Lecture series begins with 'Opioid Overdose Awareness' presentation

SHARON, Pa. — Penn State Shenango will begin its 2018-19 Lecture Series with a presentation and demonstration on “Opioid Overdose Awareness” at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30, in Lecture Hall 223/Art Gallery. Shenango Campus Nursing Program Coordinator Dr. Joan Humphrey and Nursing Instructor Amy Higgins will facilitate the event, which will include a Narcan demonstration by Flight Paramedic Christopher Nagy, and special guest lecturers Mercer County Coroner John Libonati and Emergency Physician Dr. Richard Maenza.

“With the ever-increasing concern about opioid overdose in our area, we feel it is so important to continue to bring awareness to our community,” said Humphrey. “Amy and I are very thankful that Chris Nagy, John Libonati and Dr. Maenza have agreed to be a part of our lecture series and are willing to share their knowledge and expertise on this issue.

"If hearing what one of us has to say can help save or give support to someone who is addicted or to someone whose loved one is suffering because of opioid abuse, then we have done our job as health care and emergency care providers and will continue to hold these types of programs until this epidemic is no longer an issue," said Humphrey.

In addition to nursing coordinator and assistant teaching professor of nursing at the Shenango campus, Humphrey is a practicing board-certified family nurse practitioner. She began teaching at the Shenango campus as a part-time instructor in 2001. In 2014, Humphrey was the recipient of the Margaret Cunningham Foley Memorial Teaching Award — a prestigious award given to an outstanding part-time instructor who received nomination and recommendation by her students.

"If hearing what one of us has to say can help save or give support to someone who is addicted or to someone whose loved one is suffering because of opioid abuse, then we have done our job as health care and emergency care providers and will continue to hold these types of programs until this epidemic is no longer an issue.”

—Joan Humphrey, Shenango Campus Nursing Program coordinator

Humphrey is a lifelong resident of the Shenango Valley and enjoys actively volunteering her time with various community organizations, including serving on the board of directors of the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County. As a nursing professional, Humphrey is involved in both the emergency and urgent care settings.

Higgins recently joined the Shenango campus faculty. She received her RN from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing and her bachelor of science in nursing from Penn State Shenango. Higgins continued her studies and received her masters of nursing from Walden University, where she is currently pursuing her doctorate of nursing practice.

Nagy has been in the emergency medical system (EMS) field since 2004. He joined the South Pymatuning VFD in 2006, where he trained in the essentials of firefighting and is currently the EMS chief. In 2008, Nagy obtained Nationally Registered Paramedic status and is working as a flight paramedic for STAT MedEvac. In addition to EMS chief and a flight paramedic, Nagy frequently works as an adjunct instructor with the training center at UPMC Horizon campuses. He is certified in hazmat operations and received Emergency Management Operations certification from FEMA, The Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama.

Libonati has more than 30 years of experience in emergency medicine and trauma care as a health care practitioner and educator. In addition to his emergency care background, Libonati is the founder of Canine Aided Emergency Search and Rescue (CAESAR) which has provided emergency search and rescue support throughout Western Pennsylvania for more than 25 years and has served as advanced provider of crisis intervention services for emergency responders since May 2001. For the past 20 years he has been involved with numerous programs and initiatives, throughout Mercer County, to improve the quality of life and emergency response to its’ residents and visitors. He has served as the director of operations for McGonigle Ambulance Service for the past 11 years where he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and developmental planning of the organization. Libonati is a certified death investigator through the Pennsylvania Attorney General and has worked for the Mercer County Coroner’s office for the past 10 years.

Dr. Maenza is an emergency physician with US Acute Care Solutions at Sharon Regional Medical Center where he serves as the quality director and EMS director. He is the command physician for a number of ground and air ambulance services. He also works in Addiction Medicine, managing 30 patients in recovery from opioid addiction.

For more information, contact the Penn State Shenango Academic Affairs Office at 724-983-2825.

Last Updated August 22, 2018