Mary Jewison MAHS'21

“My best friend has a bad case of Crohn's disease and was very sick for a long time.She found relief through holistic health modalities—herbs, supplements and energy healing. It stimulated my interest.

There aren’t a lot of holistic health programs out there. This program just spoke to me. I was surprised by how dedicated the instructors are. They care so much and are so passionate. They’ll help you in any way possible to get through the program.

Healthcare is shifting toward a holistic direction because it’s not just about treating the problem with medicine but treating the person individually and meeting them where they are. It’s moving from reactive care to preventative care. It’s about the mind, body and spirit and identifying the gaps. If you're struggling mentally, maybe start a meditation practice or breathing exercises.

I'm a nurse, so I was looking at the program from a clinical practice standpoint. What I got was so much more. It helped me find my authentic self and the type of nurse I want to be.

I used to be a very reactive person. Now I’m more aware of how I fill a space. I focus on breathing when I get worked up and can control my emotions now. The program opened my eyes to the way the world really is. It gave me the ability to find and give grace to everyone and everything.

My background is hospice, oncology and palliative care nursing, so I streamlined my program toward holistic death and dying. I assisted in the death and dying class and did my practicum with a healthcare organization focusing on end-of-life documentation. Hospice isn’t depressing because I have a totally different view. It’s an honor to be with a patient or veteran at that specific moment in their life with their family. Because you're not just treating the patient, you're treating the entire family. I’m just helping them write their story. I’m hoping to get them to a point where they're comfortable and finishing up things in this life so they can move on to the next—whatever that is. It's guiding them to their own answers, back to their inner selves.

Mai Choo Yang MAHS'22

I believe the mind, body and spirit are all interconnected. In my Hmong religion, our shamans believe when one’s spirit is lost or not with the body, this leads to sickness or ill health. So, as a single mom of four, when my kids were sick and the doctors didn't know what to do besides waiting it out and I didn't want to keep asking the shaman, I felt at a dead end with both medicine and my shaman culture. I got into this program to learn more about what is out there. I’m interested to know more about the spirit side and more about healing my children.

I am currently a mental health case manager at the Wilder Foundation working with the Hmong population. I'm hoping to incorporate what I learn from this program into my work. I see it starting to happen — this holistic approach, not just the mental and physical. I'm hoping to educate my clients in that same way.

St. Kate’s is the only school I know offering this program. Financial aid was also a huge part of my decision to go to St. Kate’s. I had some scholarship and there was also a Kissinger scholarship through the program. Otherwise, it wouldn't be affordable. I have friends who went to St. Kate’s, too, who are highly educated and that was another reason.

When my program switched to online, I needed a laptop to do all the research. The IT department worked to loan one to me. That’s been really helpful. Because I don’t have a laptop, I could not make this education happen otherwise.

For me, this program has been a bridge to what I need to know. All this information has opened my eyes and given me everything I need to help my clients going forward. In this industry, you're kind of stuck without extra education. That was a barrier and why I decided to pursue my master’s degree. So I looked for something I wanted and loved to do.

Be open is what I would say to other students. Just do it for yourself and remember why you are here. I had to really motivate myself because no one's going do that besides myself or my professors.