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Pre-med students provide free healthcare to over 800 patients in Haiti

Published on Apr 22, 2011 by Jennifer Hall

Springfield, Mo — Seven Evangel University students were part of a 17-member team that provided free healthcare to 888 patients in Haiti during a four-day period last month.

The pre-med majors traveled with a group of local medical professionals to Les Cayes to provide medical, optical and dental care. The HealthCare Ministries of the Assemblies of God planned and executed the trip.

“The most dramatic incident was seeing a boy come in with a severe case of cholera,” said Erica Harris, assistant professor of biology and EU team leader. “His condition dramatically improved in the two days that the nurses worked with him. One of the doctors said that if the family had waited 30 more minutes to bring the boy to us, he would have died.”

In addition to physical healings, there were numerous reports of emotional and spiritual healings throughout the week.

“This trip to Haiti far exceeded any expectations I might have had,” said Adam Grumke, senior biology major. “We met with God in Haiti, and He guided our trip – down to each encounter. Personally, God confirmed that I am called to medicine, and He quelled any fears that I wouldn’t be able to make an eternal difference while practicing medicine,” Grumke said.

The team from Evangel included the following students and faculty:

  • Erica Harris, assistant professor of biology and EU team leader
  • Adam Grumke, senior biology major from Blue Springs, Mo.
  • Holly Lahr, junior biology major from Tulsa, Okla.
  • Andrew Miller, senior biological chemistry major from Newton, Kan.
  • Michael Pezzillo, junior biology major from Shelby Township, Mich.
  • Krista Sachen, junior biology major from Brookings, S.D.
  • Kirstie Siercks, senior intercultural studies and exercise science double major from Lincoln, Mo.
  • Christa Smith, senior biology major from Windber, Pa.

The HCM team included the following medical professionals:

  • Dr. Rob Puleo, dentist and HCM team leader
  • Megan Bollier, registered nurse
  • Dr. Rick Honderick, physician and ’71 EU alumnus
  • Sheila Lander, registered nurse and ’73 EU alumna
  • Dr. Rich Malara, optometrist
  • Sally Puleo, licensed practical nurse
  • Dr. Jim Robinson, dentist
  • Dr. Luke Shaw, physician and ’03 EU alumnus
  • Josh Tjiong, pharmacist

Dr. Shaw traveled on his first medical service trip to Honduras in 2002 as a biology student at Evangel. As a medical student, he traveled to El Salvador with a team from Evangel. The Haiti trip was his first service trip as a doctor.