Los Médicos Voladores(LMV) -- in Spanish, the flying doctors -- is a 100% volunteer-based, non-religious, nonprofit organization that aims to improve the health and well-being of geographically diverse peoples through education and the provision of no-cost, high-quality medical, dental, and optometric clinics. LMV serves Mexico, Central and South America, and under-served populations of California. Since 1975 LMV has offered more than 500 short-term medical, dental, optometry, and other healthcare clinics, treating over 7,000 patients per year.
For clinics conducted in rural northern Mexico we travel via private aircraft departing from Northern and Southern California, whereas LMV trips to Central and South America use commercial flights.
Hello Fellow Community Partners, LMVers and Volunteers,
I am sad to report that Supervisor John J. Benoit our Fourth District Supervisor passed away on December 26, 20-16, following a sudden battle with pancreatic cancer. You may go to this link to learn more about him www.rivco4.org/web/news/articles/news_0417.html.
Supervisor Benoit was an ally and champion for our Oasis event, and the communities we serve. We applied for the Counties Community Improvement Designation (CID) Funds for three year and was awarded the funding. Since I took over the Oasis event, and before then Supervisor Benoit never missed a welcome dinner, Supervisor Benoit and his wife Sheryl were always there to welcome the LMV and local volunteers to the event. He was also at the Oasis Flying Doctors event the next day. I can remember running out of food a couple of years ago at Oasis, Supervisor Benoit was on the phone and within 30 minutes we had over 150 more lunches to feed who was left. He understood and sympathized with community health needs and knew the barriers they face, he learned to speak Spanish so he could communicate with those who only spoke Spanish. Supervisor Benoit will be dearly missed.
In early 2014, we anticipated three medical and dental clinics with the first two in Ile a Vache and the third in the Southeast portion of Haiti. After the first two clinics we realized we had several of our patients that required specialized surgery in a hospital setting. We then decided to not return to the Southeast, but to coordinate a surgical clinic that recently took place in November of this year in the Bas Limbe area of northern Haiti. A summary of all three clinics is provided in the following Trip Report. We have not highlighted the names of most of the incredible team members involved but you know who you are and we are forever in your debt.
As the plane climbed upward out of Zihuatanejo, circling for a final view of the beautiful Zihuatanejo Bay before heading east toward Mexico City and Oaxaca, I reflected on an inspiring week of dental mission.
We streamlined the registration and intake process this year and, as a result, were able to have 25-35 patients ready for admission to each of the 3 major clinics by 7:45
Initial clinic numbers were given out after consulting with the lead person in each clinic about capacity.
Giving out limited spaces with assurances that numbered slots will be seen encouraged people to use more of the services at Oasis.
There were 5 very busy hygienists this year.
Other services included physical therapy, dispensary, chiropractic and acupuncture; there were also flu shots, glucose testing, mammograms, and hearing tests.
This year we organized the flow to the referrals table so that medical patients needing follow up care in the community were escorted to community clinic volunteers for immediate sign up and appointment scheduling.
There were 69 LMV sign-ups for Oasis -- down from previous years.
Los Médicos Voladores has a happy and benificial relationship with Tzu Chi. We co-run our stateside clinics with them. Their support and participation makes it possible to run the Oasis and Riverside clinics on a grander scale.
Tzu Chi also runs many clinics locally through their San Jose' Chapter. They have shared their schedule with us (click Read More) if you would like to join in on their local clinics.
To participate, please contact Tzu Chi Mobile Clinic (Milpitas) for more information.
Read more: Volunteer with Tzu Chi
In their own words
"I'd do another LMV trip at the drop of a hat! Having never flown in a private plane before, I was a bit nervous. But the professionalism of our pilot made the entire trip a complete joy," Dr. Johanna Koch, MD