Ukamaka Oruche

(Indianapolis) Assistant Professor of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing, IUPUI

Big Idea:
Next generation: the key to sustainable health care?
Volunteers from the United States commit thousands of hours in medical missions annually to people across the globe. I’ve led volunteers to Nigeria for 10 years. How to provide sustained health care services over the long haul is our most difficult challenge. A shift from short-term to long-term provision of health care services is needed. Fully engaging the next generation of adults in the United States and the recipient countries is the key to this effort. Their openness to cultural diversity and fresh ideas will be critically important to ensuring sustainable health care.

Ukamaka Oruche is an assistant professor of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. She is a clinician, educator, and researcher with a special interest in improving the mental health of children and their families.

Since 2004, she has codirected a transformative community health service project that she founded in Southern Nigeria. Harnessing the support of family, friends, and organizations, she and her team have served over 100,000 patients, providing over $60,000 worth of medications and medical supplies while promoting goodwill among volunteers from Nigeria and United States. The program has inspired a commitment to community service among its volunteers and has contributed to the preparation of the next generation of health care providers.