Montana Outreach Clinic in Mexico
“I was deeply moved by the graciousness of our welcome, the exuberance and beauty of the kids and the deep commitment to social justice and service on the part of the staff.”
~ Carroll chemistry professor Dr. Kyle Strode
Over winter break, the Montana Outreach Clinic, including six Carroll pre-med students, three alumni medical practitioners (2 MDs and a DNP) and a faculty advisor, traveled to Santa Maria del Mexicano orphanage in Colon, Mexico,
Over the span of the week, the group provided service to 200 children ages 3-21 including general exams, fluoride, albendazol, and eye exams. For senior Kerri McInnis, this was her third trip to Santa Maria in three years. Below are her impressions of the progression of the program from two different vantage points.
Over the last three years, Montana Outreach Clinic has taken three pre-medical student groups down to Santa María, along with faculty members. It’s been wonderful to see the progression of the program from two different standpoints — both here at Carroll and at Santa María. One of the most heartwarming parts of it for me, having been on all the trips, has been the ability to form relationships with the children, professors, and directors of Santa Maria. I’ve seen kids who were two years old on our first trip, who are now five, and watching them grow over this time has been so fun. The children at Santa María have grown to trust and befriend us, as have the staff and directors. So it’s been really fulfilling to see the relationships between our group and Santa María grow over the last couple years and to see the long-lived involvement of Carroll at Santa María continue.
It’s also been really rewarding for me personally to see such an interest in the Montana Outreach Clinic here at Carroll, both from students and faculty. We’ve put so much effort into making this a fruitful, yet feasible, trip for CC students, so it’s fun to see such interest and involvement. I think the more and more trips we go on, the more students who have been on the trips are able to come back home and spread the word about their time at Santa María and encourage other students to go. We’ve also had excellent faculty leaders, who are an integral part of the team and help to mentor the students through the trip. I’m sure these prominent faculty members help a lot in garnering interest.
Although I’m graduating in May, I’m excited to see the future of Montana Outreach Clinic. I know it will continue to serve the community at Santa María, while also providing invaluable opportunities to the students of CC.
In addition, while in Mexico, Professor Strode dusted off his Spanish skills and taught the resident students some chemistry. View this short video of his chemistry lesson in Spanish.
Professor Strode shared the following about his experience, “When I went to Mexico to help with the Santa Maria Medical Outreach Clinic, I was mentally prepared and anticipating a great experience serving the staff and children at the school. What I didn’t realize was how much I would be changed by the experience. I was deeply moved by the graciousness of our welcome, the exuberance and beauty of the kids and the deep commitment to social justice and service on the part of the staff. For several years, I think I’ve been avoiding pressing my internal ‘reset’ button. But fortunately, this experience helped me to do just that – to reposition my priorities in life, to be more intentionally connected to my family, friends, students and Carroll colleagues in valuing every moment of my interpersonal interactions, and to re-energize my own commitment to help others.”
To see more photos from their trip, visit https://www.facebook.com/MTOutreachClinic/.