Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Palmer Reaches Out to the World Through Its Clinic Abroad Program


By Lori Curry-Whitcomb, RN, MS, and Lori Leipold, Palmer College of Chiropractic

1996, Palmer College of Chiropractic’s Clinic Abroad Program (CAP) has
sent nearly 7,700 student interns and about 1,130 faculty and alumni to
help people who live in areas underserved by health care providers. Nine
to 12 trips are coordinated each year and vary in length from 10 to 20
days. Countries visited include Brazil, Morocco, India, Vietnam, Bequia
and other Caribbean islands, and Fiji.

The trips are organized
with the permission of ministries of health in each country. Clinics
often are held at hospitals, schools, or orphanages, many in rural
During the CAP trips in February and March 2014, students,
faculty clinicians, and alumni will go on three trips — to Bequia, St.
Vincent, and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and to Manaus, Brazil. The
56 total participants hope to see about 6,800 patients during these
trips. Their experiences can be life-changing.

Palmer’s outreach
to Fiji through the Clinic Abroad Program (CAP) has changed the life of
Anjlene Prasad. Anjlene was 16 years old when CAP participants visited
her hometown of Labasa, Fiji.

Growing up in Fiji didn’t allow for
much experience with medical care, let alone chiropractic. “I wonder
whether the doctors and students thought I was crazy asking so many
questions!” Anjlene said after she became a student at Palmer’s
Davenport, Iowa, campus. “I watched the interns from Palmer render the
chiropractic care to kids with health problems and saw the kids giggle
and smile with gratitude after the adjustment. It made me smile to think
how amazing and wonderful chiropractic is and gave me the reason to
pursue a passion such as this.” Anjlene Prasad, DC, graduated from
Palmer College of Chiropractic in October 2008, and is a Doctor of
Chiropractic in Suva, Fiji.

To participate in the Clinic Abroad
Program, students must be in their final year of study at Palmer, in the
clinic intern portion of the curriculum. The trips are voluntary, and
students must go through educational sessions, including
cultural-orientation programs. Students from all three Palmer campuses —
in Davenport; San Jose, CA; and Port Orange, FL — participate.

Abroad Program participants raise money to donate at their CAP
location. As much as $30,000 a year is raised through bake sales and
other fund drives. Every dollar raised is taken to the country visited,
and is most often donated to orphanages or schools to provide such
essentials as food and books. Students on one trip to an orphanage in
Brazil were saddened by the lack of toys the children had, so for the
next trip to Brazil they raised money to purchase inflatable balls in
the form of globes. The Palmer students showed the children where the
Quad Cities are located and also how far they’d come to help them.

Please visit www.palmer.edu/clinics/qc to find out more.