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Grad Gives Fairfield U. $2.5M For New Palliative Care Center

A crowd gathered for the groundbreaking of the new Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies at Fairfield University.
A crowd gathered for the groundbreaking of the new Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies at Fairfield University. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The nursing school at Fairfield University has received a substantial gift to found the Kanarek Center for Palliative & Supportive Nursing Education.

Fairfield University trustee and alumna, Robin Kanarek, a 1996 B.S.N. graduate of the Kanarek Family Foundation, made a leadership gift in the amount of $2.5 million to found the center, the University announced recently.

It will house the newly renamed Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies.

Palliative care programs and services are for patients with a life-threatening illness and need supportive care, and management of their symptoms and pain to improve their quality of life.

“At the Egan School, we strive to ensure that all our graduates receive essential palliative care education and clinical experiences, to ensure quality of life for patients and families,” said Meredith Wallace Kazer PhD, Dean and Professor of the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies.

“We are very grateful to the Kanarek family whose generous gift will ensure that our graduates and members of our partnering community will have the critical resources needed to become palliative care-ready.”

"As the director for this innovative center, I look forward to not only enriching our student's learning experience but also promoting palliative care education within the state of Connecticut and beyond. We are most appreciative to the Kanarek family for affording the Egan School of Nursing the opportunity to be leaders in this national movement,” said Associate Professor, Eileen R. O'Shea, DNP, who will lead the new center.

The center will open in the full and offer a comprehensive curriculum that will provide nursing professionals the education needed to effectively practice palliative care and improve the quality of life for those suffering from serious or life-threatening illnesses, according to the university.

The donation is part of the University’s $160 million Fairfield Rising capital campaign.

In addition to the Kanarek Center, Fairfield University Trustee William P. Egan (1967 graduate) and his wife Jacalyn announced a $10 million gift to rename the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies in honor of  William's mother.

Construction began on the new facility this past April.

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