After 12 years as a cardiac intensive care RN, Jennifer received her MSN with a specialty as family nurse practitioner this year and went on her first medical mission to Nairobi, Kenya. Jennifer works as an FNP-C at Grace Med Community Health Clinic in Wichita, Kansas. This clinic meets the health care needs of the under-insured and uninsured in the Wichita area. She is married to Wayne and enjoys reading, traveling, camping, the outdoors, and playing with her 2 dogs in her free time.
Jennifer, along with four other people from the Westlink Christian Church in Wichita, KS. They worked with Missions of Hope International (MOHI) and Christian Missionary Fellowship to serve the impoverished people of Mathare Valley slum in Nairobi, Kenya by providing education to children and community health evangelism. MOHI’s goal is to break the cycle of poverty by providing education and establishing improved community health.
Dental hygiene education was provided on the mission to 1200 school children that included fluoride treatments and a free toothbrush/toothpaste for each child. Also, prenatal education was provided to the women within the surrounding communities and an average of 20 patients a day were treated for a variety of ailments including respiratory infections, pharyngitis, allergies, malaria, intestinal worms/parasites, and high blood pressure.
In Jennifer’s own words:
“I was overwhelmed at first at the extreme poverty that these people live in and also I couldn’t believe how these people survived daily. This experienced definitely made me realize how much I take for granted the lifestyle I live in the US….. I would definitely go back and hopefully be more prepared to do more health education. I also see areas in the clinic that could be improved as far as efficiency is concerned and establishing some medical protocols for the most common diagnoses that they treat…… I think that I will have new feelings and opinions in the months to come that I haven’t encountered yet related to this trip. It was so satisfying and rewarding to use my nursing education to improve the lives of these women and children of Mathere Valley! I never thought the most basic of things that I have learned as a nurse would be so valuable to these people.”