Alverno College and Ascension Wisconsin, part of one of the largest U.S. Catholic nonprofit health systems, are building upon an existing clinical relationship to create a strategic alliance of education and service. The goal is to develop a competent, mission-driven workforce that is prepared to meet the needs of the state’s rapidly evolving health care environment, from urban centers to rural communities. Specifically, Alverno will expand existing health care education programs and create new opportunities, including continuing education for employees at Ascension Wisconsin’s 24 hospitals and more than 100 clinics. Alverno students and graduates will benefit from guaranteed clinical placements and priority employment opportunities throughout Ascension Wisconsin’s network.
“This is a logical and desirable alliance for Alverno College,” says Alverno President Andrea Lee, IHM, Ph.D. “Providing accessible, high-quality and affordable health care to residents of the city, region, and state, especially for those with limited access to care, is a highly recognized characteristic of Alverno health care professionals and of Ascension Wisconsin associates.”
Alverno and Ascension have also signed a letter of intent and are discussing combining the Columbia College of Nursing (CCON), already an Ascension Wisconsin ministry, with Alverno. Located in Glendale, on Milwaukee’s north side, CCON trains undergraduate and graduate nurses. The alliance with Ascension, and the potential to incorporate CCON within Alverno, will expand Alverno’s health care footprint in Wisconsin, a crucial strategic priority guiding our growth. This alliance leverages the strength of Alverno’s JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing and Health Professions, a widely recognized leader in health care education, as well as the synchronous missions of Alverno and Ascension.
As this alliance takes root, early seed ideas generated by the Alverno campus community include ways to integrate such disciplines as art and music therapy, social work and business. The possibilities are many, and through it all, Alverno will continue educating graduates to positively impact their communities.