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Alumna Dr. Helene Moriarty receives College Medallion

Dr. Helene Moriarty Cincotta '77 BSN (center) received the 60th Anniversary Medallion from Dean Fitzpatrick on April 6th. University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue OSA presided at the Mass in the St. Thomas of Villanova Church.


Dr. Helene Moriarty Cincotta '77 BSN is nurse researcher at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. Read her citation below.

In recent years, concern for the needs of America’s veterans has never been as prominent as it is now. The ravages of war have impacted our society and those who have served in harm’s way, carry wounds that are both physical and psychological. The victims are also the heroes--- but they and their families are left with the consequences of lives interrupted temporarily or permanently.

Villanova alumna, Dr. Helene Moriarty Cincotta, is a nurse advocate for veterans and their families- and an extraordinary nurse researcher who has targeted her scholarly work on the health needs of those who have served through the military. Through her impressive grantsmanship and research endeavors as a nurse researcher at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, she has made a resounding impact on nursing and more importantly, on development of clinical practice that supports the rehabilitation and quality of life of veterans.

Dr. Moriarty earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Villanova in 1977, and later was awarded a master’s degree and PhD from the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania. An expert in psychiatric-mental health nursing, she began her career with a focus on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Her first academic position was as a novice faculty member in our College of Nursing, which later transitioned into a joint appointment with the Veterans Administration Medical Center, and ultimately, to a full time position in research at the VA, beginning in 1993 to the present.

At the VA, in addition to her research position, she serves as the associate director of its interprofessional Fellowship Program. She is adjunct faculty at Penn where she is also a member of the New Courtland Research for Transitions and Health. In that capacity, she provides guidance to faculty and doctoral students who are conducting research related to veterans.

In her research capacity, Dr. Moriarty provides leadership in the development, implementation and evaluation of the VA’s Research Programs. Her research activities on interdisciplinary teams, span a wide range and variety of clinical specializations. With nurses, she works collaboratively in conducting studies, seeking funding and disseminating research findings that are applied in practice to improve patient care. Her research studies include work on Parkinson’s Disease, infection, traumatic brain injury and psychological dimensions of veteran’s health problems as they affect their families and communities.

Of particular note, is Dr. Moriarty’s unparalleled expertise in research methodology- quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods. A recent evaluator who himself is a well-known researcher and statistician wrote, “she is the best researcher I know, independent of discipline.” Despite her own ability, she easily and clearly translates complex research findings through teaching, presentations and publications, into practical applications that improve patient care. She is a liaison to other disciplines within the VA, nationally, and participates in interdisciplinary projects related to patient care and organizational performance. She serves on the VA’s institutional review board and on many important committees and taskforces. She has been the recipient of numerous research grants and has authored or co-authored more than 30 peer reviewed scientific publications and 60 published abstracts.

Among a long list of honors and awards, Dr. Moriarty received the mentoring award of the Eastern Nursing Research Society in 2011 and the Nightingale Award of Pennsylvania in 2000..She was a star from the beginning. When she completed her PhD dissertation in 1991, she was a Nurses Educational funds Scholar and the recipient of Sigma Theta Tau International’s dissertation award for what was called, “an exceptionally meritorious dissertation that exemplifies high standards of scholarship and knowledge development.”

In her personal life, Dr. Moriarty is an exemplar for others and reflects a commitment to Augustinian values within her family and community. She is the wife of an alumnus of our Law School and the other mother of two sons and one daughter. Her sister, Kathryn Reynolds, is also a Villanova nursing alumna who is a member of our pediatric faculty.

The College of Nursing is very proud to claim Helene Moriarty Cincotta. For the wide sweeping impact of her research and her commitment to it, for her role in the development of future nurse researchers and her service to veterans and their families through her scholarly work, the College of Nursing is delighted to award is 60th Anniversary Medallion to Helene Moriarty Cincotta, Class of 1977.