Dean Clinic providers make humanitarian trip to Nicaragua- Dean - WI

Skip to Content



Learn...

about the Dean Medical Group difference.

Published on January 19, 2016

Dean Clinic providers make humanitarian trip to Nicaragua

Two Dean Clinic physicians and a physician’s assistant recently returned from a 10-day trip to Nicaragua that focused on medical care, clean water and public health.

Trent Thompson, MD, Phil Bain, MD, and Jeff Welsch, PA-C, were accompanied by a cardiologist from Oconomowoc and 50 undergraduate students from the University of Wisconsin and the University of Virginia through the Global Brigades program. The trip involved a medical/dental brigade, a water brigade and a public health brigade.

“The holistic approach of Global Brigades combining multiple types of brigades allowed us to have a much greater impact in Nicaragua than if we only participated in a single brigade type”, said Dr. Bain.

The group of eight health care professionals – four from the U.S. and four from Nicaragua – worked with the students to see nearly 900 patients during the first three days of the trip in the small rural community of San Marcos. They treated mainly common ailments often related to the difficult living conditions that Nicaraguans face.

After the medical/dental brigades were completed, the group participated in the water brigade portion of the program by helping to dig a trench down a mountain. The trench will ultimately contain a water pipe, which will connect a water reservoir at the top of the mountain to a village at the base.

“Going from the clinic setting literally to the field was quite a contrast in activity,” said Jeff. “We gained an immediate appreciation for how difficult the life of a typical Nicaraguan worker is, sweating in the hot sun all day, and day after day. We were spent after just one morning.”

The final brigade involved public health projects such as building eco latrines, showers, septic fields and pouring concrete floors for homes in a El Salto, a tiny community of 100 inhabitants. The group worked closely with families in the village to complete the projects.

“Imagine living in a house with mud walls, a dirt floor and a pit toilet,” said Jeff. “Every moment of our discomfort was worth it to see the Nicaraguan homeowner’s broad smile as she admired the concrete floor and sanitation station we built for her and her family.”

Global Brigades is the largest student-led nonprofit health and sustainable development organization with varied membership that spans universities in North American and Europe. Participating student and professional volunteers empower communities in developing countries with sustainable solutions that improve the quality of life and environment while respecting local culture.

Dean Medical Group News

Recent videos and news articles about Dean Medical Group, as covered by the news media.

Dr. Zorba Paster: Speak up about depressionWisconsin State Journal, September 23, 2016

Time to prepare for cold and flu seasonWISC-TV, September 22, 2016

AAFP names 2016-2017 board of directorsYahoo! News, September 21, 2016

Dr. Zorba Paster takes health questions from viewersWISC-TV, September 19, 2016

Dr. Zorba Paster: Knee surgery not always bestWisconsin State Journal, September 16, 2016

Weekend Wellness: Prostate cancer1310 WIBA, September 16, 2016

Pneumonia can range in severity, WISC-TV, September 15, 2016

A burning question: Should Wisconsin legalize marijuanaCapital Newspapers, September 14, 2016

Telehealth technology brings specialized healthcare to rural Wisconsin townsNBC15, September 14, 2016

Time for Kids: Start day off right with breakfastWISC-TV, September 14, 2016

Dr. talks about new generation of 'super lice,' WISC-TV, September 13, 2016

Heroin update: Overdose numbers inching up in Rock CountyJanesville Gazette, September 11, 2016

From survivor to Ironman: myTEAM TRIUMPH helps woman cross finish lineWISC-TV, September 9, 2016

More Coverage 

of Dean in the News

Hear Health Tips from Our Providers

Visit our DocTalk Podcast page for information on various health topics.

Media Contacts

If you are part of the media, we encourage you to reach out to Dean Medical Group's media contacts.

Have a Flu-related Question?

Look in our Flu Updates section for the latest information from Dean Medical Group!