James Madison University

Chronic Illness Minor Complements a Variety of Programs

PHOTO: Matthew Sears

The interdisciplinary minor in Chronic Illness prepares students from any major to understand and respond to the impacts of chronic illness on the individual, family, the health care system, and society. Knowledge and strategies to address the prevention and the management of chronic illness across its trajectory will enhance the skills and abilities of students who plan to practice in any profession.

Recent graduate, Matthew Sears had this to say about the minor, "From my perspective, the minor has helped to give me a common point of reference with my clinically oriented colleagues. I think that as an allied health professional, you need to possess at least a basic understanding of clinical applications to communicate effectively and establish credibility. The chronic illness minor offered a variety of perspectives on a range of health care issues that has given me the ability to do this."

He went on to say, "The minor offered me a background in something that I can use in the future... for example, I am looking at a graduate program in Chronic Condition Management. The chronic illness minor provided me with the credentials to meet the undergraduate requirements to engage in that program."

This summer, a number of students in the chronic illness minor will be traveling to Costa Rica to complete a portion of their elective credits. Highlights of the trip include visits to public and private hospitals, clinics, and schools, project based learning in a Nicaraguan refugee community, home visits with a primary health care team, and excursions to an indigenous community and a Shaman (healer).

For more information about the Chronic Illness minor, contact Christina Lam