Iona College and Operation Smile Welcome Inaugural Clinician-in-Residence to Expand Collaboration

Trish Peifer-Arens will lead and grow initiative serving those born with cleft lip and palate in Nicaragua

Trish Peifer-Arens

Trish Peifer-Arens, clinician-in-residence and coordinator of Bilingual Interprofessional Education at Iona College.

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — In its ongoing pursuit of empowering students to learn outside the lines in service to others, Iona College today announced the appointment of Trish Peifer-Arens as clinician-in-residence and coordinator of Bilingual Interprofessional Education. A speech-language pathologist for over 25 years, Peifer-Arens will lead and expand Iona’s collaboration with Operation Smile, a nonprofit medical organization providing safe and free surgeries for those born with cleft lips and palates around the world.

In 2019, serving as a consultant, Peifer-Arens initiated the collaboration between Operation Smile’s clinic in Managua, Nicaragua and Iona’s Communication Sciences & Disorders program. Now, she will broaden the effort to include disciplines across campus, including Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology, Education, and World Languages.

“With great success, Iona has delivered therapeutic materials and instructional videos targeting the specific needs of the patients in Managua. Our collaboration is poised to grow and include even more patient populations and their families as we partner with programs across the College,” said Peifer-Arens. “I look forward to further developing and expanding this unique interprofessional program with Iona College and Operation Smile. It is another outstanding opportunity for Iona students to apply their academic and clinical experiences in service to others.”

The news comes as Iona College recently announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, to be principally located on the College’s campus at 171 White Plains Road in Bronxville, N.Y. The NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences is expected to offer a new vision for collaborative health care education, modern workforce development, and community care, building upon Iona’s existing health science programs and planning to develop new areas of study.

Iona College also recently hosted its first White Coat Ceremony in celebration of 23 Communication Science and Disorders graduate students who have committed themselves to pursuing careers reflective of empathy, compassion and humanism.

Founded in 1940, Iona College is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre campus is just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2021.” Iona College also recently launched a new, fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility.