Doctors capture “Hearts and Minds” of African-American boys

Divine Intervention tapped me gently on the should about a year and a half ago, when I applied for a temporary job at Catholic Health World, a publication devoted to sharing news, innovation and inspiration among faith-based health systems. I served as a maternity replacement for four months, writing about the struggles and triumphs of keeping alive the dream of women religious who strove to serve the poor more than a century ago. Despite a harsh economic climate, these hospitals, clinics and health systems foster their spirit in projects across the globe.

The gift keeps on giving, as I continue to write for them. One of my favorite stories was just published: this one is about a partnership between Mercy Health in Ohio and an organization called Hearts and Minds. The program includes African-American doctors who serve as role models for boys with an interest in health- or science-related careers. The doctors spend time showing the boys the ins and outs of their careers and offer a helping hand with studies and science projects.

Would love to see more projects like this in cities across the country.

Two-for-one in “Terrain”

Terrain, the region’s premier source for news and features about outdoor and endurance sports, is growing up. What started as a quarterly publication has expanded to six issues a year. Working with them has been an honor and a ball, so it’s kinda neat to see the publication grow.

My work is well-represented in the January-February 2017 issue. Included is a feature on RAAM, the Race Across America. It profiles local cyclists who
competed and Joe Ferguson, the owner of Revolution Cycles in Washington, Mo.,  who serves as host of a timing station. Each of them can scolleen3pin a ripping yarn about the beauty, mayhem and suffering of a cross-country bike race.

The second story is a Q&A with Colleen Quigley, aka @steeple_squigs, a graduate of Nerinx Hall High who finished eighth in the steeplechase in the Rio Olympics. She is many things to many people: model, little sister, coach’s daughter. Most importantly, she has become her own woman.

I hope you enjoy getting to know each of them.

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Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Inconveniently located in neither Wilson’s Creek, Mo., nor Battlefield, Mo., this national park is still more than worthy of a visit. About 15 miles southwest of Springfield, the park is a natural and historical breath of fresh air on a visit to one of the stalest, ugliest cities in the nation, perhaps the world.

Fought on August 10, 1861, Wilson’s Creek was the second major skirmish of the Civil War and the first major battle fought west of the Mississippi River. A bloody mess, the battle was considered a Southern victory, in large part because of the death on the field of Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general killed in action.

You can easily spend a morning or afternoon here, strolling through the museum with more than 5,000 artifacts and a nice visual recreation, then driving the eight-stop self-guided auto tour.

Other than the Gateway Arch, Wilson’s Creek is the closest destination for St. Louisans who want to celebrate the centennial of the National Park System.