Our Mission Statement
S.H.I.P. is committed to improving the quality of life of underprivileged populations throughout the world by providing medical care and education without discrimination. Our principles are based on medical ethics and are impartial to race, color, sex, religion or political beliefs. Our activities will encourage current and future healthcare providers to promote humanitarianism by their participation in our charitable purpose and projects.
The S.H.I.P. Board
S.H.I.P. is led by a great group of executive officers, who work hard to improve the organization and mission work each year. These students are supported by the SHIP Board, which is comprised of faculty & administrators who advise the organization and maintain a constant support for the students, as they change from year to year.
S.H.I.P. is organized by students at LSU Health Shreveport. Third and fourth year students are given the opportunity to join any 2-week or 4-week trip to Kenya as a Global Health Elective or during their vacation time. We are so appreciative of LSU Health Shreveport and all that the faculty & administration do to support our mission.
The History of S.H.I.P.
Support for Humanitarianism through Intercontinental Projects, Inc. was founded by Matthew Berniard (a LSU Health Shreveport MSII at the time) and his wife Aimee Berniard (a LSUS graduate student at the time) in early February of 2009. They took on the task of starting and developing S.H.I.P. after realizing the need for international humanitarian projects at LSU Health Shreveport. Their goal was to bring all medical students and physicians who were interested in providing compassionate care to a very rural and underserved areas. After much research, Matt found an organization in rural western Kenya, who could provide the infrastructure for conducting mobile clinics, had been in operation for over a decade, and was in a safe area of the world. After receiving a strong interest from about a dozen second and third year students, they decided to move forward with the mission to travel to Kenya in February 2010.
The first step the couple agreed to take was to incorporate their project as a nonprofit business, so that any liability would not be incurred upon their personal finances. Paperwork was filed with the state and on February 25, 2009, S.H.I.P. was an officially incorporated business. The next step was to take advantage of the nonprofit’s purpose and file for tax-exempt status with the IRS. The 501(c)3 status allows for S.H.I.P. to earn tax-free income, and in addition, allows for individuals and businesses to receive a tax deduction from their donation.
Since that first trip in February 2010, members of S.H.I.P. have traveled to Kenya each year during the month of February. Today, we fill two trips per year with students eager to serve those in need. Each February & April we return to Bungoma, Kenya to share the skills we are so lucky to learn as medical students. We look forward to sharing our work with you, and hope you will consider supporting us!