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FSU Spring Break Medical Mission to Panama Expands

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Phone: (850) 645-1255

By Abby Cruz
March 5, 2003

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-The desire to provide medical relief to communities in need is proving contagious at the Florida State University College of Medicine.

Sixteen students and four faculty members, including one from the medical school's Pensacola campus, will dedicate their spring break to serving Panamanian communities with little access to health care. Last year, 10 students, two faculty members and two community physicians went on the trip to Panama.

The project is part of FSUCares, a medical student organization dedicated to providing health services, including medical care, counseling and education, to those who would not otherwise have access to care, both locally and overseas. This year, students raised $8,000 to support their trip to Panama.

FSUCares faculty adviser Elena Reyes said the trip is an educational experience for the students.
"These students are very interested in learning more about the problems faced by culturally diverse and disadvantaged populations," Reyes said.

In preparation for the trip, students collected medications and supplies from community physicians. They will gather at the medical school at noon on Thursday, March 6, to finalize preparations and pack supplies.