Service Learning Trips
Dedicated to providing culturally sensitive care to those affected by disaster, both domestically and internationally, TEAC relief teams provide mobile, sub-acute medical care in disaster torn areas. All TEAC trips are planned in partnership with government agencies and local health organizations in the country, state or city where our teams travel. It is our strong belief that only by first asking how we can be of service, can we then actually provide medical relief.
In Spring 2019, TEAC elected to return to Puerto Rico to provide follow up care as well as address new clinical needs in the aftermath of the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria which made landfall in August and September 2017, respectively. The two hurricanes left many Puerto Ricans without clean water, electricity and access to medical care. Last year’s team found a heightened need for mental health services, and we were interested as a team to see if and how these needs had changed twelve months later. Our TEAC team visited the island between 3/30/19 and 4/8/19 where we held clinics in three rural towns, performed two days of multi-team house calls, visited patients at a senior care facility, and participated in a community health fair.
Our efforts were comprehensive and collaborative—each day we were assisted by about 30 volunteers from the local community. As a unified team, our 17 LKSOM medical students (15 MS1s, 1 MS3, 1 MS4 ), three Temple physicians, various specialists, allied health professionals, medical students, and community members from Puerto Rico were able to attend to approximately 300 patients in six days in Vieques, Patillas and Humacao. By coordinating with local doctors, we were able to offer a broad selection of services including general medicine, psychiatry, cardiology, gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology, neurology, and otolaryngology. Not a single patient was turned away. We provided services such as pap smears, vaccinations, blood glucose screenings, electrocardiograms, and ultrasound services.