NYIT Students and Faculty Provide Medical and Health Services in Haiti and Ghana


NYIT Students and Faculty Provide Medical and Health Services in Haiti and Ghana

September 18, 2015

Students and faculty members from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and School of Health Professions made a difference in the lives of underserved people during summer 2015 service trips to Haiti and Ghana. NYIT Center for Global Health organized the trips. Participants performed pediatric screenings for malnutrition; vision, hearing, and physical evaluations; and some medical procedures. They also provided communities with information about healthcare and medical issues such as malaria.

"One day when we went to the trauma clinic, there was a 70-year-old woman with a proximal femur fracture who had been lying down and not moving for a week," recalled Jessica Limtao, a graduate student in NYIT's Doctor of Physical Therapy program and participant in the service trip to Haiti. NYIT students helped formulate pre- and post-operative treatment plans for the patient and demonstrated exercises to a family member involved in her recovery.

NYIT Dean Patricia Chute, Ed.D., remembered the same case as highlighting the best efforts of a group with expertise in osteopathic medicine, physical and occupational therapies, and physician assistant studies. "I had an amazing experience in Haiti watching our students interact as a true team as they made patient care plans in collaboration with NYIT faculty members and local healthcare professionals," she said.

Haiti Trip

For the third year, NYIT collaborated with Haitian Christian Outreach on a service trip in Haiti. Four faculty members and eight students visited Peredo, southeast of the country's capital. View photos:

NYIT's multidisciplinary team of students was led by faculty members Kelly Lanvin (second from left), Patricia Chute, Ed.D. (wearing a dress), Brookshield Laurent, D.O. (wearing a stethoscope around her neck), and Zehra Ahmed, M.B.B.S. (B.S. '04, second from right).

Team NYIT helped develop a pre- and post-operative treatment plan for a patient with a fractured leg.

"Going through the global health program allowed me to learn what healthcare is like in other countries," said NYITCOM student Kalle Yee, shown taking the blood pressure of a Haitian child, "and it provided me with an opportunity to work alongside other healthcare professionals and gain an interdisciplinary education."

NYITCOM students Rachael Abboud and Kalle Yee and physician assistant studies student Tracy Riedinger worked with an OB/GYN at one of the Haitian clinics. "I learned it is not enough to make care available," said Reidinger. "One must penetrate the barriers to care within the culture in order for that care to be accepted, utilized, and sustainable."

Ghana Trip

Fourteen medical students accompanied NYITCOM faculty members on a three-week service trip in Osiem, Ghana. They provided medical services and lectured on health topics at Hawa Memorial Savior Hospital, visited rural clinics, and donated 500 pounds of supplies to area facilities. View photos:

NYITCOM student David Guernsey examined a child in the emergency department of a hospital. Guernsey was awarded the Kean Fellowship Award from the American Society of Tropical Medicine to study typhoid disease while in Ghana.

Michael Passafaro, D.O., helped to deliver a child, the fifth birth he's assisted with during his travels in Ghana.


NYITCOM student Alexander Nello helped perform a C-section.

Malaria Play

Team NYIT traveled to a school in Ghana's Ashanti region and performed an educational play about preventing malaria.