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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.

Criminal Justice and Legal Specialties Career Fair Feb. 14

Representatives from nearly 100 employers, including local, state and federal government, law enforcement agencies and private law firms, will be on The University of Toledo campus Thursday, Feb. 14, for the annual Criminal Justice and Legal Specialties Career Fair.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Graduate and undergraduate students of all majors and programs are invited to attend.

Among the employers recruiting full-time employees or interns are the Toledo Police Department, the U.S. Secret Service, Legal Aid of Western Ohio Inc., Marshall & Melhorn LLC and Marathon Petroleum.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students to see the possibilities available after graduation, as well as what internships are available at these agencies,” said Dr. Wendi Goodlin-Fahncke, associate professor of criminal justice in the UT College of Health and Human Services.

Attendees are asked to dress professionally and bring their resumés.

No advanced registration is necessary, though students will be asked to check in on arrival.

Research integrity officer named

Dr. Debra Boardley, professor in the School of Population Health, has been appointed as the research integrity officer for The University of Toledo.

Boardley has experience in research integrity issues, having served as a member of the University Research Council and as a member of both research misconduct inquiry and investigation committees.

Boardley

She is an expert in food and nutrition behavior, and is particularly concerned about local food issues, including nutrition needs of older adults, children and women.

A registered and licensed dietitian, Boardley holds a master of health science degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD from the University of South Carolina.

Boardley will take over duties from Dr. Wayne Hoss, who came back after retiring from his position as associate dean in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, to serve the University on an interim basis as the research integrity officer. Hoss will still see cases started under his watch through conclusion, with a transition of new cases to Boardley.

“I am pleased that Dr. Boardley is willing to bring her talent and energy to a demanding position at the University that is so important to maintaining our commitment to integrity in research and scholarship,” Dr. Frank Calzonetti, UT vice president for research, said.

Calzonetti thanked Hoss for his service, which included helping to draft a new research misconduct policy.

UPDATED: Stalking lecture rescheduled

One in six women and one in 19 men will experience stalking in their lifetimes. As part of National Stalking Awareness Month, the UT Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness will hold a lecture and question-and-answer session with Anna Nasset.

Nasset

“Stand Up to Stalking and Sexual Violence” has been rescheduled from Wednesday, Jan. 30, to Monday, March 11, at 6 p.m. in Health and Human Services Building Room 1711.

Nasset will share her story to increase awareness about these crimes and to support service providers and survivors.

“The Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness would like to bring additional information about the effects of stalking and how advocacy can help victims of stalking to UT’s campus,” said Dr. Kasey Tucker-Gail, associate professor of criminal justice and director of the UT Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness. 

Nasset will discuss her personal account of being stalked by a stranger for more than seven years, and how advocacy for stalking victims is important for recovery.

For more information about the free, public lecture, go to the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness website.

If you are experiencing a stalking or sexual misconduct concern, help is available: Contact the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness at 419.530.3431.

New vice provost for faculty affairs appointed

Dr. Amy Thompson started her new job as vice provost for faculty affairs Jan. 1.

Thompson

Thompson served as interim associate vice provost for faculty affairs and professor of public health, and provides oversight for the faculty orientation program, the UT Leadership Institute, and the University’s faculty awards program. In addition, she provides leadership for the new Future of Higher Education forums that are held monthly by the Office of the Provost.

In her new role, Thompson also will be responsible for the administration of faculty personnel processes, policies and procedures; faculty leadership and development programs; and additional faculty success initiatives related to the priorities of the University’s strategic plan.

“Amy joined the Office of the Provost last summer and has provided outstanding leadership for a number of initiatives that strengthen and support faculty success at UT,” Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said. “In her new position, she will continue to help faculty members achieve new levels of success.”

Barlowe

Dr. Jamie Barlowe, who serves as interim vice provost for faculty affairs, announced her plans to retire in the new year. Barlowe has been a UT faculty member since 1990 as a professor of English and women’s and gender studies. She also served as dean of the College of Arts and Letters, formerly the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, for six years. During her time at UT, she also has served as an associate dean, department chair and president of Faculty Senate.

“Jamie is a valued member of the Office of the Provost’s leadership team, and her wisdom, experience and knowledge will be greatly missed,” Hsu said. “I am grateful that she will help with the transition during the month of January.”

Thompson has been a member of the UT faculty since 2007 and has served as director of the Center for Health and Successful Living in the College of Health and Human Services. She is the immediate past-president of the University’s Faculty Senate. She was selected to serve as a Fellow in the Mid-American Conference Academic Leadership Development Program in 2017-18, and last year served as a Fellow in UT’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. She also served as a Fellow in the Office of the Provost in summer 2018.

Thompson received a PhD in health education and a master of science and education in public health from UT. She received a bachelor of science in public health from Central Michigan University.

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.

National science leader and Toledo native to deliver UT commencement address Dec. 15

The head of the nation’s oldest and one of its most prestigious laboratories will return home, as Toledo native Michael Witherell is set to deliver the address during The University of Toledo’s undergraduate commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 15.

Witherell, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in Berkeley, Calif., will address 1,474 candidates for degrees, including 1,437 bachelor’s and 37 associate’s candidates. The event will take place at 11:30 a.m. in Savage Arena on Main Campus.

Witherell

UT’s graduate commencement ceremony is scheduled at 8 a.m. in Savage Arena and will commemorate 641 candidates for doctoral, education specialist and master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates. Md Kamal Hossain, emerging cancer researcher and candidate for a doctoral degree at the University, will be the speaker.

Both ceremonies are open to the public and can be viewed live on the UT Views website.

Witherell, a distinguished physicist, educator and science leader, developed the foundation for his future at Toledo’s St. Francis de Sales High School. Salutatorian at age 15, he earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in experimental physics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After a distinguished career as a university professor performing research in particle physics, he devoted himself to leading large research institutions.

In 2016, Witherell was named director of Berkeley Lab, the oldest of the 17 labs in the
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories systems. Berkeley Lab is a global leader in fundamental and applied scientific research in physical, biological, energy, computing and environmental sciences. The lab’s employees have earned 13 Nobel Prizes and played a role in the discovery of 16 elements on the periodic table, among its honors. The lab is managed for the DOE by the University of California.

“Our mission at Berkeley Lab is solving the nation’s most challenging problems through great scientific and technological discoveries. I believe that the national assets in addressing these problems include public universities and the students whom they are educating,” Witherell said.

Before joining Berkeley Lab, Witherell spent six years as director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. He was vice chancellor for research at the University of California in Santa Barbara, where he also held a presidential chair in the Physics Department.

His primary research interest is in studying the nature of dark matter. He was a contributor to the LUX experiment, which in 2016 published the most sensitive search for interactions of dark matter particles with normal matter. He is now part of an international research team that is building a successor to LUX, known as LZ, which will be three orders of magnitude more sensitive. Data collection is expected to start in 2020.

Witherell is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He chairs the Board of Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies and serves on the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy.

“As a nationally recognized, public research university, The University of Toledo is pleased to have Dr. Witherell as our fall commencement speaker. Research not only helps us to discover new knowledge that advances all areas of study, but also instills critical thinking skills that our students can use to approach problems systematically and come up with solutions that improve everyday life,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We look forward to Dr. Witherell sharing his insights with our graduates, especially since he grew up in Toledo and has since made tremendous contributions through research.”

Witherell’s personal success can be traced back to the Glass City, as well. He and his wife, Elizabeth Hall Witherell, head of the Princeton Edition of Henry Thoreau’s writings, grew up in the same west Toledo neighborhood and were high school sweethearts. They have a daughter, Lily.

“The foundation for my career and life was my extended family in Toledo,” Witherell said. “Their support and the value they put on education and public service were central to my personal and professional development.”

Hossain

Hossain, the graduate ceremony speaker, is a native of Dhaka, Bangladesh, who came to UT as an industrial pharmacist with a passion to develop innovative medicines.

“I’ve always been interested in studying health-related fields due to the suffering of people in my homeland from different types of disease,” Hossain said. “My focus is to develop a specific targeting approach for a more effective cancer vaccine. My research examined the utilization of a natural antibody already present in human serum that makes the vaccine more convenient to target tumor cells.”

He is a candidate for a doctor of philosophy degree in medicinal chemistry in UT’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

UT’s fall commencement ceremonies will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Graduate Studies; Health and Human Services; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College.

The College of Law will host its commencement ceremony Sunday, May 5, at 1 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. Later that week — Friday, May 10, at
4 p.m. — the College of Medicine and Life Sciences will hold its commencement ceremony in Savage Arena.

For more information, visit the UT commencement website.

UT one of top schools in country for Quality Matters-certified online classes

When it comes to offering online courses certified by Quality Matters, The University of Toledo is one of the top schools in the country.

With 32 courses certified this year, UT offers 85 Quality Matters-certified classes. That ranks the University 15th in the nation when it comes to offering Quality Matters-certified courses.

Earlier this year, the School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Health and Human Services was the first at UT to have an online degree program with all required courses certified by Quality Matters for a master of arts degree in recreation administration.

“The University adopted Quality Matters in 2011, and our faculty members have really embraced it,” Dr. Barbara Kopp Miller, dean of University College, said. “More than 50 UT faculty members have chosen to ensure the quality of their online courses through the nationally recognized and faculty-driven Quality Matters peer review process.”

Quality Matters is a nonprofit organization that provides standards for courses and program review to support quality assurance goals. A recognized leader in quality assurance for online education, its mission is to promote and improve the quality of online education and student learning nationally and internationally through the development of current, research-supported and practice-based quality standards and appropriate evaluation tools and procedures.

The organization also provides recognition of expertise in online education quality assurance and evaluation along with professional development in the use of rubrics, tools and practices to improve online education.

“I would highly recommend this experience to any instructor who wants to deliver quality online learning,” said Susan Parks, UT associate lecturer of curriculum and instruction in the Judith Herb College of Education. “The feedback that I received helped me to improve my course design, create clearer expectations, and incorporate best practices.”

Official Quality Matters course reviews coordinated through UT Online are conducted by a team of certified peer reviewers who actively teach online and have been trained and certified by the organization.

The review process centers around the application of the Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric. The 42 standards outlined in the rubric were developed and are periodically revised based on research and established standards in the fields of instructional design and online learning.

“I think the Quality Matters process made me a better course designer and instructor,” said Dr. Judy Lambert, UT professor of educational technology. “The Quality Matters rubric was especially helpful as a guide while designing courses, and the external review process provided additional evaluations pointing out areas which needed improvement.”

“The constructive criticism provided by the review teams, coupled with the praise for areas that met the expectations of the rubrics, provided valuable recommendations addressing course design, communication, competencies, technology, accessibility, usability and more,” said Marie Janes, UT senior lecturer in the School of Population Health. “With each certification, I could see a marked improvement in the student learning outcomes, a measurement that is undeniably the most useful type of data for faculty.”

Any UT instructor interested in learning more about the official Quality Matters course review process are encouraged to visit UT’s Does Quality Matter?

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.