Press Release

Award for Service in Health Field Goes to Saint Mary's College Senior


Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, Ind.
(574) 284-4579

April 20, 2009 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—The Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) at Saint Mary's College is pleased to announce that Caitlin Brodmerkel ‘09 of Fort Wayne, Ind. will receive one of the College’s seven unique service and volunteer awards. The awards recognize students who give their time and talent to serve the greater South Bend community.

Brodmerkel, who is majoring in nursing and biology, will receive one of five new annual awards named for Sisters of the Holy Cross. The Congregation founded the Catholic, all-women’s college in 1844. Brodmerkel will be honored with the Sister Olivia Marie Hutcheson Award for Service in the Health Field. Sister Hutcheson (1917 – 2008) was a compassionate nurse, talented hospital administrator, builder and spiritual guide.  She directed the building of Holy Cross Hospital in San Fernando, Calif. and its restoration following an earthquake.  She was a primary leader in establishing the Health System of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Sister Hutcheson formally guided the direction of the Sisters of the Holy Cross for 17 years. She embraced the call to live a life of holiness, justice and integrity.

Brodmerkel is deeply dedicated to the life of providing health care for those in need. She has worked at the Sister Maura Brannick Health Center in South Bend since her freshman year, assisting with intake and patient assessment. The health center serves those without insurance and provides critical health care to those with few resources. She has also worked with the Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center Outreach Program since freshman year. The program hold health fairs (including health checks and testing) for those living in poverty. A student who nominated her for the award wrote, “Caitlin is the type of nurse that every patient ought to have. She treats each patient with the respect and dignity they deserve…she is very caring toward everyone and has an incredible passion for what she does.”

Brodmerkel’s passion is especially evident in the service she has provided to the Sisters of the Holy Cross. During the summer of 2008, she spent 10 weeks in Kyarusozi, Uganda. There she worked as a nurse at a health clinic started by the Congregation. Her tasks included organizing education programs for HIV-positive patients and working directly with women and children affected by malaria. She supplemented her work at the clinic by teaching health science at Saint Joseph Hill Secondary School. Since returning to the U.S., she has raised nearly $10,000 for the clinic in Uganda. She created a website ( that documents her experiences in Uganda and accepts donations for the clinic.

Brodmerkel and the other award winners will be recognized at a dinner at the College on Wednesday, April 29.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. The College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary's College ranks among the nation's top liberal arts colleges in U.S. News & World Report's 2009 annual survey. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.