‘Flapjack Fundraiser’ coming to Kearny Applebee’s

By Jeff Bahr

Waves of Health, a charitable organization devoted to helping those in medical need, will be holding a “Flapjack Fundraiser” breakfast on April 1, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Kearny Applebee’s restaurant, 175 Passaic Ave, spokesman Dan Sheps said. Proceeds will go toward the purchase of medical and health supplies.

For $10, attendees will receive pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs and a beverage. “Enjoy a short stack for a tall cause” reads the advertisement, and a tall cause it is, according to Sheps, who says the idea to help the poor in such a fashion originated with an idea originally put forth by Dr. Clayton Everline, the organization’s founder.

“In 2007, Dr. Everline was in his last year of residency in internal medicine at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark when he began to think about bringing medical care to underserved areas,” reads the official bio on the organization’s website. Everline had previously studied in the Caribbean and had been troubled by “the poor medical care (found) in many communities.”

After consulting Monsignor Manuel Cruz, the director of pastoral care at the hospital who himself had an abundance of experience working with the poor, Everline contacted The Sisters of the Heart of Jesus – a clinic based in the rural town of Sabana Grande de Boya in the Dominican Republic – to ask if they needed help. Delighted by his generous offer, the Sisters invited Everline to join them in their work at the clinic.

Realizing that a team of physicians could accomplish more than any single individual could ever hope to, Everline then shared his idea with colleagues at St. Michael’s in hopes that other professionals would join him on his first mission to the Caribbean nation. The gambit worked.

Amongst the first to volunteer was Dr. Humberto Jimenez, a clinical pharmacist whose family hails from the Dominican Republic. The roster would eventually include Dr. Suraj Sagger, an infectious disease specialist who was drawn to the tropical location; medical resident, Dr. Kate Hanify, a St. Michael’s Humanitarian of the Year award winner, and attending physician Dr. Chris Boni.

The newly formed Waves of Health team kicked off its inaugural mission on March 1, 2007, at the Dominican clinic. Armed with their collective expertise and 17 duffel bags chock-full of medications, the team treated hundreds of patients during their two-week stay. Since that time, bi-yearly visits to the Dominican Republic have put countless other needy citizens on the path to health.

While the doctors and other professionals provide their services free-ofcharge, the medical equipment doesn’t come cheap, according to Sheps, and the list of services that the organization provides is evergrowing. This necessitates an even larger infusion of cash for medical and health supplies. Events like the Flapjack Fundraiser help mightily on this front.

In addition to primary care, Waves of Health has now added services such as plastic surgery, OB/ GYN and obstetric surgery, general surgery, anesthesiology, pediatrics, pre-natal care, infectious and tropical disease care, pulmonary and gastroenterological specialties, dermatology, epidemiology, and community studies. They also provide counseling and education for chronic illnesses and help patients learn how to take control of their own health.

Tickets for the Flapjack Fundraiser may be purchased at the door at Applebee’s, at Kearny High School, or at the Waves of Health office at Hudson Internal Medicine, located on the bottom floor of the old West Hudson Hospital, 206 Bergen Ave, Kearny.

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