Dr. Penelope Moyers, dean, Henrietta Schmoll School of Health
Dr. Penelope Moyers
Dean, Henrietta Schmoll School of Health
Read about her in SCAN October 2010 »


I am proud of the range of healthcare professional educational programs here at St. Catherine University. We offer diversity of opportunity, including type of degrees, from certificate and associate degrees all the way to clinical doctorate degrees.

We also offer a diversity of programs, such as radiography and sonography, occupational and physical therapy, respiratory care and eye care, dietetics and exercise and sports science. And we offer a range of entry-level to advanced-level education, such as the baccalaureate and associate degree nursing programs and the doctor of nursing practice.

As the founding Dean of the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, I am new to St. Catherine University myself. I would be delighted to explore our range of career options with you, whether this is your first entry into a professional career, you are transitioning to a new career or you are looking to develop advanced expertise in your current career. Our philosophy of lifelong learning is reflected in the growing number of continuing education offerings for current healthcare professionals and alumnae.

Regardless of your specific interest in healthcare, St. Catherine provides a mission-centered education where the goal is to become not only competent in your profession, but to grow into an outstanding and compassionate healer. We emphasize leading and collaborating in order to build healthier communities and relationship-centered healthcare organizations adept at meeting the health needs of populations locally, nationally and internationally.

Our faculty work concertedly to provide educational content and learning methods that advance complex clinical and ethical reasoning, management of knowledge that is constantly changing, use of the latest technologies, skilled performance of evidence-based interventions, creation of innovative healthcare service delivery, and display of heartfelt concern and caring for others that respects the multicultural influence of the world in which we live and work.

A well-rounded education

A hallmark of St. Catherine University is its focus on the liberal arts and how this learning informs exceptional healthcare practice. Significance to society is the foundation upon which a healthcare profession exists.

It is most likely clear how mathematics and the physical, biological and psychological sciences help practitioners begin to comprehend the complex integration of mind and body, and how command of written and verbal communication enable working with clients and the public.

What I would like to emphasize, however, is the importance of the liberal arts to professionalism. Foundational knowledge from a range of academic disciplines — such as anthropology, theology, political science and sociology, in contrast to the specific competencies characteristic of one's scope of practice in healthcare — forms the basis for cultural understanding. Healthcare professionals educated in the liberal arts appreciate the impact that society has on illness and health and can use this knowledge to create improved health.

Art, music, dance, poetry and literature stimulate healing, helping a person initially to express pain and suffering, but then the arts can help that patient recover through the discovery of extraordinary strength and courage. The arts give meaning to life through the experience and manifestation of what is so uniquely human — that is, the richness and importance of one's emotional life. Beauty, such as a violin solo, makes health available for all to relish.

Health cannot be defined simply by the absence of disease or disability, but instead is reflected in one's joy of living regardless of health status or point in the life cycle. Along with their competencies in a particular profession, healthcare practitioners can share this joy of living with their clients of all ages.

Penelope Moyers, EdD, OTR, FAOTA
Henrietta Schmoll School of Health

Learn more about her in SCAN October 2010: "Inspired to Heal" »