News: MEDRETE Improves lives of San Ildefonso citizens
Story by Sgt. Wayne Schutts
SAN VICENTE, El Salvador—The 452nd Combat Support Hospital conducted a medical readiness training exercise, April 25-28, in San Ildefonso, El Salvador, during Beyond the Horizon 2011 training mission.
The MEDRETE consisted of medical, dental and optical care provided by U.S. medical personnel and immunizations by Salvadoran medical personnel free of charge.
“Today … general practitioners are seeing patients. We have the capability of seeing OBGYN patients to do pregnancy counseling, as well as dental cleaning … fillings, ophthalmology (and) physical therapy,” said U.S. Army Capt. Monica Frank, of St. Paul, Minn., Company Alpha, 452nd Combat Support Hospital, the officer in charge of the MEDRETE site.
Medicine prescribed by the attending physicians could also be filled at the on site pharmacy.
Over 100 people were waiting outside when the medical staff arrived on the second day of the exercise said Frank. That day, 720 Salvadoran citizens were seen with a total of 890 procedures performed to include immunizations by the Salvadoran medical staff.
At the site’s closing ceremony, April 28, Frank said “Our objective to address the medical needs of this community and work seamlessly with the Salvadoran medical personnel and doctors resulted in the health and welfare of this community.”
The MEDRETE, which is two to four days long, was first held at San Ildefonso and will move to two additional sites where Salvadoran citizens can receive care during BTH 2011.
BTH is a U.S. Southern command sponsored, U.S. Army South conducted, joint foreign military interaction/humanitarian mission. BTH is an annual humanitarian and civic assistance mission deploying U.S. military engineers and medical professionals to Latin American and Caribbean nations for training and to provide humanitarian services.