Dr. Jill Hilty - An Angel in Disguise
The Ndoombo Community Dispensary is blessed with two Colorado physicians who travel to Ndoombo to provide training and organizational skills to our Dispensary staff and to treat patients with a wide-range of medical problems. Featured in this article is Dr. Jill Hilty, a family practitioner based in rural Grand Junction, CO.
Dr. Jill’s earliest exposure to what we now refer to as “global health” was back in 1993 when she was in Medical School at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She and her husband, also in medical school, chose to spend two months in Thailand working along Thai medical students investigating the cause of the recurring diarrheal diseases and then making recommendations for the prevention of the disease. When their three children were young, they took a year off from work to travel and volunteer—this time in Central Mexico. Later came work in Peru, providing care via a mobile clinic to the underserved areas outside of Cusco. They worked alongside local medical personnel—sharing their medical knowledge while also learning their way of providing care.
Back in 2013, Dr. Jill met Lamech Mbise, brother to MMTHC Liason Exaudh Mbise, Dispensary Dentist Polite Mbise and Nurse/Midwife Romini Mbise. Lamech worked for the Colorado University School of Medicine and invited her to ‘work in his village.’ Dr. Jill went to Ndoombo in 2016 and came away with the conviction that she wanted to volunteer at the Dispensary and also that care would be improved by having more lab services. Because she felt she needed to know more about the multitude of diseases that plague people living in East Africa, between 2017 and 2020 Dr. Jill volunteered on four different occasions to work for Medical Teams International to provide medical education to Ugandan clinicians working in the refugee camps in Uganda. Each trip was five weeks in length.
Since 2016, Dr. Jill has been to the Ndoombo Community Dispensary to volunteer a number of times, 2-3 times per year. On several occasions, she would go to the Dispensary after working in Uganda for a month. During the March 2022 trip to Ndoombo, she visited the FAME Hospital in Karatu, TZ and met with Lab Director Dr. Anthony Marley. She came away, more convinced than ever, that the Dispensary needs a trained lab technician to function properly.
The ideas for providing good lab services will hopefully soon be integrated into the range of services now being offered at the Dispensary. In the meantime, Dr. Jill will continue to work with the Dispensary staff, whether in person or sending them YouTube videos, giving them electronic feedback from her chart reviews and designing specific learning projects so that our medical officers can better understand their job as a primary care clinician. Dr. Jill, thanks for all the work you do in Ndoombo. You truly are an angel!!!