Completion of rigorous honors or AP Course work and a 3.7 Cumulative GPA on the Purple Pathway, or honors courses and a 3.0 Cumulative GPA for the Gold Pathway. Click here for detailed information on the two pathways.
HPAC MISSION: Advancing the success of students and health of their communities through mutual learning and engagement enriched by healthcare professions in education, workforce and community partnerships.
HEALTH PROFESSIONAL AFFINITY COMMUNITY: HPAC is a program designed to engage students and advance their academic and career progress toward health professions. The program relies on existing community assets and bundling them in a manner that further supports student success. Students benefit from opportunities to apply academic learning in real-world circumstances and learn how to employ existing resources to improve their community. The goals, strategies and methods reflected in the HPAC program are consistent with finding ways to better meet the vast needs of the region: finding and supporting qualified “Ohio” grown students desiring to enter healthcare professions. The key principles of the program are that students increase their academic scholarship, understand the value of research, further engage in the community, and become well prepared young adults able to achieve a level of preparation compatible with their healthcare career aspirations.
The HPAC program is designed to:
Encourage student community engagement by:
Allowing HPAC participants to identify a health-related issue in the community and identify and implement solutions that will increase awareness to make positive changes
Providing students with other community volunteer opportunities
Students must take part in the HPAC student group on campus and meet the club requirements.
Service Learning is an educational practice involving active participation of students in activities that address community needs; is integrated into the academic curriculum, has structured time for reflection, and provides opportunities for the direct application of the knowledge and skills acquired.
Students will be required to complete 100 hours total within the medical field by the end of their first semester of their graduation year for both the Purple and Gold Pathways.
All service learning hours must be documented on the students online portfolio, documenting hours as well as including pictures of their experiences.
What constitutes Service Learning?
Service Learning is reaching out to the neighbor, stranger, or needy individual, group or cause and assisting in a way that demonstrates living out one or more of the values demonstrated by Christ in the Gospels. Routine chores, babysitting and helping relatives at work are NOT service hours. The experiences of reaching out to the "dear neighbor" should be directly related to student’s coursework.
The Service Learning can take many forms, ranging from hospital aides, volunteering at homeless shelters, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, assisting at Bible camps, tutoring, participating in Youth Challenge, coaching and volunteering at senior centers.
Service Learning is intentional. It is a reflective process that develops empathy, communication skills, critical thinking, responsibility, self-confidence and a willingness to meet new people and experience new environments/communities.
Each student enrolled in the Health Sciences Honors Program will be required to complete an online portfolio that records the student's efforts, progress, achievements and reflection concerning aspects of the program including but not limited to service learning and clinical hours. Accurate recording of service hours will be required, as will photographic documentation.
Students will be required to complete clinical hours as part of the Health Sciences Honor Program.
Students pursuing the Health Sciences Honors Program Gold Pathway are required to complete 20 hours of clinical/internship time and experience in a health sciences related field.
Students pursuing the Health Sciences Honors Program Purple Pathway are required to complete 60 hours of clinical/internship time and experience in a health sciences related field.
Health Sciences Honors Program participants will receive assistance coordinating their clinical hours and experiences. This assistance will include helping students navigate the continually evolving field of the health sciences to maximize the experience and allow the student to choose the correct pathway to a future career.
Juniors are encouraged to fulfill this requirement through their experience in the Junior Professional Shadowing.
All clinical hours requirements should be completed by the end of the first semester of senior year so students will be able to present their Capstone Presentations early in the second semester of their final year.
Students enrolled in both the Purple and Gold pathway are required to present a final Capstone Presentation to a designated panel for final evaluation.
Bethany Davis ’10
Northeast Ohio Medical University MD ’16
“Saint Joseph Academy has a heavy emphasis on service and giving back. I have carried that with me. I love the serving aspect of being a physician. I am really honored to serve, to connect and to build relationships with my patients.”
Cheryl Hagan O'Malley MSN, BA, RN, CMSRN ’77
Vice President, Patient Care Services Chief Nursing Officer, St John Medical Center
“I am looking for our future healthcare leaders who are compassionate, empathetic, and true servant leaders who will make a connection with those they serve. This program has all of the components that will propel our young women into the health-care providers of the future.”
Colleen Gallagher Thomas CAPT NC USN ’82
Navy Liaison Officer to the Agency for International Development
“The numerous areas of study in the Saint Joseph Academy Health Sciences program provide both incredible career opportunities and the opportunity to serve others as well. Any of these areas of expertise can be applicable on a global scale, as well as just outside your back door. That includes pathways to nursing, medicine, nutrition, physical therapy, research, or environmental health.”
Deborah Ghazoul-Mills, MD ’79, P ’13 & ’14
Medical Director Cleveland Clinic Westlake Community Pediatrics
“This program will foster student confidence, spark interest and develop reassurance. Nurturing this type of development will prepare SJA grads to face the ever changing challenges in healthcare in the 21st century.”
Emma Cleary ’09
Yale University MS Nursing '16
“My SJA experiences in the club Catholic Schools for Peace and Justice changed the course of my life. I learned to see the face of Christ in all people, a charism that took me from working in inner city drug rehabilitation programs, to working as a nurse in El Salvador and Nicaragua. SJA taught me the difference between enabling people and empowering them. It shaped my philosophy for working in health care: to empower patients to be successful independent of help. SJA allowed me to see a world in need of health care and it gave me the foundation of knowledge to meet those needs.”
Fredrick Frost, MD, P ’10 & ’15
Executive Director Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy
“On TV, all you see in medical shows are doctors and a few nurses. We have 45,000 employees in the Cleveland Clinic Health System; only 3,000 are doctors. The other 42,000 work in jobs suited for people who exhibit an enormous range of talents and interests; medical writers, technicians, accountants, music and art therapists, to name a few. Healthcare jobs are not just for science and math wizards. We need to train and attract all kinds of students to support our effort.”
John Mills, P ’13 & ’14
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Fairview Hospital
“This program will help Saint Joseph Academy students launch their life-long learning in dynamic health care sciences. These students will help propel Cleveland’s resurgence and contribute mightily to our success as a nation.”
Kelly Folk ’09
Duquesne BS Nursing '13
Hematology Oncology Nurse, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
“The compassion and caring that the Sisters from the Congregation of St. Joseph instilled in us at SJA is what led me to a service pathway. Nursing is very service-oriented. So much of what you do comes from your heart.”
Kelly Hancock, MSN, RN, NE-BC, P ’17
Executive Chief Nursing Officer Cleveland Clinic Health Systems
“The nursing profession has a profound impact on the mind, body and soul of our patients, their families and one another. The Saint Joseph Academy Health Sciences Honors Program opens a door to all the new possibilities for these young women to help transform health care and have the same profound impact. The program allows the young women of SJA to think outside of the box, broaden their thought processes and positively impact the future of health care.”
Liz Looney ’02
Northeast Ohio Medical University
Primary Care MD ’16
“An SJA course on the Vietnam Holocaust was the first time I found a passion behind an academic interest. I found a new kind of drive, one driven by passion. Once you feel that kind of passion, you don’t want to settle for less. That experience helped me focus my college choices, and ultimately my career choice to serve those with the greatest need. I was ‘incubating’ at SJA. Though I didn’t know it at the time, the Academy left me with important values that I will never outgrow - humility, deep caring for people of all walks of life, and an innate confidence in my abilities.”
Meredith McGuire ’09
Research Assistant, Ph.D Candidate
Johns Hopkins School Of Medicine
“Thanks to SJA, I was two steps ahead of my undergrad science classmates, in both knowledge and critical thinking skills. SJA prepared me on a factual basis, and covered all bases needed in the field. To pursue a health sciences research profession, you need confidence in your abilities and dedication. At SJA I learned self confidence from teachers who were invested in my education. I can learn big ideas and can follow them up!”
Neil Smith, DO
President, Fairview Hospital, Internist
“An excellent Health Sciences Honors Program must include an understanding of humanities, a component of reflective service to others, in addition to rigorous academic training. The Saint Joseph Academy program provides that balance. It is a great way to prepare students for success in the medical field.”
Sheila Donnley ’66
Medical Oncologist Instructor In Medicine, Harvard Medical School
“This program broadens horizons, opens eyes earlier, gives girls exposure to what’s possible in a way that affects college choices. What a great way to empower women!”