Alta Bates Summit Donates Hospital Supplies to aid Medical Mission in Central America

Samuel Merritt University

Media Relations Contact:

Elizabeth Valente   510.725.7980
July 27, 2009


SMU Nursing Students join Global Medical Brigades to Panama

(OAKLAND, Calif., July 27, 2009)  Alta Bates Summit Medical Center will donate two pallets of medical supplies to Samuel Merritt University (SMU) nursing students.

WHY:  Nearly a dozen Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students in the Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at SMU will travel to Panama on August 14, where they will work with the non-profit organization Global Medical Brigades.  The students' mission is to provide health services, including medical care, education, and counseling to Panamanians living in rural villages.

"Several of us enjoy combining our medical experience with helping others globally," says Evelyn Shober, FNP student.  "We will be treating hundreds of rural patients who might not otherwise get the kind of care that we are accustomed to in North America."

WHO:  SMU students will provide acute care, treating patients with scabies, respiratory infections, high blood pressure and abdominal pain.  They will also treat villagers with infections, STD's, suture wounds and provide minor surgical procedures, like mole removal and other kinds of skin cancer.   

"The idea of an immersion experience is that the student nurses will gain a deeper understanding of another cultural or ethnic group which, when they return home, may engender an appreciation and inquisitiveness about their patients who come from different backgrounds," explains Rhonda Ramirez, EdD, FNP, Assistant Professor, Family Nurse Practitioner Program. 

WHO/WHEN:  Alta Bates Summit staff and students will meet on Tuesday, July 28, at 1 p.m.

WHERE:  Alta Bates Summit Medical Center loading dock: 350 Hawthorne Ave., Oakland

CONTACT:  Interviews and photo/filming opportunities available. Contact Elizabeth Valente, Associate Director of Media Relations at 510.725.7980 cell and

Samuel Merritt University, located on 'Pill Hill' in Oakland, California, is celebrating 100 years of educating health science practitioners who are committed to making a positive difference in diverse communities.  Nearly 1,300 students are enrolled at SMU, with campuses in Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Mateo.  The University offers an undergraduate degree in nursing; master's degrees in nursing, occupational therapy, physician assistant; and doctoral degrees in physical therapy and podiatric medicine. For more information visit

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