Nursing Professor Sonya Grypma celebrates book launch of Healing Henan

TWU’s Associate Professor of Nursing, Sonya Grypma celebrates the publishing of her book Healing Henan, Canadian Nurses at the North China Mission 1888-1947.

On February 20th one of Trinity Western University's newest professors, Dr. Sonya Grypma, Associate Professor of Nursing, celebrated a career accomplishment with the publication of her first book, Healing Henan, Canadian Nurses at the North China Mission 1888-1947. The 312 page hardcover sews together 60 years of Canadian nurses who put their skills into service on China's mission field. Set against a background of war and revolution, the book examines how Canadian nurses shaped health care in the province of Henan and how China, in turn, influenced the nature of missionary nursing.

Surrounded by her comrades in the nursing faculty, members of the community and her family, Grypma shared with the audience some of the highlights of writing Healing Henan. Grypma originally came up with the idea for the book after stumbling across letters from Canadian missionary workers living in China. That interest sparked an intense journey that led the professor to research aspects of nursing from Canada all the way to China, ultimately compiling stories into her book.

Sonja-3 Grypma comes to the Faculty of Nursing at Trinity Western University with a passion for understanding the relationship between nursing history and current practice. Besides her most recent book, she is also the co-investigator for the SSHRC-funded project entitled Canadian Nursing History: The Cultures of Colonialism and Nationalism. The research project aims to understand how nurses and their work influence, and were influenced by, changing notions of health, citizenship and national belonging in Canada.

As Grypma finishes speaking, a pile of freshly printed books on table nearby await her signature. Like a proud but nervous parent sending her child off to school for the first time, Grypma remarks about the publishing of Healing Henan, "I guess at this moment my book stops being mine."

Healing Henan is available for purchase at the Trinity Western University bookstore and is published by UBC Press.

More information on the Faculty of Nursing at Trinity Western University can be found by visiting

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C. is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers undergraduate degrees in 40 major areas of study ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology and leadership, and offers interdisciplinary studies in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Biblical Studies, Biotechnology and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.


Last Updated: 2008-03-27
Author: Erin Mussolum