Mount Saint Mary College has received a grant for $425,000 from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to be used in the creation of a multipurpose community wellness center.
The Mount Saint Mary College Community Engagement and Wellness Center will be located on the college's main campus in what is currently Guzman Hall. It will provide medical and educational services for low income individuals and families, including the uninsured. The center will offer workshops, family counseling services, fitness checks, immunizations, professional development events, and more for local residents. Once completed, the college expects the center to serve more than 4,000 residents per year. In addition to providing opportunities for area educators and professionals to volunteer their services, the center will also house the college's Desmond programing for adult enrichment.
"We are extremely grateful to the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for believing in our proposal for the Community Engagement and Wellness Center here on campus," said Dr. Jason N. Adsit, president of Mount Saint Mary College. "This project is the next step in the evolution of the Mount's commitment to service and community, and it honors the legacy of our founders, the Dominican Sisters."
The Mount prepares students for fulfilling careers and for lives of leadership and service. Recently, Dr. Adsit announced his vision for the Mount's future -- one that involves a comprehensive, institution-wide commitment to service-learning and community engagement. With the goal of becoming the most community service-oriented college in the United States, the Mount will move into the future by embracing and amplifying the concept that is at its core: service matters. The Mount Community Engagement and Wellness Center will be a major part of achieving this goal by fostering care that is humanistic, empowering, and client-centered.
Compassionate care at the center will be modeled by Mount faculty and students. The college's School of Nursing will play a large role in carrying out the center's mission of aiding Newburgh residents who have little or no access to basic health care services. As the center develops, faculty and students in the college's Business, Education, and Social Sciences programs will also lend their skills to the program.
"Not only will this project aid our community, but it will also give Mount Saint Mary College students meaningful opportunities for service and fieldwork," explained Dr. George Abaunza, vice president for Academic Affairs. " The Mount Community Engagement and Wellness Center is a win for Newburgh, a boon for our students' educations, and an effective way to continue our Dominican heritage of service."
The Mount is planning to have at least 200 nursing candidates per year participating in health and wellness activities as part of their clinical experiences; 50 education candidates per year taking part in health education and literacy programs; and 50 psychology and health services students per year aiding in mediation and mental-wellness initiatives. Students of other disciplines will be lending their skills to the project as well.
The grant will be used toward startup costs associated with programming, equipment and supplies, initial staffing, and expenses related to the outreach efforts to the Newburgh community. In the first 12 months of the project, the Mount is planning on completing the necessary renovations to Guzman Hall; collaborating with community partners like Montefiore St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital, the City of Newburgh, Newburgh Ministry, and more to identify critical areas of need; and developing a full programming map for the center.
The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable New Yorkers, bolster the health outcomes of targeted communities, eliminate barriers to care, and bridge gaps in health services. The Foundation -- which is named in memory of a tireless advocate for immigrants, children, and the poor -- provides flexible support for new and innovative approaches that enhance health and wellness across New York State. For more information, visit https://www.cabrinihealth.org/
Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Visa and Chair of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation Board, said that the grant to the Mount, as well as the other grants given by the foundation, "demonstrate our continued commitment to support a wide range of organizations improving the health and well-being of New York's most vulnerable."
Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, Chief Executive Officer of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, added, "As we set our sights on 2021, we must address the healthcare disparities related to race and income that have only been heightened since the onset of the pandemic. We honor the legacy of Mother Cabrini by funding activities, programs, and initiatives that help bridge gaps in health services, bolster the health outcomes of diverse communities, and eliminate barriers to care."