2016 Global Health Symposium

On Friday, September 30, 2016, the Global Health Symposium will be held in Raynor Memorial Libraries. This full-day event will highlight how Marquette helps to ensure the health of populations worldwide. Topics will range from the latest research and best practices to service learning programs and volunteer opportunities for students.

A panel on Marquette’s Global Clinical Outreach will explore how Marquette students work directly with patients overseas. Program leaders from the College of Health Sciences will discuss their programs, including a four-week elective clinical rotation in Belize offered through the Physician’s Assistant Program.

“Students see the whole gamut—from family planning to upper respiratory illnesses to parasitic infections. No matter what they see, they come back a stronger provider,” said Jean Fischer, co-director of clinical education for the Physician Assistant Program.

Students spend the rotation sharing a house and working with students from all over the world. They come from a wide range of disciplines, including pharmacy, nursing and physical therapy. This kind of inter-professional collaboration is key, according to Fischer. The group is divided into two teams that rotate tasks every two weeks.

“One team stays and staffs the clinic, and the other is remote team that drives through the hills to provide health care to people who couldn’t make it to the clinic,” said Fischer.

Students also organize health fairs to educate local residents, which includes teaching children how to properly brush their teeth. In the past, students have collected things like toothbrushes, toothpaste and basic medical supplies to bring to Belize.

Marquette has offered this rotation for at least 15 years and sends at least six students each year. Because of funding the clinic receives from universities, it now offers scholarships for local students to pursue degrees in healthcare.

Fischer notes the program helps students understand different cultural norms regarding healthcare. The experience also exposes students to global clinical outreach and helps them decide if they want to pursue similar work after graduation.

Marquette’s Nursing Program also offers a four-week intensive clinical program in Peru focused on family health. According to Christine Schindler, clinical assistant professor in the College of Nursing, the program is a good opportunity for students to have an intensive experience in a country with different resources. The program has an emphasis on examining social justice issues in a more global perspective. Each summer Marquette sends 20 students to the clinic in Peru, both undergraduates and graduates.

The symposium on Friday will feature other panels focused on technology, promoting health and wellbeing and global health efforts in Milwaukee. The event will also feature a special keynote by Dr. Christopher Plowe, Professor of Medicine, of Microbiology and Immunology, and of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The Office of International Education is co-sponsoring the Global Health Symposium with the Center for Transnational Justice and Raynor Memorial Libraries.