Trinity SOM Students in Service to Children Abroad and Near Home

Trinity SOM Students in Service to Children Abroad and Near Home

Trinity Students and Graduates Demonstrate Their Service Initiatives for Children with both a Fundraising Effort in St. Vincent and by Volunteering Medical Services in Texas


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Trinity SOM Students Host a St. Baldrick's Head Shaving Fundraiser

Article by Gloria Williams, Journalist, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

On Friday, 4th July, students of Trinity School of Medicine participated in the St. Baldrick’s Foundation head-shaving event at the institution in Ratho Mill.

The event was organized by student, Dave Owings.  A number of students volunteered as ‘shavees’, having their heads shaved in a show of solidarity with children who suffer from childhood cancers.   Two students, Jamie Bailey and Kaley Stapley, volunteered as ‘cutters’.Trinity SOM St Baldricks Community Service2

The St. Baldrick's Foundation  is a charity that is volunteer-driven.  It is committed to funding research to find cures for childhood cancers.  The worldwide estimate for children who suffer from these diseases is about 175,000.   At these head-shaving events, volunteers petition their friends and relatives to act as their sponsors, donating money that ‘shavees’ give to the cause.

The activity was started by business executives of Irish origin, who had been observing St. Patrick’s Day having fun drinking in pubs. They decided to change the focus of their celebration and dedicate monies instead to the cause of helping children diagnosed with cancer.  The chemotherapy treatment, which the children undergo, causes their hair to fall out and so, that original group recruited volunteers who had their heads shaved in public in return for pledges of financial support.  

Actually, there is no Saint called Baldrick.  The name "St. Baldrick's" is a combination of the words "bald" and "St. Patrick's".  The celebrations usually take place on or just before St. Patrick’s Day, but events can be held at any time during the year.

As the medical students of Trinity lined up to have their hair removed, their fellow classmates were valiant in their support.  Each ‘shavee’ felt it was a worthwhile venture and presented him/herself unflinchingly to be shaved.  Event Organizer, Dave Owings, expressed overwhelming pride and gratitude that so many students were willing to volunteer.  Coming out of this session, there was a call for the activity to be repeated each Term. 

Trinity Students Fundraise for St. BaldricksAs St. Baldrick’s is about funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and giving survivors long, healthy lives, there could be no doubt about the value which participants bring to the event. According to the St. Baldrick’s website, “two-thirds of children treated for childhood cancer suffer long-term effects from treatment including loss of hearing and sight, heart disease, secondary cancers, learning disabilities, infertility and more”.  Hence, Trinity volunteers have made an excellent step towards contributing to this worthy cause.

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Trinity Alumni Volunteer Medical Care for Children on the South Texas Border


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Husband and wife Trinity School of Medicine Graduates Dr. Cory Wagner (picture in blue at left) and Dr. Tifani Wagner, recently volunteered their time and medical expertise in response to the surge of unaccompanied children crossing from Mexico into the U.S. from South and Central America.  The Wagners, residents of Texas, worked under Lead Medical Organizer, Dr. Martin Garza, a pediatrician from Edinburg, TX. 

2014 graduate, Dr. Cory Wagner, shared his account of the medical mission effort with us.

"Dr. Garza was happy to have us, and allowed us to team up with other volunteers. I was fortunate to work with and learn from a 4th year Trinity Grads Assist Texas Border4pediatric chief resident who was very knowledgeable and efficient while giving instructions  and even dropping a few teaching points as we moved from case to case.  Most cases ranged from dehydration to malnutrition and various types of infections; superficial and systemic.  The mobile triage unit was equipped with a mini pharmacy provided by donation efforts. Sacred Heart Church {and assisted by Circle of Health International} provided a hot meal, hot showers and tons of clothing donated by church members and national charities. Along with an interpreter we were able to see patients in need of medical attention as they were released from the border patrol station. They were then bused over to the church for assistance.  There were countless horror stories as the immigrants traveled from 15 to 30 days in most cases.  

Trinity Grads Assist Texas BorderSimply put, this was an effort to help out in any way that we could.  We have always wanted to go assist with earthquake and natural disaster relief efforts overseas but due to upcoming exams or financial circumstance these trips were not an option.  The Texas border is in my back yard (8 hr drive). In all it was a good experience and we learned a lot."

Topics: foreign medical school medical missions Community service medical student volunteers Caribbean medical schools Compare Caribbean medical schools study medicine abroad global medical program