Cindy T. Finke, ARNP
Spokane, WA USA
I started my health career as a Medical Assistant in Family Practice 1978, becoming a nurse 1983 with Critical Care and Education experience. 1991 I earned my Adult ARNP certification.
I have mostly held multiple jobs in variable settings as I thrive with diversity and unplanned days. Since 2005 I have included locum tenens as my primary practice arena. Internal Medicine, Sports Medicine and Urgent Care has been a large percentage of my focus. I currently am working my first military contract at Fairchild Air Force Base. I was concerned since it is in the Spokane area I wouldn’t have any “cultural experience”. I was wrong.
I have found every city/state has amazing cultures, every place I go. Working in intense 15” Internal Medicine Community Clinics where English was a second language (my only language is English), to the Mexico/Arizona border in a 2400 population men’s medium security prison, a remote Canadian/Washington critical access site to living on a 60-acre farm near the Pacific Ocean in valleys where 60% of the landowners don’t have running water, has provided me with amazing experiences. I can only imagine the Nepal experience.
Attending presentations from other travelers to Nepal, the theme of each experience has been, “we went for the scenery; we return for the people”. To assist humble people on their land over several weeks, I suspect I will benefit way more than anything I can provide to them.
Coupled with the medical mission is the physical component. I competed 30+ years in triathlons, long before they became “the thing” to do. I have completed 2 IronMan competitions after sustaining significant physical injuries when run over by a SUV while training on my bike in 2005, losing a full year of life from that experience. I embrace the resiliency and strength of the human mind-body connection, knowing improved performance is usually an option. That is a huge element of this trip for me – to experience the amazing life style others find routine.
Being a U.S. citizen, I respect how other countries perceive our image. The ability of this mission to provide basic medical assistance to a population without access to what is considered fundamental in the U.S., raises the respect of being a caring and compassionate nation. We will not be able to “cure” another nation, however, assisting/teaching/providing provisions for them to independently help themselves, is the simplest to teach. More complex is to gather necessary supplies, medications, and tools that they can use not only while we are there, but beyond our leaving. Medical provisions coupled with necessary teaching, I see, is the cornerstone of this mission.