HSU PA STUDENTS SERVE AND LEARN

HARDIN-SIMMONS UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE

A team comprised of 20 Hardin-Simmons University physician assistant students, nine non-medical staff, and 10
medical professionals recently returned from a mission trip in the Dominican Republic. HSU began preparing for the student-led mission trip as early as Fall 2018, with meetings held each month to communicate what the Dominican Republic community would need.

Each student utilized their specific talents by organizing bake sales, researching the medical needs of the community, and collaborating with other team members to collect donations, medications, hygiene, and educational supplies.
The team was able to bring 40 suitcases, each weighing 49 pounds, of medical and hygiene donations. The group collaborated with Global Samaritan Resources, which aided in collecting various donations, fundraising, and receiving more than 18 cases of glasses from family members, the Lion’s Club, and Berkley Eye Center.

Hardin-Simmons University physician assistant program students work with patients at a clinic in the Dominican Republic. (Hardin-Simmons University photos)

The Hardin-Simmons’ Physician Assistant team aimed to work alongside the Good Samaritan Hospital of the Dominican Republic, providing quality health care services and education to the underserved population of La Ramona. Each day began with students packing up what would be an entire pharmacy, deworming station, hygiene station, six physician rooms, one women’s exam room, education materials,
and a triage station. Also included was a glasses station with glasses available for people to take home the same day, along with a dentist’s station, where several teeth had to be removed to prevent further health damage.

This trip was one students and patients, alike, will remember for a lifetime. In the span of four days, nearly 600 patients and families were treated. Serving in the Dominican Republic was a chance for the students to gain some cultural perspective, as well as receive hands-on physician experience. Students were working alongside trained professionals during this mission but were able to diagnose patients one after
another in an environment out of their element.

When arriving back from the trip, many students stated they felt as though they have a head start on their clinical rotations because of the abundant hands-on experience in La Ramona.

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