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

Health Care & World Religions Series
Meeting date: August 8, 2006
Time:4:30-6:00 pm
Location: Maple Room, St. Cloud Hospital


Minutes recorded by Bret Reuter (see below), narrative and aftermath added by Malcolm Nazareth


Carol Virnig, Ana Maria Studer, Sanh Chareunrath, Mariani Nazareth, Bret Reuter, Chandra Prakash, Malcolm Nazareth

Most of the attendees were present at 4.30 pm. Reuter was held up in traffic due to road repairs, hence the meeting was called to order by Nazareth only at 4.55 pm. Prakash stopped by from 5.15 to 5.30 pm. The meeting was adjourned on schedule at 6 pm.

Once again St. Cloud Hospital’s Department of Spiritual Care generously provided us with copies of the agenda, the prior planning committee meeting report, and updated schedules a) of diverse presenters (at Teaser, Phase A of series, Festival; and their backgrounds; and b) of the five sessions of Phase A Part One and the breakdown of each of their four 1-hour segments.

Virnig led us in a brief prayer.

Mutual introductions were short since most all were known to each other.

Nazareth spoke about the Teaser session on "The New Medicine," October 16, 5-7 pm, in Clemens Hall, Whitney Senior Center. [This has since been rescheduled by UNIITE’s Board at the same place on the same date, but from 7 to 9 pm.]  He said it would comprise two parts: The third 1-hour segment of “The New Medicine”, which is a 3 hour PBS video, would be screened in the first part of the Teaser. This would be followed in the second part by a panel discussion chaired by Dr. Mary T. Howard. Nazareth drew everybody’s attention to a handout carrying a list of panelists at the Teaser. For those who have not seen it live on PBS, the DVD is available not for borrowing but for viewing only in St. Cloud Hospital Library (which is located just inside the hospital’s “C” entrance). [Nazareth verified this late August—there are two copies available; St. Cloud Hospital employees can take the DVD home; non-employees can view the DVD right there in the library].

Nazareth then gave a quick update on the presentations and presenters and focused on the challenge posed by the changes in the Hindu and Hmong presentation dates. The planning committee discussed options which are reflected in the minutes recorded by Reuter (see below). An important outcome is that Phase A of the series will begin and end 2 weeks later than planned thus far.

Reuter wanted to know more about the 11/11, Diverse Cultural Healing Practices Festival at CentraCare Plaza: logistics and planned participants. Nazareth once again provided details on the festival which have been on the UNIITE website in great detail for many months now. (See http://www.uniite.org/HCWR_aims_objectives.html) [Three days after the meeting, namely, 8/13, in a brief phone conversation late afternoon, Reuter communicated to Nazareth another “directive” from Linda Chmielewski (formerly given as “Linda Schimm” in prior report) that St. Cloud Hospital was unable to host the festival at CentraCare Plaza or elsewhere on hospital premises. Chmielewski did not wish to create any impression that St. Cloud Hospital/Centracare was promoting alternative or complementary therapeutic practices, when their true intent was to create awareness through education about the practices in relationship to a particular culture. She therefore suggested incorporating some of the information into the educational sessions. This directive in some sense sets the clock back for UNIITE because we have spent time unnecessarily on renaming the festival from “Complementary Therapies Festival” to “Diverse Cultural Healing Practices Festival” in order to accommodate Linda’s earlier directive. Nevertheless, with due respect to the express wishes of our partner St. Cloud Hospital, UNIITE’s Board has moved the 11/11 festival to Whitney Senior Center. Following the principle “you own it, you name it,” UNIITE has felt free to rename it “Cultural Healing Festival.” We apologize to everybody for any inconvenience occasioned by these seemingly arbitrary switches to and fro.]

Reuter then raised a question about the brochure printing and distribution on the plea that funds for printing and distribution were included in grant. Some clarification was made at the meeting, but the question was tabled till there was word from UNIITE’s Board in keeping with St. Cloud Hospital’s written agreement made with UNIITE.
[On August 15, Reuter emailed Nazareth as follows: “We are happy to print the brochures and mail them, but the agreement identifies that Uniite will pay for the printing of the brochures. Once you have the brochure in final form please re-send to Vickie Ruegemer with a cc to Dave Waage and myself. I know that you are awaiting a confirmation from the Hindu presenter, but since the series will now begin on September 26th I think we should target to get the mailing out by August 25th.” Happily the mailing went out by August 25th.]

The final points on the agenda were raced through: No comments were made re. thoughts or concerns re. Post Script #4 at the end of Nazareth's report of the July Planning Committee Meeting.

Except for point #5 below, nobody offered any thoughts/suggestions on

  1. how to fund teaser session and 10-minute cultural programs of each of the 5 ethno-religious groups selected for this series;
  2. bringing complementary therapy practitioners who will want to set up booths during festival on 11/13 @$50 charge per booth;
  3. searching for corporate co-sponsors for each day of the series
  4. spreading the word re. series and encouraging pre-registration
  5. bringing volunteers to help out during series (greeters, for example)
    [On this point Virnig made a suggestion. See Reuter’s minutes below].

The minutes below were prepared by Reuter.

  1. Due to the rescheduling of the Hindu presenter and the pregnancy of the Hmong presenter we are rearranging the schedule. We are not able to confirm a new Hindu presenter until after August 17, 2006. The Hmong presenter would also prefer to move to a later date. Therefore we are proposing to cancel the September 12th session and begin the series on September 26th. We will move the Hmong presenter to a new date of November 21st (but Hoppe is only available on that day till 12 noon) and attempt to schedule the new Hindu presenter into the October 10th slot. We would like to have the Hindu presenter finalized as quickly after August 17th as possible so that we can get the updated brochure mailed out one month before our start date of September 26th.
  2. The agreement between St. Cloud Hospital and Uniite identifies that St. Cloud Hospital will print and mail the brochure, with the expense for printing being borne by Uniite through the grant. St. Cloud Hospital needs one week of lead time to print, fold, and mail the brochure.
  3. Malcolm will provide St. Cloud Hospital with a list of duties for volunteers needed at the events and the CentraCare Health System Diversity Committee members will serve as those volunteers along with Uniite Board members.
  4. St. Cloud Hospital Education Department will assist at the registration table with name tags, hand-outs, signage, etc.
  5. Bret will contact Tom Allen in the St. Cloud Hospital Media Center about video taping the session. He will also ask Tom if we have a standard release form to be signed by participants and presenters.
  6. Our next meeting will be from 4:30pm to 6:00pm on Tuesday September 12, 2006 in the Oak Room at the St. Cloud Hospital conference center.
  7. Directions to get to Oak Room:

    Directions to Oak Room at SC Hospital:
    The E entrance to SCH is very visible from the north side of the hospital where you have a large parking lot. The F entrance is not visible from the north side. F entrance is immediately to the left of E entrance.

    Enter SCH by the F entrance, walk down the steps and turn right. Go down the hallway about 30 paces till you reach the elevator on your left.

    The elevator will bring you down to the C level. As you step off the elevator, you are in the vicinity of the conference center where you can locate Oak Room.

    Respectfully submitted for the record by
    Malcolm Nazareth, executive director, UNIITE
    St. Cloud