Contact: Allison Benner, College Relations Associate – Media, 610-740-3790



Founders of Ghanaian School and Cedar Crest Faculty to Sign Agreement at Ceremony on Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Allentown, PA (June 12, 2006) – On Tuesday, June 13, 2006, Dr. Edward Nahr and his wife Beatrice, the directors of the Nahr-Bita School of Nursing in Tema, Ghana, will visit the Cedar Crest College Nursing Department to take part in a ceremony that will officially begin an ongoing cooperative relationship between the two institutions.

Dr. Nahr and his wife will arrive at Cedar Crest at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday and will tour the campus and its nursing education facilities and meet with nursing faculty and students. The agreement-signing ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. in the Harmon Hall of Peace and will also include the dedication of the Unity Carving, a gift from the Ghanaians to the College.

In November 2005, four members of the Cedar Crest nursing faculty embarked on a two-week journey to lend their clinical expertise and advice to the Narh-Bita School of Nursing as it received its accreditation from the Ghanaian government. The school was privately established in 2004 in response to the severe shortage of nurses in Ghana and remains one of only a handful of accredited schools in the nation.

The cooperation between the schools will include the exchange of academic materials and of students, joint research activities and participation in seminars and academic meetings.

"We are thrilled to officially begin this partnership and some of our students are already corresponding with students at Nahr-Bita," says Nancy DalPezzo, assistant professor of nursing at Cedar Crest. "By offering support and expertise to Narh-Bita, we are helping to improve the infrastructure in a small but significant way and they are giving our students a unique educational opportunity."

DalPezzo cites the Ghanaian life expectancy as a concrete example of how this partnership can help. In Ghana, the expected life span of an individual is roughly 56 years old, meaning that the nursing skills necessary for elder care are virtually non-existent there. But as that number begins to rise, Ghanaian healthcare workers and educators recognize the need to develop a curriculum that addresses that, which is where an established U.S. program like the one at Cedar Crest can offer much-needed guidance.

The partnership is an example of Cedar Crest's ongoing efforts to establish relationships with foreign schools of nursing in Africa and Sweden to allow nursing student an opportunity to develop a global perspective on healthcare practice. The College's nursing program has seen a 300 percent increase in enrollment, the institution of more flexible scheduling options for students, the construction of the brand new state of the art Nursing Learning Resource Center, and two consecutive classes that achieved an unprecedented 100 percent pass rate on the national nursing board examination.

Media are invited to attend this event. This visit also offers a special opportunity to speak with Dr. Nahr and Cedar Crest nursing experts about the nursing shortage in America and abroad. Please see accompanying release "Cedar Crest Nursing Experts Respond to Controversial Issue of Nursing Migration."

For more information, please contact the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.


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