Dental Brigade: June 18th – June 27th

100_0558-e1340926893449-768x1024The Tepe’s dental brigade flew by with 4 work-filled workdays and a weekend full of meetings. Dr. Larry and Dr. Jan Tepe made their first of 2 visits this year bringing with them a dental surgeon and a father and daughter team of a dentist and his daughter who worked as both a translator and assistant. The days ranged from 20 – almost 50 patients in addition to visits to 5 different schools, meetings with three town mayors and Shoulder-to-Shoulder dentists at both clinic sites.
They spent their time in the Concepcion clinic working side by side with the head of the dentistry department, Dr. Idalia, seeing patients, doing minor surgeries and education the community about the importance of good dental hygiene.100_05302-e1340927261987-768x1024
Their dental education project that they have in 5 local schools received rave reviews after a quick visit and mouth check of all the students. Thanks to the hard work of the promoters, Shoulder-to-Shoulder dentists and schoolteachers, the Tepe’s were ecstatic and amazed at how clean kid’s teeth were.
In their absence over the next few months, their projects and contributions to the

100_0552-1024x768dental programs will help to keep thousands of mouth healthy. Thanks to all for your hard work and dedication so such an important part of a healthy lifestyle!


Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) @ Pinares (Oct 29 – Nov 10)

The Virginia Commonwealth Brigade made its tri-annual (or ‘tranual’) journey to the frontera town of Pinares – approximately one hour from La Esperanza, Intibucá. The brigade was comprised of thirteen fourth year medical students, three third year residents and two family medicine attending physicians. In addition, we had five stellar translators (some old faces, some new ones): Josh, Alex, Daniel, Gus and Paulette.
VCU in Pinares is known for hiking out to rural villages in order to provide care, and their most recent brigade certainly embraced that tradition. The normal day entailed leaving one attending, one resident and a few medical students at the clinic to provide care, while the rest of the group trekked out to different villages in order to provide medical assistance as well as collect data for the CHI program. CHI clinics are usually set up at schools, where children progress through a variety of different stations (height/weight, hemoglobin, dental, medical, etc.).
During the weekend we spent a fantastic day at the Concepción market, as well as hiking around the clinic and, of course, a stop at the waterfall.
All in all it was a very positive brigade. The evaluations all demonstrated that each member had a unique, memorable and enriching experience with Shoulder to Shoulder (and that they loved their brigade assistant, of course).

The mandatory group photo - with clinic in background
The mandatory group photo – with clinic in background

Children's Health Initiative
Children’s Health Initiative

Hiking out to do clinic at a school
Hiking out to do clinic at a school

“A great organization with welcoming, dedicated and engaged staff”
“Great trip! Would love to come back!”

Ohio State/Tepe Dental Brigade (Sept. 5-18, 2011)

The Dental Brigade came to us from the beautiful state of Ohio. They were a fun and energetic group compiled of six Ohio State University dental students, Dr. Burns and Mrs. Burns and Dr. Larry Tepe and Dr. Jan Tepe. During the short time they were here they worked eight long days, swam in the waterfall and went on some hikes in the countryside. Over the eight days the dental brigade with help from the local staff performed over 800 treatments helping the local populations greatly. They also applied fluoride and examined over 400 elementary school students in the area. In addition, they helped to promote healthy dental hygiene to families. We thank them for their hard work and the service they gave to the local community.

The dental brigade missing Dr. Larry Tepe
The dental brigade missing Dr. Larry Tepe

Representing Ohio State on a Sunday morning hike
Representing Ohio State on a Sunday morning hike

During the time we celebrated two birthdays!
During the time we celebrated two birthdays!


Some reflections from brigade members:

“Enjoyed morning walks-very invigorating. Food preparation was great @ Santa Lucia. Local dental staff helpful and supportive.”

“I really enjoyed the hiking. Other than that, we sort of came up with our own activities. The Honduran doctors at Concepción were super gracious to teach us.”

“Pretty much as expected. We could do what we do anywhere, but the Shoulder to Shoulder clinic provided a great facility to work. No frills but certainly adequate and functional.”