DOs DOing More

DO’s Doing More            

You are more than a physician. You are volunteers, coaches, teachers, and community leaders. You have hobbies, you have families, you have stories. Share your stories, share your interests.

DO’s DOing More is a community initiative to share your stories, your likes, your interests to create more collegiality among our members. If you have a hobby, or activity you would like to share please contact Jason Leeper, [email protected].

Rice Foundation Medical Mission to Honduras Volunteer

by: Lisa Witherite-Rieg, DO

Meet “Pedro”. Pedro is a farmer in El Jaral, Honduras. He uses a machete to cut the canes that are processed into the sweet addition to so many things we enjoy without even considering where it originated. Pedro spends hours bent over, swinging the large blade, tying the canes and carrying the bundles. Pedro is a decade younger than me. He came to see me at the Rice Foundation outreach clinic complaining of “dolor de cabeza” or “brain pain” as my teenage interpreter explained to me.

When I inquired “How long?” the response was “Tres.” Three. That could mean three days, three weeks, three years. Time in El Jaral has little impact to a Honduran farmer who goes from season to season and field to field. A headache has a great impact, in productivity especially. Through our interpreter we figured out the pain had been for at least three months. Examination showed a normal neurological exam, but his osteopathic musculoskeletal examination had me wondering how this man was walking, let alone swinging a two foot long blade attached to a heavy wooden handle and carrying fifty pound bundles on his back from sunrise to sunset daily. I had prednisone and cyclobenzaprine available on our limited formulary, but I wanted, needed to DO more for him. 


The American Red Cross in Central Pennsylvania

by: Christopher Olson, DO

Shortly after we moved to Lewisburg in 1987 someone suggested I might be available to the Union County chapter of the American Red Cross as their medical advisor. When asked I happily agreed. I had supported the Red Cross for years with blood donations and monetary contributions, so I was happy to make my medical knowledge available to them locally. After a few years of attending board meetings, as the local chapter was looking to expand the board I said, “I come to the meetings anyway, why not make me a board member.” I have been on the board or an advisor ever since. The organization has changed over the years and I am now part of the North Central Pennsylvania chapter which covers most of POMA District 6.

In the early years I had little responsibility other than approving medical guidelines for use in situations such as disaster shelters.

I started giving blood again as I slowed my busy medical practice. I’m not sure how many gallons I have donated, at least 3 or 4. I have also given presentations to community organizations about the Red Cross mission and services.


Creating Positive Change

The Healthy Monks Project

A community with an unrecognized health crisis just needed a spark to make a change.  Five years ago, the head monk of the Lao Proutha Thammaram Buddhist temple in South Philadelphia suffered a heart attack.  A temple member and former nurse at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) became worried for the health of all the monks. She reached out to PCOM’s Dr. Barry Rosenfield for help. 

The nurse was worried the diet and lack of exercise could lead to similar fate of the other monks in residence. The monks rely completely on community donations for food. “The food that the community members donate is food that they think is very special, because they love and respect the monks,” said Rosenfield. “So, the type of food that they think is very special is the kind of food that they might bring to a party.”


Give, Go, and DO

Juggling Life as an Internist, Weekend Hospitalist, and Soccer Dad

The life of an internal medicine specialist who also works as a weekend hospitalist for a small community hospital in rural western Pennsylvania in itself is very busy. But what if that internist also is a father of five children ranging in age from 10 to 18 years and shares their passion for soccer? That’s a game changer!

DOs Doing More Dr. Graeca and sonSteve Graeca, DO has coached soccer at all levels ranging from peewee to high school varsity. When his oldest daughter, now pre-med student Meghan, was four years old, he began his coaching career. As Meghan moved up in the ranks and levels, so did coach Steve, on the field with her through her high school varsity season. He has coached all his children, including twins Nicholas and Alexander (16), Emily (13) and Lauren (10).


OMM on the Battlefield:  My experience as an Army Reserve-Medical Officer

Jonathan Oline, DO; Colonel Jonathan Oline, medical officer in the Army Reserve; or Volunteer Fireman, Jonathan Oline is truly a “DO Doing More.” In 2007-2008, Dr. Oline deployed to a combat zone in Mosul, Iraq while the U.S. surge was going forth in northern Iraq. There he performed emergency resuscitative care while working at the 86th Combat Support Hospital (CSH) serving with the 44th Medical Brigade, Airborne. His most recent deployment in 2018 was Camp Arifjan in Kuwait with the 452nd Combat Support Hospital (CSH).

The daily life in Camp Arifjan could never be called a walk in the park. With the afternoon temperature rising to 115 degrees and the stress and tension levels are at a constant high in a “hazardous zone.” It is hard to even fathom what it takes to mentally and physically prepare deploy to an area like this.  His primary responsibly was a Flight Surgeon who does the flight physicals for the army helicopter pilots and crew members. It required 24/7 duty to work closely with the Medical Regulating Officer (MRO) to clear all soldiers for MEDEVAC transportation out of theater. A large volume of primary care was done at the Military Treatment Center (MTC) where service members from all branches of the military were treated, as well as service members from multiple coalition countries and civilian contractors. Dr. Oline personally saw over 500 patients in a three-month period. 

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