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In search of excellence found: UT Medical Center Outpatient Rehabilitation Services

Nobody wants to hear these words: “The surgery is really, really painful, but the rehab is even worse.” And that is exactly what everyone was telling me this past spring when I had rotator cuff surgery caused by a college football injury plus a lifetime of active living.

When I came out of surgery, the doctor shared that this was the worst rotator cuff tear that he had seen during his 30 years of surgery, and he reminded me that rehab was going to be very, very challenging.

Dr. Clinton Longenecker, center, posed for a photo with Dr. Mike Travis and Deborah Rohloff.

So with this background, I walked in to the UT Medical Center Outpatient Rehabilitation Services in early summer with a certain level of apprehension and excitement to get started with my rehab to bring back the use of my right shoulder and arm.

Now as a business professor for the past 30 years who studies organizations for a living, I can state with great confidence that excellent organizations tend to be few and far between. Some of the characteristics of excellent enterprises include exceptional care and concern for clients/customers; the use of cutting-edge technology and best practices in delivering services; passionate and dedicated professionals; teamwork and a positive organizational culture; and a willingness to go the extra mile.

Well, based on my recent experience, I have to tell you that our UTMC Outpatient Rehabilitation Services is an excellent organization and demonstrates these attributes day in and day out in performing its invaluable mission of helping thousands of people heal and get healthy.

Several years ago, I had Marci Cancic-Frey, director of therapy services, as an MBA student, and I was always impressed with her passion and enthusiasm as she talked about the quality of our physical therapy services and the exceptional people that she works with. She always said, “Our people are truly dedicated to our patients in delivering exceptional PT services and helping people get well … I truly love my job.” So, needless to say, my expectations were very high going into this experience, and her organization did not disappoint.

When you walk in the door, you are warmly greeted by Sheila Burk or Lakisha Carter or Shannon Walker or Chantel Carter, and you sit in a very comfortable waiting room. The therapy staff is exceptionally punctual, and not one time in my 40 trips to therapy was my therapist ever late or running behind schedule, and they were always sensitive to my time. When your therapist approaches you to walk you back to therapy, you are always greeted with a smile and encouraging words, and their energy is contagious. Our physical therapists use a team-based approach to ensure an effective assessment, a best practices treatment plan that is known and understood by everyone (including me, the patient), and therapy sessions that are designed to help the patient learn, practice and master the necessary exercises to speed recovery. I was also very impressed with the fact that their goal is to schedule treatments in a time frame that was most convenient for me as the patient; this included thoughtful text message reminders of upcoming therapy sessions.

My therapy team included Dr. Mike Travis, physical therapist, and Deborah Rohloff, physical therapy assistant, with support from Alyssa Nino and Kayla Pickard, physical therapy assistants. Each of these professionals had a passion for their work, patient sensitivity, and a willingness to inspire me to push myself during our therapy sessions while at the same time encouraging me to do my exercise homework.

Travis shared his personal philosophy of physical therapy with me when he said, “It’s all about helping people do the things that are necessary to help them achieve good outcomes.” Rohloff shared a similar philosophy: “The best part of my job is seeing my patients achieve their goals and perform life activities that they were previously unable to perform.”

And as you look around the therapy room, you see this philosophy at every turn as our terrific UTMC therapists might be helping a high school athlete come back from a knee injury or a person with severe head trauma learn how to walk again and everything in between. These great professionals became friends as they help me in so many ways, and I’m thankful and proud to know that we are all part of this terrific institution.

I have to say that our UTMC Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, from this patient’s perspective, is simply excellent at the life-changing work that they perform every single day. A special thanks for helping me and countless others. Go UTMC Rockets!

Longenecker is a Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the College of Business and Innovation.

Department of Pediatrics literacy program celebrates 20 years with goal of collecting 20,000 children’s books

It’s difficult to mask the clinical nature of exam rooms, even in the cheeriest of pediatrician’s offices. But a doctor’s simple gesture of handing out a storybook at every visit can make a big difference in keeping a child comfortable while providing a window into that child’s development.

During the last two decades, Reach Out and Read of Northwest Ohio — a grant-funded program of The University of Toledo Department of Pediatrics — has provided more than 258,000 books to children across the region from birth to age 5.

Dr. DeAnna McGarity, first-year resident in UT Pediatrics, left, Dr. Rami Abdel Aziz, first-year resident in UT Pediatrics, and Lori LeGendre, Reach Out and Read program director, looked at some of the books collected during the drive. Books and donations will be accepted through Thursday, Nov. 15.

In honor of the initiative’s 20th anniversary, the group is in the midst of a book drive with a goal of collecting 20,000 children’s books.

“We rely on grants and donations for our entire program budget. One of our main expenses is buying books,” Lori LeGendre, program director, said. “Reach Out and Read is an important program and having community support ensures we can continue providing books that help make the experience of a doctor’s visit more child friendly, while at the same time educating parents on the importance of literacy and helping medical providers monitor development.”

Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based medical model using literacy guidance as a stepping-stone to school readiness and to enhance parent-child relationships. It also serves as a literacy program, modeling the importance of reading to parents, and as a tool for pediatricians.

“Reach Out and Read is a great way for us to gauge a child’s development,” said Dr. Valarie Stricklen, a pediatrician with The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Rocket Pediatrics. “Can they point, can they name colors, can they turn pages, can they sound out words? There are many developmental milestones that we can glean from just handing them the book.”

Currently, the program is at 25 sites across the region, including the Rocket Pediatrics locations in Waterville and at the Ruppert Health Center on UT’s Health Science Campus.

Reach Out and Read of Northwest Ohio serves about 14,000 children, handing out about 28,000 books a year. In some cases, the books families receive through Reach Out and Read are the only books in the home, LeGendre said.

Nationally, more than 32,000 doctors and nurses across all 50 states participate in the program, reaching 4.7 million children annually.

“Books are more than just reading the story and looking at the pictures. Reading is the cornerstone for language development,” Stricklen said. “That is why we give the books at 6 months of age before they can even talk. It teaches them the rhythm of language and speech patterns. It’s also a great way to start a bedtime routine and a way for the parent and child to connect and make reading a routine that can be fun and exciting.”

Monetary donations to the Reach Out and Read of Northwest Ohio book drive can be made by visiting Books by the Bushel. The program also is accepting donations of new and gently used books. The book drive runs through Thursday, Nov. 15.

For more information, contact LeGendre at 419.291.0038 or lori.legendre@utoledo.edu.

Volunteer patient advocate assistants holding stuffed animal drive for ER pediatric patients

Children who come into the emergency room are presented with a strange and often frightening environment. Receiving a stuffed animal from one of UT Medical Center’s volunteer patient advocate assistants can help calm some of those fears and make a big difference in a child’s experience.

To ensure all pediatric patients who come through UTMC’s emergency room can receive a stuffed animal, the master of science in biomedical science in medical sciences volunteer patient advocate assistants group is holding a stuffed animal drive Tuesday, Nov. 6, through Friday, Nov. 9, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Four Seasons Bistro.

Members of the master of science in biomedical science in medical sciences volunteer patient advocate assistants group are collecting stuffed animals to give to pediatric patients in the emergency room.

All stuffed animal donations must be new. Monetary donations also will be accepted. All proceeds will be used to purchase stuffed animals. This is the second year for the program.

Volunteers from the master of science in biomedical science in medical sciences work throughout the hospital, but much of their time is spent in the emergency room.

“The seemingly small act of giving a stuffed animal can significantly help calm a scared and anxious child, allowing our wonderful ER staff to provide effective and compassionate care,” said Ben Talbot, one of the 18 members in the volunteer patient advocate assistants group.

Many of the group’s members plan to attend medical school.

“Our objectives are to develop good communication skills so that as physicians we will be better prepared to communicate with our patients,” Talbot said. “In addition, we help facilitate improved medical care by advocating for patients we are in contact with, as well as help improve doctor-patient communication by assisting with explaining complicated medical concepts in terms patients can understand.”

Satellites’ leather sale to take place this week

The Satellites Auxiliary’s Carline Leathers sale will start at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, and run continuously through 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, in UT Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro Atrium.

Fashion outerwear, footwear, handbags, accessories and more from Kenneth Cole, Pelle Pelle, Sean John, Steve Madden, Nine West and Anne Klein will be for sale.

Cash, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted.

A portion of the proceeds will patient programs.

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.

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

UTMC introduces revamped lactation room to help new mothers

The University of Toledo Medical Center has worked with the Creating Healthy Communities Program at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and the Lucas County Women, Infants and Children Program to outfit a revamped lactation room to help new mothers return to work while continuing to breastfeed their children.

“A lot of women would like to breastfeed, but once they go back to work, it becomes a hardship for them to do that,” said Amy Abodeely, a registered dietitian with the health department. “If you give them a relaxing space that lets them pump, they’re able to breastfeed their children longer, which translates to benefits for the child.”

UT Medical Center’s updated lactation room is located in Dowling Hall Room 0254.

Research has shown babies who are breastfed have lower risks of several short- and long-term health problems, while mothers who breastfeed can lower their risk of breast cancer and hypertension.

Mothers also are more likely to return to work when they have an employer that supports their decision to continue to provide breastmilk for their baby. The Fair Labor Standard Act requires employers to provide break time and space for nursing mothers to express their milk. Abodeely said UTMC and The University of Toledo have embraced this to the benefit of their employees, students and families.

UTMC’s updated lactation room is located in Dowling Hall Room 0254. The upgrades were completed in part through a Creating Healthy Communities grant from the Ohio Department of Health. UTMC also provided support.

Monecca Smith, chief nursing officer at UTMC, said a survey of students and employees clearly demonstrated there was a need for an improved location where women can pump breast milk.

“We felt it was important to give our employees a nice, quiet, cozy space to decompress from the stressors of their job. Equally, we want to give them flexible break time so they can continue to offer the benefit of breastfeeding to their children while working,” Smith said.

The room can be divided by a curtain to allow privacy for two women at a time. Each side has been equipped with a glider rocker, drawers with tubing and other supplies, and a hospital-grade breast pump. There’s also a refrigerator to store breast milk and a microwave for sterilizing pump parts.

The room is open to all employees and does not need to be booked in advance.

UTMC and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department are currently collecting feedback from University employees about the new room.

There is a second lactation room on Health Science Campus in Dowling Hall Room 2319.

UT has three lactation rooms on Main Campus:

• Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women, Tucker Hall Room 0168.

• University Counseling Center, Main Campus Medical Center Room 1550A (usage of this room can be scheduled in person or by calling 419.530.2426).

• Thompson Student Union Room 2574 (usage of this room needs to be scheduled in advance by visiting Thompson Student Union Room 2525 or calling 419.530.2931).

Fall book sale to take place Oct. 29-31 at UTMC

Make plans to stop by the Satellites Auxiliary’s Collective Goods Book and Gift Sale, which will take place Monday through Wednesday, Oct. 29-31, in UT Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro Atrium.

The sale will be held Monday and Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Books for all ages from all genres will be for sale, as well as all kinds of collectibles and gadgets.

Cash, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted.

Profits will benefit campus scholarships.

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.

For more information on the sale, contact Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites Auxiliary at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu.

New cafe featuring Starbucks now open at UTMC

Just in time for the pumpkin spice latte, the Starbucks drink menu has arrived at The University of Toledo Medical Center.

The Market Cafe opened Oct. 22 in UT Medical Center’s lobby.

The Market Cafe, which opened Monday in the hospital’s lobby area, is now offering the regular Starbucks drink menu and a selection of bagels and pastries. Over the next two weeks, the cafe will roll out an artisanal menu that features frittatas, craft burgers, pizza and a custom bagel sandwich bar.

Preliminary hours of operation will be from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cafe intends to add Saturday morning hours and expand its weekday hours to 8 p.m. at a later date.

“There has been a lot of excitement about us bringing a full-service coffee house to the hospital campus, and I’m proud to say it’s finally here. The Market Cafe is going to be a great addition to the dining options we already offer at UTMC,” said Mario Toussaint, chief experience officer for UTMC.

The new cafe was installed by the Bureau of Services for the Visually Impaired, a division of the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. It will be managed by one of the state agency’s business enterprises.

“This is a fantastic modern space that will enhance the services we provide our patients, students and guests during their time here at their University of Toledo Medical Center,” said Joshua Krupinski, director of food and nutrition services. “I also want to thank our staff and visitors for their patience during renovations.”

Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center to offer free breast cancer screenings Oct. 19

The Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center at The University of Toledo Medical Center is recognizing National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with free events aimed at early detection and education about the disease.

“Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a good time to think about having your mammogram,” said Jan Tipton, a registered nurse and manager of the Infusion Center at the cancer center.

On National Mammography Day, which this year falls on Friday, Oct. 19, the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center is offering free mammograms and clinical breast exams for women who are uninsured or underinsured.

One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, but statistics show that one-third of women older than the age of 40 have not had a mammogram in the past two years.

“By doing regular screenings, we can detect these cancers early and hopefully prevent patients from needing more invasive treatments,” Tipton said.

Women who have not had a recent mammogram or those who have found a lump during a self-breast exam are encouraged to register. A limited number of spots are available. To register or inquire about eligibility, call 419.383.5170.

Later this month, the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center will host a free panel discussion with three of its breast cancer specialists to talk about the precision treatment options available at The University of Toledo Medical Center.

The program will begin at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, and feature breast surgeon Dr. Heather Klepacz, medical oncologist Dr. Danae Hamouda and radiation oncologist Dr. Tangel Chang, who will speak about the latest advances in breast cancer treatment, including the most individualized treatment available today. A question-and-answer session will follow.

“We are entering into a new age of state-of-the art care using precision targeted therapy. Drs. Klepacz, Hamouda and Chang are all outstanding physicians who are part of our family-centered multidisciplinary care team,” said Dr. F. Charles Brunicardi, a surgical oncologist at UTMC and director of the Cancer Program in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “We are proud of the work the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center is doing and glad we can educate the community on the latest options in cancer care.”

The panel discussion is open to the public, but reservations are requested by emailing danacancercenter@utoledo.edu or calling 419.383.5243.

Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame to induct 2018 class

The University of Toledo Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame will induct nine former student-athletes Friday, Oct. 19, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg.

Social hour for the event will begin at 6 p.m., and dinner will follow at 7 p.m. The class also will be introduced at halftime of the UT football game vs. Buffalo Saturday, Oct. 20.

Tickets for the Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame induction dinner are $45 or $360 for a table of eight and can be purchased by calling the Athletic Development Office at 419.530.5087.

The 2018 Varsity ‘T’ Hall of Fame inductees are:

Lurley Archambeau, football, 1963 to 1965. He was a three-year starter, playing in the first three years of legendary Rocket Coach Frank Lauterbur’s tenure. In his sophomore and junior seasons, Archambeau started on both the offensive and defensive lines, one of the last two-way players in UT history. He also played on all special teams, meaning he did not come off the field during games. As a senior, Archambeau was the starting center on a team that went 5-5. After graduation, Archambeau was drafted in the 17th round by the Atlanta Falcons, but an injury ended his football career. After graduation, he attended medical school and became the first president of the first class of the former Medical College of Ohio. He has been in private psychiatry practice in Toledo for the past 43 years and has served his alma mater as a counselor for Rocket student-athletes for four decades.

Andy Boyd, football, 1998 to 2001. He was a walk-on who became a four-year starter at safety. During his collegiate career, Boyd always seemed to make the big play in the biggest games. Boyd totaled 314 tackles and 10 interceptions. He made the Mid-American Conference Academic Honor Roll in 1999, 2000 and 2001. During his junior year in 2000, he also was named All-MAC by the Sporting News. Boyd also was named UT’s Most Outstanding Defensive back in 1999, 2000 and 2001. During Boyd’s time at UT, the Rockets had a 33-13 record (22-8 MAC) and won MAC West Division titles in 1998, 2000 and 2001. In Boyd’s senior year, the Rockets won the MAC Championship and 2001 Motor City Bowl. He had 76 tackles and three interceptions as a redshirt freshman in 1998, making the Football News’ First-Team Freshman All-American squad and Football News’ All-MAC First-Team. He also received the Norman Cohen award for UT’s Most Outstanding Freshman football player in 1998. His biggest play came in the fourth quarter with an interception against Central Michigan that set up the game-winning field goal to help Toledo take the MAC West Division title. Boyd had 61 tackles and three interceptions as a sophomore, and 95 tackles and three picks as a junior in 2000. That 2000 team went 10-1 and was one of the strongest defensive teams ever at UT, racking up three shutouts and holding opponents to 14 points or fewer in seven games. Boyd made the game-saving tackle on the final play in a 31-26 defeat of Tony Romo and Eastern Illinois that season. In 2001, Boyd was named a team captain. He had 82 tackles and one interception. He broke up the potential game-winning pass in the end zone on fourth down to clinch Toledo’s 23-16 victory over Cincinnati in the 2001 Motor City Bowl. After graduation, Boyd served the Rockets as a volunteer coach (2002), a graduate assistant coach (2003 to 2004), and assistant coach (2005 to 2009) and director of high school relations (2010). While on the coaching staff, Boyd recruited First-Team All-MAC players Barry Church, Archie Donald, Jermaine Robinson and Eric Page. Church and Page would go on to become All-Americans. Boyd went into private business in 2010 and returned to the program as color commentator on Rocket football broadcasts from 2011 to 2015.

Sean Dobson
, baseball, 2001 to 2004. He made First-Team All-MAC, First-Team All-Region and was named an All-American by College Baseball Insider.com in 2004. He hit .394 that season and set UT records for total bases (152), RBIs (63) and doubles (23), while also scoring 60 runs. He led the team in hitting in 2002 with a .387 average, knocking in 34 runs and scoring 33. In 2003, he hit .367 and led the team with 60 runs scored. Dobson finished his career as UT’s leader in runs, hits and doubles. He ranks second in batting average (.371), third in runs (159) and hits (249), fourth in total bases (356), tied for fourth in doubles (46), and seventh in RBI (131). An outfielder, Dobson was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 40th round of the 2004 Major League Baseball draft.

Ari Fisher, women’s track and field/cross country, 2008 to 2012. Fisher made All-MAC six times in her career as a distance runner, three times in cross country and three times in track and field. She is one of only five runners in MAC history to win back-to-back cross country titles, achieving that feat in 2009 and 2010. She qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championship Meet three times in her career, earning All-America honors in 2010. Fisher won the individual title as a sophomore in 2009, pacing UT to a second-place finish. She then took ninth place at the NCAA Regionals and qualified for her first NCAA Championship Meet. A year later, she won the MAC title again, leading the Rockets to a MAC title. She was third at the NCAA Regionals and 26th at the NCAA Championship Meet. In 2011, Fisher came in third place at the MAC Championships as UT again won the team title. She was 17th at the NCAA Regionals and 76th at the NCAA Championship Meet, helping UT to its highest national finish ever (21st place). Injuries hampered her track career, but she was named the league’s Outstanding Distance Runner at the 2010 Indoor Championship when she won the 5K by more than 26 seconds. In 2011, she set the MAC record in the 5K at the Iowa State meet. Her time of 16:04.56 was one of the top 10 fastest times in the world that year. She was one of the favorites to win the 5K at the NCAA Indoor Championships that year, but an injury forced her to withdraw from the race. In 2012, she won the 10K at the MAC Outdoor Championships.

Laura Lindsay, women’s swimming and diving, 2008 to 2011. She was a two-time All-American and three-time All-MAC swimmer who helped lead Toledo to MAC Championships in 2010 and 2012. She earned All-America honors in the breaststroke in 2011 and 2012, the only Rocket woman swimmer to make All-America twice in her career. In 2012, Lindsay swam the fifth fastest time at the NCAA Championships in the 100-yard breaststroke, swimming in the B final and winning the event. She also swam the 200-yard breaststroke at the NCAA Championships twice, making her a four-time NCAA qualifier. Lindsay set three MAC records in the breaststroke and still holds two all-time UT individual records, as well as the MAC record in the 200 breast (2:09.72). Over her career, Lindsay won six MAC titles, one each in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and four in medley relays. As a sophomore, Lindsay was part of the MAC Championship 200- and 400-medley relay teams, earning second-team all-conference. A year later, Lindsay finished in second place in both the 100- and 200-breaststroke, taking home First-Team All-MAC honors. As a senior, she won both of those races at the MAC Championships, as well as participating in the 200- and 400-medley relay teams that won league titles. Lindsay, who was named Toledo’s team MVP in 2011 and 2012, was a USA Olympic top 10 qualifier in the 100- and 200-breaststroke in 2012, and top 25 qualifier in 2016.

Jared Miller, men’s tennis, 2005 to 2009. He was a four-time All-MAC tennis player and three-time team captain during his collegiate career. His overall record was 128-108, including a 42-28 mark at No.1 singles and No. 1 doubles as a senior. He earned a spot on the All-MAC Tournament Team in 2008 and 2009. In his senior year, Miller helped lead the Rockets to the MAC Tournament title match, their best finish in 36 years, and was ranked No. 8 in doubles in the Midwest Region. Miller was a three-time Academic All-MAC choice and was twice named MAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Week. In 2009, he earned the MAC Men’s Tennis Senior Sportsmanship Award and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I Men’s Midwest Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award. Miller nabbed numerous team awards, including Newcomer of the Year (2005-06); Most Improved Player (2005-06 and 2006-07); Team Leadership Award (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09) and Most Valuable Player (all four years). In 2009, Miller was voted UT’s Most Valuable Male Senior by the UT Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. In 2009, he was honored for having the highest GPA among all UT male student-athletes. Miller graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with concentration in biochemistry. He went to medical school and works in general pediatrics and primary care sports medicine with St. Vincent Medical Group in Kokomo, Ind.

Eric Page, football, 2009 to 2011. Page’s 306 receptions are the most in Toledo history and the 12th most in NCAA history. He also leads Toledo with 3,446 receiving yards. He holds the single-season mark for catches, snagging 125 passes as a junior in 2011, and ranks first all-time in career kickoff return average (27.3). Page was a three-time All-MAC selection who earned first-team All-America honors as a kickoff returner in 2010, a year in which he averaged 31.1 yards per return and scored three TDs. In 2009, Page led the nation’s freshmen with 82 receptions and 1,159 receiving yards. He earned second-team All-MAC honors and was named a Freshman All-American by Phil Steele and College Football News. As a sophomore, Page caught 99 passes and was named First-Team All-MAC as both a receiver and kickoff returner. He was selected by Walter Camp and the Sporting News as a First-Team All-American at kickoff returner, the first Rocket to make first-team on a major All-America team since Gene Swick in 1975. He also was named MAC Special Teams Player of the Year and the National Kickoff Returner of the Year by College Football Performance Awards. In his junior season, Page became only the third person in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history to make First-Team All-League at three positions: wide receiver, kickoff returner and punt returner. He shattered the UT reception mark by catching 125 passes and was one of four national finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the nation’s most versatile player. He set the UT record and tied Randy Moss’ MAC record when he caught five TD passes in one game vs. Northern Illinois in 2011. At the end of his college career, he was tied for the most career receptions by any player in MAC history.

Lena Richards-Crider, softball, 1995 to 1996. She is a two-time First-Team All-MAC selection. As a junior in 1995, she led the Rockets in nine categories: slugging percentage (.439), runs (40), hits, (69), at-bats (212 — which ties for fifth place in MAC history), doubles (13), sacrifices (18), total bases (93), stolen bases (12) and home runs (3). These impressive season stats helped her earn a spot on the First-Team All-MAC and First-Team All-Mideast Region lists. She was the MAC’s Hitter of the Week and was nominated for National Hitter of the Week after batting .600 (12 for 20) with seven RBI, four runs scored, three sacrifices, two doubles, and a grand slam over six games against No. 6 Michigan and Eastern Michigan (1995). She also pitched an 8-0 shutout over Eastern Michigan during that same stretch. In 1996, Richards-Crider made First-Team All-MAC again. She was named MAC Co-Hitter of the Week April 15 after hitting .692 (9 for 13) with two runs, one double, and a pair of stolen bases. Richards-Crider is vice president of development and marketing for A Kid Again, a nonprofit organization in Columbus, Ohio, that works to foster hope, happiness and healing for families raising children with life-threatening illnesses.

Naama Shafir, women’s basketball, 2008 to 2013. She was a four-time All-MAC selection and is one of only two players (Kim Knuth) in program history to earn all-conference accolades on four occasions. Shafir wrapped up her collegiate career ranked first in UT annals in assists (722, third most in MAC history), minutes played (4,218), games played (139) and games started (139). She also ranked second in free-throw attempts (696), third in steals (227) and made free throws (538), fourth in field-goal attempts (1,476), and fifth in points (1,874). Additionally, Shafir was sixth in field goals made (601), seventh in free-throw percentage (.773), and tied for ninth in scoring average (13.5 points per game). As a freshman, Shafir averaged 11.7 points and 4.5 assists, earning honorable mention All-MAC honors. A year later, she earned second-team all-league honors, averaging 14.3 points and 6.7 assists, leading UT to the MAC Championship title game for the first time since 2001. As a junior in the 2010-11 season, Shafir averaged 15.3 points and 5.1 assists, earning First-Team All-MAC honors. The Rockets finished in first place in the MAC that year and went on to win the WNIT Championship. She was named MVP of the tournament, scoring 40 points against USC in the championship game, a 76-68 Rocket victory before a record crowd in Savage Arena. Shafir played in only four games in 2011-12 due to a knee injury, but came back in 2012-13 to lead UT to a 29-4 record (15-1 MAC). She once again earned First-Team All-MAC honors, averaging 12.8 points and 4.6 assists. She was runner-up for MAC Player of the Year and a regional finalist for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s All-America Team. An excellent student, Shafir earned Academic All-MAC honors three times. She was part of the winningest class in school history, helping UT post a 107-31 overall ledger and a 54-10 MAC mark, with two MAC regular-season titles (2010-11, 2012-13), and four-consecutive MAC West-Division crowns, as well as advancing to the postseason each year. After graduation, Shafir returned to her native Israel, where she has played professional basketball for Elitzur Ramla, Maccabi Ramat Hen and Maccabi Bnot Ashdod.

$1 million gift from couple to expand UT research into pancreatic cancer

Toledo businessman Hal Fetterman and his wife, Susan Fetterman, have pledged $1 million to The University of Toledo to fund new research into treatments for pancreatic cancer, the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

The donation is in honor of Hal Fetterman’s sister, Joyce Schwyn, and three close friends who lost their lives to pancreatic cancer.

Hal Fetterman, center, was thanked last week by Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president of clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and President Sharon L. Gaber after signing a pledge to give the University $1 million to research pancreatic cancer treatments.

“They were the ones who inspired me to go in this particular direction,” Fetterman said. “There are people passing away from pancreatic cancer all the time. The ultimate goal of this gift would be a cure for the disease.”

The Fetterman’s donation will establish the UT Medical Center Pancreatic Cancer Research Innovation Fund. Half of the gift will be dedicated to recruiting a top-tier faculty researcher to the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences. The remaining $500,000 will be split between covering the costs of an upcoming clinical drug trial at UT Medical Center and supporting a grant competition among faculty cancer researchers.

“The University of Toledo is grateful for the incredible generosity of Hal and Susan Fetterman,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “The Fettermans have been loyal supporters of UT for years, and this new investment in the University will support important advances in medical care.”

Pancreatic cancer is relatively rare accounting for just 3 percent of all new cancer cases in the United States, but it is to blame for 7 percent of all cancer deaths. According to the National Cancer Institute, only lung cancer and colon cancer kill more Americans than pancreatic cancer.

Dr. F. Charles Brunicardi, the John Howard Endowed Professor of Pancreatic Surgery and director of the cancer program in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, said there is already promising research being done at UT, and the Fettermans’ gift will take it to the next step.

“I’m deeply honored by the Fettermans’ generosity and their devotion toward finding better treatments for pancreatic cancer,” Brunicardi said. “We feel that we’re on the verge of a big breakthrough. We can cure mice of pancreatic cancer. What we need to do now is translate that into clinical trials, and this grant will allow us to do that.”

Fetterman felt it was important that someone make a sizeable donation to draw more attention to the cause and hopefully additional resources to advance treatment options.

“Somebody’s got to break the ice. I think that more people need to get involved with things like this,” Fetterman said. “It’s not necessarily wanting to leave a legacy, but I can’t take it with me. God’s been good to me. I didn’t go to college, and I didn’t have wealthy parents. I’m basically a farm boy from out in Fulton County. I want to do what I can to help people have a better life.”

The Fettermans are longtime supporters of UT. In 2007, the couple donated $1 million to the UT Athletic Department to build an indoor multi-sport practice facility that would ultimately become the Fetterman Training Center. They also established the Scott Raymond Fetterman Memorial Scholarship Fund in 1996 for UT engineering students.