News, Events & GHP

Denver College of Nursing students team with International Medical Relief to care for 700 patients in typhoon-ravaged Philippines

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 8:32 PM

Five Denver College of Nursing (DCN) students, members of the nursing college’s Global Health Perspectives (GHP) program, accompanied by a DCN faculty member, teamed up for the first time with the nonprofit International Medical Relief (IMR) on the island of Leyte in the Philippines to provide medical services to underserved patients.

“DCN’s GHP team worked with IMR to set up clinics in multiple villages surrounding the town of Palompon. Each clinic provided free services for hundreds of patients per day with multiple stations that included triage, well care, provider care, nutrition and rehydration, basic hygiene and sanitation and, most importantly, community health education. Throughout the week-long clinics, DCN’s students and faculty helped care for patients in villages ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 and Typhoon Ruby in 2014,” explained Dr. Diana Kostrzewski, DCN Dean of Nursing Education (

DCN students served over 250 hours in their week-long healthcare internship. They presented classes on hand washing, infectious disease prevention and treatment, wound care, water treatment methods, rehydration and oral care.

“Our students’ hard work, enthusiasm, professional care and instruction made a difference in the small Filipino communities on Leyte,” noted Julie Lohre, the nurse practitioner and DCN adjunct clinical instructor who provided educational oversight for the GHP internship to the Philippines. “They triaged sick and well patients, did independent well care assessments in consultation with RNs, staffed the lab while performing urine, pregnancy and glucose screening tests, administered anti-parasitic medications to children, shadowed providers in sick care and learned how pharmacists dispense medication in the global health setting.”

Accompanied by Julie Lohre, the student Global Health Perspectives team included: Adam Diesi, Paul Gallaher, Nicole Lorentz, Christ Nguyen and Amber Spence.

IMR treats underserved patients with dramatic and often life saving results by providing medical services, medicines, supplies, training and education to remote communities throughout the world. Medical missions begin with team members’ introduction to community leaders and members, and move through pre-arranged logistics to community hospitals, clinics, and health posts. At these locations, team members provide a wide range of overseas medical care to meet local needs.

DCN will launch its second GHP healthcare trip with IMR on March 20, this time serving in northern India.