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Villanova Offers “Catholic Social Teaching and Access to Health Care” Conference March 26 & 27

Nation’s leading experts gather to address U.S. health care crisis three weeks before the Pennsylvania primary

For Immediate Release
March 18, 2008

VILLANOVA, Pa. (March 18, 2008): Access to affordable health care is one of the biggest issues in the U.S. today—especially in this presidential election year. Millions of Americans currently have no health care coverage; employer-sponsored health insurance premiums continue to rise at a faster rate than overall inflation and wage gains; and the consequences of being uninsured or underinsured are increasingly dire.

Now, as the presidential candidates head toward the key Pennsylvania primary, Villanova University is bringing together some of the nation's foremost thought leaders on the topic at a unique conference, "Catholic Social Teaching and Access to Health Care," which will take place from March 26 to 27, 2008 on the Villanova campus, located in suburban Philadelphia.

The U.S. Catholic community has consistently worked for universal access to affordable health care for all, which reflects the core principles of Catholic Social Teaching. “Catholic Social Teaching and Access to Health Care” is being offered through Villanova’s Office for Mission Effectiveness.

Speakers at the conference will include John Bouman, president of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law; Boston College’s Lisa Sowle Cahill, Ph.D., the preeminent Catholic ethicist on the topic of health care; the Most Reverend Michael J. Bransfield, Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia; Sr. Carol Keehan, D.C., of the Catholic Health Association; Stephen Davidson, Ph.D., Director of the Health Care Management Research Center at Boston University; Russell A. Butkus, Ph.D., and Steven A. Kolmes, Ph.D., of the University of Portland; Michael Moreland, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Petit de Mange, Ph.D., of Villanova University.

Among the criteria for health care reform as advocated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are universal access to comprehensive benefits, priority concern for the poor and pursuing the common good.

“As a University, Villanova commits itself to research and education for justice, with a special concern for the poor and compassion for the suffering,” noted Barbara Wall, Ph.D., Special Assistant to the President for Mission Effectiveness. “The timing of this conference—with the Pennsylvania primary coming up on April 22—is especially fitting, and it is our hope that it will bring further attention to what has become a very serious issue in our country today.”

“Catholic Social Teaching and Access to Health Care” will take place on Wednesday, March 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Thursday, March 27 from 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Connelly Center on the Villanova campus, located at 800 Lancaster Avenue in Villanova. The cost for the two-day conference is $100; $40 for students and seniors. A group rate of $25 for groups of 10 or more is also available. For more information—including more details on conference sessions—and to register, call 610-519-5431 or visit the Mission & Ministry conference site.

Villanova University is a co-educational Roman Catholic institution founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. The University offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova Law School. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information see