If it’s spring break, don’t look for the students of FSUCares on a beach or at a bar. This year, like every year since the Florida State College of Medicine welcomed its first class in 2001, these students will be giving out medical supplies and treatment — and getting a cultural education in return.
On Wednesday, Feb. 16, they will be packing medical supplies donated by the Tallahassee community. Fourteen first- and second-year College of Medicine students will make the annual trip, along with six faculty members. They will split into three groups: one in Immokalee, southwest Florida; one on the Texas border; and one in a small village in Panama. Spring break is March 7-11.
FSUCares’ mission is to increase outreach to under-served communities, said Elena Reyes, faculty adviser for FSUCares. She also is the director for the “Cross-Cultural Medicine” course, an elective designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills to work with Florida’s under-served Latino community.
“In Panama, we will be working in the clinic that we helped build through donations in the small Filipina village,” Reyes said. “The theme for the 10th-anniversary trip is long-term community partnership through service-learning.” Besides medical supplies, FSUCares also has been collecting gently used clothing for all three sites.
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