Bootcamp Director Petra Clark-Dufner Empowers Urban Health Professionals in UConn Program

UConn Magazine: An Urban Health Bootcamp

Petra Clark-Dufner ’81 MA is a dynamic and engaging educator who has been leading a group of health care professionals in an urban services bootcamp for nearly two decades. With her unique teaching approach, which includes rapid-fire questioning, gentle encouragement, and humor, she keeps her students on their toes. During a session, she highlights the importance of assessing a patient’s feelings and using windows as a tool for deeper understanding, receiving praise for her innovative and engaging teaching methods.

As the director of UConn’s Urban Service Track Scholars Program (UST) since 2007, Clark-Dufner is passionate about providing accessible health care to all. The program has seen 17 cohorts of around 65 students each and has helped shape the future of health care by equipping participants with the skills and knowledge needed to serve diverse populations effectively. The program offers a wide range of activities to enhance students’ learning experiences, including retreats, shared readings, interprofessional learning communities, a student-alumni podcast series, and community-based clinical trainings. Students are exposed to topics such as health care financing, cultural humility, advocacy, health promotion, basic screenings, and effective communication with community members and patients.

Throughout her tenure as program director, Clark-Dufner has been a driving force behind the program’s commitment to excellence in education. She continues to inspire and empower students in their pursuit of providing quality health care for all with her innovative teaching methods that emphasize effective communication and cultural competence. Her dedication to her students is reflected in their deep respect and admiration for her leadership skills and passion for healthcare education.

Leave a Reply