University News

¡Atención Amigos! We Need Your Help

Published: March 10, 2008 | Category: Community Outreach

In just a few weeks, many SUU students will be heading south to Sonora, Mexico for their Spring Break, but their time will not be spent in a swimsuit on the beach. Instead, these 50 students will learn about and assist in Mexico’s underserved health care system and work to improve conditions in some of the local orphanages through the Rural Health Scholars cultural immersion program.

The Rural Health Scholars Program at SUU coordinates similar trips for pre-med and pre-dental students each year, and this time around, they need your help.

The last trip, in December, consisted of 46 students in eight SUU vans full of literally tons of donations to assist in service work. Once there, pre-dental students assisted at local schools and were able to help with dental exams and patient education. SUU’s pre-med students observed a wide variety of medical procedures and life-saving surgeries, helped care for babies in hospital nurseries and held the hands of women going through labor. All 46 of the students delivered Christmas gifts to orphanages and played with the children. Most importantly, these young students learned the value of compassion and empathy, and broadened their global perspective.

In addition to serving, the students delivered everything from bandages to handmade dolls to the impoverished Guaymas and Hermosillo communities, all of which had been donated by the SUU, Cedar City and student communities. According to Rita Osborn, the associate director of the Utah Center for Rural Health, the program’s success is largely determined by the donations that facilitate the students’ service.

For this upcoming spring service trip, the Rural Health Scholars program is asking for southern Utah's help to facilitate another successful service-learning experience.

The students will once again be performing both medical and community service while in Mexico, and they’re in need of the following items:

Medical/healthcare supplies
Cleaning supplies
Clothing and toys for young children
Funding for supplies or building projects within the impoverished Mexican communities

If you’re interested in donating any of the above items, or if you’d like more information about the Rural Health Scholars Program at Southern Utah University, please contact the department’s Associate Director Rita Osborn at 435.865.8520 or

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