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Naratil Family Health and Human Values Lecture Series




Started in 1994, the Health and Human Values Lecture Series is an annual series of lectures. In 2015, thanks to the generosity of the Naratil Family, the series was  funded and renamed as the Naratil Family Health and Human Values Lecture Series. The series continues its commitment today to educating nursing students, practicing nurses, other health professionals and the lay public on key health-related issues.

Each lecture series focuses on an important health theme across the academic year and also encompasses the M. Louise Fitzpatrick Award for Transformative Leadership lecture and ceremony which celebrates the recipient’s extraordinary leadership and far-reaching impact on society. All lectures are held on Villanova University’s campus and are free and open to the community.

For more information about the lectures, directions, or to be added to the mailing list, call the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at 610-519-4900.



Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center Commission on Accreditation. By attending this event, you will earn 1 contact hour (registration required).



Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN is a professor and co-director the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment (US Region 3 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit) at Villanova University’s Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. The Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment (MACCHE) is one of ten Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) in the US which provides consultation and education to families and health providers about kids and environmental hazards. 

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February 15, 2024 

Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Originally a therapist before becoming a nurse, Guy uses mixed methods approaches to complex problems like suicide prevention, adolescent mental health, and health workforce. This program will discuss how belongingness, social connectedness, family support, and other social environmental factors can be risk and protective factors for mental health and wellness, especially for children and adolescents.

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October 5, 2023 
5:30 PM (ET - Virtual and in-person)

Guy M. Weissinger II, MPhil, PhD, RN

As Executive Director of Education Plus Health, Julie Cousler Emig has spent her professional career working in Philadelphia to improve the health and social outcomes for the city’s most vulnerable citizens. In this role, she worked to bring the non-profit’s successful school-based health center model to scale, with sustainable revenue models for growth and expansion while addressing mental health and the need for humor.

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Feb 16, 2023
5:30 pm ET (Virtual and In-Person)

Julie Cousler Emig, MSW, LSW

There are many facets to medication use in patient care and nurses are responsible for safe administration of medication to patients. They are caring for patients in the hospital, in the community or even in their home and there are many aspects to the practice environment that impact safe practice. This presentation will explore the many influences that will impact safe medication use and ultimately quality, safe patient care. 

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Sept 15, 2022
5:30 pm ET (Virtual and In-Person)

Michael R. Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD (hon), DPS (hon), FASHP

Inequity and mistrust of health care professionals has been a focus of her work in improving the community’s health status through acceptance. The COVID-19 pandemic and concern about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine was heightened. Ms. Martin will discuss her work with Chester County residents which is rooted in and stems from her personal and professional understanding of the health inequities in this underserved area and mistrust of current efforts to immunize the population.

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April 21, 2022
5:30 pm ET (Virtual and In-Person)

Ms. LaRai Martin, MSN, CNS, RN


In this lecture, Dr. Brawner will share insights from her more than 15 years of community-engaged health equity research. She will highlight the importance of grassroots efforts to transform community health, and include powerful examples from topics including HIV, heart disease and gun violence prevention.

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February 17, 2022
5:30 pm ET, Driscoll Hall Auditorium

Bridgette Brawner, PhD, RN, MDiv, APRN
The Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor for Vulnerable Populations
Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

Data from geographic information systems (GIS) mapping is one way Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, RN, MDiv, APRN develops interventions for urban populations to improve family and community health and promote sexual health, such as preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.  Through her research, teaching, and community engagement, Dr. Brawner improves the health of historically underserved people and communities, particularly in Philadelphia’s neighborhood, demonstrating how conditions such as living in disadvantaged neighborhoods or being under stress due to high levels of crime can harm health, while remedying them can effect positive change.

Thursday, September 16 | 5:30 pm ET


Moderator: Patricia Bradley, PhD, RN, FAAN; Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence; Associate Professor, Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

Naomi Tegene, student, Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing and Co-President, Multicultural Student Nurses Organization

Susan VonNessen-Scanlin, DNP, MBA, MSN, CRNP, Associate Professor of Instruction and the Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs and Interprofessional Education, Temple University College of Public Health

Sr. Rosemary Donley, PhD, APRN, FAAN, Professor of Nursing and the Jacques Laval Chair for Justice for Vulnerable Populations, Duquesne University

Monica J. Harmon, MSN, MPH, RN, Co-Chair, Pennsylvania Action Coalition Nurse Diversity Council; Adjunct Clinical Faculty/Lecturer, College of Nursing, College of Population Health Thomas Jefferson University

This panel discussion, which will be hosted virtually and in-person, highlights the impact both faculty and students can have in an academic community. Participants will explore how they can be a change agent by sharing their own thoughts about the needs of any vulnerable community and learn how they can make a difference using their profession as a springboard.

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Thursday, April 15 | 5:30 pm ET

Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Co-Director, Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment, Region 3; Associate Professor, Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

COVID-19 has highlighted the racial and economic disparities that have a long history of poor health outcomes for communities of color, indigenous, immigrant and ethnic communities. Nurses and other health care providers must leverage their knowledge and awareness to address the needs of those experiencing chronic health disparities. Join Dr. McDermott-Levy as she examines our national response to health disparities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Thursday, February 18 | 5:30 pm ET

Linda Carman Copel PhD, RN, PMHCNS, BC, CNE, ANEF, NCC, FAPA
Professor, Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

The pandemic has taught people how uncertainty and change can feel challenging,unmanageable and even impossible at times. Stress and loss can cause pain, as well as stimulate people to self-reflect and self-evaluate their lives. Explore some of the emotional journeys, difficult decisions, and sacrifices that people have experienced as they construct and reconstruct their lives. Engage with Dr. Copel as she discusses how individuals and families struggle, respond, and adapt to the anxiety and disruptions experienced during the pandemic.

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Thursday, September 17, 2020 | 5:30 pm ET

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Peter G. Kaufmann, PhD, FABMR, FSBM

Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing
Associate Editor, Health Psychology

Since time immemorial, societal influences have affected health and well-being at all levels of social standing. Many of these can be understood in the context of poverty, quality of health care and exposure to stress and deprivation. The  COVID-19 pandemic has raised new questions regarding who lives and who dies. Dr. Kaufmann brings to bear his years of research experience on social factors in health in this dissection of what we know – and need to know.