Nursing students prepare for Appalachian medical mission trip

These photos are nursing students on the 2013 trip to the Appalachian Mountains.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (August 5, 2014) – A group of students is preparing for a fall, medical mission trip to the Appalachian Mountains in Elkhorn, Kentucky with faculty sponsor Vicki Bennett, M.S.N., R.N.

Saint Luke’s College students go on two trips every year, a fall trip in the United States and a spring trip to Haiti.

In preparation for the trip, students are collecting donations of children’s clothing and books. Fall and winter clothing sized newborn to 17 years are needed including gently used sweaters, long-sleeve tops, jeans, socks, gloves, hats, coats, and shoes. Donated items can be brought to the College Commons area.

Students conduct a Vacation Bible School for the children, prepare a snack and dinner, crafts each evening and help children with their homework. The nursing students will also work with Appalachian Hospice Care and the Health department in Pikeville, Kentucky schools and mobile units. A community health fair is planned to provide health education and promotion, as well as blood pressure checks.

The Appalachian Mountains contain some of the poorest counties in the nation, and the people living in poverty are the focus of the mission’s trip. Central Appalachia has been described as the “poverty pocket of America,” making the work challenging for those who serve in the region. Many of these people have little education, a large family, few skills, and only a few choices of vocation. Children often go without adequate food, medical care, bedding and clothing. The challenges facing this population are abuse, drug and alcohol use, illiteracy, substantial health needs such as obesity and diabetes, and a lack of food, clothing, and adequate transportation.

For more information:
Amber Lauenstein, Second Semester Junior
Fall Communications Intern
Saint Luke’s College
624 Westport Road
KC, Mo. 64111