SHIP - Support for Humanitarianism through Intercontinental Projects, Inc.

SHIP - Support for Humanitarianism through Intercontinental Projects, Inc.


Dr. Don Givler asked me to share one of my experiences from Kenya, so here goes:

I spent the last month of my fourth year of medical school in Bungoma. One of the most memorable moments of my month in Kenya involved an elderly man who was suffering from terminal esophageal cancer. This patient truly helped me to understand one of the cross-cultural differences between the medical field in Kenya and that in the United States. That difference involves the balance between patient autonomy and physician paternalism.

This patient came to me with the chief complaint of dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. He had been having this problem for over a year, and he had seen many physicians. He had even had a procedure done, of which he knew very few details. The patient had no idea what his diagnosis was, or even that he had been given one. To his knowledge, no one had figured out what was wrong with him.

I looked through the stacks of medical records that the patient gave to me, and I was confused about the entire situation. Very clearly atop his records, it stated that the patient was being treated with palliative techniques and medications for esophageal cancer. The records included photos of his tumors from his esophagoscopy, results from pathology on his biopsy, details about the palliative stent that was placed to manage his symptoms, and a clear referral to hospice care. I asked the patient about all of these records, but he said that nothing had ever been explained to him and that he could not read English to understand what was written on the records. He had never even known about his first appointment with hospice care, which should have been months prior to his visit with me.

Frustrated, I asked my attending about how to handle the situation. He told me that this is a common trend in Kenyan medicine. It is a cultural belief that a dying patient should not be told about his condition or prognosis, because it will cause more suffering. The attending left it to my judgment to decide whether or not to tell this patient what was happening to him.

I went with my gut. I felt like this patient deserved to know the truth about his physical condition, so I sat down with him and explained what had been found. I told him about the stent and how it was meant to help with his symptoms. I told him about the referral to hospice care and detailed the types of services that hospice could offer to him. For the first time in my medical career, I told a patient that he was dying. His response baffled me.

My patient sat for a while, undoubtedly sorting through the information that I had just shared with him. After a few moments, he looked up at me as he made a long statement in Kiswahili. When he was finished, my translator told me that the man is at peace with the information that I had shared. He said that he has felt like he was going to die for many months, and that he is glad to finally have his feelings validated. He told me some of the important parts of his life, and he said that he has been very lucky to have a successful farm and a healthy family. Finally, he told me that he is ready to die.

Once my translator finished telling me this, my patient smiled at me and said in English, “You are MY doctor. The one that lies is not.” Then, he asked me to take a photo with him so that I would always remember him. I obliged, but I will not need a photo to remember this incredible man.

S.H.I.P. is committed to improving the quality of life of underprivileged populations throughout the world. is a grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Shreveport, LA.

Our mission focuses on improving the health of underserved populations without discrimination. Every year since its inception in 2009, S.H.I.P. has travelled to remote regions of Kenya to provide medical care and education to those in need through a mobile medical clinic ran entirely by medical student and physician volunteers. Over the years, we have taken up to 25 medical students, residents, an

Operating as usual


S.H.I.P. is excited to announce our next set of Pre-Medical Workshops, geared toward future physicians in high school and college! If you know a high school student (aged 16 or older) or college student interested in becoming a medical doctor, please share this event with them! It is on November 2nd for college students and November 3rd for high schools students. There will be a session with current medical students, workshops to learn clinical skills, and a chance to see our anatomy lab! Registration is $100 through October 27th for college students and October 28th for high school students. Register online at today!!


Our 2nd annual SHIP gumbo cook off was a success! So many thanks to Great Raft for hosting us for the second year in a row! Congratulations to our winning team, Swamp Gold! If you couldn’t make it to the cook off but want to support SHIP go to! Great Raft Brewing #drinkrealbeer #SHIP #shreveport


Have you been following our February SHIP team's journey while they're working in the clinic in Bungoma? MSIII Kelly Scott Bihm took over our instagram (@shipcaresla) from Kenya and has been posting pictures from their time in clinic! In the mean time, here are two pictures of clinic from our VP of Finance, Robert Ross.

Want to continue supporting trips like these for future students and the people of Bungoma, Kenya? Donate today at 01/30/2018

Instagram post by S.H.I.P • Jan 30, 2018 at 5:46pm UTC
Kelly Scott Bihm Robert Ross Emily Lawrence Barsley Rachal Noto Miriam Estes Hankins Dieu T. Doan Tip Rugile Andrew Murphy Ariel Osorio Kelsey Devine 3 Likes, 1 Comments - S.H.I.P (@shipcaresla) on Instagram: “First day of clinic success! We were able to see and treat 91 patients on our first day and have…”

[01/27/18]   We're off! Well, at least to Atlanta. We just completed the first short stint of our long journey to Kenya. We should arrive by Sunday. Thank you to all of our donors and supporters who made this possible!


So happy that KTBS 3 News was able to feature S.H.I.P. and our upcoming trip to Bungoma in the news today! Please help our team give well wishes to our February Kenya crew and raise money for SHIP at PizzaRev tomorrow from 5-9!
Special thanks to our VP of community outreach, Claire Franklin, for her time today!

RSVP at SHIP Sendoff Night + Fundraiser at Pizzarev Taproom! Can't make it to the event? Donate at!


S.H.I.P. is pleased to announce our next Pre-Medical Workshop, this time geared towards our future physicians in HIGH SCHOOL! If you know a high schooler (aged 16 or older) interested in becoming a medical doctor, please share this event with them! It is on March 17 and there will be a session with current medical students, workshops to learn clinical skills and a chance to see our anatomy lab! Registration is limited to the first 100 students on!


TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT! You're invited to help us sail the S.H.I.P.! We are ready to send our S.H.I.P. Family to Kenya but we need your support to make it happen! Join us tonight in the BRI atrium at 6 pm for a night of stories from Kenya, food and drinks and good conversation! Can't wait to see you there! And if you can't make it tonight, please donate at

Just a few pictures taken from this years pre-med workshop! 10/29/2017

Photos from SHIP - Support for Humanitarianism through Intercontinental Projects, Inc.'s post


#SHIPpremedworkshop is off to a great start! We've got great volunteers at our registration table and we are ready to see our SHIP participants! Use our hashtag #SHIPpremedworkshop to follow along and win some prizes throughout the day!


Do you know any undergraduate or graduate students interested in going to medical school? If so, please spread the word about the Pre-Medical Workshop! It's a great opportunity for them to come see what a day in the life of LSU Shreveport medical students is like! It's on October 28, 2017 and registration is $100! And all proceeds go to help our clinic in Kenya! Spread the word and we'll hopefully see you there! #ship #premedicalworkshop #futuremd #shreveport


Have you added Help Us Sail the S.H.I.P. to your calendar yet? A reminder that we're hosting a great event to raise money for future students interested in working at our clinic in Kenya and we want to see you there!

October 24 at the BRI Atrium at LSUHSC- Shreveport with a presentation from 6-7! Come meet our students and our faculty, hear our stories and be a part of future Kenya clinics to come with donations to our cause!

Can't make the October 24th date? Feel free to donate at!


S.H.I.P. is excited to present "Help Us Sail the S.H.I.P."! Come hear about the experiences of past students & physicians who have been to Kenya and be part of the team that helps provide more opportunities for future students as well! The event will be on October 24 from 6-7 with food and drinks provided!

Can't make the event but want to "Help Sail the S.H.I.P."? Donate to our cause on our website!


Exciting events this week for students interested in S.H.I.P.!

As a reminder, S.H.I.P. (Support for Humanitarianism through Intercontinental Projects) is an organization committed to service through medical mission trips. We provide third & fourth year students with the opportunity to rotate in Bungoma, Kenya with residents and attendings from University Health Hospital. Although you can only attend the trip as a third or fourth year, we have many opportunities for involvement in S.H.I.P. & service in the Shreveport community that we hope you will participate in throughout your medical school career.

Please join us for an Intro Meeting to hear about these opportunities & meet students who have been to Kenya with us! Lunch will be provided!

What? SHIP Intro Meeting
When? August 30th, 12 - 1 pm
Where? 3rd floor lecture hall

Additionally, Dr. L Keith Scott will be presenting Grand Rounds titled “Global Health in a Changing World” on Tuesday, August 29th at noon in the Library Computer Lab (Room 1-417). Dr. Scott has been a strong advocate for the importance of Global Health in the Medical School curriculum. We are proud to have had his support & leadership through the years and look forward to hearing him speak on this topic that is near to his heart. Hope to see you there!


Do you know an undergraduate or graduate student interested in medical school? S.H.I.P. is proud to offer an opportunity for future physicians currently in college or graduate school to come to LSUHSC-Shreveport, meet with Dr. Kennedy, Dean of Admissions, get a tour of the campus (including the cadaver lab!) and meet with medical students to get a taste for medical school life! The Pre-Med Workshop is on October 28, 2017. Sign up on our website: and please share this post with interested students you know! We can't wait to see you at LSUHSC-Shreveport!


We are so excited for a new year and new students to see what S.H.I.P. is all about! To the class of 2021, come see S.H.I.P. president Kate Ramsey at our booth on the 8th floor for this years organization fair and sign up for updates throughout the year!


Dr. Harper

We're so fortunate to learn from our awesome faculty physicians like Dr. Harper both in Shreveport & in Kenya!


Photos from another week working in clinic.

with Jonathan Walther, Charles Madden, Hannah Grace Russin, Carri Rae Oubre, Hind Elsanousy, Elise Breaux Rogers, Paul Rogers, Nancy Harper, Dr. Michael Harper, & Dr. Don Givler. Lindsey Danielle Fileccia will be joining the team this weekend for the last 2 weeks of clinic this month!


Nancy Harper Speaks about Kenya

Check out this video with Nancy Harper sharing about her experiences in Kenya! This video was taken during during the April trip last year and Nancy is actually in Kenya currently serving with the SHIP team working in clinics and helping out in pharmacy again this year. #SHIP #Kenya #LSUHSC


Rick Rowe's Where in the Ark-La-Tex: Great Raft Brewery

Come on out to GRB between 4-9pm tonight for a cold beer & some hot gumbo! Raising money for a mission trip to Africa.


KTBS 3 News

Big thanks to Rick & KTBS for helping us get the word out about the Gumbo Cook-Off tonight!!

Med students on the way to Africa. You can help send them. The story this morning on First News. 03/30/2017


S.H.I.P. is so blessed to have amazing physician leaders teaching us on these Kenya trips such as Dr. Don Givler, Dr. Amy Givler, Dr. Fred Sullivan, Dr. Michael Harper, Dr. Keith Scott, and Dr. Eiel Ragsdale. Huge thanks to all the time they invest in our medical students' education!

Here is a short video interview with Dr. Don Givler who spent 4 weeks in Kenya in February and returned to Kenya today to spend another 4 weeks working with the April team. This video was taken during our recent February trip. MP4 File


The April SHIP team is off to a great start! On Monday, they saw 78 patients. Then on Tuesday, they saw a total 130 patients but had to run for cover to avoid the long afternoon rains.

Here are some photos from their clinic today in Sangala at Mama Mable's home where cows, chickens, and other barnyard animals roam around in between the patient stations. Photo cred to Nancy Harper.

with Dr. Michael Harper, Nancy Harper, Paul Rogers, Charles Madden, Gene Allan, Jonathan Walther, Joyce Wasike, Elise Breaux Rogers, Hannah Grace Russin, Don Givler, Hind Elsanousy, Carri Rae Oubre,


A huge thanks to Lauren Vizza and the KTAL NBC 6 news team for spotlighting SHIP and our upcoming fundraising event during the morning news today!


Six days to geaux!!!! Buy your tickets now to save $5! Can't wait to see y'all at Great Raft on Monday night! (Feel free to come and have a beer with us even if gumbo isn't your thing - no ticket purchase necessary!)


Countdown to the Cook-Off - Just 6 days to go! Get your tickets now to save $5!{%22ref%22:%22106%22,%22action_history%22:%22null%22}


Group photo before first day of clinic in Masuno


The April S.H.I.P. team boarding the last leg of their journey to Kenya. They made it safely to Kabula and spent the day resting and organizing the donated meds ready to start clinic tomorrow morning!

with Hannah Grace Russin, Carri Rae Oubre, Charles Madden, Jonathan Walther, Dr. Hind Elsanousy, Elise Breaux Rogers, Paul Rogers, Nancy Harper, & Dr. Michael Harper. Dr. Don Givler will join the team in a few days and Lindsey Danielle Fileccia will join the team for the last 2 weeks of April.


Safe travels to the second group heading to Kenya for the next 4 weeks to work in the mobile clinics! They depart on their journey this afternoon and will start clinics on Monday.

with Charles Madden, Jonathan Walther, Carri Rae Oubre, Dr. Hind Elsanousy, Nancy Harper, Dr. Michael Harper, Elise Breaux Rogers, Paul Rogers, & Hannah Grace Russin

Kenya - February 2017 03/15/2017

Kenya - February 2017


They sure do clean up good! A big welcome to our team members who arrived for the second half of the February trip! They're already one week in - time is flying! This year our team is seeing more patients and giving out more medications than ever before. This is partially due to the fact that there is currently a Doctor's strike going on in Kenya. We want to give a big THANK YOU to First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport for giving a very generous donation to help us cover the cost of additional medications! We know that through the help of our awesome donors across the country we are able to bring the best care to the patients we see every day. #SHIP #Kenya #LSUHSC


Wow, we cannot believe we are in week 3 of the February trip!! In the first two weeks, our team saw 1065 patients - and that's over just 10 days of clinic! This hard working team definitely deserves our love today and every day! Check out our website if you want to read more about how SHIP began: #SHIP #LSUHSC #Kenya


Dr. Annet Balongo, our amazing clinical officer in Kenya, taught our team about gastroenteritis during a lunch break on Tuesday. Partnering with local volunteer and medical organizations helps our students, residents, and faculty have a truly world-class medical experience while learning how best to serve rural Kenyan communities! #SHIP #MedSchool #LSUHealthShreveport


Check out these awesome photos from safari!! We're so glad our students got the chance to take this weekend trip after the first long week of clinic! #WorkHardPlayHard #Kenya #SHIP #MedSchool


It's the first day of clinic!!! Our February group made it safely to Bungoma and has begun their work in the clinic! We're so proud of our students, residents, and faculty who are on the trip, and hope for a great start to Week #1! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to see what our team is up to throughout the month of February. Also check out to see more about our organization! #MedSchool #LSUHSC #Kenya #Day1

Videos (show all)

So happy that KTBS 3 News was able to feature S.H.I.P. and our upcoming trip to Bungoma in the news today! Please help o...
Dr. Harper
Nancy Harper Speaks about Kenya




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