By Ed Moore, CEO, Diagnostic Imaging Centers, P.A.
In mid-January, I was able to attend a mission trip with two high school seniors who were part of the Blue Valley School Districts’ CAPS program. We traveled to Guatemala alongside the International Medical Relief foundation to provide medical services to residents in remote communities. This three-day trip changed the way two young adults look at life here in the metro.
Savana attends Notre Dame de Sion, and Cali studies at Blue Valley High School. The two heard about the opportunity to take this trip as they completed their CAPStone projects in the fall. Those projects are their finals for the program, which should make an impact in some way.
Savana says this project caught her eye right away. “Ever since I was 12, I wanted to work on the charitable side of medicine, and in the future, I would like to be a doctor that practices healthcare in underdeveloped countries,” Savana said.
Cali says the trip was definitely life changing and it was very different from what she expected. “It was such an amazing experience to make an impact on a group of people that don’t have access to medical care otherwise,” Cali said.
During our time there, we were able to help in a clinic inside a community center, providing services such as eyeglasses, vaccinations, personal hygiene education, and more. In our two days working in the clinic, we saw more than 700 patients who would not have had access to this care otherwise.
One thing that really struck both students was how different life was in Guatemala, as compared to here in the Kansas City metro. “I was in love with the joy in the people’s eyes. They have very few materialistic things, and yet they are so very happy. They focus more on people and relationships than “things.” This trip was the best and most impactful trip that I’ve been on so far!” stated Savana.
Cali agreed, “The people in Guatemala are just so different than they are here in Johnson County. People waited in line for medical care for hours, and they never once complained about having to wait.”
Savana reflected on the theme of the trip, “Ultimately, I took away a completely new day-to-day mindset in which I am constantly doing my best to prioritize what is most important in life. In America, we struggle so intensely with priorities and respect, so I want to take my experience and use it to encourage people to actively develop a well-rounded awareness of diversity with an emphasis on the dignity of a human person.”
At times, I believe we forget that the word “care” is in healthcare. I am proud to work for an organization that allows me to demonstrate (through actions) that we/I care. Working with students, mentoring and providing support is something we are all responsible for (not just teachers). I would encourage others to provide support, go on mission trips, see how we cannot only support our communities but show the world that those of us in healthcare really do “care”.
It was (and continues to be) an honor and a privilege to show I can “care” for others. I look forward to a continued relationship with the BV CAPS program and to serving those that need us.