POCATELLO - Each year some of the brightest health care volunteers throughout the Southeast Idaho community travel to Peru with the Idaho Condor Peru Expedition over spring break to give locals there a better tomorrow.
From March 18 to 28, student and faculty from Idaho State University’s audiology program donated 25 sets of hearing aids to patients in need.The Idaho Condor Expedition is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing cost-free medical care to the indigent of Peru. The medical group is led by teams of physicians, physician assistants, nurses, volunteers and ISU students who travel to areas outlying Cuzco to set up clinics.
ISU’s audiology program was contacted last year by Idaho Condor organizers. The expedition was in need for audiological services to treat hearing loss, wax build-up and ear infections on their previous trip.
This year, more than 200 were served with audiological services ranging in age from newborns to 92 in the course of a week. The team from ISU’s audiology program was able to treat villagers from five different communities who are normally two hours away from basic health care. Volunteers say the services they provided were much needed.
“The people were excited when they found out they could be fit with a hearing aid and were very thankful, giving all of us a hug and a kiss as they left,” said Corrie Smith, ISU clinical assistant professor and audiologist. “Family members and the individuals receiving the hearing aids could notice a difference right away once the hearing aids were turned on.”
The trip was also an opportunity for students to share resources and work outside of their typical setting.
“It helped us to appreciate things that we often take for granted,” Smith said. “Our students were able to learn what it is like to work with a different culture and interpreters.
For more information on ISU’s audiology program visit isu.edu/csed/audiology/ or call 208-282-4196.
For more information on Idaho Condor visit idahocondor.org