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Newsmaker: Valerie Howard

Valerie Howard, dean of the Robert Morris University School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, 10:00 p.m.
 

Noteworthy: Howard was named acting dean of the Robert Morris University School of Nursing, replacing the school's founder, Lynda Davidson. Howard pioneered the use of simulation training for nurses and health care workers and helped found the Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education Center at RMU.

Age: 47

Residence: Peters

Family: Husband, Matthew; children, Kayla, 21, Sarah, 19, Joshua, 18, and Maura, 18.

Background: Howard started her nursing career at Presbyterian Hospital in 1988. She taught at the University of Pittsburgh from 1996 to 2004 and then went to RMU to help start its nursing school.

Education: Howard graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1988, obtained a Master of Nursing Education from Pitt in 1995 and a doctorate in higher education administration from Pitt in 2007. Quote: “Simulation is simply re-creating the environment of a healthcare setting use highly technical mannequins or actors. ... If we can allow our students and healthcare workers to practice many of their skills in a safe environment of a healthcare simulation, then we feel that they are better prepared and that will enhance patient safety and decrease medical errors.”

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