Physician Assistant Students to Travel to Peru on Medical Mission Trip


 While some students may travel to the beach for spring break, HSU Physician Assistant (PA) students will travel to Peru to minister to the community of Chocco. This medical mission trip will provide basic clinic services including the distribution of medication and equipment. The students will also hold education classes on water filter construction and basic hygiene.

Mackenzie Messinger, a current PA student and class chaplain, has coordinated the details of the trip.

"We have a unique opportunity to provide tangible care and meet a physical need," she said. "Our program wants to develop PA's that reach out, instead of just working for themselves and making money. We are so excited to have the opportunity to give back."

A group of 20 individuals including HSU PA students, faculty, and members of the community will leave for Peru on Mar. 8 and return Mar. 17.

While the trip will only last ten days, the results will be long-lasting.

"We are partnering with Buckner International to reach the community of Chocco,” said Messinger. “Buckner works to create Family Hope Centers focused on reconciling and restoring families by meeting them where they are and engaging in long-term work to create a self-sustaining localized ministry. We, as HSU PA, will be a part of an investigative trip, working to find the community’s needs, meet medical needs, and build trust with the people of Chocco.”

The goal of Buckner’s work in Chocco is for the Family Hope Center to eventually be run by members of the community. HSU PA hopes to return to Chocco and continue to build relationships with this group of people. 

“Buckner International has been supporting orphans and families for years both locally and globally,” said Dr. Jennifer Eames, Director of the Physician Assistant Program. “We are thrilled to partner with them as the first medical team to this region where they hope to establish a greater long term presence.”

There are many ways to help the PA program prepare for their mission trip. The group is accepting donations of medical supplies such as hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and feminine hygiene pads. They are also requesting medications such as vitamins, Advil, Iron supplements, and lice shampoo. Other needs include toothpaste and toothbrushes, gloves, Ziploc bags, Sharpies, and socks.

The PA students are also accepting monetary donations. One of the best ways to give is to attend their benefit event. Mentalist Grant Price will be performing his show “Mental” on Feb. 22 at 7:00 p.m. in Behrens Auditorium. The event is free, but all donations will benefit the mission trip.

Messinger explained that a mentalist does not use evil spirits to read people’s mind. Instead, he observes things that other people might miss.

“Something that's cool about mentalism is that it causes you to wonder again,” she said. “There is such a lack of awe in people today, but seeing a show like this can even help point you back to God, because we can't fully comprehend him either.”

If you have questions or would like to make a donation, please contact Mackenzie Messinger at



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