Rapid growth, expansion of programs in fulfillment of patient needs and staff additions were compelling forces for the addition of a full-time director. MA appointed Gaby Aguilar as the new director in 2012. Gaby has a passion for people with meager means and resources and whose families struggle to meet the challenges of everyday life in the Copan Region. Coming from a large family herself, Gaby is also of the generation of many of the staffers at the clinic and whose loyalty and respect she commands. She thinks strategically and is unafraid to reach out to various groups and organizations with whom SATC networks. Gaby speaks English well and is familiar with the euphemisms common in business and the bureaucratic environment in which the clinic must operate.
Gaby arrived in the U.S. at the end of August for a 3-week professional development program sponsored by Serving at the Crossroads. She spent time working in and observing several community clinics: Community Volunteers in Medicine in West Chester, PA; The Arlington Free Clinic in Arlington, VA; the Mission Life Center in Fairfax, VA; and the Summit County Community Care Clinic in Frisco, CO. She also spent a day at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA where she attended classes in health care management. We are grateful for the staffs at these clinics and the professors at George Mason who took time out of their busy schedules to show Gaby their approaches to providing medical care to the underserved people in their communities.