Nice to Meet You

Welcome!  Our first meeting of the Ghana Health Mission participants from the University of New England occurred on an early June afternoon.  I looked around knowing only the faces of Jennifer Morton, and two fellow nursing students. Others I had never seen before, which one might think strange on a campus as small as UNE, Westbrook.  My rationale for this is that health profession programs are very focused, with specific classes and time consuming clinical experiences.  We become close with those in our program and few others unless actively involved outside our major.  So, to break the ice, I’d like to introduce our participants to you just as we did at our first meeting.


Grace Perry: Well, I guess I will start with myself.  I just graduated with my Associate Degree in Nursing and will be completing my Bachelor of Science in nursing next spring.  I am very excited as this is my first step into international health care which has been a goal of mine for some time.  Having the privilege of writing this blog makes the experience even more special as I also endeavor to raise awareness about important global issues that are so well illustrated in the developing world.

Dara Lamson: Nursing, also ’09 graduate now in BSN program.  Dara is beyond excited for everything this trip has to offer, except, of course the spiders, bugs, and other creepy crawlies.

Laura Beal: ’09 nursing graduate.  Laura is hoping to learn a lot from this trip and to be as useful as possible.  Laura has some international traveling experience as well as a sociology/anthropology background which will definitely be useful and very interesting to discuss in the future.

Laura Lombardi: Physical Therapy.  For Laura, Africa will be an experience- and she can’t wait!

Lindsay McKenney Physical Therapy.  Lindsay thinks it is important to contribute to local and international causes and is excited to contribute to this cause while seeing this part of Africa.

Emilee Schroeder: Physicians Assistant. Emilee has experience traveling and in service organizations but she is excited for this to be her first mission in health care.

Elisa Vocca: Physician Assistant.  Elisa is extremely busy with long clinical hours (yes, even through the summer) but is very excited to take these two weeks to learn and experience Africa.

Matt Gravett: Physician Assistant.  Matt has international experience through the military but he is very interested in working globally and hopes this experience will give him a better understanding of challenges of global health.

Steph Bliss: Occupational Therapist, 09 Graduate!!!  Steph is interested in all aspects of health care and we are very lucky to have her along with us as our only OT this year.

Jen Bayron:  Medical Biology and Biochemistry. Jen wants to learn a lot from this trip, including valuable skills that will help her down the road.  She is in the process of applying to medical schools.

Ginny Lee: Medical Biology.  Ginny is excited to see how this trip will change her perspective on both life and health care.

Megan Hawkes: Medical Biology and Political Science.  Although her double major keeps her busy, this will be Megan’s second medical mission.  Comparing this trip with her previous experiences will be very interesting.  Megan is also interested in medical school.


Jennifer Morton: Nursing Professor at the University of New England.  This is Jen’s sixth trip to this area with Ghana Health Mission and the second year she has organized student and fellow faculty participation at the University of New England.  While in Ghana, she will also be finishing research on a clean water education program for her doctoral degree. (Go, Jen!)

Nancy Simpson:  Nursing Faculty, University of New England.  Nancy’s interested in enriching her world view and experiencing another culture though health care.

Jim Cavanaugh: Physical Therapy Faculty, University of New England. Jim is interested in PT practices and outcomes in the developing world. Jim is very excited for this trip.

Brenda Beckett: Physician Assistant Faculty, University of New England.  Brenda hopes to treat as many people as she can while we are in Africa, learn from the experience and use it to help her become a better clinician.

Presently, many of us are strangers.  Before long we will travel part way around the world united by the common goal of helping the people of Ghana, West Africa.  Journey with us as we learn about each other, ourselves, the people we encounter, and the world.

Please visit our “About the Trip” page for more information on Ghana and our group.

8 Responses to “Nice to Meet You”

  1. uneghana09 says:

    Thank you all so much for commenting! We’re having a great time but we love and miss you all back home. Keep reading!

  2. martha Lee says:

    What a gift you all have. I am so proud my daughter is in the company of, as she said, ” the greatest people she has ever met”. Much love and prayers. “Ginny’s Mom”
    Oh…..and Brenda I love you.

  3. Linny Leighton says:

    Hi Ginny – what an awesome experience! I am so very proud of you.
    Have a great time and take a ton of photos.
    I wish you all the best for a safe mission trip

  4. Melinda Perry says:

    We will be praying for you all and looking forward to reading about your trip.

  5. Laura Zutter says:

    Hey Grace,
    Congratulations on this great mission! I had no idea that you would be doing this. All of the folks at “home” in Charlestown/Claremont wish you well!!
    Laura Zutter, RN

  6. Shauna Lane says:

    Good luck and be safe!!!

  7. Tim Ford says:

    Good luck to all of you. If any water and health questions arise, please feel free to contact me.

  8. John Tumiel says:

    Best wishes for safe travel and a wonderful trip to my colleagues and to our students. We are proud of you all. Let me know if I can be of any help here at home while you are there.

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