Alumnae Spotlights


SJA alumna Claire Jurkowski, '66, devotes her life to a career in medicine as a way to assist those most in need


Sahara Aden




Published May 2017

Dr. Claire Jurkowski, ’66, has had a varied career experience as a physician that is nonetheless marked by the consistent themes of personal perseverance and interpersonal support. The supporters in Jurkowski’s life are numerous, and have helped her along the way as she found her calling and navigated a successful career. She explained, “I believe that to whom much is given, much is expected.”

Jurkowski’s story begins on Milwaukee’s South Side where she was born and raised. She is the oldest of three and was quick to point out, “I’m not bossy, I just know best!”

Her family made education a primary focus and stressed its importance throughout Jurkowski’s childhood.


“Our house was always full of books. At our local library, we knew every book on the shelf,” she recalled. “I found myself drawn to books having anything to do with illness, doctors/nurses, healthcare heroes like Dr. Tom Dooley...by the time I was in grade school I was convinced I wanted to become a doctor.”

She attended St. Anthony grade school and the expectation was that she would also attend a Catholic high school.

“My parents felt that it was the best that was available at the time,” said Jurkowski.

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