A team of 24 students, three faculty members, and two alumni from the Hardin-Simmons University Physical Therapy Program will be traveling to Lima, Peru on July 10-18. The group will assist and treat 300-400 people in the poverty stricken areas of Lima who are in need of medical treatment. The HSU group will visit two church sites and two Physical Therapy Schools in Lima to care for patients.
The team will be part of an international project called "Wheels for the World" in collaboration with Joni and Friends. Joni and Friends is a Christian organization that creates outreach missions around the world. Lima was chosen for this project due to its lack of available healthcare and medical practices. The trip's goal is to fit and distribute wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches, while treating any patients in need of care. Dr. Janelle O'Connell, Physical Therapy Professor and Director at HSU, hopes that by providing these needed tools of assistance, the citizens of Lima will be brought closer to the community and city.
The HSU group will join a school of training physical therapists while on their trip. They will spend a day teaching and demonstrating to the Peruvian trainees and will work alongside them during the patient care portion of the trip.
The students traveling will receive many benefits while in Peru, including gaining international experience, overcoming communication barriers, and working in real-life situations for the first time.
"These students will be in a very humbling, new atmosphere. They will gain confidence from their work on the trip and will witness and feel the love of God everywhere they go in Peru," O'Connell said.