We are having our members help out with Medical Donations. A letter that they can send out to potential donors such as hospitals, clinics, medical doctors/private practices and or other resources has been formulated for them so that they can begin asking for donations. The deadline for all donations to be gathered is Friday of week 10, March 15, 2013.
As for the medical trip that will be taking place this Spring Break, one of our main goals is to bring back as many Spina Bifida surveys as we can from those who suffer from it and to bring back 30 controls for Dr. George Chiang. As of now, the American research acquired for Spina Bifida shows no trends and therefore the data is inconclusive. Thus, the Chapter is depending on Nicaraguan surveys.
We had a training session for the Research that will be conducted in Nicaragua on February 27th.This training also served as a workshop and information session on how to conduct the surveys, and upon Spina Bifida and the reasons behind it being so prevalent in Nicaragua.
Upcoming Events, next quarter we will be selling fried plantains and Cacao. Our main goal here besides raising funds, is to have our members bond more with the officers and become further connected with the Project. We want our members to be more engaged and learn a little more about Nicaragua culture by tasting some traditional food at the same time. The goal is to have everyone help out in preparing the plantains and Cacao as well as selling on library walk.
Our successes for the year is being able to keep in contact and work together with the Doctors both in Nicaragua and in San Diego. We are looking forward to publishing our Spina Bifida research based on the Preliminary Analysis on the American side and the surveys that will be obtained from the Nicaraguan side.
Outside of the survey project, our other three have been submitted to Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and we hope to hear back soon on whether or not we will be invited to attend for them in the first week of April, but in the meantime we are working on them regardless, because we’ll be implementing them on the May trip. Also, with the survey we are collaborating with Dr. Brent Sohngen, a professor of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics here at Ohio State and his graduate student, Lea. They have been a great aid to us in figuring out how to structure our survey and hopefully gain IRB approval before our May trip so we can publish our results later.
In addition to working on projects, our branch is also conducting many fundraising events as well; from arena clean ups at the Schottenstein Center, to working Nationwide Arena events, and pairing up with local businesses for “fundraising nights.” We are also hosting our first ever Volleyball tournament on Sunday, April 7th along with the help of a business fraternity on campus, Delta Sigma Pi. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit the community of Rancho Grande.
We are very much so looking forward to the challenges ahead of us with planning a trip, conducting research, implementing projects, and continually fundraising this year and hope to continually grow our OSU branch as after the May trip, our focus will shift to membership development as August will bring a fresh group of roughly 15,000 new students to campus here at Ohio State.
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As we go forward into the new year and the next semester, our goals are to improve member and organizational development as well as continue to have awareness and fundraising events. Part of our member development is applying to the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU). CGIU is an annual meeting where students, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative ways to solve pressing global issues. This year it is being held at Washington University in St. Louis April 5th-7th. We have gone before and realize that it is a vigorous process getting in, but we hope to send three different groups of four members this year. Also, organizationally we want to further develop by researching our impact and effectiveness as a group in our efforts to help better Nicaragua. We will be doing this in collaboration with Dr. Brent Sonhgen, a professor of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at Ohio State. We’re really looking forward to getting the results of this research so we can make our chapter better than ever before.
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We will make our first trip down to Nicaragua for two weeks in the month of May. The first week will work with La Mascota Children’s Hospital in Managua teaching programs on health, hygiene, nutrition, and first-aid. The second week we will work in Leon with local schools and small clinics in the community, as well as collaborating with the NGO FriendsNE to help build a house for a family with $2,000, 25% of which they would pay back over the next four years.
Some things on our agenda for next semester include holding donation drives for dental supplies, personal care products, as well as continuing our eyeglass drive from the fall. We are also planning to host a Nicaraguan gala to raise funds with a group of medical students at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who are also traveling to Nicaragua on a medical mission trip in March.
As for our upcoming Medical Trip, we have decided to change it from December 15 to Spring Break in March. We will be joining forces with the UCLA chapter and hope to book our flights by the beginning of Winter Quarter.
Due to the quarter almost coming to an end and finals week right around the corner we will not be having any more General Body Meetings until the beginning of next quarter.
As for Fundraising, at the time we are advertising MCAT Kaplan Books.
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Project Nicaragua UCLA is working on fundraising by communicating with local churches and businesses and as well as national banks such as Goldman Sachs who have donated to our chapter before. Additionally regular fundraisers at the Rubio’s and Panda Express restaurants on campus are being done to help raise money.
Fundraising is being done to possibly help defray the cost of the trip but primarily for our scholarship program in which we cover the medical school education of three Nicaraguan students and is a central element to our chapters mission.
Chapter members will have a conference with Dr. Jorge Lazareff, the founder of Project Nicaragua, to discuss further spina bifida research in Managua as well as future projects, goals, and the direction of Project Nicaragua.
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