December 2019
St. Mary’s Health Clinics provides necessary and accessible health services
to the medically uninsured
and under-served.
December, 2019
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to our wonderful volunteers, supporters and families! You are the gifts in our lives and in the lives of our patients. We are forever grateful and want to share with you a few of the words we think describe you and your many contributions! 
A sincere thank you to all, you are blessings to all those around you!

Sue Gehlsen and the Staff of St. Mary’s Health Clinics 

C - Charitable, Concerned, Caring
H - Hospitable, Heartfelt, Holy
R - Realistic, Reverent, Respectful
I - Invested, Intent, Intelligent
S - Sensitive, Sociable, Sincere
T - Talented, Tenderhearted, Tenacious
M - Magnificent, Majestic, Marvelous
A - Accessible, Amicable, Active
S - Special, Saintly, Sensational
Neighbors in Care!
Won’t you be my neighbor?
With so much publicity about Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood recently, it is timely to share information with you about our good neighbors at St. Catherine University. You may or may not be aware of the many ways the work of St. Mary’s Clinics is supported and the partnership promoting inter-professional education and development.
  1. St. Mary’s serves as a clinical education site for many of the health professions students from St. Kate's. Last summer their MSN students completed their clinical rotation in Public Health by working with our Nursing Supervisors and our clinic patients and staff. In the spring of 2020, St. Kate’s BSN students will work with St. Mary’s staff and patients for their Global Health Nursing education experience. 
  2. Presently St. Mary’s is serving as an internship site for an MSW student from St. Kate’s, under the preceptorship of St. Mary’s Social Worker. Recently the Nutrition students presented education for our clinical staff on updated clinical nutrition information promoting cardiovascular and diabetic health. 
  3. St. Kate’s provides a food shelf with fresh and canned food along with personal care items, available to patients who receive OT or PT from their supervised students. OT and PT are available to St. Mary’s as needed and clinics are held twice per month on the St. Kate’s campus. Patients are provided the foods to best support their health after the patient records are reviewed by a physician overseeing Nutrition students.
  4. In November, a phlebotomy refresher course was provided to St. Mary’s nurses at St. Kate’s, offered by a faculty member there. This was a hands on skill development session. 
  5. While in the planning stages yet, a goal for the fall of 2020 is that St. Kate’s would expand clinic services for primary care for St. Mary’s patients. Not only would it be an additional clinic site for patient care, but it would also serve as a clinical education site for St. Kate’s students in the Health Professions, under faculty supervision. Much work is being done to make this become a reality but it is an exciting venture with many partners, one that will benefit both organizations and patients and families served. 

Watch for updates in the near future involving our partnership with our generous and supportive neighbors!
Welcome new volunteers:
Katie H. - Interpreter volunteer
Elizabeth F. – Interpreter volunteer
Katarina G. - Interpreter volunteer
Hannah F. - Interpreter volunteer
Lauren V. - Interpreter volunteer
Nichola E. - RN volunteer
Louise J. - RN volunteer
JoEllen E. - RN volunteer
Dr. Jessica P., MD - volunteer provider at St. Matt's
Brooke C. - NP volunteer
Claudine F. - admitting volunteer

Janet Hirsch has been volunteering as an RN at Park Avenue Clinic since 2012 and has accumulated 780 hours of volunteer time to St. Mary’s. THANK YOU!

Pace Industries for the generous donation of 2 exam tables, medical supplies and office furniture.

Dr. Brian Bonte, former volunteer has passed away. Dr. Bonte volunteered from
1998 - 2015, donating 550 hours of volunteer service to the patients of St. Mary's.
Click here to view his obituary.

Do you know anyone interested in volunteering with St. Mary's?
We are in need of:
  • RN's at Shakopee
  • drivers for all clinics
  • interpreters for all clinics
  • volunteer application available to those who may be interested. Thank you!
2019 Highlights from the
Outreach team
(Adriana, Rosalinda and Cristina)
  • SMHC has continued to provide regular outreach services and MNSure navigation services to the Latino community at the Mexican Consulate (St. Paul), Ecuadorian Consulate (North East Minneapolis), Assumption Church (Richfield), and Holy Rosary Church (Phillips neighborhood, Minneapolis). In 2019, we provided individualized screenings and/or education to more than 2,100 people at these sites.
  • During the months of October and November, SMHC in collaboration with the Consulate of México and Consulate of Ecuador, coordinated six health fairs at the churches of Assumption (Richfield), Our Lady of Guadalupe (St. Paul), Risen Savior (Burnsville), Holy Rosary (Minneapolis), Incarnation-Sagrado Corazon de Jesus (Minneapolis), Saint Cyril and Methodius (North East Minneapolis). These family events are a great opportunity to promote health and healthy behaviors and to connect community agencies with our Latino community. More than 1,700 people and 30 agencies attended the health fairs, 35 women received mammograms; 547 people were screened for diabetes and high blood pressure, 128 for cholesterol and 363 people received applications of dental varnish and fluoride. Additionally, many more community members received valuable health education and resources information.
  • SMHC in collaboration with Fairview Health Services organized 32 free flu clinics where over 2,600 influenza immunizations were given.
  • SMHC in collaboration with “Shriners Hospitals for Children” provided three free Screening/Evaluation Clinics for children with bone, muscle or joint problems. Thirty five children were screened, some of them were referred for free follow up treatment at Shriners Hospital and Clinics.
  • SMHC continues to offer free Zumba classes at Assumption Church (305 East St., Richfield, 55423) on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6-7 PM, and East Phillips Community Center (2399 17th Ave. S. Minneapolis, 55404) on Fridays from 6-7 pm.
  • SMHC, in collaboration with Sage and Park Nicollet, coordinated 9 mammo- a go-go community events where 114 women received mammograms.
The Ambassador from Mexico to the Unites States, Embajadora Martha Barcena Coqui, visted the Consulate of Mexico this fall. She visited with Rosalinda, SMHC staff, and learned about her work at the Ventanilla de Salud and St. Mary’s Health Clinics. Thank you Rosalinda!
Office News

Meet Paul Tatro - Grant Writer
“Paul has over twenty years of experience in development and is dedicated to building relationships of support and resources for programs and organizations that serve marginalized individuals or groups. He has helped build the operating budgets and strengthen the services of mission-based organizations and his professional expertise includes grant proposal writing and foundation relationships, prospect research, data analysis, individual giving and corporate sponsorship. He has directed grant funding operations for Open Arms Minnesota, Summit Academy OIC in Minneapolis and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and volunteers for Peace House Community. Inspired by the kindness of charitable giving, Paul is passionate about getting people engaged and involved in issues of justice.”
Community Health Worker position available.
St. Mary's Health Community Health Clinics, part of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet is seeking a FT candidate for this position.

Hours: Full Time, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm; occasional evening or week-end hours

Qualifications: High School Diploma or GED; completion of Community Health Worker program preferred; must be able to fluently speak, read and write in Spanish and English. Knowledgeable in MS Office; Valid MN driver's license; demonstrated skills in working independently within multi-cultural communities, especially with Hispanic community. Respect for patient confidentiality and privacy required.

Responsibilities including attending clinic sessions as member of care team; keeping accurate and timely records and documentation and transporting files and materials to/from clinic settings and providing supportive communications and education to patients/community residents, translating where needed. Physical requirements: Work at desk and computer; stand for long periods of time (up to one hour) in clinic or educational setting; transport clinic materials, pull/push containers up to 50 pounds; ability to function in busy office or clinic setting and drive between clinics.

If interested and qualified, please send resume and cover letter to by December 27
Welcome to new SMHC Board Members:
Dr. Amy Kelly, MD
Medical Director, St. Catherine University

Monica Cruz Zorilla
Consulate of Mexico in Saint Paul, Minnesota
Head of Community Affairs, Representative of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad (IME)

Anabel De Juan-Gomez, Ph.D.; SPHR
Regions Hospital – HealthPartners, St. Paul, MN Program Manager
Congratulations to SMHC staff member Carla Scheider, BSN, RN, who completed her BSN on December 14, 2019. Carla completed her Associate degree in Nursing from Century College in 2009 and recently finished her BSN from Metropolitan State while working full time. Carla is the Nursing Supervisor for the Mt. Olivet and St. Williams Clinics. Great job Carla!  
A collection from SMHC staff was used to purchase Target gift cards for Sarah's Oasis for Women. Several of the staff delivered the cards to Sarah's and enjoyed a tour of the facility.
Learn more about Sarah's , a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Paul Province, since 1996.
News for Clinic Volunteers
The SAGE Scopes program has funding for a limited number of screening colonoscopies, for individuals 50 years old and up.  Patients can be given the Spanish-language (blue) flier found at clinic. This flier includes a phone number for Spanish speakers, so that patients may make their own appointments, but please be sure to note in the patient’s chart that the referral was made so that RN Supervisors can follow through on referral and obtain reports and pathologies.
 Once SAGE receives the referral, their staff will need to confirm eligibility prior to scheduling the appointment at a colonoscopy site.
•            SAGE will to take referrals until 12/27/19.
•            Screenings will be scheduled before 02/28/20.
Attention Providers! 
Because it can be difficult to accommodate patients’ need for clinic appointments we ask your assistance in determining which patients need to return in 3 months, versus which patients can return in 4, 5, or 6 months.  Please do consider well-controlled patients with diabetes and hypertension, for less frequent follow up. And in each case, please direct clinic nurses to prepare for dispensing the appropriate amount of medication so that (other than insulin) med pick ups are not necessary in between visits.

Attention Nurses! 
a)    Please help providers stay on time by limiting intake to chief concern, vitals, and medication reconciliation – be mindful of the time, especially early in clinic. Once we fall behind, we tend to stay behind. We understand this is challenging. We simply ask that you try – and provide us with your feedback, concerns, and ideas.
b)   Defer to providers to delve more deeply into concerns and complaints during their time with patient.
c)    Do provide scheduling phone number to patients for follow up appointments to address additional concerns. Use the pink Nursing Supervisor Alert form to inform care coordinators of concerns/needs not addressed. We can follow up from the office to help you stay on schedule at clinic.
d)   Work collaboratively with providers to ensure well controlled patients with orders to RTC in 4-6 months are dispensed enough medication for that time interval. We will increase quantity of medications stocked if needed.

We thank you for your commitment and hard work. We are always interested in your feedback. You are the reason St. Mary’s Health Clinics works!  
  • Spironolactone has been added to the formulary 
  • County Public Health Departments will provide the Shingrix vaccine to uninsured persons 50 y/o and up at no cost. 
Learning Curves - CHW's
We started our partnership with the RN/Community Health Worker roles in September of this year. Yes, we’re still climbing that steep learning curve as we work to integrate the role of the CHW into the clinic operation. It’s a learning process for all involved: patients, providers, nurses, interpreters, etc. 
As the CHW’s become more skilled, they are able to support the patients in many ways including education reinforcement, referral follow up, intake assistance, rooming support, interpretation if needed, etc. Their role is one that is not well defined and the tasks of the role take shape depending on the setting and the needs of the persons served. So it’s difficult to define a total summary of tasks but the essence of the role is to serve as a resource and to establish relationships with patients, a connection from within their community. There is follow up done by the CHW’s after clinic visits that include phone calls, appointments, referrals, etc. 
We’ve heard from several persons in the clinics that they are not sure how best to work with the CHW. Other comments include how valuable they are and what an asset they are for patient care. 
So we continue this climb on the learning curve together. It’s been three months so far so soon we will do an evaluation that gives us more data. Themes that some still struggle with include the lack of a diabetic coordinator. That message has been repeated. As we go and as we settle into a broader approach to care with the presence of our CHW’s, we will re-evaluate strengths and opportunities as we head into the next budget planning session. So nothing is off the table for possibilities. As with any change, we have to be patient and commit to learning as we go.
The nursing supervisors and leadership have reviewed and revised this handout that hopefully guides us in our work and provides a bit more role clarity.
Thank you for partnering on this journey, we’re in it together and are climbing the climb collectively!
1890 Randolph Avenue
 St. Paul, Minnesota