From Minnesota to Chimbote, Peru

Medical Assisting Program Chair, Jennifer Lason with children from Chimbote
Students earning their medical assistant degree  at Globe University-Woodbury and students enrolled in the nursing school at Minnesota School of Business-Richfield traveled to Chimbote, Peru, to volunteer their time with a nonprofit organization called Manos de la Caridad (Hands of Charity). They served the Chimbote community by hosting a free health clinic. The students also partnered with Beds for Kids and raised more than $3,000, which paid for 27 beds and frames for the children of Chimbote.

Prior to the mission trip, the campuses also collected three suitcases filled with infant, children’s, and women’s clothing, approximately 150 toys, and 40 travel size toiletries to donate to the community.

Medical assisting student and Jennifer Larson, Program chair with Chimbote community members

“This experience opened our eyes to how important our roles are in the medical setting,” said Jennifer Larson, Globe University-Woodbury Medical Assistant Program Chair. “It was encouraging to see how only eight of us were able to treat more than 800 patients in just three days.”

The nursing school students had the opportunity to triage and assess patients of all ages that faced a range of ailments, including rashes, malnutrition, and HIV positive patients. Meanwhile, the medical assistant students embraced the experience by learning more about the medications needed for a variety of treatments along with how to educate patients on how to correctly take their medications.

Chimbote is now the third most contaminated city in Peru, according to Maria Elena Foronda Farro, sociologist and co-founder of the NGO Natura in Chimbote. She continues by noting that obstructed pipes regularly cause back-ups into the streets where Chimbote’s children wade into these rushing streams of wastes and toxics. Life expectancy in the city is a decade lower than the national average.

Manos de la Caridad is a nonprofit organization that helps raise money and promote health and wellness to the families of Chimbote. By partnering with schools that have health programs, like Globe University and Minnesota School of Business, the organization is able to help provide the families the health care they need.