December 1, 2016

Educational Journey

rows of red Chinese lanterns

School of Community & Global Health students expand their learning experiences in Taiwan

Students enrolled in the School of Community & Global Health (SCGH) study pressing public health issues from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. They learn how promoting health innovations and practices has a tremendous impact on individuals, families, and communities here and abroad.

For six SCGH students, such an educational journey propelled them nearly 7,000 miles away to Taiwan. Over the course of 10 days this past May, group members—led by then-SCGH Student Association leaders—visited hospitals, health centers, and other organizations to study that country’s health care system as well as share their knowledge.

“We thought a global experience would really add depth to what we learned,” said Yen-Shih Tseng, who served as association vice president during the trip and is currently enrolled in an MBA/MPH dual-degree program.

Though encouraged and supported by SCGH faculty, fundraising and preparations for the trip were student-run.

(L-R) Muquxi La, Juanita Preciado, unidentified female medical professional, Yen-Shih Tseng, Lily Chacon, Jacklyn Samano, and Shanna Livermore. Photos by Shanna Livermore

The SCGH Global Health Trip included Tseng, the team leader; Lily Chacon, also enrolled in an MBA/MPH program; Jacklyn Samano and Muquxi La, both in the MPH program; and Shanna Livermore and Juanita Preciado (MPH, 2016), both in the DrPH (Doctorate in Public Health) program. Preciado was association president at the time.

Tseng earned a medical and chemistry degree from Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan, and had a network of contacts in that country.

During the trip, they visited the Mennonite Social Welfare Foundation, which, through Taiwan’s national health insurance system, provides meals to qualified residents through a distribution system that includes partnerships with an FDA-approved company, local food markets, and volunteers that deliver meals to aboriginal communities. Students also toured Kaohsiung’s Municipal Hospital and its Telehealth-Care Center, which monitors and assists elderly patients, especially after being discharged.

“It was truly an eye-opening experience,” Preciado said. “We had the opportunity to apply many of the concepts we learned in our courses. It was an experience that we all truly appreciated.”