Global Outreach Grant Recipients


HealEx (project led by Drew Pierce, MPAS, PA-C)
Project Name:
“Puerta Abierta Movil – PAM”
Project Amount: $10,000
Puerta Abierta Móvil (PAM) is a free mobile clinic program that provides specialized care to sexually exploited and trafficked people in the Dominican Republic. The program is administered by Social Medicine International (SMI) DBA HealEx, a Utah-based nonprofit organization that specializes in mobile clinics for exploited people. The program collaborates with two main local organizations and the clinic is operated locally by a Dominican trained and licensed physician assisted by locally trained and licensed nurses. The mobile clinic aims to provide free, culturally appropriate mobile care to sexually exploited individuals who often lack access to healthcare and are exposed to traumatic injuries and emotional and psychological trauma. Over the last 12 months, PAM has provided needed care to over 100 exploited people in the Dominican Republic.

2024 Robert K. Pedersen Global Outreach Grants

OVI Children’s Hospital (project led by Iza Correll, PA-C)
Project Name:
“OVI Children’s Hospital Virtual Reality Therapy Initiative”
Project Amount: $10,150
This initiative seeks to improve both the physical and psychological health of chronically hospitalized pediatric patients at OVI Children’s Hospital in Migori, Kenya—a PA-founded hospital providing free 24/7 care to orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children. By offering immersive Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT) experiences, the program is designed to lessen pain, decrease anxiety, and minimize reliance on pain medications. The grant will enable the project team to lead the way in non-pharmacological treatments within pediatric care, leveraging innovative technology to meet the unique challenges these patients face. Additionally, it provides U.S. PA students with crucial experience in global pediatrics. The ultimate objective is to incorporate VRT into our hospital’s standard care practices, enhancing the quality of life for these children.

Partners for Andean Community Health (project led by Nidhi Reva, MPH, PA-C, Sarah Marjane, MPH, and David Guacho)
Project Name:
“Mobile Medical Clinic for Underserved Ecuadorian Communities”
Project Amount:
This grant will enable Partners for Andean Community Health (PACH), a visiting volunteer team led by Nidhi Reva, PA-C, of Nested, and locally-led Hospital FIBUSPAM to conduct a week-long mobile medical clinic in underserved Ecuadorian communities. This innovative and demonstrated-effective mobile medical clinic model removes barriers to care by traveling to communities with medical resources and personnel, and meeting those most in need directly where they are. The mobile clinic under this grant will provide direct healthcare to 800 community members across four geographically-remote communities in Chimborazo province, with an emphasis on primary care and women’s reproductive health.


Colorectal Team Overseas (project led by Lindsay Clarke, PA-C; Dr. Marc A. Levitt, M.D.)
Project Name:
“Colorectal Team Overseas Surgical Mission Trip to Tunisia”
Project Amount: $2,400
The requested funding will support Colorectal Team Overseas’ (CTO) surgical mission trip to Tunis, Tunisia (Children’s Hospital Bechir Hamza), in which PAs will play an integral role in planning and implementation. The objective of the proposed mission to Tunisia is three-fold and centers on 1) educating the local medical team; 2) performing corrective surgeries for an anticipated 20-30 children, and 3) participating in community outreach engagement with a team of dedicated community outreach volunteers. CTO is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to educating surgical teams in developing countries on the treatment of pediatric colorectal cases. CTO achieves its vision by sending its surgical team to sites where it can create a sustainable impact by educating the local physicians, while also providing children with life-changing colorectal operations.

Proyecto Florecer (project led by Erin Sherer, EdD, PA-C, RD)
Project Name:
“Nourishing Futures: Empowering Women through Nutrition Education at Proyecto Florecer”
Project Amount: $7,550
The Nourishing Futures Nutrition Education Program at Proyecto Florecer in Antioquia, Colombia, was developed to empower Colombian women to make healthy food choices, in part by enhancing participants’ knowledge of low-cost, nutrient-dense foods. While Proyecto Florecer has an established community kitchen that feeds many Colombian women daily, they currently do not have a program specifically dedicated to educating participants about how consuming nutrient-dense foods can result in family health improvements and overall well-being. Through this project, the PA lead (who is also a registered dietitian) will develop a nutrition education program that fits the particular circumstances of Colombian women, considering local foods and cultural considerations, and will help implement that program at Proyecto Florecer. Under the guidance of staff at Proyecto Florecer, the PA will adopt a culturally-sensitive approach to nutrition education for participants. By fostering collaboration with and providing training to the program staff at Proyecto Florecer, the staff will then be equipped to independently sustain and deliver the nutrition education program to participants after the initial implementation phase.

Salus University (project led by Huntur Woodard, PA-S; Lilly Rapps, PA-S; Cara Orr, PA-C, Faculty Sponsor; Jeanne-Marie Pucillo, PA-C, Faculty Sponsor)
Project Name:
“Medical Mission Trip for the Zacapa Department, Guatemala”
Project Amount: $10,000
Salus University PA students and faculty, who are practicing PAs, are working with Hearts in Motion to provide medical care to the Zacapa Department, Guatemala. Salus students and faculty will administer healthcare to five rural communities with healthcare access barriers. The patient encounters will be distributed to the local healthcare clinic of each community to initiate sustainable healthcare access. Salus will also distribute water filter systems to two communities with poor-quality water sources. This will help reduce the high prevalence of diarrheal diseases while improving the overall quality of life, especially with regard to complications of dehydration. The project aims to foster PA student growth in the realms of patient communication and recognition of social determinants of health. The students will measure these qualities before and after the project through self-evaluation questionnaires. Additionally, these qualities will be accessed by the first preceptor of the entire 2024 class to compare the students who attended the trip to the students who did not attend. This data allows Salus to investigate the impact of providing care to an underserved community on the development of PA students.

2023 Robert K. Pedersen Global Outreach Grants

Bay Path University (project led by Marie Meckel, MS, MPH, PA-C; Ericka L. Stoor-Burning, DHSc, MS, PA-C; Thomas DiDonna, DHSc, MSN, RN)
Project Name:
“American and Liberian PA Collaboration to Address Neonatal Asphyxiation in Liberia”
Project Amount: $5,000
Complications from neonatal asphyxiation can result in death or permanent neurological injury if not addressed immediately at birth. The incidence of perinatal asphyxia in high-resource countries is two per 1000 live births. The rate is substantially higher in low-resource countries with no adequate maternal and neonatal care access. In Liberia, it is estimated to be ten times higher than their high-resource country counterparts. For over a decade, Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) has educated birth attendants to recognize signs and symptoms of neonatal asphyxiation and interventions during the “Golden Minute.” The COVID-19 pandemic has stopped all HBB training across the globe. A virtual design can overcome this challenge, and implementation within a PA program can create sustainability. An ongoing collaboration over the past three years between Liberian and American PAs has resulted in a plan to implement a virtual HBB program format. Data demonstrates that a virtual format is as effective as in-person in clinical skills and knowledge assessment. The project goal is to expand this model, continue the training, and collect data.

Rhode Island Hospital (project led by Samantha Scaduto, PA-C; Kyle Denison Martin, DO, MPH; Kelsey Heck, PA)
Project Name:
“Structured Didactic Sessions to Improve Trauma Care at District Hospitals in Rwanda”
Project Amount: $10,000
This project involves the delivery of a structured trauma curriculum at five district hospitals in Rwanda to improve trauma capacity. The curriculum for this project was developed in 2015 as part of an effort to build trauma capacity in Kenya. It has since been delivered in Rwanda at University Teaching Hospital-Butare in 2021. The curriculum will be delivered longitudinally over two years with in-person training sessions every six months. The initial session will include the following topics: primary/secondary survey, airway management, head injury, blunt trauma (chest/abdomen/pelvis), extremity injury and splinting, burns, and hemorrhagic shock. It will also include skills training in airway management, hemorrhage control, cervical spine immobilization, chest tube placement, and ultrasound in trauma (FAST exam). Subsequent sessions will include training on pediatric trauma, geriatric trauma, and trauma in pregnant patients. The final training session will provide a refresher of prior teachings along with an OSCE for assessment of knowledge and skills.

Waukesha Free Clinic at Carroll University (project led by Aracelis Miranda Spindt, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA)
Project Name:
“Beat Diabetes with Healthy Lungs and Healthy Feet – Pneumovax/Diabetic Care Clinic”
Project Amount: $4,881
The Waukesha Free Clinic at Carroll University is the oldest free clinic in the state of Wisconsin. The clinic offers medical care, diagnostics, and medications free of charge. The clinic partnered with Carroll University in 2020 and has its health science students learn while serving. The majority of patients served at the clinic identify as Hispanic/Latino. This community is disproportionately affected by diabetes. Despite what the clinic can offer, it is not able to provide preventative vaccines to patients with diabetes due to cost. Many go without recommended preventative vaccines such as Pneumovax to prevent pneumonia. The Waukesha Free Clinic will use grant funding to fund a clinic for insulin-dependent diabetic patients to administer the Pneumovax 23 vaccine and provide diabetic foot exams and foot care education. The proposed clinic would be a one-day program exclusively carried out by the clinical PA students under the supervision of the program’s clinical faculty. The goals are to improve the health of underserved/uninsured diabetic patients by preventing hospitalizations and diabetic complications. In addition, the students would gain experience providing care and education to the most vulnerable in our community.


Free Clinic of Central Virginia (project led by Blakely Sproles, DMSc, PA-C; Jenna Rolfs, DMSc, PA-C; Melissa Shaffron, DMSc, PA-C; Joyce Nicholas, PhD)
Project Name:
“Expanding Access to Wound Care in Underserved Populations”
Project Amount: $10,000
Through this project, the Free Clinic of Central Virginia and University of Lynchburg PA Medicine program faculty and alum will continue to expand services to the underserved community of Central Virginia. This project increases access to wound and podiatry care to underserved populations who have chronic disease conditions. In addition to regularly providing wound care for chronic conditions, these patients would also be fitted and provided items like orthotics, surgical offloading shoes, CAM walker boots, offloading shoes, splints, and compressions stockings to treat various conditions such as diabetic ulcers, plantar fasciitis, post-op surgical wounds, bunions, varicose veins and venous insufficiency. These supplies will help expand healthcare preventative measures beyond the patient-provider relationship within the clinic. Patients scheduled for the clinic will be sized for and given appropriate supplies based on their diagnosis, ensuring the patient is fitted appropriately by a provider who specializes in wound and podiatry care.

Trinity Free Clinic (project led by Andrea Alarcon West, PA-S)
Project Name:
“Cardiovascular Health and Blood Pressure Control Education in the Underserved”
Project Amount: $10,000
This project is centered around a partnership with Trinity Free Clinic, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free medical, dental, vision, and integrated behavioral healthcare to uninsured, under-insured, low-income residents of Hamilton County, Indiana. The project focus is a year-long initiative providing comprehensive cardiovascular health screenings, blood pressure monitors, education, prescriptions, and patient care services to prevent long-term health complications.

2022 Robert K. Pedersen Global Outreach Grants

Community Empowerment (project led by Jessica Vlaming, PA-C)
Project Name:
“Diabetes Evaluation and Management Program in the Dominican Republic and Haiti”
Project Amount:
This Diabetes Evaluation and Management Program aims to implement a standardized protocol for routine HbA1c testing in underserved patients with diabetes in the DR and Haiti in order to improve providers’ abilities to evaluate progress and develop management plans, with the goal of improving glycemic control and decreasing poor health outcomes for patients with diabetes. This project will also establish a corresponding tracking system in the EMR to facilitate documentation and reporting of important information, reporting and analysis of data, continuity of care, and targeted patient outreach. PA students will be fully integrated into primary care operations in the Dominican Republic during a one-week global health trip and will help implement and analyze data related to this quality improvement project. This project supports ongoing community health initiatives led by Community Empowerment and local community leaders geared at improving patient access to quality care.

Friends of Shirati (project led by Blake Rogers, PA-C)
Project Name:
“Establishing Point-of-Care Ultrasonography (POCUS) in Shirati, Tanzania”
Project Amount:
This project will support five PA students and two clinical adjunct faculty of the James Madison University (JMU) PA program in the implementation of a point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) education program for 15 to 20 medical providers serving a 170-bed rural hospital in Shirati, Tanzania. In partnership with the non-profit Friends of Shirati, the JMU PA Program has an established clinical rotation at the Shirati Hospital, a regional rural hospital serving a population of over 200,000. While the hospital has one stationary ultrasound machine in the maternity ward, there is no option for bedside ultrasound, and getting patients to the ultrasound room can be cumbersome. Through this project, a hand-held ultrasound will be purchased for Shirati Hospital, and students (accompanied by PAs) will train the physicians and medical staff on the usage of the ultrasound at the bedside for point-of-care exams. This effort supplements the existing infrastructure within the Shirati Hospital, whose medical staff will directly sustain this project following initial implementation.

OVI Healthcare (project led by Taylor Thomas, PA-S; Emily Thimling, PA-C; Iza Correll, PA-C)
Project Name:
“OVI Fellows Hygiene and Sanitation Initiative”
Project Amount:
The OVI Fellows Hygiene and Sanitation Initiative will provide PA students with the opportunity to engage in research, education, service, and leadership while meeting a need for the patients and staff at OVI Children’s Hospital in Migori, Kenya. The objectives of the Initiative are to develop protocols that limit long-term hygiene costs, maximize health through increased sanitation, and cultivate competent future PA providers. For one year leading up to the launch of the Initiative in June 2023, a team of four PA students will participate in virtual Fellowship events, research infection prevention, build a hygiene and sanitation curriculum, and outline cost-effective protocols to implement at OVI Children’s Hospital. The Initiative will utilize sustainable hygiene and sanitation devices to improve hygiene practices. When the leadership team travels to Migori, Kenya, for the week-long OVI Global Pediatric Health Fellowship Experience, PA students will contribute to OVI care efforts by conducting child wellness exams, assisting with treatment plans, and commissioning the Initiative’s curriculum and protocols. Under the mentorship of OVI medical professionals, students will adopt a culturally-sensitive approach to healthcare delivery.


Physician associate/physician assistant Avery Kondik and Marc Levitt, MDColorectal Team Overseas (project led by Avery Kondik, PA-C, and Marc Levitt, MD)
Project Name:
“Colorectal Team Overseas Surgical Mission Trip to Egypt”
Project Amount: $9,420
Colorectal Team Overseas (CTO) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to educating surgical teams in developing countries on the treatment of pediatric colorectal cases. CTO achieves its vision by sending its surgical team to sites where it can create a sustainable impact by educating local healthcare providers, while also providing children with life-changing colorectal operations. Since its inception in 2007, CTO has performed surgeries on 426 children through 17 international mission trips in 13 countries and 4 continents. PA Foundation grant funding will support CTO’s surgical mission trip to Alexandria, Egypt (Nile of Hope Hospital) from January 31-February 4, 2022. The objective of the proposed mission to Alexandria is three-fold and centers on 1) educating the local medical team; 2) performing corrective surgeries to an anticipated 20-30 children, and 3) participating in community outreach engagement with a team of dedicated community outreach volunteers.

2021 Robert K. Pedersen Global Outreach Grants

Physician associates/physician assistants Chelsea LacasseMMS, and Ashley Hughes, MSPASCare New England – Kent Hospital Foundation (project led by Chelsea Lacasse, MMS, PA-C, and Ashley Hughes, MSPAS, PA-C)
Project Name:
“Stop the Bleed Rwanda”
Project Amount: $10,000
This project will be a collaborative effort by healthcare professionals from Care New England Medical Group, Brown University, the Rwanda Emergency Care Association (RECA) and Healthy People Rwanda (HPR). A total of 120 members of HPR will be provided with instruction in STOP THE BLEED (STB) during a total of 8 days of training. Members of RECA will assist with the training sessions, having been trained in a STB course earlier in the summer (June 2021). STB Training Kits will be donated to HPR so that organization members can conduct future training sessions. The expected outcome of this training is for 120 members of HPR to complete the STB course. A pre- and post-test will be provided to participants on the day of STB training. Following the training, knowledge retention and practical application of skills will be assessed at 3-month and 6-month intervals via survey questionnaire.

Physician associate/physician assistant Josie Hunt, MSPAS, MPH; Sahai Burrowes, PhD, MALD; and Sarah Sullivan, MSN, NP, MPH

Touro University (project led by Josie Hunt, MSPAS, MPH, PA-C; Sahai Burrowes, PhD, MALD; and Sarah Sullivan, MSN, NP, MPH)
Project Nam
e: “Assessing the Resilience of Humanitarian Organizations Working with Migrant Communities on the United States-Mexico Border: A Comparative Case Study”
Project Amount: $6,919
This project will support 15 PA students in executing their global health field studies at humanitarian border organizations serving migrant communities along the U.S.-Mexico border and conducting case study research on how their host field study organizations have adapted and retained organizational resilience in the face of many challenges during the 2018-2022 years. Touro University California MSPAS/MPH faculty and students will implement a mixed methods comparative case study research project from August 2021-July 2022 designed to better understand the needs of humanitarian organizations working along the U.S.-Mexico border. During their field-study internships, the 15 students will assist organizations and migrant populations with needs assessments, program evaluations, curriculum development, data analysis, health education material design, grant writing, etc. They will coordinate and collect data for a comparative case study research project that examines the resilience of these organizations and how they have responded and adapted to rapidly changing migration policies and infrastructure, the COVID-19 pandemic, and an increasing number of migrants seeking asylum.


Physician associates/physician assistants Tori Woodward and Kim StokesEast Carolina University PA Program (project led by Tori Woodward, PA-S, and Kim Stokes, PA-C)
Project Name:
“Helping Hondurans Help Hondurans – Interprofessional Global Health Experience”
Project Amount: $7,954.57
This project is a PA-led Interprofessional Allied Health Science Alternative Spring Break trip in March 2020. Working with the 501-c, non-profit Honduras Fountain of Life (HFoL), 25 students and 3 faculty will host three days of free medical and therapeutic brigades in rural mountain villages alongside local medical providers. Those local providers and the leaders in the communities are the key to sustainability through primary care preventative teaching. During the medical brigades, while patients are waiting to be seen, there will be educational sessions about common conditions and lifestyle modifications lead by locally trained leaders. Additionally, the U.S. team will work with the medical staff of the newly opened Honduran primary care clinic for a day of dual training. The Honduran providers will teach the students how to best work with patients from Central America and improve cultural understanding towards their future Latin American patients. This will be followed by U.S. team presentations to local leaders about basic first aid and healthy lifestyle modification. This project’s goal is to mold students into better providers while serving a community in need.

2019 Robert K. Pedersen Global Outreach Grants

Physician associates/physician assistants Jami Smith, MPA, MEd,, Emilee Thomas, MMS, MPA, and Carla Pardee, MSMayanza, Inc. (project led by Jami Smith, MPA, MEd, PA-C, Emilee Thomas, MMS, MPA, PA-C, and Carla Pardee, MS, PA-C)
Project Name:
“Santiago Schools Community Health Program”
Project Amount: $10,000
This project aims to improve the health of an indigenous Mayan community in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, through health education and disease prevention. Mayanza is a not-for-profit charitable corporation created by three PAs using public health strategies to improve the health of school children. Mayanza’s interprofessional teams composed of healthcare professionals including PAs and PA students travel biannually, exposing them to health disparities in this developing country. In addition, Mayanza supports a community health educator position to provide health education in the schools throughout the year. Broadly, this program will expand upon a proven, evidence-based program of health education and interventions focusing on soil-transmitted helminth treatment and prevention as well as anemia treatment in a school community. Mayanza has developed and implemented this project in schools in the community of Santiago. With the funds from this grant, the project will be scaled up to focus on the community of the schools, specifically the families of the children attending school. By providing education and resources for health prevention to this group, the health of the community as a whole will be improved.

Physician associate/physician assistant Jessica Vlaming, MSCommunity Empowerment (project led by Jessica Vlaming, MS, PA-C)
Project Name:
“A Diabetes Screening Program in Haiti and the Dominican Republic”
Project Amount: $10,000
Community Empowerment (CE) is a nonprofit organization that provides essential, free healthcare for patients in Jerusalem, Haiti, and Villa Verde, Dominican Republic. For many members of these communities, the CE global health trips are the only available source of consistent primary care. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of many conditions that is treated regularly in both communities; however, data suggests a high rate of residents are living with undiagnosed, untreated diabetes. Due to limited funding and resources, there is currently no standardized program to screen for DM. This project, led by a PA coordinator, will develop and implement a pilot screening program in the Jerusalem and Villa Verde communities over the course of the next year. Currently, a random glucose test is the only method of testing for DM, and while it may be a useful diagnostic test, it is not recommended for routine screening. This project will follow the guidelines recommended by the American Diabetes Association to use point-of-care Hemoglobin A1c tests to effectively screen and diagnose DM, as well as monitor glycemic control in patients that are being treated for DM. Proper diagnosis and management of DM is imperative to prevent risks such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and kidney disease.


Physician associate/physician assistant Patrick W. O'BrienHealth Horizons International (project led by Patrick W. O’Brien, PA-C)
Project Name:
“Connecting Communities to Primary Healthcare in the Dominican Republic”
Project Amount: $8,640
Health Horizons International (HHI) is a U.S. non-profit organization and Dominican charitable organization whose mission is to improve community health in the Dominican Republic (DR) by strengthening local capacity for quality primary health care and public health. HHI has three main program areas: 1) empowering community health workers; 2) strengthening the primary care system; and 3) promoting access to quality healthcare and public health programs. This project is a series of primary health care field clinics, which supports the final priority area of increasing access to quality healthcare in the Dominican Republic. The Quinnipiac University PA Program has partnered with HHI since the organization’s founding, and HHI has since welcomed practicing PAs, including several who graduated from the QU PA program and volunteered as students. Three times per year, HHI staff, local partners, and international medical service trip volunteers conduct a series of primary health care field clinics to provide consultation, clinic and home appointments, and training to allow for continued improvement in the local healthcare system. In between service trips, PA students prepare by studying the Dominican culture and learning about the healthcare system.

2018 Robert K. Pedersen Global Outreach Grants

Physician associate/physician assistant Joy Dugan, MPH, DHSc; Sahai Burrowes, PhD, MALD; and Sarah Sullivan, MSN, MPHTouro University (project led by Joy Dugan, MPH, DHSc, PA-C; Sahai Burrowes, PhD, MALD; and Sarah Sullivan, MSN, MPH)
Project Name:
“Supporting Global Health PA Education for Vulnerable Populations in Uganda and Bolivia”
Project Amount: $8,000
The Touro University California (TUC) Master of Science in PA Studies/Master of Public Health (MSPAS/MPH) Program aims to support MSPAS/MPH students in conducting health projects in their global health field study rotations in Uganda and Bolivia. The TUC MSPAS/MPH program has ongoing partnerships with the African Community Center for Social Sustainability (ACCESS) Organization in Uganda and the Programa de Coordinación en Salud Integral (PROCOSI) organization in Bolivia, and TUC has organized over 70 MSPAS/MPH students in global health field studies since 2011. The grant money will be used to support two students to work with a partner in Uganda and two students to work with a partner in Bolivia on specific health projects. The four MSPAS/MPH students require funds to use their education, dedication to service, and research skills to conduct two community health needs assessments in Uganda and organize and evaluate a digital health conference in Bolivia. Supporting these activities will further the social justice mission of the TUC MSPAS/MPH program and its global partners to improve access to quality healthcare for the most vulnerable populations.

Physician associate/physician assistant Avery Kondik, PA-C, and Marc Levitt, MDColorectal Team Overseas (project led by Avery Kondik, PA-C, and Marc Levitt, MD)
Project Name:
“CTO Medical Mission Trip to Da Nang, Vietnam”
Project Amount: $8,395
Colorectal Team Overseas’ upcoming medical mission trip to Da Nang, Vietnam, Hospital for Women and Children has the following objectives: educate the local medical team; perform corrective surgeries to an anticipated 35 children; and participate in community outreach engagement. Colorectal Team Overseas (CTO) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to educating surgical teams in developing countries on the treatment of pediatric colorectal cases. CTO achieves its vision by sending its surgical team to sites where it can create a sustainable impact by educating the local physicians, while also providing children with life-changing colorectal operations. There is significant need in Da Nang, Vietnam, paired with a great desire among local caregivers to acquire more advanced colorectal surgical skills. For patients suffering from colorectal abnormalities, the majority of children have received an initial colostomy at birth and are awaiting definitive colorectal reconstruction. Additionally, many children have undergone previous operations but have complications related to that surgery and require a reoperation. The grant funding will financially support CTO’s upcoming trip to Vietnam (February 25, 2019 to March 1, 2019), in which PAs will play a key role. The collaborative effort will result in the treatment of approximately 25-40 pediatric colorectal cases, while also providing an educational foundation that will enable the local pediatric team to continue to provide surgical treatments after CTO has left.


Physician associate/physician assistants Jami Smith, MPA, MEd, DFAAPA; Emilee Thomas, MMS, MPH; and Carla Pardee, MS, PA-CMayanza, Inc. (project led by Jami Smith, MPA, MEd, DFAAPA, PA-C; Emilee Thomas, MMS, MPH, PA-C; and Carla Pardee, MS, PA-C)
Project Name:
“2018 School Intervention”
Project Amount: $4,250
Mayanza, Inc., is a not-for-profit charitable corporation created by three PAs who saw the extreme need for basic health and hygiene education for the indigenous Mayan population of Guatemala. The goal of this project is to improve the health of school children in Guatemala through health screenings, treatment and education. Two trips will occur in 2018, through which each child will receive a full screening physical exam including measurements of growth and vision screening as well as a dose of anti-parasite medication. In addition, all children will receive dental screening, oral and hand hygiene education, and fluoride varnish application, as well as a toothbrush, toothpaste and bar of soap. The team will also implement a train-the-trainer project by partnering with a local educator and teaching her the oral and hand hygiene education curriculum. Another important aspect of this project is to establish an electronic medical record for the purpose of tracking change over time and collecting data to analyze for outcomes of these interventions.

Physician associate/physician assistant Jason Prevelige, PA-C, and Stuart HirschOperation Endeavor (project led by Jason Prevelige, PA-C, and Stuart Hirsch)
Project Name:
“EMS Rescuer System Development”
Project Amount: $7,758
Operation Endeavor is a non-profit organization with the mission of bringing training and education of rescue and emergency medicine skills to developing regions of the world, while supporting public health and safety. To date, Operation Endeavor has conducted 12 missions and trained over 70 individuals, and has the ultimate goal of establishing formal EMS systems in areas of need as well as ensuring that the systems are self-sustaining. The focus of this project is to support emergency medical rescue training in Haiti and Nicaragua. Through the utilization of best practices from the realms of public safety and EMS, this all-volunteer team (which includes multiple PAs) will work to develop a cadre of trained individuals in each area of focus, with the long-term goal of establishing formal emergency medical services systems in these areas of great need.

St. Catherine University (project led by Donna DeGracia, Mary Hearst, and Paula Rabaey)
Project Name:
“Improving the Lives of Children with Disabilities in Zambia”
Project Amount: $3,322.90
While the exact number of children with disabilities in Zambia is not completely known, it is recognized that many children have disabilities due to preventable conditions. St. Catherine University and partners have received an initial grant to support work to improve the lives of children with disabilities in Zambia. Through this effort, an inter-professional group will work to train community workers to provide much-needed screening, early intervention, and community-based therapy for children with disabilities. The Global Outreach Grant will supplement that work by creating a teaching module on prevention and emergent referral and enabling the purchase of supplies and materials to implement that portion of the larger community curriculum. In addition, the grant will support the involvement of PA students, who will travel to Zambia with faculty to help monitor the training, modify the curriculum, and assist in additional training of community workers and/or trainers as needed.

2017 Robert K. Pedersen Global Outreach Grants

Physician associate/physician assistant Michael TaylorThree Strands (project led by Michael Taylor, PA)
Project Name:
“Water Sanitation, Filtration, and Education”
Project Amount: $3,272.73
Boyele, Central African Republic, is a village of 1000+ people that has no functioning public water system. Most people get their water from rivers, streams, and hand dug wells. Boyele was hit particularly hard by the recent round of sectarian violence due to the predominance of one particular tribe. The goal of this project is to alleviate the suffering caused by water-borne diseases by providing one Sawyer Filtration System to each of 100+ households in Boyele. Each household will be interviewed by a Three Strands medical professional and issued one Sawyer Water Filtration Unit per family upon successful completion of the interview. The team will interview the same family members six months later with the hopes of seeing a well-functioning filtration system, better educated citizens, and less water-borne disease.

Physician associate/physician assistant Robert V. Marchese, MS; Nora Lowy, PhD, MPA; and Tara Igneri, MS

Wagner College PA Program (project led by Robert V. Marchese, MS, PA-C; Nora Lowy, PhD, MPA, PA-C; and Tara Igneri, MS, PA-C)
Project Name:
“Expansion of the Women’s Health Initiative: Making an Impact on Neonatal Mortality in Guatemala”
Project Amount: $10,000
The Wagner College PA Program embarked on its global health initiative in 2013, working to make an impact on health conditions in remote Latin American communities. On medical mission trips to Guatemala, while visiting indigenous Mayans of the Lake Atitlan region, volunteers learned about the area’s high maternal and infant mortality rates. A culturally sensitive educational program was developed and implemented to educate indigenous women and lay midwives on handling vaginal births and birthing complications such as post-partum hemorrhage. The purpose of this project is to take the next step forward: addressing the rate of infant mortality. The project begin with a “train-the-trainer” initiative that will involve training students to become educators of neonatal resuscitation techniques. A key principle will be the “Golden Minute,” a vital concept based on the fact that a newborn should be breathing well or ventilated with a bag and mask in the first minute of life.


Physician associate/physician assistant Keith Young, DHSc, DFAAPAClarkson University Students Without Borders (submitted by Keith Young, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA)
Project Name:
“Providing Access to Quality Care in the Dominican Republic”
Project Amount: $2,000
Clarkson University SWOB runs a one-week primary care/urgent care clinic in an underserved community of the Dominican Republic. The clinic is staffed by S2 and S3 PA students who have completed a procedures course and at least one clinical rotation, along with 5-10 preceptors (PA-C, NP, MD/DO). All patient visits are a one-to-one patient-student ratio with assessment and plan approved by preceptors and translated with the help of hired translators. The clinic is geared towards family medicine and patients of all ages. Individual patient education is provided with each visit as well as in group “charlas” on nutrition, hygiene, and preventative measures the community can take to reduce risk for chronic illnesses. Medications (if necessary) and hygiene bags (including toothbrushes, toothpaste, band-aids, floss, sunscreen, etc.) are given with each visit.

Physician associate/physician assistant Grace Roman TapiaFIBUSPAM, Inc. (submitted by Grace Roman-Tapia, PA-C)
Project Name:
“Medical Mission to Earthquake Affected Region of Ecuador”
Project Amount: $3,470
Experienced PAs and PA students will collaborate with FIBUSPAM, a non-profit clinic based in Ecuador, to provide direct care to earthquake victims on the coast of Ecuador. The team of traveling PAs and FIBUSPAM staff will work in three selected communities in the suburbs of Pedernales, the region hardest hit by the earthquake, that currently do not have access to general healthcare. The focus will be on diagnosing and treating common health conditions and improving health education. By building on that trust, the team will be able to reach to a broader group of people in need.

Jacquelyn Borst_Intl Impact Med FdnInternational Impact through Medicine Foundation (submitted by Jacquelyn Borst, MSPAS, PA-C)
Project Name:
“Chronic Disease Management Program in Honduras”
Project Amount: $5,742
In partnership with a Honduran organization, Amor sin Fronteras, International Impact through Medicine Foundation will establish a formal chronic disease management program focusing first on hypertension in three communities in Honduras – Zambrano, El Espino and San Francisco. Its goal is to enroll 200 patients with hypertension in the program. These patients will receive regular follow-up visits from medical professionals every six months as well as blood pressure checks every two months. The organization will also train community health workers to assist with follow-up for these patients.

2016 Robert K. Pedersen Global Outreach Grant

Physician associate/physician assistant Janet DittoThe Dream Project, Inc. (submitted by Janet Ditto, PA-C)
Project Name:
“The Dream Project, Mozambique”
Project Amount: $12,000
This project is centered around education, capacity building, and health education for vulnerable children in Cabo Del Gado, Mozambique, Africa. Capacity building through education is essential to break the cycle of poverty. The children assisted by The Dream Project come from high-risk families that are unable to provide for their basic needs. Project funding will be used to support a daily feeding program that provides nutritious meals to children enrolled in the program, rice and other foods to HIV widows in the community, educational materials for children, and funding to assist with health evaluations, medications, and costs of labwork.


MEDEX Northwest and Health Leadership International
Project Name:
“Physician Associate skill-based training in the Lao PDR”
Project Amount: $9,200
Build a quality and competency-based PA training program on non-communicable diseases (NCDS) that is based upon the US PA model and curriculum at the College of Health Sciences (CHS) in Luang Prabang.

Emory University PA Program
Project Name: “Designing a HIV Prevention Curriculum for Migrant Farmworkers in Georgia: A Health Professions Student Collaborative”
Project Amount: $4,017
Project will be conducted during 2015 SGFHP weeks and the fall SGFHP weekend in October with HIV Prevention Curriculum tested and rolled out in October 2015.

Three Strands
Project Name:
“Malaria Education, Eradication, and Treatment Program in Bangui, Central African Republic”
Project Amount: $5,500
Provide education, mosquito nets, and urgent medical care for those suffering with an acute malarial episode which is impacting 400 households in the Ngola 2 neighborhood of Bangui.

2015 Robert K. Pedersen Global Outreach Grants

Arcadia University (submitted by Donna Agnew, PA-C)
Project Name:
 “A Medical and Public Health Mission in Nicaragua”
Project Amount: $14,660
Medical supplies, equipment and medication to conduct health screenings and provide patient care services (including chronic disease treatment) in two Nicaraguan communities.

Carilion Medical Center (submitted by Wilton Kennedy, PA-C)
Project Name:
 “Magale Health Project”
Project Amount: $8,951.83
Supplies and patient education materials focused on vision, albinism, and maternal and newborn health in Uganda.

Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania (submitted by Tara Rick, PA-C)
Project Name:
“Dispensary Level Cancer Education in Tanzania”
Project Amount: $5,950
Cancer education and training for healthcare providers in Tanzania, focused on prevention and early detection of breast and cervical cancer, patient education, and referral process.


Athens Orthopedic Clinic
Project Name:
“Orthopedic Mission to Haiti,” Terrier Rouge, Haiti
Project Amount:
Equipment, medications and supplies for a medical service trip by PAs, orthopedic surgeons and other physicians to train Haitian doctors and staff at a clinic serving impoverished Haitians

Clean Water for the World
Project Name:
“Rehabilitation and Modification of Rainwater Collection System,” San Juan Los Planes, Quezaltepeque, El Salvador
Project Amount:
Supplies to repair a rainwater collection system in El Salvador to prevent health problems caused by unclean water and poor sanitation

Quinnipiac University PA Program and Health Horizon International
Project Name:
“Medical Service Trip,” Puerto Plata Region, Dominican Republic
Project Amount:
Medications, supplies and training materials for faculty and PA students working with community health workers in underserved areas of the Dominican Republic

Miami Dade College and The House Portable Medical Care
Project Name: “Rural Central Florida Health Outreach”
Project Amount:
Medical supplies and furnishings for PA students to provide medical services and educational resources to underserved and uninsured residents in central Florida.


Quinnipiac University PA Program and Health Horizon International
Project Name: “Medical Service Trip,” Dominican Republic
Project Amount:
Medications, supplies and training materials for PA students working with community health workers in underserved areas of the Dominican Republic


Quinnipiac University PA Program and Health Horizon International
Project Name:
“Medical Service Trip,” Dominican Republic
Medications, supplies and training materials for PA students working with community health workers in underserved areas of the Dominican Republic

Proteus Migrant Health
Support for a program providing mobile primary healthcare to workers and their families in Iowa, either at their homes or workplaces

Le Moyne College Physician Assistant Project in South Sudan
Medical supplies, medicine and medical education materials for the Le Moyne College PA Program to provide to the South Sudan Department of HIV/AIDS in order to take preventive measures for the impeding HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Sudan


Augsburg College PA Program
Project Name: “Proyecto Clinica Rural Movil”
Medical equipment and educational materials to help establish long-term sustainability of mobile units serving medically underserved rural areas in Nicaragua, which Augsburg College PA students visit as part of a clinical rotation in international medicine

Peacework Medical, Ghana
Educational materials, supplies, and medications for clinics in urban and rural sites in Ghana at which a team of PAs, physicians, nurses, and health educators provide care for homeless and other underserved individuals

Catherine A. Hoelzer, MPH, PA-C
Project Name: “Health Education for Southern Sudan”
Health and medical educational materials to train Sudanese health workers who run primary care centers and provide basic health and sanitation education for communities in southern Sudan