Major Momentum:
SJC Meets Alfond Foundation Challenge for Nursing Innovation Hub

“Without state-of-the-art spaces and the programs to deliver and enhance their nursing education, dedicated nurses—both those who are still students and those who are already practicing but need further education—are limited in their potential. That is why this campaign is so incredibly important. Saint Joseph’s has the dedicated faculty. It has students who have committed their lives to the nursing profession. It has a wonderful educational program foundation. But now, for the sake of these nursing students, for the sake of nursing, and for the sake of healthcare in Maine and nationally—much more is needed.”

— Dr. Jeanne Donlevy Arnold ’83, Hon ’17

President Jim Dlugos announces that Saint Joseph’s has successfully met the Alfond Foundation Challenge for the Center for Nursing Innovation, and why this is a moment of celebration for the College.

Greg Powell, Chairman of the Alfond Foundation, congratulates the College for meeting the challenge toward building an innovation hub for nursing in Maine.

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About the Center

Saint Joseph’s College received a $1.5 million challenge grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation to support the creation of a new Center for Nursing Innovation – a  $5 million program on the Standish campus. In addition, SJC alumna and member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Jeanne Donlevy Arnold and her husband, Ed Arnold pledged $2 million in response to the Alfond Challenge.

The Saint Joseph’s College Center for Nursing Innovation will encompass on-campus and online nursing education offering:

  • Top-notch science and SIM technology
  • An increase to Maine’s nursing workforce and credentialed faculty through scholarships and a new PhD pathway
  • Nursing educational advancement through new or enhanced health care partnerships

The Alfond Foundation challenge grant provides the keystone element of SJC’s planned Center—21st century nursing facilities for SIM and the nursing sciences.

Nursing Crisis and Challenges Nationally and in Maine

The national nursing crisis has been widely analyzed and published. Critical needs are:

  • Lack of adequate numbers of nurses—including new BSN graduates

  • Lack of adequate numbers of nurse PhD’s for faculty positions

  • Lack of flexible, site-specific educational programs for nurses

How Saint Joseph’s College will Address the Nursing Crisis

  • The new Center for Nursing Innovation will include five SIM Laboratories (hospital and home care).

  • An entire floor dedicated to students’ needs—includes advising offices for student and faculty meetings, a conference room, and a student collaborative learning space.

  • Enhancement of Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology labs used by nursing majors.
  • Establishment of a new scholarship fund to benefit first-generation nursing students from Maine.

View the Center’s Plans

Become a Nursing Ambassador

To help the College address the national nursing shortage and establish the Center, Susan Vontell ’82 has agreed to serve as a Nursing Ambassador, a nationwide network of alumni and friends of the College across 11 states who will support the Center in a number of ways, not only philanthropically, but by creating awareness of the Center through speaking and hosting events, writing letters, and participating in media coverage.

If you are interested in serving as a nursing ambassador and helping Saint Joseph’s College address the nationwide nursing shortage through innovative programming, please contact Joanne Bean for more information at

Please join us in fulfilling this important mission to serve Maine and our nation and address this critical nursing shortage.


Joanne Bean
Vice President & Chief Advancement Officer


Our Nursing Programs