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Moravian College Health Care In Focus e-newsletter
Monthly eNewsletter - September, 2013
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A Year of Health Care | A Look Ahead...

During the academic year, the Moravian College community will explore the multi-faceted concept of health and the structure and culture of medical care both in the United States and abroad.  We will venture beyond the limited definition of health as the absence of infirmity and disease and focus on the overall physical, mental and social well-being of the members of a society.

Our health status directly impacts our ability to participate in the world and is impacted not only by our genetic endowment and personal lifestyle choices, but also by the structure of our communities, the structure of our workday, the quality of our social interactions and our spiritual well-being.  We will explore how the macro structures of our modern society such as the modes of capitalist production, the relationships between workers and employers, and the very structure of our healthcare system both define and impact our levels of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.  

For example, we will look at the relationship between modern systems of food production and the current obesity epidemic in the United States.  We will also explore how a culture’s definition and understanding of the human condition, its ideas about the balance of rights and responsibilities, impact the scope and nature of its health care resources.   How do we both protect individual freedom to make lifestyle choices but also minimize people’s negative impacts on their health through restrictions on some behaviors such as smoking?  We will explore the horizons of medical technology and ask whether it is human nature to want to live longer, better, smarter and faster and whether our collective dissatisfaction with whatever is the current norm will continue to drive medical and pharmaceutical developments.  

The Moravian College community will analyze these varied views of health and healthcare through a multidisciplinary lens.  Looking at the intersections of the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences, we will investigate our understanding of what it means to be human.   We will explore how the sciences have provided an understanding of the structure, function and potential of our physical beings, and how different human communities have expressed their own particular understanding of those “facts” through the structure and function of human societies.

 We will explore these questions both near and far, using the Lehigh Valley, the United States and the global community as our subjects for comparison.  We will reflect on our past, take a snapshot of our current understanding of health and benchmark standards of what constitutes healthiness, and ponder our collective next steps, remembering at every point of the analysis that in our contemplation of our physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being, we are asking the most basic questions about our understanding of the human condition. 

Dr. Virginia Adams O’Connell
Dr. Kerry H. Cheever

Co-directors of the Health Care Center of Investigation

Fall Convocation | September 12

Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D, The Fall Convocation for the College, Comenius Center, and Moravian Theological Seminary,will be held on Thursday, September 12.

Fall Convocation combines both a “welcome-to-the-term” event with a major speaker.  It is a time to gather as a campus community to celebrate the start of a new academic year and the arrival of enthusiastic students, and to recognize academic achievement. 

The 2013-14 Cohen keynote speaker will be Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D., bioethicist, sociologist, educator, writer, and researcher.  He will present the Cohen keynote address, "Re-Creation: The Biotechnological Restructuring of Life.”

Wolpe is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, and holder of the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, a professor in the departments of medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and sociology, and the director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University.  Wolpe examines the ethical implications of new science ̶ genetic modification, neuroscience and other breakthroughs that stretch our current philosophy to the breaking point. He's the first senior bioethicist at NASA, among other appointments. 

Dr. Wolpe has authored over 100 articles, editorials and book chapters focusing on the social, religious and ideological impact of biotechnology on the human condition. Considered one of the founders of the field of neuroethics, which examines the ethical implications of neuroscience, he also writes about other emerging technologies, such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology and prosthetics, in addition to his work across many other fields of bioethics. He sits on many national and international non-profit organizational boards, and consults for academic institutions and the biomedical industry. 

The annual Comenius Center Graduate Symposium on Wednesday, September 11, at 6 p.m. in Foy Hall, provides a forum for graduate students from the M.B.A., M.S. in Human Resource Management, Master of Education, and M.S. Nursing programs to network and learn more about a common cross-disciplinary theme. Dr. Wolpe will be presenting “Building Better Brains: How Neuroscience is Altering Human Functioning.”

The annual campus-wide Fall Convocation, followed by a campus lunch, will be held on Thursday morning, September 12 in Johnston Hall.   The Convocation prelude, followed by the faculty and staff processional begins at 10 am.  The formal program will begin at 10:30 am; students and staff should arrive at Johnston Hall by 10 order to be seated for the processional.  

Non-essential offices will be closed (including the Library) during the Convocation, and lunch will not be served until its conclusion; however, the Blue and Grey Café will remain open.  An all-campus lunch will be held immediately after the Convocation.

Volunteer at St. Luke's Hospital

St. Luke's HospitalEvery year, a number of Moravian students volunteer at St. Luke’s Hospital.  Volunteering provides a wonderful opportunity for personal and professional development and service.  Volunteering can also help expose students to positions in the healthcare field outside of the more traditional occupations of doctors and nurses.  The healthcare industry will continue to be a robust sector of the economy and working in the healthcare industry can provide a rewarding and challenging professional career.

Student volunteers will have the opportunity to gain exposure to the healthcare field by volunteering in patient care areas as well as diagnostic and support areas.  If interested, please visit St. Luke’s website.

If interested in learning more about these volunteer services, please contact Kate Fantasia. Coordinator, Volunteer Services, St. Luke's – Allentown & Bethlehem
SLA: 610-628-8495, SLB: 484-526-4673, E-mail:

Community Service Opportunities

Students should contact Community Service to get involved in volunteer work in the community. Opportunities for students to volunteer at a food pantry, homeless shelter, local schools, and other community organizations are organized through the Center for Leadership and Service. To learn more, click here.

Visiting Moravian

Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Michael Wilson by email:, or by phone 610 861-1365.

Nursing at Moravian College

Centers for Investigation

Faculty, students, and campus community members are invited to share what they are doing in their classes, for scholarship, for service-learning, etc. related to health care. The Health Care COI is developing a more extensive Blackboard site of resources for which we will welcome suggestions from the campus community.


Institute of Medicine report “U.S. Health In International Perspective:  Shorter Lives, Poorer Health”

Medicine and Social Justice Blog

Links to critical reviews of The Spirit Level, the summer reading book:

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Does income inequality cause health and social problems?  By Karen Rowlingson

The Spirit Level Revisited: Regression Lines, Correlations, Outliers and Multivariate Analysis
. A plain man’s guide to statistical inference in THE SPIRIT LEVEL and in the critique offered by Peter Saunders and Hugh Noble

The Equality Trust
, The authors respond to questions about The Spirit Level's analysis

The Spirit Level Delusion: a fact checking blog of The Spirit Level

Saunder’s Beware False Prophets: Equality, the Good Society and The Spirit Level By Peter Saunders,edited by Natalie Evans

Review from The Guardian: Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argue that all levels of society, not just the poorest, benefit from more equality.

Upcoming Health Care Events

Planning an event related to heath care?
Use the online form on the College website and help us help promote your event.

 2013 Janet A. Sipple Lectureship

Mary Moller, Associate Professor
Yale University School of Nursing

“The Growing Concern about Mental Health Issues in the Nation”

Wednesday, October 23, 5:30 p.m.
Foy Hall, Hurd Campus
Reception following in the Gallery


Christopher Lynn "Chris" Hedges
Pulitzer Prize winning American journalist specializing in politics and society; and the 7th Peace and Justice Scholar in Residence at Moravian College

"Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt"
Tuesday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Prosser Auditorium, HUB

In his book "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" Hedges and journalist/artist Joe Sacco "set out to take a look at the sacrifice zones in the United States, those areas that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement.  They wanted to show us in words and drawings what life looks like in places where the marketplaces rules without constraints, where human beings and the natural world are used and then discarded to maximize earnings. Passages capture the Health Care In Focus theme.

Health Care Grant Opportunities

The In Focus Committee is pleased to offer mini grants of $200 for a special project or program regarding this year’s theme, health care..  Please contact Ann Claussen at or x1492 if you have an interest in applying for a grant. 

We look forward to any new activities or program ideas representing a multitude of disciplines or field of study and welcome all interested in applying.  Our goal is to enrich and engage the campus community in a variety of ways as we learn more about health care.

Health Care eNewsletter

Health Care Center of Investigation:

Virginia Adams O’Connell
, Co-director
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology

Kerry H. Cheever, Co-director
Professor and Chairperson
Department of Nursing at Moravian

Office of Public Relations:
Michael Wilson, eNewsletter Editor
Director of Public Relations and Marketing

In Focus Moravian College

1200 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018
610 625-7880 |