Kim Riley-Adams is the Director of Laboratory Sciences at McFarland Clinic. She lives in Marshalltown, Iowa and has traveled with CHI three times.
How did you find CHI? Why CHI?
I learned about CHI through one of my McFarland Clinic coworkers, Terry Dewald-Fredrick, in 2015. Terry would post pictures of her trips to Haiti, so I asked her one day at work what CHI was about and that's all it took! I signed up for the October 2016 trip immediately when I got back to my office! I always wanted to do some sort of medical team trip, but since I am not a nurse, I didn't know if I would have the skills needed to participate. Terry assured me that there would be more than enough for me to do if I traveled to Haiti with CHI.
What trip(s) have you gone on with CHI?
I have traveled to Haiti with CHI three times -- October 2016, October 2017, June 2018, and will be going back again in October 2018!
What was your favorite part of the trip?
My favorite part of the trips are the friendships and connections I have made with CHI staff and volunteers from the US and Haiti, as well as our Haitian patients. I love working with these people and have made lifelong friendships. The feeling of camaraderie and the sense of purpose that I get in Haiti while working toward common goals with patients, staff, and fellow volunteers is like nothing I have ever experienced before. Another favorite part of the trips are the kids! Those beautiful, smiling faces that greet us when we walk up the path to Do Digue and Fondol--there is nothing better!
What impact does CHI have on your life?
CHI feeds my soul. I have worked in healthcare for 30 years, and I hate to admit it, but at times I get a bit jaded and wonder what impact I am making on patient lives or in today's healthcare environment. When in Haiti, I can see the impact that the team makes most immediately in some cases. I feel energized and renewed by our CHI patients who are so thankful and happy to see the team. I try to bring that energy and excitement back to my family and coworkers.
Why did you choose to donate with your time or money?
After my first trip to Haiti in October 2016, I knew that I wanted to be involved with this organization in any way that I could serve and be of help. CHI's vision of working in solidarity with the Haitian communities, building trust and respect, as well as providing a continuity of care for our Haitian patients that really resonates with me. I am so fortunate that I can access healthcare whenever I need it without a second thought. I want to be able to provide a level of "healthcare comfort" to others that are not as fortunate as I am.