What's New Fall 2012
The College of Health Professions is embracing veterans through several initiatives. Most recently, the College of Health Professions was awarded a grant of $60,000 from the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women (JFEW) to provide financial support to female veterans or female dependents of veterans. The scholarships of up to $10,000 per year will be available for the next two years to qualifying students in the following programs: CDP, RN-4, FNP, and PA. The College of Health Professions’ first scholarship awardee is Casmin Bennett, a student in the CDP program.
"Thanks to the generous support of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women, this is the first grant that is available to both nursing and physician assistant students, and the first grant specifically for female veterans and their dependents at Pace,” said Sophie Kaufman, executive director of the Center of Excellence – ALPS (Advancing Leadership, Partnerships, and Scholarship).
Bennett says, “I grew up in Jamaica and migrated to the U.S. in 2000. I did not always want to be a nurse, but on deployment in Iraq, I had an epiphany. I can still vividly remember telling my sergeant that when it was over, I would return home and do something meaningful with my life. I came home and I have been working toward said goal ever since. The JFEW scholarship will greatly alleviate the financial burden for paying for my nursing degree.”
In addition to the JFEW grant, the College is helping to educate health care leaders on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). If fact, Lienhard School of Nursing was one of just 20 nursing schools nationwide to be invited to an event earlier this year with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden as part of the Joining Forces initiative to educate nursing students on these issues (see picture below).
The College of Health Professions recently invited veteran-turned-actor Matthew Pennington to speak to nursing and PA students about his personal experiences with PTSD. Pennington starred in a short film as a wounded Marine trying to adjust to civilian life. Nursing professor Joanne Knoesel, RN, read an article about him in the New York Times and thought about the veterans Pace nursing students care for at the Manhattan Veterans Affairs hospital. “During clinical rotations the students are very adept at sorting out the medical conditions that their patients have but sometimes uncertain as how to approach patients with PTSD and substance abuse issues,” said Knoesel. “Hearing from a vet with PTSD can provide us with better insight on how to help these patients.”
Indeed, students said that hearing from Pennington will change how they treat their patients. Adam Witt, a student in the Combined Degree Program, said, “It was a valuable eye opener into the experiences of a combat veteran and a better understanding of PTSD. It will definitely change the way I deal with patients.” Carly Tushingham, another CDP student, said, “I thought the film screening was fantastic. It was great to get such candid statements about how some veterans feel about the VA, and gave me a better idea of how to approach both PTSD and the VA in my care.”