Waves of Health started as an idea of Dr. Clayton Everline, and organized by Dr. Suraj Saggar, Dr. Kate Hanify, Dr.Humberto Jimenez and Dr. Chris Boni in 2007. Dr. Everline was in his last year of residency in Internal Medicine at Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark NJ, when he began to think about bringing medical care to underserved areas. Dr. Everline had studied and traveled in the Caribbean and had been bothered by the poor medical care in many communities. He wanted to help the less fortunate people he had known. He consulted with Monsignor Manuel Cruz who encouraged Dr. Everline to pursue his dream and offered to help. Father Cruz had worked with Nuns who operated a small clinic in a rural town in the Dominican Republic. He contacted them and asked if they needed any help. The Sisters of the Heart of Jesus invited Dr. Everline to go to the Dominican Republic to work in their clinic and nursing home.
Dr. Everline was excited about going by himself, but knew that he wanted to do more. He had a dream of bringing teams of doctors and an entire pharmacy to underserved areas. Dr. Everline then started to talk to other doctors at Saint Michael’s medical center. He quickly had partners in his mission. One of the first to join was Humberto Jimenez, PharmD. Dr. Jimenez is a clinical pharmacist whose family is from the Dominican Republic. He was interested in bringing needed medications to lesser served areas of the Dominican Republic. Infectious disease fellow Dr. Suraj Saggar was especially interested in the project because of the tropical location. Medical resident Dr. Kate Hanify had won the hospital’s Humanitarian of the year award so she immediately agreed to help. Attending physician Dr. Chris Boni completed the team.
The first project of Waves of Health was the mission to Sabana Grande de Boya March 1-14, 2007. In addition to medicines purchased in the Dominican Republic, the group brought 17 duffel bags of medications to the small clinic. The four doctors treated hundreds of patients. Marlene Peña, EMT, assisted with triage and translation and Robert A. Cumins, Documentary Photographer, photographed the visit to the Dominican Republic.
Since our origin in 2007, The Waves of Health has provided bi-yearly service to the people in and around Dajabon, DR. On the most recent mission over forty volunteers brought over forty-five duffel bags of supplies to Dajabon in addition to the over twenty boxes of medication that were shipped prior to departure.
The services we provide are one hundred percent donated. Waves of Health has no employees. Our teams of Physicians, Pharmacists, Nurses, Technicians, Assistants, Analysts, Translators, Logisticians, and Instructors are all volunteers and pay their own travel expenses. Every donation goes towards the purchasing of necessary medical and health supplies, (we travel with a fully equipped and stocked pharmacy, able to fill each patient’s prescriptions for 3-6 months) , ground transportation, food and lodging.
As a medical outreach organization, we are constantly searching for novel and applicable ways to better serve our patients and increase our global effectiveness. For example, in Dajabon, on the most recent trip our EMS squad held three training sessions with the local first responders. We are actively developing relationships in underserved areas and searching for communities in need of our unique and distinct capabilities. We welcome any and all support and are always looking to strengthen our teams and effectiveness through committed volunteers and friends.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions and suggestions, and if you feel our services may benefit your community or one you are close to, we are eager to help.
We hope to see you in the line-up and look forward to working with you soon!