Berkeley College Inspires Hope on HTCNJ Medical Mission in Ecuador

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, Ext. 1-5122


Collage of photos from the Medical Mission

See caption below.

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It was a learning experience like no other as seven Berkeley College students from the School of Health Studies joined two graduates and four faculty to visit the Roberto Gilbert Children’s Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador on a medical mission in partnership with Healing the Children New Jersey (HTCNJ).  In all, the medical mission reviewed more than 70 pediatric cases and performed 34 procedures – two of which required more than nine hours in the operating rooms – in six days.

“My reason to participate is to watch the evolution of my students growing into healthcare professionals and developing compassion while they are learning,” said Joseph Charleman, CST, CSFA, CRCST, LPN, Chair, Surgical Technology and Surgical Processing Technician program, Berkeley College School of Health Studies. Professor Charleman had participated in more than five medical missions before he proposed the collaboration between HTCNJ and Berkeley College.  The college has supported medical missions with HTCNJ for the past five years.

Three nursing students who are enrolled in the LPN to BSN program at Berkeley College (standing, left, in top left photo), considered the mission an eye-opener, and reported finding the environment similar to their home country of Nigeria, in terms of the culture, the food and the weather.

“It was amazing to be helpful in the community. There was a sea of families with patients ranging in age from four months to 18 years. Everyone on the team was there to help and we were of one heart, a bigger heart, with one purpose,” said Bernice Ikomi-Stone, LPN, of Staten Island, NY.

Professionals from Berkeley College on this trip included physicians, nurses, surgical technologists and surgical processing technicians. Berkeley College has collaborated with HTCNJ for more than five years. In addition to supporting medical missions abroad, faculty, graduates and students from the Berkeley College School of Health Studies provided pro-bono care, extending learning beyond the classroom. Throughout the year, students also volunteer their time to count, package and sterilize medical equipment for medical missions.

Group photo from Medical Mission

Photo Captions: Top Left: Professor Daryl Oclaret, RN, (standing right) Berkeley College School of Health Studies, instructs LPN to BSN students (left to right) Ramat Muhammed of Sayreville, NJ; Foluleme Fakinlede of Somerset, NJ, and Bernice Ikomi Stone, LPN, of Staten Island, NY, at the bedside of a young patient. Top MiddleThe Roberto Gilbert Children’s Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador reserved three operating rooms for five days, which allowed 34 pediatric patients to receive surgical procedures during the medical mission from Healing the Children New Jersey. In addition to supporting medical missions abroad, faculty, graduates and students from the Berkeley College School of Health Studies have provided pro-bono care, extending learning beyond the classroom. Top Right: Berkeley College graduate Jennifer Ruesta, CST,shares a moment with one of the pediatric patients after surgery. Below: Members of the team on the medical mission for Healing the Children New Jersey gather outside The Roberto Gilbert Children’s Hospital in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where they worked for six consecutive days to help underserved pediatric patients and their families.

You can view the broadcast story on ABC 7 New York Tiempo in two parts at the following links:

About Healing the Children New Jersey
HTCNJ is a nonprofit organization that provides medical treatment and services to disadvantaged children around the world through three unique programs: Medical Teams Abroad, International Inbound, and Domestic Aid.  Volunteer medical professionals travel at their own expense to developing countries to provide life-changing, free surgical care to children who would otherwise go untreated. Since 1981, HTCNJ has helped over 37,000 children worldwide. 

About Berkeley College

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 7,000 students – including more than 350 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies, and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.

Berkeley College has four New Jersey campuses – Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. In New York there are three campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For six consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is 

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