Originally constructed in the 1990s, the 1,250-square-foot clinic stood in major disrepair. Structural issues abounded: there were extensive exterior and interior damage to the building itself, including crumbling and mold-contaminated ceilings and walls. Access to the facility was impeded by broken walkways and fencing. There were major issues with electrical and water utility service issues. Administrative and medical equipment and furniture were substandard or entirely lacking, as were basic health care supplies and medicines. The professional staff struggled daily in their delivery of health care services.
Patient health care services improved with the addition of medical instruments such as otoscopes and digital thermometers. New mattresses, bedding, tables, and furniture were installed. Communications and internet improvements and new office equipment increased administrative organization and efficiency.
The extensive restoration and revitalization project was backed by a strong public sector and private foundation participation and investment. Direction and oversight for the project were provided by the District health care committee. Government financing provides for the cost of on-going operations, with funding for such essentials as physicians and staff, the stocking of basic medical supplies, and the purchase of new beds as well as the responsibility for on-going security.
Critical support from worldwide service foundations includes significant funding investments by La Asociación De Ayuda a La Familia (ADAF), and Comite Nacional de Socorro y Asistencias (CNAS), while specialty medicines are being provided through Americares.
Work on the reconstruction phase was completed in June 2018.
“We are very grateful to the (Marela Children’s) Foundation for all their contributions to the Juan Lopez community; for their great support with medicines and doctors, the great help in the repair and rehabilitation of our center, and for making our center more welcoming and pleasant — for our patients and our team in a habitat of greater comfort for all. Many thanks to Marlene De Leon, president of the Foundation.”
“The (Marela Children’s) Foundation came to our community to show human solidarity both for patients who come to the Juan Lopez Arriba Polyclinic Center and for us as a health team. They provided us with the right to enjoy decent facilities for the care of our patients as well as the technical means to bring quality health for all. Through their great help, we have a renovated center and new equipment and medicines. We are more than grateful and feel privileged to have your collaboration.”
In June 2018, completion of the reconstruction was celebrated with an official rededication and ribbon cutting. The Foundation was praised for its “great contribution to the community” by the district health committee, clinic doctors and staff, and civic and community leaders. The newspaper, La Informacion, reported that the renovation and repair work and continuing improvements in medical operations is extending health services to the most vulnerable people in the population. Dr. Austria de la Rosa, Regional Director of North-Central Regional Health Service, praised the Foundation for the improvements as well as the Foundation’s desire to continue to support the clinic’s medical staff and on-going operations.
The Foundation invested $32,000 into the clinic — of which 80% funded major infrastructure improvements and the purchase and installation of upgraded medical equipment. The remainder financed the initial restocking of medical supplies, medicines, bandages, and vaccinations. The impact of the completed public/private partnership effort was immediate: In just the first three months of operation since the dedication in June 2018, more than 5,000 patients — 2,500 children and 2,500 adults — received a host of health care services, including critical vaccinations, at the Juan Lopez polyclinic.
While the investment to date has delivered a dramatic return in terms of improved health services for the people of Juan Lopez Arriba, still more needs to be done — and the work continues.
Meet the tireless and dedicated members of the Comité Nacional de Socorro y Asistencia Social (CNSA) who work daily to protect the lives and well-being of the residents of the Juan Lopez Arriba district with quality health care and services.