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Frontera de Salud Service Trips

What is it?

Frontera de Salud is a health outreach and education program that engages student volunteers and faculty mentors to improve the health of medically underserved people in San Antonio and South Texas. Students and mentors in this program bring preventive health services and health education to the colonias of Corpus Christi and Laredo - two of the most impoverished regions in the nation. Both faculty and students learn to treat diverse populations and consider the unique social context of care in South Texas. Along with the colonias, visits are also scheduled for San Antonio locations such as Haven for Hope and the San Fernando Clinic. Services include health screenings, flu vaccines, and school physicals. There are typically 2-3 trips per academic semester for each location site.

Role of Mentor

  • Supervise and teach students during clinic and ensure appropriate referrals are being made
  • Engage in reflection after the experience to help ensure students are integrating project work with academic and professional understanding
  • Provide preparation and training for the students as needed, such as teaching how to give immunizations. Trainings usually take place the evening before the trip.

Commitment of Mentor

Frontera service trips to Laredo and Corpus Christi (alternating) occur once a month on Saturday morning. The mentor is required to be on site during the entire clinic, which typically lasts five hours (8:00am-1:00pm). Following the clinic, the mentor de-briefs and reflects with the students, often in a more casual setting such as a restaurant. A mentor new to Frontera is asked to initially meet with the CSL Director for an orientation and then commit to a minimum of one trip per year. Student preparation and training prior to a service trip or activity is typically held on the Health Science Center campus the evening before the trip or activity; this training is provided by the mentor who will be attending. If the mentor resides in Laredo or Corpus Christi, then the mentor and students can arrange for training as appropriate to location and schedules.

Schedule of Activities

Monthly service trip to Laredo or Corpus Christi

Additional San Antonio activities (vary)

See website for upcoming activities:  http://www.texashumanities.org/frontera.cfm

How do I sign up to be a mentor?

Create a “mentor account” in the CSL Online Directory:  http://www.texashumanities.org/csl/csl_home.asp

Specify that you are interested in Frontera trips in the keywords section.

Once a profile is created, it will be sent automatically to the CSL Director for review.  The Director will evaluate the prospective mentor’s profile and contact him/her if more information is needed.

For questions, email:  csl@uthscsa.edu or call Melanie Stone, MPH, M.Ed., Assistant Director of CSL, at 210-567-0795.

For more information, visit:  http://www.fronteradesalud.org/ and http://www.texashumanities.org/frontera.cfm