Mission Trip to Laredo 2018

Laredo Dental Team
Laredo Dental Team

Last week I was in Laredo with the Medical Missionaries of Devine Mercy from St Laurence Catholic Church. Great group! Their purpose is to provide medical and dental care to those in need. They have two annual mission trips, one to Laredo and the other to Costa Rica. In Laredo they work out of San Luis Rey Catholic Church. The local churches, Catholic Charities and the local news makes the public aware of the event. Hundreds of people get helped with a variety of issues from toothaches to vision to diabetes testing. The group has been going to Laredo for 10 years. This year I roomed with Dr. Erik Garcia of Rosenberg. He’s the one that first talked me into going last year. It’s hard to believe you can take the time away from the office to do these things, but it really is worthwhile and I’m glad Erik talked me into it. It was great working with Erik, Bari, John, Quynh, Scott and Pat Walker, Linda, Maria, Patricio, Valerie and Ji, among others. For all the chaos an event like this has, everything ran very smoothly.

I drove into Laredo early Sunday afternoon to help setup our clinic at the church. That took six of us about 4½ hours to complete. I was a little more helpful this year, having been part of the process last year.

Setting up dental chairsDental work in Laredo

Lines formed as early as 6AM; treatment was on a “first come, first serve” basis. Some folks waited hours to be seen sometime that day. We triaged patients, screening them based on their complaints, using a mobile digital x-ray system to take x-rays.

The first 2½ days I was assisted by Valerie, from Dr Quynh Nguyen’s office in Sugar Land. Valerie did a great Job! Valerie normally works in the business office and had never chairside assisted before!

The last day I was assisted by Ji, a junior from Texas A&M, also a newbie to dental assisting. He also did an excellent job! A really nice guy, I’ll be seeing him next weekend when he has graciously volunteered to play tour guide on campus for my niece when we go up to College Station for a game.

Dr. McCrea and ValerieDr, McCrea and Ji

You don’t have to be in the medical field to be part of a mission trip. There are many opportunities for new people to get involved. There are lots of ways to help out, from registration, to setup support, sterilization, assisting. There are also different groups for medical, vision and spiritual support. If anyone is interested they can find the contact information for next year on the website for St Laurence Catholic Church. Look for Medical Missionaries of Devine Mercy.