Medical trip to Peru, Dominican Republic scheduled for spring break

Baylor students and faculty are scheduled to bring medical education to communities in to Peru and the Dominican Republic with a combination of nursing, pre-medicine and public health students. Photo courtesy of Dr. Beth Lanning

By Phoebe Alwine | Reporter

Baylor students and faculty are scheduled to bring medical education to communities around the globe.

During spring break, a combination of nursing, pre-medicine and public health students will be embarking on missions to bring help to Peru and the Dominican Republic.

Jeanne Carey, lab manager at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing and faculty leader of the trip to Peru, said that her team will be providing medical screenings and educational sessions to the city of Collique for people of all ages.

“We will be working with “Operación San Andrés” and they’ve been able to set it up to where we will actually go out into the community,” Carey said. “We’re servicing the people and letting them know that we care and that, you know, we are there for them.”

The trip to Peru includes students from the Medical Service Organization on Baylor’s campus and current nursing students at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

Carey said that during their mission, the team members will come away with an understanding of collaborative healthcare. Some students are nursing, clinical sciences or pre-med, and Carey said that they all recognize the importance of different fields working together to achieve a common goal.

While Carey and her team are spreading care to those in Collique, Dr. Beth Lanning, associate chair of the department of Public Health and faculty leader, and El Pasp senior Carla Viesca student leader, will travel with their team to La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Working alongside El Buen Samaritano hospital a team with members from the Multicultural Association of pre-health students and public health students will provide education to the villages.

“We do predominately healthcare education,” Dr. Lanning said. “We will take blood pressures, do health education for the kids on hygiene and dental care, we talk about cardiovascular diseases and healthy eating, and then we are doing a very special project this time, so we’re educating on feminine hygiene.”

Viesca will be going on the trip for the second time, said she has learned about the great need for femine hygiene education and said the team will be distributing reusable sanitary pads for women.

Viesca said that in this area, feminine hygiene is often frowned upon and the lack of education is something El Buen Samaritano and the team are passionate to educate about.

“We’re trying to go in and teach them a little bit about their own body,” Viesca said.

Lanning said that this trip is unique because they are bringing a strong presence of Public Health and education to these villages that have never had any.

“I would say that the big mission is twofold,” Lanning said. “One is to listen. And the other is to serve.”

Through the work of these two groups, health education and medical help will be given to a great amount of people who desperately need it.