Service was a frequent theme in submissions the College of Nursing received for its May 2012 National Nurses’ Week video project when constituents were asked to describe Villanova Nursing in three words.
Cathleen Horrigan Cahill ‘78 BSN is a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) who submitted a photo of her in Africa with some special children and the three words “Kenyan orphans – beautiful.”
Kenya isn’t Cathy’s routine practice setting. For over 20 years she has been working as a PNP at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, N.J. in the pediatric specialty clinics. She sees children with HIV/AIDS in the pediatric immunology/infectious disease clinic and children with neurodevelopmental disorders and behavior problems in the pediatric developmental clinic there.
In February 2012, Cathy and husband Andrew ’78 VSB traveled to east Africa, specifically to Meru—centrally located in equatorial Kenya, on the eastern slope of Mount Kenya. They traveled with a group called "The Friends of Kenyan Orphans," a nonprofit formed to assist the Children’s Village, established in 1999 by Catholic priest Fr. Francis Limo Riwa to rescue orphaned and abandoned children from the streets. It is home and school for over 750 girls and boys.
According to the organization’s website, 500,000 children in Kenya are orphans or have lost one parent, one-fourth of the Kenyan population lives on less than a dollar a day, two in five do not have access to clean water and more than 2 million children and adults are HIV positive.