Bold Times: Our World

Healing in Haiti

School of Nursing makes its first humanitarian trip to the country

UB School of Nursing’s students and Haitian translators in Haiti

UB in Haiti Participants in the School of Nursing’s recent trip to Haiti and their Haitian translators.

“The students and providers learn to always have an endless amount of compassion for their patients, whether they are rich, poor, healthy or unhealthy. That is something you cannot teach in a classroom.”
Molli Warunek

Helping others is intrinsic to UB nursing students, and its expression knows no boundaries. In April, 10 UB nursing students and a team of health professionals traveled to Haiti and, over the course of seven days, treated more than 800 patients ranging in age from 19 days to 91 years. The group served at a mobile clinic in Galette, a rural settlement where access to health care is difficult and poverty is commonplace. The students and professionals traveled each day in caged trucks to the clinic, where patients awaited their arrival.

Students cleaned and dressed wounds; treated respiratory illnesses, burns and scabies; provided antibiotics and other medication; and admin- istered fluoride varnish to 250 children. They also provided hygiene education sustainable in Haitian culture to help prevent future illness. Clinical assistant professors Molli Warunek (DNP ’15, MS ’04 & BS ’04) and Linda Paine Hughes (DNP ’15, PMCRT ’10 & MS ’91) accompanied the students on the school’s first humanitarian trip to the country.

The mission was supported by a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $5,000 from 66 donors to pay for medical supplies, translators and a small portion of students’ travel costs. Global initiatives like this expose students to diverse cultures and help raise awareness of the numerous health challenges faced by people around the world. Private support means even more students can experience the importance of providing much-needed care to underserved populations.

“I chose to participate in this Haiti trip because I believe we are called to help others,” says Arielle Brown, a School of Nursing alumna who traveled with the team to Haiti. “What a privilege it is to utilize the skills and knowledge I’ve learned while in nursing school to care for so many people in the beautiful nation of Haiti.”