News, Events & GHP

Denver College of Nursing Students Complete Twelfth Healthcare Trip to Haiti

Tuesday, August 9, 2016 5:27 PM

Six Denver College of Nursing (DCN) students, along with an adjunct DCN faculty member, conducted medical clinics in Jacmel, Haiti and in a rural mountainous area in collaboration with the nonprofit, LOVE Takes Root, said Marguerite Distel, RN, DCN assistant professor.

“Every quarter, DCN students engage in service-learning globally as part of their participation in our nursing college’s Global Health Perspectives (GHP) program,” said Distel, who also serves as DCN’s GHP academic coordinator. “This was an extremely successful clinical rotation and healthcare trip. The DCN team started their week of service quite quickly, as Haitian patients were waiting outside clinic doors. Students were able to triage the ones who needed care the most, people with open fractures, TB, infections, hypertension, diabetes, dehydration, viral illnesses and children with respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses.”

Accompanied by DCN clinical instructor Barb Wilkerson, RN, and co-founder of LOVE Takes Root with her husband, Dr. Rick Wilkerson, DCN students Danielle Cleary, Kristen Howorko, Katie Lightner, Tyler Linne, Lisa Shurter and Lindsey Ziemba hiked up the mountainside, carrying backpacks filled with medical clinic and pharmaceutical supplies to care for the rural villagers.

At the orphanage in Jacmel, the student team provided care to the 60 children at La Concorde orphanage, checking eyesight and BMI. At the nearby public hospital, St. Michele, students experienced first-hand the lack of medical care in Haiti and led training for the clinical nurse in the principals of primary care.

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 six years ago and the La Concorde orphanage in Jacmel.