For an overworked and underslept student, Casey Husk cleans up well.
Last Friday night, Husk and other students donned suits and ties, serving authentic Ecuadorian food in a culturally rich atmosphere. Traditional Ecuadorian music serenaded the four course ethnic meal, prepared in the kitchen of Café Sintra in downtown Bend. The event was a benefit for Cascade Medical Ambassadors, an emerging cause on and off campus in the Central Oregon area. The motto of the group, stated on their Facebook page, reads: “Profound medical experiences in the heart of South America for students, by students.” Voicing the spirit of a peer driven purpose.
Casey Husk is spearheading the group created, guided and directly benefiting local students, aimed at facilitating medical volunteer stays for
American students in other regions of the world. CMA, created December of 2010, was born after Husk spent nine weeks working at Hospital Luis Vernaza in Guyaquil, Ecuador, the largest hospital in a country the size of Colorado State.
The vision driving Husk’s project is the idea of students in the medical field gaining hands on experience in other cultures. With few exceptions, medical relief organizations and international service groups are largely funded for and oriented to medical professionals with certifications in hand.
CMA seeks to offer aspiring doctors and nurses and other practitioners exposure to the medical setting in other parts of the world before they have completed their education. At this point, CMA has a summer trip planned for 2011 to Guyaquil, hoping that this mission will become an annual opportunity for students in central Oregon.
Husk is a former marine who is pursuing his pre-medical education. He is joined by a team of other Central Oregon students who seek diverse medical exposures and life experiences. CMA is parented by the Reach Another Foundation, a humanitarian organization based in Central Oregon.
For medical students with international aspirations, CMA provides a challenging contrast to sterile internships available in the United States, according to Tom Lotino, CMA’s events and marketing director. Reach Another was founded by Marinus Koning, a retired Bend physician.
Reach Another was out in force on Friday night to show their support.
Friday night’s benefit gave Husk and his comrades a glimpse of community support in the form of over 40 event attendees, as well as the generous donations of many local merchants and businesses in a silent auction, raising over $3000.
Liv Glanville can be reached at email@example.com
More information about CMA is available on their Facebook page (Cascade Medical Ambassadors) or reachanother.org/projects-cascade-ambassadors.