Parent Organization: University of Wisconsin - Madison

Our mission is to work with licensed medical and dental professionals and community health workers to provide comprehensive health services in rural communities with limited access to healthcare. Our current focus is in Honduras.

Medical Brigade volunteers have the opportunity to shadow licensed doctors in medical consultations and assist in a pharmacy under the direction of licensed pharmacists. Each community receives a brigade every 3 to 4 months where hundreds of patients are treated and volunteers deliver public health workshops. Between brigades an in-country team maintains relationships with the communities to provide follow-up and to conduct Community Health Worker (CHW) trainings to empower local leaders to sustain a consistent level of healthcare. Electronic patient records are collected for future visitations and to monitor overall community health trends.

Dental Brigades volunteers have the opportunity to shadow licensed dentists in urgent and preventive dental services in communities with limited access to healthcare through a one week Dental Brigade in Honduras. In conjunction with our program, Medical Brigades, over 80 groups of passionate volunteers systematically travel to Central America to establish mobile dental clinics in over 80 of our community partners. Each of our community partners receives a brigade every 3 to 4 months where hundreds of patients are treated with fillings, cleanings and extractions, and are given dental hygiene workshops. 

Volunteers’ duties on brigades vary based on the medical and dental background and skill of the volunteer. Volunteers with little to no medical or dental experience have the opportunity to assist during the triage and intake of patients, shadow doctors/dentists during consultations, and help pack medications in the pharmacy under the direction of our on the ground pharmacist. Volunteers with greater medical experience have the opportunity to take a larger leadership role during triage and assisting with health education workshops, both under the supervision of licensed doctors. All patient consultations and medicine prescriptions are only done by licensed doctors. Regardless of medical skill level, there is a role for any type of volunteer and the chance to learn about providing sustainable healthcare to rural communities who would otherwise have limited access.
Global Medical Brigades also works in Nicaragua through a public health and medical brigade hybrid. The public health brigade strives to combat easily preventable diseases through low cost sustainable infrastructure projects utilizing materials that can be sourced locally and designs that can be taught to empowered local community experts. Projects involving the improvement of in-home infrastructure are top priority with public health brigades as many common diseases seen in medical brigades can be tracked back to poor infrastructure.
Volunteers will be able to work with the Public Health portion of the hollistic model of Global Brigades. Once a community project has been identified, volunteers will work alongside community members to construct each public health project. Upon arriving in Nicaragua, volunteers will work side-by-side local masons and family members of each home in a number of construction activities: mixing cement, laying concrete blocks and bricks, pouring concrete floors, digging trenches, spackling, assembling wood frames, creating rebar reinforcements, and making cement finish. They will also work with communities to provide health education to school-age children and adults in the community. 

Membership Requirements (for example: GPA requirements, membership fees)

Membership is open to any enrolled UW-Madison student who is a part-time or full-time student and who wants to participate on the brigade or help with preparations.

Which of these most accurately describes the student membership of your organization (not including non-student members)?

Open to Both Undergraduate and Graduate/Professional Students

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Global Brigades

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Advisor Information
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Alysha Roberts

Address 619 W Mifflin St
Apt 104
Madison, WI 53703
United States