The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies' Advisory Board (Egan School) consists of an array of distinguished professionals with interests in healthcare and nursing. The Board formally began its work in the spring of 2005 when two grants were awarded to the Egan School - one to launch the Board and the second to establish an annual lecture series. This leadership board focuses on fundraising. Its work combined with the lecture series is designed to expand the School's community of interest.
The Egan School Advisory Board is a leadership board that serves as champions of the School's strategic direction and assists in securing the financial resources to achieve its long-range fundraising goals.
Key Roles and Responsibilities
Dear Colleagues and Friends of the School of Nursing:
I had the honor and privilege of delivering the Commencement address to the School of Nursing last May. I spoke about my personal and professional experiences with the concept of change:
All around us, things are changing and we always seem to be surprised when it occurs. Sometimes change is caused by us and, at other times, it can be totally independent and unexpected; it can be wonderful or it can be devastating. The most important lesson I have learned throughout the 35 years of my nursing career, as in life, is that how one deals with change can make all the difference between success and failure, happiness and sadness, exuberance and desperation. The sooner you learn to operate within the new environment, the better off you will be.
As a young nurse professional in my early twenties, I was unsure of my abilities and terrified that I would be placed in a setting that would catch me off guard. I soon learned that those ‘off guard’ moments are actually the stepping stones to growth and the development of confidence. It wasn’t until much later on in life that I learned to embrace change, to learn from my mistakes, to seek out a mentor, and to always keep learning.
The School of Nursing graduates are an incredible group of professionals—they are inquisitive, passionate, energetic, and eager to learn. They are well prepared to enter the workplace and seem to thrive on the challenges that are sent their way. It never ceases to amaze me how talented and devoted they are to their profession and it brings me joy and tremendous satisfaction to see the outstanding caliber of nursing graduates Fairfield University produces. They will enter the workforce in our communities and will be our future leaders in healthcare.
The graduates of the School of Nursing are primed for the changes that are occurring in our healthcare system. I have no doubt that, whatever comes their way professionally, they will redirect their energies to tackle even the most difficult circumstances. The nursing faculty and members of the Nursing Advisory Board are continuously seeking opportunities for improvement and advancement. Under the leadership of Dean Meredith Kazer, Fairfield University’s School of Nursing is positioned to make significant contributions to the field of nursing and to seek out opportunities for improvement in healthcare delivery.
Change is in the air—and that can be a very good thing, indeed.
Chair, Nursing Advisory Board
In 2010, after a 30-year career in management at the McCall Pattern Company, Gail retired as Vice President Advertising Promotion and Publisher of Vogue Patterns Magazine. Gail pioneered mass-market promotions for Vogue, Butterick, and McCall patterns and products to national multi-channel retailers including Wal-Mart, QVC, and Jo-Ann Fabrics. Because of her fashion, design, and construction expertise and education, Gail brought unique insights to her job; she traveled extensively to merchandise, sell, and license programs, working with buyers, retailers, and their customers. She also authored the Super Sweater Idea Book.
Gail and her husband Joe have actively supported Catholic and Jesuit missions. They have established endowed scholarships at Fairfield University, Boston College, and Georgetown Universities. Gail is a Dame in the American Association of The Knights of Malta, where she co-chaired the Order's 25th annual pilgrimage to Lourdes in 2010. In that effort, over 400 volunteers, including a team of 35 doctors and nurses, volunteered their efforts for the sick and the poor. Gail was elected to the Board for The Order of Malta--American Association in 2013. Currently she serves on the Holy Family Hospital Foundation Board In the Holy Land. She is active in the Order's endowment building initiatives, and furthering their causes for the sick and the poor. Growing up in Miami, Florida, Gail was a 4-H National Scholarship winner, contributing to numerous civic activities as a young woman. Her philanthropic spirit was inspired by her mother, who was a registered nurse during World War II, and later a devoted caregiver in both hospitals and street clinics.
Gail has served on the Governing Board of the National 4-H Association in Chevy Chase, Maryland, The Parents Council for the School of Business at Georgetown University, and presently serves as Secretary for the Connecticut Chapter of the Order of Malta. She is also a member of the Women's Association for St. Michaels, Greenwich, Conn. and serves as a volunteer for Parsonage Cottage, serving the elderly in assisted living. Gail graduated from Florida State University where she majored in Textiles. Residing in Greenwich, Conn., she is married to Joseph F. Berardino, Fairfield University Class of 1972 and Former Trustee of the University. Together they have served as mentors for the Ignatian Residential College for Sophomores at Fairfield.
Mary Ann Christopher is the President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY). VNSNY is the largest not for profit home health care agency in the United States, serving more than 140,000 individuals a year throughout all five boroughs of New York City, plus Westchester and Nassau Counties
Christopher was previously the President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, serving over 127,000 people annually throughout New Jersey. As CEO, Christopher directs the operation of a broad continuum of programs including home health care, hospice care, a federally qualified health center, and community-based prevention and outreach services. During Christopher's tenure as CEO, the organization has expanded geographically from a two-county regional provider to a statewide organization.
Christopher is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the Wharton Nurse Executive Program, and the Public Health Leadership Institute. She serves on a number of boards and commissions, including the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, where she chairs the Public Policy Council, the Advisory Board of the Seton Hall College of Nursing, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, The University Hospital, the New Jersey Hospital Association Health and Research Educational Trust (HRET) and the National Association of Home Care and Hospice. In 2008, Christopher was appointed Chair of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation National Advisory Commission on the New Jersey Nursing Initiative. She has participated on public policy commissions dealing with issues of homelessness, public health, child welfare, the nursing shortage, and managed care.
Christopher has written and lectured internationally on issues concerning home and community health care. Christopher earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Fairfield University and a Master of Science Degree in Nursing from Seton Hall University. The Visiting Nurse Service of New York is the largest not-for-profit home health care organization in the nation providing a wide range of services for New Yorkers of all ages and health care needs throughout the five boroughs of New York and in Westchester and Nassau counties.
P'96, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Moreen O. Donahue is the Beatrice Hofstadter White Endowed Chair for Nursing Education and Research, System Senior Vice President & System Chief Nursing Officer at Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN), which includes Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, Western Connecticut Home Care (formerly The Danbury Visiting Nurse Association) and Western Connecticut Medical Group. Prior to joining WCHN, Dr. Donahue was Sr. Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Greenwich Hospital and has held executive leadership positions in home care and hospice.
She also was the Project Coordinator for a federal grant, “Transitioning Advanced Practice Nurses to the Practice Doctorate: The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program”.
Dr. Donahue’s areas of research include patient safety, patient satisfaction, nurse empowerment and transitioning advance practice nurses to doctoral education. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing. She is the recipient of the Dean’s Legacy Award, Case Western Reserve University and the Visionary Leader Award, Greenwich Hospital.
Dr. Donahue was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2011, and was selected for the 2015 Fellowship in Innovative Health Leadership offered by Arizona State University and the American Organization of Nurse Executives in partnership with the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation.
Dr. Donahue completed her BSN degree at Boston College. Following this, she earned an MS degree in education from the State University of New York and her MSN in nursing and DNP degrees from Case Western Reserve University. She is also Board certified as a nurse executive at the advanced level and has achieved national certification as a Home Care and Hospice executive.
Dr. Donahue has made significant contributions to nursing and health care delivery. Specific areas of focus include patient safety, preventing workplace violence and advancing quality care through development of innovative partnerships across a variety of settings. She has provided leadership for several grants: a project focused on empowering nursing assistants to use SBAR communication funded by the Donaghue Medical Research Foundation, a Geriatric Family Centered Care initiative funded by the Division of Nursing, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and grants from the State of Connecticut focused on providing educational opportunities for nurses. She is also responsible for helping to develop a hospital-based cohort model for DNP degrees from Case Western Reserve University (funded by HRSA). Dr. Donahue is widely published in nursing and health care literature and has presented her research nationally and internationally.
Selected awards and honors
A graduate of Fairfield University with a degree in economics, Craig Haba is a financial advisor & partner at the Wellesley Group – a national firm based in Wellesley, MA. Craig leads the financial advisory practice dedicated to providing personal financial planning for executives and clinicians across the healthcare industry. After his graduation from Fairfield, Craig served in leadership positions in finance, quality, sales and marketing in Medical Devices at GE, Tyco International / US Surgical and Covidien. Following a number of successful years in private equity, Craig and his partners formed their practice with the goal of serving others aross the healthcare field.
Craig is a proud and dedicated alumnus of Fairfield University serving as a School of Nursing Advisory Board member. Over the years, his love for Fairfield also includes aggressive recruitment of Fairfield graduates, serving as a member of The President's Circle, the Trustees Advisory Council, Fairfield Awards Dinner Multicultural Scholarship Committee, the e-Business Advisory Council, the National Alumni Executive Committee, and Class Chair for the "Our Promise" capital campaign. Although not a graduate of the School of Nursing, Craig and his wife, LeAnne, have directed their capital campaign leadership gift to the SON because they strongly believe in its mission and the need to develop quality nursing leaders in the future. Craig brings high energy and a broad business perspective to the Advisory Board as we work to meet the demands of a rapidly changing healthcare industry.
Larry is a 1987 History graduate of Fairfield University and is the President and CEO of NeuroTherm ®, a private equity backed medical device company that specializes in products for the treatment of chronic pain. With offices now in the greater Boston, London and Amsterdam markets, Larry has led a small business through rapid expansion and growth.
Prior to joining NeuroTherm in 2006, he was President and CEO of the Urology Division of Gyrus ACMI, a U.K. based PLC. Larry also spent 12 years with Karl Storz Endoscopy America, culminating in the dual roles of General Manager of Karl Storz Sports Medicine and Executive Director, Sales of the U.S. endoscopy business. He also serves on the Board of Arteriocyte Medical Systems, a leader in platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapies.
Larry and his wife Victoria met at Fairfield and married in 1990. They have three children: Ally, Sarah and Bobby. After several years living in Westlake Village, California, they now reside in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and spend summers and holidays in Connecticut.
'84, P'18, MD, FACS
Marsel Huribal '84, P'18, MD, FACS graduated from Fairfield University in 1984. He is a Board certified general and vascular surgeon who specializes in vascular and endovascular techniques for the treatment of arterial and venous disease.
After he received his medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean, Dr. Huribal returned to the Fairfield County area to complete his internship and residency in general surgery in the Yale Affiliated Regional Surgical Program (YARSP) at Bridgeport Hospital. Dr. Huribal then pursued his Fellowship in Vascular Surgery at SUNY at Buffalo and Millard Fillmore Hospital. After finishing his training, Dr. Huribal returned to Fairfield County and worked in private practice with an established vascular surgical practice until 2001 when he founded Southern Connecticut Vascular Center – The Vascular Experts. Dr. Huribal’s particular areas of interest include the endovascular repair of aortic and thoracic aneurysms. Special interest includes the treatment of varicose veins using the most advanced procedures approved by the FDA. Dr. Huribal was one of the first vascular surgeons in Connecticut to perform the endovenous ablation (‘closure’) of varicose veins offering in-office relief to patients suffering from painful leg varicosities. Dr. Huribal is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a member of the American Medical Association, the New York Academy of Science. The Society for Clinical Vascular Surgeons, the European Society for Vascular Surgeons and the Southern Connecticut Vascular Society. He is the Senior Partner of The Vascular Experts and speaks Turkish and Arabic.
'96, BS, RN
Robin has been registered nurse since 1979 and has worked in the clinical areas of cardiology, spinal cord injury and physical rehabilitation, insurance review, as well as diabetes nurse educator. Her life was changed forever when her 10 year old son, David, was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. He achieved remission for over 3 years but relapsed in 1999 and died in 2000. After David's death, the family moved to London, England where Robin became involved with an organization called the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT). It was her involvement with this foundation that made her acutely aware of the specific needs of teens and young adults suffering from cancer at various TCT inpatient cancer centers throughout the UK. These needs included physical, emotional, developmental and spiritual changes. She presented the "Parents Perspective of Adolescent Oncology" at the International Conference on Adolescent Oncology in 2004 at the Royal College of Physicians in London. This experience was pivotal in her realizing what can be done to honor David's memory. Since that time, Robin has been published in various publications including the American Journal of Nursing and American Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing on the topic of Pediatric Palliative and End of Life Care.
A summa cum laude graduate of Fairfield University's RN to BSN program in 1996, Robin credits her Fairfield education with providing her with the confidence and leadership skills to willingly take on new challenges and opportunities for growth.
Robin serves on the Board of Trustees of Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT and Fairfield University, and as President of the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Foundation in Greenwich, CT.
In 2006, Robin and Joe founded the Kanarek Family Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides grants for projects that would be of interest to David and honor his memory. Fairfield University was the first beneficiary of their family foundation with a $350,000 gift for the establishment of the Robin Kanarek Nursing Learning Resource Center. The Foundation has provided a two-year grant to integrate Pediatric and Adolescent Palliative Care into the Nursing curriculum and is currently funding the new Masters of Science in Nursing Leadership (LEAD) program. Led by Dr. Meredith Kazer and Dr. Sally Gerard, the LEAD program has already been recognized and awarded the Innovation in Professional Nursing Education by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in October 2014.
Robin and Joe live in Greenwich. Their daughter, Sarah, graduated from Boston University's Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation with a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy in January 2014.
In her free time, Robin loves to do figurative sculpting.
P'16, P'18 MD, FACP
Dr. Kerins is the Associate Chief of Geriatrics for Education at the Yale-New Haven Hospital and Yale Medical School. In addition, he is the Program Director for the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship and an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine as well as the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
Dr. Kerins is a member of the State of Connecticut Commission on Aging, as well as a member of the State of Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities Fatality Review Board. He serves as a consultant to the State of Connecticut Disability Center and the State of Connecticut Department of Developmental Services.
Dr. Kerins is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Clinical areas of interest and research include geriatric assessment, Alzheimer's disease, and the care of older adults with Down syndrome.
Colleen is a pediatric and neonatal physical therapist at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. where she has worked for fifteen years. Prior to this position, she was an inpatient physical therapist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, M.D. Colleen is also certified in neonatal touch and massage.
In 2005, Colleen joined the Board of The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (“AFTD”) after her father passed away from Pick’s Disease. For six years, Colleen served as the head of development for AFTD. During that time, AFTD grew from an organization of a limited number of committed persons with personal connections to the frontotemporal diseases to a self-sustaining, nationally recognized association.
Colleen graduated from Fairfield in 1993 with a B.S. in Biology, and received her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami in 1997. She lives in Washington with her husband, Brendan, and their five children – Molly (15), Brendan (12), Sean (11), Claire (8), and Kelly (5).
CRNA, APRN, Ph.D.
Bonnie Molloy has been a nurse anesthetist for 28 years and a Quality/Risk Manager for 23 years, working at both St. Vincent's and Bridgeport Hospitals. She received a BSN from the University of Bridgeport, graduated from the Hospital of St. Raphael Nurse Anesthesia Program, and earned her PhD from the University of Connecticut-Storrs. She presently is the Chief Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in the Bridgeport Anesthesia Associates practice at Bridgeport Hospital. She is the Risk Manager and Research Director of the Anesthesia Department at Bridgeport Hospital, as well as a clinical faculty member for the Fairfield University Doctor of Nursing Practice Program.
Bonnie has received the Discovery of Distinction Award for her research in Postoperative Visual Loss (POVL) and Intraocular Pressure (IOP) Monitoring. She has been published in the American Journal of Nurse Anesthesia and completed her doctoral dissertation: Instrument Development of the Molloy/Bridgeport Anesthesia Associates Observation Scale. She has presented nationally for the AANA in Seattle, the PGA in New York, and the ASA in Chicago, and has formulated a recommended standard of practice in anesthesia care of the patient who is placed in the steep Trendelenburg position. She has received a $10,000 grant and the "State of the Science" award for her interventions in prevention of increasing IOP, which may be instrumental in preventing future cases of blindness after anesthesia. She has received a Post-Doctoral Research Award of $50,000 and has established alternative research sites in pursuit of implementing this new standard of care. She has received the Yale Healthcare System Joseph A. Zaccagnino Patient Safety & Clinical Conference Award for her work in Anesthesia in the GI Sedation Environment. These results were presented to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumental in 2008, with an outcome of maintaining reimbursements from major insurance carriers so as to assure patient safety. She presented these results at the National Institute of Health Assembly in 2009. She has spent the past 25 years of her professional life in outcome-based practice review so as to procure a level of safety for all patients undergoing anesthesia.
Bonnie is the past president of The Auxiliary of Ahlbin Rehabilitation Center and has been instrumental in raising funds for the development of both pediatric and geriatric rehabilitation centers in our community for the past 10 years. She was vice president of St. Vincent Auxiliary and was instrumental in raising funds for technologically advanced hospital equipment and patient care center development throughout the time of her 15-year executive board position. She was the chief fundraiser for the St. Thomas Aquinas School and Parish Center for eight years. Bonnie has chaired numerous hospital and community events and is an avid supporter of her Parish and the Fairfield community. She and her husband have been members of the Fairfield University President's Circle for over 25 years and support all fundraising events.
'81, P'03, BSN, RN
Elner Morrell, BSN, RN, is a senior information systems project manager at United Health Group, a diversified Fortune 100 company that provides a broad spectrum of resources and services to help people achieve improved health and well-being through all stages of life. She is an invited member of the Connecticut Healthcare Informatics Network (CHIN) and a member of the Fairfield University Board of Trustees and the Project Management Institute (PMI). Elner received her bachelor of science in nursing at Fairfield University, and her master's certificate in IT Project Management from George Washington University. She currently volunteers for the Vital Life Stories project sponsored by United Methodist Homes in Wesley Village in Shelton, Conn. and PlaneTree. Her areas of special interest include public health informatics, predictive modeling, health policy development, and administration.
'91 RN, BSN, OCN
Sally has been a nurse for 43 years. She graduated from the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania in 1967 and worked in medical-surgical nursing followed by public health nursing in Philadelphia. She moved to Connecticut in 1971 with her husband Alexander '70, raised three children and continued her education at Fairfield University School of Nursing. After graduation, she pursued hospice-palliative nursing as a case manager with Visiting Nurse Services of Connecticut for ten years followed by working in a private oncology medical practice administering chemotherapy for the past nine years as an oncology certified nurse. She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau National Nursing Honor Society through Fairfield University, and a member of the National Oncology Nursing Society as well as the Southwestern Connecticut Oncology Society. She also serves as Vice President of the Charles and Mabel P. Jost Foundation.
Michael J. Paidas is a Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine; Vice Chair, Obstetrics; Program Director, Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship; Director of the Yale Women and Children’s Center for Blood Disorders and Preeclampsia Advancement, and Co-Director of the National Hemophilia Foundation-Baxter Clinical Fellowship Program at Yale; Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Dr. Paidas is the recipient of The David J. Leffell, M.D. Prize for Clinical Excellence at Yale in 2010, given to one member of the Yale Medical Group annually. In 2012, Dr. Paidas received the Dean’s Award from the Tufts Medical Alumni Association. Dr. Paidas is included in the top 1% physician by specialty in the nation according to US News and World Report. He has been recognized by the March of Dimes and is included in Best Doctors in America. Dr. Paidas has also received the National Faculty Award by the Counsel on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. Paidas received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1987 and completed his internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1991 at Pennsylvania Hospital. In 1993, Dr. Paidas completed a Fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. In 2013, Dr. Paidas was awarded a Master of Arts, Honorary Degree, from Yale University.
Dr. Paidas's career in medicine has focused on women’s health with special emphasis on blood disorders, reproduction, pregnancy complications and the latter’s impact on health and disease. His activities span direct patient care, translational research and clinical trials. Dr. Paidas’s research has been supported by federal and non- federal funding agencies. His notable contributions include: description of the regulatory factors of the Protein C system; clinical use of recombinant antithrombin in disease states; elucidation of the subsequent cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular health consequences of hypertensive disorders and preterm delivery in the largest population based studies published to date.
Dr. Paidas and collaborators have described the genomic and proteomic effects of Preimplantation Factor (PIF), a novel mammalian embryo derived factor which regulates maternal receptivity to pregnancy and possesses key immune modulatory properties. Subsequent animal studies using a synthetic analogue of native PIF have shown benefit in animal models related to a variety of immune diseases, including multiple sclerosis and graft versus host disease.
Dr. Paidas is the lead Prinicipal Investigator of a multicenter preeclampsia treatment clinical trial, entitled Prospective Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Evaluation of the Pharmacokinetics, Safety and Efficacy of Recombinant Antithrombin Versus Placebo in Preterm Preeclampsia (PRESERVE-1).
Dr. Paidas has expertise in prenatal ultrasound, invasive fetal diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. His academic profile includes over 500 published manuscripts, abstracts, books, chapters, presentations or courses.
Claudia Schechter is the Vice President of The Schechter Foundation, a private family foundation based in New York City. The foundation offers educational grants to students as well as funding medical research. Claudia has a degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Biomedical Communications and Biomedical Photography that documents medical situations using still photography, television and filmmaking. She documents medical situations including patient photographs before surgical operations and during surgery, emergency room procedures, plastic and reconstructive surgeries, dental and veterinary procedures, forensics, and more. Claudia has sold professional film and cameras for FUJI Photo Film USA and pharmaceuticals for SmithKline and Johnson & Johnson companies.
Currently, Claudia is a freelance international medical and documentary photographer traveling to underdeveloped countries recording other cultures and their lifestyles for corporate, non-profit groups, and medical organizations.