Learn how Milwaukee resident Jesse Green has been impacted by CUW students through the university’s Interprofessional Clinic, and how you can partner with Concordia to assess and address community members’ health and social care service needs.

Editor’s note: A version of this story first appeared in the fall 2023 edition of Hearts Together, a magazine publication of Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor.

It is somewhat ironic that Jesse Green named his food trailer Big Easy’z, because owning a mobile restaurant is anything but. Preparations for the weekend’s run-outs begin each week on Monday with grocery shopping. Then comes the food prep, cooking, and cleaning throughout the rest of the week.

Despite the grind, the New Orleans native loves serving up his signature chicken and fish to the people of Milwaukee, his current home. Before he made good on his goal to operate his own food trailer in 2019, he had had long harbored a dream to do it.

Then, in November 2020, Jesse had a stroke. The stroke caused weakness on his right side, which continues to severely limit his mobility and fine motor skills. Once he tapped out his occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) services at Froedtert, he was tipped off to Concordia’s OT/PT community clinics, which now operate in the university’s recently unveiled Interprofessional Clinic. The clinics give students in CUW’s graduate-level OT and PT programs the opportunity for valuable hands-on training under the guidance of licensed professionals, while community patients, like Jesse, gain access to needed services services at no cost or a significantly reduced price.

Whole-person care

For Colleen Green, Jesse’s wife, Concordia’s clinics are about so much more than just rehabilitative services though.

“Ultimately, it’s emotional goals as well as the physical goals,” said Colleen. “It’s getting him to want to do more. Sometimes he might feel he’s maxed out, but I feel there’s always hope and you have to keep working towards it. That’s what we’re doing here is keeping hope alive.”

During an OT session at Concordia earlier this semester, CUW students worked to keep hope alive by having Jesse practice a familiar skill in the Interprofessional Clinic’s mock apartment—frying up chicken. Only the recipe wasn’t right and the Concordia air fryer couldn’t keep up with Jesse’s professional-grade equipment. Jesse broke into his first smile of the session when asked if the student-assisted chicken was as good as his Big Easy’z fare: not even close, he indicated.

Good thing cooking skills aren’t part of OT students’ evaluation. The students can stick to their ever-growing professional skillsets and Jesse can continue his journey on the way back to Easy’z.

“We’re not done,” said Colleen. “He can still make progress. He’s lost so much. It’s good for him to aim toward getting back into the trailer. It’s a goal for him to focus on.”

Affordable community care

CUW extends quality health and social care services to the community through its Interprofessional
Clinic. A special focus is placed on serving the underserved. School of health Professions students work under the supervision of licensed professionals to apply learning and provide free or reduced price services to patients within the community. The result is a mutually beneficial experience for students and clients.

Services offered:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech, language, and hearing
  • Wellness screenings
  • Connections to community resources

Learn more about CUW’s IP Clinic here.

Creating Community Collaborations event

Concordia’s School of Health Professions seeks to partner with its alumni and other health care professionals to learn more about the health and social care needs of the community.

Creating Community Collaborations: A CUW Alumni Engagement Event

Wednesday, October 25 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Concordia University Wisconsin’s Interprofessional Clinic

Registration is requested for this free event. The first 50 individuals to attend will receive a stemless wine glass. RSVP by Monday, Oct. 23.

If you are unable to attend the event but would like to share your thoughts on unmet needs in the community and how CUW might be able to help meet them, please click on the link above.

If you know of someone who might benefit from rehab services in our clinic, please click on the link above.

Learn more about the event here.

Want in?

The School of Health Professions offers a range of professional programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Whether you pursue your education through online instruction or through classroom learning, you can expect a distinctive learning environment that will prepare you for a career marked by excellence, compassion, and service. Health Professions undergraduate students also participate in the Concordia Core, a rigorous, liberal arts curriculum integrated with Lutheran distinctives.

The fall 2023 Hearts Together magazine hit mailboxes in November. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but would like to receive a free copy, email Jennifer.Hackmann@cuaa.edu.