Community Connections

Reaching out into the local, regional, national, and international community provides students with hands-on training while allowing APU's nursing school to serve those in need of medical care. Important community connections such as the Neighborhood Wellness Center, federal traineeships, mission trips, care for the homeless, the Spiritual Care Research Network, and the Pediatric Neurodevelopment Institute afford opportunities for educational growth on many levels.

Neighborhood Wellness Center

Director: Julie Pusztai, MSN, RN

The Neighborhood Wellness Center (NWC) opened its doors in September 1998, and emerged as a joint effort between the city of Azusa and Azusa Pacific University’s School of Nursing to provide health education and care to Azusa residents. The center promotes healthy living among the local community through free seminars, referrals, screenings, and assessments. With a “drop-in-ask-a-nurse” philosophy, the center allows community health nursing students to assume a professional role in health promotion and disease prevention.

Neighbor to Neighbor Program

The Neighbor to Neighbor Program began through a collaboration between the NWC and Citrus Valley Health Partner Promotoras, and targets diabetes and obesity prevention for Azusa residents. The Neighbor to Neighbor Program facilitates:

  • Health Education Leadership Program (HELP), an initiative that identifies and trains community volunteers to provide diabetes and obesity prevention education through promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors. Through partnerships with community agencies, organizations, schools, and churches, faculty and students provide health education sessions throughout the city of Azusa.
  • Azusa Walks Program aims to increase the physical activity, possible weight loss, and nutrition knowledge of local residents. More than 300 pedometers have been distributed throughout the community as well as approximately 70 step-counting pedometers to children and non-Azusa citizens. All participants receive instruction regarding body weight and measurements, physical activity, BMI, and goal setting. Nutritional education and counseling sessions focus on food groups, calorie needs versus calorie intake, calorie burning, food portions and serving sizes, label reading, and sugar and fat content of foods. The YMCA has joined this effort by organizing walking groups of 9 to 12 participants each day.

The center is open on a walk-in basis on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. For further information, please contact Julie Pusztai at jpusztai@apu.edu or call the NWC at (626) 812-5191.

Mission Opportunities

The university and School of Nursing frequently sponsor or host missions trips for students both locally and internationally. Health missions to Mexico, Uganda, and Haiti have provided direct patient care. The School of Nursing faculty have also conducted educational health missions to Korea and Russia.

For more information, visit the International Opportunities page.

Health Care for the Homeless

Director: Connie Brehm, Ph.D., MSN, C. FNP, RN

The faculty and students of the School of Nursing provide health services in partnership with the East San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless (ESGVCH). Under faculty supervision, nursing students (both undergraduate and graduate) care for homeless individuals and families through the ESGVCH Winter Shelter Program housed in local churches (December to March annually, since 1997) and the ESGVCH Emergency Assistance Center on a year-round basis. Health services include: first aid, health interviewing, health examination, diagnosis of health needs, health education, health counseling, and referral for low cost medical care. This outreach program funded by grants and donations provides students an opportunity to care for a vulnerable and complex population while following the example of Jesus.

Note: This information is current for the 2014-15 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.