We formed a unique collaboration between Jose’s Hands, OTTOM, and medical officials in the Dominican Republic. Together harnessed the expertise of dedicated health and medical professionals to address a myriad of challenges in the Dominican Republic.
Plagued by poverty and limited healthcare resources, the country's disease burden is alarmingly high. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malnutrition and treatable diseases such as diarrhea, malaria, and typhoid fever contribute to the majority of deaths among children. In addition to basic medical concerns, frequent natural disasters pose great healthcare challenges. Located near a Caribbean-Atlantic fault line, the Dominican Republic is often hard hit by hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.
Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic
Monte Cristi, located approximately 135 km west of Puerto Plata, sits among desert-like surroundings on the northwestern tip of the Dominican Republic. Founded in 1506, the town was an important trading port until the 19th century, exporting sugar, mahogany, and other crops to Europe.
Presently, most of its 25,000 inhabitants make their living from farming, fishing, and the salt flats to the north. There is not a lot of tourism in this Victorian-style town. The town is almost 100% dependant on agriculture and remittances. It has no industry and has very little commerce beyond day-to-day markets for food stuffs
2019 Jose's Hands Ambassadors
My name is Sam Clellen, and I’m currently a second year podiatric medical and MBA student at Barry University in Miami, Florida. I was born and raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and earned my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at Ohio University. This will be my first medical mission trip, which I’ve been anticipating since beginning medical school and hearing the stories about the experiences of my colleagues, who participated in 2016. I look forward to being a part of something bigger than myself. When I’m NOT studying or attending medical mission trips, I love to play sports, try new foods, watch movies, go to the beach, and listen to music.
My name is Soran Azizi, and I am a first year podiatric medical student at Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine. After completing my undergraduate studies in Biological sciences at University of California, Santa Barbara ; I worked as an EMT for 2 years. I am thankful for the position because it exposed me to so many patients coming from different backgrounds and it was an eye opener for me to truly value the importance of looking after those who are underserved; as they are the ones in need of most appropriate care. As a first generation immigrant from Iran, I became fond of learning Spanish and I continually practice my medical Spanish which will serve as a great tool of communication for my first medical trip to the Dominican Republic in Spring of 2019.
My name is Riddhi Yagnik and I am a second year podiatry student at Barry University, originally from Houston, Texas. For undergrad, I attended the University of Texas at San Antonio where I majored in Kinesiology with a concentration in Athletic medicine. My passion has always been helping people, and I am so excited to be a part of this mission. I am truly grateful that Jose’s hands has given me the opportunity to make this possible and to be able to make a difference in someone’s life. I am looking forward to going on my first mission trip abroad and I intend on using this experience to give back to the community.
My name is Hector Santiago and I am a second year medical student at Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine. I am raised in Florida but originally from Puerto Rico- so very excited to go and provide medical support to our neighboring country of Dominican Republic! I completed my undergrad at the University of South Florida where I double majored in Biomedical Sciences and Psychology.
My name is Ana Silva and I’m a second year medical student at Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine, with dual MBA degree. Since I started my journey to Medical School, I’ve been eager for a chance to use the skills I’ve learned and practiced in the classroom to help others abroad. Going on a mission trip has always been important to me, and knowing that I could have the chance to go to the Dominican Republic makes it even more so. I’ve lived in Puerto Rico basically all my life, thus the DR is my neighboring island and I’ve been helping their community practically since I was born. Looking forward to help our brothers and sisters from the DR and learn everything i can!
My name is Steven Harsaran and I’m currently a first-year osteopathic medical student at Nova Southeastern University. I was raised in Hollywood, FL and my parents are from Trinidad & Tobago. Witnessing ailments of much of my family back in Trinidad opened my eyes to the effects on poverty on health, which is why I completed a minor in medical sociology in addition to my Bachelors in biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida. I am passionate about helping the underserved and when I first heard about the idea of a mission trip I was intrigued, however I did not have the financial means to attend. After some research I learned about Jose’s hands and I am absolutely grateful for the scholarship opportunity! Not only are they helping me improve my skill set as a future physician but they are allowing me to make a real impact in the lives of others.
My name is Charles Korba, I am a second-year podiatric student at Barry University’s School of Podiatric Medicine, Florida. I graduated Cum Laude from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelors Degree in Biomedical Sciences. My passion for volunteering began in high school where I served underprivileged areas through my church. During my time at UCF, I volunteered at local hospitals and found my love for the field of medicine. When I started podiatry school, I got involved with volunteering at homeless clinics where I gained great hands-on experience. I am incredibly excited to finally get the chance to help overseas for the first time in the Dominican Republic and grow my passion for volunteering!
My name is Omar Hussain, I was born in New Jersey and raised in Miami, Florida. I am a first year student at Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in December of 2016. I intend to use my experiences to commit, diversify and holistically expand the medically underserved area as well as foster a biopsychosocial approach to care locally and internationally. I am grateful to be given the chance to join Jose’s Hands medical mission trip to Dominican Republic.
My name is Michael Wolosky and I was born in Boca Raton, Florida. In high school I swam competitively and continued to do so during my first year at University of Central Florida where I double majored in Biology and Biomedical Sciences. In college I began training in Krav Maga, taekwondo, bo staff and nunchucks and I continue to study in these disciplines. My interests led me to amassing certifications in CPR/AED, Medical Response to a Deadly Force, Emergency Medical Responder, and First Aid. I have a passion for learning new things and helping others. I have no doubt in my mind that this will have a great impact on my future as a podiatric physician!
My name is Connor Krolikowski and I am currently a Podiatric Medical Student at Barry University. I am originally from Buffalo, New York and I attended Loyola University Chicago for undergrad. During my time in Chicago and Miami, I often volunteered for mission trips and medical volunteer trips domestically. I am thrilled to be able to continue servicing underserved populations, and I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me by Jose’s Hands.
My name is Naureen Syed and I am currently a second-year medical student at Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine. I was born in India and moved to the US shortly after. My parents have always encouraged me to try all kinds of activities/sports and supported my passions such as playing competitive volleyball, volunteering at my favorite organizations, and ultimately pursuing medicine as my future. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!!) .I am so thrilled to finally attend this meaningful medical mission trip to Dominican Republic and I look forward to the experiences and learned skills that I will cherish and utilize on this journey to becoming the best podiatrist that I can be.