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Forest and Mandy's First Medical Mission to Haiti
$1,175 Raised
29% of $4k goal
14 contributors
0 days left
Ended Aug 3, 2014
Student Doctor Mandy and future Physician Assistant Student Forest will be traveling to Verrettes, Haiti on July 13-19, 2014 with Medical Student Missions to offer free medical care to a community in need. More ...

Medical Student Missions to Haiti

Please help support our trip to Haiti:

This summer, students from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine will be travelling to Haiti to provide much needed medical care with the nonprofit organization Medical Student Missions. Haiti has never fully recovered from the devastating earthquake in 2010, and as a result, many of its citizens live in destitute conditions with little or no access to adequate medical care. Recently, Haitians have been further challenged with cholera and malaria outbreaks.

The goal of MSM is to provide “learning through service” opportunities for medical students early in their training by providing essential care for the citizens of Artibonite, the epicenter of the current cholera epidemic. The major hospitals in Saint-Marc and Gonaïves are the hardest hit by the outbreak, but all clinics and hospitals in the region are over-whelmed triaging and managing this disease. While there are certainly underserved regions of the U.S. in need of volunteer aid as well, this need is of monumental proportions in Haiti. In a politically unstable and corrupt society, more than 80% of rural Haitian residents live in extreme poverty. Less than half of the population is literate, and only about one-fourth of the country has access to clean drinking water. The current cholera crisis has increased the necessity of this program, but it also provides an opportunity for increased responsibility and skill advancement to the service mission participants.

As aspiring medical professionals, we have an inherent passion for service, but we are also academically obligated to complete a substantial amount of volunteer activities in the community while enrolled in school. Opportunities to offer aid in a clinical setting are difficult to find early in our training, leaving students without an arena in which to put our skills to work. Conversely, there is often a “hardening of the heart” associated with medical school due to the combination of the stress of the rigorous course load and the lack of authentic patient interaction in curriculums. Service experiences throughout our education is vital to the cultivation of our careers as patient advocates and fosters our desire to connect to patients on an individual level, an aspiration that drives medical students towards health care in the first place. The prospect to volunteer through service can have a great influence on boosting student moral, avoiding physician burnout later on in life, and most importantly, aiding in the care of those who survive on much, much less.

Under the supervision of board-certified physician Dr. Forgey, MD, as well as local Haitian physicians, this trip will provide students with that opportunity. While abroad, medical students will work in collaboration with physicians, nurses, paramedics, translators, and other volunteers to provide basic medical service to benefit Haitian people. MSM has successfully completed numerous medical mission trips to Haiti, fostering lasting relationships with village communities and local doctors. A common problem with foreign aid to Haiti in the past has been the unstable influx and efflux of external aid to the country; due to the crumbling governmental regime, Haitian health systems became dependent upon the foreign aid. When the multitude of nonprofit societies left the country, most never returned regularly to establish an independent system for healthcare deliverance in the nation. As MSM revisits Haiti several times per year over the last several years, the organization has been doing its small part in helping to avoid this problem. Our supervising physician, Dr. Forgey, has vast experience in wilderness and philanthropic medicine and will be a great asset to this invaluable opportunity.

Along with conducting physical exams while in Haiti, TCOM students will be initiating a research effort that will involve collecting biostatistics information from the patients we serve so that future MSM missions can be modified and improved to meet the particular needs of the Haitian community. Basic statistics such as BMI, access to care, vaccinations, and existing medical conditions will be recorded and amassed over the multitude of MSM trips throughout the years. We hope that, through this effort, the quality of life in Verrettes will improve as we continue to tailor our delivery of care.

The students are eager to volunteer their skills and utilize this opportunity to gain exposure to rural communities in great medical need. However, due to the necessity of funding the medical hospital we will be running, in addition to travel expenses, vaccinations, and necessary medications for the Haitians we will be serving, the trip costs approximately $2,000 per volunteer. Based on previous trips, it is estimated that we will see over 1,000 patients, including 200 pregnant women, in just the one week we provide care in Haiti. This year, due to the increased need for help and student interest in service, our organization has chosen to create an additional trip date, providing the citizens of Haiti with more aid.

Where your money goes:

  •          Medications (such as antibiotics, hypertensive medications, diabetes mellitus medication- no funds will be utilized for narcotic medications or controlled substances)
  •          Transportation support
  •          Meals for volunteers
  •          Translators
  •          Mosquito netting
  •          Compound lodging
  •          40+ hours of invaluable clinical medical experience per student
  •          Please consider becoming a part of this incredible experience!



            Forest Trager and Amanda Dodson-Mooring


For more information:

Where we are going (google maps link): Haiti

Suggested Reading:

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

Haiti After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer

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Thank You Letter
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We will be sending a thank you letter to everyone who is able to help make this medical mission possible. Please include your address so that we can mail a letter to you.
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Picture from the Medical Mission
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As an added bonus we will send you a unique picture representing your generous donation in action!
Please include your address so that we can mail you a thank you letter and a picture once we have returned home.
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