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UT to develop training tool to better care for patients who are homeless

The University of Toledo is developing a virtual reality training to improve Ohio Medicaid providers’ cultural competency and reduce implicit bias as a way to better understand the patients they serve. The virtual reality training focuses on the barriers to health care faced by those without stable, permanent housing.

UT faculty from the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services will conduct interviews and observe interactions in an area homeless shelter to build a realistic portrait of the health-care struggles experienced by individuals who depend on urban homeless shelters for their housing.

A multidisciplinary team from UT is building a virtual reality training program to help Ohio Medicaid providers better treat patients without stable, permanent housing. The investigators are, from left, Dr. Thomas Papadimos, medical director and associate dean for immersive and simulation-based learning; Dr. Shipra Singh, assistant professor of health education and public health; Dr. Lance Dworkin, professor and chair of medicine; and Dr. Scott Pappada, assistant professor of anesthesiology and bioengineering.

From that data, faculty and staff from the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, the School of Population Health in the College of Health and Human Services, and the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center will create an interactive experience that will electronically place clinicians into a model homeless shelter as fly-on-the-wall observers.

“There’s a lot of attention nowadays to how one’s background and social structure impact not only their health, but also how successful they are in using the health-care system,” said Dr. Lance Dworkin, professor and chair of the UT Department of Medicine, and the primary investigator for the project. “If we understand that, we can integrate that knowledge into the care we provide so it’s more effective.”

The University also is building a robust evaluation component into the program that will monitor physical biomarkers such as heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate while participants are engaged in the simulation. Using assessment software developed by Dr. Scott Pappada, UT assistant professor of anesthesiology and bioengineering, and a co-investigator on the project, researchers will collect data before and after the simulation to learn how the program affects clinicians and whether it helps them connect with individuals who are marginalized by society.

The project is funded by a $1.24 million grant from the Ohio Department of Medicaid.

UT’s work is part of a larger partnership between the Ohio Department of Medicaid and Ohio’s medical schools, administered by the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center. Like many projects managed by the center, the Medicaid equity simulation project is aimed at reducing health disparities, addressing the social determinants of health, and improving patient care and health outcomes for Ohio’s Medicaid population.

During the course of the homeless shelter simulation, health-care providers will see rudimentary sleeping quarters, dining and social areas, observe the interactions between guests and staff, and listen in on conversations gleaned from the real-life interviews.

“The big message here is how does one change clinical decision making based on what is learned about an individual in this environment,” said Dr. Shipra Singh, UT assistant professor of health education and public health, and a co-investigator on the project.

Singh, who is directing the scripts that will be used in the simulation, said those changes could be as simple as not forcing someone who has no access to reliable transportation to go to the back of the line if they’re late for an appointment, or understanding that immediate lifestyle changes may not be possible.

“You need to listen to the patient rather than just look at them and understand the cultural context they’re coming from and what really matters to them,” Singh said.

The program is expected to be ready to launch to Ohio Medicaid providers within The University of Toledo Medical Center in May and disseminated throughout the community by June.

Health Science Campus Artist Showcase to open Feb. 18

The 14th annual Health Science Campus Artist Showcase will take place from Monday, Feb. 18, through Wednesday, April 10, on the fourth floor of Mulford Library.

This year’s exhibit features work from more than 30 artists who are students, faculty and staff in the health sciences from Health Science and Main campuses, as well as UT Medical Center.

On exhibit will be a variety of 2-D and 3-D artwork, including paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture and mixed media.

An artist reception will be held Friday, Feb. 22, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the fourth floor of Mulford Library.

Dr. Paul Brand, UT associate professor emeritus of physiology and pharmacology, will speak at 4:30 p.m. at the reception. His talk is titled “Create Your Own World.”

“I paint and draw first for the simple pleasure of putting color on paper, and then to create paintings that stand out because they fuse realistic images and strong abstract designs,” Brand said.

A longstanding participant in the Health Science Campus Artist Showcase, Brand paints diverse subjects, most often landscapes, but also still-life and abstracts, using watercolors, acrylics, pastels or charcoal. He has four works in this year’s exhibit.

“I love watercolors for their luminous, fresh appearance, acrylics for their immediacy and simplicity, pastels for their intense colors and ease of application, and charcoal for the range of values and richness,” he said.

For the past two decades, paintings by the award-winning artist have been featured at several juried shows. In addition, Brand has taught art classes at the Toledo Botanical Gardens, Toledo Museum of Art and Art Supply Depo.

Like the exhibit, the reception and lecture are free and open to the public. Visitors can view the artwork during regular library hours: Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to midnight; Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight.

For more information, visit the University Libraries website or contact Jodi Jameson, assistant professor and nursing librarian at Mulford Library, and member of the artist showcase committee, at 419.383.5152 or jodi.jameson@utoledo.edu.

Satellites to hold sale on Valentine’s Day

It’s all about comfort: Sheets, pillows, socks, towels and more will be featured at a sale hosted by the Satellites Auxiliary Thursday, Feb. 14.

Stop by between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. in UT Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro Atrium.

“If you need a Valentine’s Day gift, we’ve got you covered,” Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites, said. “We’ll have perfume and cologne, as well as all kinds of linens.”

Cash, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted.

Proceeds will benefit Patient Care Programs at the hospital.

For more information, contact Brand at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu.

Inaugural class of Toledo Fire Department paramedics among this year’s inductees to UT Emergency Medicine Wall of Honor

The University of Toledo will add 14 names to the Emergency Medicine Wall of Honor at the eighth annual induction ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 5. Inductees will include the first group of Toledo firefighters to be certified as paramedics.

This year’s other honorees are a longtime clinical nursing educator and an emergency medical services outreach education coordinator.

The ceremony will begin at noon in Collier Building Room 1000B on Health Science Campus with a welcome from UT President Sharon L. Gaber. A reception with light refreshments will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Dr. Kristopher Brickman, professor and senior associate dean for innovation in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, also are scheduled to give remarks.

“This award recognizes people who have been instrumental in developing and defining what emergency care is in our region,” Brickman said. “We want to honor some of our unsung heroes of emergency medicine who have helped save lives and made a real difference in our community.”

The Emergency Medicine Wall of Honor, made possible through funding from IPI Insta-Plak Inc. and The Blade, was established in 2011 to celebrate the achievements of those who are committed to service within the emergency medicine community.

Each year, nominations are submitted by a committee of community stakeholders and reviewed by a multidisciplinary selection committee. This year’s group is larger because of the inclusion of all 12 members of the Toledo Fire Department’s first paramedic class.

“Those firefighters were a unique group of people who basically were out there doing something that nobody else had done before,” Brickman said. “For our region they were the pioneers.”

The honorees this year are:

• Patricia Rice Yancy, registered nurse. Yancy, who earned master’s degrees in education and public health from UT after completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mary Manse College, initiated several training courses for nurses, including critical care and flight nurse programs. She has been instrumental in training thousands of nurses, doctors and other pre-hospital employees throughout her career. She recently retired from Lourdes University.

• Patricia Ann Ambrose, paramedic. Ambrose was the EMS outreach education coordinator for Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center Life Flight and Mobile Life. She also was a lifelong EMS and life support educator, including playing an integral role in the paramedic education program and the former Medical University of Ohio. Ambrose died in 2018.

• Members of the Toledo Fire Department paramedic class of 1974. They are William Brown, Michael Condon, James Dugan, David Hilton (posthumous recognition), Alan Janney, Paul Johnston, Renzo Meraldo, James Markland, Ralph Mungons, Samuel Reynolds, Barney Rouster (posthumous recognition) and Daniel Thedford. The 1974 class was the first group of firefighters to train as paramedics in Toledo as part of a joint project with the former Medical College of Ohio. They were pioneers in their field and are uniquely responsible for building and advancing emergency medical services in Lucas County.

A plaque for each honoree will be added to the wall, located in the Emergency Department of The University of Toledo Medical Center, near the ambulance entrance.

UTMC, local mental health boards partner to improve adolescent mental health care

The University of Toledo Medical Center is launching a new partnership with mental health boards throughout northwest Ohio to create a better model of care for adolescents dealing with particularly challenging mental health issues.

Through service agreements with the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County and 10 other boards representing 22 additional Ohio counties, UTMC will be able to provide longer, more intensive inpatient care for patients between the ages of 13 and 18.

The longer stay will enable clinicians to dig deeper into the root causes of the adolescents’ mental health issues and establish a more coordinated long-term treatment plan to address the problem of patients repeatedly going in and out of inpatient treatment without advancement.

“We want to be taking on the most difficult cases and also helping the community with its biggest needs. Right now, there’s a lot of fragmentation of services and limited access to care,” said Dr. Cheryl McCullumsmith, professor and chair of the UT Department of Psychiatry. “This innovative collaboration enables an expansion of services without duplicating resources.”

In many cases, insurers will only cover a few days of inpatient treatment. While that can be enough time to stabilize many patients in crisis, some patients need a more in-depth psychiatric and medical examination, monitoring of new medications, and coordination of continuing outpatient treatment, McCullumsmith said.

“There’s a high need for some adolescents to get more intensive evaluation and treatment plans,” McCullumsmith said. “We want the inpatient stay to advance the treatment plan, to be a constructive part rather than the Band-Aid it often is now. We’re trying to give them a comprehensive assessment and evaluation and kind of a restart. Let’s take some time, wipe the slate clean, start from the beginning, and figure out a true diagnosis and plan.”

Under the new service agreements, the boards will pay for days not covered by insurance, allowing UTMC to treat adolescents for longer stays as needed.

The initiative will focus primarily on adolescents who have had multiple inpatient hospitalizations during the last year, have difficult to establish diagnoses, or who have challenges with medication.

“We’re very excited and encouraged by the engagement with UT,” said Scott Sylak, executive director of the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County. “The timing was right to move forward with this, and we’re really thrilled with the partnership that’s developing. Having this resource locally and being able to ensure that families stay involved and that our providers stay involved is a worthy investment from the board’s perspective.”

The Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, along with other partner boards across northwest Ohio, will refer patients into the program.

Founded in 1968, UTMC Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was northwest Ohio’s first hospital devoted to treating the emotional and behavioral needs of children and teens. Today, the center has an inpatient facility and outpatient mental health services.

Submissions sought for 2019 Health Science Campus Artist Showcase

Mulford Library is seeking submissions for its 2019 Health Science Campus Artist Showcase.

The deadline to apply for consideration to be included in the annual event is 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11.

The library is accepting submissions from UT faculty, staff and students in the health sciences — nursing, medicine, pharmacy and the health professions — as well as UT Medical Center employees.

To be considered for the show, digital images of artwork can be sent to hscartshow@utoledo.edu, along with a submission form that can be found with guidelines on University Libraries’ website.

Artists will be notified if their submitted pieces have been accepted no later than Wednesday, Jan. 16, and will receive instructions for bringing in their artwork to the library for the showcase.

The showcase will be on display from Feb. 18 through April 10 on the fourth floor of Mulford Library. In the past, artwork included photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, jewelry making, quilting, multimedia, graphics, wood carving and more.

An opening reception featuring a talk by Dr. Paul H. Brand, associate professor emeritus of physiology and pharmacology, and accomplished artist, will be held Friday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m. in Mulford Library.

Questions about the showcase can be directed to Jodi Jameson, assistant professor and nursing librarian at Mulford Library, who is a member of the artist showcase committee, at 419.383.5152 or jodi.jameson@utoledo.edu.

Satellites’ ornament sale this week

Looking for a special gift? The Satellites Auxiliary is holding its personalized ornament sale this week.

The sale will take place in UT Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro Atrium Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 10-12. Stop by Monday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The vendor will personalize while you wait, time permitting, or you can pick up the ornament later,” Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites, said. “There are all kinds of ornaments; categories include family, occupations, sports, religious, medical, inspirational, theatre and dance. Whatever kind of ornament you’re looking for, it’s likely here.”

Cash, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted. A portion of the proceeds will benefit health science scholarships and patient programs.

The Satellites Auxiliary is a group that promotes education, research and service programs; provides support of patient programs in accordance with the needs and approval of administration; conducts fundraising events; and provides volunteer services.

For more information on the sale, contact Brand at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu.

Staff Leadership Development Program’s first cohort graduates

Twenty-one University of Toledo staff members who were in the Staff Leadership Development Program’s first cohort graduated Nov. 8 and were officially recognized at a luncheon held in their honor in the Thompson Student Union.

The program was launched in 2017 based on feedback gathered during the strategic planning process from employees who wanted a formal pathway to grow professionally.

“I’m very proud of this inaugural class,” said President Sharon L. Gaber. “No one can ever change the fact that each of them was a member of our first cohort, marking a milestone not only in their tenure with UT, but also in the University’s history.”

“Our goal for this program is twofold — to help candidates grow in their existing positions, as well as to prepare them for expanded leadership roles at UT in the future,” noted Wendy Davis, associate vice president and chief human resources officer.

The one-year Staff Leadership Development Program includes complimentary courses, lectures, assessments and experiential learning facilitated by UT senior leaders, faculty and other subject matter experts.

“Each participant was carefully selected by a multidisciplinary team and completed all required assignments, readings and a capstone project in order to graduate,” said Carrie Herr, director of the Center for Continuous Improvement, who has oversight of the program.

The program has been very well-received, with members of the first cohort representing a wide range of staff positions and departments across UT campuses, according to Herr.

“I would definitely recommend this program to others,” said Kelly Donovan, who works at UT Medical Center. “I was able to foster great relationships with future leaders from various departments, plus had access to our current leaders. And the program instilled leadership skills and confidence that I’ll be able to use for future career goals.”

“What I valued most was learning about so many different facets of higher education, from human resources and recruitment to student affairs, legal and financial matters,” said Craig Turner, who works in the College of Business and Innovation. “I also had the opportunity to gain insights firsthand from UT’s leaders, such as Dr. Gaber, Provost Andrew Hsu and Dr. Chris Cooper, in addition to meeting new colleagues from throughout our campus community.”

In addition to Donovan and Turner, first cohort UT Staff Leadership Development graduates are Stefanie Bias, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; Stacey Jo Brown, Office of Legal Affairs; Candace Busdiecker, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; Lori DeShetler, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; Josh Dittman, Intercollegiate Athletics; Shelly Drouillard, Career Services; Jamie Fager, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Beth Gerasimiak, Office of the Provost; Melissa Hansen, College of Medicine and Life Sciences; Heather Huntley, Office of the Provost; Angelica Johnson, College of Arts and Letters; Deirdre Jones, College of Business and Innovation; Sara Lockett, Purchasing/Finance; Elliott Nickeson, Internal Audit and Compliance; Daniel Perry, Facilities and Construction; Jason Rahe, Division of Technology and Advanced Solutions; Staci Sturdivant, College of Health and Human Services; Tiffany Whitman, University College; and Matthew Wise, Division of Technology and Advanced Solutions.

A second cohort began course work in October and will graduate in November 2019.

Members of the first cohort to graduate from the Staff Leadership Development Program posed for a photo last month with President Sharon L. Gaber, seated center, and Lawrence R. Kelley, executive vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer, second from left seated, and Carrie Herr, director of the Center for Continuous Improvement, seated between Kelley and the president.

University to close for winter break

As announced earlier this year, the University again will close for winter break at a time when most departments are operationally slow.

UT implemented a new winter break policy in 2017 based on feedback received from employees over several years.

“It’s important that faculty and staff have time to enjoy the holidays and rest before spring semester begins,” said Wendy Davis, associate vice president and chief human resources officer. “Our workforce is our greatest asset, and this break affords many employees additional time off to recharge after a busy semester and spend time with their friends and families.”

The break also helps UT to reduce operating costs while still maintaining crucial functions, such as hospital operations at UT Medical Center, approved research activities and public safety. Winter break does not include UTMC employees and certain required positions, which might vary depending on annual need.

In addition to existing holiday pay, the University provides additional paid days off — either three days or four, depending on which day the holiday falls in the year — to cover this specified time period. UT’s 2018 winter break schedule is:

• Monday, Dec. 24 — Holiday (Columbus Day);

• Tuesday, Dec. 25 — Christmas Day;

• Wednesday, Dec. 26 — Paid day off for winter break;

• Thursday, Dec. 27 — Paid day off for winter break;

• Friday, Dec. 28 — Paid day off for winter break;

• Monday, Dec. 31 — Paid day off for winter break; and

• Tuesday, Jan. 1 — New Year’s Day.

Faculty and staff who work on Main Campus or Scott Park Campus are reminded to refrain from being at the University during winter break, unless pre-approved by their department’s leadership in order to conduct essential business. Access to buildings will be restricted, and facility operations and ground maintenance also will be limited.

Leadership members should soon designate any specific employees who will need to be on call and/or must work during winter break in order to provide essential services, which may include research that cannot be conducted at home.

Additional details, including frequently asked questions, are available on the winter break schedule website. If you have any questions after reviewing this information, contact your supervisor or human resources consultant.

UT nursing student credited with saving life of motorist after crash

Hanan Ramadan was on her way home from her mosque when she came upon a minor car crash. It looked like a simple fender-bender, but something about the way bystanders were crowded around the open car door made her stop.

“Something didn’t seem right,” said Ramadan, who is working toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing at The University of Toledo. “I just wanted to make sure everything was OK. Honestly, I thought maybe she had a broken arm, or she hit her head and there was a small cut.”

Ramadan

As Ramadan got closer, she realized the situation was far more dire — and she quickly sprang into action that likely helped save the woman’s life.

The driver’s face was blue. Ramadan, who also works as a nursing assistant in The University of Toledo Medical Center Emergency Room, looked for a pulse — there wasn’t one.

Ramadan’s training took over. She asked the person who had called 911 to put the phone on speaker and briefed the dispatcher on the situation. Ramadan told them she was basic life support-certified and asked for permission to begin CPR.

Unable to remove the driver from the car, Ramadan lowered the seat back as far as she could and started chest compressions. A police officer soon arrived and helped her safely get the woman onto the ground, where she could continue administering chest compressions.

“It was just us for a good five to 10 minutes before the ambulance showed up and the medics took over,” Ramadan said. “We were all very exhausted but doing our best.”

Sylvania Township Police Sgt. Lee McKinney, who was the first officer on the scene and helped get the victim out of the car, praised Ramadan for her quick thinking and readiness to help.

“The fact that you’ve got somebody who’s willing to be a good Samaritan, recognize a problem, and has some ability to jump in and help, that’s tremendous,” McKinney said. “Those few seconds were irreplaceable. She did an outstanding job in getting involved.”

Ramadan later learned the woman, Deborah Teachout, had been having chest pains and was on her way to urgent care when she lost consciousness.

Teachout’s sister, Bambi McNamara, credits Ramadan and another bystander, Jill Lynam, with helping to save her life.

“We will be forever indebted to Hanan and Jill for saving my sister’s life,” she said.

McNamara said Teachout has regained most of her strength after a week in rehab and should be back home soon.

Ramadan credits her training from the UT College of Nursing and hands-on experience at UTMC for giving her a clear mind in what could have been a moment of chaos.

“It was like muscle memory to me. I just instinctively knew what to do. All of the courses I’ve taken and all the training I’ve gone through, everything my instructors have told me for years, it all came together and just made sense to me in that moment,” she said.

“It made me confident. I knew this is what I’ve been taught and trained to do for years now — this is what I’m supposed to do, and this is what is going to help this person.”