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January 22, 2005

Reflecting on wonderful memories provided by the Avila's

When the "Avila team" joined the Perry hospital and the community medical staff a few years back, they were welcomed with open arms. They were Dr. Patricio (Pat) Avila and his wife, Dr. Estrella (Dr. E) Avila. We needed the kind of medical practice and good humor that they provided, and they were indeed very welcome here.

The unique husband and wife team came to Perry from their former practice in Hannibal, Missouri, by the way, and I'm sure they've probably heard all the Mark-Twain - Torn Sawyer - Huckleberry Finn stories they want to hear. They are unique in many ways -- Filipinos by birth but dedicated to the American way of life. He is a surgeon and Dr. E focused a great deal of her time and skills on healing women.

Since coming here, Dr. Pat has been elected president of the Oklahoma Filipino Doctors Association and both of them are very earnest members of that organization. They are well regarded throughout this area as dedicated professionals with no-nonsense ideas about the medical arts. They are skilled practitioners, and we are going to miss them if they should ever decide to leave this little community. They are one of us, really.

Dr. Pat and Dr. E have been medical missionaries to the Philippines for several years and they plan to continue that work on an annual basis. Their homeland, their relatives and friends there, are very much on their minds and they are concerned with the lack of facilities available to their countrymen. When furious seasonal storms hit the Philippines a few weeks ago, some of the islands were ravaged and people suffered the loss of the most basic needs, clothing and medicine included. Dr. Pat and Dr. E took an appeal to the Perry Rotary Club and received immediate approval for assistance, both clothing and financial. Dr. Pat is a member and past president of the Perry club, and Dr. E could have been a member at any time she wished but her medical practice always came first.

They are good members, good citizens, and Dr. Pat particularly is a good singer, when the mood is right. Perry is proud to be their home. They have many friends here within and outside their medical practice, and we wish them well in all their future undertakings. Also, we thank them for filling a serious need when they first came here.