Equipped in the mind, led by the heart

3/25/2008 - By: Guia Del Prado

Orvis School of Nursing student Danielle Lallement has found a chance to integrate her skills as a registered nurse and student with her charity work with the Rotary. Lallement’s work with the Rotary in a small Mexican town has opened up chances to expand her nursing experience and provide help for those in need.

Lallement’s and the Rotary’s project in Loreto and the surrounding area, which is located on the eastern side of the Baja Peninsula, began two years ago when they were invited down by friends of members in the Rotary. They were seeking assistance and funding to build a dormitory that would house young students in a small town near Loreto called Ligui. Because many students lived in outlying, rural areas, it was difficult for them to reach the schools in Loreto.

“The students who go to the schools in Loreto live in mountain villages hours away,” Lallement said. “The students live in the dorms for the week.”

Lallement and a group of other Rotary members traveled down to Ligui to reconstruct the dormitory rooms in October. Lallement, while working on the dormitory project also observed the health needs of the area.

“I went down with a nursing perspective as well as helped with the dorm,” Lallement said.

The group plans to travel back to Loreto and Ligui this upcoming October. This time, Lallement is hoping to concentrate and evaluate basic women’s health care in Loreto, Ligui and the surrounding area. This assessment would include surveying the need for prenatal care and basic gynecology in the Loreto area.

“My focus in the project is women’s care, assessing the needs of the women in the small mountain towns near Loreto,” Lallement said. “I’m interested in outlining areas, places that have no health care except for small clinics.”

Lallement is inviting a colleague who specializes in gynecology to assist her in the venture, which she hopes will eventually result in a women’s clinic.

Apart from using her health care experience as a nurse and as a student in the RN to BSN program in OSN, Lallement is using this project for her academic career. Deborah Shindell, assistant professor in the RN to BSN program, praises Lallement’s resourcefulness in integrating her knowledge as a student, as a nurse and as Rotary member in this ambitious project.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for her to use her skills with the rotary,” Shindell said. “She gets to do something not every nurse gets to do. It takes a lot of initiative on her part.”

The ability to help in Rotary with her nursing skills provides some gratification for Lallement, who was surprised by the lack of basic resources in Loreto and Ligui.

“It makes you realize what we have in our country and what some people don’t have at all,” Lallement said. “I’m really looking forward to it [the trip in October]. It’s great to see you’re making a genuine difference in places that need it.”

The Rotary is a worldwide service organization that consists of 32,000 clubs in 200 countries and over 1.2 million members. It provides services such as construction, scholarships and other assistance for communities both at a local and international level.


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