Over the summer, Jean Angel, a Physical Therapist Assistant student, and Jordan Schmitt, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing student, were able to combine this dual emphasis on head and heart with a trip to the United Nations. Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters allow students from the various Mercy-tradition colleges through the country to join them in a “U.N. immersion experience,” where students accompany the Sisters as they advocate for the poor and vulnerable at the U.N. in New York City, and share strategies of advocating locally that students take home with them.
Who would have thought just a few months after initially meeting Sr. Karen Schneider RSM, MD, in early February, 2016, a Mercy College Faith and Healing Series speaker, I would be reconnecting with her for my first international flight at the Miami, Florida airport enroute to Gros Morne via Port au Prince, Haiti to assist with Mercy Focus on Haiti effort.Gros Morne, Haiti is a town of 30,000 serving a greater population of 130,000 located in the Northwestern portion of the Artibonite Valley. Via car it takes approximately five (5) hours to reach Gros Morne from the capital Port-au-Prince.
In February, Mercy College students, staff, and faculty came together to tie fleece blankets for donation to the homeless who are served by Joppa Outreach’s Winter Heat Team.
To the one starting, everything is a new adventure, with a “point zero” in which everything begins anew. For me, January 6th, 2016 will always be the day I started at Mercy College. Everything will be measured from that day going onward, a new life sprouting from a definitive point.
And yet, Mercy has not started anew just because I happened to pass through the doors. It is this thing, this 100+ year old thing, which has lived longer than any of us. It has multiple contours that each face points to, whether the face is walking through the halls or adorning the walls. How will my start join this life that’s heart has already been beating through many decades? How will the vision of “the veterans,” who have “seen it all,” match up with my eyes that see all things in a newborn glow?
When both your parents are foreign language teachers, it’s not too hard to catch the travel bug. That’s exactly what happened to Kate Pace, whose parents both taught foreign language in central Iowa schools. By accompanying them on their trips with students, first as a student and then as a chaperone, she has been able to see a large part of the world.
Think about your last major volunteer commitment, and how you reacted when it was finished. Did you plunge into something else, or take a breather and maybe allow yourself a chance to catch up on your reading list?
Either way, few of us can hope to match the exceptional example set by Sr. Jude Fitzpatrick, 73. Her story may inspire you to find even more meaning in what you do for others. When asked to join the Mercy College Board of Directors in 2006, Sr. Jude was already working full-time for the Des Moines Diocese and serving on the State Board of Education (she served from 2002-2014).
Health disparities are caused by a complex interaction of genetics, behavior, social conditions, environmental influences, and health care. Considerations to eradicate health disparities on a global scale require identifying mechanisms which largely contribute to health disparities.