Queen’s Health Outreach (QHO), formerly known as Queen’s Medical Outreach and Queen’s Medical Aid, was started in the fall of 1987 by a group of Queen’s Medical students. During the summer of 1988 two students travelled to Central and South America to look for a location appropriate for initiating a political primary health care program. The location deemed appropriate for an outreach program was Guyana and during the summer of 1989, 11 medical students travelled with 2 faculty advisors to conduct epidemiological surveys and distribute information on AIDS and diarrheal diseases. In addition, QHO sponsored a Guyanese medical student to do an elective rotation at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston , Ontario. Furthermore, in the summer project of 1992 QHO partnered with Queen’s Project on International Development and rehabilitation technicians from the Rehabilitation Center in Georgetown to initiate the Mobile Rehabilitation Project.
QHO soon expanded by adding a project that focused on health initiatives in the Kingston area. Furthermore, QHO began running projects in Northern Canada and Belize. Finally, in 2004 QHO initiated a South Africa project, which only ran for one year before it became the Kenya project. Together these five projects represent the current make-up of the organization.
As QHO expanded it changed its mandate from providing medical and clinical services, to providing health education. Moreover, QHO opened itself up to students of all faculties and programs. The organization officially changed its name from Queen’s Medical Outreach to Queen’s Health Outreach in 2006. This was done in order to better reflect the work that QHO was doing.