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Augsburg College student works with torture victims

Kathy McCullough-Zander works with a patient.

Kathy McCullough-Zander works with a patient.

Kathy McCullough-Zander is completing an unusual nursing program.

Kathy McCullough-Zander grew up in a cultural smorgasbord on Chicago’s south side. So, after a decade of working in the recovery room at Hen-nepin County Medical Cen-ter, she developed a keen interest in refugees.
That interest grew after she attended a conference sponsored by the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) and heard an American nun share her personal experiences of torture in Guatemala. Ulti-mately, this experience led her to seek a volunteer position at the CVT. She is now employed as the manager of the St. Paul clinic and director of nursing education.
A 1980 graduate of Ano-ka-Ramsey with an Associate of Arts Degree in Nursing, McCullough-Zander worked in Nome, Alaska, in a small town hospital with the Inuit people. After returning to Minnesota in 1982, she worked in critical care for many years, completing her Baccalaureate degree in Nursing at Augsburg College in 1991.
But she wasn’t feeling professionally challenged.
Now McCullough-Zander is back at Augsburg, enrolled in the Master’s of Transcultural Community Health Nursing Program. The discipline will equip her to provide “culturally competent care.”
Her ambition is to help heal torture survivors.
The CVT is a multidisciplinary clinic where individuals can obtain a full array of health care from a staff of physicians, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers and interpreters.
As the clinic nurse of the St. Paul Clinic, she is involved in direct care of clients, by helping individuals with health education and navigating the health care system.
She’s also the clinic manager, which means she guarantees the outpatient clinic runs smoothly. As the director of nursing education, her responsibilities are to educate other health care providers in how to deal with torture survivors
.
It’s estimated that there are over 30,000 torture survivors in Minnesota. According to McCullough-Zander, many CVT clients were human rights leaders in their home countries, which explains why they were tortured.
There’s a growing need for health care professionals experienced in transcultural nursing. McCullough-Zander, who will graduate from Augsburg next month, is no doubt hopeful that her own tribe will increase