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November 2020

FAU Awarded $5.3 Million to Detect Cognitive Change in Older Drivers

About 33 percent of older adults with dementia are thought to be active drivers, and 50 percent are estimated to continue driving for up to three years post diagnosis. Drivers with dementia often have difficulty checking and changing lanes, merging, making left turns, signaling to park or following routes. 

A team of researchers from FAU's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, in collaboration with the College of Engineering and Computer Science and Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, received a five-year, $5.3 million R01 grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health for a project titled "In-vehicle Sensors to Detect Cognitive Change in Older Drivers." This grant will enable researchers to test and evaluate a readily and rapidly available, unobtrusive in-vehicle sensing system, which could provide the first step toward future widespread, low-cost early warnings of cognitive change for this large number of older drivers in the United States. 

“There is a critical need to examine how these technologies used within vehicles could help detect abnormal driving behavior that may be attributed to cognitive impairment,” said Dr. Ruth Tappen, R.N., FAAN, Principal Investigator, an expert gerontologist with extensive experience in dementia research and a Professor and Christine E. Lynn Eminent Scholar in FAU’s College of Nursing.

“This research being led by Drs. Tappen and Newman and a highly-qualified interdisciplinary team is incredibly cutting-edge. It has the potential to shift the paradigm in cognitive evaluation of older adults to facilitate earlier detection of cognitive decline or changes that have real-world application and public health or societal risks associated, including driving safety,” said Dr. Safiya George, Dean of the College of Nursing. “What is equally impressive is use of an advanced, multimodal approach that involves the development of novel driving sensors and integration of data from a battery of cognitive function tests, eye tracking and driving behaviors and factors. I am beyond proud of the team and excited about the project's potential to advance the science in this area and field.”

The research project team from the College of Nursing includes Dr. David Newman, Co-Principal Investigator and Associate Professor and Statistician, and Dr. María de los Ángeles Ordóñez, APRN, Associate Professor and Director of FAU’s Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center. For more information on this grant, click here.

College Awarded Grant to Study Use of Medical Marijuana for Older Adults with Chronic Pain

Florida's population that is 60 and older is growing rapidly. Among this group, musculoskeletal disorders with associated chronic pain are common, and symptom management can be challenging.  Medications to relieve these symptoms, especially opioids, can increase the risk of confusion, falls and injury, and more. Older adult use of medical marijuana for pain management is increasing more quickly than it is in younger age groups.
Chronic pain is a major public health problem experienced by 10% of the population, costing $100 billion annually. In Florida, chronic non-malignant pain was the number one reason for medical marijuana use even though there is little evidence to evaluate the health impact associated with medical marijuana.

Drs. David Newman, Deb D'Avoilio and Lenny Chiang-Hanisko received funding from the Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research for their project, "Assessing and Supporting Effective and Safe Use of Medical Marijuana for Older Adults with Chronic Pain." The purpose of this project is to identify what older adults need to effectively and safely use medical marijuana, and to identify what age appropriate, evidence-based education is required. This project will be one of the first to provide the critical data needed to identify current use and develop educational needs for older adults about medical marijuana’s potential benefits and side effects. It will provide evidence to guide policy for clinical practice and education related to the safe use of medical marijuana among older adults.

Memory and Wellness Center Hosts Virtual SPA Day

At the Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center, the Self-Preservation Activities (SPA) program is designed to inform family caregivers about a variety of issues and resources associated with caring for a loved one with a memory disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. The Center's goal is to provide a core grouping of educational topics to prepare caregivers for the future, as well as assist them in coping with their daily caregiving challenges. The SPA topics vary each month depending on the needs, interests and input of caregivers. Please join the Center for its upcoming Virtual SPA Day for family caregivers in November. The date and time are to be determined. For more information, to be added to the contact list, receive updates, or join one of the support groups, call 561-297-0502 or email Join us and stay informed!

Caring through COVID-19: Caring for Self

In response to unprecedented changes in our personal and professional lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Nursing, through the Initiative for Intentional Health, is offering a "Caring for Self During a Pandemic" series. Using pre-recorded video presentations, College faculty offer ideas and strategies to help students, faculty and staff explore healing of the mind, body and spirit. The series is accessed through the Initiative for Intentional Health website and will include a variety of topics, including Food as Health Care, Living with Stress and Worry, Creating a Sleep Sanctuary, and more. A new module will be available every two weeks through the beginning of the spring semester. Special thanks to co-directors of the initiative, Drs. Nancey France and Shirley Gordon, and to Drs. Sareen Gropper and Rhonda Goodman for helping to launch the series.

Student News

Congratulations to Mary Doan, a senior in the College's Freshmen Direct Admit program, who was awarded the AACN Critical Care Nursing Student Scholarship from the National Student Nurses Association Foundation. Mary is also the recipient of the Ruth Finamore Scholarship from the Florida Nurses Foundation. Well done!
Congratulations to Alaiya Dewji, who received the FAU Student Government Volunteer of the Year Award. Well done!
Nurses Advocating for Peace and Safety recently hosted Special Agent Katina Hernandez to discuss the human trafficking crisis in South Florida. In addition, she discussed the impact nurses have on the prosecution of certain criminals.
Since 1960, there has been a clear trend of increasing the number of male nurses. As stigma fades, we expect the proportion of male nurses to continue to rise. In November, the Student Nurses Association will celebrate men in nursing and their contributions to the nursing profession. 
Sigma Iota XI Chapter-at-Large is participating in a Thanksgiving service project and requesting donations of food gift cards for Village Academy families. Due to COVID-19, no food items are accepted. The deadline for the gift card donation is Nov. 20. The gift cards may be place under the doors of Dr. Donna Linette (Room 353) or Dr. Charlotte Barry (Room 346) at the College. You may also mail the gift card to FAU's College of Nursing, Office 346; 777 Glades Road; Boca Raton, FL 33431. If contributing, please delineate if it is for the Thanksgiving or Holiday service project.
As part of a holiday service project, Sigma Iota XI Chapter-at-Large is collecting gift cards to help a family in need from the Child Aids Club. The deadline for the gift card donation is Nov. 10 to provide time to shop for families. The gift cards may be placed under the doors of Dr. Donna Linette (Room 353) or Dr. Charlotte Barry (Room 346) at the College. You may also mail the gift card to FAU's College of Nursing, Office 346; 777 Glades Road; Boca Raton, FL 33431. If contributing, please delineate if it is for the Thanksgiving or Holiday service project.

Faculty & Staff Spotlight

Due to social distancing, people need their pets now more than ever, especially those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or dementia (ADRD). As part of the  series "Virtual Research in Action," hosted by FAU's Division of Research, Dr. Lisa Wiese discussed research conducted by faculty and students focused on adults with ADRD and their interaction with robotic cats. She also addressed the benefits of pet therapy, challenges adults with ADRD face during COVID-19, and more.
The College welcomes students from Thammasat University, Thailand every year. This year, as part of a virtual, six-week program, five PhD candidates from Thammasat University will work with faculty to learn more about caring-based education and research. Thank you to Drs. Beth King, Debra Hain, Dawn Hawthorne, Howard Butcher and Dean Safiya George for lending their expertise as co-advisors for these students.

News & Events

Carrol Gubana was nominated and approved by a board vote to serve as Vice Chair of the College of Nursing Advisory Board. She is a committed and hard-working board member. We congratulate her as she accepts this new role.
The College held a virtual reception for its Lamplighters and the students they support through scholarships. Lamplighter gifts provide books, stethoscopes and supplies to first-year students. Thank you, Lamplighters, for your support of the College's nursing students.
Thank you to all those who joined the College for its White Coat Ceremony, celebrating and installing the Second Degree Part-Time Working Professionals BSN Track nursing students at FAU's Davie campus. The White Coat Ceremony instills a commitment to provide compassionate care among future health professionals. 
Save the Date: The College will host Convocation on November 13 at 5 p.m. Convocation is a time of welcoming and celebrating the beginning of a new academic year. The celebration recognizes the College’s most outstanding faculty and students. With eloquent words of advice from distinguished faculty, students and speakers, convocation is a memorable and exciting opportunity to connect with one another at the College.
Save the Date: In collaboration with community partners, the College will host "CAPE-V Veterans Day Celebration: Honoring Nurse Veterans" on November 10, from 7-8 p.m. EST. The keynote speaker is Mary Jo McConnell, Captain (Ret.) U.S. Army Nurse Corps, a proud veteran, who in response to the pandemic co-founded the Veterans Arts Workshop-Online Portal (VAW-OP), which offers free virtual classes in arts/mindfulness for veterans and their families. She also co-developed and facilitates "Veteran Voices" supporting veterans in telling their stories. Register here.
Have you received your flu shot? FAU Student Health Services offers the flu vaccine to the FAU community. Make an appointment, and bring an ID and insurance card. If you do not have insurance, you may be eligible for a no-cost vaccine. Find more information here. Contact Student Health Services at 561-297-3512 for additional details.
Dr. Brown-King is collecting food donations for children on behalf of The Food Pantry. If you are interested in donating, please bring your donations to the southwest corner of the Tamarac Library, 8701 West Commercial Blvd., Tamarac, on Nov. 16, from noon to 2 p.m. You may also deliver the items directly to The Food Pantry, located at 610 NE 3rd Ave., Ft. Lauderdale. Suggested items include macaroni and cheese, cereal, fruit cups, granola bars, pasta and sauce, juice, water, apple sauce, chips and canned beans. 
FAU will be closed for Thanksgiving Break on November 26 & 27. 
In the News: How Dogs Can Benefit Your Mental Health (Discover) 
In the News: Walking Shelter Dogs to Reduce PTSD (American Institute of Stress
FAU Community Health Center
Louis and Anne Green Memory & Wellness Center
Copyright © 2020 Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, All rights reserved.

Contact Us:
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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