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

Teaser event examines U.S. health care



Submitted by Malcolm Nazareth UNIITE


Photo 1
Giovanni Antunez, a professor and physician, and
Icephine Johnson, a nurse practitioner, took part in the discussions
at the UNIITE event on Oct. 16 at Whitney Senior Center.

For two hours on Oct. 16, there was a little event at the Whitney Senior Center to tickle the curiosity or tease the brains of the St. Cloud community.

Photo 2
Photos submitted by Malcolm Nazareth, UNIITE
Jesus Lopez, a family practice physician, and Susan Saetre,
a chiropractor took part in an event called “The New Medicine”
on Oct. 16 at Whitney Senior Center.

Is the health care system in the United States undergoing transformation? Does the health care industry lean perhaps a little too heavily on a “Western” or “bio-medical” paradigm which is not much more than 150 years old? Are people voting with our feet in favor of more integrated health care delivery, which makes ample room for non-Western forms of health care chosen by patients themselves?

These were some issues which were discussed during the teaser on “The New Medicine.” There were 19 people who viewed 60 minutes of a PBS documentary of the same title.

One of these 19 attendees was Mary T. Howard, a psychologist at VA Medical Center in St. Cloud. She chaired a 60-minute panel discussion on issues raised in the movie. In the televised panel, top leaders in the field of integrative and complementary medicine participated in a lively discussion in early spring 2006, at the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota.

Avant garde hospitals and clinics across the nation are taking determined steps toward a new approach to health and healing. Impelled by a growing body of scientific evidence, even conservative medical institutions and health sciences schools have begun to promote a more holistic form of medicine.

The teaser was organized by UNIITE, which recently inaugurated a Health Care and World Religions series at Hoppe Auditorium in St. Cloud Hospital. The series runs from September 2006 through March 2007 and consists of three phases. For more information, go to http://www.uniite.org/HCWR_phaseA.html.

There have been three cultural competency training sessions focusing on the health care needs of Lao Buddhists, South Asian Hindus, and Latino/a Christians, respectively. In November, the series will focus on “Somali Muslims and Health Care” and “Hmong and Health Care”. There is a $35 registration fee for these sessions.

From 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 11, there is a free “Cultural Healing Festival” at Whitney Senior Center. For more information, go to www.uniite.org/culturalhealing.html.

It was in view of this festival that UNIITE organized the teaser event of Oct. 16. There was animated discussion that lasted well beyond 9:15 p.m. as attendees found it important to continue speaking and listening to each other informally.

The panelists, who shared stimulating reflections, were David Mumm, a dentist; Susan Saetre, a chiropractor; Jesus Lopez, a family practice physician; Giovanni Antunez, a professor and physician; Icephine Johnson, a nurse practitioner; and Peggy LaDue, a counselor and administrator at Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center.

The teaser and series were supported with a grant to UNIITE from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation.

Copyright 2006 St. Cloud Times