IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Building on a successful global studies program in Oxford, England, West Coast University announces the launch of a new Global Public Health Initiative. The initiative, which will kick off with a project in the Republic of Panamá this May, will provide small teams of WCU nursing students the opportunity to fulfill a portion of their clinical hour requirements while working on critically needed community health projects abroad.
With the introduction of the new initiative, the University will realize its goal of offering multiple opportunities throughout the year to top nursing students who wish to experience health care delivery systems around the world. “Our Global Public Health Initiative brings an innovative approach to clinical practice,” said David Pyle, Executive Chairman of the WCU Board. “Because the University will offer multiple opportunities to travel, each term WCU nursing students will have a chance to develop their professional skills in a different location with its own set of issues and approaches to nursing.”
Dr. Barry Ryan, West Coast University president, says the initiative gives students a chance to experience different models of health care delivery and develop a deeper understanding of how different communities conceptualize health and well-being. “With this incredibly valuable learning tool, future nursing professionals are able to learn and work in an environment that is often radically different from their own—the language is different, the technology is different, and the health care system is different—and this exposure to cultural diversity opens their eyes to a global perspective on health care delivery.”
For the May 2013 project, WCU is working with the University of South Florida Health International Foundation. “When you want to make sure your activities are responsive to local needs, it is critical to have an experienced local partner like USF Health International Foundation,” said Brian Watkins, West Coast University Director of International Education. “USF is already on the ground in Panamá and can help identify the most effective and beneficial interaction between our nursing students and local communities.”
West Coast University will launch the May 2013 Panamá project with a donation to a Panamanian parish-based charity, Parroquia de Fátima-El Chorrillo. Frank Tedman, President of Palo Alto Agroindustrial, S.A. and a friend of the charity, will be at WCU on January 30th to accept the donation, which signifies the University’s commitment to the Panamanian communities WCU students will serve. WCU’s donation will support the parish’s widespread activities, which include a food program; a child care program for working mothers; a nursing home for homeless elderly men and women; a medical clinic for low-income families; an afterschool library program for school children; and technology access and training for youth.
Similar to the University’s Oxford program, nursing students must apply and be selected to participate in the Global Public Health Initiative. If selected, students will be fully scholarshipped, including all travel expense and accommodations. The application process for students opens the second week in February.
About West Coast University
West Coast University is one of Southern California’s leading health care educators, offering programs in nursing, health care management and dental hygiene at campuses in Los Angeles, Orange County and Ontario, and nursing programs at its new campus in Dallas, Texas. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) awarded programmatic accreditation to WCU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs in October 2009 and its Master of Science in Nursing program in May 2012. WCU’s Dental Hygiene program at the Orange County Campus is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association to offer the only Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) in the County. It is one of only four BSDH programs in California. West Coast University is regionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC - www.wascsenior.org) and by the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS – www.acics.org.) For more information on the Global Studies Program, see Dr. Barry Ryan’s Introductory Video on YouTube, or visit West Coast University. For regular updates on WCU news visit the Dr. Barry Ryan Blog.