First Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar named

First Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar named

The School of Nursing (SON) has named graduate student Michael P. O’Toole ’11 as the first Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar. O’Toole’s classroom and clinical education will focus on improving the care of veterans, which has long been part of the mission of the School of Nursing. A Shelton, Conn., resident, he grew up in Westport, Conn.

To address the current demand nationwide for healthcare professionals experienced in caring for veterans, the SON was chosen earlier this year to participate in the 2014-2016 Jonas Scholars Program, dedicated to advancing patient care of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. As the number of young veterans has grown — many suffering from life-altering injuries, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) — it is a vital endeavor. Scholars’ research projects will be focused on priority veterans’ healthcare needs, as identified by the White House and Veterans Administration.

“Michael is pursuing his Doctorate of Nursing Practice [DNP] degree at Fairfield University to help those veterans who suffer from the barriers of mental illness, chronic illness, and homelessness,” said Dr. Lynn Babington, senior vice president for Academic Affairs.

The New York City-based Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare will provide $10,000 of tuition support to O’Toole. He’ll be known as the DNP Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar.