The Lourdes community brings learning, reverence and service to life. In this four-part series, we will share our Franciscan values and how our faculty, staff and students carry out our mission.

From providing art-therapy to residents at a local shelter to helping burn victims in Peru, the Department of Nursing lives Lourdes College's Franciscan values through service to the community and beyond.

"Lourdes challenges us to serve those in need and to share our gifts with the broader community," offers Judy Didion, PhD, Dean of the School of Nursing. "We meet this challenge by incorporating service learning in our coursework which provides an enriched experience for students while at the same time benefiting others."

Nursing faculty and students have provided service to a variety of schools and organizations including:

Nursing missionSafe Haven of Toledo

As a means of art-therapy, students assisted residents who were victims of domestic violence. Together they created a piece of art for Safe Haven's community room.

"Helping the residents create artwork for their meeting room was a great way for the student nurses to build trust and to inspire a sense of hope and accomplishment," says Joy Lauerer, Assistant Professor of Nursing.

Kelleys Island

Students enrolled at the Lourdes Sandusky site visited Kelleys Island where they provided education to school children in collaboration with the school nurse. Residents of Kelleys Island have limited transportation to the main land during harsh weather.

"This opportunity enabled our nursing students to experience the health needs of an isolated population," notes Kathy Perzynski, Associate Professor. "At the same time, Kelleys Island residents benefitted from the added exposure to health information and became better equipped to improve the wellness of their community."

NursingMission Trips to South America

Acting on a global level, Associate Professor Martha Gallagher, PhD, has taken Lourdes students on a number of mission trips to evaluate the medical needs of communities throughout South America.

"Having been given so many blessings, I feel that I must give to those who are in need," says Dr. Gallagher. "By allowing me time away from my teaching schedule, Lourdes has embraced these missions and therefore enabled me to continue to travel with students and provide aid to those who need it most."

During the missions, students work with doctors to provide healthcare to local residents who have typically never had proper medical attention.

"As a nursing student, I was very thankful to be given an opportunity to help others by participating in a mission trip," said Jennifer Vernier, ('08, BSN, Nursing). "Lourdes has truly taught me the importance of service to others."