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Tamaqua woman to participate in service trip to Panama

A Tamaqua woman who is a senior at Villanova University will travel to Panama next month to provide health care services to underprivileged areas.

It will be Mia Hess’ first service trip abroad.

“I have been interested in doing a service trip for a while, but COVID made travel opportunities almost impossible,” Hess said.

She found the opportunity through Global Brigades, an international service organization focused on providing medical needs.

She’ll be going with approximately 30 other Villanova students.

According to Hess, Global Brigades’ goal is to provide safe and equitable health care to communities.

“In Panama, we will be providing resources, access to health care, and deliver public health workshops to help create a more sustainable medical system within the community,” Hess said. “Overall, the mission is to help implement better systems that allow for community ownership through a holistic model of economic development, sustainable health systems, and water and sanitation development.”

A 2018 graduate of Tamaqua Area High School, Hess is majoring in chemistry with a biochemistry concentration, and minoring in psychology and global health. She knew the service mission would be the right fit.

“I’ve always been interested in pursuing a career in promoting equitable health care, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to help communities in a very real way,” she said. “Growing up in a rural community, I think it is imperative to find sustainable and equitable health care solutions to these overwhelming problems within our health care systems.”

She believes the trip will be a great learning experience and a chance to help communities become more independent in their health care systems and economy.

Students are accepting donations of money or medical supplies for the May 22-28 trip.

She can be contacted at mhess9@villanova.edu. More information is available at https://bit.ly/3xZhnsp.

“I am so excited to go on this brigade with an amazing group of students, and we look forward to traveling to empower communities through the holistic model of the Global Brigades organization,” Hess said.

Mia Hess, a senior at Villanova University, will travel to Panama next month with a group that will help communities with medical needs. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO