ELLSWORTH — Mount Desert Island High School students Nick Duley and Sara Todd and Matthew Frost of Ellsworth High School have been chosen to join the Hancock County Medical Mission team going to Dajabon, Dominican Republic, in February.
Medical director and surgeon Dr. Charles Hendricks, along with the students, doctors, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, anesthesia providers and translators, will provide surgeries for two weeks for Dominicans, as well as for Haitians crossing the border at Dajabon to access care.
This will be the 21st year of the Student Scholarship Program. Many past recipients now work as medical professionals and/or use their Spanish fluency every day. Most recently, 2017 recipient Madelaine Pelletier has ventured to Quito, Ecuador, to attend school and master the language. Recipients must be Hancock County residents and have completed at least two years of high school Spanish.
Todd said she is looking forward not only to the learning opportunities but also the growth opportunity of the mission. Her job this past summer as a counselor at Camp Beech Cliff with sole responsibility for 10 7-year-olds made her stronger mentally, emotionally and physically. She will attend college as a pre-med major. Her interests are obstetrics, neonatal surgery and pediatrics.
Duley said he welcomes the opportunity to be put in situations that make him uncomfortable, knowing that those are the ones from which he will learn the most. Currently taking a certified nursing assistant course, he has a passion for learning anatomy and physiology, which is not part of the course. Duley completed an online anatomy and physiology course and will next tackle AP Anatomy and Physiology. He is interested in a career in medicine.
A runner at Ellsworth High School, Frost said that his values came into focus after the Boston Marathon bombing, which made him realize what a cruel place the world can be. He wants to make a difference, one person at a time, by offering comfort to others and by helping in any way he can. Frost plans to major in organic chemistry at the University of Maine at Orono starting next year.
The Hancock County Medical Mission was founded in 1989 to serve the unmet medical needs of people in Latin America during yearly two-week mission trips. MDI Hospital, Maine Coast Memorial Hospital and Blue Hill Memorial Hospital all have played a role over these 28 years, both in terms of supplies and volunteers. Monthly meetings take place the second Tuesday of each month in the MCMH board room at 50 Union St., Ellsworth. The next meeting is Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. Any medical professionals or Spanish speakers interested in joining the 2018 mission team can contact Mary Townley at 565-3882 or Mary Offutt at 348-2483.