‘The Healer’s Art’ service project

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The College of Nursing partnered up with The Education in Zion Gallery’s exhibit, “The Healer’s Art” on campus March 20, to customize newborn kits for babies in Ghana.

During spring semester, 16–18 nursing students and two faculty members will go to Ghana for a period of three and half weeks as part of the Global Health and Human Diversity Course. They will deliver newborn kits, hats and blankets.

The students in this course will learn how to serve in aspects of health care like immunizations, health assessments and teaching health care practices. Their trip will also serve as a valuable cultural experience as they practice nursing skills in a developing country.

Whitney Ackerson, a senior in the nursing program from Beaverton, Ore., will be traveling to Ghana to deliver the kits in person.

“I’m most excited to interact with the people. I know for some, this could be some of the nicest things they will ever receive. That’s going to be a really cool experience,” she said.

The children in Ghana will greatly benefit from the kits these students provide, but the students also benefit from their involvement in the nursing program.

“We certainly in the College of Nursing are often involved in service,” said Patricia Ravert, Dean of the College of Nursing. “The benefit for the students is to really see that we can give wonderful nursing care with small supplies, and that they can have the opportunity to really make a difference in somebody else with a small amount of effort.”

Heather Seferovich, Curator of the Education in Zion Gallery, was extremely grateful for the seventy students who came and participated in the service project.

“Service can be a great teacher for those who give the service. Among other things, service does a good job of teaching empathy and perspective, and these two qualities offer spiritual balance in a busy world that often diverts our attention away from an eternal perspective,” she said.

The 70 students were able to complete over 150 newborn kits and six fleece blankets for children in Ghana, as well as 120 letters for children in local Utah hospitals. They believe this will bless the lives of a couple hundred people.

“Often times the mothers there don’t have supplies to care for their children. They have so little that even this small contribution will be really helpful to them. It will allow them to care for their babies,” said Dean Ravert.

Sammy Webber, a BYU graduate from Draper, visited Ecuador in 2012 with the Global Health and Human Diversity course.

“I was able to spend a day at the maternity hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The day I went, we only had a few newborn kits with us. The women in the hospital were literally begging us for a kit. What may seem like something so simple to those of us who are so blessed is something incredible to women with limited resources. Those who receive these kits will be so grateful for the kindness of others,” she said.

Whitney Ackerson is excited to learn from the recipients of the kits she delivers.

“Service has taught me that we are all here to help each other out. I think it’s cool that we can serve people. We all need each other,” she said.