Internal Medicine Resident Serves in Nicaragua Through GOtoGROW Scholarship

Spaugh Dameron Tenny’s First GOtoGROW Winner

Our firm’s first GOtoGROW Scholarship was awarded to Dr. Joanna Young at the end of January of this year, then she was quickly on her way with the Bless Back Worldwide medical team to Nicaragua during the first weekend of February.

Internal Medicine Resident GOtoGROW Winner

GOtoGROW is a scholarship program created through a partnership between Spaugh Dameron Tenny, LLC and Bless Back Worldwide, to send physicians and dentists on medical mission trips to Haiti and Nicaragua, the two poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.

Dr. Young is currently an Internal Medicine Resident at Atrium Health (formerly known as Carolinas HealthCare System) in Charlotte, NC. She also volunteers with Charlotte Men’s Rescue Mission Rebound Clinic, providing medical services for men while in a residential addiction program. During her time as a medical student at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, she volunteered internationally in Honduras, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic.

Following Joanna’s week long trip, she said “While in Nicaragua, I served as the sole physician on the medical team and was accompanied by nine Physician Assistants and two nurses.  We saw approximately 400 patients in 3.5 clinic days, which is an astronomical number considering we had about 7 providers seeing patients at any given time, all working in an unfamiliar system.  Thanks to the well thought out system created by Bless Back, we were able to provide followup care to the most vulnerable patients we saw, and even coordinated an urgent urologic surgery with a local practitioner for a patient with extreme need.  I participated in multiple home visits, where we visited patients that were “shut in” with debilitating health conditions that prohibit them from seeking regular medical attention.”

Education is Key to Leaving a Lasting Impression

When telling Spaugh Dameron Tenny more about her mission work, Dr. Young said, “Looking back on all we did in those six days, I would say education was the theme of the trip.  Even with a high volume of patients, you could see each provider working to connect with patients and provide education regarding their diagnosis, which was really more important that any antibiotic, vitamin, or anti-parasite treatment we could provide.  Several group members led seminars for community members, including a “mommy and me” class focusing on pregnancy and parenting and a wound care class.  The team led training seminars for community health advocates, who are lay people in the community who have been selected by local leaders to be trained in health topics.  Our team had the opportunity to spend a day teaching at a nursing school in Masaya, Nicaragua, where we covered topics including diabetes, ovulation and birth control, sexually transmitted infections, heart failure, wound care, casting, and CPR.  My favorite portion of teaching at the nursing school was the question and answer session, where you could see the students’ inquisitive nature and desire to learn shine.” Below is a photo of Dr. Young connecting with patients during her trip in Nicaragua.

Internal Medicine Resident serving through scholarship

If you would like to apply for a GOtoGROW scholarship, consider Dr. Young’s perspective of the program: “I encourage Spaugh Dameron Tenny to continue to pour its resources into physicians, resident physicians in particular.  An experience like this as a resident has the power to influence entire careers. The GotoGrow scholarship enables residents who are tight on money to pursue exciting and life-changing experience.  Thank you for creating a program to nudge physicians toward charitable work.  I believe this scholarship will have an effect that ripples throughout entire organizations.”


Apply Here for a life changing experience through a GOtoGROW Scholarship. Click the button below:


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Molly Holbert

Molly Holbert | Spaugh Dameron Tenny