CHICOPEE — Elms College promoted Brother Michael Duffy, conventual Franciscan friar, to the position of associate dean of the School of Nursing. In this role, he will have primary responsibility for the School of Nursing’s undergraduate programs, service learning programs, and international studies.
Duffy most recently served as coordinator of the accelerated second degree in Nursing program, assistant professor of Nursing, and director of the Elms College caRe vaN, a free health clinic on wheels that serves homeless and underserved people of Chicopee while affording clinical experience to pre-licensure students.
Duffy has extensive experience as an adult nurse practitioner and a nurse educator, teaching at Elms from 1988 through 1997, and again since 2011. He has practiced in healthcare in homeless settings in Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and Baltimore for years. In 2011, he returned from a six-year assignment in Jamaica, where he managed a rural clinic, to serve as the coordinator of the accelerated second degree program in Nursing.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from American International College, his master’s degree from the University of Lowell, and his doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree from Regis College in Weston, where his caRe vaN vision came to fruition as his doctoral project.
Today, the caRe vaN is staffed with pre-licensure students, RN-to-BS students, clinical faculty, and DNP students, and provides free healthcare to the homeless and underserved in Chicopee. The caRe vaN started in a renovated RV and is now housed in a larger, up-to-date unit that is towed from site to site.
Duffy returns to Jamaica each winter with second degree accelerated nursing students who fulfill their population-health and community-nursing experience through a broad range of patient care and clinical experiences, which the students have described as “transformative” to their professional identity and future practice as nurses.
“Since Br. Michael joined the Elms nursing faculty, his strong dedication and commitment to the college, students, the School of Nursing, and the community have been evident in all of his work, earning him the tremendous respect of all,” said Kathleen Scoble, dean of the School of Nursing. “His leadership has been integral to the growth of the School of Nursing through the development of the accelerated second degree program, service learning on the local and international levels, and instruction in the DNP program. We are extremely fortunate to have Brother Michael assume this important position.”
Duffy received the Paul Harris tribute by the Rotary Club of Chicopee in 2013. The Paul Harris tribute is the highest recognition the Rotary gives to an individual who lives by the slogan “service above self.”
“There is little doubt that Brother Michael Duffy will make a significant contribution to the college and the School of Nursing in his new position,” Scoble said. “He is simply a very special person who has in many ways positively impacted all those around him.”