Yvonne Troiani Sweeney Lecture Series for Nursing Enrichment to be held at ESU

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on March 7, 2017, No Comments

Yvonne Troiani Sweeney’78 always had passion for the well-being of her patients. She dedicated her life to her nursing career that spanned 30 years after earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) and a graduate degree in nursing from Villanova. Her colleagues and patients became her second family. Nursing led her to leadership roles at what is now the Lehigh Valley Health Network, Franklin Square Hospital in Maryland, Albert Einstein Medical Center and the Geisinger Health System. Wherever her occupation led her, she became an inspiration to others for the incredible level of care she delivered every day.

All of that changed six years ago for Sweeney and her family who live in Mountaintop, Pa. Diagnosed with a form of early onset dementia called posterior cortical atrophy, she set aside her career and focused her energy on the daily challenges she faced, alongside her loving husband, Chris, and her two sons, Christopher III and Michael.

Support came in many ways from Sweeney’s family. Her sister, Linda Niedbala ’83, with the help of her husband, Sam Niedbala ’82, started the Yvonne Troiani Sweeney Lecture Series for Nursing Enrichment at ESU, which kicked off in March 2014. The Niedbalas wanted this initiative to be a lasting tribute to Sweeney’s devotion to others while making a significant contribution to the education of healthcare professionals and the community-at-large about the cognitive impairment associated with dementia and other diseases of a similar nature.

This year, the lecture series will continue on Thursday, April 6 with a keynote address by Glen R. Finney, M.D. titled “21st Century Cognitive Care.” Dr. Finney is a board certified behavioral neurologist and director of aging brain and behavioral neurology for the Geisinger Health System. Behavioral Neurology studies all those functions of the brain that make us human, such as consciousness, personality, imagination, creativity, planning, judgment and language as well as the diseases that threaten them. The most common of these diseases with aging are dementias, especially Alzheimer’s and vascular dementias.

Dr. Finney received his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Florida State University and his medical degree from Temple University. Finney completed his internal medicine internship at Abington Memorial Hospital, a neurology residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital and a behavioral neurology fellowship at the University of Florida.  His goal is to promote brain health throughout the elder years and to prevent, detect, diagnose and help people and their families manage age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as dementias through our region.

Dr. Finney’s lecture will take place in room 336 of ESU’s Innovation Center, 562 Independence Road in East Stroudsburg, Pa., at 6 p.m. The event is open to the general public at no cost.

“This endowed lecture series is a tremendous gift to the university and to our medical community,” said ESU President Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D.

For more information about the lecture series, please contact Laura Waters, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of nursing, at (570) 422-3569. Those interested in making a gift to the Yvonne Troiani Sweeney Endowed Lecture Series for Nursing Enrichment may call ESU’s Office of University Advancement at (570) 422-7000.