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June 2021

FAU/NCHA Community Health Center Receives HRSA Federal Designation

The Florida Atlantic University/Northwest Community Health Alliance Community Health Center, operated by FAU's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, is the first university community health center in Florida to be designated by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration as a "Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alike," effective May 1. This designation allows the center to expand and enhance the services it provides to the community.

To receive an FQHC Look-Alike designation, organizations must operate and provide services consistent with HRSA’s Health Center Program requirements to ensure health care for underserved communities and vulnerable populations in the U.S. through service provision to all, regardless of ability to pay. Health Center Program look-alikes improve the health of underserved communities and vulnerable populations by expanding access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services.

“Receiving this important designation from the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration is the result of the tireless efforts of our nurse-led Community Health Center’s staff and leadership team, including our executive director Dr. Kay Edwards, and our nursing faculty who are all dedicated to providing lifesaving health care and services to underserved populations in Palm Beach County. Our Community Health Center is an invaluable resource in the community and provides patient-centered care by an outstanding interdisciplinary team of professionals that include nurse practitioners, physicians, psychiatrists, social workers, medical assistants and others,” said College of Nursing Dean Safiya George.

“The need for comprehensive health care services and outreach programs in Palm Beach County’s underserved communities is immense,” said Dr. Karethy Edwards, Community Health Center Executive Director and Associate Dean of Academic Programs. “Almost one quarter of the population who reside in the areas we serve is uninsured and often seek care in emergency rooms because they do not have an alternative. Many of them have high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and other chronic health conditions, and also suffer from depression and anxiety disorders. When taken into account with the surging cost of health care and related services, this is a challenging issue for our communities in need. Fortunately, our FAU/NCHA Community Health Center is poised to help address these challenges."

For more information on the look-alike designation or community health center, click here.

Melissa Durbin Inducted into the FAU Alumni Association Hall of Fame

The FAU Alumni Association recently hosted its annual Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni ceremony and reception. The event brought together alumni to celebrate the accomplishments of their most outstanding peers. Alumni from seven of FAU's colleges were honored, including Melissa Durbin, B.S.N. '96, M.S. '12, a graduate of FAU's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, who was introduced as a 2021 inductee into the FAUAA Hall of Fame.

Melissa Durbin is Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. She joined Boca Raton Regional Hospital in 2006 as Executive Director of the Lynn Heart and Vascular Institute. Melissa obtained her undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees from FAU’s College of Nursing with a focus on administrative finance and nursing leadership.

Melissa is a member of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing advisory board, the Past President of the Nursing Consortium of South Florida and the Past President of the South Florida Organization of Nurse Executives. Previously, Melissa served as the Director of Trauma and Critical Care Services at Delray Medical Center. She was responsible for the administrative trauma service functions as well as the clinical operations of the Level II trauma service. She actively participated in county and state initiatives for access to trauma care.

For more information, click here.

Protect Your Owl Family

As FAU approaches a return to full operations, several updates have been shared with the university community. 

Due to changes in guidance by the State University System (SUS) of Florida Board of Governors, FAU’s health and safety policies regarding face coverings have been updated. Effective immediately, wearing of face coverings is now recommended, not required, when indoors. 

The SUS also announced all universities will return to pre-COVID-19 operations by the 2021-22 academic year. A return to full in-person participation in athletic and social activities on all campuses, including fan participation in stadiums and arenas, is anticipated. 

All members of the university community are strongly encouraged to Protect Your Owl Family and get vaccinated against COVID-19. The federal government and the State of Florida have vaccine distribution centers available throughout FAU’s service areas. 

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as outlined in the FAU Health and Safety Plan, will help limit COVID-19 on our campuses, as well as in our local communities. Visit the FAU coronavirus website for additional information. General questions related to the COVID-19 situation should be directed to

Q&A with College Advisory Board Member Margaret Mary Shuff

What inspired you to get involved and support FAU's College of Nursing?

In 1980, my husband, John, was in a wheelchair with multiple sclerosis. Nurses had been his lifeline so many times as he went in and out of hospitals, and while he recovered at home. I gained so much respect for caretakers and nurses, especially during that time. So, when my longtime friend, Joan Wargo, suggested I join the FAU Nursing advisory board, it seemed like a genuine fit. I’m so happy to be a part of this vital organization. 

What do you admire most about the College's students?

The College’s student body represents our community. There are men and women of all ages and from all backgrounds, who are curious and passionate about their chosen profession. The College accepts the best and brightest, so they are very impressive individuals.

What is your hope for the future of the College?

I hope the College will be able to grow in size so it can educate even more nurses for our growing community. More than ever, we need skilled and dedicated nurses who truly care for those with health concerns.

Would you share about your professional and personal interests?

My husband and I moved to Boca Raton and established our business in 1980. Boca Raton was primed to grow, so with Johns‘ media background, we started Boca Raton Magazine, and today have eight award-winning magazines between here and Utah. Boca has been a great place to live, work, play and raise a family.  It has gone from a sleepy, quiet, little town to a bustling sophisticated city.

Student News

FAU's College of Nursing held its virtual pinning and awards ceremony. For a list of awards and winners, click here. Congratulations, Nursing Owls!
Congratulations to Candace Zamoski, recipient of the Johnson & Johnson Our Race to Health Equity Diversity Nursing Scholarship from the Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association.

Faculty & Staff Spotlight

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Broward County's official public/private partnership for economic development, selects a World Class Faculty Award honoree each year. The 2021 honoree is Dr. Ruth M. Tappen, Christine E. Lynn Eminent Scholar and Professor. She was honored on May 21 at the Alliance Mid-Year Meeting. 
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel honored Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello during its inaugural Celebrating Nurses Awards event, held as part of Nurses Week 2021.
The National Institute on Aging encourages people recently diagnosed with a serious illness, such as Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias, to examine and update their financial and health care arrangements. The Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center is now conducting research on advanced care planning, with the intention of educating and facilitating these vital steps in the lives of older adults. The title of this project is "Opening and Sustaining Loving, Caring Conversations on Advance Care Planning for Patients and Families Living with Alzheimer’s Disease." To learn more, contact 561-297-0502 or
The College hosted its inaugural Staff Awards for Excellence as part of its annual joint faculty/staff assembly. Congratulations to Valentine Etienne, Collaborative Staff Award; Javaris Hammond and Alice Miehl, Above and Beyond Staff Award; and Colleen Alcantara-Slocombe, Most Caring Colleague. 
We express our gratitude to several faculty and staff who are pursuing new professional and personal paths. Thank you to Alison Heim, Dr. Donna Linette, Gail Sullivan and Dr. Teresa Sakraida, for your service to the College. 

News & Events

Save the Date: The annual Anne Boykin Institute Summer Academy will be held virtually on June 7 and 8. This year’s Academy is titled Caring Based Leadership in Healthcare. The guest artists-in-residence are the Synergy Twins, nationally-known artists who play electronic violins. Cost of the academy is $100, and registration is limited.
FAU's Division of Research recently hosted "How Puppy Love Empowers Veterans," a panel discussion featuring Drs. Cheryl Krause-Parello and Beth Pratt, Juliana Moreno and David Hibler, discussing the health benefits of canine assistance for veterans through Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (C-P.A.W.W.).
Dr. Barbara K. Charbonneau-Dahlen, a graduate of the College's Ph.D. program, passed away on May 7. She was the 15th American Indian in the U.S. to earn a doctorate in nursing. Learn more about Dr. Dahlen's life, work and research here.
FAU/NCHA Community  Health Center Receives HRSA Federal Designation (FAU Office of the President)
Salute to Nursing (South Florida Hospital News)
Mechanical kitties, a source of comfort and joy (Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls Press)
FAU Honors 2021 Hall of Fame Inductees along with Distinguished Alumni (The Boca Raton Tribune)
FAU/NCHA Community Health Center First University in Florida to Receive HRSA Designation (South Florida Hospital News)
Join the FAU Nursing faculty: Explore the roles of Associate Dean of Research and Professor, and Assistant Professor - Practice Teaching Track (Davie campus).
FAU Community Health Center
Louis and Anne Green Memory & Wellness Center
Copyright © 2021 Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, All rights reserved.

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777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431

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FAU College of Nursing · 777 Glades Rd · Boca Raton, FL 33431-6424 · USA

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