Baptist Easley team volunteers on trip to Dominican Republic

Pictured, from left, are Kayla Davis, Dr. John Warren, April Gravley, Dr. Bill Wheeler, Kathy Irvin, Connie Briley, Heather Trotter and Robin Snelson.

EASLEY — A surgical team from Baptist Easley Hospital joined the annual mission trip to the Clinica Christiana in San Juan de la Maguana in the Dominican Republic, sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church of Spartanburg through Solid Rock International last month.

 Feb. 7-14

General surgeon Bill Wheeler, MD, and gynecologist John Warren, MD, along with April Gravley, RN, Kathy Irvin, CRNA, Connie Briley, RN, operating room, Heather Trotter, anesthesia/operating room technician, Robin Snelson, operating room technician, and Kayla Watson, RN (a former Baptist Easley employee now in CRNA school) performed a total of 20 general surgery cases and eight gynecological surgeries.

An average of 100 patients was seen each day.

The team introduced local physicians to negative pressure therapy for large wounds. Some of the nurses went on medical clinic visits in the outlying areas to treat and evaluate patients who would be referred to the clinic for future surgeries; they also supplied these patients with medications and vitamins.

Wheeler has made the trip six times.

“Here in the United States, we take good health care for granted,” he said. “It’s a blessing to work with kids and the elderly, get them out of misery, and share the love of the Lord with them.”

San Juan is located about three hours from Santa Domingo in the middle of the island, about 40 miles from the Haitian border. Groups come to the mission 37-44 weeks out of the year, providing medical, surgical, dental and construction work.