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OHIO Eastern nursing director volunteers on annual medical missions to Mexico

Published: November 29, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Matthew Fox, associate director and associate professor of nursing at Ohio University Eastern, served on an annual medical mission team to Mexico coordinated through the West Ohio Methodist Conference and Manos Juntas Medical Clinic, a healthcare ministry of the Methodist Church of Mexico. Fox’s service was highlighted during International Education Week, Nov. 15 to Nov. 19, recognizing the importance of global education.

“I give time to mission work because it feels like the right thing to do to help others. I have been extremely fortunate to have had the ability to go on mission trips to volunteer my time and to learn about another culture,” Fox said. 

Fox, an Ohio University alumnus who received his associate degree in nursing at OHIO Zanesville in 2009 and is currently finishing his doctorate at OHIO, is quickly becoming a global leader in the community. 

During the summers, Fox spends time in Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, providing care to the residents. Manos Juntas Medical Clinic hosts several mission teams throughout the year. Fully immersed in local culture, the team members work with local translators to assess and deliver medical care to the residents of Tamaulipas. The clinics provide health screenings, medications, vitamins and health-related education.

“The most rewarding part is being able to deliver free care to the residents, including free medications, vitamins, and of course all of the mission team’s knowledge sharing with the patients treated,” Fox said. “Another reward is being able to be in another culture, make new connections, and serve the community of Rio Bravo.”

Fox and his medical team members are a group of medical professionals who were willing to go abroad and help support the health care needs of residents of Rio Bravo. They not only deliver medicines, but they also provide their clients preventative care and teach about how to stay healthy. 

“During a clinic in the Senda de Vida Refugee camp, a pregnant female presented with her husband. The couple had other children and were seeking refuge in the camp,” Fox said. “A member of the mission team had a portable ultrasound probe that connected to a smart phone. This allowed him to perform a prenatal ultrasound to show the couple. This was the first time she had an ultrasound done and both were amazed at the images they saw of their unborn baby.”

More information about how to serve on a mission team can be found at West Ohio Conference.