Health Sciences & Horticulture
Foothill College Global Brigade
In 2011, two socially-minded Biology students approached their biology teacher, Lisa Schultheis, about traveling to Central America with Global Brigade, to provide healthcare to rural villagers.
In 2011/12 the first Foothill College Global Brigade traveled to Honduras in a unique Medical/Dental Brigade bringing a group of pre-health students and dental hygiene students to remote areas of Honduras. Our students worked alongside local doctors and dentists who knew the local culture and the language, assisting and shadowing them as they administered needed dental and medical care in an holistic approach.
In addition, our students with experience as health care providers helped the more junior students understand the background of the medical care and the students who spoke spanish translate the interactions that occur between the doctors and patients for their friends who cannot understand the language.
Yearly trips since then to Central America by our Foothill College Medical/Dental Brigade have included various BHS tenured and adjunct faculty from Biology, Dental Hygiene, Respiratory Therapy, EMS as well as the BHS Dean. Each year, student club leaders organize fundraising activities, raise money to pay for medicine, dental supplies and hygiene packs that they bring to the site for distribution.
The Brigade is different each year. Phyllis Spragge, who has attended all 6 Brigades, developed a required class, AHS55, an online Foothill College course which teaches students basic concepts in delivery of medical care and community health.
In addition to providing dental/medical services, in 2014, students participated one day of their brigade to build water trenches for a village. For the last three years, students built wash stations providing sanitation facilities for individual families.
The Brigade Club recruits new students each year. Karen Erickson and Lisa Schultheis are co-advisors of the club and have both attended the trips to Central America several years. The next Brigade is being planned now.