Our Mission Statement:
“International Medical Outreach dedicates its efforts to providing means for its members to expand their cultural awareness regarding medicinal practices and living standards all over the globe. Our mission surrounds the importance of international medical altruism , sustainability, cross- cultural integration, preventative healthcare in underserved communities. Through our mission we hope to provide positive-life altering experiences, and leave our helpful footprint on the impoverished and underserved areas of the world where medical care is scarce or nonexistent.”
Who We Are:
International Medical Outreach (IMO) is a non-profit organization established at the University of Central Florida. Our mission surrounds the importance of sustainability, cross-cultural integration, preventative healthcare in under served communities, and international medical altruism. Since our creation in 2006, IMO has set up many free healthcare clinics, provided health education programs to enhance the importance of preventative medicine in underprivileged communities, and established a permanent project in Mare-Brignol, Haiti in order to have profound impact on these communities and help create better lives for those who we seek to help. IMO offers the opportunity to to aid and assist under-privileged populations while providing our members with a deeper understanding of medicinal practices, living standards, global health issues, and economic disparities around the world by operating medical mission trips in developing nations. Additionally, our trips serve a great opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and cultural awareness of the societies we visit.
Each trip is unique, but they follow a general structure allowing students to work in a variety of settings and communities within the country, gaining medical knowledge as well as providing healthcare and supplies to those who need it. Students provide assistance to physicians and other allied health professionals in both rural and urban clinics/hospitals to understand the dynamic of what medical care entails in a nation with a healthcare system different from the United States. Additionally, students develop and present health education programs to enhance the importance of preventative medicine in under-served communities.
Our Haiti Project:
Eight years ago, International Medical Outreach took a major step forward by establishing our Haiti project in Mare Brignol, Haiti. Since 2011, we have been maintaining an effort to support Mare Brignol in their medical and everyday needs, including sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition. We provide donated items such as vitamins, various medications, clothing, shoes, and hygiene supplies in order to help provide those in the community with access to otherwise unattainable resources. We also operate our clinic alongside Haitian physicians and allied health professionals in order to bring healthcare to those in the community while minimizing any negative impact on the local healthcare system.
Starting in 2013, IMO implemented a project to introduce the versatile Moringa Oleifera plant as a constant source of nutrition and potentially income for the community. Moringa can help reduce protein deficiency, lower cholesterol, improve the immune system, purify water, and much more. We have incorporated Moringa Oleifera to address the medical needs of the community, improve quality of life, and to ultimately help Mare-Brignol become a completely self-sustainable community.
The Global Health Internship:
International Medical Outreach teams up with UCF’s Department of Anthropology to offer undergraduate anthropology students the exciting opportunity to participate in the Global Health Internship in Haiti every Fall and Spring semester. This internship allows students to experience firsthand medical outreach and to learn about the effects of socioeconomic disparities on health and healthcare provision in this global south country.
During the internship semester, the Global Health Intern enrolls in an anthropology course and completes readings/assignments with medical anthropology faculty at UCF. The internship culminates in the Intern accompanying and working alongside IMO members on one of our trips to Mare Brignol, Haiti while also employing ethnographic methods (interviews and participant observation) to independently collect information. The Global Health Intern uses this information to conduct an anthropological assessment of IMO’s work in Haiti so we can improve our trip every time we return.