There are countless opportunities for Ohio State Wexner Medical Center faculty and staff, both clinical and non-clinical, to learn about and become involved in international and local outreach efforts. The list below is a clearinghouse of potential organizations that might be of interest to you. Your Wexner Medical Center colleagues are currently involved with or have been involved with these locations in the past.
Browse this list to learn more and reach out directly to these organizations for more information. If you have been involved with a trip and would like to have it listed here, contact Julie Scott.
American Red Cross
The Ohio Buckeye Region of the American Red Cross offers local service opportunities for general volunteers to assist with numerous programs in the local area as well as in our region. Its mission is to prevent and relieve suffering in our community and around the world. The first step is to register, train and serve with your local chapter. Each opportunity has its own training track. For example, to volunteer for disaster relief operations nationally, you must have experience with disaster response as a local Red Cross volunteer. Local service opportunities exist through the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, First Aid Services Teams, Disaster Action Teams and many other opportunities.
Better Healthcare for Africa
Better Healthcare for Africa offers international service opportunities in Zimbabwe for healthcare professionals specializing in general medicine, HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases, pediatrics, surgery, Ob/Gyn, nursing, rehabilitation and community education. To alleviate suffering due to disease or injury, the organization provides equipment, supplies and educational resources to medically underserved communities in southern Africa. The organization coordinates visits to St. Albert’s Mission Hospital in northern Zimbabwe for interested volunteers. Visits are typically three or four weeks to three months. Volunteers undertake these trips to provide medical support, share knowledge and experience how medical care is provided under difficult circumstances.
Columbus Free Clinic
Columbus Free Clinic offers local service opportunities for students and faculty members in medicine, pharmacy, social services and its laboratory. The free walk-in clinic is open Thursday evenings and provides long-term care, acute care, mental health and community resource counseling. The clinic also offers medication, imaging and lab services. Medical volunteers interview, examine and diagnose clients in an interdisciplinary setting, while pharmacy volunteers operate the pharmacy, counsel clients and see patients with medical services. Social work volunteers assess and address basic needs of clients. Laboratory volunteers draw blood, take vitals and counsel clients. Columbus Free Clinic offers volunteers an early opportunity to foster the passion and the ability to care for the underserved.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has international service opportunities across the globe for all types of medical staff who can give a nine- to 12-month commitment. Doctors Without Borders provides emergency medical care to millions of people caught in crises in more than 60 countries. MSF provides assistance when catastrophic events — such as armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition or natural disasters — overwhelm local health systems. The medical teams in the field provide services that range from basic vaccination campaigns to maternal and pediatric care to fighting neglected diseases to complex surgery.
Flying Horse Farms
Flying Horse Farms, a camp for children 8-15 with serious illness, has local service opportunities in Mt. Gilead, Ohio (45 minutes north of OSUWMC), for general and medical volunteers including physicians, nurses, pharmacists and respiratory therapists. The organization provides magical, transformative and free camp experiences through weekend family outings in the spring and fall, and weeklong summer sessions for diagnosis-specific groups (heart, hematology, oncology, rheumatology, GI, pulmonary and craniofacial). The medical volunteers provide routine and specialized medical care to ensure that the campers, volunteers and staff are healthy and safe.
The Franklin County and Columbus Medical Reserve Corps
The Franklin County and Columbus Medical Reserve Corps, an emergency response volunteer group, has local service opportunities for medical, public health and other non-medical professionals. The Reserve establishes teams of local volunteers to contribute their skills and expertise during times of disaster and public health emergencies, as well as throughout the year for community health promotion. Volunteers can choose to be part of one or more specific response teams, including POD (point of dispensing) team for widespread distribution of medicine, language team, leadership team and mental health team.
The Friends of Ft. Liberté
The Friends of Ft. Liberté has international service opportunities in Ft. Liberté, Haiti, for general volunteers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical technologists and teachers. Its mission is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, relieve hunger and homelessness, as well as provide medical and educational support so people can achieve their full potential. Friends of Ft. Liberté support an orphanage, medical clinic, church farm and a school through a child-sponsorship program. Each year, The Friends of Ft. Liberté send 10-12 small teams to Haiti for week-long medical, construction and educational trips from May through September. The medical teams visit the clinic, providing much needed supplies and services to care for the sick.
Healing Art Missions
Healing Art Missions has international service opportunities in Haiti for medical volunteers. Its mission is to support those in need in the areas of health, nutrition, education, housing and social justice. Small teams of medical volunteers visit Haiti quarterly for one to two weeks, to work with the community, to supplement the Haitian medical professionals working at Healing Art Missions’ Centre de Santé Communautaire de Dumay (Center for Community Health in Dumay) and to share their knowledge and experience with the population, as well as to learn.
Hut Outreach has international service opportunities in Haiti for general volunteers to bring hope to Haiti through education, clean drinking water and women’s health care. Hut’s philosophy is to empower the Haitian people to be able to help themselves by providing jobs. These “vacations with a purpose” allow volunteers to travel to Haiti to experience its scenery, food and culture, while exposing the needs of the Haitian people and ultimately, encouraging the volunteers to become ministry partners.
Lifeline Christian Mission
Lifeline Christian Mission has international service opportunities in Haiti and Honduras for healthcare providers of all professions. Its goal is to restore hope by meeting the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world. Healthcare providers participate in hands-on treatment and teaching at Lifeline’s Health Centers. The clinics are non-critical care, outpatient family clinics where native staff care for patients every weekday. Lifeline hosts numerous mission teams to Haiti and Honduras each year, and nearly every team includes healthcare professionals of various backgrounds providing medical, dental and eye care and education to patients in need. The trips are usually 10 days in length in Haiti and eight days in Honduras. While the primary focus of the team is health care, there are also spiritual activities that include worship services, team sharing and devotion times, distribution of food, clothing and other blessings.
No Pain Labor and Delivery – Global Health Initiative
No Pain Labor and Delivery – Global Health Initiative (NPLD-GHI) has international service opportunities in China for attending physicians, fellows, residents, anesthetists and nurses in obstetrics, labor and delivery. The organization uses a multidisciplinary approach to promote safe labor, correcting the unnecessarily high cesarean delivery rate and the poor utilization of neuraxial labor analgesia, and strives to ensure the safety of mothers and their babies. Volunteers on 10-day mission trips each June assist local hospitals in the establishment of self-sustaining obstetric anesthesia systems that will allow them to provide safe and effective labor analgesia.
The Tandana Foundation
The Tandana Foundation has international service opportunities in Ecuador for general volunteers, general medicine MDs, PAs, NPs, ophthalmologists, dentists, lab technicians and ultrasound technicians. The foundation coordinates one- or two-week Health Care Volunteer Vacation mission trips every October and March to provide primary care outreach to rural villages in the highlands of Ecuador in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Healthcare volunteers provide medical care for schoolchildren and adult community members.
You can also donate to a fund to help support medical center faculty and staff involved in Global Humanitarian Outreach.
How you can help
While assistance from faculty is always needed, non-clinical staff can get involved as well.
Non-clinical medical mission trip opportunities:
Interpreter – English and visited country language.
Travel coordinator – facilitate all travel arrangements including flights, ground transportation, hotel, visa, etc.
Mission trip photographer/writer/historian – assist with clinical venues photography, interviewing local community members, and writing stories.
Website designer/specialists – update and maintain our website on OneSource.
Volunteers – help with inventory/assembling/packaging/shipping medical mission trip materials.
Patient registration/triage personnel
Facility maintenance – assist with clinic set-up and breakdown, set up tents, and general equipment maintenance.
Community Health Educator – educate community on health and wellness during medical mission trip.
Nutritionist – assist with education and patient nutrition needs
Project Manager – assist with mission trip budget, provides counselling/logistics how to develop, execute, sustain and expend mission trip project.
Pharmacist – assist with education and patient medication needs.
Fundraising specialist – facilitate fundraising when necessary.