“It’s So Good To See You!”

After arriving at the International terminal in San Francicso, 22 mission members, including medical professionals and non-medical Rotarian volunteers, greeted friends they’ve known for a long time and met friends-in-the-making. OR Nurses Evelyn Snyder and Paulette McHugh re-connect.

Ward Coordinator Susan Fox, Patient Transporter Robert Herold, DDS, Medical Records Steve Brozosky, Assistant Mission Director Sangita Seshadri and Mission Director Tom Fox wait patiently to get checked in at the airline.

Evelyn Snyder takes a moment to pose with just 1 of the 31 boxes that will be checked as baggage.

What’s In All Of Those Boxes?

Each member of the Rotaplast team checks one bag of their own and a box of medical supplies as their second checked item. Among the items brought along on the mission are anesthesia equipment, recovery room supplies like oxygen masks,  AED and Pulse Ox, as well as general exam equipment (blood pressure cuffs, thermometers and heart rate monitors). Quartermaster Dhruv Seshadri, PhD helps unload and move 31 boxes that were packed in the Rotaplast warehouse in San Francisco.

Naps Are Overrated

The first leg of the journey is expected to be a 14 hour-long flight to Taiwan. While napping to combat jet-lag may be recommended at this time, the crew is beyond excited for its mission. There’s a lot of catching up to do, as well as a lot of “getting to know you” conversations. Assistant Mission Director – Sangita Seshadri and OR Nurse Victoria Slama share smiles (beneath those masks) as they reconnect.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Nan Madden, NP, Head Nurse Mia Pena, RN and Medical Director Rod Simonds, MD try to stay awake during the flight to Cebu, Philippines.

Flight BR 0281 Is Boarding At Gate C9

It was a tight connection for the final leg of our flight. We celebrated Dhruv’s birthday by singing Happy Birthday to him on the bus that took us from the main terminal to the plane waiting for us on the tarmac.

Welcome to Cebu!

The Rotary Club of Cebu (led by PDG Antonio “Anton” Florendo, President Antonio “Buboy” Tan Jr., Ms. Star Espinoza Secretariat and Ms. Farrah Faye Fariola) provided us a warm welcome, complete with locally-made necklaces, a banner, hugs, smiles and helping hands. There are 47 members in the Rotary Club of Cebu and all of them participate in providing a seamless experience for the Rotaplast team.

Anton asks members of our team how their flight was as we wait to see if the boxes made it to our connecting flight.

Aaaaaannnnddddd…the boxes made it!

Lead Anesthesiologist Michael Johnston, MD and OR Nurse Victoria Dorothy Slama, RN see each other for the first time since the pandemic.


Better Safe Than Sorry

While the risk of COVID is globally reduced, the team does not want to take ANY chances of bringing COVID to our host city. The crew is tested regularly to ensure the safety of everyone. The first test was as soon as the team got to the hotel.

Infection Control Officer Arzoo Salami sets up the COVID test kits in the restaurant of the hotel. Great news…all tests NEGATIVE!

A New Place To Call Home

Once all the test came back negative, we were cleared to go visit Miller Hospital…the place we will call home for the next 2 weeks.

Our Mission Director, Tom Fox, provides instructions for the rest of the day while en route to the hospital.

Alex Entrada, a Cebu Rotarian is thrilled to see Evelyn Snyder again.

Father/daughter volunteers, Surgeon Todd Farnworth, MD and Recreation Therapist – Lauren Farnworth traveled from Phoenix, Arizona.

Head Nurse Mia discusses the layout and flow of the mission with Pastor Joel P. Aganan, Chief Operating Officer of Adventist Hospital.

On our tour of Miller Hospital, instructions are given on how each space will be used.

When patients arrive tomorrow, this is what they’ll see while making their way to the 5th floor for testing.