Local doctors look to give back to those in need
By Caitlin Boland

The Surgeons of Service team is shown with children they helped at the clinic in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic.
A brother-sister duo of doctors in Thomson work far outside the walls of their office to help families and children in need in the Dominican Republic.
Christopher and Allison Menke had gone on several mission trips before, and Christopher Menke said they saw a need for medical care in underprivileged nations. They decided to begin Surgeons of Service in 2015.
“We are both surgeons, and we wanted to provide service to others,” Christopher Menke said. “Our goal is to keep it open where anyone can help and to get other specialties involved.”
The focus for the nonprofit organization is currently in a small, remote town called Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic. Menke said the mission crew takes a three-hour direct flight from Atlanta to Santa Domingo, DR, then travel by car for two more hours before arriving in the town.
“We go for about a week and set up a clinic at a local hospital or facility,” Christopher Menke said. “We work with people there and nurses who go ahead of us and let people know we are coming. When we get there, there are 100 people just waiting for us.”
The clinic provides patients with foot and ankle medical care that they wouldn’t otherwise receive, and the doctors provide basic medical services such as dispensing a pair of shoes or shoe inserts, braces, offering ibuprofen, cortisone injections and wound care to more advanced surgical services.
“We live in a bubble here in the states,” Christopher Menke said. “When you’re exposed to what people in third world settings go through, you want to try to give back to people who don’t have access to quality healthcare.”
One success story from the Dominican Republic is a young boy named Steven.
“We prevented two unnecessary surgeries on a two-year-old boy in a third world country,” Christopher Menke said. “When we first saw him in the clinic in 2014, he had very bowed legs. He was scheduled for two surgeries to fix the problem, but I thought it would be better to fix them with braces.”
FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS, see the full story in the Aug. 24, 2017, issue of The McDuffie Progress. To have The McDuffie Progress delivered to your home or business each week, simply call 706-595-1601 to subscribe. Or, follow the link on our home page to subscribe.





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