Patronato Pro Niños President’s Year End Report
By Chuck Rubin
It has been an enormously rewarding experience leading this dynamic and important organization over the past year. I want to inform the readers of Atención of the things that have been accomplished during the past 12 months. First and foremost was the acquisition of a third mobile dental facility to complement the two existing vans and the in-clinic dentist at our Children’s Health Facility in Fracc. Ignacio Ramirez (Ave. Reforma 75C). These vans travel to the campo five days a week, 50 weeks a year, and in 2014 provided more than 15,000 dental treatments. The third unit was made possible by the support of a long-standing benefactor of the organization. This incredibly generous contribution will increase the number of treatments to more than 17,000 in the coming year and halve the time it takes us to return to the same village from five years to two and a half.
The graphic that accompanies this article is the organization’s new logo, replacing an older design that has been in use for more than 25 years. We have grown so much since our inception in the 1970s and we want to have a new image and branding that reflects those changes.
We had some very interesting people drop by during the year and as a result of those visits some new and exciting ideas will soon be implemented. Dr. Carl Warshaw, who was a pediatrician in the US for 40 years, asked us if we thought the organization would benefit from the services of Spanish- speaking pediatricians from his former medical group in California who might be interested in spending part of their vacations here in San Miguel. After discussions with our staff family physician, it was decided that we could benefit greatly from visits of this nature, and this will come to fruition starting in 2015.
One day in August, I asked the vice president of Pro Niños, María Aguilar, who will be taking over as president in January, wouldn’t it be great if a retired hospital administrator walked through our door? Lo and behold, the following week, Robert Rowland, a former hospital administrator and management consultant, paid us a visit. We are in discussions with him about how we can better deliver our services to our clients.
Just last month, the Instituto Mexicano de Ortodoncia, under the direction of Dr. Carlos Martinez, volunteered their services to the organization to teach its students the intricacies of reconstructive oral surgeries in the cases of cleft palate patients. Pro Niños has a very long history of helping patients with cleft palates, and this new phase on which the organization is embarking is an exciting complement to the services that we can offer.
Looking forward, Pro Niños has a board of directors that includes 10 members with more than 50 years of combined experience with the organization who will be joined in January by 10 new members to form what we hope will be the most dynamic board we’ve ever had. Chairing the board, as I mentioned above, will be María Aguilar, who brings many years of experience with Pro Niños, working directly with our clients in the community and with the four dentists, one physician, and nine support staff.
To all who have given support this past year, be it monetary or as a volunteer, and indeed to all who have done so in any of the 44 years we have been operating in San Miguel, on behalf of the children, I thank you.
In closing, I would like to thank the doctors and staff of Pro Niños, whose dedication to the organization is on display daily and without whom we could not help the children of San Miguel thrive. It has been an honor to work with each of you.
The author is the outgoing president of Patronato Pro Niños.