Northwestern hosts Minnesota Campus Compact Event

Dr. Chuck Sawyer | October 19, 2015

Educators and students discuss social and cultural considerations in health education, research and community partnerships

Dr. Cassirer's welcome presentation

‌On October 2, 2015, Northwestern Health Sciences University students and faculty joined representatives from over twenty-five other academic institutions on Northwestern’s campus for an event organized by Minnesota Campus Compact. In a conversation titled, One Perspective Will Not Be Enough, participants learned about social and cultural considerations in health education, research and community partnerships.

After opening remarks by Sinda Nichols, Minnesota Campus Compact Program Director, Northwestern’s President, Dr. Chris Cassirer, welcomed the group and spoke about the intersecting relationship between rapidly changing population demographics and the challenge of addressing health inequity in Minnesota. He also remarked about the need for greater collaboration in the training of health care professionals, and that the workforce now includes emerging professions that have important roles and value in the care of patients.

During an interactive speaker/respondent format, three students from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University joined Dr. Jennifer Kramer, Associate Professor of Communication, in presenting their research regarding intercultural health communications.

Dr. Amy Finnegan, Chair of Peace and Justice Studies at the University of St. Thomas spoke about her role as co-director SocMed, a non-profit organization focused on the pursuit of justice and equity through global health education in Uganda and Haiti. A medical student from the University of Minnesota was her respondent.

A third speaker, Barbara Greene, from the Twin Cities Medical Society and Director of Community Engagement for Honoring Choices Minnesota, spoke about approaches for culturally sensitive conversations in advanced care planning. Joining her was Fadumo Ali who works with the Somali community for WellShare International.

Small group discussions and networking opportunities were the focus of an afternoon session.

“The presentations were very informative,” said Dr. Alejandra Estrin Dashe, Chair of the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion at Northwestern. “I’m also going to take advantage of the connections I made with several participants from other institutions.”

Northwestern Health Sciences University has been a Minnesota Campus Compact member for many years and, among other programs the organization offers, member sponsored and hosted events bring educators together from campus across the State of Minnesota to discuss a broad range of topics.

“It’s important that we take advantage of opportunities to host and participate in events like this,” said Dr. Cassirer. “And I think we have particular value when the topics are related to health and preparing students to enter healthcare professions.”

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