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Deaf-Centric Hospital 2023


March 25th, 2023 we held our first annual Deaf-Centric Hospital. 

A huge thank you to all that participated! 

It was an amazing day! 

RSVP for our 2nd Annual Deaf-Centric Hospital on 4/6/2024









Deaf-Centric Hospital is an important component of DCAL. It is a role-reversal exercise where healthcare students become "patients" who seek medical care from "doctors", who are members of the local Deaf community. It is a unique way of teaching that the delivery of health care is dependent on effective and meaningful communication.

If you are interested in participating in future events, or feel this would be an event you would like to host at other healthcare colleges or facilities,  please contact us!

RSVP for our 2nd Annual Deaf-Centric Hospital on 4/6/2024



Media Mentions

  • Deaf-Centric Hospital - Article in UNMC's Newsroom - Marcy 2023

  • DCAL mentioned in The American Academy of Developmental Medicine

    & Dentistry (AADMD) Journal:  One Voice

April Workshop 2022
Saturday, 4/23/22 10am-12pm
IN PERSON and via Zoom..RSVP for link

This is the last workshop for 2021-22. We have three wonderful presenters!  We can look forward to some lively discussions, incredible stories and shared experiences.  We will also devote 1 hour to ASL Practice.  We hope you will join us!

We may even have food...

  • Patti Reitz received her BA from Gallaudet University in 1965.  She then continued her education at California State University at Northridge and received her MA in 1977. Patti has taught at residential schools for the Deaf for 30 years.  She was hired to teach at Omaha Public Schools and was the only Deaf teacher ever hired by OPS. More recently, she taught at Clarkson College and Methodist College.  Patti is responsible for establishing the sign language program at Methodist College. 

  • April Kammerer a Registered Nurse with a BSN from Clarkson College and former Co-Facilitator for DCAL. During her time at Clarkson College she was an active member of the National Society for Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi.  She is still actively involved.  She started her career in the Heart and Vascular Unit at CHI.  Her experience includes working one-on-one with patients presenting with cardiac, pulmonary and vascular diseases in the ICU. She is a passionate advocate for the Deaf community.  April is Deaf herself and attended the Iowa School for the Deaf (ISD) in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  She presents at several Deaf schools sharing her experiences as a Deaf healthcare professional. She currently works as a Public Health Nurse for the geriatric population.  

  • Dr. Henry P. Mishek, MD, is a resident physician OB/GYN in Kansas City and an alumnus of UNMC. He worked closely with Ronda and April to bring the DCAL series to life as a medical student. He is passionate about healthcare accessibility and creating a more inclusive healthcare system.

A HUGE thank you to everyone that participated this year!  It truly takes a team!  Facilitators, Presenters, Panelists, Interpreters, CART Provider, Small Group Leaders...AND of course all those who joined to further their knowledge to better serve the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

February Workshop 2022
2/26/22 10am-12pm
Join via Zoom..RSVP for link

Thank you for joining the panel discussion last month!

Deaf community members and family members shared real life experiences when trying to access healthcare.  Several opportunities were mentioned to improve communication access in healthcare settings. The workshop this month will focus on resources available to improve healthcare outcomes. We hope you will join us!


  • Sign Language Interpreters
  • Deaf Interpreters
  • Real Time Captioning
  • Laws - ADA, ACA, Rehabilitation Act, Interpreter Licensure
  • COVID - 19 ASL VIdeo Series - CDC

January Workshop 2022
1/22/22 10am-12pm
Join via Zoom..RSVP for link
Panel Discussion
Deaf community members share their experiences within the healthcare system


Our panelists are invited to share their personal experiences when trying to access healthcare.  From these shared experiences, participants will learn which barriers this community typically faces and what changes must be made to improve healthcare outcomes.

December Workshop 2021

Saturday, 12/4/22 10am-12pm
Join via Zoom..RSVP for link

Welcome our Presenters:


Matthew Thielker, MPH, RD serves as a Nutrition Associate Advisor in the Center for Nutrition at USAID; the United States Agency for International Development.  The Center for Nutrition works to ensure that food systems in developing countries provide affordable, safe, and nutritious diets for all, particularly mothers and children.


Prior to working at USAID, Matthew served as a community health education Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia, 2016–2018.


Deaf since birth, Matthew was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska.  He received his Master of Public Health at UNMC, and his Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Health Sciences at UNL.


Ashley Wulf graduated from Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. in Spring 2019 with degree in Social Work. She now works at the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NCDHH) as an Advocacy Specialist. She provides advocacy services in the Omaha area and 7 different counties including Douglas county.


Approximately 9% to 10% of Americans have hearing loss, making it the second most common disability in the United States. Regardless of hearing loss level, persons who are Deaf or hard of hearing (D&HH) have altered health care utilization patternsand significant communication difficulties with physicians, often experiencing misunderstandings about their disease or treatment recommendations. They are a “silent” group to many physicians. 

The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice 
"Collaborating to improve healthcare outcomes for the Deaf/HH communities."
Current Workshop

  Sponsored by:

(click logo to follow link)

UNMC - 2021-22

This is our 3rd year collaborating with the Student Alliance for People of All Abilities (SAPA)!  The last two workshops will take place on 2/26/22 and 4/16/22. 


We provide a series of 5 workshops. Our goal is to provide these workshops every year to healthcare students, staff and professionals.  

Learning Objectives


I liked both the introduction to the culture and the language learning aspects of the seminar - and specifically how they emphasized the need for both.

- UNMC Student

  1. Produce and understand basic ASL signs, and some basic medical signed vocabulary. 

  2. Discuss Deaf culture and potential issues that could impact access to healthcare for Deaf individuals

  3. Identify and properly use assistive devices available to increase opportunities for successful communication outcomes in healthcare settings. 

  4. Find and access information in order to schedule on-site interpreting services and work effectively with on-site interpreters to achieve desired healthcare outcomes

  5. Deliver healthcare services to Deaf individuals that is respectful of culture in order to build rapport and improve healthcare delivery.

- Learning ASL will connect my research to an audience that would otherwise not have access. Understanding Deaf culture and being competent in communication would also be useful in helping me to interact with more people and open up a new worlds of ideas :)

-UNMC Student

-I enjoyed learning how to greet others and explain who I am in order to help make my future patients more comfortable. - UNMC Student

-This was great and I am so excited to continue learning. The meeting days/times are convenient because they don't interfere with my classes and aren't in the evenings when I'm tired. - UNMC Medical Student

-I will be able to introduce myself to deaf patients. - UNMC Medical Student

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