13,889 patients treated and 34,086 prescriptions filled on
eight medical service trips since 2016.
Upcoming Trip Dates:
All others cancelled due to COVID-19
One Week: $1300 Two Weeks: $1880
Our Goals for Impact
1. Work directly with our Honduran partners and the Ministry of Health to identify medically underserved communities that would benefit from our clinics. This includes advising us on what supplies are needed and what health education topics our workshops should focus on.
2. Once a community partnership is established, send yearly or bi-yearly teams to establish continuity of care
3. Hire Honduran physicians, dentists, optometrists, translators, and other personnel to join our team. Students from our nursing school also join!
4. Establish a referral system with the nearest clinics/hospitals for long-term chronic disease management.
5. Disseminate important information on health hygiene and primary prevention practices through our health education workshops.
6. Reserve funds for each trip to aid in a needed community infrastructure project (wells, school bathrooms, athletic fields, etc.).
1. Currently finishing our evidence-based primary prevention curriculum for our health education workshops held at our clinics
2. Obtain an EMR system. Since we send yearly or bi-yearly teams to the same partner communities, this EMR system would help us longitudinally monitor a patient’s health.
3. An EMR system would also allow us to conduct research on disease prevalence and associated socioeconomic factors. A research plan has already been developed. The goal would be to provide this data to the Honduran Ministry of Health to help influence health policy, especially in the rural areas we often serve in where public health data is extremely scarce.
4. Work with the Honduran Ministry of Health to have eligible patients sign up for public health insurance at our clinics.
Expectations and Requirements of Volunteers
1. In addition to all the required forms and information that must be provided to AcE prior to the trip, we also require our volunteers to learn about socioeconomic, cultural sensitivity, and ethical issues in Honduras and inherent in short-term service trips. We do this through the completion of global health modules from reputable organizations such as Johns Hopkins University and Unite for Sight. Our aim is to educate our volunteers on our goals of capacity-building, in addition to direct service delivery and minimizing any potential harm. AcE reserves the right to prevent volunteers from attending our trips if these expectations are not met.
2. Students/general volunteers will be responsible for running our health education workshops, which will focus on teaching our evidence-based primary prevention curriculum to interested patients. Other tasks to help the clinic will also be a responsibility. Interested students may get opportunities to take vitals (which is first done by a licensed professional) and observe our healthcare team conduct histories and physicals, if the flow of the clinic allows it. AcE's first priority is the health and safety of it's patients, however we know how life-changing of an experience this can be for our volunteers and students (that's how we started AcE!) and take pride in making this an amazing experience. Our ultimate goal is that you continue your efforts, whether with AcE or beyond, when you return home.
3. After completion of the trip, we expect all volunteers to fill out a brief post-trip survey on what was successful, what we could improve upon, and any other comments they may have about their experience on an AcE service trip.
Barriers Our Patients Still Face
AcE is committed to continuous improvement and enhancing the quality of our services, both in education and healthcare, to best assist our Honduran friends in building their communities the way they deem best. Our belief is that we can always do better and we welcome suggestions on how we can improve. In an effort to be transparent, we wanted to identify some current barriers that we are trying to address:
1. Many clinics/hospitals we work with often run out of medications, which greatly hinders long-term management of our patients. We often leave a large amount of our medications with these clinics to help, but due to inadequate funding/availability of medications in Honduras, these clinics can struggle to remain fully stocked.
2. Similar to many healthcare environments, communication barriers are a key issue to prevent negative outcomes and the misuse of medications, especially in the underserved communities AcE serves in. To help prevent any confusion on how to take their medications, we use pre-printed stickers with generic directions that can then be personalized for each patient according to the prescriber’s directions. We also encourage our providers to utilize the teach-back method with patients to help ensure they know how to take their prescriptions, and our health education workshops will also work to ensure patients know how to take their medications. In addition to stressing the importance of using the full course of medications such as antibiotics, our health education workshops will also emphasize how misuse of common over-the-counter medications such as NSAIDs and Tylenol can have negative health effects.
3. Our organization is young, having officially began in 2015 and consisting almost entirely of new professionals, graduate students, and undergraduate students. We believe in what we have accomplished and want to maintain student and volunteer-led initiatives moving forward. We also believe in the impact the people of Honduras have on us; all of our AcE members have been inspired by the strength and undying faith prevalent throughout Honduras. None of us would be the people we are today without the relationships we have made in Honduras. By providing a platform of unique leadership opportunities, we aim to empower our younger generations to create real sustainable change in their communities and beyond. But we are also excited for our resources and expertise to expand as our AcE team becomes filled with physicians, lawyers, nurses, physician assistants, accountants, and more.
See some of the photos from our trips!
**All photos posted with permission**