Amita Avadhani and David R. Devereaux
Amita Avadhani, chair of the Department of Nursing, and David R. Devereaux, a member of the College of Public Health Board of Visitors.

Amita Avadhani, NEA-BC, CNE, DCC, ACNP-BC, NP-C, CCRN, FAANP, FCCM, has been named the David R. Devereaux Endowed Chair of Nursing in the College of Public Health. The honor reflects her distinction in research and teaching.  

“Professionally and personally, I am thrilled to receive this honor from the Devereaux family on behalf of the Department of Nursing and the College of Public Health,” Avadhani said. “Selection as an endowed chair represents high professional merit. And I know Mr. Devereaux holds the nursing profession in very high regard.“ 

Avadhani, who joined the College of Public Health in August 2023, has a strong record of leadership in research, teaching, and advancement of the nursing profession. Her work with professional organizations at the state, national, and international level includes serving on the board of directors of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Through her academic career, she has continued to work as a nurse practitioner in acute and primary care, including work during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in a 27-bed ICU at Saint Peter's University Hospital in New Jersey. 

“Amita is a wonderful candidate for this recognition,” said Jennifer Ibrahim, dean of the College of Public Health. “She is a leader in the field based on translational research and is committed to building the nursing workforce. She seeks to address the challenges of clinical care for our nurses and for our patients to create equitable access to quality care.” 

The Devereaux Chair was endowed by David R. Devereaux, a member of the College’s Board of Visitors, in 2006 to honor the 50th anniversary of his mother’s start in nursing in Scranton, Pa. “We are so fortunate to have Dave and Patrice Devereaux as part of our College of Public Health community,” Ibrahim said. “Their generosity and engagement with the department of nursing shows their faith in what we are doing—training the next generation of nurses for fulfilling careers just like Dave’s mom.” 

“I wanted to recognize the contribution that my mother made to my life, and the contribution that skilled nursing made to my life,” Devereaux said. “I grew up in a house where healthcare was part of the everyday routine. My mom was a nurse, and her best friends were nurses, and people who came to our home were nurses. This profession gave me a lot from day one until every day thereafter. To be able to make a contribution back has been pretty incredible.” 

Devereaux’s first job, through his high school years, was as a housekeeper in a nursing home, working for his mother. After studying hotel management at Cornell University, he came to Temple for his MBA, then launched into a prosperous career in nursing home management. He became president and chief operating officer of Beverly Healthcare, the largest publicly held nursing home company in America, and served in leadership positions at other healthcare organizations. Devereaux also helped start the College’s Visionary Research Fund. 

Support for nursing education has never been more important, he says.  

“America is going to need more nurses, more well-prepared nurses, and Temple is ideally suited to meet a portion of that demand,” he said. He is excited about the future of nursing instruction at the college’s new building, Paley Hall, which will feature advanced simulation and training facilities. “You'll have the tools, you’ll have the site, and you have the leadership. There shouldn't be any barrier to having some incredibly prepared nurses coming out of Temple.”