UT News » Health and Human Services

UT News

Categories

Search News

Archives

Resources

Health and Human Services

UT selected as one of six partners in U.S. to join first research network on misdemeanor justice

The University of Toledo has been selected to join a new national research network to study trends in low-level crimes to inform smarter criminal justice policies that enhance public safety, increase public trust in police, and save tax dollars.

The Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice is run by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and funded by a $3.25 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

UT is one of six universities in the country to join a national research network to study trends in low-level crimes. The study started in New York City.

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice began focusing on misdemeanors in New York City years ago and is expanding the study’s scope to include six other cities. UT received a three-year, $169,000 grant to analyze local data and work with research institutions throughout the country.

In addition to Toledo, joining the new national alliance with New York City are Los Angeles, Seattle, St. Louis, Durham, N.C., and Prince Georges County in Maryland for a total of seven jurisdictions throughout the country working together.

“The University of Toledo is proud to be a part of this pioneering national project to inform policy discussions and reform because misdemeanors are the bulk of what police officers deal with every day, but there is not much research on it,” said Dr. David Lilley, assistant professor of criminal justice and the research director of the misdemeanor justice project at UT. “The vast majority of arrests are low-level offenses that carry a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail, such as drug possession, petty theft, simple assault and driving on a suspended license.”

Misdemeanors accounted for approximately 90 percent of total arrests by Toledo police officers in 2015 when there were 22,463 misdemeanor arrests and 2,296 felony arrests.

“Misdemeanors are the lion’s share of the charges that we usually bring against suspects,” Toledo Police Chief George Kral said. “I’m hoping this study gives us more ideas on what works and what doesn’t work. That valuable intelligence will help me change policy, if necessary, to make the whole process more efficient, keep the community safe, and give defendants the help they need. If we could nip it in the bud at the misdemeanor level, we could stop someone from escalating to felonies in the future.”

Toledo was chosen as part of the misdemeanor study out of 39 that applied, in part, because of the collaborations UT researchers already have with local law enforcement and the ongoing criminal justice reform efforts underway in Lucas County.

“We are one of the smallest cities on the list, but one of the factors that puts us ahead of the curve is that we have been doing this type of data analysis at UT for years by working with the Toledo Police Department,” said Dr. Kasey Tucker-Gail, associate professor of criminal justice, director of the Urban Policing and Crime Analysis Initiative, and principal investigator for the misdemeanor justice research project at UT. “TPD’s advanced data system is one of the best. Being chosen for John Jay College’s misdemeanor project is an honor that rewards our teamwork.”

UT researchers say many police agencies across the country do not know how many misdemeanor arrests result in incarceration.

“Part of what we’re doing is taking a close look at the outcomes and conduct cross-site analyses to figure out how to increase efficiency and effectiveness,” Lilley said. “Are people ending up in jail? Fined? Are charges dropped because the system is overburdened or there is not enough evidence? Are suspects going through a diversion program, such as drug court? Our research alliance will examine trends and outcomes of misdemeanor arrests, summonses, pedestrian stops and pre-trial detention at the local level.”

The University of Toledo will work with the Toledo Police Department, Northern Ohio Regional Information Systems and the Toledo-Lucas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council as part of the project.

“Hopefully, this research will help guide new alternatives for individuals that may need help instead of punishment,” said Holly Matthews, attorney and executive director of the Toledo-Lucas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. “We’re working on reducing our jail population by 18 percent. This misdemeanor project is going to help show the trends over the last three or four years — especially with the opioid epidemic — that we’re seeing locally. We have already been working proactively with the Lucas County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board to address other options besides incarceration for individuals with mental health and substance abuse issues.”

Research partners for the Misdemeanor Justice Project also include the University of California in Los Angeles, North Carolina Central University, Seattle University, the University of Maryland and the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

“To see the work of the Misdemeanor Justice Project expand from New York City to six other jurisdictions is very exciting,” said Dr. Preeti Chauhan, assistant professor of psychology at John Jay College and principal investigator of the research network. “We are looking forward to replicating the New York model to these sites and believe the results will guide smarter criminal justice reform.”

“The network has generated an outpouring of academic and government interest in pioneering a national conversation around enforcement of lower-level crimes — something that leads a large number of individuals to enter our justice system,” said Matt Alsdorf, vice president of criminal justice for the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. “We are proud of the diverse U.S. cities leading this conversation, and we look forward to learning how the research partnerships inform local and national justice policies for the long term.”

Physician/author to discuss health and race

Being black can be bad for your health — Dr. Damon Tweedy wrote about hearing that as a first-year medical student at Duke University in 1997.

His book, “Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine,” became a New York Times Bestseller and was one of Time magazine’s top 10 nonfiction books in 2015.

Tweedy

“From the beginning of life to the very end — and everywhere in between — African Americans continue to experience disproportionately worse health outcomes,” Tweedy said. “You can name pretty much any disease, and you’re likely to find that it’s either more common in black people; black people who get the disease have a worse course; or both of these conditions. There are a lot of factors involved with this, and I explore many of them in my book.”

Tweedy will discuss race and health disparities Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1200.

For several years, the assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and staff physician at the Durham Veteran Affairs Medical Center has written and lectured on race and medicine. His articles have been published by The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post, as well as by several medical journals.

In his book, he wrote, “Whether it is premature birth, infant mortality, homicide, childhood obesity or HIV infection, black children and young adults disproportionately bear the brunt of these medical and social ills. By middle age, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney failure and cancer have a suffocating grip on the health of black people and maintain this stranglehold on them well into their senior years.”

“I wanted to put a human touch to these issues of racial health disparities — examining how this impacts real people in everyday life,” Tweedy said. “Many people are more likely to engage in these issues when they are presented as stories rather than simply as statistics.

“I also wanted to explore some of the unique challenges faced by African-American doctors — a largely unexplored perspective in popular medical narratives,” he added.

His free, public talk is sponsored by We Are STEMM, a UT organization dedicated to empowering and inspiring students from underrepresented populations who are interested in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine. Led by faculty and staff, the group celebrates and supports diversity in several UT colleges: Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Engineering; Medicine and Life Sciences; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Health and Human Services.

“I found Dr. Tweedy’s book to be inspirational. While it reveals a story often heard in the community of underrepresented groups pursuing higher education, I think he has been able to deliver many aspects in a manner that may be enlightening and perhaps more palatable to those freed from this ‘experience,’” said Dr. Anthony Quinn, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and chair of We Are STEMM.

“In contemporary society, there is the perception that history can be wiped clean with a single piece of new legislation — no need to deal with lasting psychological scars inflicted by past overt and covert policies or the entrenched social norms that are retained and vigorously guarded for generations in spite of new laws,” Quinn continued. “Dr. Tweedy brings out the adverse and lasting impact that discriminatory practices can have on individuals and society long past the time of those who initially implemented them.”

Tweedy’s talk is one of the University’s events scheduled for Black History Month.

Program to help area homeless and their pets

A service fair for people who are homeless and have animals in Toledo will be held Saturday, Feb. 18, to provide free vaccines, minor medical exams and treatment, animal care supplies, and basic dog training.  

The fair will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Cherry Street Mission Ministries’ Life Revitalization Center, 105 17th St., Toledo.

My Dog is My Home, a national nonprofit that helps communities meet needs of people who are homeless and have companion animals, is working with several local agencies to present the event. 

After reading a story in The Blade last summer about a woman who became homeless and her dog, Dr. Janet Hoy was moved to take action.

“I invited the director of My Dog is My Home to Toledo and initiated a meeting with community agencies to explore how we could do better with this in Toledo,” Hoy, UT associate professor in the School of Social Justice, said.

“We also will be doing research at the event to better understand service needs,” she added.

Christine Kim, director of My Dog is My Home, said, “Understanding the scope of the problem opens new doors for creating policies and services that target this special population. We are hoping to add depth to that understanding through the information we collect at the service fair.”

The ultimate goal, according to Kim, would be to initiate the development of a co-sheltering infrastructure within Toledo’s homeless service system.

Partnering with My Dog is My Home for the service fair are UT, the Toledo Area Humane Society, Humane Ohio, Toledo’s PET Bull Project and Cherry Street Mission Ministries. The Toledo-Lucas County Homelessness Board also has provided support.

Donations of supplies — dog and cat food, toys, leashes, etc. — are being collected by Hoy and may be left outside her office, which is in Health and Human Service Building Room 2610.

My Dog is My Home is seeking donations for its generosity campaign to raise funds for vaccines, flea and tick treatment, and spay/neuter vouchers.

Those interested in learning more about the event, including volunteering, may contact Kim at christine@mydogismyhome.org.

Criminal justice and legal specialties career/internship fair Feb. 2

The University of Toledo Criminal Justice and Paralegal Studies programs will host a career and internship fair Thursday, Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

criminal-justice-fairRepresentatives from nearly 90 agencies will be available to meet with students interested in law enforcement, corrections, social work, probation and legal specialties.

Students of all majors are encouraged to attend and meet potential employers, including the FBI; police departments throughout Ohio, Michigan and Indiana; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency; Marshall & Melhorn LLC; and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“Students should dress professionally and bring a resumé,” Dr. Wendi Goodlin-Fahncke, associate professor of criminal justice and director of the Criminal Justice Undergraduate Program, said. “Even if you’re not looking for a job or internship, this is a great opportunity to network for the future.”

UTMC sets path forward to serve health-care needs of community

After a thorough review during the past year, The University of Toledo leadership has determined that the UT Medical Center will continue to operate as a teaching hospital, serving the community in South Toledo.

utmc-still-copyIn addition to reviewing UTMC operations, service lines, efficiencies and its customer base, UT leaders studied the rapidly evolving health-care market to determine the most viable path forward for the medical center. They also took into account the change going on at the University, in the industry and in local communities.

“In a rapidly changing industry such as health care, it was imperative that we take the time to thoroughly review our operations, the community we serve, and the dynamics of the health-care market. We needed to be sure we could successfully adapt to the changing environment we live in and continue to serve our 80,000 neighbors effectively,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We have confidence in our team, and we appreciate the patience everyone exhibited while we worked toward determining this path forward.”

A letter sent to the UT community Jan. 24 from Gaber and Executive Vice President for Clinical Affairs Christopher Cooper noted the hospital’s financial strength and stated UTMC was operating at full or near-full capacity, and together with its clinics served nearly 300,000 people last year.

“The financial health of UTMC played a key role in our analysis, and we want it to be clear that the hospital remains viable only if it continues to enhance its productivity and efficiencies going forward,” the letter stated.

UTMC will continue to be a teaching hospital for UT’s colleges of Medicine and Life Sciences; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Nursing; and Health and Human Services.

In addition, the path forward will include gradually adding more primary care and behavioral health options at UTMC to meet the evolving health-care needs of the community and to strengthen the University’s training programs.

“We are committed to evolving in a way that keeps our hospital strong, and as we do so, to communicating with you ahead of any changes,” the letter stated.

UTMC leaders are meeting with employees throughout the week to provide more information and answer questions. The schedule for information meetings is:

Tuesday, Jan. 24
• UTMC employee meeting at noon in Health Education Building Room 100

• College of Medicine and Life Sciences faculty meeting at 5 p.m. in Health Education Room 100

• UTMC employee meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 105
• UTMC employee meeting at 7:45 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 105


Wednesday, Jan. 25

• UTMC employee meeting at 7:45 a.m. in the Pinnacle Lounge

• College of Medicine and Life Sciences students and residents meeting at noon in Health Education Building Room 100

Thursday, Jan. 26
• UT Physicians employees meeting at 11 a.m. at Glendale Medical Center

Additional information is available online on the myUT portal under the new UTMC tab.

To submit questions or comments, email UTMCquestions@utoledo.edu or call 419.383.6814.

Ohio Department of Health director to visit campus

Richard Hodges, director of the Ohio Department of Health, will discuss 2017 public health trends he expects to see in the state during a stop at The University of Toledo this week.

Hodges

Hodges

He will speak Thursday, Jan. 26, at 11 a.m. in Health and Human Services Building Room 1711.

Hodges will talk about how the Ohio Department of Health is addressing public health crises, including infant mortality and drug overdoses, by collaborating with state, regional and local public health organizations.

While on campus, he also will visit the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center and the schools of Population Health; Exercise Science and Rehabilitation Services; Social Justice; and Intervention and Wellness.

In addition, Hodges will discuss the opioid epidemic with College of Health and Human Services students.

The UT alumnus received a master of public health degree in 1991. Hodges was appointed director of the Ohio Department of Public Health by Ohio Gov. John Kasich in 2014.

For more information about Hodges’ visit, contact Angela Campbell of the College of Health and Human Services at angela.campbell@utoledo.edu
or 419.530.5399.

Office of Research to gain support of two faculty members

Two senior UT faculty members will bring their experience to help advance UT’s research enterprise.

Schall

Schall

Dr. Connie Schall, professor of chemical engineering, will be the interim associate vice president for research beginning Jan. 1, and Dr. Amy Thompson, professor of public health, will join as a faculty fellow for the remainder of the 2016-17 academic year.

“I am delighted that President Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Andrew Hsu are such strong advocates of UT’s research mission by providing the financial support to have two talented individuals contribute their expertise to our research office,” Dr. Frank Calzonetti, vice president of research, said.

Schall will represent the UT Research Office both on and off campus in Calzonetti’s absence. She also will provide leadership and support to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Schall, who has a strong record of publications and external funding on protein crystallization and ionic liquids, can help provide support to faculty members preparing and submitting grant proposals to external agencies.

Thompson

Thompson

Working closely with the University Research Council, Thompson will focus her energies on the assessment of the University’s research enterprise that will be incorporated into the UT strategic plan. This assessment will examine UT’s current research support infrastructure and staffing, as well as provide direction for strategic investments to enhance the institution’s national research stature.

Thompson, who also is the co-director of the Center for Health and Successful Living, has a broad portfolio of publications and external grants, and most recently has been involved in cancer survivorship, firearm violence, and public health policy research.

Both Schall and Thompson will have offices in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs administrative suite in the Research and Technology Building.

Distinguished educator to deliver commencement address Dec. 17

Toledo native Dr. Timothy Law Snyder, president of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, will present the keynote address at the UT fall commencement Saturday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

Snyder, who will receive an honorary degree during the ceremony, will address 2,066 candidates for degrees: 93 doctoral, 584 master’s, 1,346 bachelor’s and 43 associate’s degrees.

Snyder

Snyder

The ceremony will be streamed live at http://video.utoledo.edu.

Snyder is a distinguished American educator and academic administrator whose career includes success as a computational mathematician, musician, published scholar, lecturer and podcaster. He attended Toledo Public Schools and graduated from UT in 1981 with bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and mathematics. Additionally, he earned a master’s degree in mathematics from UT in 1983.

Snyder also holds a second master’s degree, as well as a doctoral degree, in computational mathematics from Princeton University.

“We’re honored to have Dr. Timothy Snyder return to his alma mater as our fall commencement speaker,” said UT President Sharon L. Gaber. “His career is proof that goals can be multidirectional, and success follows people who work hard to make lasting contributions, no matter what career paths they choose over a lifetime.”

In 2014, The University of Toledo Alumni Association recognized Snyder with its College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ Outstanding Alumnus Award.

“I return to my hometown with pride and excitement to deliver the keynote commencement address. My educational path and career were profoundly shaped by my years at UT,” Snyder said. “I continue to resonate with UT’s mission to improve the human condition and advance knowledge, among its other values. I hope to inspire graduates to pursue their life goals with creativity and integrity.”

Snyder has held academic positions at Berklee College of Music in Boston, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and at Georgetown University, where he was chair of the Department of Computer Science and its first dean of science. Additionally, he served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University in Connecticut and vice president for academic affairs at Loyola University Maryland. In 2015, Snyder was appointed the 16th president of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

He has published and presented widely on his research, which includes computational mathematics, data structures, design and analysis of algorithms, geometric probability, digital signal processing, computer music, and the education of the millennial generation. More recently, he has been researching risk assessment in commercial airline safety, as well as HIV and its prevention.

A musician most of his life, Snyder was lead singer in the touring rock-and-punk band Whirlwind from 1976 to 1983. His music can be found on iTunes and SoundCloud. He is also active in social media through his Twitter handle @LMUSnyder.

The University’s fall commencement ceremony will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters, Business and Innovation, Judith Herb College of Education, Health and Human Services, Medicine and Life Sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Nursing, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Additionally, UT’s College of Engineering will hold graduation ceremonies for its undergraduate and graduate candidates Friday, Dec. 16, at 5:30 p.m. in Savage Arena.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/commencement.

University to hold breast cancer screening event Dec. 9

Clinical breast exams and mammograms are important tools used to detect breast cancer in its early stages, when the chances of survival are highest. But one-third of women older than 40 have not had a mammogram in the past two years.

web center for health and successful livingThe University of Toledo’s Center for Health and Successful Living with support from Susan G. Komen of Northwest Ohio will sponsor free clinical breast exams and mammograms Friday, Dec. 9, from noon to 4:30 p.m. at UT’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center on Health Science Campus.

Women older than 40 who have not had a breast exam or mammogram in the past three years, or those who have found a lump during a self-breast exam, are encouraged to attend.

“Women tend to be more worried about everyone else and put their own health on the back burner,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, co-director of the Center for Health and Successful Living and professor of health education. “We want women to take the time to have a breast cancer screening. An ounce of precaution truly is worth a pound of cure.”

Registration is required. Call Barbara Oxner at 419.344.5172.

UT to partner with Lucas County to evaluate grant program

The Lucas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council recently received a nearly $650,000 federal grant to provide transition services to individuals living in halfway houses after serving prison sentences.

The three-year program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice seeks to assist 100 to 150 male offenders with co-occurring disorders, such as addiction or mental health illness, in an effort to reduce the county’s recidivism rate of 22.6 percent.

The University of Toledo will receive $77,081 of that funding to serve as an outside investigator to assess the results of the program.

“Every program funded by a federal grant is required to be evaluated for its success,” said Dr. John Laux, professor of counselor education and associate dean for student affairs in the College of Health and Human Services, who will be the program evaluator. “We will serve as a neutral observer of their program methods. Our job is to measure effectiveness of the program in an effort to determine its effectiveness.”

The funding UT receives will support two graduate students in the counselor education program with tuition and a stipend for research related to the evaluation of the program.

“The students selected to assist with the research affiliated with this program will have a unique opportunity to learn more about the populations they will someday serve,” Laux said. “It also can open the door of opportunity leading to future PhD studies in the field.”

Laux said it is a unique way the University can serve the community.

“Our department is proud to partner with the county to support them in their efforts as they work to help former inmates overcome obstacles that can lead to recidivism,” he said.