Posted by Ralph Montesanto on Sep 17, 2019
The Vocational Training Team to Brazil was medical in nature. It was lead by Jennifer Schoenhals (pharmacist) with team members Claire Harkness (nurse), Tommy Gerbasi (doctor), and Anna Marie Wysynski (doctor).  The team visited Rotary district 4480 in the Sao Paulo area of Brazil. Their key medical areas were ophthalmology, oncology and cardiology. 
 
Claire Harkness, a 2012 club Youth Exchange student to Australia, a SLAPSHOT and RYLA presenter, a Rotaract student and a present day nurse was guest speaker.
 
Claire had visions of bringing all the great things we do in the US and Canada but was very surprised that the hospitals in Brazil did some procedures and patient contacts better than here at home. Doctors there are very patient oriented using what she called humanized care.  Sometimes older equipment (dialysis machines) are used to get better life expectancy results. Some equipment like 3D printers are very modern and used to create parts to rebuild a face. Mobile trucks also go into more remote areas to bring health care there.
 
The team was very busy, often putting in 12h days at hospitals and then delving into Brazilian culture: food, animals, activities and people. Portuguese is the language of Brazil and although the team had taken some language lessons before leaving, they found that they played lots of charades and used Google Translate to get their points across. They also had to get used to eating dinner at 11 pm.
 
Claire noted that D4480 is sending its VTT here in March of 2020. Its focus will be on education.
Claire was pleased that her mother Nancy and VTT team members Anna Marie and Tommy were able to join her at today’s meeting.
Kathy Starodub thanked Claire who immediately changed and headed off to finish her 12h nursing shift.
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