Jawonio has partnered with the Dominican College Division of Nursing for the past several years. The connection began in 2013 when Mia Wolinksy-Zazon, who works as the Registered Dietician at Jawonio, came up with the idea about a possible affiliation between Dominican College nursing students, and Jawonio. She consulted with her mom, Vita Wolinksy, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Dominican College, and Joanne Lupo, Director of Nursing at Jawonio about a potential partnership. The idea was to give nursing students the opportunity to learn more about nursing practice in a real world setting, and about the unique set of needs that people with disabilities, behavioral health challenges, and special needs. This opportunity would also allow those in the nursing program to learn first hand how they may need to tailor their communication and practice to meet such needs.

“As the course coordinator for the Division of Nursing’s Behavioral Health Nursing and Community Nursing classes, I am always seeking enlightening clinical experiences. These rotations allow our students to apply and to integrate their theoretical foundation in nursing with real life situations with individuals, families and community settings,” said Vita Wolinksy.

Jawonio hosts orientation and education sessions for the students in the fall, run by Robert Sbordone, Director of Workforce Development for Jawonio, where they are taught about history and development of the disabilities services field, and the history of the fight for the rights of people with disabilities. They are given the opportunity to interact directly with Jawonio consumers and staff. Nursing students also attend clinics and day programs to expand their knowledge and real life experiences. The year culminates in an annual Health Fair that the nursing students create for all of Jawonio’s staff and program participants to attend, where visitors gain valuable information and tips on how to stay healthy. The Health Fair this spring took place in April at the Jawonio Tech Building in New Hempstead, and the theme was reducing stress through everyday activities. Over 200 Jawonio staff and program participants attended. The students set up and ran several booths that engaged attendees in various activities such as; aromatherapy, incorporating fitness into your everyday routine with dance, tactile/sensory therapy, and healthy nutrition – including fruit smoothie demonstration with samples!

“This is our third Health Fair. Every one of them has been more successful than the last. It is the highlight of my career to see the nurses of our future. We are so thankful to have this wonderful partnership with the Dominican Nursing program, and we look forward to continuing our work together, for years to come,” said Joanne Lupo.

Thank you to Nancy DiDona, Director, Vita Wolinksy, Assistant Professor, and Lorraine Vitale, Professor, and the Dominican College Division of Nursing for your partnership.  We are thrilled to have your students learn and grow from their experiences at Jawonio.

Click here for more information about the Dominican College Division of Nursing.