Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing Teams Up With the Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation

Ron and Kathy Assaf College of nursing students were pleased to receive another impactful visit from the Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation. Among several of its contributions within Nova Southeastern University, the Romer Foundation funds nursing scholarships, helps to create simulation scenarios for in-home family care, and continues to host lecture series and genetic testing during the annual NSU Employee Health & Wellness fair.

As part of this ongoing relationship, the Romer Foundation and the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing incorporate genetic components in the lecture series, aiming to provide nursing students with exposure to current genetic findings along with health care management of childhood Tay-Sachs disease. Additionally, the college recognized parents of children with Tay-Sachs disease who shared their experiences with the nursing students during the lecture series. The presenters were instrumental to capturing the needs of families of children with Tay-Sachs disease in the formation of a nursing simulation case study developed by faculty and staff Caroline Smikle and Lucille Graham.

Jennifer Gray, a nursing senior, former president of the Nursing Student Association and an aspiring ER trauma nurse, said, “The presentation from the Romer Foundation was inspiring, eye-opening, and humbling for every person in the room. It provided us [nursing students] with a profound insight into the journey that parents endure when their child is diagnosed with a fatal genetic disease. It is definitely a presentation you do not want to miss.”

The main purpose of the lecture series and the upcoming genetic screening during the NSU annual fair is to spread awareness about Tay-Sachs disease and other pediatric lysosomal storage disorders and to encourage students, faculty, and staff at NSU to ‘know what’s in their genes’.

Pictured from left to right, Elisa Gonzalez, Kevin Romer, Monica Gettleman, Jennifer Gray, and Oralea Marquardt