Two Denver College of Nursing student teams provide healthcare in Haiti

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 8:38 PM

Eight Denver College of Nursing (DCN) students and two faculty members completed healthcare internships in Haiti to provide care at the orphanage founded by NGO Love Takes Root in Jacmel and continue clinical assessments for skin disorders and scabies for the orphans from Espwa, said Dr. Marcia Bankirer, president of DCN.

The DCN team of 10 completed its eighth Global Health Perspectives (GHP) internship in Haiti. “Students and faculty supported and contributed to multiple healthcare organizations,” Bankirer said. “Our teams assisted with infant immunizations, performed prenatal assessments to ensure healthy, live births and provided preventative community health education in multiple orphanages.”

DCN students Brooke Campbell, Sarah Gade, Amanda Hergenreder, Angie Leitch, Hannah Loudenburg, Maria Perez, Danielle Schmidt and Kristin Smith were accompanied by Barbara Wilkerson, pediatric nurse practitioner and DCN adjunct clinical instructor, and Peggy Korman, certified nurse midwife and DCN assistant professor.

DCN students and faculty first focused on providing community needs assessments for the local hospital, at an NGO surgical clinic and at the Jacmel orphanage, founded by Love Takes Root, established first in Port-au-Prince and, later, in Jacmel, following Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010.

For the third time in 2014, the DCN team worked at the Espwa orphanage to continue clinical rotations for pediatric care, focusing on oral hygiene, a sustainable scabies assessment and treatment plan and assistance in HIV screening and pharmacy organization to best serve the needs of the orphanage.

“In Les Cayes, our student teams assisted at the Maison de Naissance birthing center where they provided 75 pediatric and adult immunizations and conducted prenatal assessments. Our students donated a Doppler device so that mothers could hear their infant’s heartbeat for the first time. Students led and facilitated numerous community education sessions for women presenting at the birth center for care as well as at Espwa for the house mothers,” said Korman.

Wilkerson and her husband, Dr. Rick Wilkerson, have served and partnered with Haitian healthcare teams since 2010 and founded the nonprofit, Love Takes Root ( Their organization 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.