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Unsung: Charlotte Schmitt

Unsung: Charlotte Schmitt
October 9, 2015 No comments

I consider myself an equality in world health activist. I’m a retired nurse with a great interest in health care and pharmaceutical use in developing nations. I’m a mother of two and a grandmother of two. I love medical missions and speaking about Haiti.

On my first journey into Haiti-we traveled to a remote mountain clinic about 90 minutes from the home base. We were riding in a large truck called a canter and we drove in a mostly dry river bed. About 30 minutes into the trip, a man started running in front of the truck. The team was sitting on the medical supplies and it was very rocky and bumpy. A rock even got stuck in one of the huge tires and had to be removed. Someone told me the man was the pastor of the church where we were holding the clinic. He was running out in front of our truck to point out the hazards to the driver. The Pastor did this for a solid hour in 100 plus degree heat. He helped us avoid the low spots, the water, and most importantly those rocks! I thought that it was a perfect representation of God in our lives. God runs out ahead of us and if we listen carefully and keep our eyes on Him–he will be delighted to point out the low spots, the hazards, and steer us around the rocks of life. That is why I named my ministry Riverbed Road.

When things get difficult, what keeps you going?

I have a strong faith in God. I have a supportive husband who encourages me in my goals. I am very grateful for those who have helped me financially to travel to Haiti. Some of them are friends as far back as high school.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your position?

Read a lot about the country you are interested in. Take some field medicine courses. Also, read blogs on the do’s and do not’s of short term work in developing nations. Go with someone very experienced and never, never ever go out of your scope of practice-no matter how undeveloped the country seems.

Why did you choose to be where you are today?

I really feel called to serve the underserved. I care about the underdog. Poverty and suffering are two areas that deeply move me. I like showing the 20 somethings that older nurses are valuable in their retirement years. I never want to stop learning about medicine. I like adventure, traveling, language, and meeting people from other cultures.

What does “Crafting Wellness” mean to you?

It definitely means providing the same type of health care and service in the United States as in developing nations. We are a long way from this. It almost feels like you have to carve progress out of granite. It is that difficult. Nothing would delight me more than to see diabetes care, prenatal care, neurology, surgery, cancer care, and critical care created and then improved in developing nations.

Unsung, is a feature MDF proudly brings to the MDF community highlighting the incredible MDF’ers who are truly #CraftingWellness. We hope to inspire, encourage, and connect humanity by sharing the stories from the thousands of anonymous individuals whose imprint can be seen in the lives of countless others.

To read about MDF Instrument’s stance on sharing about faith please read:

Posted in: blog