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Chase Zeilenga – 2019 INMED Alumni Scholarship Recipient


“So, there’s nothing we can do for him?” inquired the student. The doctor replied, “There is always something you can do. You can put your arm on his shoulder, look him in the eye, and say I am here with you, you are not alone.”


With these words, Chase Zeilenga, begins his essay Effective Change in International Medicine which last week culminated in his recognition as recipient of the 2019 INMED Alumni Scholarship Award. Established just last year, this Award supports financial costs related to a learner’s service-learning experience in pursuit of the INMED Diploma in International Medicine, Nursing, or Public Health.


Chase Zeilenga continues, It was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and humid as this exchange took place. We were sitting in a tiny tin roofed home surrounded by jungle. In front of me lay a young man, cachexic and dying. His wife stood by the bed and told us his story as his two small children waited outside where the breeze made the heat a little more bearable. We were a small team and our medical mission was not outfitted to care for terminally ill patients. What could we do for this man? The doctor took the young man’s hand and asked him if he wanted us to pray with him. The next moment eight people of different ages, cultures and faiths stood silently, hand in hand, praying together.


This scene Chase Zeilenga describes took place in Chacraseca, Nicaragua, under supervision by Dr. Stan Grogg. Next year, with support from the INMED Alumni Scholarship Fund, Chase Zeilenga will proceed to Uganda where he’ll continue his low-resources, cross-cultural healthcare experience at Kiwoko Hospital. There is always something you can do, he echos, and the INMED Diploma has transformed this ideal from an abstract thought into achievable care.


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