August 28, 2013 — The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies initiated a yearlong celebration of its 65th birthday with two days of celebratory events on Tuesday, August 27th and Wednesday, August 28th 2013. Dean Nilda (Nena) Peragallo Montano opened the two-days of festivities on Tuesday evening by welcoming UM trustees, university leaders, school faculty and staff, donors, clinical/community partners and other assembled guests to an anniversary reception at the School of Nursing and Health Studies.
“I want to congratulate our hard-working students, exceptional faculty, community partners, and university leadership for our school’s accomplishments,” said Peragallo Montano, “as well as the pioneer graduates who believed in our mission and made it a reality. We would not be where we are today without their vision and courage”. UM President Donna Shalala then acknowledged the school as “one of UM’s most dynamic, with cutting edge centers of excellence, ever-increasing enrollment numbers and high academic performance”.
UM Executive Vice-President and Provost Thomas LeBlanc echoed Shalala’s praise of current Dean Peragallo Montano, acknowledging her leadership of the school’s educational and research programs into the 21st century and adding that, “With all that Dean Peragallo Montano has accomplished, she is not finished.” As the school approaches its 70-year mark, plans are underway for the largest-scale undertaking in its 65-year history: the nation’s first education-based simulation hospital, a 5-story, 39,000 square foot facility that will replicate the true flow of activity in a clinical practice and hospital and provide an educational setting for students unparalleled in the history of nursing education and healthcare in South Florida, if not the nation. The Simulation Hospital will facilitate inter-professional collaborations, whereby nurses, physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, and other health care professionals will work in teams to improve patient safety outcomes. It will also be a test bed for new health care products and patient safety research. The Simulation Hospital is a key priority of Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.
On Wednesday, August 28th, at a “birthday party” in the school courtyard, students celebrated with Dean Peragallo Montano, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the school. The two-days served as a kick-off for a series of events that will take place throughout the next year honoring the SONHS’ presence at the University of Miami and in the South Florida community. The theme of “65 years of excellence in health care education” will be prominent in this fall’s annual homecoming celebration, and the Fall 2013 issue of the school magazine, Heartbeat, will focus on the school’s history, alumni accomplishments, and the progress the program has made in the past 65 years.
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