Concordia & Alverno Students Complete IPE Pilot Program through Justice Point


Full length portrait of confident doctors holding blank billboard over white background

During the fall and spring semester of 2015-16 12 students from CUW (nursing, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, and social work) and Alverno College (nursing and nurse practitioner/mental health) participated in a pilot interprofessional learning experience that involved a nontraditional IPE opportunity.  A partnership was created with Justice Point (a non profit, pre-trial case management organization) and the Milwaukee County Drug Court (a program that allows individuals struggling with addiction to be place on probation and receive comprehensive drug treatment).  Students first observed how an interprofessional team of attorneys, case managers, police officers, social workers, psychologists and a judge come together to plan out client-centered treatment plans and to carry out court proceedings to keep individuals on track and sober.

Students then collaborated together to think about how health and social care impact sobriety and how they might (through small teams) work with clients to ensure they are referred to the right kind of providers for care.  Justice Point identified clients for small teams of students to interview and to produce case write ups (that were shared via a Goggle Drive) in order to produce “active referrals.”  Students, through follow up interviews, were able to recommend certain types of prescriptions that might aid clients with sleep issues as well as uncovering issues like the need for comprehensive dental care for clients who may have not been able to, or neglected, their oral health.

Overall, students reported the pilot program as a success and that they learned the value of collaborative care when dealing with patients/clients with complex health and social care needs.  The pilot program is being extended for another year and interested students (and faculty) should contact Michael Oldani in the Office of IPE @ CUW for more information.  There are a variety of ways students can receive credit for this course, including as a 1-3 credit IPE 550 special topics course.

Special thanks to Karin Wasiullah of Alverno College of Nursing for co-coordinating this learning experience. And special thanks to the following students:

Allysa Bagin. Ryan Nelson, Genesis Estrada, Sarah Dibble, Hallie Schopp, Becky Sobanski, Monique VanFelder, Amy Kutzler, Emily Schroeter, Briana Kneisl, Kristen Holme, and Carrie Fehrmann – you are all trail blazers in IPE!


Michael J. Oldani/Office of IPE @ CUW




#CUServe – CUW Alumnus builds homes in Guatemala

Spring break mission trips are often life-changing for students, and for the people they serve. But for John Karolus, it was only the beginning of a journey that would take him across the globe.

houseWhile serving during spring break alongside “Casas por Cristo”, a home building organization in South America, John learned of a summer internship where he could be a home build site leader in Guatemala. At the time, John was focused on graduating (he earned his degree in Philosophy and Biblical Languages) and getting ready to attend Concordia Seminary in St. Louis this fall, but he decided to apply anyways. That decision to apply not only changed John’s life, but the lives of countless people through his service.

The experience has changed John in many ways, and opened his eyes to the struggles of others. “I certainly have grown in my appreciation for the blessings we as Americans have in our country and culture, but have also been strongly impacted by the dramatic and raw faith I see in the people here. To us, church and faith often become secondary to our practical lives, but down here a person’s faith in God is often the highest priority to him or her. I am beginning to see also how one can live out love for his neighbor through more than just house building, but in attitude and behavior and how you interact with people in all situations.”

house 2In John’s three months in Guatemala, he is leading a home build every week, and the team will complete 39 homes by summer’s end. “I am so thankful for this opportunity, because as Christians, especially American Christians, we have so much to give. Often a father of a family will make in a week what we spend on a fast food meal. In these conditions, even the smallest help makes a huge difference, and to simply ignore that isn’t possible after seeing firsthand how much of an impact Christian service has.”

You can follow along with John’s journey on Instagram with #JohnInGuat. Learn more about Casas por Christo and get involved today! Don’t forget to share your acts of Christian Service with us by using #CUServe!