Ever since she spent a formative Thanksgiving morning working in a soup kitchen several years ago, Courtney Kromer ’14 has been passionate about “giving back.” Her latest endeavor is the organization of a trip for 27 fellow Denison students to travel to Ghana on a medical mission.
It all began when the psychology major and chemistry minor spent a month in Ghana with an internship sponsored by the Global Brigades organization. After lessons in Fante, the local language, she worked on sustainable health projects in communities, such as redesigning a local clinic.
“When you see how much difference even simple medical knowledge and supplies can make in people’s lives, there’s almost no way you can ignore that.”
“We were trying to help people help themselves, through medical education and clinical help,” she said.
Peter Kuhlman, associate professor of chemistry, has mentored Kromer, helping her figure out next steps and how to achieve them. “Courtney is a very thoughtful student, and her meticulous planning is in play with this work that she is doing.”
Inspired by her work in Ghana, Kromer launched a Global Brigades chapter at Denison and quickly recruited students to join her on a medical mission back to the country that sparked her enthusiasm. The students have been working to raise funds for medical supplies and transportation. A mere 10 days after graduation, they are on track to head off to the Mankessim, Ghana, and volunteer in three communities.
Kromer, from Sandusky, Ohio, has been accepted to postgraduate work at Case Western Reserve. Her goal is a degree in medical physiology and then her degree in medicine. Her ultimate goal is to work for Doctors without Borders, traveling around the world to bring medical care, especially to victims of armed violence.
“When you see how much difference even simple medical knowledge and supplies can make in people’s lives, there’s almost no way you can ignore that,” says Kromer.