Veteran Scott MacDonald to speak at School of Nursing

Veteran Scott MacDonald to speak at School of Nursing

Who: Veteran Scott MacDonald will speak to a class of Fairfield University School of Nursing students about caring for those with spinal cord injuries and will discuss his own life-changing injury that left him paralyzed. He also will share his experiences working with local veterans. MacDonald is Congressman Jim Himes's Veterans and Homeland Security Outreach Coordinator; he is also a participant in the Wounded Warriors Program that matches wounded veterans with professional opportunities in the United States House of Representatives.

When: Wednesday, May 20, 1:15 p.m.

Where: Fairfield University's School of Nursing, Room 214.

Why: The nursing students are enrolled in the School of Nursing's 2nd degree BSN program, and are doing clinical rotations at the West Haven VA Hospital as part of the "VA Nursing Academy." In 2007, the School and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System were selected by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be part of a five-year, $40 million pilot program called the 'VA Nursing Academy' that addresses the nation's severe nursing shortage. Fairfield was one of just four universities in the country initially chosen to take part in the 5-year pilot program. As the ranks of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars grows, so too does the need for nurses to care for them. The program is providing nursing students with the knowledge to care for this important group of patients.

Backround: MacDonald will speak in a class taught by Dr. Doris T. Lippman, professor of nursing, and the Fairfield University Program Director for the VA Nursing Academy (VANA). A veteran, she was an Army nurse during the Vietnam War. Dr. Lippman, an expert in post-traumatic stress disorder, is dedicated to giving our returning veterans top medical care. She was the vice chair of the Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington, D.C.

MacDonald served in the Navy as a Naval Operations Satellite Communications Specialist. He previously worked for Congressman Chris Shays. In March, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi honored him in Washington D.C. for his work on behalf of veterans. He volunteers with the Paralyzed Vets Administration and Southwest Disability Collaborative. Inspired by MacDonald's work and positive spirit, the School of Nursing will present a student at its August graduation with the first annual "Scott MacDonald Award." It will honor the nursing student "who best captures the spirit of a nurse caring for vets," Dr. Lippman said.

Posted On: 05-20-2009 10:05 AM

Volume: 41 Number: 343