Thursday, July 21, 2011

Success reins: A story of ribbons and relationships for Villanova Nursing equestrian alumna

Nancy Palombo Ehle ’81 BSN shows Albert (CH Out Go The Lights) in saddle seat competitions around the country. She has learned that balance in life is the way to succeed in her chosen sport.

It’s not unusual for family members to have similar interests, but when it comes to the Ehle family of Orefield, Pa., dedication comes in dual categories-nursing and horseback riding. Nancy Palombo Ehle ’81 BSN is chief financial officer at Lehigh Anesthesia Associates in Allentown, a practice owned and founded by her husband Bob, a nurse anesthetist. Nancy and Bob have supported and encouraged daughter Ally’s interest in equestrian events all the way to the international level. Ally, a junior nursing student at Villanova following in her mother’s footsteps, rides American Saddlebred horses and in August of last year won the Adult 5-Gaited Pleasure class at the prestigious World’s Championship Horse Show in Louisville, Ky.

While her daughter Ally is a world champion, Nancy is also an accomplished, longtime rider. She translates the cool control and quick reactions needed in her former career as a critical care nurse to equestrian events. In saddle seat competitions (a type of English riding), Nancy demonstrates the graceful, high trotting gait of her horse Albert, also known as CH Out Go The Lights, and with much success. In May, she placed second at The Bonnie Blue Horse Show in Virginia in the Adult Country Pleasure Division and also won two blue ribbons at The Raleigh Spring Premier Horse Show in North Carolina in March in the Novice Country Pleasure Division—impressive showings for an equestrian who has only been in the show ring for just over a year. “I am thrilled to be showing and competing,” Nancy notes. She continues to impress the judges this summer. In June, Nancy won the championship in Adult Country Pleasure at the 38th Syracuse International Horse Show held at the New York State Fairgrounds.

Underneath the elegance one sees in saddle seat is the sheer strength required to work so closely and precisely with a highly trained, 1200-pound horse. It is a connection that is vital. "Riding saddle seat is physically and mentally challenging,” explains Nancy. “I must stay on top of my game at all times to be competitive in this sport.” It is a demanding devotion but it seems this nursing alumna has the solution. “At times it is difficult because of all of the other things going on in my life: wife, mother, volunteer, etc…I find that balance is the key to success," she explains.

Now daughter Ally anxiously awaits results during shows as her mother competes, just as her Nancy does for her. Riding has added a special dimension to their lives both inside and outside the rail, one that Nancy hopes will endure, “Ally and I have a wonderful time being in this sport together and share a special bond that I feel to fortunate to have with my daughter. I hope we can continue to ride our beautiful horses for a long, long time.”

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cards for wounded troops project

SNAP's President Megan Copel has confirmed SNAP's interest in sending hand made cards to wounded/ill troops transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center(LRMC) in Germany. LRMC is the largest American military hospital outside the USA and the hospital where ill and wounded troops are transported from such "down range" locations as Afghanistan and Iraq.

My husband and I will be returning to LRMC for the third time. He again will be a civilian volunteer Vascular Surgeon with the Combat Casualty Program, and I will be a civilian volunteer with the Chaplains' Wounded Warrior Ministries (WWM). I am glad to bring the cards with me, as I did last summer. The cards were distributed to the wounded/ill troops through the WWM and were very much appreciated.

Please consider writing a card. A card can be as simple as a folded colored or white paper with some non-political good wishes. Envelopes should NOT be used, as for security reasons, cards are opened. The wounded and ill troops are male and female, American and coalition (Britain, Canada, Australia, Romania, Poland, etc.), so cards might be given to troops from the other countries; everyone is grateful. Troops come from various services within the military and come from all religious and other backgrounds.

Materials for making cards (paper, markers, pens, etc.) will be available at the SNAP meeting, Tuesday, July 12. People who cannot come to the meeting but would like to contribute a card or cards can bring them by July 12 to Ms. Susan Leighton who has been most gracious in offering a box for the cards to be collected. Her office is on the third floor of Driscoll Hall. Ms. Leighton herself has been recognized for her work with troops.

Wishing everyone a good summer,

Carol Toussie Weingarten, PhD, RN, ANEF

Nursing students embark on summer externship in psychiatric-mental health nursing

Seniors Meagan Van Eerde and Chelsea Havelock (front row, 3rd and 4th from left) join other externs and Coordinator Dr. Ben Evans, RN APN (back row, right) in the Psychiatric Student Nurse Externship at Bergen Regional Medical Center.

Villanova, PA, July 7, 2011— Two senior students from the Villanova University College of Nursing, Chelsea Havelock and Meagan Van Eerde, are participating in the Psychiatric Student Nurse Externship in the Behavioral Health Division at Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus, NJ. This is the second year the externship has been offered.

The Villanova students joined 10 other nursing students who were selected from an applicant pool of students from Pennsylvania and New Jersey schools. This externship offers the students an opportunity to deepen their interest in the specialty of psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing. They spend 175 hours in the clinical setting working as part of the multidisciplinary team. Students have the opportunity to rotate through two different inpatient services during the summer as well as an observational experience in the forensic (jail) unit.

The externs work closely with the Unit RNs and assist in direct patient care, individual and group therapy and have the opportunity to attend relevant in-service education. Additionally, student externs attend a biweekly roundtable which offers the opportunity to hear from clinical experts on topics related to the field, such as the role of the psych nurse generalist, the role of the PMH Advanced Practice Nurse, ECT, dual diagnosis of addiction and mental illness and social work-nursing collaboration.