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Summer 2010

Updates from Our Mission in Costa Rica

Change is Good!

Welcome and thank you for reading our newsletter!
The last year has been an amazing journey of faith, patience, teamwork, and trust as we've expanded and improved the services of La Clínica de la Mariposa in Costa Rica.
In addition to providing excellent services to our patients, The Butterfly Clinic would like to highlight some of our recent updates and changes:

  • During the last year, La Clínica de la Mariposa has operated as an independent clinic, no longer associated with CFCA (Christian Foundation for Children and Aging).
  • We are developing a closer association with Northwestern Health Sciences University and had a visit from the President and Provost during the last clinic.
  • We've made giving to Santé, Inc., easier with the ability to donate online.
  • Our Butterfly Clinic page on Facebook is growing everyday, and we hope you'll join in on the action!

But that's not all--Read below for more highlights from summer 2010!

Our One-Year Anniversary

June 2010 marked our one-year anniversary as an independently operating, itinerant health care clinic.
For nine years, La Clínica de la Mariposa was associated with the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging in Kansas City. As the clinic grew, that association ended in 2009.
With the support of many of those involved over the last 9 years, we decided to continue our mission to serve in Costa Rica. After a few changes such as bringing on Dr. Bahr as our Clinical Services Consultant, and Angie Villalobos and Minor Esquivel as our Clinical Administrators in Costa Rica, we have grown and prospered over the last year.
Part of our mission is to provide integrated health care, for which we have developed closer associations with Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN.
As our founder, Thomas Davis, DC, has always said, La Clínica de la Mariposa is made of up people who have "a servant's heart." We hope that those of you who have been touched by your past experience with La Clínica will always hold it close to your heart and will continue to help our mission grow and provide the best care possible for those that we serve.
Thank you for reading!

President and Provost of NWHSU Visit Clinic

Dr. Mark Zeigler, President of Northwestern Health Sciences University, and Dr. Mike Wiles, Provost, visited The Butterfly Clinic in person in June.
Those who have been involved with the clinic during the last 10 years were very pleased that the administration at NWHSU is participating actively in our continued growth and development.
Dr. Thomas Davis, the founder of Santé and La Clínica de la Mariposa, showed them what they had been missing.

Drs. Zeigler and Wiles watched and listened as the chiropractic interns treated their patients and then spent time talking to the interns and patients about their experiences. Then they jumped right in and cared for a few patients to understand the experience more fully.
Dr. Zeigler and Dr. Wiles also met with Father Luis at Colegio Claretiano (a local high school). El "Padre" allows the upper-level high school students who have studied English to come interpret during the clinic. The young interpreters are a blessing, as well as the support that Father Luis gives the clinic by allowing us to use the school's facilities to host our clinic in Heredia twice per year.
Read more about their recent visit here.

What Our Students Have to Say

Chris Hanson:

"La Clinica de la Mariposa tested my abilities as a clinician, as a volunteer and as a human being.  It has been said about volunteering that if you volunteer your time properly there is no way to give more than you receive.  La Clinica de la Mariposa is a fantastic example of this fact.  La Clinica gave me the chance to provide chiropractic care to many Costa Rican patients who got better in the short week we were together.  Still, no matter how I tried I was unable to give them more than they gave me.  I will always remember fondly my patients and the experience of la pura vida."

Nick Raboin:

"The clinic experience for me was such an amazing journey.  The growth that I experienced on this trip would never have been possible throughout my normal coursework.  Seeing the people of Costa Rica that were healed through our hands was extremely powerful.  I left Costa Rica with more confidence not only in my own skills, but chiropractic as well.
The memories made with the Costa Rican people, UCIMED students, and fellow classmates will be with me forever.  The trip taught me to listen to my patients, trust my judgments, treat my patients, and get out of the way!  I smile when I think back to our recent trip, and I know that each person who chooses to go in the future will smile when they look back at their trip as well.  They won't be disappointed!"

Jaclyn Borza Maher:

"My experience with La Clinica de Mariposa made me more comfortable with my abilities as a chiropractic intern, and helped to demonstrate the power that chiropractic, positive touch and compassion can have on another person’s life. The patients at La Clinica were more complex than I had ever seen. Patients presented with various types of physical stress in their lives such as manual labor, multiple children that at times ranged into the double digits, inadequate shoe support to wear during work, and limited access to other healthcare professionals.
At La Clinica de Mariposa, with the integration of chiropractic, medical, physical therapy and nutrition counseling, patients received a thorough and complete treatment plan, and the patients were extremely receptive to treatment. I was amazed at how the patients progressed throughout the week after treating them. In fact, many times it was the most complex of cases that improved the most after treatment."
Matt Hoffman:

"The clinic experience has been incredible. The first week was spent in an area called "Desamparados," which translates to "The Forgotten Ones." The appreciation on the faces of our patients--even those who have extremely difficult lives and health situations--were only matched by their gracious comments and actions. Our last day at that particular clinic ended with a live band and costumed dancers."
"Dr. Gray Kimbrell perhaps said it best when we asked how one can stay positive in treating patients who seemingly have hopeless cases. A veteran supervisor of the program, he talked about positive intent and energy--how we can affect people not only with chiropractic but with our attitudes. Patients here are apt to say that we have the "Hands of God," that our work is blessed and righteous. Never in my life did I dream that I would have patients giving me tear-filled goodbyes and asking me not to leave. The impact we had on the areas we visited, however brief, has the potential to reverberate in our patients and in ourselves."
"We had around 1000 patient visits in three weeks while forming a bond with UCIMED students, volunteers and the people and places of Costa Rica. We have helped by simply listening, by delivering chiropractic care and by being there for a sect of people who are often times overlooked within the borders of their own country. In the end, however, the students, supervisors and volunteers clearly received much, much more than we ever gave.  All of us, whether it was the 20th time or first time working in the clinic, gained new perspective in both our profession and our lives."

What types of conditions do the Costa Rican patients present with?

Primary Sites of Conditions Encountered:

The above chart is a snapshot of the data collected from approximately 5000 patients from 2000-2010. Each patient indicates a primary chief complaint, and we also track secondary complaints and co-morbidities.
While a common chief complaint by patients is low back pain, it is also very common for patients to have pain in their extremities. Many perform manual labor such as picking coffee beans, farming, construction, and housekeeping.
While not on the above chart, the most common co-morbidities patients suffer from are hypertension, diabetes, and gastritis.
Underlying much of the patients' pain and other symptoms is stress, even in the children. Many worry about what they will eat, what they will wear, or where they will live on a daily basis. It is a challenge at times to separate the mental anguish from their physical pain.
One of the gifts our volunteers provide is a respite for the patients from their daily worries. The power of kind words, genuine interest, and a healing touch go a long way towards improving the quality of life of the patients we serve in Costa Rica.

Our February/March 2010 Group

in Los Chiles (close to the Nicaragua-Costa Rica Border):
David Cartwright, Dr. Bahr, Kate Petersen, Stephan Moje, Mindy Bichel, Amy Parno, not shown: Stephanie Vlaminck

in front of Sonia's house:
Mindy Bichel, Sonia Solano, David Cartwright, Amy Parno, Kate Petersen (top), Angie Villalobos (below), Minor Esquivel (kneeling), Dr. Bahr, M. Guillén, Dr. Kimbrell

Donating Online: Convenience in Giving

Santé, Inc., is the non-profit organization which collects donations to pay for the expenses of La Clínica de la Mariposa.
Santé, Inc., has recently partnered with the Network for Good and Guide Star organizations to offer you the option of donating online securely with a bank account or credit card.
To make a donation to Santé, Inc., please visit Network for Good.
To find out more about Santé, Inc., please visit Guide Star.
We appreciate your continued contributions which help make The Butterfly Clinic possible.

Supervisor Spotlight: Gray Kimbrell, D.C.

If you've participated in La Clínica during the last five years, you've probably met Gray Kimbrell. He is usually one of the three supervisors during each clinic experience, well remembered for his unique Southern English-Spanish accent and for his direct but caring interactions with patients and students.
He says about La Clínica: "This has become something I do, and a significant part of my life. Frankly, I am not sure why. One could say I have been called to do it. Maybe, I don’t know. Tom just figuratively poked at me for a few years before I gave it up and went as a treating doctor. I do it because I like to; while I am there I don’t see myself as anything special, just trying to help people get better. More often than not, I really don’t think what I do is such a big deal. How do you help someone who has had constant LBP or HA every day for 8-10 years in 4 treatments? This is a multiple choice?... and they come back with no or little pain after 2-3 treatments? Without getting too metaphysical about it, I just follow the yellow brick road and hope for the best. It sometimes astounds me how they improve. I do know this, it’s more than me. I think that I am often just the vehicle.

They get better and I get better, spiritually. A more real me emerges 3 times a year! I like working with the student groups, who are all competent, and all different. I like my challenge of becoming fluent in Spanish. I like Costa Ricans. I like being in the "real Costa Rica, Tico" not the tourist version. I enjoy being part of a great group of people who make this thing happen, being part of a very special team, all of us very different people with the same goal.  And we ain't no prima donnas."
Before becoming involved with Clínica Mariposa, Gray has been a profession Rolfer over the last 20 years and graduated as DC in 1999. These days he works on his own from a small office a mile from home. He practices chiropractic for both humans and animals and still continues Rolfing. Gray considers himself semi retired, but is building his animal chiropractic business. Those who know Gray understand that he is an aerobic junkie who loves to bike, swim, run, and ski. He's currently training to receive my instructor certification for Pilates reformer. When he's not volunteering in the clinic, he spends time with his family--his wife Allyson, and his 11-year-old daughter, Austyn. They have two GHS pointers, Lucy and Ronnie.

La Clínica de la Mariposa is grateful for Gray's participation and support over the years, and we hope he will be a part of our clinic family for many more.

Other Ways to Donate

Do you participate in giving to United Way through your employer?
If so, you can designate that your United Way contributions be sent to Santé. Just write the following address on the form:
Santé, Inc.
2018 Dorchester Ave.
The Villages, FL 32162
Send a check to:
Santé, Inc.
2018 Dorchester Avenue
The Villages, FL  32162
A receipt for your donation will be mailed back to you.

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