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August 2020

Vets Walking Pets: Shelter Dogs, Military Veterans and PTSD Symptoms

The U.S. is home to more than 21 million veterans, many of whom have difficulty reintegrating into civilian life. A staggering 20 percent of them suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. It is estimated that 20 veterans die of suicide each day, resulting in about 6,000 deaths by suicide each year.

A unique study led by Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello, a professor and director of Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (C-P.A.W.W.), within FAU's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, and a faculty fellow of FAU's Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention (I-HEALTH), explores the human-animal bond within the veteran population. Researchers enlisted the help of two no-kill shelters to evaluate the effects of walking with a shelter dog on psychological and physiological stress indicators in military veterans. 

“Based on heart rate variability, our study provides evidence that walking with a shelter dog may benefit veterans with higher symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Severity of symptoms and perceived stress tended to decrease more after walks with a dog than walks with a human,” said Krause-Parello. “Our findings emphasize the need for more research to determine if this form of human-animal interaction is beneficial to veterans with PTSD and to help us identify the optimal level of interaction that will be most impactful for them.”

Study results were published in Anthrozoös. Study co-authors are former C-P.A.W.W.® research assistants Kelly Blanchard and Megan Payton; and Dr. Nancy R. Gee, a professor of psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, and director of the Center for Human-Animal Interaction, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, who conducted the research while at SUNY Fredonia. The study was funded in part by the ISAZ/Waltham Petcare Science Institute Collaborative Research Award and C-P.A.W.W. For more on this story, click here

Memory and Wellness Center Offers Virtual Day Center Program


The Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center is offering a new Virtual Day Center Program. The program includes virtual activities three days a week with specialized programs participants will enjoy and benefit from, such as chair exercises, visual presentations, word games, trivia, and travelogues. Center staff remain connected and continue to offer programming, guidance and assistance to those living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their devoted family caregivers during these challenging times. For more information, contact Krista Landells, Day Center Manager, at 561-297-0502 or klandel1@health.fau.edu. If you are interested in supporting Memory and Wellness Center programming, click here.
 

Welcome back, Nursing Owls!


The Fall 2020 semester will officially kick off on August 22. FAU recognizes this is a time of uncertainly and remains focused on its health and safety efforts. To protect the university community, please remember that individual actions, such as face coverings and staying six feet apart from other people, will go a long way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings are required on FAU campuses. If you are feeling unwell, please stay home. FAU's COVID-19 updates and other resources may be found here. Additional COVID-19 procedures for faculty and staff are located here.
 

Caring through COVID-19: College Offers Contact Tracing Program


Approximately 225 participants enrolled in the College's newly developed "Introduction to Public Health: Coronavirus, Contact Tracing, and Risk Reduction" course. As part of the class, students were introduced to public health science and contact tracing. Guest experts on the frontline provided facts on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 and risk-reduction strategies. Drs. Shirley Gordon and Tarsha Jones taught students how to implement contact tracing protocol, including case investigations, tracing contacts, isolation, quarantine, social distancing, and monitoring cases. Participants learned essential skills required for successful contact tracing programs, such as effective communication and interviewing, working with diverse populations, requirements for protecting health information, basic ethical principles and the use of emerging technological solutions, as well as how to develop strategies for stress management and self care.

"The course gave me a very good idea of what to expect, how I should comport myself in a tracing call or interview, and also how to care for myself as I go forward ... Overall, a very informative course that I am sure will be of great help in my future as a contact tracer," said a participant.
 

In Memoriam: John Shuff


John Shuff died on June 29 after complications from surgery. His wife, Margaret Mary Shuff, a College of Nursing advisory board member, was by his side. 

In 1981, the Shuffs started JES Publishing with its flagship magazine, Boca Raton. Boca Raton magazine and many other publications were at the core of John's life. He was passionate about their quality, their integrity, and their service to the community. The Shuffs understood their business was only as good as the community it served and reflected.

The Shuffs are generous community supporters and long-time advocates of FAU's College of Nursing. Donations may be made in John's memory to the Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Society or FAU's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.
 

In Memoriam: Jay Van Vechten


We mourn the loss of Jay Van Vechten, Vice Chair of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Advisory Board. A devoted husband, father and friend, Jay had extensive media and public relations experience that he used to create the largest, free, outdoor event in the country for people with disabilities - Boating & Beach Bash. The annual Boca Raton event honors and celebrates those who struggle with daily challenges. Jay's legacy lives on through those he inspired in his service to the community. 
 

Student News

FAU will host a virtual commencement ceremony the week of August 10th for all of its Spring and Summer 2020 graduates. We look forward to celebrating with you and your loved ones!
Congratulations to BSN Graduate Alaiya Dewji, who received the Cores Value Award from the National Student Nurses Association. This award was given to one student in the U.S., so it is especially notable. Well done!
Congratulations to Dr. Cheryl Wallin, who successfully defended her dissertation. She discussed "Community Based Participatory Research Using the Photovoice Approach to Identify Health Priorities for a Vulnerable Underserved Community in Uganda, Africa." The chair of her committee was Dr. Charlotte Barry. Committee members included Drs. Beth King, Linda Weglicki, and Betsy Olson. 
Congratulations to Dr. Kelley Jackson, who successfully defended her dissertation. Her topic was "Diet Coaching to Improve Protein Intake in Middle-Aged Women." The chair of her committee was Dr. Sareen Gropper. Committee members included Drs. David Newman, Deborah D'Avolio, and Dennis Hunt. 
Congratulations to Dr. Ayse Malatyali, who successfully defended her dissertation. She discussed "The Influence of Mental, Physical, and Social Activity on Episodic Memory of Persons over age 50 in the U.S." The chair of her committee was Dr. Shirley Gordon. Committee members included Drs. Christine Williams, Lisa Wiese, and John Morris. 

Faculty & Staff Spotlight

We welcome Dr. Andrea Archer as a Visiting Assistant Professor on the Davie campus beginning August 10. She has extensive experience in critical care, working at Jackson Memorial Hospital for 23 years as staff nurse, clinical educator and nurse practitioner in the ICU. Her areas of interest focus on children in the foster care system and the transition of veterans to civilian life. 
Dr. Narciso Quidley-Rodriguez will join the College as an Assistant Professor on the Boca Raton campus on August 10. This fall, he will teach NUR 4525L, Psych/Mntl Hlth: Nur Sit Prac. Welcome!

Alumni Spotlight

Quessie Campbell and Lashunda Blackshear, College of Nursing alumni from FAU's Harbor Branch campus, sponsored free COVID-19 testing at their practice, Family First Direct Primary Care, in West Palm Beach. We're so proud of their work in our community as they prioritize caring for the most medically vulnerable.

News & Events

The College will host a virtual retirement celebration honoring Dr. Patricia Liehr on Friday, August 14, from 4 - 6 p.m. For more information, email Valentine Etienne.
Thank you to those who joined us for the webinar, "Diversity in Nursing." We appreciate our partners at Cross Country Healthcare for working with us to provide this useful information. If you were unable to attend, here is the recording
Save the Date for the next webinar, "COVID-19: Lessons Learned from Nurses, Doctors and Frontline Workers," scheduled for Aug. 19 at 3 p.m. EST. Hope to see you there!
Interested in providing input regarding the College's strategic plan? If so, email here. We look forward to your feedback.
In the News: Vets Walking Pets: Shelter Dogs Military Veterans and PTSD Symptoms (U.S. News & World Report, First Coast Newsand more)
In the News: Nurse Leadership Advocate Rose Sherman Receives AACN Award 
Giving
FAU Community Health Center
Louis and Anne Green Memory & Wellness Center
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Boca Raton, FL 33431
561-297-6261

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