Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences Department of Speech-Language Pathology Dash Winner

From left, Brittany Hendrix (first winner of the Make the most of the dash -Ashley Hess legacy scholarship) and her family.

Many people knew and loved Ashley Kaye Hess, a cheerleader, dancer, teacher, and NSU speech-language pathology master’s candidate, before she was killed in a tragic car accident on May 14, 2016 at the age of 28. On May 14, 2020, Brittany Hendrix was awarded the first “Make the Most of the Dash/Ashley Kaye Hess Changing Lives Scholarship”.

Brittany Hendrix is a 27-year-old graduate from Freed-Hardeman University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. She is currently a graduate student at Nova Southeastern University pursuing her master’s degree in speech-language pathology with the intent to graduate in December of 2020. She has a special interest in feeding and swallowing and working in early intervention with medically fragile children in the birth to three population.

Brittany Hendrix was born in Tennessee but moved to Aruba at the age of six where she lived for eight years. In 2007 she and her family returned to Tennessee where she completed high school and college. She met her husband, Riley, in college and they were married in Florida in 2014.

Brittany Hendrix has most recently worked as the Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) coordinator at Meadowbrook Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale. She has also worked for the Broward County schools system for the past six years. She has taught fifth grade gifted/high achievers, third grade, and LLI. She has always enjoyed working in title-1 schools with a high ESOL population.

She currently resides in Coral Springs with her husband, Riley Hendrix, her two daughters, 4-year-old Juliette and nine-month old Charlotte, one cat, two dogs and a fish. She especially enjoys traveling, reading, playing board games, and spending time at home with her family.

Brittany met with Ashley’s mother Lisa and Brittany stated, “I am deeply honored to be the inaugural winner of the scholarship and will make Ashley’s legacy part of my career goals and dedication to my patients.”

Ethic Bowl 2020: Promoting Deliberation and Ethical Practice in Healthcare

The physician assistant team, the 2020 Ethics Bowl Spirit Award winners.

The College of Health Care Sciences hosted the 16th annual Ethics Bowl Competition on Thursday, February 27, 2020.  This annual interprofessional experience brings students together from different health care professions to engage in thoughtful deliberation about current ethical issues in healthcare.

Seventy-four students, faculty coaches, faculty judges, and staff moderators participating from the following professions:

  • Physician Assistant
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Anesthesiology Assistant
  • Nursing Ft Lauderdale
  • Pharmacy
  • Nursing Palm Beach
  • Medical Sonography

Teams practiced together for many weeks with the hopes of winning the Ethics Bowl trophy. It was a close competition, but the Nursing team from the Palm Beach campus won the final round and took home the gold medals. Physical Therapy earned silver medals this year and the Physician Assistant program rocked the house with a large and boisterous group of faculty and students adorned in costumes waving homemade signs.

The practice of ethics is the systematic, reasoned deliberation regarding values and the appropriateness of choices that are made in the ever-changing circumstances of personal and organizational life. Health care ethics specifically focuses on matters of health, life and death that arise from the complex relationships among medicine, science, technology, and society.  Some of the cases the student teams considered involved the opioid epidemic, organ donation, and a young girl with AIDS.


SLP Department Chair Contributes Chapter to “The Clinical Education and Supervisory Process in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology” by Elizabeth McCrea and Judith Brasseur

Wren S. Newman, SLP.D., CCC-SLP

Wren S. Newman, SLP.D., CCC-SLP, department chair and assistant professor for Speech Language Pathology at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences, contributed a chapter to a book published in November 2019 titled The Clinical Education and Supervisory Process in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Authors Elizabeth McCrea and Judith Brasseur assembled important current research and best practices in clinical education and supervision into one comprehensive resource. Dr. Newman, considered an expert in the field, contributed the chapter on “The Ethics of Clinical Education and Supervision.”

Dr. Newman first began presenting on the topic of supervision in the field of Speech-Language Pathology in 2000 and has published numerous articles since to address individual and cultural differences in supervision as well as ethical issues associated with the supervisory process. As the department chair for the largest speech language pathology program in the country, which is being offered at the master’s level at seven locations throughout the state of Florida, online, and in blended formats via cohorts in California and Washington state, Dr. Newman has developed unique expertise in distance training of clinical supervision. Dr. Newman has an extensive history of service to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), serving on multiple committees and boards, including, but not limited to, the Board of Ethics, the Council for Clinical Certification, and the Committee on Leadership.

The Clinical Education and Supervisory Process in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology by Elizabeth McCrea and Judith Brasseur is now available at online book retailers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For more information on Nova Southeastern University’s Speech-Language Pathology program offered at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, visit https://healthsciences.nova.edu/slp/masters/index.html.


NSU Speech-Language Pathology Students Win 2018-2019 Chapter of the Year Award at National Conference

Nova Southeastern University’s chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) was presented with the coveted Chapter of the Year award at the 2019 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention held November 21-23, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. NSSLHA is the only national student organization for pre-professionals studying communication sciences and disorders recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). NSSLHA supports more than 12,040 members and over 320 chapters at colleges and universities nationwide.

The “Florida Sharks”, as the NSU NSSLHA chapter is called, stood out because of their exceptional dedication to the association’s core values leadership, collaboration, education, diversity, service, and integrity. Despite the chapter’s countless initiatives which included submitting letters to legislators focusing on federal funding for children with disabilities, sharing information and sparking conversation about communication disorders on World Cerebral Palsy Day and World Thrombosis Day, and collecting more than $3,000 worth of donations for many organizations, the group remains humble stating, “This isn’t about the Chapter Honors award, it’s about students committed to the professions and the future of CSD [Communication Sciences and Disorders].” Congratulations, Sharks! You make us proud!



Alumni Spotlight: Candice Caesar

After crossing paths with some of life’s obstacles, veteran Candice L. Caesar has continued to have a positive outlook on life. Caesar’s persistent attitude and dedication, she has earned the title of a true female warrior. She recently won the Moody Endowment Award for Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year from Achilles International.

Although Caesar currently works as a speech language pathologist, her goals didn’t always include providing patients with the gift of communication. Caesar had originally intended to serve in the Army for 20 years. Her grandfather was a World War II veteran and her father was a Vietnam War veteran, so their perseverance had sparked the interest.

“Freedom isn’t free. Someone has to pay the price,” Candice Caesar said. “Someone has to sacrifice for your liberty, why not me?”

In spite of the fact that Caesar didn’t expect any surprises within the military, the bond shared between servicemen and women had amazed her, especially since, as an only child, she had never experienced a sibling relationship.

“I am an only child and I have never seen strangers bond like we do,” Caesar said. “It is great [to] know someone is watching my six. It is like joining an elite brotherhood.”

Unfortunately, due to a paralytic injury Caesar had to retire from the Army after serving for seven and a half years. Although Caesar was unable to serve for as long as she intended, her years of service are shown honor and appreciation through Veteran’s Day celebrations.

“However people wish to honor us is the best way,” Caesar said. “We appreciate that someone appreciates the sacrifices we made for our country.”

Despite her career goals taking an unexpected turn, Caesar decided to find light in the darkest of situations. Caesar was told she would never walk again due to a brain and spinal cord injury which left her paralyzed. After her surgery she worked with a speech language pathologist (SLP) on cognitive retraining, swallowing, and speech. Shortly after working with the SLP, Caesar grew inspired.

“I was so amazed with her and my progress that I decided I wanted to help others and become a speech language pathologist,” Caesar said. “Communication is very important. I remember what it was [like] to not be able to share my wants and needs with others. The gift of communication is the best gift anyone can receive.”

Caesar is a Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Master of Speech-Language Pathology alumna. After being medically retired from the Army, NSU’s online program was very accommodating and fit with Caesar’s schedule. She was able to work as a speech assistant during the day and attended necessary classes online at night.

“The faculty and staff were knowledgeable and personable,” Caesar said. “I could not have asked for a better fit.”

Whether it is overcoming a medical challenge or establishing a new goal, Caesar’s never-ending hunger to serve allows her to remain unstoppable. Even though she can no longer serve in the Army, Caesar continues to show her desire to serve as a speech language pathologist.

“Pray and do what God wants you to do. You will know which path to take,” Caesar said. “Sometimes there are struggles. Sometimes it seems as though you cannot make it. You can, because you are stronger than you think.”

We are so proud of you Candice! Today we honor you and all veterans. Go NSU Sharks!

Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences International Academy of Physician Associate Educators Conference

PA Delegates from around the world gathered at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences campus in Winterthur, Switzerland. The campus served as the host for the conference since they recently started a PA program.

October 16-19, 2019, the International Academy of Physician Associate Educators conference was held in Winterthur, Switzerland. The conference was attended by Physician Assistant educators collaborating from around the world including delegates from Africa, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, India, and the USA.

Presenting at the conference, Victor Quinones, M.S., PA-C, NSU faculty from the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences Physician Assistant Program–Orlando. His presentation highlighted the use of Simulation: Improving Collaboration amongst Healthcare Professions in Emergency Medicine.

Victor Quinones presenting at the conference discussing simulation in Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences NSU Physical Therapy, Physician’s Assistant, and Psychology Programs team up to treat over 600 patients in Puerto Rico


In April 2019, students, faculty, and alumni of the NSU Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) Programs in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa under the leadership of Ovidio Olivencia, D.P.T., PT, OCS, and Keiba Shaw, D.P.T., Ed.D., PT, joined forces with the Physician’s Assistant Program in Orlando led by Victor Quinones, M.S., PA-C, EMT-P, the Psychology program at the Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus, led  by Diana Formoso, Ph.D., and the NSU campus in San Juan and area Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate and provide healthcare for people in the communities of Anãsco, Bayamón, Cataño, Humacao, and Utuado.

Lance Cherry, Ed.D., PT, OCS, Jessica Estrada, D.P.T., PT, ATC,  both from Tampa and Ellen Kaldor, M.P.T., PT, PCS, a physical therapist specializing in pediatrics served as preceptors for the physical therapy students. Joining the NSU team was a nurse and a paramedic who provided invaluable expertise and treatment. Over the course of 5 days, the team was able to provide quality health, medical and psychological care, equipment, and vaccinations to approximately 600 people. This Medical Outreach led to many success stories from the perspectives of the communities that were served, the students, preceptors and community partners.

Ramon Vazquez from FEMA said, “I witnessed many success stories and one in particular moved me very much. I witnessed an elderly gentleman in “Hogar Nuestra Señora” de la Providencia who was unable to walk but was able to walk and move after he received treatment from your team.”

A veteran of other NSU sponsored Medical Outreach’s including Jamaica, Kaldor said, Hearing of Puerto Rico’s devastation from Maria, I was so happy to help. It was truly a pleasure to travel and work with Lance and your students, Dr. Formosa and her students and Victor Quinones and his students. I learned a great deal from them as well as hoping they did from me. So glad to be part of this team.”

The trip in April was the second trip for the D.P.T. students and faculty to Puerto Rico. Recognizing in November 2018 that there still was a need for assistance as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017, a group of eight NSU D.P.T. students under the supervision of Olivencia, Shaw, and Estrada, travelled to the community of Toa Baja, and provided physical therapy services and education for 56 patients over the course of two days.

In addition, $1,200 worth of medical supplies including but not limited to canes, crutches, back and knee braces were provided for those in need! During this trip, Shaw met with community leaders under the guidance of NSU Puerto Rico Campus director, Vanessa Blanco, and FEMA liaison, Vazquez, to assess the need and set the stage for future Medical Outreach to island.

NSU is committed to meeting the health care needs of the underserved in Puerto Rico by providing quality care. In light of this dedication, the next Medical Outreach to Puerto Rico is scheduled for November 17-23, 2019. We have tentatively scheduled the Spring Medical Outreach to Puerto Rico for March 15-21, 2020.

For both trips we are looking for students and faculty from all health care disciplines who have a passion to serve and want to make a positive impact in those that they touch. If you or your students have an interest in attending this outreach, please contact Dr. Keiba Shaw at ks1453@nova.edu.

Visit the PCHCS Community Outreach page for more information and photos: https://healthsciences.nova.edu/community-outreach/index.html.  You can also view a short presentation by Shaw outlining some of the needs of each of the communities we have serviced, https://youtu.be/zosmC4CkCH4.

Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences and Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing Collaborate on an Interprofessional Simulation Experience

Students from the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Healthcare Sciences, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program collaborated in an interprofessional simulation experience. The learning objectives of the experience centered around interprofessional teamwork and communication. Small groups of students provided care to a simulated patient in the acute care setting. During this collaboration, students gained knowledge in their own ability to provide safe and efficient care as well as participating as an active member of the health care team. Each small group debriefed following the patient encounter and a large group debrief was held at the end focusing on interprofessional teamwork and communication. Student commented “I think the scenarios were well done and helped with the interactions between the different health professions”; “I appreciated the interprofessionalism and working together towards a common goal”; “It was a great opportunity to assess the importance in collaboration with physical therapist and nurses and gauge our skills when working as a team.”

We express our sincere appreciation for all students who participated as well as the faculty and staff for coordinating and planning this experience. PCHCS faculty included Shari Rone-Adams, D.BA, MHSA, Archana Vatwani, D.PT, M.B.A.s, Melissa Morris, M.S., and Elizabeth Swann, Ph.D.s, ACON faculty included Sarah Koplow, Ph.D.s, Deborah Papa, Ed.D.,M.S., Heather Saifman, Ph.D.s, Lisa Soontupe, Psy.D., M.S., B.A., Professor Bibi Khan, and Lucille Graham, M.S. Special thanks to our standardized patient, Ms. Vanessa Maloney for lending her experience and expertise.

Halmos College Graduates First Class of Health Studies Graduate Students

On June 7, 2019, Halmos College’s Department of Biological Sciences graduated their first class of students in the Master’s of Biological Sciences Health Studies Track. This concentration is a 12-month, 30-credit program designed to better prepare graduates of undergraduate science programs for entrance into health or medical professional schools.  The program offers the opportunity for students to enhance their academic records, improve graduate entrance test scores, and obtain a graduate degree.

Congratulations Graduates!

For more information: https://cnso.nova.edu/academics/masters/biological-sciences.html

NSU Student Academy of Audiology Travels to Capitol Hill

From left, front row, Doctor of Audiology students, Jessica Rubin, Mary Buckman and Erin Kelly. From left, middle row, audiology students, Ali Silverman, Samantha Englaish, Briana Stanikmas, and Tasha Takeshita. From left, top back row, faculty members, Patricia Gaffney and Alyssa Needleman.

On Friday, May 10, 2019, seven Nova Southeastern University Au.D. students and two faculty members, Patricia Gaffney, Au.D., associate professor, and Alyssa Needleman, Ph.D., clinic director and associate professor, traveled to Capitol Hill to advocate for the field of audiology.

This is the fifth consecutive year that NSU’s Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) has sent a group of students to Washington, D.C., to advocate for their future profession. As NSU’s SAA chapter strongly encourages members to be active participants in their future profession, this trip provides students with an unforgettable opportunity to raise awareness of the current legislation affecting the field of audiology on Capitol Hill. The success of previous trips enabled the chapter to continue this opportunity.

This year’s advocacy trip featured a group of NSU Au.D. students who come from all over the United States. The six second year Au.D. students and one first year Au.D. student collectively represented Florida, Tennessee, Hawaii, New York, and Massachusetts. All but one of the students, this was their first time advocating on Capitol Hill. Ali Silverman, NSU’s SAA Government Relations chair, attended last year’s advocacy trip and was passionate about sharing the experience with other SAA members by planning this years’ trip. Working with Susan Pilch, J.D., senior director of Government Relations, and Kathryn Werner, M.P.A., vice president of Public Affairs at American Academy of Audiology, it was possible for meetings with various congressional offices from the NSU students’ home-states to be arranged. Additional support was offered by Jodi Baxter, Au.D., assistant professor at Ohio State University, who was also on hand to assist the students with their meetings.

The day began with breakfast and a briefing of the legislation that would be discussed throughout the day. Students then attended meetings with the representatives of their home states. The home-state representatives were from the offices of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL), Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Representative Ed Case (D-HI), Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Representative Peter King (R-NY), Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Representative Francis Rooney (R-FL), and Representative Timothy Burchett (R-TN). The NSU student advocates were all able to attend meetings in small groups ensuring each participant had the opportunity to take the lead and share their personal stories.

The Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2017 and the Access to Frontline Care Act of 2017 were previously introduced during the 115th Congress. Students were eager to continue to advocate for the passage of these bills. Additionally, students were granted a unique look at the development of a bill that will hopefully be introduced to Congress this year. The Hear Act will be a bill jointly proposed by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Academy of Doctors of Audiology, and Academy of Audiology to amend Medicare to recognize audiologists as practitioners, allowing direct access and coverage for both diagnostic and treatment services.

This trip is an opportunity for students to get involved in a different aspect of their future profession. Collectively, all of the NSU student advocates felt that the trip provided insight into the positive and negative impacts that current legislation can have on the field of audiology. The students and faculty would like to thank everyone involved in the planning of this trip and those who contributed to its success!


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