News, Events & GHP

Denver College of Nursing Students Complete Tenth Healthcare Internship in Haiti

Thursday, August 20, 2015 6:56 PM

Denver College of Nursing’s (DCN) Global Health Perspectives (GHP) student team, accompanied by two DCN clinical instructors, undertook a new community health outreach program in a Haitian mountain village with the nonprofit, LOVE Takes Root (, said Dr. Marcia Bankirer, president of DCN.

“Students, faculty and Haitian healthcare workers teamed with LOVE Takes Root to extend community healthcare in the Jacmel, Haiti region. For the first time, the teams extended care from the La Concorde orphanage to a remote mountain village,” Bankirer said. “The team treated patients, adults and children alike, under trees in the center of a mountain village as well as provided community education in the urban center of Jacmel, Haiti.”

Accompanied by DCN clinical instructors Barb Wilkerson, RN and Kyia Mountain, RN, DCN students Laura Glenn, Eva Morales, Angela Naple, Nora Smith, Melanie Thompson and Andi Toogood collaborated with nursing students from Notre Dame College in Haiti and clinicians of St. Michele Public Hospital.

The nursing teams worked to improve access to community healthcare. They provided education and treatment for dehydration as well as parasitic infections.

“Children in Haiti are in desperate need of improved nutrition and access to adequate health care. Many children in Haiti suffer from HIV/AIDS, diarrheal diseases, measles, malaria and pneumonia. Similarly, they have high rates of fatalities due to injuries,” Wilkerson added.

Founded in 2010 by Wilkerson and her husband, Dr. Rick Wilkerson, an orthopedic surgeon, LOVE Takes Root strives to break the cycle of poverty through a commitment to local empowerment and an establishment of roots of trust and health in Haitian-owned and managed programs.

While working in Port-au-Prince in the aftermath of Haiti’s most devastating earthquake in 2010, Dr. Wilkerson saw an adjacent shelter that was filled with children. He visited with "Mamma,” a 70-year-old grandmother who was feeding, housing and caring for over 50 orphaned children in a debris-covered make-shift tent with little food, clothing or medical treatment available. Dr. Wilkerson's experience gave birth to the nonprofit Love Takes Root five years ago and the La Concorde orphanage in Jacmel.