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Photographer to focus on travels during April 23 Satellites’ luncheon

“Southern Exposure: Travels in South America” will be discussed by photographer Lowell Simon at the Satellites Auxiliary’s luncheon Tuesday, April 23.

Simon will speak at 12:30 p.m. in Dowling Hall Room 2315.

Registration will begin at 11:30 a.m., with lunch at noon.

Those who attend may bring their own lunches to the free event, or they may pay $7 — or $5 with a guest — for a box lunch that will include a beverage and specialty dessert.

Cash or check payable to the Satellites Auxiliary will be accepted. Complimentary valet service will be available for the luncheon at the Medical Pavilion orthopaedic entrance.

Satellites volunteers also will be collecting new stuffed animals for children in UTMC’s Emergency Department.

The Satellites Auxiliary is a volunteer group designed to promote education, research and service programs; provide support of patient programs in accordance with the needs and approval of administration; conduct fundraising events; and provide services.

To RSVP or for more information, call Ray or Donna Darr at 419.382.0054; Carol Okenka at 419.654.5326; or Pat Windham at 419.385.4808.

UTMC to host flag-raising ceremony April 4 in honor of National Donate Life Month

The University of Toledo Medical Center, in partnership with Life Connection of Ohio, will mark the beginning of National Donate Life Month with a flag-raising ceremony Thursday, April 4.

The annual event is meant to serve as a reminder of the ongoing need for organ and tissue donors, as well as to recognize those whose donations have helped save lives and those who are living today because of an organ transplant.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. outside UTMC’s main entrance, near Mulford Library.

Attendees will include hospital leaders, officials from Life Connection Ohio, and two women who will speak about how their lives were changed after organ transplant surgery. One of the women scheduled to speak received a life-saving kidney transplant at UTMC in 2018.

More than 110,000 Americans are currently awaiting organ transplants, and a new name is added to the nation’s organ transplant waitlist every 10 minutes. Approximately 80 percent of those on the waitlist need a kidney.

UTMC is northwest Ohio’s only organ transplant center. In 2018, the hospital performed 88 kidney transplants.

The hospital also will be raising money throughout the month of April with a bike raffle to offset the cost of sending a UTMC transplant recipient to the 2020 Transplant Games in New Jersey.

Tickets for the bike, which was donated by local bike shop Cyclewerks, may be purchased for $2 each. In addition to the April 4 ceremony, tickets will be available at the following events:

• Friday, April 12, during Blue and Green Day all day throughout the hospital. Everyone is encouraged to wear Donate Life colors to promote the need for registered donors.

• Wednesday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at an educational table outside the Four Seasons Bistro.

• Friday, April 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at an educational table outside the Four Seasons Bistro.

For more information on organ and tissue donation or to register as a donor, visit the Donate Life Ohio website.

UTMC nurses launch Nurses Honor Guard of Northwest Ohio

When a beloved colleague died last spring, Michelle Smith and Julia Benfield wanted to do something to recognize their friend’s unwavering dedication to the field of nursing.

Smith, who recalled hearing about nursing honor guards while attending nursing school in Pennsylvania, sought out a local chapter.

Michelle Smith, left, and Julia Benfield, nurses at The University of Toledo Medical Center, started the Nurses Honor Guard of Northwest Ohio to pay tribute to peers who have passed away. As part of the service, a Florence Nightingale-inspired lamp — like the one they are holding — is given to the family.

“There was nothing around this area, but it was really important to us that we honored her,” Smith said.

Benfield and Smith, both of whom are nurses in The University of Toledo Medical Center Emergency Department, rounded up a few co-workers and launched the Nurses Honor Guard of Northwest Ohio.

“It’s similar to honoring police or military members when they pass away. Nursing is another public service that deserves recognition,” Smith said.

The Nurses Honor Guard of Northwest Ohio is actively recruiting new members so it can participate in more services. Each requires at least four individuals and it can be difficult to match up schedules from a small group of volunteers. Smith hopes they’ll soon have the personnel to offer their services more widely through the community.

“Once we have a big enough group of people who are committed to being available, I would like to go to the funeral homes and let them know we have this,” Smith said. “It’s an honor for us to be able to do this for nurses and their families, but we need to have more volunteers in order to get this out in the community.”

As part of the solemn show of respect, members of the Nurses Honor Guard of Northwest Ohio wear traditional all-white uniforms along with a cap and blue cape. The ceremony is heavy with imagery of Florence Nightingale, the British woman who is widely credited as the pioneer of modern nursing.

After a poem is read, the deceased’s name is called out three times, signaling their final roll call. The honor guard then extinguishes the flame from a Nightingale-style lamp, which is presented to the family, and lays a single white rose on the casket.

“When we show up at a funeral in all white with the cape, it’s pretty striking,” Benfield said. “People come up and hug us, ask questions, and they’re very appreciative we’re celebrating that portion of their loved one’s life.”

Members have performed three services in the last 10 months, two of which were for fellow UTMC employees.

Benfield acknowledged the job can be demanding — there are long hours, holiday and weekend shifts, and high-stress situations — but she also said the career is something that brings a great deal of pride and becomes a huge part of most nurses’ lives.

“We’re all very proud of all the time and effort we’ve put into being a nurse and all the years we’ve spent taking care of patients.” Benfield said. “It just seems right that we do something to honor our colleagues when they pass.”

Satellites Auxiliary to host audiologist at upcoming luncheon

The Satellites Auxiliary at The University of Toledo Medical Center will host a local audiologist and philanthropist for an educational luncheon Tuesday, March 26.

Mansour-Shousher

Dr. Randa Mansour-Shousher, who earned her bachelor’s degree from UToledo before going on to the University of Michigan to earn her master’s degree, has been practicing audiology since 1981. She also holds a doctorate of audiology from A.T. Still University.

Mansour-Shousher currently is the director of the Northwest Ohio Hearing Clinic, which has locations in Perrysburg and on UToledo’s Health Science Campus.

In addition to her practice, Mansour-Shousher has been involved in a number of humanitarian efforts, including trips to the Middle East and Africa to provide hearing screening and treatments and distribute hearing aids collected in the United States.

Mansour-Shousher will speak Tuesday, March 26, at 12:30 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 105.

The event is open to the public. Cost to attend is $7 per person, or $5 with a guest. Students may attend for free.

Reservations are requested by Friday, March 22: Call Ray and Donna Darr at 419.382.0054, Carol Okenka at 419.654.5326, or Pat Windham at 419.385.4808.

Free valet parking will be available at the Medical Pavilion orthopaedic entrance.

Satellites volunteers also will be collecting new stuffed animals for children in UTMC’s Emergency Department.

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


Match Day brings joy, excitement as medical students learn their residency placements

Some of Christian Siebenaler’s earliest memories were of his father, a Toledo-area physician, going off to help people.

“It sounds cliché, but since I was 5 years old seeing him go to work every day in his white coat, I knew I wanted to be a doctor,” Siebenaler said.

Kevin Litzenberg showed his match to Ohio State University Medical Center to his fiancee, Shireen Desai, as his brother, Joshua, watched Friday during the Match Day ceremony. Litzenberg will specialize in internal medicine.

He got his own white coat four years ago when he entered The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences. Now, as he prepares to graduate with his medical degree, he knows he’ll begin practicing right where he wanted.

Siebenaler, who is specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, was one of 20 UToledo students who paired with the University’s residency program at this year’s Match Day event.

The annual celebration is a seminal event for next-generation physicians. At exactly noon, an eager swarm of fourth-year medical students received envelopes that revealed where they will spend the next three to seven years in residency as they train in their chosen specialties.

“The faculty and staff really look forward to Match Day,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “It is an opportunity to see how much the students have grown intellectually and professionally over their four years of intensive training, and where that training will lead them next. Some will stay at UT for their residencies, which is an absolute delight. Others will train in Ohio or elsewhere across the country. For all of our students, we always hope the very best.”

A total of 165 UToledo medical students matched this year. Notably, there was a 33 percent increase in the number of students who matched with UToledo over last year.

Mariah Truscinski was one of them.

Truscinski, who grew up just a couple of miles from Health Science Campus and completed her undergraduate degree at UToledo, matched in emergency medicine. Already involved in community volunteer work, she was thrilled to open her envelope and see she matched with UToledo.

Archit Sahai, left, and Samuel Ivan showed off their letters during the March 15 Match Day ceremony. Sahai matched in pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hopsital, and Ivan matched in urology at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C.

“It was a pretty amazing feeling. It was a little overwhelming, and there were a lot of thoughts about what the future holds, also just pure excitement. I couldn’t be happier,” she said. “I just feel like I’m really connected to this area and wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”

In all, UToledo’s fourth-year medical students matched in 23 specialties at institutions in 28 states. Forty-four percent of UToledo’s students matched in primary care specialties.

Archit Sahai, who was born in central India, moved with his parents to Cincinnati when he was 3, and became a U.S. citizen in September, matched with the University of Cincinnati in pediatrics.

“There’s a lot of emotions,” he said of Match Day. “You’re anxious, you’re excited, scared a little bit. I probably can’t put words to describe it. As soon as I saw the letters, that’s just pure joy.”

Sahai, whose father is a neurologist at UC, had high praise for both Toledo and the College of Medicine, saying he’d like to return here eventually.

“I’ve never met a more collaborative group of people, whether it’s my classmates or the faculty,” he said. “Everyone genuinely wants everyone to do well here. It’s been an incredible four years. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Among the other institutions where UToledo students will do their residency work were the Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General, the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Clinic. Ohio was the most popular state, followed by Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Indiana and New York.

Watch the Match Day video.

New UTMC chief financial officer named

Richard Swaine has been named the new chief financial officer for The University of Toledo Medical Center. He is scheduled to begin this month.

Swaine

Swaine joins UTMC from Beaumont Health System in Southfield, Mich., where he worked since 1985. He most recently served as senior vice president and hospital president of the 280-bed Beaumont Hospital Grosse Pointe.

At UTMC, he will be responsible for the financial operations of the hospital and associated clinics.

“I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Rick into the UTMC family,” said Dan Barbee, chief executive officer of UTMC. “He has an impressive background in the hospital industry and has both the strategic and operational skills necessary to help us lead UTMC to even greater success.”

Swaine holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Lawrence Technological Institute and a master’s degree in finance from Walsh College.

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.