Faith Community Nursing


Faith Community Speakers and Biographies


KEYNOTE ADDRESS:  Jeffrey Bishop, MD, Ph.D.

“In Search of a Holy Death”

Taking time to explore a holy death through scripture, iconography, and shared experiences helps the care providers to identify what personal changes are necessary in order to give care to the dying. Icons of the nativity, baptism, and burial of Jesus will serve as a focal point of the discussion.


“Cultural Differences – Caring for Prisoners and Immigrants”
Ann Weltin, DNP, Deacon Bill Biver, Deacon Bill Hickson, and Sr. Judy Callahan, BVM

When ministering to those of different cultures or in prison the families, pastors, deacons, pastoral workers, and health professionals inevitably carry the burden of others.  Yet, it is important to recognize the humanity of the person being served.  Understanding the culture of prisoners and immigrants can aid us in our ability to provide compassionate care.


Ann Weltin, DNP, FNP-BC, CNM
Ann worked as an FNP, CNM throughout Milwaukee’s inner city for 20 years with ethnically diverse and poverty stricken individuals.  More recently, Ann worked at Crescent Community Center in Dubuque, and now teaches full-time in the DNP program for Clarke University.  The title of her Doctoral study was: Being Poor, an Immigrant, and Diabetic.  The study focused on the Marshallese immigrants with diabetes and the start of a community garden to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to promote better nutrition and healthier eating habits.

Sister Judith Callahan
Sister Judith Callahan earned an MA Elementary Education Administration & MA Religious Studies, focus Hispanic Ministry. She was an elementary teacher/Principal for 25 years in Catholic Schools and completed six years at Working Boys Center, Quito Ecuador - Vocational education. Her background in Hispanic Ministry allowed her to serve in the Diocese of Joliet and as the Director of Hispanic Ministry. More recently, she served as the Director of Hispanic Ministry for the Archdiocese of Dubuque; she is presently retired and volunteers in varied ministries.

Deacon Bill Biver
Graduated from Loras College in 1970, B.S. in Physics; graduated from the University of Michigan in 1971, M.S. in Electrical Engineering; spent 40 years in the field of engineering design and management, most recently as Director of Clinical Engineering for Trinity Health at Mercy Medical Center, Dubuque; ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Dubuque for 25+ years; currently serving in ministries to include healing, liturgy, sacramental preparation, social justice, spiritual growth, and evangelization at St. Columbkille’s Parish in Dubuque; 20 years of experience in Jail and Prison Ministry for the Archdiocese.

Deacon Bill Hickson
The Archdiocese of Dubuque covers 30 counties in the northeast quarter of the State of Iowa. As Coordinator for Jail & Prison Ministry, Deacon Bill Hickson trains, assigns, and coordinates the activities of 200 volunteers involved in jail and prison visitation, mentoring, and circles of support and accountability. He is assigned to ministry at St. Anthony Parish in Dubuque. Previously he worked as an elementary school teacher and principal in Iowa and Wisconsin, and at Shalom Retreat Center in Dubuque. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Loras College and a Master’s degree from Clarke College.

“Psychological Factors in Grief and Loss”
Nicole H. Keedy, Ph.D., Medical Associates

When caring for people suffering grief and loss can be difficult for a care giver. As the care giver takes on the suffering of the client it is not only important to support the individual’s experience, but to appropriately care for oneself to prevent burn out.


Nicole H. Keedy, Ph.D.
Nicole Keedy is a psychologist who provides general outpatient and inpatient psychotherapy and assessment for adults and older adolescents. Nicole focused her doctoral training at the University of Iowa and her internship in the area of health psychology, and she completed a fellowship in Palliative Care at the Milwaukee Va Medical Center. In this training experience, she worked with individuals who had terminal illnesses, individuals nearing the end of life, and their families.

“Conscience: Counsel and Guide for Medical Decision-Making”
Fr. William Joensen, Ph.D., Dean of Campus Spiritual Life & Associate Professor of Philosophy, Loras College

Human conscience enables us to express our human dignity through the choices we make and the counsel we provide.  Health care providers and pastoral ministry leaders assist the persons they serve by recognizing the proper role of conscience in the course of treatment and care.  In this light, informed deliberation and decisions about prospective benefits and burdens will genuinely communicate personal values and attitudes toward life and death. 


Fr. William Joensen, Ph.D.
Fr. Joensen, a priest of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, earned his doctorate (philosophical anthropology and philosophy of medicine) from the Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) and has masters’ degrees in moral theology and divinity from the Pontifical College Josephinum (Columbus, OH), and bachelor’s degree (zoology) from Iowa State. He serves on the Archdiocesan Medical-Moral Commission and is board secretary for Hospice of Dubuque, and has been a member of the Stonehill and Finley Hospital Ethics Committees. He served in parishes in Waterloo, Dubuque, and Dubuque County.

 “Compassion Fatigue”
Mercy Medical Center - Dubuque Nurses:  MaDonna R. Cota, RN, BSN and Lori Funke-Klein, BS, RN

We practice in different settings and express compassion in different ways, but experience much of the same feelings.  A well-developed toolbox of coping mechanisms helps to enter into relationship and battle compassion fatigue.

“The Face of Addiction”
Allison Schwab, MSW, LMSW, IAADC

SASC Addiction Treatment Programs addresses the proliferation of legalized gambling in Iowa and in neighboring states. Despite enormous financial issues many choose to ignore the impact. SASC will discuss treatment and community resources for those with addiction.


“In Search of a Holy Death”
Jeffrey Bishop, MD, Ph.D.

Taking time to explore a holy death through scripture, iconography, and shared experiences helps the care providers to identify what personal changes are necessary in order to give care to the dying. Icons of the nativity, baptism, and burial of Jesus will serve as a focal point of the discussion.

“Praying with Patients”

Praying with patients can be a powerful tool for healing body and soul. It does not require that one share the faith tradition of the patient, but only openness to sharing in the suffering of the patient. Praying with patients is a true sign of compassion.

“Out of Poverty”

Poverty cannot be understood solely through statistics or research. It must be understood at the level of the individual in poverty.  We all see each other, but do we really understand each other. People who have and continue to struggle to overcome poverty will tell their stories. Through stories we grow in understanding and sense of community.


Ermina Soler, Circles Coach for the City of Dubuque
Ermina works for the city of Dubuque Housing and CD department for the Dubuque Circles Initiative. She is currently a Certified Bridges Out of Poverty Trainer and will present an overview of how the City of Dubuque addresses the issue of poverty in our community by partnering with Circles® a National Campaign. 

“Compassionate End-of-Life Care: Iowa Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (IPOST)”
Janine Idziak, Ph.D., Director, Bioethics Resource Center – Loras College, Consultant on Health Care Ethics and Life Issues – Archdiocese of Dubuque

Iowa Scope of Practice (ISOP) became effective in Iowa July 1, 2012 after a two-year pilot project. This workshop will provide a comprehensive introduction to what ISOP is and what it means to nurses and other health care providers.


Janine Idziak, Ph.D.
Dr. Janine Idziak received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan and subsequently earned a M.A. in theology from Notre Dame. The author of three books in the field of health care ethics, she currently serves on boards and committees for the John Paul II Stem Cell Research Institute, NewLink Genetics, IPOST, and Mercy Medical Center and Stonehill Franciscan Services in Dubuque. Dr. Idziak has received the Trustee of the Year Award from the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

  • Support Clarke - Spring
  • Arts at Clarke 2016
  • Transfer Fall 2015