Peru Club President, Kyle Shackleford Shares JSerra Memories

by Kyle Shackleford, Peru Club President

For me, the Peru Trip was one of the most memorable experiences in my high school career. Every spring break, members of the Peru Club travel down to the city of Piura, Peru in order to work out of the local parish, Santisimo Sacramento, to help the local people in whichever way possible.

Kyle Shackleford, helping to build in Peru

During the week, the students partake in several charitable activities within the city. It’s amazing how much we accomplished this year! We built 13 houses for families who essentially didn’t have a home beforehand. We also had the opportunity – with the help of Dr. Heinrich, members of the Pre-Medical Professional Magnet Program, and translator Juan Gutierrez – to open up a free clinic and treat between 20-30 patients a day.

In addition to that we delivered food, clothes, and donations to dozens of families. We were so fortunate to have Fr. Damien with us this year as well! Every day, we had the chance to accompany him in giving communion to the sick and celebrating mass in the local villages. Students also had the chance to assist at the newly founded school that we helped build last year. We taught students English, started a children’s choir, and completed several murals and still-frames.

We visited the local girl’s orphanage, and also had the opportunity to have a movie and pizza night with them. The fact that we were able to accomplish all of this – and more – in such a short period of time was truly remarkable. Anyone who has experienced the Peru Trip will tell you how much of a memorable experience it was. It’s not necessarily the acts themselves of building houses or delivering donations or helping in a clinic that make this trip so memorable; in fact, it’s being a witness to the true love and gratitude these people show for their God and their neighbor despite their impoverished lifestyle. That’s what makes the true impact.

For pictures from the trip click here.

Students Get a Taste of Medicine

*In the current issue of the Capistrano Dispatch

This is  a monthly column written by President/CEO Frank Talarico

Frank Talarico, JSerra President & CEO

The old man gasped for air, his blood pressure dangerously low and dropping. His heart rate was extremely rapid. The nurse heard crackling and vibrations in his lungs. The situation was bad. And getting worse.The diagnosis: Rule out sepsis, an infection rapidly spreading through the bloodstream.

The prognosis: Without quick and decisive treatment, death from hypoperfusion.

Fortunately, the scene playing out at Mission Hospital happened inside a conference center classroom. And the old man? He’s a lifelike breathing, talking patient simulator called SimMan.

SimMan is an important teaching tool that distinguishes JSerra’s medical program from a handful of others around the globe. Twenty-two high school juniors and seniors huddled breathlessly around the dummy as Connie Gagliardo, Mission’s executive director of critical care and trauma services, attempted to revive him with fluids pumped through an IV.

“His blood pressure is going up,” she announced. “His circulation and heart rate are normalizing. His blood pressure is increasing.”

She leaned toward SimMan, and asked how he felt.

“I’m so sick,” SimMan groaned.

“Thank God he’s talking,” Gagliardo said. “He feels so sick, but his ability to now talk is a great sign of improvement. He was in a state of severe shock. We must keep assessing. Remember: Look. Listen. Feel, and treat.”

SimMan wasn’t the only one in shock during the recent lesson.

“Most students should feel a bit panicked about this type of work,” Gagliardo said afterward. “They are probably asking themselves, ‘Can I really do this?’”

The answer, she says, is yes—with hard work and determination.

As studies progress and clinical experiences are lived they will become more comfortable in crisis situations, she said. Today was about how to systematize the assessment and treatment of chaos and crisis.

That’s part of the beauty of the program. Not only is the material life-and-death, it prepares students for the rigors of medical school. Some will discover that medicine is not for them, and that’s okay.

Senior Tom Joseph says he’s more pumped than ever about becoming a doctor like his father.

“I love the program because it gives real hands-on experience with the hospital and real life practice of medicine,” he said. “It allows me to learn what to expect in college and later in med school.”

Read more: The Capistrano Dispatch – Students Get a Taste of Medicine

JSerra Medical Magnet Program Featured on Cox3

Frank Talarico and Betty Cappelletti had the opportunity to talk about all the great things happening with the Medical Magnet Program and partnership with Mission Hospital on Cox3’s Cox Forum, hosted by Terry Wedel. The show will air on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7pm on channel 3. Be sure to tune in and show support for JSerra.

For more check out Cox3

Additional airing dates/times:

Friday, Feb. 25 at 6pm

Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7pm

Tuesday, March 1 at 7pm

Wednesday, March 2 at 6:30pm