When June rolls around, a medical team heads to Kenya to deliver three weeks of healthcare to our kids at Heroes of the Nation and the communities surrounding Nyahururu. It’s been happening every other year for eight years now, and now annual visits are on the calendar.
Under the leadership of Dr. Ross Bethel, MD, Tami McDaniels RN, and Dr. Stacey Hesterly, DDS, from the Seattle and Yakima areas of WA, teams of 12 to 15 medical professionals converge on Heroes of the Nation campus to give no-cost health examinations, treatment, minor surgeries and follow up care. Dr Bethel and Tami McDaniels have made the trip every other year for the past 8 years, raising their own funds for not only travel, but for interpreters, accommodations and food as well as $8,000 in medicine (annually). The Yakima Foursquare Church and Ellensburg Presbyterian Church have given generously to help bring the team to Heroes.
It is a moving sight; people line up for hours and hours to see the American doctors and nurses, who they say provide a higher level of care and high-quality medicine not easily available to them, and at no cost. The free medical camps are coordinated by our staff at Heroes of the Nation as well as by Bishop Weston Gitonga who is well-known in the region. Our Heroes staff makes arrangements for the team, orders and purchases medicines and supplies, reserves the locations, and hires interpreters and support staff.
The doctors and nurses work with patients, train Kenyan doctors and nurses while on the job, and provide continuing education for medical professionals in the area.
In addition to the medical team visits, Dr. Ross Bethel has also built a medical clinic in Nyahururu town. This clinic has become self-supporting, and includes a pharmacist and a clinical officer who see patients from the community and also provide low or no-cost healthcare to our 500 children at Heroes of the Nation.
Some exciting things are in the works as well. In 2018, Dr. Stacey Hesterly, DDS, is preparing to bring additional dental professionals to Heroes. The added personnel will enable the team to perform dental surgeries needed by our children and the people in the community. Because the team will be there for three weeks, she and her staff will have time to see patients, address problems, and provide post-op follow-ups.
In addition, through relationships at the various hospitals, medical and nursing schools in the WA area, Tami McDaniels, RN, has proposed taking medical and nursing students with them to complete their field work requirements at Heroes. To learn all about our team’s past and present work, meet team members, donate, or to join our medical missions team, visit our website.