From January 2-9, 2010 before classes resume at Xavier University in Cincinnati, thirteen Xavier students will cut short their holiday breaks and travel to Jamaica on an interfaith/medical mission trip. Dr. Richard Fry, Obstetrics/Gynecology, and Paula Niederbaumer, RN and nurse practitioner from TriHealth Cincinnati will join the group, as will Bonnie Herscher, a nurse from California. The founding director of Xavier’s Office of Interfaith Community Engagement, Rabbi Abie Ingber, is leading the group. The students will shadow the medical professionals in the mountain health centre in Steer Town, Jamaica and will meet with theologians of different faith traditions common in and native to Jamaica.
“In the midst of America’s passionate debate about healthcare,” says Ingber, “Xavier students will come face to face with a Jamaican community desperate for medical attention. The students will shadow professionals from TriHealth in serving hundreds of impoverished residents of Steer Town, Jamaica. While immersing themselves in Jamaican culture, they will also reflect on the multicultural and interfaith diversity of their own group members. Not only will our college students to do good, they will grow professionally in the process. As we spend our week in the midst of this poverty, I want them to reflect on the diversity of this world and on how their different faith traditions brought them all to this same place to use their education to serve an impoverished community. Simply put, we are trying to develop the next generation of American leadership both at home and in our larger world community.”
About Interfaith Community Engagement
Xavier's Office of Interfaith Community Engagement works to create and strengthen a sense of community among those of diverse faiths on campus, in Cincinnati, and on regional and national levels. Interfaith Community Engagement is a student-centered initiative that allows individuals to both deepen their personal faith and enhance their understanding of other traditions. It serves the larger community in areas of social justice, shared religious teachings and leadership development.
TriHealth (the community partnership of Bethesda and Good Samaritan Hospitals) is the Mission Sponsor of the Xavier Medical/Interfaith Service Trip.