Beth Maas Walsh ’95

Director of Student Health Services

Words: Ashley Mosteller Rabinovitch ’10
Photos: Greg Halvorsen Schreck

512x768 profile winter 2021 mag

Beth Walsh ’95 vividly recalls the challenges of containing outbreaks of mumps and swine flu at Wheaton in the late 2000s. More than a decade later, the global outbreak of COVID-19 has dwarfed every other health crisis the Wheaton community has faced. “What we are experiencing now is on a whole new level,” she said.

A nurse practitioner by training, Beth savors the opportunity to practice in a Christian setting. “At Wheaton, I can treat the whole person,” she said. “It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to go deeper with students and learn about what’s happening in their lives. I can address not only their physical health but also the emotional and spiritual needs that are so intertwined with physical health.”

With her warm and empathetic nature, Beth has always related easily to students and colleagues alike, but she actualized her leadership potential when she became the Director of Student Health Services in 2019.

“As a nurse practitioner, I was in a more siloed role as I focused on treating individual patients,” she shared. “When I took on a leadership role, I discovered a talent for seeing the bigger picture and devising solutions to difficult problems.”

Never has Beth’s problem-solving ability been tested so dramatically. As COVID-19 began to spread rapidly throughout the United States in March 2020, she played a central role in helping students transition out of campus housing.

“There was a lot of fear at that time,” she remembered. “We had to act quickly to help students get home safely.”

Over the summer, she spearheaded the development of policies to prevent an outbreak on campus.

“It’s like nailing Jell-O to the wall,” she admitted. “There are no easy solutions.” With twins who started at Wheaton in the fall 2020 semester, Beth will continue to make decisions that have an impact on her own family as well as thousands of others. “COVID-19 is the most daunting challenge I’ve faced in my career, and it may be the most daunting challenge that any healthcare professional faces in our lifetime,” she acknowledged. “We will continue to seek the Lord’s wisdom in forging the best path forward.”