University News

School of Health Sciences Associate Dean Recognized for Commitment to Person-Centered Care

For Renee Garcia-Prajer R.D.H., M.S., her students and caring for others come first. Her dedication has been recognized by Planetree International, as she recently became the first professional in higher education to be certified as a Planetree Fellow in Person-Centered Care.

September 30, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Professor Renee Garcia-Prajer.
Professor Renee Garcia-Prajer was recently certified by Planetree International as a Planetree Fellow in Person-Centered Care.

Renee Garcia-Prajer, R.D.H., M.S., believes caring for others is part of her DNA, and she’s passionate about her work as a healthcare educator. That’s why it was especially gratifying when she learned recently she’d become the first professional in higher education to be certified by Planetree International as a Fellow in Person-Centered Care.

“I was truly elated,” said Prof. Garcia-Prajer, associate dean of the University’s School of Health Sciences. “As an educator, I strive to put students first. Being able to transfer my care for others in a healthcare capacity to students in the learning environment affords the opportunity to create a culture of caring in future healthcare professionals.”

Renee Garcia-Prajer, R.D.H., M.S.
Renee Garcia-Prajer, R.D.H., M.S.

The University of New Haven’s School of Health Sciences is one of the first schools in the United States to pursue higher education certification from Planetree International, a leading nonprofit that works with organizations around the world to promote patient-centered care as a model for improving the quality of health care.

“This important step forward will distinguish the University of New Haven School of Health Sciences from others in that we are one of five institutions nationwide currently pursuing this certification,” she said. “This affiliation demonstrates the School of Health Sciences’ commitment to training caring healthcare professionals who are prepared for the future of healthcare.”

The Fellow in Person-Centered Care credential is awarded to professionals who have demonstrated their knowledge, experience, and leadership in person-centered care. It signifies a Fellow’s conviction that person-centered care is right for patients, families, and healthcare professionals, as well as students, faculty, and staff.

“The entire School of Health Sciences community deserves this recognition,” said Prof. Garcia-Prajer. “Faculty, staff, and students are embracing Planetree's person-centered philosophy, breaking down the barriers between faculty, staff, and students with each other and with the patients, families, and communities we serve.”