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PA students raise funds for Honduran service-learning trip

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Catherine Gillespie

Seven students in Mercyhurst University’s graduate program in physician assistant studies, an undergraduate and an alumna will venture to Zambrano, Honduras, Jan. 3-10, 2016, to share the Mercy Mission and gain hands-on experience in a local medical clinic.

But first, they need help getting there.

The Physician Assistant Student Society is hosting a fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings, 2099 Interchange Road, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, to help each volunteer raise the $1,500 needed for airfare and room and board.

Print and share this flier with your waiter and 15 percent of each order will go toward funding the students’ trip, which was organized by Catherine Gillespie, chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies (DPAS).

Volunteers will work directly with medical clinic volunteers to complete patient registration, triage, medical care under the supervision of a physician, and medicine distribution under the supervision of a pharmacist.

DPAS students are required to complete 20 hours of service before they can graduate. Gillespie hopes to offer an international or domestic service trip annually.

“Being in a third-world country, the students are going to see diseases and illnesses that they don’t get to see in the United States,” Gillespie said.  “This experience in medicine is valuable, but the once-in-a-lifetime experience in humanitarianism is life changing.”

A second fundraising event is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Cocktails & Color Studio in Millcreek Square. Partial proceeds will benefit the excursion. Reserve your spot; seating is limited.

Volunteers attending the trip with Gillespie include graduate students Dom Acharya, Abigail Bacon, Tyler Budziszewski, Edward DeWald, Sarah Lange, Sarah Piasecki and Megan Richards; alumna Samantha Goldbach ‘14, and pre-PA major Sarah Gravante.

The service-learning opportunity was made available through International IMPACT Through Medicine Foundation. Its mission is to provide healthcare and health education to underserved populations around the world.

For more information, contact Catherine Gillespie at 814-824-2513.