Barrón Medical/Dental Clinic Perseveres

Talk about bad timing!!

Just as Friends of Barrón realized its dream of opening a free medical/dental clinic for the people of Barrón, COVID-19 struck and the clinic closed for two months. The 2019 fund-raising campaign had raised enough money to equip, staff and open the clinic, but more was needed to buy the extra PPE and test kits that would allow the clinic to remain open safely. The good people who habitually support FOB’s efforts came through and the clinic reopened in August, 2020. The staff had remained on full pay during the closure and returned to work determined to provide the services that are so needed by the community.

The clinic is now open 5 to 6 days week in some capacity. Presently, it is staffed by a full-time nurse (Mónica), a medical doctor three days a week (Jesús), and a dentist (Javier) two days a week.  Appointments with a nutritionist and a physical therapist are available. The medical staff sees an average of 20 to 25 patients a week, although the attendance surged during last July’s COVID wave so the clinic offered free COVID testing for symptomatic patients. During this six-week crisis period, they treated 60 to 80 patients a week while the Barrón COVID positivity rate hovered between 40 and 60%. Throughout Sinaloa, July was the month with the most COVID infections on record with 15,067 cases. In addition, 527 people died that month state-wide, according to state health information. Barrón has seen about a dozen deaths since March 2020. The Barrón clinic suspended free testing when the infection rate dropped below 10%. Currently, COVID tests are available for a fee of $500 pesos per test.

All medical services are free to Barrón residents, and they maintain a fully-stocked pharmacy, which is also free to the residents of Barron. Non-residents, including EDM residents and their guests, can be seen by the clinic’s medical and dental staff but are required to pay for these services according to a set fee schedule that is posted in the clinic. The clinic was originally funded by American, Canadian, and Mexican donors.

It costs about $2500 USD a month to keep the clinic open and funds donated last year are nearly exhausted. FOB has begun an aggressive fall fund raising effort aimed at keeping the clinic fully operational through 2022 or until a Mexican government entity agrees to take it over and integrate it into the national health care system. So far we have almost $20,000 in commitments including a $10,000 USD grant from the Fort Collins, Colorado Rotary Club to provide ultrasound equipment.

Your donations will be greatly appreciated:

DONATE BY CHECK:  Please make your check payable to FOB CANAM INC  and mail it to: FOB CANAM INC c/o Richard J McGuire, 18 Oxford Ranch Road, Laramie, WY 82070

VIA PAYPAL: Send your donation to Be sure to indicate which program you would like to support; school infrastructure, computers, scholarships, or medical/dental clinic.

Thank you for your interest in the program. FOB CANAM INC is a 501(C)(3) registered charity in the US (EIN 81-4719413), therefore your donation is fully deductible against federal income tax.  Upon receipt of your donation you will be sent a formal tax receipt.

Sincerely, Richard J McGuire, Treasurer

Medical/Dental Clinic Opens


The newly opened Barrón Medical and Dental Dispensary

The long-awaited Barrón Medical/Dental Clinic has recently opened.  Located on the main plaza in the town center, the freshly painted, former pool hall, has the bold green cross emblazoned on the wall; “FIRST AID”. Yes, first aid and a whole lot more. The permanent clinic is open five days a week, from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, Tuesday through Saturday and is staffed by full- time nurse, Monica, doctor Giseth and dentist Javier.  All professionals are locals, serving the people of this small, relatively isolated, farming town.

The doctor holds hours at the Barrón Clinic three days a week; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The dentist, holds regular hours on Saturdays.  All professionals have the flexibility to open the clinic at any time for emergencies. The pharmacy is fully stocked.  The clinic and pharmacy are the first of their kind in this rural community of 3500 inhabitants in Sinaloa state, Mexico.


The dental exam room


The medical exam room

Barrón Clinic Nears Reality

Work has begun to convert the central pool hall in Barrón into a new medical and dental clinic. The clinic will be open for first aid treatments five days a week and for medical and dental appointments one day each per week. Friends of Barrón has committed to keep the clinic open for one year. Donations are being accepted to provide these services. Please contact either Dale Lyster or Richard McGuire if you are interested in helping.

FOB Makes a Difference

The Friends of Barron annual dental clinic has affected the legislative process in Colorado. A recent legislative action, House Bill 1045, concerned the application of Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) by dental hygienists and was introduced by Representative Jonathan Singer and Senator Tate.  During the House committee hearing, one of the people to testify was Deb Astroth, RDH, BSDH, a member of the Barron dental mission team. She mentioned in her testimony the history of use of SDF with the children of Barron.

The committee unanimously voted to sent the bill to the full House where it was passed and sent to the Senate.  The Senate committee invoked a rarely used procedure to Supermotion the bill to the full Senate without a hearing as the full committee was supportive.

The Senate passed the bill and Governor Hickenlooper signed the law on March 22, 2018.

Friends of Barron is thrilled to participate in this marriage between science and politics. Without the intensive database maintained by FOB volunteers, compelling statistics that lead the way to legislative decisions would not have been available.

Thanks must go out to the Estrella Del Mar community for supporting our work both monetarily and physically, but also to the dedicated cadre of dental professionals who have traveled to Mazatlán annually for the last seven years. Working under MASH-type circumstances, they brave floods, outages, chaos and crowds, working their magic amongst the elementary school students in Barron. All of them. All 200 of them. Every year.

FOB is very proud to have contributed to the impeding health and welfare of the children of Colorado.

Kinder Fluoride Clinic Thanks

Hola everyone,

Thank you for such a great clinic. And a special thanks to Megan and Tyler who worked,  even though they are on vacation!  It always seems that a great crew shows up for every clinic and we all work so well together!

The kids are pretty special and I hope you all had as much fun as I did. If anyone got any good action shots, please send them to me.

Once again, thank you for your help with the kids. I think we are making some progress! We saw 59 kids today…14 were absent. Of the 59, 22 had caries…so 37% decay rate! Better than it was initially….but we will do better.

An AgN clinic and the Well Baby Clinic will be scheduled soon.


The Smiles in Barron Just Got Bigger!

Last week saw the completion of the sixth annual Barron Dental Clinic, sponsored by Friends of Barron.  The usual suspects showed up (the dentists, I mean) and they all worked their buns (and knees) off for four solid days. We treated a whopping 93% of the school aged children and their 4,845 teeth with the following results. The percentages indicate the number of kids that are cavity-free. The colors indicate the year of treatment, blue being this year.

Barron Smile Chart

The percentage increase in cavity-free smiles is huge. This tells me a few things:

  1. The kids aren’t afraid of the dentist.
  2. They actually have learned how to care for their teeth in less than optimum circumstances.
  3. That our dentists are the best.

Please join me in thanking this remarkable group of humanitarians.  Thanks must also go out to those EDM folks who allowed the group to use their condos that week. You are all so very special!!

2017 Medical Clinic Concludes


Left to Right, 1st ROW: Nurses Lourdes Orouno and Eric Jackson, doctors Robert Chang and Alvin Ong, Kris McGuire. ROW 2: Nursing assistants Miriam and Rosa. ROW 3: Nursing assistant Carolina, Nurses Barbara Sowa and Angie Portland, translators Lenny Rebecca Sigwarth Velasquez and Dick McGuire.

The 2017 Friends of Barron free medical clinic has come to close. This year, we treated over 100 adults, mostly the elderly, who were afflicted with both metabolic and orthopedic disease. Two American doctors, three nurses and a translator volunteered their time and paid their own expenses to travel to Mazatlan from the Pacific Northwest, Colorado and Connecticut in order to stage this, the fourth consecutive free medical clinic organized by FOB. Also participating for the first time this year was SAT-sponsored nurse Lourdes Orounó Soto and her team of three Mexican nurses-in-training.

Patients were seen both in the temporary “MASH”-type clinic in the town hall and in the privacy of their own homes if they were not ambulatory. While treatment of acute disease such as rhinitis, influenza and the like were way down, many orthopedic patients from last year’s clinic returned, hoping to benefit once again from pain relieving joint injections. Those suffering from diabetes, hypertension and other chronic disease were offered individual counseling along with expert advice on how to improve their lot.


Dental Clinic Passes Milestone

Estrella del Mar resident and retired dental hygienist Clair Silk has passed a milestone. Her original idea of trying to improve the dental health of the children of Barron has succeeded beyond her wildest expectations and she has managed to pass the responsibility of the program to local authorities.

Claire, along with EDM resident Janice Schoen, spend the morning of February 22, 2017 at the Barron kindergarten treating 65 four-, five- and six-year olds with fluoride. This program was initiated three years ago as a supplement to the full dental treatments administered to the entire primary school, a program that began in 2013. Over the course of the program, significant gains have been made in the dental health of the children of Barron.

barron-smile-chartAs you can see from the chart, the dental clinics have happened every year since 2013. We have treated over 14,000 teeth and every year, fewer and fewer of those teeth are decayed. Most significant is the improvement shown by the Class of 2017. These young people have demonstrated meteoric improvement in their dental health, beginning with a mere 12% of students with cavity-free smiles and ending with a whopping 82%  of cavity-free smiles last year. We expect additional improvements in this, their last year of treatment.

The more exciting news is that the town of Barron has also committed to building a medical facility that will eventually supplant our efforts. We fully expect that the medical outreach staff that is in place in Barron now will have suitable housing for future medical clinics and will eventually take over the dental program as well.

Thanks go out to all the EDM residents (Jan & Bill Schoen and Willie Portman) who have helped every year. Pictured below are the students-in-training who assisted Claire and Jan in the fluoride application. It’s interesting to note that two of the four trainees are former Friends of Barron Scholarship students.fullsizeoutput_2f9d


Dental Clinic Wraps Up

The 2016 Dental clinic has once again treated every willing kid in the Barron primary school, almost 200 children. Early results indicate continuing improvements in dental health across the board. Thanks go out to Dr Jeff Astroth and his wife Deborah Astroth for motivating and leading another excellent group of volunteers who paid their way here for the opportunity to work in a MASH type clinic. Controlled chaos springs to mind. 

Thanks also to EDM resident Claire Silk who ran the show .  Without her this would not happen 

FOB Dental Clinic Update

Smile ChartAfter three years of FOB’s dental study, preliminary examination of the data reveals a distinct upward trend in the dental health of the Barron Elementary School students. Every class shows an upward slope when compiling the percentage of kids with cavity free mouths.  Congratulations must first go to the students and their parents. They have paid attention to the repeated educational programs, incentivizing contests and stern lectures delivered in a variety of ways by FOB volunteers. Secondly, recognition must also go to EDM resident, FOB volunteer and retired Registered Dental Hygienist Claire Silk who started the program and spearheads the ongoing effort.  Her group of dentists and dental hygienists from Colorado, New Mexico and Oregon have three times arrived en mass to treat every willing kid at the school, some 220 kids a year. The amazing part is that the kids are not only willing, but excited to go the dentist. What an achievement! Next year will be no exception.

Additionally, another EDM owner, Todd Kaminsky DDS intends to assist with the annual Fluoridation Clinic held in January and perhaps an adult clinic. Together we are making a difference!