Get an In-Depth Look at Global Health Outreach and the Medical Volunteer Opportunities They Provide Around the World
Medical mission trips are a unique and practical way for healthcare professionals and students to volunteer their time to provide medical and dental care to impoverished people in the world’s most remote and underserved places. Medical missions are a great way for volunteers to enrich their lives while gaining valuable, hands-on healthcare experience and learning how medicine is practiced in other parts of the world.
The organizations that arrange medical mission trips range from large, multi-national operations to more modest but equally rewarding efforts coordinated by local charities and organizations. Global Health Outreach (GHO) is a larger, faith-based organization that assembles short-term international medical missions dedicated to bringing medical, dental, and surgical care to those in need.
(Click here to see our full list of the best medical volunteer opportunities and medical mission trips)
What is Global Health Outreach?
Founded in 1958, Global Health Outreach is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that organizes short-term medical mission programs dedicated to providing responsible medical, dental, and surgical care as well as spreading the gospel.
Each year, GHO sends between 40 to 50 medical mission teams around the world. These teams provide primary care, medicine, and dentistry on an outpatient basis, plus provide surgical services in association with local hospitals. GHO medical mission trip destinations can range anywhere from very rural settings to urban squatter neighborhoods. Patients often have no access to healthcare services due to poverty, geographic distance, or social status.
Every GHO medical mission trip strives to support and augment the local healthcare delivery system. Oftentimes those systems are massively underfunded or nonexistent. In those cases, GHO may shift the focus of a mission to treat only what the local system can support after the mission ends.
GHO teams always adhere to the highest ethical medical standards. GHO treats all patients without regard for race, religion, gender, culture, or social class. Team members practice only within the scope of their training and healthcare students may provide care that is appropriate to their level of education.
Global Health Outreach Mission Statement
As part of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations organization, Global Health Outreach adheres to the mission statement of its parent organization: The Christian Medical & Dental Associations educates, encourages, and equips Christian healthcare professionals to glorify God. Christian healthcare professionals glorify God by following Christ, serving with excellence and compassion, caring for all people, and advancing Biblical principles of healthcare within the Church and throughout the world.
Where Does Global Health Outreach Serve?
Global Health Outreach is an international charity that provides medical care in poor and underserved regions in Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East.
Their current list of medical mission trips includes:
- Eastern Europe
- San Miguel, El Salvador
- Bethlehem, Israel
- North Africa/Middle East
- Northwest Africa
- East Africa
- Dominican Republic
- West Africa
What Kinds of Medical Professionals Does Global Health Outreach Need?
Global Health Outreach teams are comprised of a variety of medical and non-medical volunteers as well as students. These teams provide primary and secondary healthcare services, dental services, and surgical services.
A partial list of the medical professionals and students GHO is currently accepting for medical mission trips includes:
- Nurses of all types
- Nurse Practitioners
- Physical Therapists
- Physician Assistants
- Medical School and Nursing School Students
- Scrub Techs
Global Health Outreach Volunteer Requirements
Global Health Outreach has a rigorous application process to ensure all volunteer applicants are qualified for their position on the team. After filling out an online application form and paying the application fee, volunteer applicants must submit their CV/resume, a copy of their passport, copies of their diplomas, state licenses, and other documents depending upon their destination.
After GHO receives all necessary paperwork, background checks are conducted. Licenses are cross-checked to ensure there are no “actions against” the volunteer. Once everything checks out, applicants should expect a call from the team leader before being accepted onto a team.
Volunteers are responsible for obtaining all required vaccinations, including Covid-19, prior to embarking on their mission trip. Depending on the country of service, certain immunizations are either required or strongly recommended. GHO recommends you refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a list of required immunizations specific to your destination.
Apart from English, volunteers have no language requirements as interpreters will be on hand to facilitate communication with the patient.
What Benefits Does Global Health Outreach Provide?
Your project fee helps Global Health Outreach provide the following benefits and services while on the mission:
- Coordinated group travel arrangements
- In-country ground transportation
- Emergency trip insurance
- A GHO shirt
- Exit taxes
Meals take on a local flare and are prepared by the team’s hosts, who are well-versed in safe food preparation techniques. Local restaurants may be available to volunteers as well. GHO can accommodate dietary restrictions, you’ll just need to let your team leader know about them in advance. Snack foods may need to be brought with you.
GHO takes security very seriously and works closely with its national partners to understand the risks and enact sensible precautions. GHO also works with the global security firm Red24 to further protect against risks.
What Expenses Am I Required To Cover?
If selected for a medical mission trip, Global Health Outreach will apply the initial application fee to your project fee. Additionally, volunteers have the opportunity to raise donations for the trip. Raised funds are also applied to the project fee. The project fee amount can vary depending on the trip and is due two weeks prior to departure.
In addition to the project fee, there are a number of expenses that are the volunteer’s responsibility to cover during the mission trip. These expenses include:
- International and domestic airfares
- Travel expenses including meals while in-transit
- Personal expenses
- A portion of team costs specific to the trip
Airline travel arrangements are handled by GHO, which uses a travel agent to find the best airfares. It is the volunteer’s responsibility to meet up with the rest of the team at the pre-arranged airport where the international leg of the journey begins. From that point on, nobody travels alone. GHO will share all travel and lodging details well in advance of the trip.
How to Get Started
Like all medical mission trips, the application process to volunteer with Global Health Outreach is a multi-step process that takes time to complete. The first step begins with visiting their website to familiarize yourself with the organization’s overall mission, the type of services they provide for the communities they serve, as well as their scheduled missions.
The GHO website’s extensive FAQ page has information about the application process. On that page, they’ll provide you with a link to a third-party website where you’ll first create a personal profile. Once completed, volunteers click the Organizations tab. Within the “Refine Your Search” field, enter Global Health Outreach, then choose the trip you wish to volunteer for. You’ll find the online application form there.
Click here to learn more about Global Health Outreach.
Start Your Career in Healthcare by Earning Your Degree or Diploma
Advancing your healthcare career is a great way to earn a more competitive salary*, but the rewards go far beyond the money and increased responsibility. By becoming a medical assistant, registered nurse, or earning a BSN degree, you’ll play a key role in restoring health to the patients you serve. If this sounds like the kind of challenge you’re looking for, then the perfect place for you to begin your journey could be at Provo College or its sister school, Eagle Gate College.
The Medical Assistant Program at Eagle Gate College can be completed in as little as 9 months and provides the necessary training for entry-level positions as a medical assistant in a healthcare facility such as a clinic, physician’s office, or urgent care facility.
Or, if you’re ready to take the next step towards becoming a registered nurse, you can start by enrolling in our BSN program. If you already hold an ADN, then you can earn your BSN degree online in as few as 20 months through the Eagle Gate RN-to-BSN program.
Finally, if you’re interested in helping injured or disabled people restore their strength and mobility, we encourage you to explore our Physical Therapist Assistant program.