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Serving our communities near and far

Posted on 5 Oct 2016 by Goldfarb Team

 ​Attendees work together on creating fleece blankets.
It was a warm, partly sunny afternoon as Goldfarb students and alumni leaned over large tables and carefully cut swaths of fleece that would become warm blankets for community members in need throughout the St. Louis area. Making fleece blankets was just one of the several community support activities under way the afternoon of Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College Homecoming on September 30. The projects exemplified this year’s theme, “Unity in Community.”

Graduates from classes as early as 1954 joined current students, faculty and staff in a variety of on- and off-site projects.

Attendees created colorful positive postcards with messages of inspiration and comfort for the Arts + Healthcare traveling postcard stand from which patients and families can select notes of encouragement. St. Louis Children's Hospital NICU was the recipient of 500 snack and hygiene kits for families, while some attendees used their sewing skills to make small pillows for patients with ports to insert under their seat belts so they will be more comfortable while in the car. And at St. Patrick's Center, one of Missouri’s largest providers of services for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, Goldfarb volunteers sorted food and clothing donations and helped clients find items they needed. While volunteers at the International Institute of St. Louis worked in the donation and shopping room. Sorting and organizing donations for clients, which include immigrants and refugees in St. Louis City and County.

The Homecoming community activities were developed to recognize and extend the far-reaching impact Goldfarb alumni, students, faculty and staff have on the lives of patients and the communities where they live and work.

The day began with a ceremony honoring members of the Goldfarb family lost over the years. A bagpiper escorted attendees into the auditorium. Alumni Affairs Director June Cowell-Oates EdD, LPC, LCSW, CEAP, George Holland, chair of the Alumni Advisory Council, and Rev. Julie Allen Berger BCC-HPCC, chaplain of palliative care, led the prayer memorial.

At lunch, Interim Dean Gretchen Drinkard, PhD, RN, presented 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards to Tamara Otey, PhD, RN (class of ‘84) and Carrie Jeffries, MPH, MS, RN, ANP-BC, AACRN (class of ‘94 and ‘96). The awards recognize graduates who have continued their education while caring for patients and demonstrated a commitment to nursing education, research and service.

 ​Dr. Drinkard and Dr. Otey 
Otey, a St. Louisan, began travelling to Nigeria in 2004 to care for the underserved rural Imo State, providing medical consultations, training and equipment. After graduating from Jewish Hospital School of Nursing with an RN, she earned a BSN from the University of Memphis in 2000, an MSN from Union University in 2003, and a doctorate in nursing science with a minor in public health from Indiana University last year. She was appointed assistant professor at Goldfarb earlier this year.

 Carrie Jeffries
Originally from O’Fallon, Mo., Jeffries has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, Kenya, Zambia, and Liberia, where she was a public health advisor with USAID and the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative. She currently serves as chief nursing officer of the HIV/AIDS bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, holds an MSN from the University of California at San Francisco, an MPH from Johns Hopkins University, and is pursuing a doctorate in nursing practice at George Washington University.

The day ended with students, alumni, faculty and staff celebrating together with food, fun and dancing! Cowell-Oates said that enthusiasm and attendance keeps growing year after year. “We had a ’48 grad call and wanted to know if any of her classmates were coming. She couldn’t make it this year but called anyway.”

Be sure to save the date for the 2017 Homecoming celebration on Friday, Sept. 29!

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