Thirty-four Des Moines University students are heading for warmer weather for spring break. Unlike your traditional spring breaker, these students are going south to provide health care services to the less fortunate.
Twenty-four students from DMU’s osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine and physician assistant programs will treat patients in the Dominican Republic March 15-22 in conjunction with Timmy Global Health, a nonprofit organization that works with local partners to provide health care to the poor. Accompanied by two Drake University pharmacy students and eight clinicians and DMU faculty members, the group seeks to treat more than 500 patients during their stay.
A smaller group of 10 DMU students will stay in the states, providing health education and evaluating health needs in Biloxi, Mississippi, March 14-22. They will work on projects with Coastal Family Health Center, St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy, Bethel Clinic and Community Health Outreach.
“Anyone with a passion for improving health care can benefit from these service experiences,” says Dixon Xu, a second-year podiatric medical student at DMU who inspired the Biloxi trip. “You don’t have to go abroad to do global health. There are a lot of things we can do within our own borders.”
Des Moines University’s global health department organized the experiences. This is the 10th year DMU students have traveled abroad to provide health services in areas of need. Since April 2007, nearly 600 DMU students have traveled to more than 42 countries on University-sponsored services trips, treating more than 10,350 patients.