GW Students for Haiti (SFH) was founded after several students participated in the IMP organized Project Medishare medical missions to Haiti in both spring and summer of 2012. From these experiences, the students decided that a more positive impact could be made by working year-round to enhance the mission experience and help the people of Haiti. Under the guidance of IMP staff and faculty advisors, the first executive board comprised of two medical students and one public health student, along with the help of two nursing school graduates.
The purpose of SFH is to spread awareness, raise funds, and collaborate inter-professionally amongst students of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Milken Institute School of Public Health, and School of Nursing to create a better, more sustainable experience for the Project Medishare medical missions. In turn, we hope these activities will better the quality of life and health for the people of the Republic of Haiti. In creating sustainable programs in Haiti that implement the human right to health, we will also gain a deeper understanding of global issues related to health, disparity and development and be better equipped to promote health for all people in our careers after graduate school.
SFH is a student run organization that elects an executive board to lead its efforts each year. The club’s success is based on the commitment and collaboration of previous medical mission participants from all of the GW health science graduate schools (Milken Institute School, Nursing, Medicine, Physician Assistants).
- Mission Support
Each year, IMP organizes at least two Haiti medical missions with Project Medishare. All mission participants are automatic members of SFH for that year. The executive board supports the missions by promoting the mission experience to new students, participating in the pre-departure sessions, creating language and other trip resources for new participants and passing along knowledge gained from previous missions.
- Research Projects
All mission participants are split into project teams which are focused on a particular research question or program initiative identified as a need in Haiti by Project Medishare. Project teams are ideally composed of a mix of students from the various disciplines. These research projects aim to provide continuity between missions and sustainability to our efforts in Haiti every year. The project teams also give structure to the student’s experience and gradually we hope will create valuable data for Project Medishare to better understand the critical health and medical needs in Haiti.
- Raising Awareness
By holding fundraisers, lecture series and other events on campus, we hope to raise funds to purchase supplies that we bring on the medical missions and to raise awareness of the health disparities, development in Haiti.
If you are interested in joining GW SFH, attend the Haiti Medical Mission information sessions held by IMP every fall, apply to participate in a Project Medishare medical mission every spring and summer, or contact IMP directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss other ways to support the club throughout the year without traveling on the missions.