The Dr. Dennis J. Patterson
Center for the Health Professions

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Mission & Diversity Statements

Mission
The Dr. Dennis J. Patterson Center for the Health Professions is an academically oriented resource office for students who intend to pursue careers in the health professions. The strong curricular aspects of the health care programs at Elmhurst College coupled with individualized student advising contributes to our success, which results in excellent placement rates in professional schools. Although many students served by the Center are those studying in the areas of medicine, dentistry, speech-language pathology, exercise science, veterinary medicine, nursing, and other allied health programs, the services of the Center are available to any student who wishes to explore or learn about careers in health care before, throughout, and beyond their undergraduate years. The goals of the Patterson Center are:

  • To meet society’s need for more health care professionals by increasing the number of students pursuing health care careers at Elmhurst
  • To provide specialized advising, both academic and career, and a program of activities, events and speakers, which informs students about the health care professions
  • To house appropriate resources and information about professional school programs, contacts and admissions criteria
  • To identify and provide access for students to existing clinical practicums, research and other health-related co-curricular activities
  • To encourage and support the development of new academic and clinical programs and affiliations
  • To coordinate the evaluations and recommendation committee system for health care students and to centralize the disbursement for confidential letters of recommendation

The theme "Scholarship, Ethics and Interdisciplinary Teamwork" serves as a special beacon for the direction of the Center’s activities as well as the efforts of students pursuing health careers. Scholarship refers not only to high achievement in the classroom, but opportunities for research and independent study as well. The proximity of the College to several medical, dental and other professional schools in the Chicago area makes it possible for students to participate in summer research programs of other healthcare-related experiences. Students are encouraged to pursue appropriate coursework, clinical internships, volunteer, international, or other special experiences that will add depth to their understanding and appreciation for ethical issues in health care as well as to observe and participate in the interdisciplinary teams in health care settings.

Diversity Statement
The Patterson Center supports individuals of all backgrounds by offering and promoting study-abroad experiences, encouraging students to learn multiple languages, providing programs on diversity, advising students on the impact culture has on interpersonal communication, and expecting understanding and respect of others, regardless of their similarities or differences, in the health care setting and beyond. In addition, the faculty and staff in the Center realize learning about culture is an ongoing process for everyone, and there is no finite point to reach in our knowledge of ourselves and others. Health care is a highly collaborative field, and practitioners must be culturally aware and sensitive to all patients/clients and team members in any medical setting or establishment to effectively fulfill their role. By supporting individuals of all backgrounds, the Patterson Center will aid students in their pursuit of serving others in a health related capacity and overall development as globally aware citizens.

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