Project World Health works toward sustainable outreach in Dominican Republic [VIDEO]

A few USF Health Morsani College of Medicine students travelled to the Dominican Republic this past spring break – not to work on their tans, but to volunteer their growing skills to a community in need.

Project World Health is one of many international healthcare initiatives at USF Health. The student-run organization travels to Jarabacoa in the Dominican Republic to offer clinical care in the impoverish area. For the students, it’s more than giving back. It’s about getting exposure.

“It was a really great experience,” said co-president and first year medical student Erin Greenberg. “Getting to know students from second, third and fourth years and the physicians that go on the trip and getting to spend time and learn from them.”

Project World Health, Dominican Republic, medical students

L to R: USF first-year USF medical students Erica Jackson, Nelsi Mora and Jessica Alvarez were among the health professions volunteers for a medical mission to the Dominican Republic during spring break.

The medical students team with residents, nurses, pharmacists and sometimes students from other colleges when providing routine care in the area. Project World Health member Zuheily Closser said the next step is to have a constant presence.

“The idea is that we have some organization that goes every three months,” Closser said. “The idea is to have sustainable care.”

Project World Health is looking to partner with other organizations around the state or other universities to provide this sustainable care. The organization raises money for their trips silent auctions, fundraisers and donations. Each student, however, usually pays bit of his or her own way.

Project World Health, Dominican Republic hillside

To find out more about Project World Health, visit http://health.usf.edu/medicine/student_organizations/pwh/index.htm.

 Story by Amy Mariani, USF Health Communications, and photos by USF medical student Adam Schwartz