What better time to target vulnerable groups with preventive health messages than to entertain them while they wait at the doctor’s office? Leaders at one innovative clinic in La Romana, Dominican Republic have transformed this waiting time into a precious teachable moment. Instead of reading magazines or sitting in silence, patients can now watch the TeachAids Spanish language videos and other preventive health clips while they wait for their laboratory test results or check-ups.

The Clínica de Familia La Romana recently integrated TeachAids into their health prevention DVDs, using the TeachAids materials as a central educational component. The clinic provides medical attention and psychosocial support to adults and children with HIV, as well as sex workers, adolescents, and other vulnerable groups in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic. It provides comprehensive primary care as well as HIV­ specialized outpatient medical care, community­ and home-based services, psychosocial support services, and holds an annual summer camp for HIV­-positive children. The clinic currently provides antiretroviral treatment to the second largest number of children and adults living with HIV in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, the clinic oversees special programs for the reduction of vertical transmission of HIV and prenatal and reproductive health care for adolescents, in collaboration with the largest public hospital in the province. Clínica de Familia La Romana aims to improve the quality of life of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic with a holistic, family-­centered approach that includes specialized medical care, social services, community outreach, and education programs.

In addition to providing prevention education to the general population, the Clínica de Familia La Romana also uses the TeachAids animated tutorials as a refresher course for medical professionals. On occasion, the clinic has incorporated TeachAids materials into education for medical students and training for new employees. D. Luis Lewis, Volunteer Coordinator, notes that the TeachAids videos play a key “audiovisual role” in the clinic’s current patient education initiatives and efforts to disseminate key health information to the general public. According to Lewis, a particularly useful component of the TeachAids video is the “triangle of transmission, which provides us with an easy way to explain and remember the mechanics of HIV propagation to the general public.”

TeachAids applauds the innovative efforts of the Clínica de Familia La Romana to share preventive health education videos with patients in waiting rooms.  TeachAids is pleased to partner with Clínica de Familia La Romana and other clinics such as the Ana G. Mendez University South Florida campus who use the waiting room setting as an opportunity to promote education in a meaningful way.