Who are we?
Our aim and mission is to build medical and holistic healthcare capacity in partnership with the “Ciudad de Esperanza” in Coban, Guatemala, so that over a period of 5-10 years the community can be self sustaining in meeting their own health care needs. In keeping with Regis University’s mission as a “social projection,” to respond in solidarity and shared faith, hope, and love, with the people of Guatemala and to help our students encounter the “other side” of the immigration crisis at the US southern border.
+ The project begins each fall with the selection of 10-12 nursing, pre-med, and other pre-healthcare professional students, to help support an existing but rudimentary clinic in Coban, along with a medical team of physicians, nurses, and a pharmacist.
+ Interested Regis College students apply and interview for a spot on the team in September and those selected begin weekly meetings with the medical team during the fall semester to learn about Guatemalan history and culture and develop the skills necessary for clinical triage. During Spring Break in March, the Regis team will travel to Coban to run a primary care clinic, seeing patients all week, rotating through triage, shadowing an internist and pediatrician, and assisting in pharmaceutical, optical, and dental care.
+ The team will assist local community healthcare workers educate the community in healthcare practices such as the importance of clean drinking water, nutrition, dental hygiene, diabetes prevention and treatment, and newborn care. The team will partner with the Guatemalan company Ecofiltro to provide subsidized home water filters, and will stock the clinic pharmacy for a year.
+ The interfaith dimension of the trip underscores the centrality of faith in the context of holistic wellbeing (physical, mental, spiritual) and celebrates the diverse ways the human family expresses such faith. The Ciudad de Esperanza staff a full-time social worker and human rights advocate, and its founding priest, Padre Sergio Godoy, is guided by the vision of Catholic Social teaching.
+ The project empowers Regis students to begin their healthcare careers with an emphasis on learning from and serving marginalized communities. As needed, the medical team will provide virtual support to the community healthcare workers in Coban for follow-up of chronic patients.
+ With our partners in Coban, we hope to identify young persons with the aptitude and desire to be community health workers and/or to attend medical school, and to offer tuition support to those persons so that they might serve the community’s medical needs after completion of their training.
+ The projected budget for the project is $40,000 to 45,000 per year. Students will each contribute $500 and participate in fund-raising activities throughout the year. The medical team donates their time and services, though their airfare and related travel expenses are covered.
Medical director: Lauri Pramuk, MD – pediatrician and 1993 Regis College alumna B.A. English
Literature and B.S. Biology, and Romero House alumna
Other team members: Richard Walter, MD – internist; Stephanie Ibemere, PhD RN; Kristen Kellogg, BSN, RN; Eric Bertelesen, RPH, Pharmacist; Rabbi Abie Ingber – interfaith leader; Christopher Pramuk, PhD theology and Regis University Chair of Ignatian Thought and Imagination.