Medical Brigades kicks off at OU

While some students will spend their winter break opening Christmas presents and visiting family members, a group of Oakland University students will be busy providing medical assistance to people in South America.

Medical Brigades, which is a sub chapter of Global Brigades, is OU’s first international community service project.

Started by Laura Collier, a senior majoring in biology, the group works to provide medical assistance to the less fortunate in various countries.

Though they weren’t able to travel last year when the group initially started, Collier and organization members plan on going to Honduras for a week to provide medical and dental care to the residents in the country. They hope to bring 25-40 volunteers along with them.

“We’re a movement of volunteers just trying to motivate and empower our peers,” Collier said. “We want to inspire them to be involved with global health … global brigades is the world’s largest student-lead global health organization.”

Though the organization is currently focusing on the medical and dental aspects of the trip, Collier hopes to expand the chapters and bring environmental, water and finance help along with them in the upcoming years.

For now, they’re working on making their presence known around campus and by volunteering in December.

“For global health, we did a global health awareness event,” she said. “I made a global health video and 40 people showed up to the screening. I also went to a conference in San Francisco and met with students from Columbia, NYU … it’s so different at those chapters … the different chapters have different experiences.

Collier said she created the organization because there weren’t any hands-on medical organizations on campus.

“When I came to OU, I was really interested in global health, so I wanted to start this organization, because the only other one was the pre-medical society,” Collier said. “I wanted to actually get my hands dirty and get involved … I wanted to give undergraduate students the chance to travel and see poverty and see what these people are living in.”

Nadya Sorych, vice president of medical brigades, got involved soon after Collier started the organization. She recently went to a conference in Chicago that she said inspired her a lot.

I’m majoring in biology and I want to go to medical school, so this is an amazing experience to get the medical experience from abroad,” Sorych, a junior, said. “I’m also minoring in Spanish, so I get Spanish experience as well …Since this is our first trip and since it’s been tough, I hope we can make it and get enough people. I hope people get a lot from it.”

The cost of the trip is $1,550 per person, which includes air fair.

To donate to the cause, visit

Students who would like to get involved should email Collier at [email protected].