University Announces Gerontology Initiatives

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Faculty and students at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University are using research, teaching and service programs to address the many issues and opportunities facing our local aging population – including using a recently acquired grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to teach computer classes to area seniors.

The University was chosen from an applicant pool of more than 90 institutions to receive a $12,000 grant from the CIC's Intergenerational Connections: Students Serving Older Adults program, supported by the AARP Foundation. The award will be used to fund service-learning Fellowships for students to serve 55 senior adult residents of the Our Lady of the Lake Senior HUD apartments. The Fellows will be instructing the senior adults on basic computer skills, the use of internet sites to access medical and other information of interest, social media to communicate with family and friends, and Microsoft Word to create narratives for the Elderly Housing newsletter and other written pieces.

"With almost 20 percent of Louisiana's population over the age of 60, it is imperative that our institution makes caring for our senior population now and in the coming years a priority," said Tina Holland, PhD, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University president. "Through programs that promote health at all ages and serve Louisiana seniors through service-learning projects, we can make a long-term positive impact on the lives of many local seniors."

In line with this focus, Lindsay B. Mullins, BSN, MSN-FNP, PhD has been promoted to the Sister Agnes Marie Fitzsimons Endowed Chair of Gerontology, where she will organize and support multidisciplinary participation in gerontological studies at the University. She will draw upon her experience as a nurse scholar and as the Family Nurse Practitioner program director to promote health and quality of life for elders in the region through continued research on building community capacity to promote healthy aging, and by positively impacting Louisiana's nursing workforce and the education surrounding elderly care.

Dr. Mullins has been with the University in various capacities since 2009, and she also serves as a family nurse practitioner for the Louisiana Sleep Foundation. She previously served as a charge nurse at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., from 2001-2005 and as a family nurse practitioner at Methodist Hospital in Dallas from 2005-2006.

She received her bachelor of science in nursing from LSU Health Sciences Center In 2001 and her master's degree as a family nurse practitioner in 2004 from Georgetown University School of Nursing. She completed her studies with a doctorate from LSU's Peabody College of Education in 2010.

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