Friar Leads Nursing Student on Clinicals in Jamaica

Elms College School of Nursing Team Jamaica 2016

Br. Michael Duffy, OFM Conv. (top left) with Senior students of Elms College, School of Nursing, who traveled to Holy Spirit Clinic, Maggoty, St Elizabeth, Jamaica, WI, for their Clinical Rotation.

Br. Michael Duffy, OFM Conv. (DNP, APRN-BC) is the Coordinator of the Accelerated Second Degree Program and a Professor at the School of Nursing of the College of Our Lady of the Elms, in Chicopee, MA.  His vast education (B.S. American International College, M.S. University of Lowell and D.N.P. Regis College) and extensive experience as a Nurse Practitioner and Educator (Teaching at Elms College 1988-1997 and 2011 – today) is enhanced by his six years of service as a Missionary in Jamaica; managing a clinic, while serving the people of the area through the parish education and outreach needs (St Mary’s, Above Rocks, and Missions consists of: St Mary’s, Above Rocks; Holy Family, Cassava River; and Sacred Hearts, Pinto; in St Catherine Civil Parish, Jamaica, WI.). When the friars arrived in Jamaica they were instructed by the local clergy to give the people good Liturgy and take back the schools, to help stop the hand out mentality, to preach stewardship and to encourage evangelization and catechesis. For six years Brother Michael and the other friars serving there made it a point to have the church open daily while keeping the Sunday celebration of Eucharist central to the life of the Mission. They also committed themselves to weekly Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. They took back the schools, helping them return to a better sense of order, with good principals, weekly Mass, and regular participation in school devotions, meetings and functions.They made great strides in bringing order to chaos and dignity to charity. They preached, encouraged and participated in every evangelization effort that the vicariate or archdiocese offered, while reviving an effective Sunday School and sacramental catechesis. When they left the missions, the seed for success was implemented as the people served took over the reins.
Br. Michael, or “Duffy” as he is affectionately known, has worked in several states and holds a special place in his heart and ministries for those he calls the underserved, including his implementation of the carRe vaN, a mobile healthcare unit serving the poor in the Chicopee area. “Having worked in street clinics in Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, I know how important it is to bring healthcare to the homeless rather than asking them to come to you.” This program also provides nursing students with clinical experience, while providing blood pressure, blood sugar, foot, episodic first aid and minor wound care, as well as patient education and other healthcare needs that may arise.
In addition to working with Br. Michael through the caRe vaN project, students have the opportunity to join him as he returns to Jamaica so they can participate in a population health and community nursing experiences.  Work continues with the doctoral students to further develope ways to provide primary care to the under-served of the Chicopee area.


The Ladies from St Mary’s , Above Rocks pictured with Br. Michael Duffy, OFM Conv., after Mass at St. Paul of the Cross Cathedral in Mandeville during their annual retreat at the adjacent Passionist Retreat House. They send greetings to all the Friars who served their community.


January 15, 2015: Second bush clinic (flash clinic) in the Morgan Forest District in Clarendon, JA, where they saw served 102 people. The group is pictured here in front of the building dedicated as “Barb and Fran Homework & Community Centre” which served as their clinic for the day. Br. Duffy and his student are very grateful to our friars and our benefactors for your continued support, especially over those 13 days in Jamaica.

Newsletter Post from the School of Nursing