Healthcare in the 21st Century: CAS and SON Boards meet to discuss new initiatives

Submitted by Carolyn Arnold on March 23, 2012

Members of The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Board of Advisors and the School of Nursing (SON) Advisory Board discussed healthcare at its joint Board meeting last February. Members from the Charles F. Dolan School of Business, the School of Engineering, and the Center for Faith and Public Life were also present to brainstorm how the different areas of the University could work together to develop and support new, integrated initiatives that would place Fairfield at the forefront of educating others on global and national healthcare.

(L-R): Robin Bennett Kanarek '96; Robbin Crabtree, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts and Sciences; Susan Alexander '78, P'15, chair, CAS Board of Advisors; Patrick W. Kelley '76, P'12; Nancy Lynch, chair, SON Advisory Board; and Suzanne H. Campbell, Ph.D., APRN-BC, IBCLC, Dean, School of Nursing

Patrick W. Kelley ’76, P’12, M.D., P.H., the Director on the Boards on Global Health and African Science Academy Development through the Institute of Medicine, gave the keynote address. Dr. Kelley is also a member of the School of Nursing Advisory Board.  The joint meeting was hosted at the law offices of Mayer Brown LLP, where a member of the College’s Board, A. John P. Mancini, is a partner.

“The exploration of the topic of health professional education for the 21st Century provided a unique opportunity to bring the Nursing and College Boards together,” said Noel Appel, assistant vice president for  development and the CAS and SON liaison. “Both schools are working together envisioning a new building that will celebrate health science and nursing education. Their respective boards share a deep commitment to help prepare for and ultimately support this venture.”

Dr. Kelley’s presentation, “Healthcare in the 21st Century: Educating all Students to Succeed within the Changing Technical, Ethical and Global Healthcare Landscape,” discussed how health enterprises changed over the years and how Jesuit universities like Fairfield could transform health professional education to strengthen current systems in an interdependent world and reduce healthcare inequities.

Dr. Shelley Phelan, Elizabeth DeCamp McInerney Chair of Health Sciences and Professor of Biology and Dr. Meredith Kazer, associate professor and graduate program director for SON responded to Dr. Kelley’s presentation and spoke about Fairfield’s current health and nursing students. Both noted their students’ opportunities in hands-on research and their engagement in the field.

Attendees agreed that the University had a unique opportunity to participate in healthcare education. Following the presentation Board Members shared ideas for Fairfield to engage students of every academic discipline on the topic.

Dr. Robbin Crabtree, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, closed the meeting by stating that Fairfield had the distinctive opportunity to create strong partnerships throughout the University. “We are the perfect size for integration across campus. I know that we’ll all take this conversation to heart and back to campus.”

Going forward Fairfield will create new opportunities for students and faculty to work together on healthcare projects including the sciences, nursing, management, engineering, communication, global and local learning, and public policy. To learn more about this initiative please contact: Noel Appel at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2025 or by e-mail at

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