International Outreach

Introduction

ORIENTATION FOR SHORT-TERM MEDICAL MISSIONS

Introduction

Welcome to CHA's online orientation for short-term medical mission trip participants and others interested in this work. It's designed to provide 24-7 access from any device, and can be used as part of a larger orientation program, or independently. As a work in progress, CHA welcomes your insights and would like to hear how it is being used. Contact Bruce Compton to provide feedback or share resources that can add to this resource.

The orientation modules were developed in response to CHA often being asked if it has resources available for the orientation of persons participating in mission trips. While we have many resources available for such use — including the booklet, A Reflection Guide for International Health Activities — we wanted to provide something that allows the user to complete the orientation online in her or his own time since the majority of those who do go on medical mission trips are volunteers from various locations in any given health system or organization. In so doing, we wanted to be sure that the resource provides space for discernment of the activity — opportunities to consider who is being served and who is doing that service, motivations on both sides of a mission trip partnership and other aspects of the activity that stem from Catholic social teaching and tradition, particularly as that relates to how one enters into another's community. We also want to stress that this is just one orientation tool — many organizations already have orientation programs or processes.

What follows is a four-segment orientation module — with the fourth module being for SOON AFTER a person returns. Utilizing numerous resources developed by CHA and others, the hope is that it orients not only the mind, but also, the heart. The four modules include:

MODULE ONE – Understanding the Guiding Principles for Conducting International Health Activities
Watch an excerpt

MODULE TWO – Short-Term Medical Missions: Research-Based Recommendations for Practice
Watch an excerpt: Excerpt 1 | Excerpt 2

MODULE THREE – Cultural and Logistical Preparation for Your Trip
Watch an excerpt

MODULE THREE-A – Orientation specific to the Hospital St. Francois de Sales in Port au Prince, Haiti
Watch an excerpt: Excerpt 1 | Excerpt 2

MODULE FOUR Reentering, Remembering & Remaining Rooted
Watch an excerpt


Resources to have in hand prior to starting the module

This online resource can be completed without any additional materials, however, it is most rich if used in conjunction with several hard copy booklets – which are available for free with free shipping. Please order these CHA resources and have them available prior to starting the module, or utilize the PDFs.

We recommend you have copies of:

io_guidingprinciples_152Guiding Principles for Conducting International Health Activities» Order a copy(s) of the Guiding Principles Today
» Download a PDF of the booklet

Short-Term Medical Mission Trips: Recommendations for Practice
This book shares 20 Recommendations for Practice that Catholic health care leaders should use to review current and to consider future short-term medical mission trips. They are based on the Phase I and Phase II short-term medical mission trip research. 
» Order a copy of the book
» Download an electronic copy
» Order the webinar recording
» Learn more about the research and Recommendations for Practice by listening to a recording of the 30-minute webinar

Short-Term Medical Mission Trips Survey Results
This book contains the detailed question-by-question survey results from Phase I and Phase II of CHA's 2014-2015 research project on short-term medical mission trips.
» Order a copy of the book
» Download an electronic copy

Before beginning the modules, please take a moment for reflection.


Opening Reflection

"Then the LORD asked Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel?' He answered, 'I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" The LORD then said: 'What have you done? Your brother's blood cries out to me from the soil!'" (Genesis 4:9-10)

"Cain's question, 'Am I my brother's keeper?', has global implications and is a special challenge for our time, touching not one brother but all our sisters and brothers. Are we responsible for the fate of the world's poor? Do we have duties to suffering people in far-off places? Must we respond to the needs of suffering refugees in distant nations? Are we keepers of the creation for future generations? For the followers of Jesus, the answer is yes." (From the U.S. Bishops, Called to Global Solidarity)

Prayer
God of All, I ask You to watch over me and those who also will journey in the coming days.
Grant us the humility needed to be open to this new experience.
» More

Let us seek honesty in these days, both embracing our many gifts and admitting our struggles.
May excellence characterize all we do in our service to others.
Grant us patience, with ourselves and with those we encounter, trusting that the goodness of tomorrow is for tomorrow.
Bring out our most authentic selves, having faith that who we are is exactly enough for this task.
Provide us a double portion of prudence, that we may be wise in all we do.
May we seek and find good companionship in the communities where we work.
And when the time has come, return us safely home, filled with the joy that comes from doing Your will, and renewed by the Grace of these days.
I ask this through Your holy name.
Amen.

Access the Modules:

MODULE ONE – Understanding the Guiding Principles for Conducting International Health Activities

MODULE TWO – Short-Term Medical Missions: Research-Based Recommendations for Practice

MODULE THREE – Cultural and Logistical Preparation for Your Trip

MODULE THREE-A – Orientation specific to the Hospital St. Francois de Sales in Port au Prince, Haiti

MODULE FOUR Reentering, Remembering & Remaining Rooted