Mission, Vision, and Values
At its beginning in 1903, the school focused in an intentional way on Georgetown's Jesuit tradition, including a lecture on ethics and the nursing profession by Dr. Joseph Taber Johnson (M'1865). That commitment to mission, vision, and values has endured for more than a century at the school.
Mission and Vision
Advancing the health and well-being of individuals and communities
To be a catalyst for health and social justice in local, national, and global communities through education, scholarship, and social action
Contemplation in Action
Action-oriented introspection and reflection guide our self-understanding relative to our mission, choices, intellectual inquiry, and engagement with the world.
The Latin expression—meaning “care for the whole person”—is a cornerstone of the Jesuit tradition that features personalized attention to individuals’ unique needs and circumstances, including spirituality, as well as a celebration of the special talents they contribute to communities.
A robust community derives its strength from the individuals within it—including their cultural, personal, and professional backgrounds and unique perspectives—and actively supports an environment where commonalities and differences contribute to its uniqueness.
We strive for the highest quality in everything we do with a commitment to integrity.
Recognizing the range of perspectives and talents among students, faculty, staff, and the broader community, NHS promotes positive, productive, and professional interactions, as well as encourages individuals to voice differing viewpoints in a way that assumes the best intention.
Within the context of health and higher education, creating a more just society calls for the support of the intellectual growth and professional aspirations of individuals from all backgrounds and the creation and dissemination of knowledge that promotes equity in health with a focus on the social determinants of health and human rights.
Value of the Common Good
The organization aligns around a unified goal of collective responsibility that promotes maximum health and human flourishing among individuals, families, and communities with a special emphasis on those who are marginalized and underserved.
The Mission, Vision, Values were approved by votes of the Executive Faculty of the School of Nursing & Health Studies on May 28, 2014 (values) and December 9, 2014 (mission and vision).
In 2001, through the visionary leadership of the faculty of the School of Nursing & Health Studies, Georgetown’s Board of Directors approved the creation of a Center on Health Equity: Research, Implementation, and Teaching that would focus on research initiatives, implementation through professional practice and community engagement, and educating the next generation of health professionals to address systemic inequity and promote health and well-being for all people.
Today, this thematic focus thrives at the school with strong examples of work to promote health equity across the five academic departments. Some examples:
- The school houses two endowed faculty lines that support capacity building in health equity: The Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care and the Susan H. Mayer Professor in Health Equity.
- The school, through the Department of Health Systems Administration, was selected to jointly recruit one of four new expert university scholars as a part of Georgetown’s Institute for Racial Justice.
- For more than a decade, students at the school have led the Minority Health Initiative Council, an organization that facilitates access and support for minority students within the school, as well as promotes the importance of optimal health to minorities.
- The school, including students, faculty, and staff, produced the report, The Health of the African American Community in the District of Columbia: Disparities and Recommendations, which was cited by the DC Council in its appropriation of funds to combat health disparities. A second report, Health Disparities in the Black Community: An Imperative for Racial Equity in the District of Columbia, was published in 2020.
- The curriculum includes credit-bearing opportunities such as a “Health Equity Think Tank” course, immersion and internship experiences in communities in the United States and abroad, and academic minors in health promotion and disease prevention and public health. Students also have the opportunity for direct engagement with communities through cocurricular and extracurricular opportunities.
- Faculty members at the school bring interdisciplinary expertise – such as economics, epidemiology, nursing and medical care, and public and population health – to address related issues through their practice, research, service, and teaching.
Values Based Endowed Roles
Through transformational philanthropy, the School of Nursing & Health Studies houses two endowed faculty roles that are geared toward values based pursuits. Gifts such as these support the work of faculty members and the school in mission-oriented work to promote health equity and improve population health. They are the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care and the Susan H. Mayer Professor in Health Equity.
Values Based Lecture
Each academic year, generally during the spring semester, the School of Nursing & Health Studies hosts a Values Based Lecture featuring a distinguished speaker. The event, which is planned by the school’s Committee on Mission and Values, is open to the Georgetown University community.
- Dr. Donald Berwick, a former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, cofounder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and visiting distinguished professor in the Department of Health Systems Administration (Read news coverage of the 2020 lecture with Dr. Berwick.)
- Dr. Jennifer Huang Bouey, the Susan H. Mayer Professer in Health Equity and a tenured associate professor in international health at the School of Nursing & Health Studies (Read news coverage of the 2019 lecture with Dr. Bouey.)
- Dr. Mary Wakefield, visiting distinguished professor in the practice of health care at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, former administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, and former acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Review the 2018 lecture with Dr. Wakefield.)
- The Rev. Monsignor John Enzler, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, and Dr. Susan Pankratz, clinical director of the medical clinic at the organization’s McCarrick Family Center (Review the 2017 lecture with Father John and Dr. Pankratz.)
- Sister Carol Keehan, DC, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (Review the 2016 lecture with Sister Carol.)
- Dr. Desiree Hellegers (C’83), associate professor of English at Washington State University Vancouver and author of No Room of Her Own: Women’s Stories of Homelessness, Life, Death, and Resistance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) (Review the 2015 lecture with Dr. Hellegers.)
- Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, executive director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby (Review the 2014 lecture with Sister Simone.)
- Dr. Christine Grady (NHS’74, G’93), chief of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center’s Department of Bioethics (Review the 2013 lecture with Dr. Grady.)
- Ms. Maria Gomez (NHS’77), founder, president, and CEO of Mary’s Center (2012)
- Dr. Rochelle Rollins, director of the Division of Policy and Data in the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2011)
- Ms. Joy Ufema, author of Insights on Death & Dying (2010)
- Dr. Laura Anderko, the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care at NHS (2009)
- Dr. Carol Picard, past president of Sigma Theta Tau International, the honor society of nursing (2008)