Keynote: MK Czerwiec, RN, MA, aka Comic Nurse

MK Czerwiec, RN, MA

MK is a nurse who uses comics to contemplate the complexities of illness and caregiving. She is the Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy & Media Engagement. MK has been making comics under the pseudonym Comic Nurse since 2000. She co-runs GraphicMedicine.org, a website devoted to the intersection of comics and health.


MK’s first full-length graphic novel Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 was named a JAMA “Best of Graphic Medicine 2017.” She also co-authored Graphic Medicine Manifesto, an Eisner Award nominated book, published in 2017 by  Penn State University Press.


In addition to working with clinicians to use comics to improve patient care, MK is an advocate for graphic medicine in all its forms. In March 2018, she took part in a conversation about graphic medicine with Dr. Patti Brennan, NLM Director, and talked about how drawing comics has made her a better nurse. Learn more about MK. 

MK CZerwiec’s graphic novel was released in March of 2017.

Panel from Taking Turns, MK Czerwiec’s graphic novel, an adaptation of life on Unit 371, an inpatient AIDS care hospital unit in Chicago.

Sunday lunch speaker: Janice Curnes, MLS

Janice Curnes, MLS
Janice Curnes, MLS

Jan has been the medical librarian at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center for 29 years. In addition to her duties as medical librarian, Jan has charge of overseeing the medical center archives which are housed in the library and various historic displays throughout the medical center. The rich history of caring for veterans at one of the first Old Soldiers Homes appeals to Jan who has a BA in history.

Over the years, the Library Service was instrumental in creating the Historic Milwaukee VA walking tour and the internal history website. The Library service has worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs (Veterans Health Administration)  historian, National Trust for Historic Preservation and The National Park Service documenting the rich history of the Milwaukee VA. The Milwaukee VA celebrated 150 year of caring for veterans in 2017.

Out at the Soldiers Home : A Brief History of the Northwest Branch of National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.
The Milwaukee VA is one of the original three “Old Soldiers Homes”. Established in 1867, Milwaukee VA is in its 152nd year of outstanding veteran care. The grounds are rich in history and show the transition of care. Also, the VA has rich history of libraries, the original Soldiers Homes had free standing libraries and librarians. We’ll explore both in this presentation.

Learn more about VA History