Nursing students help Wichita's under-served

By Jack Schafer, Staff Writer

At least six Newman staff, students and faculty members volunteered for the second year of Medical Mission at Home, a free healthcare event at Mueller Magnet Elementary School on April 14 that allowed the local underserved to get treatment for their needs.

Jane Weilert, associate dean of nursing and allied health, sent out an email in March to try and recruit volunteers before the event started.

“It’s a great way for the university to be involved in the community, especially when it comes to health care access,” Weilert said.

Weilert said she wanted her students to be able to see a place in Wichita they had never been to before while teaching them valuable lessons from one-on-one patient time. Newman also has a special connection to the event.

The CEO of Via Christi, Michael Mullins, is also on the Newman board of trustees. Medical Mission at Home had 900 volunteers come out to help serve the community this year in comparison to the 564 last year, said Associate Professor of Nursing Amy Siple. Peg Tichacek, the mission integration leader for Via Christi, said there were more than 8,000 handbills delivered to areas in need.

“Extra efforts were made to target the surrounding neighborhoods because it’s an area in which there is a great need. Working with area churches and neighborhood associations, and also using social media, we were able to do that,” Tichacek said.

Siple said the healthcare event deals with more than just medicine.

“There was just a plethora of services,” Siple said. “It wasn’t just for medical problems, either.”

The medical professionals helped with addiction counseling as well as some cases that would usually be seen in an emergency room.

“I know we made a difference,” Siple said. “The entire thing was very holistic. We didn’t look at the clients as medical conditions we needed to treat. We looked at all the issues and tried to help them as much as possible.”

Dana Beitey, Newman’s content marketing coordinator, was covering the event for the advancement department.

“I think it was important to Via Christi to connect patients on not only a physical but a spiritual level,” Beitey said.

The event was put on by Via Christi Health, Ascension Healthcare, Wichita State University and the city of Wichita.

The individuals involved from Newman said they enjoyed it and would be back again.

“This will be an annual event for Ascension and Via Christi and Newman will be there,” Weilert said.