Palliative Care Instructors
Dr. Roberta Hunt received both a Master in Science in public health and PhD in community education from the University of Minnesota. She has worked in hospital and community nursing and taught nursing and community health at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate level over the last thirty years as well as worked as the director of nursing education at a hospital. She is the author of two text books including Introduction to Community-Based Nursing. In 2005 she was a recipient of a Fulbright Lecture Award to Budapest Hungary. She has published numerous articles and presented at numerous local, national, and international conferences over the last 25 years. Community based nursing and working with underserved populations are her greatest passions.
Mary Wotzka Lagaard, DNP ACHPN has been a geriatric nurse practitioner for 17 years in rural Minnesota. She has taught and coached the advanced care planning process with nursing staff, nurse practitioners and families. Her special interest is in the healing effects of the arts. Through her study of artistic expression and rural cancer patients, Mary has gained a deep respect for the power of art to transform and to heal at any stage of life.
Laura Lathrop, DNP, MPH, CNP is a certified advanced hospice and palliative nurse who has worked for 15 years in the acute care setting as a nurse practitioner on a palliative medicine consult service. She has worked extensively with persons and their families in the ICU as well as medical units. Prior to that she worked as a primary care provider in long term care. She earned a DNP while completing a nurse led quality improvement project that integrated palliative care principles into the ICU. Laura also recently completed a pilot project that has been successful in reducing hospital readmissions following palliative care consults. Her particular interests are difficult conversations and working with the family as the unit of care.
William McDonough has a Ph.D. in Catholic moral theology and has taught theological ethics (including programs in bioethics) for many years. An associate professor of theology and coordinator of the Master of Arts in Theology at St. Catherine University, he recently began teaching a new program called “Theology and Health Care” for nursing students. McDonough's field of research is virtue ethics--studying how our own development enhances or clouds our moral vision. He has published one edited volume (with Bishop Raymond Lucker) Revelation and the Church: Vatican II in the Twenty-First Century (2003) and numerous essays. He latest major essay publication is "Sin and Addiction: Alcoholics Anonymous and the Soul of Christian Sin-Talk" Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics (2012). The essay was awarded St. Catherine University's Denny Prize for Distinction in Writing.