La Clinica Esperanza
(Clinic of Hope)
Ask anyone who has lives
on Roatan who is making a difference and odds are, they will say "Peggy
Stranges." While I have never met Peggy, those who have relate stories of her commitment, perseverance, and dedication. I am
glad and honored that she permits us to share "the story" of La Clinica
For a good overview of La
Clinica Esperanza, I will share in its entirety, the application for
not-for-profit application that was sent to the First Lady of Honduras.
(For more information on Peggy's incredible efforts in Roatan,
visit her website.)
The application begins (reprinted
2001 Peggy Stranges, RN permanently relocated to
Roatan after 14 years of
coordinating medical and dental mission teams that volunteer services to
Honduras. As a nursing volunteer on Roatan, Peggy was acutely aware of the
critical need for health services and made it her goal to help the people of
Roatan to obtain accessible medical services.
2002, Peggy opened “the clinic” from her kitchen table and started serving her
local community of Sandy Bay and La Colonia. La Clinica Esperanza (the
“Clinic”), as it is now called, currently provides low-cost and free healthcare
services to these communities and relies primarily on donations.
Currently, donations of money and land, as well as construction materials and
labor are being offered to build a new and larger clinic and to create an
endowment to fund a full-time salary for local doctors and staff. These offers
present a great opportunity to ensure the continued viability of the Clinic and
to expand the services offered. The Clinic is now seeking governmental
recognition to enable it to become a formal entity whereby it can facilitate
ownership of land, receipt of contributions, and operate on a tax-exempt basis.
This recognition and legitimacy will enable the Clinic to build an endowment to
secure its future and the future health of the communities it serves.
La Clinica Esperanza
The Clinic is currently located in Sandy
Bay adjacent to Anthony’s Key Resort. While the primary mission of the Clinic
is to serve the residents of Sandy Bay and La Colonia, all people are welcome.
The Clinic treats approximately 30-40 patients in a typical day. It operates
four days per week, starting at 8 a.m. and closes when the last patient has been
seen. Further, the Clinic is available nearly 24 hours a day, and since Miss
Peggy close to the clinic, many patients do visit for urgent/emergent issues at
The Clinic welcomes all patients.
Approximately 60% of patients are children, 30% are adult females, and 10% are
adult males. More than ,1000 patients consider the Clinic to be their primary
medical care provider. It is recognized as the ‘center’ for diabetes and
hypertension on Roatan. Thus far, more than 5,000 patients have been treated in
Patients have come from as far as Punta
Gorda, Diamond Rock, Coxen Hole, French Harbour, and the mainland to seek
treatment or medications. Due to the limited number of medical facilities and
available medications on Roatan, the Clinic provides a greatly needed service
for people who would otherwise likely not seek treatment due to transportation
costs and the crowded condition of the local public hospital.
The Clinic provides a number of services
to its patients and the community. Patients are treated for urgent and acute
care problems, such as upper respiratory tract infections, malaria and minor
orthopedic and traumatic injuries. Some problems are too complex for a clinic
visit, and these patients are referred to the public hospital in Coxen Hole. In
addition, the clinic has been instrumental in facilitating the transfer of a
number of patients elsewhere for more complex medical procedures.
It also manages chronic problems requiring
lifetime care, such as hypertension and diabetes. There is a high incidence of
both of these diseases on Roatan and many patients have never been previously
treated. The Clinic is actively involved in preventative medicine and lifestyle
modification. All patients are instructed on such things as nutrition, exercise,
and preventative medical care. The goal is to prevent the long-term serious
Pediatric services address acute care
issues such as fevers, asthma, skin infections, dehydration, diarrhea, and
intestinal parasites, as well as education for maintenance of healthy
lifestyles. The Clinic is strongly involved in education including personal and
dental hygiene, healthy eating, regular exercise, and encouraging school
The Clinic has a well-stocked pharmacy
from generous donations from various international organizations and
individuals. One of the most important aspects of the Clinic is the availability
of current and appropriate medications that are often otherwise unavailable to
the patients. The Clinic also provides donated medications to other clinics and
the public hospital on a regular basis.
The charge to the patient is a 20 Limpira
donation (about $1), and is waived if the patient is unable to pay. The small
charge encourages patients to value their healthcare and to preserve their
dignity. Patients often choose to give a larger donation when able. Necessary
medications are provided without any additional charge.
Common Medical Problems
The Clinic sees a number of common medical
problems. These include upper respiratory tract infections, asthma, colds,
headaches, sore throat and tonsillitis, local skin infections, gastritis and
gastroenteritis, parasitic infections, malaria, wound care, hypertension,
diabetes, toothaches, sinusitis, arthritis, and well child check-ups. Prenatal
patients are also monitored and provided prenatal vitamins.
Since July of 2005 the Clinic is fortunate
to have a full time physician Dr. Raymond Cherrington, born and educated in
Honduras along with Peggy Stranges, RN. as director. She has an extensive and
varied background in general nursing and was Clinic Nurse Supervisor with The
Ohio State University, College of Dentistry. The Clinic also welcomes regular
physician, dentist and nurse volunteers for short or long-term medical work
trips. These physicians see patients in the Clinic along with Dr. Cherrington,
help develop protocols and plans for long-term individual patient care, and
participate in active medical education of the local staff. Many of these
physicians also volunteer and teach in the public hospital at Coxen Hole and at
other clinics on Roatan. These work trips allow for experts from abroad to be
involved in local patient care, and more importantly for local providers, to
share in current diagnoses and treatment modalities. The Clinic helps local
providers by coordinating volunteer services and resources as needed and
Throughout the year, a number of dental
teams visit the Clinic. These teams include both the dentists and their support
staff. The Clinic has a full dental setup, but often the teams bring additional
medications and supplies. These teams provide hygiene care, restorative care,
education, preventive services, and extractions.
There are also a number of local
volunteers who understand the value of the services provided and seek to help in
any way they can. Some have formal medical training, while others simply have an
interest in learning and helping. These volunteers help with administration,
triage, translation and nursing responsibilities such as blood pressure and
vital sign measurements, patient intake, and dispensing of medications. Many of
the local children help out by assisting to keep the Clinic area clean.
Future Development Plans
Clinic is currently planning expansion into a new 3000 square foot, two-story
facility. One half acre of land in Sandy Bay (across from Anthony’s Key Resort)
has been donated for the site of a larger clinic. The construction material and
labor has been donated and the building should be completed in the near future.
This new clinic will have two treatment rooms, a small surgical suite, a dental
suite, a pharmacy, an office, and a large waiting room that will be available
for community events and educational opportunities. Located on the upper floor
will be a birthing center and pediatric impatient care facility. The woman and
child center will necessitate increasing to 24 hour staffing.
Once the new Clinic is operational it will expand the services provided in an
effort to improve the general health and welfare of the served communities.
Planned services include the following:
Full-time local staff
Funding for more full-time physicians, nurses and office staff.
full time local dentist. Several organizations have expressed interest in
providing materials for a two-chair dental suite that will provide cleaning,
extraction and restoration.
Woman’s and Children’s Center
hope is that the birthing center will provide a clean, safe place for mothers to
give birth with the expert assistance of trained personnel. The Infant and
Pediatric ward will provide expert care of the newborns, as well as all children
needing inpatient care.
AIDS and tuberculosis hospice
AIDS and TB hospice will be located in the second proposed building. The
facility will provide comfort and care to individuals suffering from these
Day care center
day care program seeks to alleviate the problem of older siblings failing to
attend school in order to provide childcare for their younger siblings. The
program will provide supervision and educational activities for the children.
This will also provide daycare for the many, anticipated staff members.
lunch program will provide a hot meal for both the children in the daycare
program and for the local schoolchildren. Food for the Poor, an organization
based in Tampa, Florida and local restaurants have agreed to provide the food
necessary to operate this program.
In order to expand and secure the valuable
services provided by the Clinic, we have partnered with the Bay Islands
Community Healthcare Association which is now seeking to attain NGO status
within Honduras to enable it to accept major cash contributions and build an
endowment to ensure the continuation of services.
Several persons have expressed an interest
in donating substantial funding to the Clinic. There is a 501c3 through which
to donate tax-exempt money in the United States
There is no formal foundation or funding
mechanism established for the Clinic and all services, medications and supplies
are either donated or purchased through donated funds.
[end of excerpt from application for
not-for-profit status to the First Lady of Honduras]