MANITOWOC, Wis. — While college students often head to the beach over spring break, this group spent their week off in service of others.
Seven Silver Lake College nursing students traveled to the impoverished Caribbean country of Haiti in mid-March to provide medical service and education to its people. They partnered with St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Newton, in cooperation with the Diocese of Green Bay.
Brianna Neuser, the college’s director of nursing, was among those guiding the trip. Sister Maria Marciano, a missionary for 22 years, hosted the group.
Prior to their departure, the students held a drive for medical supplies, such as pain relievers, multivitamins, antibacterial ointment, gauze and tape.
“We were able to provide health care to over 500 people and look forward to developing this clinic as an annual event,” Neuser said.
“They were all very excited to have us there,” said senior nursing student Jennifer Garceau, who found it gratifying to be able to give the patients a sense of relief.
“It’s an eye-opener to see that people live without access to clean water and fresh food,” she said. “The biggest thing that I took away is whether you are treating patients with insurance in the United States or people in poverty-stricken Haiti, you give them the same care.”
Dr. Patrick W. Carey was in Haiti when the group set up a medical clinic in Los Cacaos. He is emeritus professor in theology at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
“Brianna and her students were well organized and efficient in constructing a workable clinic in primitive conditions,” he said in a letter to the college. “I was impressed with the care they gave the people, treating them with dignity and respect.”
Dr. Carey praised the nursing students and the college.
“This nursing program in Haiti fulfills one of the major goals of a Catholic College — providing service and care to the poor of the world,” he said. “Congratulations to Silver Lake for doing what a Catholic college should be doing to demonstrate a commitment to learning, service and social justice.”
In addition to Garceau, participating nursing students included Lindsey Brennan, Devin Kosarzycki, Der Lee, Megan O’Shea, Morgan Orsburne and Hnubci Yang.
More photos can be seen here.
PHOTO: Silver Lake College senior nursing student Megan O’Shea, right, works with a patient during the college's Haiti Mission Trip over spring break. Photo courtesy of Nursing Program.