Naratil Family Health and Human Values Lecture Series


Started in 1994, the Health and Human Values Lecture Series is an annual series of lectures, formerly supported by a grant from the Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies. In 2015, thanks to the generosity of the Naratil Family, the series was once again funded and renamed as the Naratil Family Health and Human Values Lecture Series.

Lectures are scheduled for fall and spring of the academic year. Each series is based on a theme, such as changing paradigms in health care, global health issues and communicating identity. Lectures are held on the campus of Villanova University and are free and open to the community. The Naratil Family Health and Human Values Lecture Series encompasses the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s Annual Distinguished Lecture in Nursing which began on the occasion of its 25th anniversary in 1978. This event, co-sponsored by the Alpha Nu Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, brings together members of the student body, alumni, University and regional community to hear the insights of prominent national and international speakers.

2018-19 Lecture Series
Caring for Vulnerable Populations

September 20: Improving the Health of Children Experiencing Homelessness

Thursday, September 20, 5:30 pm
Driscoll Hall Auditorium

There are approximately 26,000 homeless children across Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia School District alone, reports close to 4,000 homeless students. Across all of Philadelphia County, which includes Roxborough and Manayunk, there are almost 6,000 homeless children, or about 30 for every 1,000 children. Join our panel of experts from the fields of nursing, social work, psychology and public administration to gain insight into how they have applied their professional perspective and experiences to improving the experience of homeless children. 



Janette E. Herbers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Villanova University
Visiting Scholar, People's Emergency Center

Karen Maxwell Hudson, PhD, MSW, LSW

Program Leader, Homeless Health Initiative
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Sally Poliwoda, RN, BSN

Community Nursing Advocacy Fellowship Coordinator
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Joe Willard, Vice President

Vice President, Advocacy and Policy, People's Emergency Center

November 8: 40th Annual Distinguished Lecture in Nursing: Caring for Chronically-Ill Older Adults at Home: Optimizing the Evidence

Thursday, November 8, 5:30 pm
Villanova Room, Connelly Center

A pioneer researcher and national expert in home health care and gerontology nursing, Dr. Melissa O’Connor studies home-based health care for older adults, filling a critical gap in knowledge for health care providers. Dr. O’Connor is committed to conducting rigorous research on determining readiness for discharge from home health, which is vital for avoiding problematic and costly adverse events plaguing chronically ill older adults living at home. Her big data analyses indicate best practices to prevent rehospitalization in Medicare-reimbursed home health care recipients. Along the way, Dr. O’Connor includes undergraduate nursing students in the process, allowing them an up-close experience with nursing research in their education. She was recently an expert panelist for a national report on safe care in the home. Dr. O’Connor is an award-winning nurse scientist whose research has been recognized nationally not only for its rigor but also its impact.


Melissa O'Connor, PhD, MBA, RN

Associate Professor, Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing

National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing


February 21: Improving Care for People with Disabililities

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 5:30 pm
Driscoll Hall Auditorium

Did you know that there are over one billion people worldwide who live with some type of disability? The number is increasing due in part to an aging population and an increase in chronic health conditions. Join our panel of experts to gain insight into how they have applied their personal and professional perspective and experiences to help others overcome barriers to better health outcomes, education and employment opportunities and quality of life.



Diane M. Ellis, MSN, RN, CCRN

Clinical Assistant Professor, Villanova University
Scholar, Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse
Faculty Program, Parkinson’s Foundation

Kate Matalan

Author and Disability and Accessibility Advocate

Suzanne C. Smeltzer, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Professor and The Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor in Nursing for Vulnerable Populations; Director, Office of Nursing Research and Evaluation
Villanova University

April 25: Joining Forces with Military Veterans and their Families: Partnerships in Practice, Education and Research

Thursday, April 25, 2019, 5:30 pm
Driscoll Hall Auditorium

Multiple, complex phenomena impact the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans.  Nurses serve as healthcare providers, and more importantly as advocates, to assure that quality care is provided and resources are made accessible to veterans. Join Dr. Moriarty to explore and discover how nurses can make a difference in the lives of a growing population of veterans and their family members.



Helene Moriarty, PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor and Diane L. & Robert F. Moritz Jr. Endowed Chair in Nursing Research, Villanova University
Nurse Scientist, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center


Additional Information

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.

All lectures are held at Villanova University and are free and open to the community.