Occupational therapy students in Peru
Occupational therapy students have been joining Eleanore's Project on wheelchair distributions in Peru since 2008.

Community Partnerships

The Henrietta Schmoll School of Health places the community at the core of everything we do. Our programs embody the spirit of the 150-year tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet — to serve the community and work for social justice — while addressing urgent needs in healthcare and preparing students for a changing environment. Our work with partner organizations broadens the expertise of our graduates and positions them to become leaders in their professions.

In 2009, the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health was honored for its community outreach efforts by Twin Cities Business magazine with its Health Care Heroes award.

Opening minds and hearts

Our faculty members are active outside of the University, serving on the boards of schools, professional organizations, and community and non-profit organizations. This work directly translates into a richer experience for students.

As the population ages, more nurses will be needed to care for the elderly. A partnership between our associate of science in nursing program and Catholic Senior Services helps nursing students gain experience caring for seniors.

Students participating in the program learn through observation and interaction with faculty members and clinical educators in small groups. This partnership dispels myths and stereotypes surrounding eldercare and will ensure that graduates are adequately prepared to offer specialized care to seniors.

Serving the underserved

Another bedrock value of the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health is a commitment to promote health among underserved populations and immigrant communities.

Our partnership with the Powderhorn/Phillips Cultural Wellness Center in Minneapolis places St. Catherine’s holistic health studies students in classes to learn what it means to use culture as a resource for taking responsibility for one’s own health.

Through two grants funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Medica Foundation, School of Health nursing faculty members have partnered with Somali organizations to better understand health disparities within the Twin Cities Somali community. The project involved community-based participatory research and focused on empowering Somali women and their families to actively participate in finding and implementing solutions to problems of crucial importance to their health and well being. Educating healthcare providers about the Somali community’s most pressing health needs was another key component.

Global reach

Several programs in the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health have embarked on ventures to promote health internationally. Students and faculty members in the Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy (MAOT) program travel to Ecuador to work with children with disabilities. MAOT students also travel to Peru each spring to partner with Eleanore’s Project, a nonprofit started by Tamara Kittelson-Aldred ’75 that provides wheelchair assistance to children.

Learn more: MAOT and Eleanore’s Project

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program also makes service learning a key component of the student experience. Partnerships in the Twin Cities; Clarksdale, Mississippi; and Santiago, Dominican Republic allow DPT students to provide health-related services to underserved populations. Students collaboratively examine issues such as health disparities, marginalization, poverty and environmental conditions and their collective effects on healthy living.

Learn more: DPT Service Learning

Clinical partnerships

The Henrietta Schmoll School of Health is proud to have forged relationships with established and respected partner organizations such as Allina Health System, Fairview Health Services, HealthEast Care System and HealthPartners to make clinical education meaningful and relevant to our students.

Students at all degree levels gain practical knowledge and experience through clinical education at over 900 sites around the Twin Cities and throughout the region. The School is working to become a preferred clinical partner of major healthcare systems around the state and region. Those partnerships ensure that our students receive the best clinical experiences possible and, in return, can offer the most benefit to healthcare facilities during their clinical work and potentially as future employees.