Scenic Rivers hosts AHEC reunion at Viterbo University

  • By: Alissa Siegenthaler, AHEC statewide communications assistant

In April 2013, AHEC alumni in the Scenic Rivers AHEC region, including health careers campers, La Crosse health science academy, Wisconsin Express and CHIP participants, were invited to an AHEC reunion at Viterbo University in La Crosse. The evening was designated to giving the students a break before their school final exams began.

Martha McCabe, Scenic Rivers AHEC Executive Director, reportes it was a great evening of relaxed conversation about AHEC memories. McCabe said the students also shared advice about a successful college transition and suggestions for finals preparation. The students wee invited to walk through the Viterbo School of Nursing labyrinth and learned about its meditation and relaxation purposes.

The AHEC participants were also invited to Nursing Research on the Green, a community event to celebrate and recognize excellence in nursing which took place at Viterbo University’s Fine Arts Center in La Crosse that evening. Sponsored by Gundersen Lutheran Health System, Logistics Health, Inc., Mayo Health System, Pi Phi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, Viterbo University School of Nursing, Western Technical College, Winona State University and Wisconsin Nurses’ Association, this forum recognizes nursing scholarships and shares research and clinical practice innovations. Nursing Research on the Green is designed for nurses working in any setting, as well as student nurses. AHEC students had the privilege of attending the keynote address, Living an Examined Life: One Nurse’s Path to Calling & Inquiry—All Nurses’ Imperative. Keynote speaker Valerie Lincoln, PhD, RN, AHN-BC is currently the Director of Integrative Services, Acute Care Hospital Division at HealthEast Care System in Minnesota. Certified as an advanced practice nurse in holistic nursing, Dr. Lincoln shared her story of transformation from a technologically focused intensive care nurse to a nurse whose real passion is the art and science of holistic nursing. Dr. Lincoln also shared insights concerning the application of the theoretical framework of holistic nursing. Lincoln spoke about healing presence, a strategy that she considers to be the greatest tool a professional nurse may employ in practice which challenges the professional to engage in a holistic perspective of self-care, compassion, and heart-centered choices.

This educational activity gave AHEC students a unique opportunity to reflect upon their own journey and to identify the importance of self-care and reflective practice in all health-career settings.

Following the presentation, the AHEC students had a special opportunity to meet and visit with Dean Silvana Richardson of Viterbo University School of Nursing and Dean William McBreen of Winona State University School of Nursing.