The Jesuit Medical Mission team—comprised of Jesuit faculty Mrs. Jan Jones and Mr. Ben Kirby; students Spencer Adamson ‘11, Peter Chung ‘11, Synyoung Li ‘11, Philip Morton ‘12, Jimmy Nawalaniec ‘11, John Simion ‘12, and Vinay Srinivasan ‘12; social worker Ms. Kathy Bennett; and Dr. Rana Pasco, Dr. Rhonda Walton, and Dr. Yolanda Brady–are now two months away from the Medical Society’s medical mission trip to Panajachel, Guatemala.

 They will be gone from April 6 through April 10, and during that time will work non-stop at the clinic they will set up and staff.  Junior Vinay Srinivasan explains, “I have already turned in my passport and paid the dues and with Philip Morton and John Simion I’m going to pack medicine for the trip sometime soon.” The team just finished collecting all the medical supplies for the trip and are hoping to top last year’s accumulation of 450 pounds of medical supplies graciously given by the different grades of the Jesuit Community.

This year the Medical Society will be accompanied by three doctors who have agreed to go with them. When the students arrive in Panajachel they expect to see great poverty within the Mayan community where they will serve. When the Mayan families come to the small clinic that will serve as home base for the medical society, the students will triage each individual, taking his or her pulse and blood pressure, asking questions, and then sending the patient to the specialized doctor that can best treat his or her symptoms. The students will also teach pregnant women proper nutrition in order to give birth to a healthy baby. Meanwhile other students will work at the pharmacy stocked by the Jesuit Medicine drive,  the Medical Assistance Program, and many magnanimous private donors. At the pharmacy students will give patients their prescribed medicine as well as help them understand how and when to take it. The students will visit three clinics in different suburbs around Panajachel during their trip. Srinivasan also said, “I expect the trip to be a really enhancing experience… I’m very excited for this trip! It is going to be a great learning experience for all participating.” The hugs and long lines awaiting medical society participants at the clinic attest to the appreciation that our Guatemalan hosts have for the program. Medical Society moderator Mrs. Jones told me, “We are working virtually nonstop and our days are fast paced but very rewarding.” On behalf of the Medical Society, thank you everyone for your support and donations for the efforts to help the citizens of Panajachel.