Belmont University and Lipscomb University Colleges of Pharmacy have recently announced a collaborative partnership with Jovenes en Camino to build and support a locally-run pharmacy in El Zamorano, Honduras. A Nashville-based nonprofit, Jovenes en Camino is a boys home and clinic in Honduras that doesn’t currently have access to the essential services provided by a pharmacy. Students and faculty from Belmont and Lipscomb are teaming up to provide a creative solution to that challenge.
This collaborative partnership will allow students and faculty from both pharmacy programs to travel to Honduras throughout the year to provide services to local residents, beginning as soon as Summer 2019. Teams will be comprised in a variety of ways including interprofessional teams that will include students in pharmacy, nursing, nutrition, PA and other health-related disciplines, and inter-university teams, comprised of faculty and students from both institutions. Beyond pharmaceutical care, this interprofessional partnership will also include additional healthcare providers as nursing, medical and other health-related programs will accompany pharmacists for travel.
Sarah Catherine Teixeira, executive director of Jovenes en Camino, said the opportunity to work with both Belmont and Lipscomb provides an invaluable opportunity for health care access in Honduras. “Partnerships like this one allow areas of extreme poverty, like El Zamorano and beyond, to receive the much-needed care and medicine needed to live a healthy life,” she said. “We are grateful for this opportunity, and we’re looking forward to what we’re able to provide our residents with these essential services.”
As long-time supporters of Jovenes en Camino, both universities were eager to formalize their partnerships, understanding the importance of service-focused education for students.
“At Belmont, we are consistently looking for opportunities to allow our students to learn through service,” said Dr. David Gregory, dean of Belmont’s College of Pharmacy. “We believe that we are better when we are serving others, as the opportunity to move beyond the classroom and serve allows our students to experience life and their intended profession in an entirely new light. We are grateful for the way this collaborative partnership will further expand the meaningful opportunities our students are able to experience as they work towards launching their own careers.”
Dr. Roger Davis, founding dean of Lipscomb’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, said through service students learn how to use skills gained in the classroom to help others.
“It’s all about the learning experience. The earlier we start sending students on service trips we reaffirm that what they are learning in the classroom has an actual benefit to others,” said Davis. “They learn they can immediately apply what they are learning to people who are in great need.
“This collaboration demonstrates that in learning and in serving people there is a common ground that we all fit in. This is a unique expression of that between the two universities and between the two colleges. We are particularly excited about how this new facility will expand the capability of the people in Honduras to serve their patients and to have a lasting impact in that region.”
The facility will also serve as a home-base for mission teams that will be in country multiple times a year that is readily equipped for patient consultation, exams and other services. Beyond the volunteer support that comes with this announcement, both universities have committed to providing financial support, as well. Construction is anticipated to begin in the next two weeks.