Michael Huber Honored with Medical Humanitarian Service Award by the Ministry of Health in Cusco, Peru

By Ryan Hiemenz | June 3, 2024
Huber with the award and Peruvian government officials.

Michael Huber, MMS, PA-C, DFAAPA, Associate Professor, Associate Program Director, and Director of Outreach for the Physician Assistant (PA) Program, has been awarded the Medical Humanitarian Service Award from the Ministry of Health in Cusco, Peru. This accolade acknowledges his contributions over the past three years in addressing the healthcare needs of underserved populations in the region, where his medical service teams have treated over 2,000 patients.

This past May, Huber, in collaboration with 34 other participants organized an eight-day medical service trip to Lima and Cusco, Peru. The team consisted of physician assistant (PA) students, PA faculty, and PA alumni, along with a few other outside healthcare professionals, The mission of these medical service trips (MST) is to provide medical care and public health services to underserved populations in Peru. Over the course of the MST, the team conducted two mobile clinic days in Lima and one in Cusco, resulting in 657 patient encounters. These encounters spanned various medical specialties including primary care, pediatrics, dental care, and women’s health.

The whole medical service team in Peru.

In addition to clinical services, the team also undertook a public health project and constructed two greenhouses in Cusco. These greenhouses are intended to help local families achieve greater self-sustainability by growing their own vegetables, thereby improving nutrition and food security in the community.

In preparation for these trips, Huber developed three online learning sessions and one in-person ultrasound training session in collaboration with MedLife. These pre-departure training sessions were instrumental in equipping the participants with essential knowledge about Peruvian culture, healthcare, public health systems, and prevalent diseases and treatments in the country.

“This year’s trip with MedLife was a profound success, combining medical service with cultural exchange and learning,” Huber stated. “Our preparation and dedicated efforts allowed us to make a significant impact on the health and well-being of the communities we served, while also enriching the educational experience of our participants.”

The impactful trip concluded with a visit to Machu Picchu, the iconic 15th-century Incan citadel situated in the Andes Mountains, providing a fitting end to an enriching and transformative experience.

Huber’s dedication and humanitarian efforts have not only brought critical healthcare services to those in need but also fostered a meaningful exchange of knowledge and culture between the participants and the communities they served. His award is a testament to the difference one can make through compassion, dedication, and collaborative effort.