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March 18, 2009
By Laura Levin
Students from the University of Nevada School of Medicine have a statewide and worldwide outlook on their medical education. While studying to serve the people of Nevada after graduation, these students are also applying their medical skills to regions beyond the state and the country.
Twenty first-year medical students are volunteering to work in free medical clinics in rural India, Nicaragua and Ecuador this spring, In addition, one of the students will be participating in Duke University’s Global Health Fellows Program in Geneva, Switzerland. The entire Class of 2012 has rallied around their classmates to help raise funds to support this trip.
The public is invited to attend a fundraising benefit to be held Saturday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the great room on the fourth floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union at the University of Nevada, Reno. The silent action will feature items from local businesses, restaurants and vacations. Hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and entertainment will be provided.
Cost of the benefit is $25 per person, $20 per student or $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets will be sold at the door and credit cards will be accepted. Cocktail attire is requested. All are welcome to attend and support Nevada medical students making a difference locally and globally.
“We are hoping we don’t have to take out additional loans in order to participate in the international medical service trips,” said Susan Hunter, a first-year medical student and fundraiser coordinator. “This will allow us to better serve the Nevada community in the future.”
Proceeds from this event will benefit the student trips to India, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Switzerland through non-profit organizations that service underprivileged citizens of those counties. Each student will purchase his or her own airfare, but needs to come up with $1,000-$2500 to cover the cost of medical supplies, facilities, translators, accompanying physicians and accommodations.
Students going to India are participating in the Himalayan Health Exchange Program and will be traveling to the trans-Himalayan region to assist local physicians in providing medical care for the rural, underserved population.
Through Bridges to Communities, students traveling to Nicaragua will establish and run clinics in communities that do not have medical care, ultimately providing short-term care within a long-term infrastructure designed to provide communities with continuous health care services.
Those participating in the Volunteering Solutions Program to Ecuador will donate their time to an urban hospital in Quito, rotating through departments such as obstetrics, pediatrics, and surgery, providing medical services to both the urban community of Quito and surrounding rural areas.
For those who cannot attend the event but would like to help, an account has been set up through the university. Checks can be made out to the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation with School of Medicine Student Gift Account as the designee and mailed to: Stefanie Scoppettone, Development Director, Pennington Medical Education Building, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV 89557.