Sister Elizabeth Knoerl has been involved in health-care ministries in Korea, Nepal and Haiti.
Sister Elizabeth Knoerl was born in Buffalo, New York, and has five brothers and one sister. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health education from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh before entering the Maryknoll Sisters in 1986. She was assigned to Hong Kong in 1988 where she taught.
In 1992 she was assigned to Korea where she was involved in several ministries: occupational therapy, youth work and teaching. In September 2005 Sister Elizabeth went to Nepal to do research for her Masters in Public Health degree in International Health from New York Medical College on HIV/AIDS in rural Nepal. Her study was on the knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that Nepalis have about and toward people who are infected with HIV and AIDS. She traveled to and surveyed 3 districts in southern Nepal. Her questionnaire for this research was translated in Nepali and is in use by the Nepali non-governmental organization with whom she partnered for her study time.
Sister Elizabeth said the motivation of the women doing the volunteer interviews in the villages came from their own living with HIV and the painful stories of how they contracted the virus and resulting family rejections. After receiving her Master’s degree, Elizabeth was assigned to Nepal in June, 2006 where she was administrator of five mobile health clinics and a school program, all sponsored by the Godavari Alumni Association of Jesuit school graduates in Nepal. Sister Elizabeth left Nepal in 2009 to continue in mission in the United States. During 2011 she is joining an integrated health and nutrition project in the rural highlands of Haiti. Sister Elizabeth and another Maryknoll Sister are volunteering with the Medical Missionaries, a non-denominational group of health professionals founded to improve health care for the poorest of the poor around the world.
Sister Elizabeth’s most current mission has been in Haiti.