Mission Trips

 

SMYS is committed to supporting communities that are in need of nursing and other health care. We believe that medical missions should be more than an experience for healthcare providers and a brief point of contact for patients in need. Our medical missions are ongoing, with a goal of creating continuity of care in communities in desperate need, as well as empowering and educating people so that they may help themselves.

Ghana Mission Trips

Medical Mission #1: October 2016

Show Me Your Stethoscope and our partners at Healthy Villages, Inc. organizes and carried out this medical mission. We had eight volunteers – five RNs, two nurse practitioners, one assistant, and Ghanaian health service staff (RNs, PAs, and interpreters). Together we served over 800 villagers in four different rural communities in the Volta Region of Ghana. On this trip, we treated a wide range of conditions including but not limited to skin infections, respiratory infections, wounds, minor aches and pains, sexually transmitted infections, and many cases of malaria. On this mission, we encountered many people with undiagnosed hypertension and diabetes and planned to address this on our next mission.

We were humbled to be part of this mission, which was so important to the poor villagers of this region. This mission was important in that it helped us establish relationships with the local clinics, government officials and tribal chiefs in this rural area in Ghana. These relationships allow us to continue this work of bringing healthcare to these impoverished areas on an ongoing basis. You can read more about his mission trip here (BLOG from HEALTHY VILLAGES)

Jennifer Dixon Burks RN 3

Shanna Holt, RN “I can’t even begin to say in short order what I enjoyed about the Ghana mission. It was the experience as a whole and the amazing people. It was a soul changing, beautiful experience that could not have been imagined.”

Lisa Bowers, RN. “Being a part of the medical mission team to Ghana to me was nursing at its finest and purest level. Using the nursing skill’s I’ve acquired with limited supplies to provide some hope and comfort to people who have almost nothing was an experience every nurse should have. And one I’ll never forget. Creating a team with people I’ve never met, each one bringing a unique set of expertise and working with members of the same profession in another country and culture provided all of us a tremendous learning experience. Truly humanity at its finest!”

Jennifer Dixon-Burks, RN. “I had never given the idea of a foreign mission trip any thought. It was something you heard about in Church from time to time or heard about on the news. Some people say they feel led to do a mission trip. I personally never felt that. I was an active volunteer in my community and county, but I still never felt that pull until a fellow nurse and member of SMYS laid the opportunity in my lap. The minute he suggested it, I answered yes without hesitation and 3 months later I was on a plane. There was definitely something powerful pushing me to get there, just like there is something powerful driving me to get back there and do it again. It was an awesome clinical experience for sure, but so much more than that. It was full of life-changing and eye-opening lessons. How incredible it was to see things in nature that we are privileged enough to not have to witness here; cases of Malaria, Rickets, tumors the size of grapefruits, hypertension that nightmares are made of on patients sitting and working in the hot sun in a village that thrives on the ocean and its mana, burns that were months old, infected and un-healing on untreated patients that were still working daily. And to be able to learn clinically from area providers, gleaning their clinical tricks and secrets….A bitter taste in your mouth might mean Malaria….who knew?? It is so true in life that we all teach each other, that you learn everyday until the end, and everyone has something to offer. These thoughts and lessons were ever present for me in this trip. To be among people that were more focused on life and living yet didn’t know how old they were. That worked hard everyday to only do what we would consider “surviving” with some of the most profound hardships, but had more smiles, more happiness, and more joy in them than all of us put together. To work on a people so thankful just to have you check their pulse, because they were enthralled with the magic cure of the Western touch and medicine. And perhaps the hardest realization was to be a person from such a blessed corner of the world – to be placed among a people on their turf and out of your comfort zone, and be considering the thought of cold orange showers, food cooked outdoors on an open fire, and lizards in your living space as tough and roughing it…. only to realize that even in the “roughest” moment there you still were living better than most of the villagers around you that you were caring for. And yet they smiled and were thankful every day. We go into these trips, these areas, on these missions with a Western mindset and attitude, a modern ‘first-world’ thought and approach. But that my friends, is the wrong attitude. This trip affirmed for me that in every situation, you have to meet people where they are and realize that they too feel as if they have something to offer (and they do!). And you have to provide sensible and realistic approaches and solutions that are obtainable in the situation that you have recognized THEM to be in. The success of these medical missions depends upon it. And education, especially of the youth, is the most important key to these people’s prosperity, health and well-being.”

Medical Mission #2: April 2017

This trip was an intense 13 days, included 3 nurses and one nurse practitioner, and our Ghana based staff (RNs, PAs and interpreters). Over the course of six clinic days (two days each in three different remote villages) we evaluated and treated 1065 patients. Conditions treated on this mission included but were not limited to hypertension, diabetes, skin infections, respiratory infections, wounds, minor aches and pains, sexually transmitted infections, and many cases of malaria. You can read more about his mission trip here (BLOG from HEALTHY VILLAGES)

Cori Militano Bopp, RN “A medical mission was something I only dreamed of. Never would I have believed that one day I would be sharing this wonderful experience with others. Our trip to Ghana, West Africa was truly an experience of a lifetime. Our travels bought us new friends and a feeling of pride and joy in a job well done. We worked with an amazing staff in Ghana who welcomed us as family from the moment we met them. We shared our medical knowledge and experiences with each other as well as lots of laughs throughout our days together. The days we spent in the clinics were long and hot, conditions most of us are not use to, but we made every effort to see as many patients as we could. We all worked as a team and were able to see over 1000 patients, the most of any mission thus far. Although there was a language barrier, one could sense the gratitude of the Ghanaian people just by their friendly, happy, smiling faces. The Ghanaians were gentle people and the children where all beautiful. Through our compassion and guidance we hope to educate the Ghanaian people to live a healthier lifestyle. I hope to return one day soon to further assist in the missions amazing efforts.”

Medical Mission #3: August 2017

August – Pediatric Medical Mission (planning currently underway)

Medical Mission #4: October 2017

October/November – Women’s Health Mission (planning currently underway)

More Information on Ghana Mission Trips

These mission trips are organized and led by SMYS directors and our partner Healthy Villages Inc. (Godfried Agbezudor and Sara Corry – residents in Ghana). Please join our Facebook group to get all the up-to-date information as the trip develops! SMYS Ghana Group

Ghanaian Health Staff Testimonials

Innocent Quashiega Agbozo, Physician Assistant. “The medical mission I must say was a successful one. The organizers did a marvelous job putting everything together but I must also admit that we could have done more by spreading our tentacles to other villages provided there were enough resources. Thanks!”

Gbemu Thomas, EMT “It was great exposure and a wonderful experience to me, as I had the opportunity to learn more things from the SMYS team who made it to Ghana in April 2017. I was very much amazed about the help and the services been rendered to our people in the remote villages here in Ghana who can’t afford medical care, meanwhile they were highly in need of medical care though. I will like to seized this opportunity to express my profound gratitude to you and your team both Ghana and abroad, the coordinators, donors and everyone that contributed positively for the success of your medical mission in our poor villages here in Ghana. Meanwhile we are still hoping for more medical outreach to come. Without much I do, I say ayeekoo which means more grease to your elbow, God richly blessed you and your team for the good work that you are doing to our people who cannot afford medical care. THANKS.”

Vivian Dordoe RN. “This mission has been a great success and the people reached were very greatly appreciated”

Apply For A Mission Trip

1. Register as an SMYS member here (link to member registration/portal)
2. Then send a message to Jalil Johnson and tell us why you’d like to join the trip.

For more information or to join the Ghana mission, contact Jalil Johnson at Jalil.Johnson@SMYSOfficial.com.
Also, join our email list to receive the latest updates and information missions@smysofficial.com.

Medical Mission Trip Details

· Dates are inclusive of travel days – arrival and departure from Accra, Ghana and two half days of driving between Accra and the Volta Region.
· We will be based in Dogbekope village and housed in a comfortable, secure, multi-room family compound or hotel. Three meals a day will be catered and laundry will be available.
· Clinic days will include 5 hours of treatment in the morning and an optional cultural activity in the afternoon. Rest and relaxation is included in the daily schedule!
· Cost for the trip once you land in Ghana is $2000 and is all-inclusive of lodging, food, and transportation. Your additional expenses will be round-trip airfare, passport, visa to Ghana, yellow fever vaccine (required for entry into Ghana), malaria preventative, other vaccines or travel medications of your choice, and your personal expenditures in Ghana.
· Support will be available for organizing travel to Ghana, and travel within Ghana will be led by a native Ghanaian tour operator with 30+ years of experience, and an American ex-pat with travel experience in Ghana.
· An optional tour of sites of interest will be available throughout the trip.