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Alumni Leadership & Community Partnership Awards

Alumni Leadership & Community Partnership Awards

(Oct. 1, 2007) — In recognition of the 2006-2007 10th Anniversary year, the then College of Education and Health Professions established two Awards. The Community Partner Award recognizes an individual or corporation that has demonstrated exceptional collaboration to further the educational goals and mission of the College of Health Professions (CHP). The Alumni Leadership Award recognizes CHP alumni who have demonstrated exemplary service to the University, distinction within their profession, or contribution to the fulfillment of the College of Health Profession's Mission.

This year Community Partner Awards were presented to:

Dr. Harry Romanowitz, M.D. is the co-founder and medical director of Firefly After Hours Pediatrics, a busy pediatric urgent care center in Stamford.  Dr. Romanowitz started Firefly, after several years of service as Chief of Pediatrics at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut.  In addition to serving as medical director of the center, Dr. Romanowitz holds appointments of Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Yale and Columbia Presbyterian Medical Centers.

Since Firefly Pediatrics opened its doors, Dr. Romanowitz has taken many of our Family Nurse Practitioner students for their clinical placement experience and has spent many hours serving as their preceptor; teaching them about providing healthcare to children of all ages.  During the spring semester,Dr. Romanowitz hosted nine of our students, where they observed clinical rotations under the supervision of Dr. Romanowitz and the other physicians in the practice.  Dr. Romanowitz received high praise from the students who value their time spent at Firefly.  The College of Health Professions is grateful for the work he has done for our FNP students and the Nursing Department.

Leticia Colon has served as the Outreach/Public Relations Manager of Optimus Healthcare, for the last 8 years, where she quickly endorsed their outreach mission statement: "to strive and promote patient and community awareness for the variety of health and wellness services available regardless of ability to pay." Ms. Colon has volunteered her time and effort for more than 10 years at the college's St. Charles Health and Wellness Center (now renamed the Center for Community Health and Wellness) and plays an integral role in the health promotion and education activities of the Aging with Grace Program.  Ms. Colon has been a mentor and role model for service learning and clinical educational experience for hundreds of nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and exercise science students as they rotate through the center. Ms. Colon goes the extra mile to make the students feel welcome and provides them with a unique perspective on Latino life and the multiple needs of the residents in the community.  Additionally, Ms. Colon often does double service as a translator, cook, organizer of activities, consumer advocate and counselor for the clients  participating in the Aging with Grace Program.

In addition to her work at Optimus Health Care, Ms. Colon served as a Bridgeport City Council Member. This role and her allegiance to Sacred Heart University has afforded the Center for Community Health and Wellness opportunities to strengthen and broaden our relationships with other agencies including Alpha Community Services, McGivney Center and the Hall Neighborhood House.

Ms. Colon has had a lifelong commitment to those most marginalized in our society and she continues to be an advocate for senior citizens, and for the social integration of mentally challenged adults.

The College of Health Professions faculty and alumni submitted nominations for the Alumni Leadership Award. This year, the following individuals were presented with the award:

Donna Civardi, MSN '10 is a Family Nurse Practitioner who graduated from our Master of Science in nursing program in 2010.  Ms. Civardi is the first MSN student graduating from the Family Nurse Practitioner Track to go on to open a private primary care practice.  Ms. Civardi developed a business plan fas part of her graduate capstone project during her last academic year at Sacred Heart University.  With her leadership skills, drive and determination, Ms. Civardi opened the practice in Norwich, Connecticut in October of 2010.  Ms. Civardi's practice provides for the health care needs of children, adults and the elderly in New London County where there is a shortage of primary care providers.

There are very few nurse practitioners in private practice in the state of Connecticut because of the requirement for a collaborative agreement with a physician.  Ms. Civardi had no trouble finding physicians who wanted to collaborate with her because of her more than 30 year track record of excellence in caring for Norwich residents as a surgical nurse. Ms. Civardi is well regarded in her community by both health care professionals and the consumers she serves.

Ms. Civardi serves as a true role model to all future advanced practice nurses.  She is also an active member of Sigma Theta Tau Mu Delta Chapter.

Edward Mahoney, PT '02 graduated from Sacred Heart University in 2000, with a B.S. in psychology, and in 2002 with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy.  After graduation, Dr. Mahoney accepted a position as a staff physical therapist at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, Louisiana where he became a Certified Wound Specialist and worked as a clinical instructor with numerous students from around the country, including many from Sacred Heart.

In 2007, Dr. Mahoney joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy in the School of Allied Health Professions at the LSU Health Sciences Center; where he went on to complete his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree in 2009.  Dr. Mahoney has presented at numerous national physical therapy and wound care conferences, and published five textbook chapters on the topic of wound healing.

Dr. Mahoney was recently awarded the Allen A. Copping Award for teaching excellence, which is the highest award in the LSU Health Sciences Center System.  Dr. Mahoney a medical trip to Port au Prince, Haiti to provide wound care to the victims of the devastating earthquake last year as his most rewarding professional endeavor.