GlobeMed Raises Health Awareness

GlobeMed students lived up to their organization’s name in the past year with trips to the Dominican Republic to raise awareness about health issues.

GlobeMed students visited the Dominican last summer to teach maternal health education among sugarcane field workers. The UN World Population Prospects indicated a deficit in maternal health knowledge and the Dominican’s under-five mortality rate is among the highest in the Caribbean.

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Truman student Lara McKay (right) holds up a “healthy baby board” to demonstrate how healthy children do things, such as hand washing, as part of a children’s health camp. McKay was joined at this session by another American student and an interpreter.

Working with a representative from the Healthy Mothers-Healthy Babies Foundation, the Truman students traveled to the Dominican and conducted screenings of the film “Enciende Una Luz,” which translates to “Light a Candle.” The video was produced using regional actors and musicians to both entertain and teach maternal health issues. Topics included timing of births, pregnancy risk factors and health practices for pregnancy. These sessions were complemented with an interactive review session to reinforce key facts.

Since many residents in the area spoke Kreyol instead of Spanish, an alternate version of the film was developed in preparation for a return trip.   

Prior to the follow-up visit this past December, the GlobeMed students also designed and implemented a children’s health camp. It served the dual purpose of occupying children while parents watched the video, as well as teaching children general sanitary practices.

With two versions of the video available, and the children’s health camp established, GlobeMed’s work in this particular area is complete, but it has helped to create a blueprint for future campaigns.

“We would like to take the lessons learned on this pilot project and apply them to future video sets,” said Chris Dove, the 2008 director of health partnerships for GlobeMed. “Ideally we would like to find another project on which we could help.”

Plans for future GlobeMed trips have yet to be finalized. Representing Truman on the two trips were students Ann Bruno, Patrick Casey, Chris Dove, Rachel Flinn, Brian Hilliard, Josh Lefler, Lara McKay, Allison Mutchler, Allison Palisch, Michelle Riefe and Katelyn Talcott.

For more about Truman GlobeMed, including prospective member and donation information visit

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