Global Public Service Academy for Health

Maumee Valley is excited to partner with the extraordinary faculty and undergraduates from Duke University and Johns Hopkins University to become part of the Global Public Service Academy for Health.
Our first program will be a Fall of 2019 Intensive in Xela, Guatemala. Accepted students will follow a curriculum developed by Duke University for high school students working in the developing world. Pre-trip sessions will be co-taught by Maumee Valley faculty members and members of the GPSA faculty. Students will explore community and social issues in Guatemala, develop their cross-cultural understanding and learn basic medical interventions like measuring blood pressure, blood glucose, heart rate, respiration rate, and temperature. On-site in Xela, students will stay with host families, work in medical clinics and receive daily language instruction in Spanish.

This is an incredible opportunity, but it is a working, immersion experience. Living conditions will be basic, and students will be exposed to and working with sick patients. Living conditions in rural Guatemala can be challenging. Electricity can be intermittent. The food can be monotonous and unfamiliar. Road conditions are poor. The showers may be cold most days.

Participants must be mature enough to witness and work with sick individuals as well as discuss delicate topics such as reproductive health. Students will be touching patients, taking blood pressure, doing glucose readings and other medical measurements, just like a nursing assistant or EMT would do. They will be exposed to sick patients and their fluids. Students will learn, practice, and pass the required certification and safety exams before they will be permitted to do some of the work.

While the physical and intellectual challenges of a GPSA trip are many, the rewards are great. Past students have vaccinated hundreds of children in Guatemala and Belize, screened thousands of pregnant women for life-threatening eclampsia and provided training to tens of thousands of children about nutrition and hygiene.

An Extraordinary Opportunity

GPSA for Health's Xela program is an intensive experience for students with a passion for career paths such as a medical doctor (MD), nurse (RN, LPN), pharmacist, biomedical engineer (BME, dentist or other health occupations.

The students’ GPSA experience begins in their arrival city: Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA airport). Shortly after their arrival, students will travel as a group to Xela. Though Xela is the center of activity for the program, students live with a college leader in groups of five or six with a host family in pueblos outside of Xela. Living with a host family creates the perfect atmosphere to practice Spanish and learn from and experience the Guatemalan culture.

For their clinical service, students are divided into teams led by trained college students (premeds from Duke, Johns Hopkins or similar universities) or faculty. Students learn to facilitate several medical interventions and screenings (how to vaccinate, how to measure infant height and weight, how to check for diabetes, how to measure blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and complete an introductory cultural and language training. The language training is intense (two to three hours, one-on-one per day) and focused on Spanish. Fluent Spanish speakers will study one of the local Mayan languages.

Participants not only learn more about healthcare, but they also get to experience a new and different culture, perhaps making some lifelong friends in the process. Participants will be making a difference and starting their medical careers now!

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1715 South Reynolds Road
Toledo, OH 43614
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f: 419-381-1314
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Maumee Valley Country Day School is the only Preschool - 12th grade accredited, co-educational, independent school in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.