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

Health Care & World Religions Series
Meeting date: September 12, 2006
Time:4:30-6:00 pm
Location: Oak Room, St. Cloud Hospital



Sanh Chareunrath, Bret Reuter, Sandy Robin, Ana Maria Studer, Michele Bergh, Dana Spates, Carol Virnig, and Malcolm Nazareth

At 4.35 pm, the meeting was called to order by Nazareth who had handwritten the agenda items on the whiteboard.

Bergh, who has graciously accepted to be Event Coordinator of the Cultural Healing Festival (11/11/06 at Whitney Senior Center), read out a message of inspiration from “Inspiration from Great Spiritual Traditions: Perpetual Calendar produced by Light & Life, LLC.”

As he has generously done in the past, Reuter brought and distributed a dozen copies of numerous handouts:

  1. Minutes of the prior 8/8 Planning Committee meeting,
  2. Evaluation instrument prepared by Vickie Ruegemer Education and Professional Development Department) of Phase A, Part One sessions of the HCWR series,
  3. Detailed skeletal outline of the opening 9/26 session “Lao Buddhists and Health Care” with names of presenters,
  4. Nine-page detailed “Guidelines for Presenters” containing details of the 4 segments of every session of the Phase A, Part One along with 8+13+12 questions which presenters have been asked to respond to, as a team, during their presentation in view of Continuing Education Units which will be available to participants thanks to the support of the Education and Professional Development Department of St. Cloud Hospital
  5. Illustration of the session-wise breakdown of the educational objectives and teaching/learning strategies of each module of every session of Phase A, Part One

Nazareth brought from UNIITE’s webmaster and artist, Norhashimah Erpelding, a bunch of the latest brochures and fliers of the HCWR series and the Cultural Healing Festival When these were distributed, there were many expressions of high appreciation for the artwork and layout of the finalized versions of the handouts.

During the mutual introductions, we got acquainted with two newcomers to the planning process, Spates and Bergh, who had respectively come in from Paynesville, MN, and Elk River, MN. Chareunrath shared with the committee her good news that she was soon going to be inducted into the Honor Roll at St. Cloud Technical College.

Nazareth updated the committee on the developments with respect to the Teaser of Monday, 10/16/06 at Whitney Senior Center, 7-9 pm, open to all and free (see new webpage: http://www.uniite.org/teaser_newmedicine.html) which is meant to “prime” the minds of the public at large in view of the Saturday, 11/11/06 Cultural Healing Festival (see updates at http://www.uniite.org/culturalhealing.html).

The handout prepared by Ruegemer was then discussed. Pertinent comments made by Robin and others were discussed. Nazareth said that he had received e-mail from Mary Kruger and Giovanni Antunez with valuable, detailed feedback, and that he would forward these to Reuter and Ruegemer. The overall thrust of the comments was to make the evaluation instrument more user-friendly and simple or there was a danger they might not be utilized by attendees. Reuter took note of all these comments and promised to forward them to Ruegemer.

Nazareth then passed around a list of volunteer opportunities in view of the Phase A, Part One sessions. He solicited suggestions as to where such volunteers might be found. Reuter said the St. Cloud Hospital Diversity Committee would be able to help out with greeters, hospitality, and registration table. These could also double up as ushers, as needed. Bergh suggested that her contacts at RSVP (Retired Seniors Volunteer Program) could be approached. Nazareth thanked them for their suggestions and offers of help.

There were no further items on the agenda although the committee was open to further items. Business was transacted to everybody’s satisfaction in good time, so the meeting was adjourned at 5.50 pm. There was no announcement of a subsequent meeting.

[Developments after the meeting:

  1. Nazareth has approached Dr. Paula Weber of the Business School, SCSU, in order to obtain volunteer help from any of her graduate students with preparing and administering an evaluation instrument for the Cultural Healing Festival. He has also sent to the Americorps Coordinator at SCSU an updated list of “volunteers needed” for the HCWR series. Bergh has sent a similar list to RSVP. We are awaiting responses to these requests.
  2. There were e-discussions in September between UNIITE, St. Cloud Hospital, and series supporters from SCSU/CSBSJU about possibilities of videotaping all sessions. The idea was to edit and market the tapes in order to fundraise for UNIITE and St. Cloud Hospital in view of improving new-immigrant health access. However, the costs of such a venture seemed prohibitive, so the proposal was shelved. The sessions will be taped as usual by the Hospital’s Tom Allen who will make a master copy available as a donation to UNIITE.
  3. The HCWR series is off to a wonderful start with “Lao Buddhists and Health Care,” on 9/26, with about 35-40 persons present at Hoppe Auditorium. Of these, 7 belonged to the Lao team, 5 were UNIITE Board members, and there were 4-6 volunteers from the SCH Diversity Committee. Seventeen people had pre-registered and one registered on-site.]

Respectfully submitted by
Malcolm Nazareth, executive director
3 October 2006