Exports to Mexico that make a difference
Move an ambulance from Arizona to southern Mexico? Climb 17,000-foot volcanoes? It's all part of the MEX-AMbulance Project, started in 1999 by John Markowitz, an operations assistant in the emergency department at DHMC.
Markowitz turned a 1999 climbing trip to Mexico into a major, ongoing medical mission serving the country's impoverished Puebla region. It all began when he met Dr. Gerardo Reyes, a Red Cross director in the region, and learned that Reyes had a title but no staff or supplies. Since then, thanks to the MEX-AMbulance Project—hatched and nurtured by Markowitz and supported by many of his D-H colleagues—Puebla is now well outfitted.
The focus of the group's effort has been to refurbish a 1960 Mercedes Unimog military truck into a working ambulance, and to transport it from Phoenix, Ariz., to a Red Cross center in Tlachichuca, Mexico. Markowitz, with the help of many volunteers and other organizations across the U.S., has also delivered vehicle parts for the Unimog, stretchers, medical supplies, flap hats and sweaters, and computers and Internet access to Tlachichuca and surrounding mountain villages.