Community Care Alliance Sr. VP Awarded URI Luminary Award

 Mary Dwyer, MS, M.Ed., PMHCNS-BC, Senior Vice President of Community Support Services at Community Care Alliance

Mary Dwyer, MS, M.Ed., PMHCNS-BC,  Senior Vice President of Community Support Services at Community Care Alliance has earned the distinctive honor of College of Nursing Luminary by the University of Rhode Island. A committee given the mission to celebrate alumni’s contributions to humanity gave this honor to 75 distinguished individuals from over 6000 alumni as part of the college’s 75th Anniversary celebration.

Ginette Ferszt, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, Professor Emerita, URI College of Nursing, nominated Ms. Dwyer for her outstanding contribution to the College of Nursing, the improvement of professional nursing practice and her influence on the health and wellness of people touched throughout her esteemed career. Ferszt highlighted Mary’s contributions as a “true leader in community mental health.”

Mary has over 40 years of experience working with and on behalf of individuals with severe mental illness and co-occurring substance use issues—37 of those years working in the community. She has been the Chair of the Adult Services (Community Support Services) Committee at the Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of RI (formerly the RI Council of Community Behavioral Health Organizations) since 2007.

Utilizing a community approach to problem solving, and resource building for individuals with severe mental illness, Mary has served on multiple statewide boards and committees representing such areas as client protection and advocacy, low-income housing opportunities and health home implementation.

Mary’s contributions to the Nursing profession include being a past president of the RI State Nurses Association (RISNA) where she was instrumental in accessing a grant for substance use prevention in nursing. She was a founding member of the RI Institute for Nursing and would later serve as President. She collaborated with key players in bringing the vision of the RINI Middle College Charter School to reality. She was keen to help nurses in need, to assist those interested in the profession to get a solid foundation, and to contribute to registered nurses’ professional development by precepting URI graduate nursing students pursuing an advanced practice RN in Mental Health Nursing.

College personnel, including faculty, staff, students and alumni gathered at the Wyndham Newport Hotel, 240 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown, on Thursday, September 30 during which 75 “Luminaries” from the College’s history were recognized.


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