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Riverside, Calif. (July 24, 2015) -- A group of three teams from the California Baptist University College of Allied Health spent part of their summer serving communities in China and the Philippines. Their trip was part of the college's Global Health Engagement (GHE) program. 

The GHE program provides students an opportunity to serve in a global health care setting while gaining course credit.   

"[GHE] gives students real-world experience that will set them apart when applying for graduate programs or jobs," said Dr. Charles Sands, provost and vice president for academic affairs. Sands previously served as founding dean of the College of Allied Health

Dr. Margaret Barth, program director of nutrition and food sciences, along with three students, traveled to Changchun, China. The team worked mainly with the Cedarnest Cancer Rehabilitation Center staff in caring for children who were cancer survivors.   

Barth and the students conducted seminars and helped assess the children's health. The students also developed nutrition and health plans.

"Volunteering is a wonderful thing, but it is even more meaningful when students can do something in their area of training," Barth said.

Dr. Candace Vickers, associate professor of communication disorders, and Dr. Wayne Fletcher, assistant professor of health science, took seven students to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, Philippines.  The group split into two teams and rotated through various units in the hospital.  

The CBU teams at UST participated in exercise and sports science programs, observed and assisted physicians with occupational, physical and speech therapy. They also joined doctors on their rounds to visiting a rural health clinic.

"On an educational level, they were exposed to in-depth explanations of therapy procedures, testing procedures and medical education," Vickers said. "The friendliness, the hospitality, the generosity of these people was incredibly humbling."

Sands traveled with four students to Jilin, China. The students participated in daily rounds with doctors at Bo Hua Hospital. They also assisted hospital staff by creating and developing cardiac rehabilitation exercise routines.

The students were challenged as they spent time in almost every area of the hospital, Sands said.

The students additionally participated in two clinics one in a supermarket where blood pressure and other basic health screenings were offered to the public. They also did a similar event in a farming community outside Jilin.

 "We believe that the GHE opportunity is an excellent way for our students to be transformed while learning and serving in these settings," he said.