Meet Our New HEAL Internship Coordinator

Casey Jereb, our new HEAL Internship Coordinator at the RVPCWe’re thrilled to introduce you to Casey Jereb, our new HEAL Internship Coordinator. She will be inheriting the role from Will Yokeley, who has generously volunteered his time over the past five years to engage and support student interns volunteering at the Roatán Volunteer Pediatric Clinic (RVPC) through our Health Education & Advocacy Liaisons program.

After completing her undergraduate studies at UC Davis in Environmental Toxicology with a medical emphasis, Casey applied to volunteer at the Roatán Volunteer Pediatric Clinic (RVPC) in 2016. While she had been thinking about pursuing a career in medicine, her mind was not completely made up. She hoped her trip to Honduras would help her to make an important decision: whether to pursue toxicology or a career in medicine?

Beyond helping her to make this big decision, volunteering at the clinic would also give her the opportunity to practice her Spanish language skills in a medical setting. Career development, language learning, and the chance to travel and experience a new culture made the program a great opportunity. With regards to her initial interest in volunteering with Global Healing, she says: ”I don’t think I could have found a better program to fit my interests!”

So, eager to lend a helping hand, she headed to the RVPC in February 2017. As a HEAL intern, her daily responsibilities included greeting patients and families as they arrived at the clinic, managing patient records, keeping track of supplies, and coordinating the daily clinic schedule. She was able to play a vital role in the day-to-day operations of the clinic and provide support to children and families in need. The lasting connections that she made while volunteering really stand out for her, and she says: “One of the best parts about my volunteer experience was the people I met along the way.”

Casey Jereb and residents at Public Hospital Roatan

From the two NYU pediatric residents whom she worked with at the clinic each day, to a UCSF medical student involved in a pilot program to promote exclusive breastfeeding among new mothers, she considers herself exceptionally lucky to have met people who provided her with mentorship and guidance. In deciding her next steps for her education and career, she tells us: “These women have inspired me to choose the medicine route, which was my biggest takeaway from my time in Roatán. It is exciting to think about my future!”

Casey Jereb and resident volunteers at the RVPC

When asked what her advice would be to others thinking about volunteering with Global Healing, she talks about the immersive nature of the HEAL internship: “Since volunteers spend a month on the island, they are able to immerse themselves in the clinic, really get a feel for the island and gain a sense of community involvement. I truly believe interning with Global Healing allowed me to become more involved in medicine than I could have back in the U.S.”

We share Casey’s excitement for the future. With her medical school applications underway, she will continue her involvement with Global Healing as the HEAL Internship Coordinator and build support for the children and families served by the RVPC. Those interested in learning more about the program can reach out to her at heal@globalhealing.org. As we share Casey’s story, we would also like to extend our sincerest gratitude to Will for all that he has done to improve the health of children in Roatán. We are sincerely grateful and wish him the best of luck as he begins medical school!

About the HEAL Internship: Global Healing’s Health Education & Advocacy Liaisons (HEAL) student internship is open to all advanced undergraduate students and recent graduates, providing a unique opportunity to experience pediatric medicine and community health through the Roatán Volunteer Pediatric Clinic (RVPC) in Roatán, Honduras. Learn more: http://rvpc.globalhealing.org/heal/