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By Rachel Campanelli

Staff Reporter

The Day of Service tradition began when Father Peter Donahue came into office in 2006.

Every September, the St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration kicks off with a lecture regarding important issues affecting our society.

On Thursday, Sept. 20, Susan Dentzer spoke at the 2012 St. Thomas of Villanova Lecture,  “The Neediest Among Us: U.S. Healthcare, the Poor and the Uninsued.”

Dentzer is the editor-in-chief of Health Affairs, the nation’s leading journal of health policy and is also an on-air analyst on health with the NewsHour, a program on PBS.

“We’ve always had an academic symposium or lecture as part of the St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration,” said Craig Wheeland, associate vice president for Academic Affairs. “Each year we feature a theme based on Catholic Social Teaching. In past years we featured immigration reform, restorative justice, the spiritual and environmental importance of water and the role Catholics play in public life.”

Wheeland serves on the St. Thomas of Villanova Steering Committee, and his main contribution was to help organize the academic symposium or lecture. Each year he consults with different faculty and staff in order to determine a theme as well as a speaker.

Wheeland specifically consulted members of the School of Nursing faculty as well as various academic staff in order to choose Dentzer to lecture on this year’s theme of healthcare.

Due to her vast experience in the matter, Dentzer was chosen to speak about current issues regarding U.S. healthcare. She has won multiple awards for her work at the NewsHour, including the American Society of Aging National Media Award, focusing on Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, focusing on wounded soldiers in Iraq.

She is also the recipient of numerous fellowships from her work regarding U.S. and Japan economic relations and the aging Japanese population as well as health economics.

Before working for the NewsHour, Dentzer was the chief economics correspondent and economics columnist for U.S. News & World Report for 10 years.

She spent the majority of her time reporting on the debate surrounding reforming social security and health policy issues such as regulation of managed care.  She also worked at Newsweek, as well as appeared on CNN and the McLaughlin Group as a commentator and analyst.

Along with her many other credentials, she was also the first female ever to serve as Chair of Dartmouth’s board in 2001, and received the highest honor given to Dartmouth alumni for service to the college in 2007.

With speakers such as Susan Dentzer, we are provided with the opportunity to learn more about social issues and reforms that affect our world.  The Day of Service Lecture is an appropriate way to begin Day of Service so that we are aware of how our actions affect not only surrounding communities, but the world as well.

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