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5-21-14 Katia Reinert attains doctoral status

There's a new doctor in the North American Division. Katia Reinert has just successfully defended her dissertation to earn her Ph.D. in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., and will officially graduate in August.

For her doctoral dissertation she examined the role of religious involvement (spirituality, religious coping, gratitude, forgiveness) as protective factors for mental and physical health outcomes among Adventist survivors of child abuse, neglect and witnessed abuse in the home. She chose that emphasis because child abuse and neglect are a major public health issue, and there is a very strong association between early trauma and adult chronic disease.

"I think this is an area that health professionals, church leaders, health ministry directors need to include when we discuss healthy lifestyle," she said. "Also, I chose to study the protective role of religious involvement and spirituality because I believe that there is hope despite the worse possible trauma someone might have suffered in their life. God can bring healing if we apply the principles He has taught us."

She continued to explain that "forgiveness, gratitude, spirituality and positive religious coping were noted to reduce the negative mental health outcomes among Adventists who had a history of early trauma."

"On the other hand," she said, "negative religious coping was linked with worse physical health outcomes, particularly among women. Thus, there is much we need to do to encourage people to use these positive virtues in an effective way."

Reinert received a National Institutes of Health research training grant for Interdisciplinary Research of Violence in the Family.

"I am so grateful to God who initiated this process," she writes, "Who sustained me, and also completed what He started. I was very blessed to be at Hopkins as it is the number-one doctoral program in nursing in the country. I learned much that will help me serve God better in the current role I am in at NAD. To Him all the glory! I can't wait to have more time to do ministry now!!!! Although, I realized halfway through the course that I was doing ministry there also! Lots of opportunities to witness and share God's love with that group!"

Photo: Reinert with her advisor, Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell (and the "Hopkins frog," a tradition at the School of Nursing).

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