Aerie's Community Outreach programs provide reduced-cost or free health care, and health education and medical training to individuals, communities and organizations. Our Outreach programs include annual free health clinics in Costa Rica, working in partnership with Costa Rican physicians; partnerships with Indian physicians to host health clinics and hospital observations in northern India as well as train Indian health care providers; free first aid and CPR training to non-profits in Montana; and scholarships for EMT training for high school graduates in Missoula. Read more below about our various outreach efforts.
Aerie teams with local Costa Rican doctors who annually offer free health clinics to residents of rural Costa Rican communities. Lead by Costa Rican physicians and Aerie's Medical Director, Dr. Greg Moore, our group of health care providers and newly-minted EMTs assists hundreds of people in basic health care needs every spring.
Although Costa Rican health care is primarily free to its citizens, serious illness, family obligations and clinic schedules can preclude a visit to the nearest hospital. As a result, numerous families and individuals unable to make the longer trip to a hospital visit our local, full-day clinics in Mastatal, Zapaton, Rio Canas, Tempate, and the Matapalo elementary school. Patient ages range from newborn to 90 years old. Our goal is to return the good will and hospitality that the residents of these rural areas have provided to our staff and students over the years.
(Semester student Katie Kelleher listens to a patient's lung sounds at the Zapaton Clinic; Katie is currently a Nurse Practitioner in Vermont)
(Semester student Paul VonGontard interviews a Mastatal clinic patient while other students record family information from the patient's mother. Paul went on to work as a helicopter pilot and is currently working as a Missoula County Sheriff's deputy.)
(Aerie Instructor and Translator Fernando Giaccaglia and student Jillian DiRamio talk to patients at the San Miguel clinic. Jillian is currently in nursing school.)
Aerie returns to Costa Rica each year with a clinical team of MDs, RNs, PAs, paramedics, and EMTs to assist Costa Rican doctors providing care and to instruct our Semester in Wilderness Medicine students.
(Some of our Costa Rica clinical team: TOP) Bill Bennett - Paramedic, Missoula City Fire; Arlon Bennett - Nurse Practitioner, Allergy & Asthma Care; Greg Moore - MD, Barrett Hospital. BOTTOM) Laurie Moore, RN, helping with a patient at the clinic in Rio Canas.)
In northern India, Aerie staff and students assist Dr. George Clarence of Landour Community Hospital. As in our Spring Semester in Costa Rica, our Fall Semester in Wilderness Medicine student EMTs help with initial patient assessments, after which Indian physicians take over patient care.
(Instructor and Paramedic Trenton Harper checks vital signs on a patient at the clinic in northern India.)
CAPACITY BUILDING IN NORTHERN INDIA
Aerie's capacity building efforts in India focus on enhancing medical education in rural areas and increasing access to wilderness medical training among outdoor educators. To address these objectives, Aerie brings free ongoing training in advanced hospital care to doctor and nurses, as well as at-cost "train the trainer" courses in wilderness medicine.
Physicians and Nurses
Director and Paramedic David McEvoy and Medical Director Greg Moore have traveled to India every year since 2016 to provide free training in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and BLS CPR to physicians and nurses from hospitals within the Emmanuel Hospital Association, most notably Landour Community Hospital in Mussoorie and Herbertpur Christian Hospital in Dehra Dun.
(Dr. Moore reviews the principle of endotracheal intubation during ACLS classes at Landour Hospital.)
(Drs Greg Moore and George Clarence, far left, and David McEvoy, far right, during EKG training at Landour Community Hospital)
Wilderness Medicine Instructors
Aerie has partnered for over 5 years with the amazing staff at the Hanifl Centre of Woodstock School in Mussoorie, India. The goal of this partnership is training and maintaining a group of local Indian instructors who teach in the local language (mostly Hindi) at local costs. The Aerie – Hanifl Centre partnership began in February 2014 when Aerie trained a group of Hanifl Centre staff to teach WFA & CPR courses in India. Since then, Hanifl Centre staff have taught WFA, CPR and Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) courses across India in English and Hindi.
Over the past 2 years, several Hanifl Centre staff have travelled to Missoula to complete their WEMT certification with Aerie, enabling Hanifl Centre to offer Wilderness First Responder training in India as well. To date, over 1700 students have taken Aerie-Hanifl courses in India, all taught by Indian instructors, with all revenue staying in-country.
(Akshay Shah, one of Aerie's India-based instructors, taping an ankle during an outing)
OUTREACH IN MONTANA COMMUNITIES
Aerie teaches numerous reduced-cost or free courses to local non-profits.
(LEFT: Director David McEvoy teaching a free first aid/CPR course to Home Resources staff; RIGHT: University of Montana Global Grizzlies taking an Aerie Wilderness Medicine Essentials course before heading to Cameroon to complete service work.)
Project Community Connect
In conjunction with providers from Partnership Health Center, Montana State University's nursing program, and Missoula Emergency Services, Aerie participates in Missoula's Project Community Connect (PCC) as a service provider in the medical services area. PCC is an annual event providing one-stop services to Missoula's homeless population and those at risk of becoming homeless.