is both Dr. Hansen and Dr. Feit’s second trip to Los Cacaos.  During their inaugural visit in 2018  they, along with other Wisconsin missionaries, were able to finish setting up the dental clinic, stock it with over 650 pounds of donated supplies and provide much needed dental care to over 300 people. Preferred Dental Services of Denmark, WI, and Dental Health Products of New Frankin, WI, both generously donated dental equipment and materials to the project allowing missionaries to set up two operatories in Los Cacaos in 2018.  New this year will be the addition of two more dental chairs and a suction system to help aide them in providing care.  Missionaries will have 7 clinic days during which they will provide care. To support this mission, donations can be made to the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Green Bay, Sister Maria Marciano Projects.

A second mission trip is planned for March 16th through the 24th this time to Ahuas, Honduras. This trip will also focus on providing free dental care as well as food through the Infant Feeding Program to those in and around Ahuas. Organized by Rick Nelson (In-country Mission Coordinator), along with DBD’s Dr. Paul Feit and Clinical Director Katie Bennett there will be a total of 18 missionaries heading to Ahuas.  The dental team, which is comprised of nine dental professionals, will provide free care in the Ahuas dental clinic.  They will also take canoes or a tractor with trailer to neighboring villages to extend the reach of their service to areas that rarely have access to dental care.

Dr. Paul Feit in Honduras in 2016.

The Infant Feeding program is also a focus of this trip. Nurse Practitioner Stacy Luedeman along with multiple registered nurses and other missionaries will prepare and deliver food to area families, paying special attention to infants. Thanks to the donations of many this mission trip is more than half way funded, but is still in need of approximately $12,500 to reach their goal.  Funds donated will go to help missionaries provide dental care, food and medicine to those in need.  If you would like to help support this mission with a monetary donation please send checks to:

 Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church
323 South Fifth Avenue
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235-0266
*Please write Honduras Mission Trip in the memo section of your check.

Providing Dental Care in Honduras

Dr. Paul Feit’s Mission Trip to Honduras!

I have heard many wonderful things about Ahuas, Honduras from my friend Rick Nelson, who has spent a great deal of time there over the years. Up until now, we have only been able to help the people of Ahuas through donations from Dentistry by Design.  Thanks to the great team of dentists at DBD I was able to remove myself from the schedule for a week and go see for myself the place and people that have profoundly impacted Rick’s life.
Door County Dentist Dr. Paul Feit donates time in Honduras to help with oral healthcareMy journey was eye-opening to say the least.  I traveled with Sturgeon Bay’s Amie Glasheen (pictured on left), who is a fourth-year dental student at Marquette.  She was my assistant and also helped treat patients in the dental clinic in Ahuas.  Third-year Marquette dental student Mariella Kruthoff (pictured on right) was also part of our team.  Mariella interpreted for us as well as provided care to some of the patients. We were met by Rick who got us to the village safely and provided us with room and board during our stay.

Door County Dentist Paul Feit and the airplane used to fly into HondurasThere are only two ways into Ahuas, by dugout canoe or airplane.  Here we are unloading our gear from the twin turbine that we just landed in on a semi-gravel strip in Bruce, Honduras. This is the terminal, puddles and all.  We transferred our four hundred pounds of gear and four passengers into a Cessna 206 and somehow managed to get off the ground in route to Ahuas.  As a fellow Cessna pilot, you can imagine my surprise when I realized my seat was not attached to the airplane.  I had a hard time deciding if I was better off with the seat belt on or off.
Door County Dentist Dr. Feit and Amie working in the dental clinic in Hondruas

Arriving safely in Ahuas, we began our mission work. The dental room was powered by a combination of solar power and generator.  The equipment is old and very used, but worked as we needed it to.  My operator stool had been duct taped and only had 4 out of five wheels. Although new equipment would be ideal, shipping it to the clinic often costs many times more than the price of the equipment, which is an expense they cannot afford.

Amie, Mariella and I treated over 100 patients in 4.5 days.  We filled dozens of teeth and extracted over 170 teeth.  The residents of Ahuas have previously only had access to a dentist one week a year.  For the last twelve years, a couple from Ohio has graciously gone down to Ahuas one week a year to provide dental care.  We were the first team to go there to focus on Oral Surgery.  You can imagine there was no shortage of work for us.
Door County Dentist Dr. Feit and a patient he worked with in Honduras

The heat was so extreme in Ahuas that by 10 a.m., which is when this picture was taken, I had already sweat through my scrub top.  I carried a towel to dry my hands enough so I could put my gloves on for procedures.  The woman pictured here walked an hour each way, for three days straight, until we were able to get her to the front of the line.  She had three infected teeth and had been in pain for months. We were able to get her out of pain and treat her to the best of our ability.

Door County Dentist Dr. Feit and team work with local Honduras Children Teaching Them Oral HygieneWe also visited the Christian School in Ahuas which had about 50 students.  We gave them a toothbrush, paste, fluoride treatment and an exam as well as notebooks, colored pencils, stickers, scissors and a soccer ball.  Here they are getting a lesson from Amie and Mariella on the proper way to brush their teeth.

I am still sitting back mentally digesting this trip.  I can’t believe what we saw there.  What a different world.  In America, we are more fortunate than we even know.  We should all pause and give thanks for our many blessings!