GSCC sonography student, instructors taking trip to Malawi


Submitted photo: Rebecca Southern teaches Chris Kanakuzi how to do an obstetrics ultrasound exam during a trip to Rwanda in July. She will be going to Malawi next week with a fellow instructor and a Gadsden State student on a trip focused on training on imaging equipment.

A student and two instructors from Gadsden State Community College recently volunteered to go on a special trip to Lumbadzi, Malawi.

Rebecca Southern, the director of the college’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program; Ashley Crusey, director of the school’s Radiography Program; and Macy Taylor, a DMS student on track to graduate in December, are working with the Chikondi Health Foundation to assist Blessings Hospital, a Christian medical facility providing lab services, a pharmacy and mobile clinics to the people in Malawi.

“The Chikondi Health Foundation is based in Wetumpka,” Southern said. “They typically take three surgical trips each year. However, this year, they decided to plan a diagnostic trip for the first time. It is an all-imaging based trip.”

On the trip, Crusey will be teaching healthcare professionals at Blessings Hospital to operate donated x-ray equipment. Southern and Taylor will train a nurse practitioner on bedside ultrasound scans. They will also volunteer in remote clinics.

“Our goal is to add valuable diagnostic ultrasound studies to patient care while we are there,” Southern said.

Southern has been overseas before on a medical mission trip. In July, she partnered with East African Christian College in Rwanda. She exposed students and instructors to sonography by teaching them how to utilize donated ultrasound equipment.

“Inspired by my Christian faith, I prioritize volunteerism and good stewardship in my life wherever possible,” she said. “Teaching in Rwanda was a heartfelt opportunity to serve and make a positive impact. I’m humbled and honored to have another opportunity to serve. I look forward to assisting the people of Malawi.”

The trip will be October 3 -15. Trip fees are $2,991 to cover expenses related to travel, logistics and medical supplies. Fees for Crusey are being supported by a grant from the Foundation. Fundraisers have paid for Taylor’s trip; however, funds are still needed for Southern’s portion of the trip. To make a tax-deductible donation to this important medical mission, click here.

For more information, contact Southern at or call 256-439-6885.

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