Dear members of the AUB community,
I would like to extend my sincere and lasting thanks to Dr. Laila Farhood for her dedicated service and numerous contributions as interim dean of the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing (HSON) at the American University of Beirut since September 1, 2019.
Dr. Farhood completes her responsibilities as interim dean on December 31, 2022, after which Dr. Samar Noureddine will begin her tenure as dean of HSON. Dr. Farhood will continue her role as full professor of psychiatry mental health at HSON and clinical associate at the Psychiatry Department of the Faculty of Medicine.
During more than three years as interim dean, Dr. Farhood helped guide the Hariri School of Nursing in implementing its strategic plan and supporting its mission towards addressing local and global health problems. She balanced both academic and administrative roles during a particularly challenging time in Lebanon; starting with the economic crisis, through the Beirut Port explosion, and to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among her many contributions, she played a key role in accomplishing the online teaching and onsite clinical practice for nursing students. She steered HSON through re-accreditation of the BSN and MSN programs by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education in the US for a period of 10 years. She also presided over the highest number of graduates in HSON history and graduating the first PhD in nursing cohort in 2022. In addition, Farhood initiated the Bursary program and the Rouzan Al Najjar awards by YAFA Foundation, and oversaw the launch of two new programs as part of AUB Online.
Dr. Farhood earned a BS in nursing from AUB (1971), MS and clinical specialty (CNS) in psychiatry mental health nursing from Indiana University (1975), and PhD in nursing from the University of Maryland at Baltimore (1993). Her area of expertise focuses on complex issues contributing to the physical and psychological wellbeing of vulnerable populations at risk. Her research has shed light on the mental health conditions of war-torn communities in Lebanon (especially South Lebanon) and her findings have laid the groundwork for investigating specific interventions and improved access to care for this population. In 2017, she was awarded the Distinguished Nursing Research Award by the Scientific Society of Arab Nursing Faculties. Before serving as interim dean, Dr. Farhood was associate dean since 2018 and prior to that the Graduate Program convener (2011-2018) and Graduate Program coordinator (2003-2011).
Laila is a dedicated leader, mentor, and caregiver who has spent her entire academic career at AUB, making an impact one student, one patient, one program, one school at a time. But she has always put AUB first. Her service as interim dean of HSON has been exemplary, and it will long be remembered and engraved in the annals of our university. Please join me in thanking Dr. Laila Farhood for her vital leadership and generous service during this challenging period and for always giving her utmost to the Hariri School of Nursing and the American University of Beirut.
Fadlo R. Khuri, MD