Metropolitan State University, College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Read Blog Posts about Metro State

CHC Host Site Since: June 2009

Location: St. Paul, MN

Christine Milbrath, Ed.D., R.N.



Metropolitan State University’s commitment to partnering with and serving the community is long standing and constant with one of the five founding tenets stating “the university and its students will use community resources to achieve educational goals and, in turn, will serve as resources to diverse communities.” Today the Center for Community-based Learning leads the university’s commitments to civic engagement and facilitates incorporation of community service and civic engagement across the curriculum.

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) mission is to promote holistic, integrated health care devoted to erasing disparities, promoting health and improving quality of life. It does so by educating students to serve diverse populations and populations that are underserved. CNHS establishes partnerships with community organizations serving the underserved who can offer these experiences to students. Students in nursing, dental hygiene and dental therapy, in turn, augment the resources available to the community.

Over the past several years, CNHS has been working to expand the community based experiences for the students not only by having students present in sites providing services but with efforts to establish new sites and expand the health and dental services offered. The development of the new roles for dental care provides CNHS with new opportunities to serve unmet needs. The summer of 2009 brought the first students into this new program. These dental therapy students began seeing patients in a clinic established at  Normandale Community College in the summer of 2010. The 2010-2011 VISTA member was instrumental in researching dental needs, and developing and implementing the patient recruitment plan for this location.

The VISTA member for the upcoming year will work as a key member of the team to establish the Metropolitan State dental educational clinic in Maplewood, MN. This clinic will allow CNHS to serve the educational needs of multiple cohorts of students and therefore serve greater numbers of patients. This site is being specifically designed to reach the at-risk, underserved populations defined in the legislation that authorized the new dental roles. In addition, this clinic will bring the clinical dental services into the community rather than hosting them on a college campus.

Site Goals
  1. Develop and implement systems to improve access to health services and health literacy by developing and supporting partnerships which serve community members, and creating opportunities for students to gain valuable education in serving under-served and diverse populations.
    1. Identify and execute outreach activities to promote community awareness among students and at the university, recruit community involvement in service activities, and apply information gathered by Center for Community Based Learning on health literacy.
    2. Evaluate the primary health and wellness related needs of selected communities.
    3. Identify potential new partnerships in collaboration with faculty and the Center for Community Based Learning, and initiate partnerships.
    4. Evaluate the effectiveness of the efforts undertaken and make recommendations for future efforts.
  2. Develop and implement plan to sustain community partnerships and activities
    1. Identify key funders to support community and/or educational efforts.
    2. Organize special events and serve as project manager for activities which support service, raise awareness, and foster relationships.
    3. Revise work plan based on year’s activities, including recommendations for new partners.

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