SHS students in Guatemala, April 2015

For many WSU Spokane health sciences students, summer is a season of work. Some are making money to pay next year’s tuition and living expenses, while others are serving internships or clinical rotations. Most of those school-related sessions are located in Spokane or the state of Washington.

But some require extensive travel. The unofficial “Traveling the farthest distance this summer” award goes to the students who will travel to rural Guatemala on August 7. It’s a delegation of 10 WSU and Eastern Washington University students, led by EWU Communications Disorders graduate program director Roberta Jackson. They’re part of a group sponsored by the Hearts in Motion organization, which takes humanitarian trips to Zacapa, Guatemala several times a year.

WSU and EWU participate in two mission trips each year.

In March, WSU clinical associate professor Amy Meredith takes small groups of Speech and Hearing (and this year, Nursing and NEP) students to Zacapa. The photo above shows Dr. Meredith (second from left), her five SHS students and a speech-language pathologist from California last April. Also going this year were Vicky Sattler from the College of Nursing and WSU pharmacist Alyson Blum, who plans to bring Pharmacy students next April.

The students work in rural clinics and at the local hospital, helping to care for students who undergo cleft palate-related surgeries performed by Spokane surgeons. They also provide basic health care and nutrition and lifestyle information to children and families.

Some of the students view the Guatemala experience as life changing and one that will help them as they move into their careers after graduation.

You can read about the students’ March adventure in Speech and Hearing Sciences’ 2015 Wavelength newsletter. Scroll down to page 6.