Lisa Hamill RN, MSN

Elisa Hamill, RN, MS, MSN

Elisa is our operations director and co-founder who is responsible for fund raising and logistics. She is co-owner of LifeHealth LLC that provides clinical staffing and clinical support. Elisa enjoys learning a little more Khmer on each trip and practising on everyone who comes through triage. Cambodian food, culture and trips to the market to see the different offerings are a constant source of enjoyment.

Cheryl Melick M.D

Cheryl Melick, M.D.

Cheryl is our medical director and co-founder. She is an enthusiastic supporter of incorporating students in medical training into our teams. She has been a staff physician practicing emergency medicine at Swedish Medical Center in Denver since 1991. She is a sought after expert on traumatic brain injury. Cheryl coordinates medical protocols, obtaining medications and supplies and leads the charge on providing education to the Cambodia medical personnel that we work with.

2016 Medical Mission Highlights

Thanks to our many sponsors and our great team, our January 2016 clinics in Kratie Province, Cambodia were a success. We had a number of returning team members and look forward to working with them again in 2017. Please see the following chart for staffing:

2016 Staff

Title Role Staff
Physician & Physician Assistants Diagnosing, Prescribing, Education Cheryl, Emily, Anna
Nurses Triage, Testing, Treatment, Education Elisa, Sally, Stephanie
Pharmacist Distribution of Medication, Education Meghan
Nurse Practitioner Student Education, Treatment Crystal
Cambodian Contact Kept Everything Running Smoothly Sophal
Translators Overcoming the Language Barrier Tara, Dan, Bunly, Daneth, Nareach, San, Rithy, Narith, Tong
Van Drivers Moving People and Equipment Reliably Sopheap, Srorn

Patient Totals

1600 patients in 10 clinics, the most that we have seen to date! We do blood pressure screening and blood sugar testing on all adults. We were able to diagnose and treat the high incidence of hypertension and diabetes in the population.

Men Women Children Comments
500 940 185 29% of adults were hypertensive. 12.5% were diabetic.

Major Treatment Areas

Patients present a wide variety of common complaints and we treat everything that we can. There are children with diseases, injuries and birth defects that can be treated in the US but are not in Cambodia. While care is free, a patient referred to hospital, must have a caretaker, pay for the food while at the hospital and pay for transportation. Some of our donations are used to cover these costs which are beyond what most can afford. Major treatment areas follow:

Disease Process Treatment Comments
High Blood Pressure Testing &Medication A serious and undiagnosed health issues in Cambodia
Diabetes Blood Sugar Testing &Medication Often unaware that they are hypoglycemic or actively diabetic
Wounds Disinfecting, Stitching, Antibiotics, Diabetic Wound Treatment Lack of primary care and medical supplies are significant issues
Injuries Treatment as Indicated Many injuries are work related and from falls
Other Common Diseases & Symptoms Treatment as indicated for fever, joint pain, cancer, cardiac issues, goiter, cataracts Limited immediate and ongoing treatment and medication
Medications Antibiotics etc etc etc We distributed literally thousands of doses
Necessary Referrals 50 people referred to hospitals in Phenom Penh & Siem Riep We help with travel and food expenses for referrals

There were 102 patients asked to return on the last day of clinic at Kratie Hospital to determine if medications ordered were working, check diabetic wounds that had been treated and follow up on other treatments. 64 did return (63%), an amazing number due to distance and cost to come from the outlying areas. Please see our blog tab for details on each 2016 clinic day.

Four years ago, we started distributing small notebooks to our diabetic and hypertensive patients to record the blood pressure and glucose levels as well as medications ordered. Some of our patients bring those books back year after year- not perfect record keeping but it is a start.

Check out our blog on this website for more details on the 2017 trip.

Educational Activities

Primary patient care is what we do. Education and training are what we leave behind. We educate patients and their famlies every step of the clinic process. Cheryl did a presentation on EKGs to the Kratie Medical Staff. Our relationship with the local clinic staff employees is improving and they remained during clinics to help and to listen.

A benefit of working so closely with our translators is that they learn so much about medical conditions and treatments that they can share with their communities. Four translators are medical students who enjoyed the opportunity to work with medical professionals and to practice their English. The following lists the educational activities we conducted this year.

Educational Topic Activities
  • Presentation to Kratie Medical Staff on EKGs
  • Medications and the right way to take them
  • Disease education for patients with high blood pressure
  • Blood sugar testing for all adults
  • Foot care and proper diet
  • Diabetic wound care including soap and washcloths
  • Correctly taking prescribed medications
  • Notebooks to track blood pressure and glucose levels
  • Diabetic testing strips and meters left with local clinics
Tooth Brushing
  • Education on proper tooth care
  • Tooth brushes and tooth paste for all children and many adults
Hand Washing &Exercise
  • Gave out soap and taught proper technique
  • Training on stretching exercise

Thank You!

Thank you to our generous sponsors especially our anchor sponsor, Gourley Family Foundation and NiPro Diagnostics who provided all of the diabetes testing equipment and supplies.

Cheryl and Elisa thank our team members who gave up their vacation time and paid their way to join us- you are the heart of what we do!