Partners for Rural Health in the Dominican Republic
PRHDR is a Maine based, 501c3 nonprofit corporation (non-membership). The current organization grew out of a partnership program founded in 1995 to promote health in rural areas of the northern Dominican Republic while offering international service-learning opportunities for volunteers and students in the health professions.
PRHDR missions provide community health clinics in villages twice a year, staffed by volunteer health professionals; Dominican partners; faculty members from participating educational institutions (Univ. of Maine System Schools of Nursing and Language Departments, UNE School of Medicine, Husson Univ., etc.); Peace Corp members; experienced volunteer medical interpreters; and students. Returning bi-annually to the same villages to provide continuity of care to residents who would otherwise have no or limited access to health services, PRHDR also delivers health and pharmaceutical supplies, donated or purchased, to the community sites, providing adequate amounts between missions for individuals served. PRHDR also trains selected residents in the villages as Health Promoters to monitor at-risk clients, promote the safe use of medicines, and help maintain personal health between missions
Many students and volunteers have credited their time with PRHDR as “life changing.” Health care students return from mission trips with new relevant skills in triage, working in rural areas, communicating through interpreters, and being part of a multi-disciplinary team. Their understanding of how culture affects health is expanded. Since all partners participate in developing resources, fund-raising, and community organizing in the Dominican Republic, their skills and appreciation for civic engagement also grows.
To engage, empower and educate the rural villagers we serve through our health missions and to support cross-cultural service-learning by collaborating with educational organizations and Dominican partners in the delivery of health services to under-served populations in the northern Dominican Republic.
VISIONTo encourage a healthier life through sharing, compassion, and learning across cultures while building a foundation for the future through continuity of care.