Saturday, October 20, 2018
Urban Health Project 2012

St. Leo Parish is often graced with nursing and medical school interns as well as working with Intern Programs with local colleges and universities in urban ministry projects such as pastoral counseling and farming.

This summer we were delighted with the presence of Grace Miller, a second year medical student at University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine from Columbus, Ohio.

Each summer, the College of Medicine and the Parish Nurse Program at Tri-Health work together to create opportunities for interns to experience various life situations they would not otherwise encounter in the early stages of their profession.

All of the Urban Health Project applicants have a choice of service areas. Grace chose the Parish Nurse Program. Sr. Phyllis Kemper, in working with the project, offered to take an intern. Interviews are then held and this year, Sr. Phyllis and Grace were matched to work together for the summer.

Grace, an undergraduate in genetics from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, comes from a large family. With a father who is a physician at Student Health Services at Ohio State and who works with foreign students, and a mother who has a Masters in Biology, Grace was bound to be attracted to the medical field.

St. Leo provided the perfect training ground for nurturing her chosen field and interests. Learning to communicate with our Burundi women and serving their needs was quite different than what she would ever experience in school. Her internship with Sr. Phyllis involved shadowing Sister every day, helping with St. Leo’s Thursday Burundi Women’s Group, and preparing a summer project. She developed a Family Health History Form to use with our families. The form is based on what is used in the hospitals, with emphasis on gathering our refugee’s and immigrant’s family health history. This is especially important, too, in helping their doctor know how to treat the patient.

Grace also joined the staff at meetings, seeing the intricate ways the parish touches so many lives and the solution-finding measures St. Leo must discover in order to serve and be present to all of the parish and community. She was also groomed in the culinary arena, preparing the meals for our Thursday Women’s Group, and had her first experience in making hard-boiled eggs—a favorite of the women!

What about outside the “classroom”? Grace enjoys helping others whenever she can. “She has a real heart for the underserved,” Sr. Phyllis shared one day. Grace can be found volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul downtown on Bank Street doing blood pressure and blood screenings. She is very active in student groups, especially the Christian Medical Student Group. And then there is biking! Hopping on that bicycle is a wonderful sport she enjoys so much!

Our interns become part of the intricate weaving of community life at the parish and the parish is gifted with their presence. Thank you, Grace, for adding to the beautiful fabric that is St. Leo. 


St. Leo The Great Parish

Rev. James R. Schutte, Pastor
2573 St. Leo Place
Cincinnati, OH 45225
513-921-1044 ext. 21


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