Nursing Continuing Education

Meet our Instructors

Delores Collins

delores collins

Delores Collins, also known as Ms. D is the Founder and Executive Director of A Vision of Change, Inc. (AVOC). Her Mantra is Embrace them where they are, Empower them to move forward, Motivate them to succeed. An African proverb she strongly believes in is “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”.

Delores found AVOC due to a situation that caused her to become a single mom and the effects of this situation caused her children to be confused, angry, and depressed. She desperately searched for help for her children, but all she received was negative feedback or no reply at all. After making several visits to the institution where her husband was doing time, she began to notice at the end of the visit how traumatic it was for all the children when it was time to leave.  She began to do research on children with incarcerated parents and read that children with a parent in prison are six times more likely than their peers to go to prison. At that moment she had to do something. She decided that society was not going to make that choice for her children.

Since then Delores has been implementing prevention, intervention, and academic services throughout Ohio at libraries, community centers and churches, her longest standing being at Bethany Baptist Church where she oversaw their entire After-School program, Kids Café and the Back pack program. The enrollment started out with 25 youth and expanded to 125 youth with 45 on waiting list. She also knows the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle so during the summer she would implement their All about a Healthy Me program that address types of behaviors such as premature deaths, suicide, violence, alcohol, drugs and tobacco use, poor eating habits and a lack of physical activities.

Delores is an Alumni of Class 19 for successfully completing Neighborhood Leadership Institute Leadership Cleveland Program.  She is also a Registered Applicant with Ohio Chemical Dependency Professional Board which prepares her to become an Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist 1. In 2011 she received her Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood Development from Kaplan University, Community Health Ambassador for Glenville Neighborhood, A member of Creating Greater Destinies, Master Trainer Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, and currently enrolled in Community Health Workers Program at Cleveland State University.

An important aspect of her life is going back to college and obtaining a master degree in Social Work or Public health, her family and helping to building a stronger, healthier, and thriving community.


Pamela Rutar

Dr. Pamela Rutar has a broad clinical background in case management and both pediatric and maternity nursing.  She has had positions of responsibility in many hospitals but has also not forgotten the needs of the community while in those positions.

While at MetroHealth Medical Center, she worked closely with Physicians, Social Work, and R.N. staff in coordination of care for patients in a tertiary care setting.  She coordinated patient services with insurance companies and implemented movement of case management from strictly inpatient to outpatient settings.  She is overseen utilization review, discharge planning, ordering home care and durable medical equipment.

As   Director, Women’s and Children’s Health at St. John Westshore Hospital ,she supervised obstetric and pediatric inpatient services at Level 1 facility, implemented home health visits for post-partum mothers and infants.  She was responsible for opening an OB clinic for low income and Medicaid eligible patients and was actively involved in negotiation of insurance contracts with managed care organizations

Currently she is responsible for teaching content area in maternal-child health and nursing leadership and management, in both traditional classroom and on line environments. Dr. Rutar previously taught at Firelands Regional Medical Center School of Nursing in Sandusky, Ohio.

A Certified Nurse Educator, Dr. Rutar has studied the lived experience of minority nurses in deciding to join the profession.  Her research also encompasses examination of the effectiveness of a formal mentoring program.  She is an active member of many University committees.  Her background provides a solid foundation for the demands of administering this innovative program.


Joan Thoman

An associate professor/course coordinator, experience includes hospital medical surgical units, charge nurse, public health, home care, and diabetes program coordinator. Has worked in staff development, informatics, and in management. Teaches nursing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Program of research is diabetes/comorbid conditions, community health, home health/hospice care and problem-based learning using simulation. Is currently a co- principle investigator for three grants initiatives, two federal and one foundation. The two federal grants involve population/community focused endeavors. The first is through the Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program (MEDTAPP) Community Health Worker (CHW) initiative entitled Improved Health Outcomes through Education (I-HOPE). I-HOPE is an interdisciplinary initiative designed to empower low-income residents with a high prevalence of chronic disease. The second federal grant focuses on starting an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) which represents five counties in the northeast Ohio region. The foundation grant is focuses on home care and hospice course and clinical development with the goal of placing in an online environment. As regards teaching I believe that the course belongs to the students as it is their learning experience. I believe in being respectful and fair to my students. I view the teacher role as that of facilitator. I learn from my students just as they learn from me as we explore the teaching/ learning journey together.


Ahlem Zaaeed

Ahlem Zaaeed graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Ursuline College in 2012. After graduating, she worked in Labor and Delivery at Lakewood Hospital. She is currently employed at Circle Health Services, formerly known as the Free Medical Clinic of Cleveland as a Syringe Exchange Nurse. She also works in the community for Harm Reduction and Prevention and volunteers with Helping Hands Relief and Development, CAIR, and the Madinah Project. She enjoys teaching the Community Health Worker class and learning from the students.