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Community-Centered Health and Wellness and Academic Integration is Front and Center for CNHP

October 10, 2019

Roberta Waite, EdD, PMHCNS, ANEF, FAAN, as our new associate dean for Community-Centered Health and Wellness and Academic IntegrationDean Gitlin announced yesterday the appointment of Roberta Waite, EdD, PMHCNS, ANEF, FAAN, as our new associate dean for Community-Centered Health and Wellness and Academic Integration in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Dr. Waite, one of our People of Purpose, is currently a tenured professor in the Doctoral Nursing Department, the executive director of the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University and the assistant dean of Academic and Community Integration.

Dr. Waite has been a nurse for 30 years holding clinical, academic, research and administrative roles. Her scholarship and research centers on behavioral health concerns, specifically adult ADHD, psychological trauma and depression and their effects on health outcomes, as well as promoting systemic prevention/early intervention efforts. Currently, she serves on boards of directors for both corporate Trinity Health (a leading, national, multi-institutional Catholic healthcare delivery system in 22 states) and the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders. Dr. Waite's educational research focuses on leadership development of students in the health professions while concurrently fostering critical consciousness using a social justice lens. Her oversight of the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program is an exemplar of her vision and leadership and how she uses a social justice lens with student development and engagement.

"Dr. Waite’s expanded role is particularly salient in view of our move into the Drexel Academic Tower and to the West Philadelphia community," Dean Gitlin explained. "In her expanded role as associate dean, Dr. Waite will provide strategic oversight, coordination and guidance for CNHP-related, community-centered clinical practices and related student exposures and community-based experiences," she added.

In this capacity, Dr. Waite will work with CNHP chairs and faculty to develop an infrastructure for engaging faculty and students in community-based practices, such as 11th Street Family Health Services, as well as fostering co-op opportunities, service learning and revenue-generating practice opportunities that integrate research and student training. Working with leadership and chairs, she will help to establish a process for developing, vetting and implementing clinical practice, research and student learning ideas. Dr. Waite will also work closely with Dr. Loretta Jemmott and University leadership involved in civic engagement activities in West Philadelphia and will coordinate our activities with the Drexel School of Education in its support of the new Powel/SLA school (our new neighbor when we move). Additionally, Dr. Waite will serve as the point person for requests to conduct research at CNHP community-centered health and wellness-related sites. This may include working with faculty to champion community partners (e.g., schools, churches, other associations/organizations) in underserved neighborhoods to maximize CNHPs efforts to address the community’s self-identified needs and provide innovative and accessible programs and services that promote health and wellness.

"I am very confident that Dr. Waite will lead us to a new level of understanding and action as it concerns CNHP integration in the community," the dean concluded.