Joint partnering efforts in U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise reach record donations for the Dominican Republic humanitarian civic assistance
By Dialogo August 01, 2014
From April through June 2014, thousands of patients received general and specialized care as part of the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored Beyond the Horizon 2014 (BTH) exercise in Barahona, Dominican Republic. U.S. Southern Command’s Partnering Directorate coordinated with governmental and non-governmental agencies to provide humanitarian civic assistance in the form of medical and dental care and engineering expertise to the local community.
As the executive agent, U.S. Army South in partnership with the Dominican Republic, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Peru militaries, conducted Medical Readiness Training Exercises (MEDRETE) and an All Dental Readiness Training Exercise (DENTRETE), providing evaluations and health services including - pediatrics, dentistry, gynecology, geriatrics, ophthalmology, and nutritional counseling.
CitiHope International’s (CHI) Caribbean Regional Director, Tim Tuccelli said, “This MEDRETE is one of the most amazing operations in terms of efficiency, in getting over 500 people per day channeled into individual departments where their needs are met at the primary care level.”
Tuccelli added, “CitiHope International is also able to assist in ensuring that they’ll have the medicines in the future, as we stay on after the MEDRETE to ensure that the medical clinics that have been built will still have formulary, medical supplies, and fortified foods for the region for years to come.”
CHI and the Dominican Institute for Integral Development (IDDI) provided sixty on-site translators for the medical and dental care professionals; and are working closely with the Dominican Republic Ministry of Health through the Heal a Nation [Sanar una Nación] alliance to assist patients with supplementary needs.
Heal a Nation, is a growing public-private partnership developed by a coalition of leading Dominican businesses, CHI, the Ministry of Health, Dominican and U.S. military leaders, healthcare institutions, local and international NGOs, and community-based groups that support the logistics for procurement, delivery, and distribution of donated goods in the Dominican Republic.
BTH Dominican Republic 2014 received over $4M in donations from non-governmental organizations and the private sector, over the course of the exercise. Heal a Nation partners – Fundacion Rica, IDDI, Children of the Nations, Grupo Rica, Banco Popular Domincano, and Grupo Ramos; and NGOs – Food for the Poor, Midwest Mission Distribution Center, and Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach together provided translation services, school equipment, preventative medicine training, and fortified foods.
“I would like to extend our deep appreciation for [Heal a Nation] Sanar una Nación’s continuing commitment of sustainable support of the health care needs in the region,” said Tuccelli.
Since 2013, Heal a Nation has donated over $70M to credible health and educational institutions across the Dominican Republic including pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and equipment, and fortified foods, with about 25% going to assist citizen security throughout the Dominican Military, National Police and the Presidential Cabinet of Social Policy.
BTH Dominican Republic is the largest NGO and private sector collaboration in a U.S. Southern Command hosted exercise. This year, contributions were so great, U.S. Southern Command was able to support activities beyond the original scope of the exercise –
The U.S. military provided engineering expertise and assisted with the construction of four new classrooms at two schools in Barahona, new facilities at two existing medical clinics: Clinic Vicente Noble and Clinic Palo Alto, and an entirely new clinic, Clinic Invicea Villa, that will serve 1600 families in the region.
U.S. Southern Command, NGO Relations Chief CDR Chris Cruz stated, “By working closely with NGOs and private sector partners, we're able to achieve whole-of-society solutions to the challenges we face in the Caribbean and Latin America.”
He added, “Whether it's government or non-government, public or private, business or academic, our many partners are critical to success within a whole of society approach. It is through relationships established during important engagements like BTH that partnerships are made and cultivated. Separately, we all have limitations. But through partnering, we can accomplish great things.”
At the closing ceremony on June 16, representatives from governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations reflected on the tremendous successes of the exercise.
“This exercise clearly demonstrates how well joint, combined interagency partners can successfully come together to achieve common goals and objectives,” said U.S. Southern Command’s Military Deputy Commander Army Lieutenant General Kenneth Tovo. “Our goal was to improve the quality of life of the Dominican people,” said Tovo. “With your hard work, I believe we did just that.”
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