Interprofessional Health Service in the Amazon 2015

A group of undergraduate Exercise Physiology students from West Virginia University engaged in a fair trade service learning trip to shadow Brazilian health professionals and Troy Krupica, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in WVU's Department of Internal Medicine.The students learned about tropical diseases and the challenges associated with rural healthcare deliver and participated in several projects.

In the first project the students engaged in several service projects at APAE, includ-ing cooperating with a construction company in Santarém to raise the brick wall surrounding APAE.

The Abaré has a fully equipped medical clinic with physician ex-am rooms, dental equipment, laboratories, a pharmacy, and housing quarters for the healthcare team. The Abaré provides healthcare to the underserved communi-ties along the Tabajós and Amazon River in northern Brazil. These communities have harshly limited access to healthcare, including preventive medicine, health education, and clean water. Students: Brooke Dolin (WVU), Jalena Marshall (WVU), Delila Colon (WVU), Jessica Morgan (WVU), & Ashlee Seldomridge (WVU), Nicole Silva (University of Pittsburgh), and Timmy Vilgiate (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs). Academic Coordinator and Assistant Professor: Beth Nardella. Undergraduate Exercise Physiology student, Brooke Dolin, ob-serving Brazilian Dentist, Verena Freitas. Dr. Freitas would usually see around 12-15 patients each day, all of which usually required extensive dental work.

APAE is the Association of Parents and Amigos of Exceptionals. It is the only non-profit organization in the Amzônia region of Brazil to assist children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. APAE has an orthotic shop, where children can be fitted for orthotics, and workers design and manufacture the device right on the grounds of APAE.

The second project included decorating for the Fiesta Junina, or the magnificent festival of colors held all over Brazil in June. The children of APAE dance and sing at the Fiesta Junina, showing all of the amazing things they have learned over the course of the summer. The students dressed in costumes and danced with all of the children of APAE in their final dance.



Future Directions

In 2016, Amizade Global Service Learning will facilitate several programs with West Virginia University. For graduate students in the health professions there are two opportunities for Interprofessional Rotations: April and June. These rotations are 1 month and include a boat-based public health outreach program that pro-vides primary care services to isolated communities along two tributaries of the Amazon near the city of Santarém. Students also participate in clinical experiences at local hospitals and facilities.

For undergraduates there are two programs in the Summer. These 2-week pro-grams also incorporate a boat-based portion and a service learning component with a community partner. The program in May is reserved for Honors Scholars while the program in June, an Exercise Physiology course, is open to all students interested in healthcare. For more information, please email Beth Nardella, Assis-tant Professor and Academic Coordinator for Amizade Global Service Learning.

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