Mount Nursing student partners with Newburgh Ministry for cardiovascular disease education

November 27, 2018

Mount Saint Mary College nursing student Rene Fahey recently educated a Newburgh Ministry client on cardiovascular disease. Also pictured is Nursing professor Kathy Pecoraro, who oversaw his presentation.

Mount Saint Mary College nursing student Rene Fahey recently educated a Newburgh Ministry client on cardiovascular disease.


Mount Nursing student Rene Fahey of Highland, N.Y. recently ran a seminar on cardiovascular disease for the local community at the Newburgh Ministry.

Fahey completed the project as part of the Community Health Nursing course offered at the college, designed to teach students how to use their nursing skills to educate and benefit the local community.

As a future nurse, Fahey has a keen interest in the subject. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America, and yet it can be prevented with lifestyle changes. He finds his motivation for teaching about these healthy lifestyles from his two-year-old daughter’s enjoyment of physical activity. He and his wife, Mount Associate Professor of Chemistry Jodie Fahey, make an effort to find inexpensive, heart healthy foods for their family, techniques he shared with the participants in his class. 

The experience left a lasting impression on Fahey. “As I was giving my presentation, I got a sense of how hungry the community members are for health education,” he noted. “One of the community members shared with me that he had not seen a physician in many years. In that moment, I realized how important this conversation was for him. He was eagerly learning about improving his heart health in a setting that was accessible to him. Moments like this are what make health education such a rewarding experience.”

Getting to use his knowledge to benefit the Newburgh Ministry made the experience even more valuable. “This venue made it possible to have conversations with individual community members and to tailor my education to their specific needs,” Fahey said. “I felt honored to have the opportunity to participate in the powerful work that the Newburgh Ministry does.”

He believes that community involvement is an important part of a nurse’s training. “As students serve the needs of community members, they are encountering humanity in a real, raw, yet beautiful way. They listen to the stories, see the struggles, and become a part of the journey of a fellow human being. The students have a gift of nursing skills and knowledge to share. Such involvement enriches both the lives and education of the students and the lives of the community members.” 

Newburgh Ministry is a culturally diverse, grassroots organization located in the City of Newburgh’s east end. It offers dignity and hope to those who enter seeking shelter, resources, solace, and fellowship. In an atmosphere of care, hospitality, and non-violence, the ministry strives to improve living conditions, transform lives, and honor God. 

The Mount has cooperated with the Newburgh Ministry for years, enhancing both organizations’ service to the community and fostering hands-on learning opportunities for Mount students. The powerful partnership has led to the creation of community literacy programs, countless donation drives, and scores of students who integrate service into the fabric of their education and their daily lives. Dean Goldberg, associate professor of Communication Arts and Film Studies at the college, is president of the Newburgh Ministry Board of Directors.