This post is written by guest writer and MEPN student, Daniel Roderick
On April 16th, I had the opportunity to join University Ministry, HSON faculty, NP students, and fellow MEPN students on a trip to the community of La Morita in Tijuana, Mexico. It was humbling and inspiring to work with a team of people so truly dedicated to being present in solidarity with those we visited. In the morning, we set up a rural health fair in the community and divided up tasks amongst our team. It was amazing how everyone, whether they spoke Spanish or not, just got right to work and found a way to contribute. While some taught important health and hygiene topics to a room full of children, others led discussions with adults about diabetes and hypertension. We then worked together checking blood glucose levels, screening for hypertension, and helping to triage those who needed a medical consult with our provider or a referral for further care.
In the afternoon, we visited a home for individuals living with HIV and AIDS. We went not as healthcare providers to diagnose and treat, but simply as neighbors to spend time and share experiences. There was a palpable feeling of support and acceptance permeating throughout the home. I met a young man who shared his story of the countless struggles he endured since being diagnosed with HIV at the age of 14. Without any support from his family—or anyone else—he felt hopeless and tried to take his own life. I listened intently as he explained the circumstances that led him from that moment to where he is now, and we chatted about his ambitions for the future. I don’t think it is possible to have experiences and conversations like those that we had on this trip without being changed somehow in the process. The experience further strengthened my commitment to global health initiatives, and I highly encourage other students to take advantage of this opportunity on future trips.
Daniel Roderick, MEPN Student
MEPN student, Bessie Coronado-Vigil working with young patient in Mexico.
MEPN Students: Francesca Murillo, Bessie Coronado-Vigil, and Jenna McKnight teaching young patients and families in Mexico