CBU students practice Global Health Engagement overseas
Riverside, Calif. (Aug. 8, 2019) – Justin Dennis had some hesitation about traveling abroad to practice health care over the summer. He put his worries aside, however, and signed up for the Global Health Engagement (GHE) program at California Baptist University.
Ultimately, serving in East Africa through GHE became an enlightening experience for him.
“I learned a great deal about physical therapy, athletic training and manual therapy,” said Dennis, a kinesiology senior at CBU. “More importantly though, I learned how to incorporate my love for Jesus into my daily life. I also learned how privileged of a life we live in America, but we can use this privilege to do amazing things in other parts of the world.”
This summer the College of Health Science at CBU sent out several teams to serve in a variety of health care roles in China, Uganda and East Africa. The trips—part of the GHE program —provide students the opportunity to serve in health care roles abroad while gaining course credits.
Lisa Friesen, assistant professor of athletic training, co-led a team to East Africa. The students served in a hospital providing evaluation and rehabilitation for its patients.
“This experience is an incredible way for students to connect their career goals to what God is doing globally,” Friesen said. “It also exposes students to see practically how to engage in integrating faith into the health care setting.”
Dr. William Boyer, assistant professor of kinesiology, co-led a team to China. Boyer said the trip created opportunities for students to become more culturally sensitive in their service.
“This allows students to have a clinical experience in a setting outside of the U.S., forcing them to think critically, adapt their instruction to the culture around them, and also to potentially influence the next steps their take in their careers,” Boyer said.
CBU students in the China group worked in a hospital. They performed activities including developing nutrition and exercise programming, and creating an exercise prescription and testing program for the cardiac rehabilitation center.
Connor Pacharis, a business administration senior, said his service in China was a rewarding experience.
“The opportunity to go overseas and observe a hospital melded my entire CBU education perfectly into one trip: business, foreign culture and health science,” Pacharis said.