Campus Spotlight – Global Medical Brigades

Shannielle Thompson
Staff Writer

Seton Hall University’s Global Medical Brigades (GMB) is a subsidiary chapter of an international non-profit organization known as Global Brigades. Global Brigades, which prides itself as “the largest student-led movement for global health,” conducts programs around the world that focus on development in two key areas: the enhancement of leadership skills through voluntarism, and the implementation of programs that target health and economic disparities in communities around the world.

Global Medical Brigades follows the same vision. In addition to planning, hosting and collaborating with other organizations to promote servant leadership on campus, GMB carries out annual trips abroad. So far, the club has traveled to Honduras and Nicaragua. This year, their work will extend to Ghana.

The annual trips mentioned above are life-changing experiences. Each trip overseas, known as a Brigade, gives student volunteers the chance to interact with individuals from various cultures in different settings. Students are given the opportunity to shadow licensed medical professionals (doctors, dentists etc.), take and record vitals and patient history as well as assist in a pharmacy under supervision of other licensed workers.

Brigades usually last seven – nine days, however, each site receives a minimum of two brigades annually that perform work in seven key areas – business, dental, engineering, human rights, medical public health and water. In order to ensure maintenance of the systems that are set up during these trips, Community Health Workers (CHW) are trained to empower local leaders and other individuals to maintain each program in a sustainable ways.

Though the name is Global “Medical” Brigades, membership in the chapter is open to students of all majors. The only requirement to join is demonstrated passion for service and commitment to helping others. The club currently has over twenty members and is open to volunteers for various projects all year round. Amanda Baier is the current chapter leader,  E-board members attached to every student class (freshman, sophomores etc.) who may be contacted for further information regarding membership and club activities.

This year, GMB is excited to announce their first annual Global Gala. The event will be held in celebration of this year’s achievements thus far, while also bringing awareness to the club and upcoming trips and other events. The date is set for April 27 at 6 p.m. in the spacious, recently completed Bethany Hall at SHU’s front entrance.

Tickets, which will include food and drinks, cost $20 for students, $25 for faculty and $30 for others — but if purchased from a current member, a $5 discount will be applied. With cosponsors like the Peace Corps, Coca Cola, Cold Stone Creamery, Blue Ribbon, Oasis Bakery, Turning Point Breakfast Brunch and Lunch among others, the odds of going home with a variety of prizes and surprises will be greatly in attendees’ favor. Come out for a little bit of fun before finals season hits. Ask a GMB Member or contact the chapter via social media for more information.

Like most other organizations on campus, GMB operates like a family and networking unit. Global Medical Brigades members volunteer, study, and share information with and among each other for the betterment of ourselves, the institution and the world at large.

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