Monday, March 18, 2019

Billikens In Belize Find Joy in Volunteering at Pro-Bono Clinic

Billikens In Belize Find Joy in Volunteering at Pro-Bono Clinic 
By Carol Beckel, PT, PhD, Director of Clinical Education

Returning to Belize is like returning to a 2nd home for me. This trip marked 10 years since the first time I traveled to Punta Gorda, Belize. It was a joy to recall memories with the staff and volunteers at Hillside Health Care International (HHCI). The changes in Punta Gorda and at HHCI over the past 10 years are amazing. 
Carol driving one of the HHCI vehicles back from a mobile clinic in Aguacate
Any trip back to HHCI that includes working with SLU PT students is extra special. This year I worked with two students in their 3rd Professional Year, Bailey Flynn and Jessica Dworak. Any day in the clinic watching students connecting with students and evolving as physical therapists is a great day. Bailey and Jess jumped into their roles at the clinic during the two weeks I worked with them. That included participating in a radio broadcast promoting the physical therapy program at HHCI.

Bailey and Jess during a commercial break on 100.9 Sunshine Radio
I also enjoyed participating in First Friday Fitness class sponsored by HHCI and provided by the PT students. This activity is part of the community-based rehabilitation program at HHCI to assist in advancing wellness and disability awareness beyond direct patient care. Jess and Bailey selected the education component and designed the fitness portion for the participants.

Bailey and Jess leading the educational component of First Friday Fitness
It is always hard to leave students during their clinical experience but I know I they are in good hands under the supervision of the rehab directors and the wonderful HHCI rehab tech.

Carol and Amira, HHCI Rehab Tech
It is a personal and professional joy to continue to partnering HHCI. I encourage any physical therapist to consider volunteering with HHCI. For more information on HHCI check out their website at

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