UNIITE - Understanding the Need for
Interfaith / Intercultural Togetherness & Education

March 14, 2006
Third Preliminary Meeting to Initiate Planning for “Health Care and World Religions” Series


Minutes taken by: Gwen Dahlhoff; edited version put together by Nazareth


TIME:  4:00-7:00

LOCATION:  Willow Room, St. Cloud Hospital

Two meetings had been announced, 4-5.30 and 6.-7 pm. Nazareth and Dahlhoff were present at both meetings. Knutson, Virnig, and Studer attended only the first meeting; Sowada and Calabria attended only the second. We had to wait at 4 pm till Willow Room was opened at 4.10 pm. Knutson had to leave by 4.30 pm. Virnig and Studer left at 5.45 pm. The second meeting concluded at 6.45 pm.

Individuals Present:
Nazareth, Malcolm  UNIITE
Knutson, Paul  CentraCare Health System/Project H.E.A.L.
Dahlhoff, Gwen  St. Cloud Hospital
Studer, Ana Maria  Yoga Instructor, Anna Marie Battered Women’s Shelter
Virnig, Sr. Carol  Centro Hispano
Sowada, Frank  Pranic Healing
Calabria, Diane  Yoga Instructor

Nazareth thanked Dahlhoff for accepting to take the Minutes. He invited Studer to chair the session. More than 45 minutes went into self introductions which consisted largely of a heavy input into the Latino/a community’s issues and concerns in St. Cloud, Waite Park, and surrounding areas. With furtive looks now and then at the agenda from which they were departing, the two Latina community leaders spoke of the big meeting at the Waite Park Catholic Church which was well attended by Latina populations, area politicians, and police. In reporting on this landmark meeting, the two Latina leaders were sharing in a gush, as it were, their struggles and frustrations over these larger societal issues of area racism. Some telling statements: “Latino/as feel like the Jews in the Holocaust” “Did you notice how Somalis in St. Cloud often huddle together when they move about in St. Cloud?” , As the Minutes indicate, not much time was spent in agenda items. This seemed alright because, as it was pointed out, “Issues of health care are one of many interrelated issues faced by Latinos/as, Somalis and other minorities in St. Cloud. They cut commonly across minority racial and ethnic groups. The series which UNIITE and St. Cloud Hospital are planning are very important for us to begin to tackle these problems from a health care perspective.”

During the second session, self-introductions led to discussion of the complementary therapies which were the areas of passion and expertise of the participants. Pranic healing and yoga were discussed along with other personal experiences of healing, spirituality, and complementary therapies. The exchanges were fascinating. The main yoga presenter expected this evening Chandra Prakash didn’t show up and that was a disappointment. Later it was learned that Prakash had failed to pick up email (mass mailing is junked by anti-virus software) and had thought that the meeting was canceled.






The meeting was called to order by Malcolm Nazareth at 4:10 p.m. on March 14, 2006 in the Willow Room at St. Cloud Hospital.



Malcolm disbursed pre-pamphlets and pre-fliers to be reviewed. The pamphlets and fliers will be used to promote the upcoming series of programs and festival.

The group present gave many compliments on the flier and pamphlet.


Malcolm led the discussion on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation grant. The grant will include funding for events specific only to recent immigrants. The series was not to deal with African Americans’ and Native Americans’ experience of health care.

Local sponsorship is needed to continue and enhance program.


The schedule for the Nov. 11 festival is:
1st Hour - Yogasutras (Chandra Prakash)
2nd Hour - Yoga (Richard Chandler)
3rd Hour – Breakout Sessions (Chandler, Studer, and 2 others)
4th Hour – Q & A
5th/6th Hours – Visit Booths
7th 8th Hours – 4 sessions (Pranic Healing, Drumming as Healing, Reiki or Aromatherapy, Chiropractic or Acupuncture/Acupressure)

Additional presenters will be needed for the sessions during the 7th and 8th hours; pending funding availability, there could be 10-minute cultural performances by each of the 5 groups during the festival or series.

PBS PRESENTATION: The New Medicine, 3/29/06

The University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing is holding a discussion about “The New Medicine” that will be aired on PBS (TPT2) March 29th from 7-10 p.m. The discussion could possibly be used by way of preparation for the series, for example, on the first Tuesday in September at Hoppe or Windfeldt, hosted by St. Cloud Hospital.

Gwen will check to see if St. Cloud Hospital can tape the program for a possible later presentation.


On 9 March, Malcolm & Mariani Nazareth visited the Mayo Hospital (Rochester, MN) to speak with staff and administration about their 16 years of efforts, outcomes and resources for diversity related matters; learned about impressive Mayo Foundation Diversity Strategic Plan; Employee Education Dept there has been presenting brown bag lunches with speakers to the hospital employees; also conducts 4-hour trainings re. specific religious/ethnic groups; Dept of Nursing has a Cultural Competence Curriculum Proposal

Mayo staff/administration had expressed interest in coming to see the presentations and progress made in the St. Cloud area as reflected in the upcoming series.


Following the sessions group work on case studies will consist of followup to the series and link with the final panel sessions in March 2007.

Next Meeting: April 25th at 4:30, St. Cloud Hospital