Jesuit Values in Practice

By Alyssa Caucci ‘17

The Leahy Community Health and Family Center is dedicated to the dual purpose of providing a practical educational experience while meeting the needs of the underserved. In doing so, the Center envisions a community where all individuals have access to those services that help them achieve, improve or maintain a quality of life that is consistent with optimal health and wellness. This vision encompasses the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis of caring for the “whole person” in more ways than one. As you walk around on any given clinic day at the Leahy Center, you can see the Jesuit ideals being demonstrated in action. Each individual you encounter, whether it be a patient, a student volunteer, a student nurse or the medical providers, are all engaging in the practicum of Jesuit tradition and value of educating the “whole person.” In addition to the medical and administrative practicum of the clinic, students and community volunteers alike engage with individuals from all backgrounds and learn from the patients they serve. Students and providers are able to use the Leahy Clinic to develop a better understanding of the values and beliefs from different cultures and how to interact with these individuals right here in Scranton.

On the patient side, the Leahy Clinic attempts to serve its patients using the same cura personalis ideal instilled in its students. The main objective is to treat the whole person to achieve a state of wellness that encompasses both physical and mental health. In addition to receiving treatment for their medical condition, they are engaging with, and being educated by, their physician on diet, nutrition, exercise and the importance of preventative screenings. Furthermore, patients are offered a variety of services that go beyond medical treatment. Throughout the semester, Leahy offers its patients physical therapy, low vision therapy and counseling services to achieve that state of physical and mental wellness. Patients are assisted with food security from the Alice V. Leahy Food Pantry including fresh fruit and vegetables grown in The University of Scranton Community Garden. Leahy also provides diabetes management classes, exercise/nutrition classes and even the after-school enrichment Peacemakers program for the children of our patients. In everything that Leahy practices, the vision of learning from each other and for each other to develop the “whole person” is never forgotten in order to fulfill the Jesuit ideal and duty of cura personalis.