Faith & Service

LUCOM, School of Nursing Hold Community Clinics in Guatemala

June 1, 2017

EDITOR’S NOTE: Serving others is one of Liberty’s longest-standing traditions. This story is part of a “Love Thy Neighbor” series about the many projects through which students display selfless service as they strive to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and obey His greatest commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

This past Spring Break, 13 second-year student-doctors from Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) joined 15 nursing students to medically serve the people of Guatemala.

The group focused primarily on women’s health and pediatric care. They conducted clinics in three different villages, where students taught mothers basic first aid, administered vision tests, and provided triage care. They also assisted the staff at Kelly’s House, a home for children with special needs on the campus of Hope of Life International (HOLI), a humanitarian aid organization that battles hunger and poverty.

This was LUCOM’s fourth trip to Guatemala in an ongoing partnership with HOLI. LUCOM sponsored its first trip in the summer of 2015, and though nursing students had accompanied the student-doctors before, this was the first time the trip counted toward their pediatric clinical requirement.

Kat Rivera, an assistant professor for the School of Nursing, said the trip focused on health education.

“There is a deficiency in knowledge when it comes to health care in Guatemala,” she said, noting that people there often don’t know how to treat common injuries, such as minor burns they may receive while cooking.

Laura Santiago-Slagle, coordinator of medical outreach and international medicine at LUCOM, said that after the students return to the U.S., LUCOM continues to work with its partners in Guatemala to make sure all the patients they cared for there have the opportunity to follow up with local health care providers.

“We don’t believe in drive-by medicine,” Santiago-Slagle said. “We want to make sure all of these people continue to receive the basic care they need.”

LUCOM is planning a return trip June 17-24, where student-doctors will conduct clinics focusing on general medicine, ophthalmology, and pediatrics.

More “Love Thy Neighbor” stories:

A Day of Service
Massive Shoe Drive Aims to Save Lives in the Congo
Reaching Out to the Local Community
Disaster Relief Teams Make National and Global Impact
Student-Athletes Put Service Projects in Motion


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