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EGAN U P DAT E FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY EGAN SCHOOL OF NURSING & HEALTH STUDIES | FALL 2020

EGAN UPDATE | FALL 2020 i


Message from the Dean

S “Regardless of the state of our nation, know that we will continue the great work of the Egan School, as I believe our faculty, staff, and students are an essential part of the solution to this crisis.”

ummers in academia are generally a quieter time. In June, we often catch up with reporting requirements and administration from the previous academic year. In Egan, we help prepare students for certification and licensure as well as transition them into new careers. July and August are usually used for teambuilding, vision setting and strategic planning. But the summer of 2020 brought a workload unprecedented in academia. We spent the month of June reflecting on the Covid19-related remote instruction to harness what worked and what needed to be improved upon. We implemented the START initiative (Stags Transition, Achieve, and Reflect Together) to mentor and coach student transition into the Covid-19 environment of care. Knowing the pandemic was far from over, July and August launched us into academic planning for the fall, 2020 semester. We manage this while grieving the tremendous loss of lives from the Covid-19 pandemic, knowing that many additional tragic deaths will follow. At this difficult time in our nation’s history, it is essential that we celebrate the many accomplishments of our faculty, staff, and students. This past spring, we successfully pivoted to virtual learning with the use of our faculty and staff expertise in simulation and telehealth. This allowed the Egan School to graduate almost 250 undergraduate and graduate students into professional nursing and healthcare careers including our first three Public Health students. We developed four new advanced degree programs, including the Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition (DCN) program, the first doctoral program in the nation under the new Future Education Model (FEM) Standards. Egan also developed a new master’s degree in healthcare administration (MHA), a dual degree Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration (MSN/MBA) program, and a new Master’s Entry to Practice Nursing (MEPN) program. In addition, Egan faculty have acquired positions on influential national boards and panels to ensure that the Fairfield vision and mission impact those we serve on the broadest possible scale. When I next write this update, I hope the Covid-19 pandemic will be mostly behind us. Regardless of the state of our nation, know that we will continue the great work of the Egan School, as I believe our faculty, staff, and students are an essential part of the solution to this crisis. On behalf of the entire faculty and staff of the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, I wish you and your families good health and safety. Sincerely yours,

Meredith Wallace Kazer PhD, APRN, FAAN Dean & Professor, Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies ii FAL L 2 02 0 | EGAN UPDATE

ON THE COVER:

The Egan School’s stunning design illuminates the night. Photo by Newman Architects

EGAN U P DAT E

Meredith Kazer, PhD, APRN, FAAN Dean and Professor of Nursing Audrey Beauvais, DNP, MBA, RN Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Associate Professor Suzanne Chaplik, PhD, MSN, RN Assistant Dean and Professor of Practice Joyce Shea, DNSc, APRN, PMHCNS-BC Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor Sara Colabella ’08, MA’11 Integrated Marketing Manager Nancy (Gelston) Dobos ’91 Designer Send Inquiries to: Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies Fairfield University 1073 North Benson Road Fairfield, CT 06824-5195 203-254-4000 fairfield.edu/egan


Contents

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Fairfield Egan Launches Innovative New Master’s and Doctoral Programs Simulation Shifts to Virtual Setting; Telehealth Initiatives Amidst Covid-19 Palliative Care Education Sets Egan Apart Stag Shields

Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Program Fairfield Egan Faculty Leads Efforts for Nursing Homes’ Covid-19 Response Faculty Newsbreakers

EGAN UPDATE | FALL 2020 1


EGAN SCHOOL FAST FACTS

CCNE Accredited

#1

Nursing Program in Connecticut College Factual

Society for Simulation in Healthcare Accredited

National League for Nursing Center of Excellence

100%

Employment Rate Six Months Post-Graduation

#1

Best College for Nursing in Connecticut Niche’s 2020 Best Colleges

7th

Nursing Program Nationally College Factual

$67,626 2 FAL L 2 02 0 | EGAN UPDATE

#3

Best Grad Nursing in Connecticut U.S. News & World Report

Average salary of class of 2019 graduates


INNOVATIVE NEW MASTER’S AND DOCTORAL PROGRAMS LAUNCHED

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Being well prepared to meet the challenges and ever-changing demands of any workplace starts with having innovative programs.

s a leader in healthcare education, Fairfield Egan has expanded its offerings to meet the rapidly evolving world of healthcare, sending students into the workforce prepared not only for a lightning pace of change, but also equipped with a breadth and depth of knowledge for a range of fields across the health care spectrum. Dean Meredith Kazer said “At this time in our history, the Egan School is called to develop professionals who demonstrate excellence across environments of care. With a recent emphasis on graduate education, we’ve spent the past several years reflecting upon how we can most effectively contribute to quality healthcare. Our new graduate programs will have a positive impact on ensuring ethical, safe access and provision of high quality, cost-effective care for patients and families worldwide.” Kicking off the updates to the program offerings is the introduction of the Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition program, the first doctoral program in the nation under the new Future Education Model (FEM) Standards. The program will prepare graduates to become registered dietitian nutritionists with the advanced leadership skills necessary to assess, manage, and promote health and well-being in the community. Registered dietitian nutritionists provide services in a variety of settings including healthcare, business and industry,

LEFT: Fairfield Egan with the support of Fairfield Dolan developed the MHA and MSN/MBA programs to prepare students for a range of career options in healthcare and executive leadership positions in healthcare organizations. Photo by Cassidy Kristiansen

community/public health, education, research, government agencies, and private practice. Running alongside the addition of the clinical nutrition doctorate are several new programs on the graduate level. The Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA) program gives students the knowledge and experience to pursue a wide range of healthcare-related careers. The MHA program complements various fields of study, from nursing to science to business. Admission is open to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. Another innovative new graduate program is the Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration (MSN/ MBA) dual degree program. Developed by Fairfield Egan with the support of Fairfield Dolan, the program offers students the skills required for executive leadership positions in healthcare organizations. This dual degree, the first at Fairfield University, provides registered nurses with the ability to earn two master’s degrees at once, allowing students to compete amid the growing employment demand in the healthcare field. According to Director and Associate Professor of Nursing Sally Gerard, DNP, RN, CNL, CDE, “Strong academic preparation for healthcare leaders has never been more vital than it is today. The excellence of these two schools at Fairfield University, coupled with the skill acquisition through community partnerships is powerful. The MSN/MBA dual degree E can propel nursing leaders to a new career platform.” l

For a full listing of graduate programs, visit fairfield.edu/gradnursing.

EGAN UPDATE | FALL 2020 3


“As we transitioned to virtual learning, the faculty was able to use previously recorded sessions to help students achieve the same objectives as they would have in the Simulation Center.�

Susan Reynolds, RN, BSN, MAHSM Director of Simulation

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Simulation Shifts to Virtual Setting Fairfield Egan faculty members shifted simulation learning to a virtual setting with speed and creativity after moving to remote learning.

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ollowing the shift to remote learning due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Fairfield Egan faculty members were quick to develop innovative ways to continue simulation teaching. Standardized patients — trained actors portraying patients with various diagnoses — remained an important part of instructing students in many courses, including the mental health courses and the family nurse practitioner program. Scenarios featuring standardized patient actors were retooled by faculty and held via Zoom using telehealth. That enabled students to sharpen their skills with the popular technologies that many healthcare providers have relied on during the pandemic. And that’s bound to come in handy, said Associate Professor Kathryn Phillips. “It allowed our students the opportunity to practice in the rapidly growing field of telehealth before moving into the clinical setting.” Case studies of former patients who were cared for by Egan students were also a valuable resource. Susan Reynolds, RN, BSN, MAHSM, director of Simulation, tapped into them to redesign a pediatric clinical that was scheduled to take place in a hospital and to give students an opportunity to care for “virtual” pediatric patients based on real patients. “It was treated like a typical clinical day except held via Zoom, where students received their patient assignment at 7 a.m.,” explained Reynolds. Throughout the seven-hour day, each student met online with faculty members to discuss head-to-toe assessments and provider orders. Another educational tool was the Egan School’s recorded scenarios featuring students learning from Egan’s high-fidelity simulators. Those recordings in turn helped current students

decipher best practices. “As we transitioned to virtual learning, the faculty was able to use previously recorded sessions to help students achieve the same objectives as they would have in the Simulation Center,” said Reynolds. Also engaging in virtual simulations were 29 students who had flown home from Ireland in the middle of their study abroad experience. With Associate Professor Linda Roney, EdD, RN-BC, CPEN, CNE, they watched videos of past students in the Egan School’s labs caring for patients, and worked with faculty to appraise the situations. Dr. Roney also taught nine senior nursing students fully online during their final hospital clinicals. There were memorable lessons for homebound students enrolled in the “Advanced Midwifery Management” course. Assistant Professor Christa Esposito, DNP, MSN, CNM, was able to assess their proficiency on resolving a shoulder dystocia (SD). Ordinarily, the simulator ‘Lucy’ allows for practice of this emergency when the baby’s head is delivered but a shoulder is stuck. “I assigned the students to record themselves managing an SD using a doll or stuffed animal and any household item that can ‘hold’ the baby as if in the vaginal canal,” said Dr. Esposito. “The innovative simulation gave the students the ability to practice E the skills and develop muscle memory for their future career.” l

FAIRFIELD LAUNCHES TELEHEALTH INITIATIVES AMIDST COVID-19 Last summer, Fairfield Egan was awarded a four-year grant of $2.64 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) program. Joyce Shea, DNSc, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, associate dean for graduate studies, and Jackie Conelius, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, program director for the Family Nurse Practitioner program, are coprincipal investigators for the project, called the Telehealth and Inter-Professional Practice (TIPP) program. When the pandemic hit, the healthcare landscape changed drastically and telehealth became more important than ever. With permission from HRSA, the grant expanded telehealth education to all FNP, PMHNP, and midwifery students to participate in an online certification program. Additionally, FNP and PMHNP students participated in multiple daylong telehealth simulation exercises where they assessed clients played by live actors. Fairfield Egan plans to host workshops during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semester to further enhance students’

LEFT: Assistant Professor Linda Roney (highlighted in green box), used Zoom video conferencing to check in with Egan School students after their study abroad experience in Ireland was curtailed by the Covid-19 outbreak.

telehealth knowledge and skills.

EGAN UPDATE | FALL 2020 5


“ Palliative care is now integrated into all our nursing courses and woven through simulation lab training. With this knowledge under their belts, Egan students graduate ahead of the game, and they’re more comfortable having the conversation with patients and families when it’s appropriate.”

Eileen O’Shea, DNP, APRN Professor and Director of the Kanarek Center

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PALLIATIVE CARE EDUCATION SETS EGAN APART Launched in 2017, the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care prepares students to provide holistic, patient-centered care in their future healthcare careers.

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he infant boy had been in cardiac intensive care since the day he was born. Now, four months later, he was on advanced life support with a breathing tube and failing kidneys. His skin was so fragile that he winced with pain whenever he was touched. It was just the kind of difficult and sensitive situation for which Jaclyn Di Yeso’18, BSN, RN, CPN, was well prepared. “I had been taking care of him all that time, and it was clear he was not going to get better. We needed to have a conversation with his parents about his death,” she recalled. “The family was very religious and didn’t want to take away anything that was keeping him alive, so we brought in their spiritual advisor and explained the reality to them while honoring their religious beliefs.” Eventually, the parents agreed to cease one of the child’s medications, leaving him to die a natural death with his family surrounding him. “If we hadn’t talked to the parents about palliative care, he would have coded, as he had done so many times before. It’s likely he would have died in an emergency situation, with no family present,” said Di Yeso, who has relied heavily on the end-of-life care education she received at the Egan School’s Kanarek Center for Palliative Care during her two years in the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit at Children’s National Hospital in D.C. Palliative care is comfort care that provides relief from physical and emotional pain during a serious or life-limiting illness. It can be initiated at diagnosis, during curative

treatment, and at the end of life. Unlike hospice care, it is often used in conjunction with active medical intervention. Since its inception in 2017, the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care, housed within the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, has focused on making palliative care education an essential part of the nursing curriculum. “Palliative care is now integrated into all our nursing courses and woven through simulation lab training,” explained Eileen O’Shea, DNP, APRN, professor and director of the Kanarek Center. “With this knowledge under their belts, Egan students graduate ahead of the game, and they’re more comfortable having the conversation with patients and families when it’s appropriate. This sets the Egan School apart from other schools that don’t offer classes in palliative care.” Di Yeso agreed. “Most nursing curriculums don’t add palliative care to their curriculums, and it’s a disservice,” she said. When the patient is able to have an honest conversation about their final goals and wishes, “they may choose a different path than the one they are on.” With the pandemic raging and ICUs full to bursting this past spring, Egan School graduates were plunged into scenarios that were understandably outside of their comfort range. Libby Harris-Jones ’18, for example, worked in the pediatric intensive care unit at Duke University Hospital. She had to pivot quickly to the adult intensive care unit – a very different patient group – when infections were at their peak in April. It was a tough time, she said. “Families couldn’t come into the unit. They had to

communicate with loved ones on iPads,” she recalled. “It’s very emotional, especially if the patient has suddenly become very ill and the family is not ready to lose that family member. Sometimes, you’re putting the patient through so much and you know it won’t do any good. My base of knowledge in palliative care means I’m not afraid to have these conversations with patients or with their families.” Although Duke and other hospitals often have palliative care teams, comprised of a doctor, nurse, social worker, and often a chaplain, “it’s the bedside nurse who is the one, continuous presence, both with patients and with their families,” said Dr. O’Shea. The palliative care team may be skillful, but talking about goals and wishes when curative care is no longer possible often falls to the bedside nurse. One of the benefits of receiving training in palliative care is that you realize it’s not negative, added Colleen Riley ’18, an oncology nurse at Yale-New Haven Hospital. “Some people I work with are fearful of having the conversation, but I see my palliative care training as a resource. I know how to start the discussion in a way that doesn’t frighten patients. It’s an added, positive factor that allows us to manage symptoms while continuing treatment, if that’s what the patient wants.” And that, said Dr. O’Shea, is the key. “Most of the public believes palliative care means giving up. But it’s really about honoring the patient’s goals and wishes, and often it’s the nurse who has to initiate that discussion. Doing so becomes easier the more it’s practiced, and that’s why the work of the E Kanarek Center is so helpful.” l EGAN UPDATE | FALL 2020 7


Stag Shields

A student-led community service outreach project produced PPE for hospitals, fire departments, and nursing homes nationwide.

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hen nursing student Caroline Smith ’21 heard the heartbreaking stories of healthcare professionals treating coronavirus patients without sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), she knew she had to do something. Smith, who was home in New Jersey following the University’s shift to remote learning, called her friend and fellow Stag Lilliana Delmonico ’20, a bioengineering major. She shared word of a friend in Maryland who was part of a group using 3D printers to develop masks and face shields. Soon, the two women were brainstorming ways to develop their own PPE for essential workers using the University’s 3D printers. With this goal in mind, they launched the Stag Shield Project, a student-led community service initiative. “We thought of the Jesuit mission to serve others and reflected on what we have learned at Fairfield to become a nurse and an engineer,” said Smith. It took perseverance to start the project during the early days of the pandemic, just after mandatory, shelter-at-home orders had been issued in the Northeast. Considering the crisis, they thought it would be impossible to have access to the 3D printers in the Bannow Science Center. But thanks to the support of former School of Engineering Dean Richard Heist and two friends still on

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campus, the plan moved forward. Computer engineering major Andrew Jobson ’20 and bioengineering major Evan Fair ’22 were unable to travel home due to coronavirus concerns and were given the green light by Dr. Heist to have sole access to the printers. “We went online and looked at a lot of face mask designs,” Smith recalled. “I put my healthcare mind with their engineering minds.” Her “nursing mind” led her to propose a design with a wider space behind the face shield to accommodate N95 masks or surgical masks under the shields. They came up with a plan to manufacture clear plastic PVC face shields, 3D printed headbands, and ‘ear savers.’ “We also printed the Fairfield logo on each face shield to let people know that we at the University are thinking of them,” Smith said. Meanwhile, the enthusiastic Egan School suggested helpful resources and people to contact. Fairfield Prep offered its ultraviolet chambers traditionally used to sterilize lab goggles while local company, InLine Plastics, donated clear plastic sheets for shield material. Within 24 hours of promoting the Stag Shield Project on social media, the students had made connections within the Yale-New Haven Health System and received orders. As of mid-July, the non-profit charitable initiative had donated more


“ I have been able to work on this project

with some of my very close Fairfield friends; this made me realize how special the Fairfield community really is. There is a constant desire to help others and really live out those Jesuit values of service for others.” Lilliana Delmonico ’20 than 3,300 shields to hospitals, nursing homes, and fire departments, including NewYork Presbyterian Hospital and the New Haven Fire Department. “It’s been really cool to be able to see the engineering side, but also as a nursing student to implement healthcare and the things I have learned in nursing school to make our shields the best for frontline workers,” said Smith. Describing her experience, Delmonico said “This project enlightened me in the kind of work I’d like to do — the kind of work that has an immediate impact on people’s lives. The kind of work that is fast paced, rewarding, and meaningful. I have been able to work on this project with some of my very close Fairfield friends; this made me realize how special the Fairfield community really is. There is a constant desire to help others S and really live out those Jesuit values of service for others.” l LEFT: (from top) The students manufactured unique clear plastic PVC face shields with 3D-printed headbands, custom-designed for use over an N95 or surgical mask; Nursing major Caroline Smith ’21 shared her healthcare knowledge with the engineers. RIGHT: Drew Jobson ’20 and Evan Fair ’22 3D-print PPE face shields to donate to health care workers.

Photos by Dean Richard Heist and Evan Fair ’22

EGAN UPDATE | FALL 2020 9


Alternative Paths to Nursing Careers • • • Fairfield Egan’s Second Bachelor’s in Nursing and Master’s Entry to Practice programs will teach you how to be a great nurse and a great leader.

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he accelerated second degree nursing program provides a unique opportunity for those with bachelor’s degrees in fields other than nursing to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree in an accelerated format. The 15-month program has attracted talented students from across the country who are looking to change their career paths and follow their calling to be nurses. Originally planning to go to law school, Kayla Mancusi ’20 also knew she wanted to someday be a nurse. “I’ve known for a while that I wanted to go into nursing, always telling family and friends that after 20 years in law, I was going to retire and go back to school to become a nurse. Funny enough, the night I was about to write and send my enrollment check to Albany Law School, I had a feeling in my gut telling me something wasn’t right. That was the moment I knew I was meant to go into nursing right away and have not looked back since!” Since launching in 1992, the accelerated second degree program has grown substantially and is highly sought after as an alternate route to the nursing profession. It is designed to draw on students’ prior education and experience, which serves as a foundation for nursing courses and helps to develop the social awareness, critical thinking skills, aesthetic sensibility and values to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX). Consistent with the Egan School’s mission, the program empowers students to become healthcare leaders and improve health outcomes globally. “The longevity of the accelerated second degree program has brought with it changes to address the complexity and challenges for nursing and nursing education in the 21st century. Our program is noted for excellence in education

and consistent one-on-one personal advisement and mentoring,” said program director and assistant professor of nursing Carole Pomarico, MSN, MA, RN. The program also received a $650,000 grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust, which will fund student scholarships. This year, Fairfield Egan will launch the Master’s Entry to Practice Nursing (MEPN) program, a master’s degree option to prepare advanced generalists in the clinical setting. The MEPN program is intended to attract notably qualified candidates that already have a baccalaureate degree in another discipline and wish to advance their education without having to complete an additional bachelor’s degree. At the completion of this program, students will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX to become a registered nurse. MEPN programs are newer but are increasing in popularity and success. Recently approved by the Connecticut State Board of Nurse Examiners, the MEPN is the first such program in the state of Connecticut to prepare advanced generalists for registered nursing practice and leadership. The MEPN program will admit its first class of students in May 2021. Graduating this August, Mancusi feels prepared to start her career with a goal of becoming a pediatric nurse. “Considering this program is only 15 months for a four year bachelor’s degree, the faculty did a great job at not only teaching the material in a concise and clear way, but also made themselves available through office hours, video-calling, or staying after class to discuss material/ concepts, skills, or just checking in on how we were doing. I can also confidently say I am not only prepared to go into the nursing field with a great education and experiences behind me, but also with amazing friends who all have different backgrounds that we have been able to share with E each other.” l

“ The longevity of the accelerated second

degree program has brought with it changes to address the complexity and challenges for nursing and nursing education in the 21st century. Our program is noted for excellence in education and consistent one on one personal advisement and mentoring.”

Eileen O’Shea, DNP, APRN Professor and Director of the Kanarek Center

LEFT: Second degree students strike a pose outside their clinical. Contributed by Kayla Mancusi ’20 ABOVE: Kayla Mancusi ’20 during a

clinical shift.

Learn more at fairfield.edu/seconddegree EGAN UPDATE | FALL 2020 11


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FAIRFIELD EGAN FACULTY LEADS STATE AND NATIONAL EFFORTS FOR NURSING HOMES’ COVID-19 RESPONSE Alison Kris, PhD, RN, FGSA, is leading the way with a group of concerned experts in gerontology and end-of-life care across the state and nation, to develop critical policy recommendations and guidelines for nursing homes in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

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y the end of July 2020, the Connecticut Post was reporting that deaths related to Covid-19 in Connecticut nursing homes and assisted living facilities represented more than 73 percent of the total deaths linked to the pandemic statewide. According to cumulative data reported to the state’s Department of Public Health, 2,849 Connecticut nursing home residents had died of the virus. As these startling numbers were reported, a group of concerned experts — in gerontology, end-of-life care, and the quality of life in long-term care institutions across the state — led by Fairfield University Associate Professor Alison Kris PhD, RN, FGSA, with Quinnipiac University nursing colleague Sheila Molony, PhD, APRN, GNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN, and Yale University’s Dena Schulman-Green, PhD, were busy making policy recommendations to prevent further widespread death, suffering, and trauma for vulnerable nursing home residents, their families, and the facilities’ staffs.

TARGETED RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CONNECTICUT NURSING HOMES INCLUDE: • comprehensive, widespread testing of all nursing home residents, staff, and visitors; • priority distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as nursing homes continue to struggle to access supplies, including N95 masks and gowns; • increased staffing to provide adequate care for Covid-19 positive patients, whose needs exceed usual care standards, as well as compensation for high levels of staff absenteeism due to illness; • and focus on comprehensive palliative care, in response to depression and loneliness that patients suffer because of visitation restrictions, through provision of adequate PPE for visiting family members and chaplains.

Continued on next page

EGAN UPDATE | FALL 2020 13


“We must act now to mitigate the unprecedented national tragedy unfolding in our nursing homes. A measure of a country’s morality is how it treats its elderly citizens. We cannot fail in this obligation.”

Alison Kris, PhD, RN, FGSA Associate Professor

ABOVE: Dr. Alison Kris partnered with a group of concerned experts in gerontology and end-of-life care across the state and nation, to develop critical policy recommendations and guidelines for nursing homes in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Media Center

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“We must act now to mitigate the unprecedented national tragedy unfolding in our nursing homes,” Dr. Kris said. “A measure of a country’s morality is how it treats its elderly citizens. We cannot fail in this obligation.” In the early days of the Covid-19 crisis, Dr. Kris pointed out that hospitals were the initial focus and received PPE shipments, extra nursing support, and test kits, which resulted in fewer resources for nursing homes. At a summer press conference hosted by Connecticut Association of Healthcare Facilities and Leading Age Connecticut, she said, “The focus now needs to shift to long-term care institutions as they begin to work with more and more residents who are also battling this disease.” She underscored how critical staffing, PPE, and testing are. “Early on, once a patient was in the disease state, we

quarantined them and no families would be allowed in or out. Now, we are endorsing a switch, where we can hopefully allow visitors in — chaplains and families — but in order for that to happen they need to have PPE and we need more widespread testing.” With the support of groups such as Connecticut Coalition of End of Life Care, the Connecticut Association of Healthcare Facilities, and Leading Age Connecticut, Dr. Kris said the initiative gained traction in states such as Utah, which was among the first to use their policy recommendations as guidance. At the end of August, Connecticut’s Department of Public Health issued an order expanding and clarifying the parameters for nursing home and long-term facility visitation. Visits had been prohibited since March, except for compassionate care visits in cases where a resident was in the end stages of life. Maired Painter, the state’s long-term care ombudsman, acknowledged, “…the risks related to the Covid-19 pandemic go well beyond being diagnosed with the virus. Residents not only require high-quality person-centered medical care, but it is also essential their social and E emotional needs are met.” l


FACULTY NEWSBREAKERS Associate Dean Audrey Beauvais, DNP, MBA, RN was awarded first place in the AJN Book of the Year Awards in the Nursing Management and Leadership category for her book, Leadership and Management Competence in Nursing Practice. Associate Professor of Nursing Sally Gerard, DNP, RN, CDE, CNL, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Health Deborah List, PhD were awarded continuation of funding for the Public/ Population Health Learning Hub by AACN. Associate Professor Linda Roney, EdD, RN-BC, CPEN, CNE was interviewed for the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation website’s blog, (#healthynurse Spotlight) and discussed incorporating wellness with nursing students and the holistic and self-care retreat coordinated last year. Assistant Professor Tanika Eaves Simpson, PhD, MSW was appointed to the Task Force on Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Developmental Neuroscience, a collaborative project between the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the Erikson Institute, funded by the Irving Harris Foundation. Associate Professor Cynthia Bautista, PhD, RN, APRN, CNRN, FNCS was elected director-at-large for the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses.

Drs. Linda Roney and Amanda HarperLeatherman, who published a book chapter, made a national podium presentation and now have shared the specific strategies of their forensic nursing research project as a QSEN teaching strategy that will be published online in an open-access format. Associate Professor Jenna LoGiudice, PhD, CNM, RN was appointed education consulting editor for the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health ( JMWH) for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2020. Associate Professor Jessica Planas, PhD, RN, MPH, CHES was selected to receive the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region award to fund her project, “Empowering Youth to Access Reliable Health Information.” Associate Professors Alison Kris, PhD, RN, FGSA and Jessica Planas, PhD, RN, MPH, CHES earned sabbatical leaves and Assistant Professor Christa Esposito earned a pre-tenure leave during the 2020-2021 academic year.

RIGHT: (from top) Dr. Roney leads a simulation with students; The cuttingedge simulation labs provide nursing students exposure to realistic experiences through the use of technology and professional actors.

Photos by Cassidy Kristiansen & Media Center

EGAN UPDATE | FALL 2020 15


WELCOME NEW FACULTY Christine Aloi ’12, DNP’19 Simulation Coordinator & DNP Advisor for the Nurse Anesthesia Program Christine Aloi is currently the simulation coordinator and doctorate of nursing practice advisor to the nurse anesthesia program at the Egan School. A graduate of Fairfield University, she specializes as a staff certified registered nurse anesthetist and serves as a clinical preceptor to registered student nurses at Bridgeport Hospital. Christine Denhup, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC Associate Professor of Nursing Christine Denhup joined the Egan School as an associate professor of nursing. She received her PhD at the College of Nursing at Seton Hall University. Her research focuses on parental bereavement, palliative care, and pediatrics. Prior to coming to Fairfield, she served as an associate professor at Southern Connecticut State University. Mackenzie Gordon, MS, RDN, CD-N Visiting Assistant Professor for Clinical Nutrition Mackenzie Gordon is a registered licensed dietitian/nutritionist. She has extensive experience in clinical nutrition, and has served as a dietitian in the clinical and private setting. She now serves as Fairfield University’s district campus dietitian where she provides nutritional counseling, sports nutrition presentations, and allergy accommodations for students.

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Christine Aloi

Christine Denhup

Patricia Giannelli

Patricia Giannelli, DNP, APRN-BC, PMHCNS-BC, ACNS-BC VA Nursing Faculty Patricia Giannelli has a bachelor of arts in psychology from Fairfield University in addition to a doctorate in nursing practice from Sacred Heart University and a master of science in nursing, psychiatric consultation liaison nursing from Yale University. Her expertise areas include acute care, complex health issues, preventative healthcare, elder care, psychiatry, neurology, and interprofessional healthcare delivery. In addition to teaching, she is an advanced practice registered nurse in the neuroscience division at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Stephanie Welsh, CNM, DNP Clinical Midwifery Faculty Specialist Stephanie Welsh holds a BS in communications from Syracuse University, a master of science in nursing from Yale School of Nursing, and a doctor of nursing practice from UConn School of Nursing. She has been a certified nurse-midwife in full-scope practice at Mansfield Ob/Gyn since 2003, and a clinical instructor for most of her career for several schools of nursing, including Fairfield, Georgetown, UConn and Yale.

Mackenzie Gordon

Stephanie Welsh

She currently serves as vice president for the Connecticut affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and sits on several public health and women’s health advocacy committees. Dr. Welsh worked as a photojournalist until 1999, when she left journalism to pursue a career in midwifery. Her journalism honors include the 1996 Pulitzer Prize in feature photography. She has photographs in the permanent collections of The Richard F. Brush Art Gallery at St Lawrence University and The Newseum in Washington, D.C. She has lectured widely on issues of women’s health, violence against women, and about the social, physical, and psychological consequences of female genital cutting. Her current research interests include newborn placental transfusion, waterbirth, and midwifery workforce issues.

RIGHT: Students engaging in a simulation. BACK COVER: Students meeting in the atrium outside of the Kanarek Center in the new Egan School.

Photos by Cassidy Kristiansen & Newman Architects


Consistent with the mission of Fairfield University to develop men and women for others, the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies inspires students to become leaders in healthcare. These students are actively engaged with faculty in practice, research, scholarship and service. As a Jesuit institution, a central focus of our care is to improve health outcomes with particular attention given to the needs of the underserved or vulnerable populations.

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1073 North Benson Road Fairfield, Connecticut 06824-5195

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Egan Update 2020  

Egan Update 2020  

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