GHR Foundation
GHR Partnership

St. Catherine University is proud to partner with Minneapolis-based GHR Foundation to build upon the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health’s legacy of preparing the next generation of professionals to lead and influence. As the recipient of two generous grants from the Foundation, St. Kate’s is able to provide students with a high-quality education that ensures their skills are relevant and applicable in the ever-changing healthcare industry.

Academic Excellence Grant

The Academic Excellence Grant (AEG) aims to improve societal health and well-being by preparing providers capable of practicing in emerging health-related environments focused on interprofessional collaborative practice, cultural fluency, and ecological approaches to health with particular emphasis on global health, senior living, and primary care.

These core practice elements are

  • Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (ICP)—when multiple health workers from different backgrounds work together with patients, families, carers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care (WHO, 2010)
  • Cultural Fluency—ability to navigate the many dimensions of culture needed to build shared meaning and understanding with people from other cultures. It is comprised of several skills such as working with ambiguity, flexibility, respect, empathy and adaptability (Inoue, 2007)
  • Ecological Approach—grounded in the understanding that the conditions that result in individual health or illness arise out of the interaction between an individual’s traits and their physical and sociocultural environment and are influenced on multiple levels (e.g. intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, community and policy (Sallis & Owen, 2015)

Each of the above is conceptualized and addressed within the contexts of global health, primary care, and senior living.

Global Health. St. Kate’s deep commitment to Catholic social teaching embraces global access to basic healthcare and equity in the social determinants of health as essential human rights. We are called to become an international leader in the development of learning pathways and community-based partnerships that expand access to basic healthcare and to those social and environmental factors that promote health for the world’s poor, including U.S. immigrant communities.

Primary Care. Primary care is the principal locus of interface between millions of people and the healthcare system, the place where “seeds of lifelong wellness” can be sown and cultivated. We are committed to an expanded understanding of primary care delivery—one that focuses on substantial programming that positively affects a population and brings the care to the community when and where it is needed.

Senior Living. The nation is moving toward a “new day” in terms of the number of older citizens and accompanying expectations for health and healthcare that is high quality, accessible, and that shapes new paradigms of practice and community living designed to enhance quality and length of life. We are dedicated to improving seniors’ health and quality of life, maximizing their ability to live in their preferred communities, and enhancing current healthcare education and delivery approaches.

AEG activities are centered around 1) faculty development, 2) curricular and co-curricular initiatives, and 3) research and scholarship. Faculty will be provided training and resources to embed interprofessional collaborative practice, ecological approaches, and cultural fluency into teaching and practice. This will allow for continued evolution of the curriculum to include innovative, evidence-based didactic, clinical, and community experiences in global health, primary care, and senior living. Finally, this grant supports student, faculty, and staff research and dissemination associated with AEG goals and objectives.

  • Sean Fitzpatrick, Interim Dean of Health Sciences; AEG PI

Logic model

Conceptual framework

Legacy Grant

As the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health (HSSH) enters its second decade, this grant will provide us the resources to re-envision our approach to serving our “dear neighbors” in this increasingly complex world, and to design innovative ways to train our students so they graduate with the “St. Kate’s Stamp” of cultural fluency, an understanding of ecological approaches to health, and an ability to work collaboratively on diverse teams.

The aims of the Legacy III grant are to 1) reimagine the HSSH, 2) create new and scalable clinic models, and 3) advance a university-wide inclusive excellence initiative.

Reimagine. Key attributes of the work surrounding the reimagining of the HSSH include the creation of scholarships and other support for students, especially first generation and non-traditional students, as well as a renewed focus on career development throughout the student experience. Another area of focus will include Integration of the social work programs into the HSSH.

Clinical Innovation. Key initiatives for building a scalable clinic model include expansion of our current partnership with St. Mary’s Health Clinic (SMHC) to strengthen student understanding of ecological approaches to health, interprofessional skills, and cultural fluency.

Inclusive Excellence. Finally, the goal of Inclusive Excellence at St. Kate’s is to develop a climate that is diverse and welcoming of diversity so that all members of the university community feel valued and find value in the unique qualities and perspectives of their colleagues.

For More Information

For more information on either grant, contact Subor Freeman, AEG and Legacy project coordinator, at

For internal grant resources made possible by GHR Grants, please visit the SPREE webpage.

About the GHR Foundation

GHR Foundation is pioneering design-build philanthropy to create change with their partners around the world in the areas of global development, education and health. Founded in 1965 by Gerald and Henrietta Rauenhorst, GHR collaborates with a community of thought leaders to exchange ideas and locally-driven solutions, anchored in responsibility and the knowledge that we are all deeply connected. With their partners, they meet each challenge with creativity and optimism because they have seen the impact possible through design-build philanthropy.