When high school teacher Mike McCarty started planning a mission trip to Honduras, he quickly realized he would need help coordinating the medical needs of the 20 students and adults who would be traveling.
Travel Immunizations and Medication
The group from Kuemper Catholic School in Carroll needed to be protected against a myriad of diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever, hepatitis A and B, and tetanus.
McCarty turned to Joyce Dickinson, a triage nurse at McFarland Clinic in Carroll.
"McFarland Clinic was very important to us because we wanted to make sure we were protected from any kind of unforeseen difficulties," said McCarty. "Joyce and the local triage were just wonderful because they did a lot of research."
Dickinson researched each traveler's chart to see what immunizations they would need and referred that information to each person's primary care physician.
"[The travelers] each individually called me," said Dickinson, "and I went over with them what they would all need in order to go on this trip."
McCarty expressed his appreciation for Joyce's efforts.
"It was very heartwarming," he said. "It was very comforting to know that she was going the extra mile as far as I was concerned."
Precautions While Traveling
The physicians and staff at McFarland also told students and adults going on the trip what they could expect while they traveled.
"My doctor had actually gone to Honduras," said Brandi, a Kuemper Catholic School junior who went on the trip. "He talked to me about keeping yourself very clean [and] not touching your face because you don't want to get sick. You don't want to inhale or take anything in that you shouldn't."
"It was just nice to know that they were educated and told what was needed," McCarty said.
Going on the Trip
The group from Kuemper traveled in the Spring of 2017 to Nueva Capital, Honduras, where they stayed for 10 days.
"That's enough time to really fall in love with the culture," said McCarty, "and I know a bunch of our kids did."
"It was great," said Brandi. "We got to build two houses, and we got to hang out with children all the time."
"It's hard to even sum it up into words how amazing it was," said Kyle, another Kuemper junior who went on the trip. "It was jaw dropping to see the immense poverty that was there, [but] then how grateful those people were.... The smiles you saw on those kids' face was just unbelievable.
"I think just about everyone you talk to on that trip wants to go back. It was life changing."
"That's one of my favorite parts, was watching the kids' reactions," said McCarty. "I just felt like our kids became more and more empowered by the spirit of work and charity. And the more they did things the more I just smiled to myself thinking this is exactly what I wanted for them, and it was beautiful."
'Friends and Family' at McFarland
McCarty says the physicians and staff at McFarland Clinic in Carroll are "friends and family" to him.
"I know them, I know my doctor, I know Joyce," he said. "That's important to me. It makes me feel comfortable."
Dickinson said she was happy to play a part in the mission trip.
"I think it's an excellent example of what we do here," she said. "It just made feel good that we could help that many people and make them feel comfortable about what they were trying to accomplish themselves."