The Mission of the Salybia Mission Project: Serving Those in Need


The Salybia Mission Project (SMP), a non-profit organization devoted to providing needed medical care to the indigenous Carib population of Dominica, receives support and assistance from Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) students. The RUSM Salybia Club leads the student team, which coordinates students and physicians to work with local medical personnel to care for disadvantaged residents. At the community clinics, 1st through 4th semester students work alongside physicians taking blood pressures, learning to conduct physical exams, and gaining invaluable clinical experience as they serve those in need.

The summer 2010 semester was a significant period for the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). Its coordinators, Ross students Mirela Saca and Alexander Curtis, successfully organized two female-focused health clinics. Held at the Kalinago community's Mahaut River Clinic, each clinic offered breast exam demonstrations, pregnancy testing, and Pap smear tests, in addition to the health screenings routinely conducted at SMP clinics. In total, the WHI clinics treated approximately 40 patients and provided important clinical skills training to 24 1st and 2nd semester students.

Several meaningful partnerships were established during the semester. First, with Dr. Dorian Shillingford, chair of the Dominican Medical Board, who attended the WHI clinic in July. Dr. Shillingford was impressed with the activities and promised to serve as an important resource for the SMP as a result. Next, a Peace Corps volunteer who lives in the Kalinago community and works directly with its Carib Council met with Alexander to discuss how the SMP can more effectively meet the Kalinago community members' healthcare needs. And finally, the WHI coordinators, along with members of RUSM's Physician for Human Rights leadership, met with the director of the Women's Center in Portsmouth to learn about opportunities for future collaborations.

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