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Calling the Donnelly Emergency Fund into Action

April 1, 2020

The College of Nursing and Health Professions is rapidly responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dean Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, has assured faculty, students and staff that we are working around the clock to enable continuance of excellence in our education, clinical and research missions. In keeping with Governor Wolf’s orders, Drexel University is closed to the public, but all of its operations, including classes, continue online.

Physician assistant students working in the labMany of our faculty, alumni and friends are on the front lines of the pandemic as screeners for COVID-19, in hospitals treating individuals diagnosed with the virus and/or delivering telehealth to support the mental health needs of our communities. "We are very proud of the role that our faculty, professional staff and students are playing – these are our hidden heroes to whom we say thank you," explained Dean Gitlin.

COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on the nation. "In fact, our students will be called upon immediately following graduation to help address this crisis," she affirmed. This immediate need and the closing of clinical practical sites to our students have accelerated the College's activities to create new and novel approaches, such as virtual clinical experiences, to prepare our students for patient interaction. The College has embraced educating our students online because the safety of our patients, students, faculty and overall community is our top priority.

Our students are resilient and will overcome these barriers, yet many face unexpected costs including travel, moving expenses, technology needs and in some cases, the loss of employment wages in their part-time jobs or from family members subsidizing their education. True to our mission, the College of Nursing and Health Professions has been responding to these challenges through the Dean Gloria Donnelly Student Emergency Fund.Dean Gloria Donnelly

The fund was officially established in 2010 to financially support students with short-term emergencies. Gloria Donnelly, PhD, the College's then dean, recognized that there are many instances where students need a little help. This emergency fund isn't to help pay for tuition. Historically it’s been about students who face something unexpected making it difficult to pay rent or buy books. The Fund provides assistance to our students when they need it most, and that time is now.

In the past, money was raised through events, but at a time when we are required to practice social distancing, we must count on our CNHP community to make a philanthropic investment in the next generation of nurses and health professionals who are being prepared to take care of all of us. To contribute to helping students, please click here.

CNHP nursing student working in the simulation labTo read about Drexel University's response to the Coronavirus, click here. If you're interested in reading about our Hidden Heroes, click here, but check back with us as we add the myriad of stories illustrating compassion and the care our alumni, faculty, students and staff are providing.