The past month has been a busy one – between tackling a list of long-neglected “Honey Dos” for Micky’s nearly retired husband (me) and continued activity for both PAACS and the Continued Medical & Dental Education Commission because I am not really retired yet. I spent a lot of time on the refinement of the junior and senior exams which will be given on June 3. I also worked on the Excel workbook that “automatically” scores and evaluates the exams. I wrote it several years ago while working at Methodist University. I finally figured how to add two psychometrics (measurements on how the exam-takers did on a given question) on which I have literally worked on and off for over 10 years. A minor private celebration important to almost no one else! I was able to share it with a dean of a Ghanaian medical school while in Nigeria, however.
I still function as the chief financial officer for both CMDE and PAACS. I attended the CMDE Commission meeting in Rochester, MN April 6 – 8. Micky had spent several hours over a few days helping me get the financial binder ready for that meeting. It was inconvenient to get there (compared to our previous traditional meeting site in Chicago) and weather-induced disruption of Delta flights made it much worse. It took over 12 hours to go both ways because of delays. Still, it was a good meeting, despite the residual jet-lag that awakened me at 3:00 AM each day.
Micky and I have worked together on several days this past month, spent time with Susan Koshy and Keir Thelander by Skype and we almost have the 2017-2018 budget proposal in its final form. We will spend the next 48 hours finishing the financial committee report for the PAACS Commission meeting which will be held near O’Hare Airport May 19 and 20. For the first time since 2003, I am not attending this meeting to avoid eclipsing Keir in any way as he attends his first meeting in the role of full-fledged Chief Medical Officer.
We have ordered three more trays of instruments – the previous order for two trays placed in mid-December and one placed in early February are still not complete as the less commonly sold instruments are still trickling in. I am eager to get the trays completed and then bless some fine surgeons who truly deserve them. If anyone would like to help with the cost of these, please send a check to S3 Ministries, PO Box 300, Linden, NC 28356 and put “instruments” in the memo line. The thyroid tray is about $1600 and the discounted price for the laparotomy tray is about $2300. A box of discarded instruments have just arrived and I will spend some time seeing what can be salvaged and refurbished before sending them out to someone.
The weather in April makes it my favorite time of the year in North Carolina – and it has been only rarely that I can be here to enjoy it. We celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary on April 11 (one of only a handful of times that we have been together on that date since we have been married). With only the now-honored commitment in Nigeria left on my remaining list as PAACS CMO, the stress has begun to lift and getting a lot of things ticked off the “Honey Do” list has been satisfying for me. Sean spent the third week of April on Spring Break from his school and he chipped in to help us get a lot done around the house.
Plans for the future of our ministry are still open. I will teach Advanced Trauma Life Support in early May for two days and continue to work on the PAACS exams, while continuing to seek God’s heart for the next steps. Because we have promised Sean that he can stay in school his entire junior and senior years, that puts a crimp on the usual type of mission service. Micky can’t travel with me and that means that either I make shorter trips (less cost-effective and more problems with jet-lag) or we are apart longer – neither is appealing. I am trying to arrange a trip to Togo in the late fall to help the program there as it prepares to join PAACS.
As part of our long-delayed vacation, we are very excited about a long car trip we will take from May 27 to June 28. Leaving and returning to NC, we will visit Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone and several national parks in Utah and Colorado. Michelle, Joey and Auggie will travel from LA to join us for a weekend in southern Utah. We will be home in NC for just a couple of days after that trip before going with Sean to Massachusetts. We are taking Amtrak there and back (should be fun!) and while Sean attends the conference, Micky and I will take a weekend along the shore of Maine – the only state I have never visited.