More DMU students able to travel on medical service trips, thanks to Foster Group

January 15, 2009 —

(Des Moines, IA) – More people in Third World countries will be treated for illness and disease thanks to a new partnership between Foster Group, Inc. and Des Moines University (DMU).

The four-year initial commitment from Foster Group, a financial planning and investment advisory firm in West Des Moines, toward the Foster Group Fund for Global Health means more DMU students will be able to travel on medical service trips.

“This fund will be used to send medical students to Third World countries,” explains Jerry Foster, CFP, partner at Foster Group, Inc. “It will be for the exclusive use of our firm and clients to invest in global health. The vision we have for this initiative is that together, we can make a difference. Our goal is to create opportunities for our staff and our clients to participate on different levels, including financially contributing to send as many students as possible, as well as creating opportunities to accompany the various teams and give of our time and our expertise.”

The DMU program will get $10,000 a year from the Foster fund to support at least five students on the annual spring trip to El Salvador or Belize.

Yogesh Shah, M.D., associate dean of global health at DMU, said, “More students on each trip will mean more people receive much needed care. It’s hard to believe that only a plane ride away people living in harsh conditions may die due to lack of care that we consider commonplace. Often residents of remote villages are unable to get to the nearest town for medicine or treatment. Our students, staff and faculty go to these places and treat their needs.”

Des Moines University’s Global Health Program gives students a chance to set up international rotations and electives or volunteer for medical service trips. Students have traveled to El Salvador, Belize, Uganda, Mali, Mumbai and various other places.

Foster said, “DMU is thinking outside the box as it prepares medical students to impact the world. Students are given an option to go to Third World countries and learn, serve and gain a broader perspective of the medical needs in those countries. The impact DMU is having is significant. As we became exposed to the program, we decided that it fit very well with our core values and our mission statement to be ‘catalyst for positive life change.’”

For more information about the global health outreach at DMU, visit www.dmu.edu/globalhealth. To learn more about Foster Group, visit www.fostergrp.com.


Courtney Tompkins has been part of the DMU marketing team since Nov. 2005 and loves promoting a school she believes in so thoroughly. Proud daughter and patient of DMU alumni, Courtney knows, first-hand, that Des Moines University is doing a world of good. A fan of all outdoor festivals, fruity drinks and nearly all edibles, she has a hard time narrowing down her list of favorite places to go and things to do but lists the Iowa State Fair as an all-time fave. She loves her 8-minute commute to DMU from Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. She and husband Tyler are owned by three large dogs, Tonka, Tucker and Tank.

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