The College of Health Professions of Pacific University in collaboration with the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation, a non-profit organization, completed its fourth annual visit to Nicaragua in December 2010. During their ten-day stay, an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty from the dental health, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, and physician assistant programs provided direct care to Nicaraguan elders, educated caregivers, Nicaraguan physical therapy students and community volunteers, and worked within the community to increase awareness of the needs of the residents of the hogares. The team worked with Nicaraguan gerontologist and physician Dr. Milton Lopez to provide services to residents at La Providencia Hogar de Ancianos, in Granada, Hogar San Pedro Claver in Masaya, and Hogar Nuestras Hermanas in Juigalpa.
The team prepared for the trip by fundraising, gathering donations, and marketing. After returning from Nicaragua, occupational therapy students presented to students, faculty and the community about the Nicaragua Project and the Community Based Rehabilitation model and its potential usefulness both in developing countries and in the United States. The students also developed education-based activities for future generations participating in this project. The goal of this project is to assist each hogar in becoming self-sufficient in providing adequate healthcare to every one of its residents.
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