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Westberg Symposium 2019 Speaker Bios

Philip Yancey

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Philip Yancey earned graduate degrees in Communications and English from Wheaton College and the University of Chicago. He joined the staff of Campus Life Magazine in 1971, where he worked for ten years as editor and then publisher. 

Philip then became a full-time writer, initially working as a journalist for such varied publications as Readers DigestNational WildlifeChristian Century and The Reformed Journal. For many years he wrote a monthly column for Christianity Today magazine, where he still serves as editor at large. 

He has written over 30 books, including Where Is God When It Hurts (1977), Disappointment with God (1988), and Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? (2006)His books have won thirteen Gold Medallion Awards from the Christian Publishers Association; more than 15 million copies have sold in English; and they have been distributed worldwide, being translated into over 50 languages. Christian bookstore managers selected The Jesus I Never Knew as the 1996 Book of the Year, and What’s So Amazing About Grace? received the same award in 1998. His most recent books are The Question That Never Goes Away (2013) and Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? (2014), and he is currently working on his memoir. 

Philip Yancey and his wife, Janet, lived in downtown Chicago before moving to a very different environment in Colorado. Together they enjoy mountain climbing, skiing, wildlife, and all the other delights of the Rocky Mountains. 

The Granger Westberg Memorial Lecture will be held on Monday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Elizabeth Johnston Taylor

Elizabeth Johnston Taylor, RN, PhD, Professor, Loma Linda University School of Nursing, Loma Linda, California, has pursued a program of research exploring the intersection of spirituality, religiosity, health, and nursing for 25 years. Her clinical experiences as an oncology nurse created for her a deep interest in these topics and led her to pursue a PhD (University of Pennsylvania, 1992), a post-doctoral fellowship (UCLA, 1993–95), clinical pastoral education, and training in spiritual direction.  

The desire to help nurses support patient spiritual health has motivated Beth to write numerous articles and book chapters. Her books include Spiritual Care: Nursing Theory, Research, and Practice (Prentice Hall, 2002), What Do I Say? Talking with Patients about Spirituality (Templeton Press, 2007), and Religion: A Clinical Guide for Nurses (Springer, 2012). Her forthcoming book from Springer, Fast Facts about Religion: Implications for Nursing Care, will provide clinicians with easy access to health care-related information about religions. 

The Anne Marie Djupe Memorial Lecture will be delivered on Tuesday, April 9 at 4:45 p.m. 


The Helen Westberg Memorial Panel Session, April 10: 
Faith Community Nurses on the Frontline of Crisis Care
Panel Bios

Myrna Harris Cassimere, RN-BC, PhD 
Topic: Natural and Man-made Disasters 

Myrna is the academic coordinator and lead nurse planner for Baptist Community Ministries (BCM) Congregational Wellness division. In that capacity, she coordinates and teaches Foundations of Faith Community Nursing, trains faith community nurses and lay health promoters for STAR Project, and develops continuing nursing education programs for network nurses. Myrna has participated with local, state, and national government agencies to improve neighborhoods, increase access to health services, and improve health literacy. Myrna has been a nurse educator for over 40 years and has taught in nursing programs as well as other health care professional programs. She is the FCN at Bl. F. X. Seelos Catholic Church in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Alverta L. Mooney Smith, BSN, RN MA-EL, Doctoral Candidate, Faith Community Nurse 
Topic: Homicides and Gun Violence 

Alverta is a faith community nurse at Crossroads Outreach Christian Ministries in Cool Valley, Missouri. She is a chaplain with University City, Missouri Police Department, former minister-HMCA, a Homicide Victim Family Advocacy Initiative serving families of victim of homicide violence, adjunct faculty for Nursing and Allied Health, St. Louis Community College-CE, and retired educator from St. Louis Public Schools. The fourth of 11 children, she is married to Dr. Robert E. (Bob) Smith, co-owner of Smith Optometry and loves travel, the theater, and being a percussionist. 


Paulette Golden, RN-BC, BSN, MS, Faith Community Nurse 
Topic: Fall Injury Crisis 

Paulette has over 25 years of experience in nursing. Her career has been diverse, including critical care, academe, occupational health, community health, faith community nursing and injury prevention. By practical lifestyle adjustments and evidence-based falls prevention programs, the number of falls among the older population can be substantially reduced. As part of her work in trauma services, she partners with faith communities and senior centers to provide classes such as “A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falling” and “Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL). These evidence-based classes help reduce the risks and fear of falling.         

Karen Wenger, RN, MS, Faith Community Nurse Educator 
Topic: Opioid Epidemic 

Karen is the faith community nursing educator for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. She has been a registered nurse for 28 years in a variety of settings, and a faith community nurse for 13. She and two other faith community nurses with professional and personal experiences caring for individuals and families with substance use disorder address the opioid epidemic across regional area in Massachusetts through faith community nursing. She lives in southeastern Massachusetts, with her husband of 23 years, Mike, their three children, Kevin, Tim, and Meaghan, and their yellow Lab, Sophie. Karen is currently pursuing her DNP at Quinnipiac University.

Upcoming Events

Wed 20

Elim Care’s Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course

January 16 @ 8:00 am - April 3 @ 5:00 pm UTC-6
Wed 20

Online Foundations of Faith Community Nursing

January 28 @ 8:00 am - March 23 @ 5:00 pm UTC-6
Wed 20

Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Spring 2019

January 30 @ 5:30 pm - May 1 @ 7:30 pm UTC-6

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