Galveston Daily News Article 5/13/12
Lend a helping hand, support a great cause
By Dr. Umbert Hart Jr.
Special to The Daily News
Published May l3,2012
This November, I have the privilege of leading a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic with my close friend Dr. Dennis Gore. This trip will fulfill a dream of my late father, Umbert Hart Sr., who was raised in the Dominican Republic but was forced into exile during the tyranny of Trujillo.
He served as a surgeon for the U.S. Navy, then returned to the Dominican Republic in retirement. During his final years, he treated the poor and indigent of his homeland. At his urging, I attended the University of Texas
Medical Branch, graduating in 1984, and now I am an anesthesiologist in Bryan.
Throughout my career, I've participated in several surgical mission trips to Latin America but never to the Dominican Republic. After my father's death, Dr. Gore and I established a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, Hispaniola Medical Charity, that's purpose is to provide medical care to indigent people on the island of Hispaniola, encompassing both the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Our mission team will be comprised of six surgeons in the fields of ears, nose and throat, general surgery, gynecology and orthopedics, as well as four anesthesiologists, two dentists and a host of nurses and support
personnel. With the help of Drs. Colleen and Michael Silva of UTMB, we have aligned our charity with the Hospital EI Buen Samaritano, a nonprofit hospital in La Romana, Dominican Republic, founded by the Haiti Missionary Baptist
Church. This hospital provides the only option of medical care for more than 40,000 patients annually, the majority of whom are impoverished Haitian immigrants who have crossed into the Dominican Republic looking
desperately for work.For our inaugural mission, team members will be financially responsible for their own transportation, lodging
and meals; however, we are in dire need of medical supplies, medications, anesthesia and surgical equipment.
To help purchase these supplies, the charity has organized several fundraisers. The first will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 21 at The Grand 1984 Opera House reception room in Galveston. There will be wine tastings, hors
d'oeuvres provided by Francisco "Paco" Vargas, of Rudy and Paco, and jazz played by Matt Dacso and the Smooth Jazz Quartet. There is a $50 suggested donation. Please join us and help support our mission.
For information, call 409-771-7462 or visit www.hispaniolamedicalcharity.org.
Dr. Umbert Hart Jr. is co-founder of Hispaniola Medical Charity.