News and Events

Class project turns into sustainable community support group

April 9, 2014

What started as a class project for the nursing students at Medicine Hat College (MHC) has since grown to be a sustainable community support group. The Language of Hope focuses on creating awareness on the importance of organ donation as well as provides support to those affected. 

“I started this initiative a few years ago as part of the students’ community rotation class. It was a way to have them work on meaningful projects that make a difference in people’s lives affected by Kidney Disease,” said Denise Hellman, nursing instructor.  “Originally the initiative was divided into two areas in-home dialysis and organ recipients, however now they’ve combined into one- the Language of Hope.”

Hellman explains that this was the final year that the third year students would be working with the focus group due to changes to the nursing curriculum.

“We’ve been working with the same partners since the inception of this project and have been involved in exciting projects like lobbying for Bill 207, making home visits, creating a video on the importance of having ‘the talk’, educating schools, health care professionals and encouraging awareness in the community,” said Hellman. “It’s been rewarding.”

Hellman states that there is still a reason for the group to meet and is confident that the students were able to empower the community partners to do this on their own.

Sessions will continue to take place every other Wednesday from 12:00 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the college in room E177. The community partners are encouraging anyone who has received, is waiting on an organ, is currently dialyzing, has personally been an organ donor or is a supporter of organ donation to attend the meetings and become involved in the focus group.

For more information on how the college is getting involved in the community or to learn about the nursing program visit