What started as a typical college course for his daughter inspired a labor of love in West Suburban Branch member David Schubert. His family’s interest in helping the residents of Baudin, Haiti, in 1996 has grown into a year-round effort to provide dental and medical services to the remote mountain community today.
Dr. Schubert’s oldest daughter, Vicky Krick, first learned about the Haitian culture through her coursework at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI. She spent a semester break in Baudin, refurbishing a school and teaching. The stories and emotions that Ms. Krick shared upon her return prompted Dr. Schubert to volunteer, too. He soon found himself on a plane to Haiti.
That first year, Dr. Schubert and other volunteers provided dental services out of a tiny, ill-equipped dispensary at a church. Volunteers used an old birthing chair, flashlights and a lot of gauze, as Baudin does not have electricity or running water.
Dr. Schubert said recently that he found need, faith and gratitude among his Haitian patients, and on the volunteers’ final day there the line of residents waiting to be seen was still 50 deep. He resolved to return.
Dr. Schubert enlisted his wife, Laura (a dental assistant), and brother Robert (a Joliet physician) so that future volunteer groups might offer medical care beyond dentistry.
Mrs. Schubert learned to speak Creole, which has been very helpful in communicating with the patients, maintaining relationships and understanding the local culture.
Ms. Krick continues her involvement with the Haitian community, too, through annual mission trips and a church-sponsored food program which ensures the secondary students get one healthy meal daily.
In 2005 Dr. Schubert built a small dental clinic in Baudin. The facility has five dental chairs, a generator, compressor, autoclave, X-ray, and other equipment to do light cured composite and amalgam fillings and a comprehensive set-up for oral surgery.
Dr. Schubert typically makes three trips to Haiti a year, accompanied by up to seven volunteers. An average trip is eight days and incorporates five clinic days, during which approximately 110 fillings, 35 cleanings and 400 extractions will be performed by two dentists, one hygienist and three other volunteers.
For more information about these trips or to make a donation, visit www.baudindentalmission.org or find them on Facebook.