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Norfolk woman raising money for educational trip to Australia

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NORFOLK - A nursing student at SUNY Canton has been nominated by Phi Theta Kappa for an eight-day trip to Australia through the International Scholar Laureate program.

Now, Megan Dean of Norfolk said, it’s a matter of raising $5,000 quickly for the trip to the Delegation on Nursing in Australia.

“We’re leaving May 26. The last payment is due for April 25, within the month,” Ms. Dean said.

A mother of two who works at Massena Memorial Hospital and will be graduating from SUNY Canton with a degree in registered nursing, Ms. Dean is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society which nominated her for the trip. She had a choice between either Australia or China.

“I chose Australia. This is a individual educational opportunity as well as a wonderful experience for me to view the different cultures in the health care field,” she said.

What Ms. Dean said she’ll be particularly focusing on the differences between eastern and western medicine.

“I’ve been reading a few articles to educate myself before I get there. Overall Australia has more access and high level of health care. They do not have as much debt and bankruptcy” because of health care bills, she said.

Ms. Dean is in a select group of 23 people who will be making the trip and meeting up in Australia. Thirteen are from the United States while 10 are from other countries.

A sample agenda provided by the International Scholar Laureate program shows plenty of health care-related topics including discussions on “Understanding Australia’s Comprehensive Medical Environment,” “Challenges of a Nursing Shortage,” “The Art and Science of Healing” and “Midwifery in Australia.”

There will also be visits to sites such as the University of Sydney, University’s Simulation Labs and Clinics, and Australian health care facilities.

Ms. Dean said she’ll receive a couple of college credits for her experience in Australia. She said her goal is to become a successful certified nurse midwife.

But fundraising to make the trip is at the top of her list right now.

“I intend on covering as much of the expense as I possible can and am already pursuing fundraising opportunities, but I will need more help. I walked around my community and handed out letters and the itinerary. Today I dropped off a letter to all the doctors and physicians. I’m doing what I can,” she said.

She has also met with representatives of associations she is affiliated with at SUNY Canton to see if they can provide some financial assistance.

“I would greatly appreciate any donation,” Ms. Dean said. “No amount is too small.”

Ms. Dean said the experience will allow her to bring back what she has learned to share with others.

“I am looking forward to going on this educational trip and believe that I will learn many tools that I can bring back to the United States with me and share with others,” she said.

Ms. Dean has set up a fundraising page where donations can be made at www.fundrazr.com/campaigns/aTh93.

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