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Prof. Pompeo-Fargnoli: The Journey of a COVID-19 Publication Agenda

Flashback to March 2020, and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Monmouth University turned to an unexpected, but protective online teaching modality, Alyson Pompeo-Fargnoli, Ph.D., sat at home with her husband, Anthony Fargnoli, Ph.D., and discussed the current state of the COVID-19 situation. At that point, much was unknown about the virus and the trajectory, but one thing that they could both agree on was that this pandemic was going to impact many people, physically and mentally. In that moment, the idea was born to write about the physical and mental health impacts of COVID-19. Pompeo-Fargnoli, an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Counseling and Leadership, has over 10 years of clinical experience in mental health counseling. Her husband, Anthony Fargnoli, is a bio-medical researcher and at the time was leading up clinical research studies on the first COVID-19 patients at NYU Langone Hospital. Together they had already been publishing about the mental and physical health connection, but now it was time to shift to a COVID-19 focus.

Within days, they wrote an article titled, The Mental Health Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis: The Battle Ahead for Inpatient Survivors. It quickly caught the attention of the prestigious “Psychosomatics Journal,” and was rushed through an editorial board peer review that resulted in a two-day acceptance. The Journal noted that this was likely the first article in the field to discuss the physical and mental health impacts of COVID-19, and one of the earliest publications on COVID-19 in general.

Now, at the two-year anniversary of that publication, Pompeo-Fargnoli, her husband, and other Monmouth University colleagues, published five COVID-19 related publications and numerous related presentations, with more in the works. While many others are now publishing on the topic, Pompeo-Fargnoli is proud to say that she was one of the first to consider the mental health impacts of the pandemic.

As that first article forewarned about the impending COVID-19 mental health crisis: “The COVID-19 pandemic has engulfed the world and critical conversations are occurring on best medical practices, public health guidelines, and future therapeutics to rescue those infected and society in the aftermath. While much of the focus addressing the aftermath has been centered on achieving a vaccine and/or cure, the “second tidal wave” of patient inflow may prove to be in the mental health realm.” (Pompeo-Fargnoli & Fargnoli, March 2020).

Pompeo-Fargnoli has contributed to the following related publications:

Santaniello, C., Lubniewski, K., Kamei, A., & Pompeo-Fargnoli, A. (2022, in press). Impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic: The Mental Health Crisis for Children and Adolescents. Case Reports & Research Practices in Medicine, 2(2).

Pompeo-Fargnoli, A., Fargnoli, A., & Weinstock, S. (2022, in press). Long term mental and physical impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic: A case report. Case Reports & Research Practices in Medicine, 2(1).

Wong, C.Y., Pompeo-Fargnoli, A., & Harriott, W. (2022). Focusing on ESOL Teachers’ Well-being during COVID19 and beyond. ELT Journal, 76, 1-10.

Pompeo-Fargnoli, A. & Wong, Chiu-Yin (Cathy) (2020).Homeschooling and parental mental health during COVID-19. North Atlantic Region Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (NARACES) Newsletter.

Pompeo-Fargnoli, A. & Fargnoli, A. (2020). The mental health impact of the COVID19 crisis: The battle ahead for inpatient survivors. Psychosomatics.