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Visiting CIC Fellow Theresa Brown, Ph.D., Explores Healing the Health Care System

Theresa Brown

Georgian Court University welcomes 2021 CIC Visiting Fellow Theresa Brown, Ph.D., BSN, RN, October 19-21 for a series of events framing the value of leadership, collaboration, communication, innovation, information literacy, and compassion in healing health care.

There are two opportunities for guests to hear directly from Dr. Brown, who will join GCU via Zoom. Both events are FREE and open to the public although registration is required.

Participants can join GCU’s virtual public lecture, “Healing the Health Care System” and hear directly from Dr. Brown on Tuesday, October 19, at 3:00 p.m. in the Little Theatre, Jeffries Hall. Visit to register for in-person attendance, or click to join remotely.

Join the GCU Community Read and get a free copy of The Shift, and attend the “Meet the Author” event in the SMJC Library on campus, Wednesday, October 20, at 3:00 p.m. Visit to register for in-person attendance, or click to join remotely.

Photo of Visiting CIC Fellow Theresa Brown, Ph.D., RN

Fellow Brings Unique Perspective to Understanding Health Care

In straining the health care system, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified inequities in access to quality care, disparities in treatment and health outcomes, and dysfunction in the expectations of healthcare workers. Pandemic pressure reveals deep fissures in need of critical care.

Dr. Brown arrives on the scene with both her pen and stethoscope poised to listen, question, report, and heal. Before pursing her career in nursing, she was a professor of English. This appreciation for narrative, communication, and close reading is reflected in both the care she delivers as a clinical nurse in Pittsburgh and the writing she publishes as a frequent contributor to the New York Times,, The American Journal of Nursing, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Dr. Brown’s first book Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between has been adopted as a textbook in Schools of Nursing across the country. While Critical Care established community for nurses, The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives earned its place on the New York Times Bestseller List and made visible the lived experience of nurses. Patients, colleagues, friends, and family turned to Dr. Brown to say “oh, so that’s what you do.” This authentic representation of nursing in the United States exposes both the value of the occupation and the systemic pressures that undermine and stress it.

Cover of The Shift by Theresa Brown

Just as Dr. Brown integrates her backgrounds in nursing and humanities, understanding and addressing the complexities of the health care system requires an interdisciplinary team at the bedside: health care practitioners, caregivers, business administrators, public health officials, insurance providers, medical engineers, bioethicists, historians, economists, scientists, scholars, social workers, health educators, and communication specialists.

“Programming during her visit engages the GCU citizen-scholar model emphasizing our shared role in healing health care as stakeholders in public health and human well-being,” said GCU Assistant Professor Kristen Wedlock, one of the organizers of the CIC activities.

Lecturing, Learning, and Making Rounds

Additionally, Dr. Brown will visit students enrolled in the GCU nursing program. She will join university nursing faculty each morning for virtual rounds, lecturing in a Bioethics course and a Foundations of Health and Wellness Coaching seminar. In addition, Dr. Brown will talk craft during Creative Writing Workshop. Dr. Brown will also hold a roundtable with the distinguished Executive Nursing Board from our Hackensack Meridian Health partners.

This campus visit is sponsored by the Office of the Provost. The Visiting Fellow Program is offered by the Council of Independent Colleges and the award was secured by Provost Warner on behalf of Georgian Court University. Provost Warner’s choice of Dr. Theresa Brown reflects the values of GCU and positions our campus to better understand and participate in the complex problems that plague our shared world. For more information, please, contact CIC Visiting Fellow Campus Coordinators Constance Bialoblocki and Kristen Park Wedlock.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is a leading regional university that provides a transformative education, preparing students for ethical leadership and service in the Catholic Mercy tradition. Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. The university has a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women.

As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 1,900 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 16 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings.

The main campus is in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students through its Center for Professional Studies, and at other locations, including GCU at Brookdale, and through multiple online degree and certificate programs.