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Denver College of Nursing students dedicate over 600 hours of healthcare in mission to Peru

Monday, July 6, 2015 5:09 PM

Six Denver College of Nursing (DCN) students, accompanied by a DCN faculty member, teamed with DB Peru, Inc. to provide healthcare to remote Peruvian villagers along the Napo River in Peru, where the nursing team focused on community health and infectious disease projects, said Dr. Diana Kostrzewski, dean of nursing education for DCN.

The nursing teams also delivered medical equipment and supplies to two hospitals in Iquitos, the Hospital Regional and the Hospital Apoyo, to medical clinics in Mazán and in the jungle villages of Orellana and Mangua.

Peru has some of the highest incidences and mortality rates of cervical cancer in the world. “Remote Amazonian women are dying from cervical cancer, without adequate screening or diagnosis, placing enormous burdens on their families, their communities and the healthcare system,” said Diana Bowie, president, DB Peru (

DCN students helped collect information on women’s health and cancer for DB Peru’s surveys and conducted rapid HPV tests so that villagers could receive treatment that same day. DCN students Devon Johnson, Erin Kinney, Heather Leck, Christina Nocito, Robin Mohr and Amy Pape were accompanied by DCN faculty member Pam Chandler, adjunct clinical instructor.

“This healthcare trip taught us how different living in poverty is in different environments. While the jungles provide food sources, they present the challenges of clean water, access to healthcare and exposure to infection and illness,” said DCN student Heather Leck.

“We were fortunate to have six students who were well-prepared and understood our objectives,” Bowie said. “On one particular day, we arrived at a village where a teacher requested an educational session on water purification in Spanish. In front of 150 teenaged students, the DCN team taught their subjects in Spanish and made a difference.”