Women and Health Lecture

History of the Women and Health Lectures

In 1989, Dr. Katherine H. Brown was an Assistant Director for Health Policy at Center for Health Policy and Ethics and an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences. As a medical anthropologist, one of her special interests included minority and women's health issues. Her research and publications focused on socio-cultural analyses of health problems and health care delivery systems. Based on these interests, Dr. Brown suggested to CHPE's then Director, Dr. Charles Doughtery, the initiation of a women and health lecture. Dr. Brown's proposal was accepted and the first lecture was presented by Dr. Margaret MacKenzie, Assistant Professor of Humanities & Science, California College of Arts and Crafts (San Francisco, CA) on Monday, November 20, 1989 in the Creighton University Student Center Ballroom. Her lecture was "Our Bodies, Ourselves" and it was well received by the Creighton Community and a tradition was born.

Beginning in 1995, Dr. Winifred J. Ellenchild Pinch assumed the role of director for the Women and Health Lecture. Under Dr. Pinch's leadership the lecture became institutionalized as part of CHPE's programming and service projects. Thus far, Women and Health Lectures have included sociologists, politicians, advocates, lawyers, philosophers, judges, theologians, nurses, psychologists, physicians and novelists. Additionally, because of grants from the Nebraska Humanities Council, the Center for Health Policy and Ethics has been able to keep the lecture free and open to the public.

During the 2004-2005 academic year, Dr. Amy Haddad suggested that we consider inviting, as lecturers, women novelists whose work addresses health issues and includes an ethical dimension. Our first lecturer in this venue was Ms. Elizabeth Berg, and she developed an insightful lecture on "Literature as Medicine". She created a wonderful presentation which combined health and ethics related to examples from a number of her novels. Reviews of past Women and Health Lectures can be read in fall issues of Focus, CHPE's newsletter.