Dr. Jennifer Cavalari, DO
"Working in Honduras has been a truly life changing experience. I love working together, as a team, with local providers to provide excellent quality healthcare despite limited resources. Honduras is a breathtakingly beautiful country with generous and welcoming residents. The food is amazing! The communities we work in are very underserved, and families often live on only a few dollars a day. Our patients have limited access to clean water and electricity. The local health center is often far away and families often need to wait for hours to be seen. The closest hospital is much further away and unless you have an acute emergency or are in labor, you actually need a referral. Many patients walk with their families for hours to be able to come to our clinics. We often see entire families together, from children to their grandparents. Our medical days provide evaluation and treatment for acute and chronic diseases, as well as prevention. Patients are seen with our nurses in triage, doctors in consultation, with the dental team and then finish at the pharmacy. Every patient is given at toothbrush, multivitamins, parasite treatment if indicated, and any other necessary medications.
We also find time to do some education during clinic: talking to patients about GERD, proper body mechanics while lifting, diabetic foot ulcer care and medication usage among other things. Even more exciting than our work in clinic, is our preventative efforts with education. With every brigade or medical mission, we are working on empowering locals to educate their friends and family about important health topics pertinent to their specific communities, such as: cervical cancer, birth control and dental hygiene. These interactive workshops are really fun and help increase health literacy in rural Honduras in a sustainable way.
SELF is an amazing organization, and unique because it is committed to working in collaboration with local providers and community members. I love working with local providers. We learn from each other, discussing cases throughout the day and working hard to provide excellent quality healthcare. With a focus on health equity and social justice, SELF works to improve the lives and wellbeing of all community members. We also do home visits as an interdisciplinary team, which are incredibly
powerful and truly a privilege to treat patients in their