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  • Writer's pictureGROW


GROW is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) developed from shared interest in global health, community outreach, and developing international perspective among students in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington.

Mission Statement of GROW:The purpose of this organization is to:

  • Provide opportunity, structure, and support for students to participate in the global community, both locally and abroad.

  • Create unique learning experiences that foster an enhanced cultural competence transcending border, language, class, race & ethnicity.

  • Establish sustainable, reciprocal, egalitarian partnerships addressing and positively affecting the health concerns of global communities.

  • Promote global health initiatives through provision of rehabilitation services, education, and support of existing structures to best meet the needs of host communities.

As rehab medicine students at UW we have the opportunity to participate with the Global Rehabilitation Organization at Washington (GROW). Through this nationally recognized, student run global health organization we have united with local Guatemalan health organizations- Hearts In Motion (HIM) and the Range of Motion Project (ROMP)- to volunteer in Zacapa, Guatemala. We will provide our time and skills for one week guided by a group of fantastic clinicians.     

More than 40% of Guatemala’s population does not have access to healthcare services, and there are an estimated 0.9 physicians and 1 hospital bed per 1,000 people.    Our goal as growing practitioners is to help those less fortunate because we believe that every global citizen deserves access to quality healthcare.     

We are excited to apply our knowledge gained as students to serve this community. We will be working inter-professionally with other students of physical therapy and prosthetics & orthotics. The organizations we are collaborating with, HIM and ROMP, provide local and sustainable health care initiatives. HIM’s mission is to provide quality medical care for the people they serve throughout Guatemala and Central America. ROMP’s mission is to provide high quality prosthetic care in underserved populations to enhance mobility and unlock human potential. In Zacapa, we will inform and assist local health care professionals and provide therapeutic services to individuals throughout the region without access to this type of care.    

  As students we will be supervised by licensed PT and P&O clinicians, who have selflessly volunteered their time, to help provide services to those who do not have adequate access to rehabilitation specialists. During our visit we will learn about practicing PT/P&O with various barriers, such as language differences and limited resources. As a team we will collaborate to transfer our knowledge and skills to local healthcare providers in an effort to cultivate sustainable solutions to health disparities. 

    This year we have 5 rehabilitation medicine students traveling to Zacapa, Guatemala to work with Hearts In Motion and the Range of Motion Project. Our Guatemala team is made up of 3 Physical Therapy students, 2 Prosthetics and Orthotics students and one Physical Therapist Clinical Instructor.

Here is our team... Left to Right: Megan, Ashley, Becca, Jason, and Diego

Please tag along on our service learning journey!

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