Egan School Welcomes New Advisory Board Chair: Bonnie Molloy, PhD, CRNA

Egan School Welcomes New Advisory Board Chair: Bonnie Molloy, PhD, CRNA

Exterior image of the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies.

The Egan Update sat down with Dr. Bonnie Molloy, research director and continuing education coordinator at Bridgeport Anesthesia Associates. Dr. Molloy has recently agreed to helm the Egan School’s board of advisors.

You have been involved with Fairfield’s Egan School for many years. How did that connection come about?

It seems I’ve always been involved with Fairfield. My husband [Edward Molloy ’62, MD, an internist in Fairfield] is an alumnus, as is our son, who graduated in 1993 with a degree in accounting. We live on Fairfield beach and have always had good relationships with the students there, both as neighbors and as babysitters. Over the years, many Fairfield nursing students have worked in my husband’s office. I can say we truly feel a sense of community with the University.

Your scholarship concerns vision loss after surgery. How did you become interested in that area of study?

I had a patient once who woke up with post-operative blindness. It was robotic surgery, which was new at the time. The patient had been in the severe head-down position for a long time, and we didn’t realize that the position was causing periorbital swelling and elevated intraocular pressure. I dug into it and received a $50,000 post-doctoral fellowship grant from the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology. Fairfield University helped me allocate the monies to student CRNA research assistants for the Yale research studies. Based on the study results we introduced interventions of eye drops and mid-surgical time outs. My next series of studies will involve the “sight saver mask” which monitors intraoperative sensory evoke potentials to the posterior optic nerve, thus preventing potential cases of blindness.

Are there any new directions for the Egan School that you can discuss?

One important initiative would be to open up more varied clinical sites for undergraduate and graduate students. We’re becoming less hospital-based, and nurses are practicing more advanced treatments because of a lack of primary care. Ambulatory surgery is the way of the future. I give anesthesia in orthopedic sites, ocular surgery centers, etc. Nurses will be running regular family practice offices in the future. So, we’re thinking of more opportunities for students in off-base sites.

I respect Meredith [Dean Kazer] so much, and I look forward to working closely with her Advisory Board, to escalate the programs we have to the next level. The Fairfield Egan deans have always been advanced critical thinkers, and that’s why the nursing school has one of the top programs in the country. l

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