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August 2021

Message from the Dean: Welcome Back, Nursing Owls!


What an exciting time for our College, as faculty and staff prepare for the new academic year and welcome students back to campus. The Fall 2021 semester will officially kick off on Saturday, August 21. 

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past nearly 18 months tested all of us. We learned to navigate complexities and pivot to overcome a variety of personal, academic and professional obstacles. It is our strength and resilience as nursing students and nursing professionals that will continue to carry us through these challenging times. 

The College has some of the most remarkable, caring and talented faculty, staff and students. I am so proud of your many accomplishments, especially during these trying times. I remain deeply committed to connecting and collaborating with all of you to help prepare our next generation of nurse leaders, further strengthen our community partnerships, and explore emerging academic and research opportunities.

As we return to the classroom, we will do our best to provide you with updated communications, as appropriate. We also ask you to communicate any questions or concerns to us. We can't wait to welcome you back -- See you soon!

Dr. Tarsha Jones Receives NIH K01 Grant for Breast Cancer Research


Racially and ethnically diverse young women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50, particularly Black and Hispanic/Latina women, suffer disproportionately from breast cancer health disparities and are under-represented in cancer genetics research.

Dr. Tarsha Jones, Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor, has received the National Institute of Health (NIH) K01 Career Development Award, a five-year, $772,525 award for a project titled, “Decision Support for Multigene Panel Testing and Family Risk Communication among Racially/Ethnically Diverse Young Breast Cancer Survivors.” 

The overall objective of Jones’ proposed study is to understand the experiences of racially/ethnically diverse young breast cancer survivors in South Florida and to improve health outcomes among this population. The award will support further development and testing of an innovative web-based intervention to improve multigene panel testing and cancer risk-reduction among racially and ethnically diverse young breast cancer survivors in South Florida and to promote family risk communication among their at-risk family members. 

“Genetic testing for cancer susceptibility genes should be a priority for all young breast cancer patients regardless of race,” said Jones. “I am excited to receive this K01 award from the National Cancer Institute, which will enable me to advance my research skills and to become a leading independent investigator in cancer prevention and control.” 

Upon successful completion of the project, Jones’ contributions will add to the elucidation of factors that impact completion of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer multigene panel testing among diverse young breast cancer patients in South Florida, as well as efficacy of a behavioral intervention for increasing multigene panel testing, cancer risk-reduction, and family risk communication.

For more information, click here.

Boca Helping Hands Partners with FAU Nursing to Provide Healthcare Services


Boca Helping Hands (BHH) is partnering with FAU's College of Nursing to provide more people in West Palm Beach with healthcare services at the FAU/Northwest Community Health Alliance Community Health Center. Boca Helping Hands will help fund the cost of serving uninsured individuals by providing vouchers for primary care and behavioral healthcare visits at the two clinics, expanding access to these needed services. 

The neighborhoods near FAU’s two Community Health Centers in West Palm Beach are comprised predominantly of Black and Hispanic residents who live below 200% of the federal poverty level. Many of these residents have chronic health conditions and low levels of health education, factors which also made them some of the most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The communities were two of the areas most brutally hit in Palm Beach County, both in the rate of cases and deaths. 

People in poverty often lack the health literacy and access to resources needed to develop sustained care partnerships essential for their long-term health and well-being. FAU’s Community Health Centers are strategically located in these medically underserved areas. Becoming embedded in the community and through collaborations with additional neighborhood partners, such as local churches, the clinics engender trust with prospective patients and are better able to communicate the need for preemptive health assessments.

For assistance with healthcare services, please call 561-803-8880 to receive a voucher and make an appointment with the FAU Community Health Centers in West Palm Beach. Click here for more information.

Q&A with College Advisory Board Member Beth Johnston


What inspired you to get involved and support FAU’s College of Nursing?
I have always had a general interest in supporting health education. When nurses obtain their licensure and board certification, one of my goals is to make sure they know of the variety of nursing paths they can take as part of their professional journey.

What do you admire most about the College?
I admire the professionalism exhibited by Dean George and her team. They have been instrumental in recognizing the current state of healthcare and adapting the College’s nursing programs for those challenges and opportunities.

What is your hope for the future of the College?
There is a nursing shortage that is predicted to last well into the future. I would like to see the College expand its programs and enrollment to allow additional students to obtain a nursing degree. We need more nurses.

Would you share about your professional and personal interests?
Our family has called South Florida home for 25 years. My daughters basically grew up here after we moved to Delray Beach from New Jersey when they were very young.  I truly appreciate my career at Florida Blue, where I serve as Senior Director Regional Business Development. I am passionate about individuals understanding they need to play a role in their health.  After all, it is “healthcare” not “un-healthycare.”  My oldest daughter, Clare, received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from FAU’s College of Nursing, so my appreciation for the nursing profession runs deep. 

Student News

As FAU approaches a return to full operations and in-person classes, several updates have been shared with the university community. All members of the university community are strongly encouraged to Protect Your Owl Family and get vaccinated against COVID-19. Visit the FAU coronavirus website for additional information. Questions should be directed to FAUCOVID19@fau.edu
Congratulations to Drs. May Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Adenmosun for the successful defense of their dissertations. Dr. Rosenzweig's dissertation focused on "The effects of vignettes about dementia on stigma and attitudes toward dementia among ethnically and racially diverse older adults in South Florida." Her dissertation committee included Drs. Debra Hain (Chair), Lenny Chiang-Hanisko, and Luz Restrepo. Dr. Adenmosun's dissertation was on "The Knowledge of and Attitudes Towards Sexual Risk Behaviors among Nigerian American Adolescents." Committee members included Drs. Cynthia Archibald (Chair), Safiya George, and Mary Cameron. 

Faculty & Staff Spotlights

Dr. Ruth Tappen, Eminent Scholar and Professor, was inducted as a Sigma 2021 International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Honoree on July 22, based on the significant impact of her research on the nursing profession. Congratulations!
Dr. Shirley Gordon, Professor, is leading a team of researchers from FAU’s College of Nursing, FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and Florida Gulf Coast University in supporting a CDC study exploring the health impacts of blue-green algae bloom toxins in the air. Does breathing these toxins make us sick? If you are interested in participating in this study, please call FAU at 561-297-4631 or email cast@cdc.gov.

News & Events

Each August, the American Association of Neurosurgeons (AANS) observes Neurosurgery Awareness Month. This year, an emphasis is being placed by the AANS on strokes. Uncontrolled vascular risk factors are strongly associated with the onset of cognitive impairment, which may lead to a diagnosis of vascular dementia. Research shows that purposeful cognitive stimulation, including sensory engagement and social interaction, can help combat the vascular factors associated with both strokes and neurocognitive disorder. The Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center is pleased to announce the reopening of the Adult Day Center to in-person visits. The Adult Day Center was the first to be designated a “Specialized Alzheimer’s Services Center” by Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. To learn more about the Adult Day Center program, contact Krista, Day Center Manager, at 561-297-0870.
FAU To Offer Two New Degree Programs Combining Nursing with AI and Biomedical Engineering (WLRN)
FAU & Boca Helping Hands Provide Free Healthcare for Uninsured (The Boca Raton Tribune)
Best Life: Studying driving habits that could predict dementia years later (WMC 5)
CDC begins first study to see if air-borne blue-green algae toxins harm health (WPBF)
Join the FAU Nursing faculty: Explore the roles of Associate Dean of Research and Professor, and Associate Professor/Professor on FAU's Boca Raton campus, and Assistant Professor - Practice Teaching Track, Visiting Instructor, and Instructor on FAU's Davie campus.
Giving
FAU Community Health Center
Louis and Anne Green Memory & Wellness Center
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777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
561-297-6261

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

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