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After originally studying chemical engineering at Penn State, Lois Highsmith decided to instead pursue nursing. At Jefferson she found a passion for community health nursing, specifically related to obstetrics, gynecology, and maternal child health. Ms. Highsmith graduated in 1986 and over the years worked mostly in maternal care but also in psychology. Among other positions, she worked for ten years at Pennsylvania Hospital where she founded STEPS, Strategies to Encourage Parental Self-Sufficiency, a teen pregnancy clinic, and worked as a home visitor for Mercy Home Health educating new moms about postpartum care. Since 2002 she has worked for Nurse Family Partnership, a home visiting program for first-time pregnant women that teaches women about child development, pregnancy, women’s health, and community resources.

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Thomas Jefferson University, alumni, women, oral histories, nursing, public health, community health


History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Nursing | Oral History


DISCLAIMER: These oral histories express the personal views, memories, and opinions of the interviewee. They do not represent the policy, views, or official history of Thomas Jefferson University.

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Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce these oral histories must be obtained in writing from the Thomas Jefferson University Archives and Special Collections. No use (beyond limited quotation) should be made of the transcripts of these interviews without authorization.

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Oral history was edited by Kelsey Duinkerken, March 2016


Interview was conducted by Kelsey Duinkerken with Lois Whaley Highsmith on February 12, 2016

Lois Whaley Highsmith