Many of our residents and faculty physicians have a passion for underserved care. This interest is fulfilled through the work we do on the east side of Indianapolis, but also extends to interest in global health service. In recognition of the fact that international outreach trips offer outstanding learning opportunities that cannot be duplicated in Indiana, we started a Global Health elective several years ago.
Our trip is to rural Honduras through a partnership with the ENLACE foundation. We travel to the ENLACE clinic in the village of Las Lajas, in the Taulabe state of Honduras. This clinic was was founded by IU family physician Dr. Javier Sevilla, and Dr. Floripe Hernandez de Gonazalez practices there year round. Additional clinical support from outside teams, including Community Health Network’s residencies and the Kaiser Napa-Solano Family Medicine residency program, helps to bolster operations and outreach to surrounding villages in the mountains.
Since our founding trip in 2017, we have traveled to Honduras with residents every February. Trip participants have spanned the following disciplines: family medicine, podiatry, psychiatry, general surgery and pharmacy. Disease prevention, acute and chronic primary care, and community health engagement are the goals of the project. We generally go for a nine-day trip, which includes one work-week and a little time on the beginning and end of the trip to adapt and then debrief. Residents generally travel in their second or third year of their residency, and they have been able to use their CME funds toward the costs of the trip. We’ve also been generously supported through the Community Health Network Foundation, which has helped decrease the amount needed from CME.
We hold a one-week pre-travel didactic week for our participants to learn about travel medicine, tropical medicine and social determinants of health. Non-traveling residents have an opportunity to join in this educational week as an elective experience. Three of our East Family Medicine faculty, Dr. Aria Arrizabalaga, Dr. Maurice Henein and Dr. Sagi Mathew, have recent global health experience and help to lead Community Health Network’s efforts in this partnership.