Grace College Nursing Students, Faculty Host Clinics for Navajo Nation
Bethel University’s School of Nursing at Grace College sent several students and faculty to spend a week in Gamerco, New Mexico, this summer to serve the Navajo Nation – a region disproportionally impoverished and medically underserved. The group partnered with local churches to conduct blood pressure screenings and provide education on healthy lifestyle choices.
“It was wonderful to see our students and nursing faculty show Christ’s love on this mission trip as they served the Navajo people,” said Deborah Gillum, dean of nursing at Bethel University. “Nursing is a mission field, and this trip was a reminder to our students and graduates that they do not need to go overseas to serve—they can serve here in the States and help to address the needs that exist.”
In addition to the medical assistance provided, students helped with a handful of other service projects such as painting a playground and cleaning up trash for the Broken Arrow Bible Ranch, a summer camp for Navajo children.
Ashley Shaarda, a senior nursing student at Grace from Lucas, Ohio, shared that her highlight of the trip was a connection she made with a Navajo woman.
“The most impactful experience for me took place after one of our clinic/health education evenings when we had the chance to talk with a Navajo woman who shared about her experience with alcoholism,” said Shaarda. “She tearfully told us how the Lord rescued her from her addiction, and afterward, we were able to pray for her. It was so encouraging to make that kind of connection even though we were only there for a short time.”
According to the nursing faculty, this is the first Navajo Nation trip of many.
“It was so amazing to see our nursing students eagerly sit and listen to individual Navajo ‘clients,’” said Dale Robbins, assistant professor of nursing. “As a result of this trip, we have a much better understanding of the Navajo people, what some of their health education needs are and what it will take to reach out to them in the future. We are excited about how the Lord might use these connections in the years to come.”
Grace College’s nursing program is about more than an education; it’s about demonstrating compassion that reflects Christ to those who need care. To learn more about Grace’s nursing degree, visit www.grace.edu/programs/
Photo attached: Bethel University’s School of Nursing students and faculty partnered with Hooghan Nizhoni Church of God in Gamerco, New Mexico, to conduct blood pressure screenings and provide education on healthy lifestyle choices. (left to right): Mary Mitchell, Chable Johnson, Theresa Jodway, April Hart, Brittney Klotz, Anna Bower, Deborah Gillum, Penny Hall, Ashton Rice, Dale Robbins, Ashley Shaarda and Natalia Cooke.