Nursing Professor Provides Humanitarian Aid in Latin America

Dominican University nursing professor Dr. Peggy Goebel is volunteering this summer with Project HOPE, a non-profit, humanitarian aid organization that partners with the U.S. Navy to reach out to regions in Latin America in need of medical care.

Project HOPE volunteers and U.S. Navy medical personnel departed on June 15 on a 12-city, 12-country humanitarian assistance mission to Central and South America on board the hospital ship USNS Comfort.

Staffed with Project HOPE volunteer doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, the U.S. Navy hospital ship will visit coastal communities in Belize, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, and Surinam. Project HOPE will send 88 volunteers on this mission, in four rotations, each lasting approximately 23 days, to help treat an expected 85,000 patients – including 55,000 children. 

Dr. Goebel teaches Cultural Diversity and Health in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program. She will provide medical assistance in Belize, Guatemala, and Panama during her rotation.

Dominican’s nursing program has had a strong history of volunteerism among both faculty and students, notes Dr. Barbara Ganley, MSN Program director. “It is the nature of nurses to volunteer and to help our communities,” says Dr. Ganley.

Nursing faculty currently are volunteering time with Ritter Center, the California Institute of Nursing and Health Care, the Health Council of Marin, the Environmental Health Network, the Marin Education Fund, and the Child Abuse Prevention Council, notes Dr.  Ganley.

Along with the volunteer support, Project HOPE is seeking to provide an estimated $6 million worth of donated medicines (including vaccines, antibiotics, and basic supplies) in support of each operation.

Posted June 29, 2007