Charity gala to support medical students’ outreach trip to Peru

Tyler Hoffman, News Editor

On Saturday, March 31, students from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine will host the Taste of Peru charity gala. The gala supports the efforts of the Peru Health Outreach Project, an organization led by medical students. Over the course of a four-week period this summer, the project will bring critical medical care and public health education to the people of Peru’s Sacred Valley Region.

“There are multiple components of the project,” explained first-year CWRU medical student Julia Muntean, a student leader and fundraising committee member for the trip. “The main component will be the clinics that we host in small mountainous towns where people don’t get care.”

Physicians will accompany medical students on the trip, and the project will offer treatments for a variety of ailments, ranging from exercises for patients with back pain to eyeglasses for patients with diminished vision.

“We will also be addressing parasite prevention through a de-worming drug, night blindness through vitamin A, and domestic violence,” Muntean noted. “We’re going to provide a combination of medical care [and] public health education, and host a symposium where local healthcare workers can get training on important healthcare issues.”

The funds raised at the charity gala will go toward the medical and educational supplies needed for the trip. “The gala will be a really fun night with Peruvian food, such as traditional appetizers, main meals, and deserts,” Muntean said. “There will also be salsa lessons for those who don’t know how to salsa dance and a silent auction featuring items donated from local individuals and companies.”

The event will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Lerner Commons of the Cleveland Clinic, located on Carnegie Ave. General admission tickets are $40 or $20 with a valid student ID. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance through March 30 at the event’s website.

While the outreach trip will greatly benefit the people of the Peru, Muntean also pointed out that it will provide learning opportunities for participating students.

“This will contribute to my ability to be a culturally competent healthcare provider, both in the United States and abroad,” Muntean explained. “I’m looking forward to meeting the people there and participating in their journey towards maintaining health.”