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Timmy Global Health: Blazing a New Trail in Medical Brigades One Pizza at a Time

America to the rescue! The world’s super heroes!

The Issue

All too often, the United States and its citizen donors are accused of swooping into a “developing” country to take a few pictures, gain a new perspective and leave again without having made a lasting impact or alleviating any suffering. The phenomenon calls to mind the old adage of putting a Band-Aid on a major lesion.

There is no question that major need exists in other countries and that the United States is adequately equipped to provide help through volunteers and financial support. The question is: how do we create sustainable and effective change? How do we cease to provide quick fixes and take the time to get to the root of the significant problems that face developing nations?

Timmy Global Health

There is no easy answer to this question. It is an issue that undergraduates, graduates, doctoral students and staff in a myriad of backgrounds continue to ask. While there are many organizations, groups and events dedicated to answering this question, one in particular seems to have found a creative way to leave the jet-in days long behind.

Timmy Global Health is an organization dedicated to providing medical care to people in the United States as well as abroad through innovative collaboration between concerned students and partner organizations based in the community in need. Notre Dame’s own chapter of Timmy focuses on providing effective healthcare solutions and education to the communities of South Bend, Indiana and Quito, Ecuador by enabling students to fundraise, serve and advocate.

Ecuador

For those of you returning to campus, you may have already heard of Timmy as the trump card of trump cards in awesome things done over fall break. For those that do not have one of these world shakers in their classes, Timmy students travel to Quito, Ecuador over fall break as part of a medical brigade to help run clinics that provide free medical consultations to the community.

The clinics are staffed by healthcare providers from the United States but are organized by local community groups that seek to use the funds efficiently and ethically. Every day a new clinic is opened and new patients are seen. Students themselves act in a new position each time, sometimes working as assistants to the physicians while other times working as triage personnel where they have the opportunity to interact directly with patients.

Patients come from all over the community as well as surrounding areas to receive medical opinions on everything from a cough to lung cancer. At the end of the day every patient receives a toothbrush and vitamins as well as any medicine he or she might need, all of which are completely free.

 

South Bend

Timmy students do not only serve those in faraway Ecuador. Dedicated to making a difference here as well as abroad, Timmy has begun a program titled GOAL that works with local South Bend schools to educate students on pressing health issues like childhood obesity. (Timmy is making eating vegetables cool!) The program also plans to have a book drive so that kids not only have access to books but have books that they can call their own. (Did someone say Harry Potter?!?)

Through GOAL, Timmy hopes to work closely with the South Bend community to fulfill its needs and to provide lasting medical education.

What Can I Do?

Join the club! For information about the club or to see awesome pictures, click here. For email questions, please contact timmynd@nd.edu. For more information on the main organization, you can visit the Timmy Global Health website.

The empowering effects of Timmy are not limited to only those in the club! You, the concerned reader, can assist Timmy by participating in its fundraisers with full confidence that your money is going to a cause that will have long-lasting effects.

Also, on September 8, 2015, the Notre Dame chapter of Timmy Global Health will be holding a fundraiser at Blaze Pizza. For every student that comes in and presents the flyer below, Notre Dame’s Timmy chapter will receive a portion of the proceeds.

Why not go with your roommates, your friends, your future SYR dates, or your chem lab partners to support a great organization with a little bit of pizza? It will at least fill the craving you’ve been having for personalized pizza since the Reckers pizza ovens went up in flames. (May those great Barbeque Pizzas return shortly.) At the very best you’ll be supporting the efforts of great people to make a lasting difference in this crazy world, if only one pizza at a time.

 

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Images: 1, 2, 3 and 4 provided by author

Down in El Paso there lived a little girl who dreamed of the snow. She got to ND and now dreams of the sun.
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