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Management professor to receive national health-care executives’ award for best published article

Dr. Clinton O. Longenecker, Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Organizational Excellence in The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation, and his brother, Dr. Paul D. Longenecker, are the winners of the 2015 Edgar C. Hayhow Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Dr. Clinton Longenecker

Dr. Clinton Longenecker

They received the award for their research article, “Why Hospital Improvement Efforts Fail: A View From the Front Line,” published in the March/April 2014 issue of the Journal of Healthcare Management.

The award, to be presented during ACHE’s 58th Congress on Healthcare Leadership this week in Chicago, represents breakthrough work in health-care management.

“Working with my brother, Paul, was terrific, as he has more than 30 successful years of invaluable experience in a wide variety of health-care professions. This allowed us a unique opportunity to combine his talents with my background in leadership and change,” Longenecker said.

“This recognition was very rewarding given the changing nature of health care,” he continued. “It was great to be recognized for creating some discussion and practices around how to make changes in hospitals and health-care systems more effective and timely, and we have been receiving a lot of feedback on our work since it was published.”

Paul Longenecker is a senior instructor in the Department of Health and Sports Sciences in the School of Professional Studies at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, and is a graduate of both UT’s nursing and MBA programs.

In their research study, the Longeneckers sought to help health-care leaders improve their understanding of the barriers to effective organizational change and improvement from the perspective of frontline leaders. Focus groups were conducted in four community hospitals to explore why hospital change and improvement efforts struggle and are ineffective. Analysis of the focus group data was featured in the article, as well as leadership lessons and recommendations for success based on the findings.

Paul Longenecker said, “Hospitals really need to become better at practicing the fundamentals of effective change and leadership to be able to compete in the new health-care reality.”

The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional society of more than 40,000 health-care executives who lead hospitals, health-care systems and other health-care organizations.

UT chosen as one of four national sites for innovation program

The University of Toledo has been selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as one of the first four Innovation Corps (I-Corps) sites in the country. I-Corps sites are academic institutions that engage multiple, local teams in technology transition and strengthen local innovation.

The I-Corps program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and broadens the impact of select, NSF-funded basic-research projects.

Developed at Stanford University, I-Corps affords entrepreneurs the opportunity to talk to their customers much earlier in the product and business development process, enabling them to truly understand their market and determine whether or not their product is a fit.

The kickoff of the NSF I-Corps Program is Sunday, March 8, through Wednesday, March 11, in the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center on UT’s Main Campus. The event is part of a partnership between UT and the University of Michigan, with faculty, students and mentors from both universities participating.

“Recruiting teams for this program has been an amazing experience,” said Dr. Patricia Relue, UT professor of bioengineering. “The scientific and engineering capability at UT is diverse and rich, and the community and alumni response to our mentor recruiting efforts was very enthusiastic. The teams develop a sense of camaraderie during this training that is an important component of the program’s success.”

Eight teams with product and business ideas in the areas of bioengineering, chemistry, and manufacturing and monitoring technologies will receive education and guidance during the event.

“The main focus of this event is to educate and provide resources to these teams that enable them to talk to customers much earlier than is typical in the commercialization process, which allows them to truly understand and validate the market and their customers,” said Jessica Sattler, UT director of economic engagement and business development programs. “This can lead to a pivot in their technology or business model or complete abandonment of the idea before a lot of time and money are spent developing a technology and business for which the market has no need.”

Combining experience and guidance from established entrepreneurs with a targeted curriculum, I-Corps teaches grantees to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and it offers entrepreneurship training to student participants.

NSF will work with the private sector to bring additional resources to the table, in the form of partnerships and finance, when warranted.

University leadership and representatives from the Ohio Development Services Agency, Ohio Board of Regents, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ohio State University and Eastern Michigan University also will be present.

For more information, contact Sattler at jessica.sattler@utoledo.edu or 419.530.6164.

Chemist to talk tunes during March 4 visit

Chart-toppers and musical hits will be discussed in a presentation this week, but it won’t be coming from the music department.

Carroll

Carroll

Dr. William Carroll will give a talk, “Statistics and the Shirelles: How Physical Sciences Thinking Informs Popular Music Analytics,” as part of the Frontiers in Chemistry Lecture Series Wednesday, March 4, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2100.

Carroll has served as chair of the board of directors and president of the American Chemical Society. In addition, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a member of the advisory board for the Tulane School of Science and Engineering, vice president of industry issues for Occidental Chemical Corp., and adjunct professor of chemistry at Indiana University.

“To have someone of his stature coming to The University of Toledo is a huge deal,” said Dr. Jim Zubricky, UT associate lecturer in chemistry.

The talk is based on Carroll’s Popular Music and Society paper “Not So Lonely at the Top: Billboard #1s and a New Methodology for Comparing Records, 1958-1975.” He has recently expanded his database through 1980 and will compare the history of Billboard chart songs that were popular in that era, and discuss the methodology for creating the charts.

“This is some unique research that I’ve always wanted to do that I’ve never had time for until the last couple years,” Carroll said. “I always felt that there were ways of analyzing a record’s chart behavior in order to find the strongest records in a given period of time.”

Carroll explained that it’s difficult to determine the “best” records because that’s a subjective term; but you can objectively determine which had the strongest chart history. However, you first need a basis on which to compare two songs from different eras, plus you must consider the evolution of the charts themselves.

The first issue was tackled with the area under the curve approach, Carroll said. This method was developed in the 1970s by assigning a point value to each chart slot. The difference in importance between one and two on the chart is much greater than the difference between 99 and 100 — higher slots are given greater value. Using this point system, researchers can make a bar graph with a point value for each week a song is on the chart.

“The bars have the same width — one week — but different heights. So you can calculate the area of each of those rectangles simply by adding the weekly scores together and get what we call the area under the curve,” he said.

Since this method was developed, at least six more methods have been created, used and written about, Carroll said.

While many similar studies have been done on this topic, Carroll said there was one new piece of the puzzle that he contributed to the discussion: all previous studies ignored the fact that the charts changed over time.

He explained that in the mid-1960s, about 750 songs would enter the charts in a year. But in the 1970s, that decreased to only 400 songs. Each year there are only so many spaces on a chart, meaning there is a fixed amount of space occupied by songs. If you divide that space by a higher number of songs, you get a lower average score for the songs in that era.

“The score of an average song in 1967 would be significantly lower than in 1977, simply because of the denominator — the number of songs entering the charts,” he said. “So if you can’t rely on an average song having the same score, then you’re going to have trouble comparing one era to another an also determining what constitutes a really above-average song.”

What Carroll concluded was that researchers have to compare songs that were on the chart contemporaneously. Those with the highest score compared to records on the chart at the same time are ranked strongest.

However, the more important thing he wants viewers to take away from his talk is that the tools taught in chemistry class can be applied to other situations.

“The moral of the story is that for people who are science students — they go to laboratories, they think chemistry professors are just teaching you this stuff so you can do labs,” he said. “But it’s not just that. We teach you methods of visualization, of graphing, of statistics, because these are ways of dealing with data. It’s not just a chemistry experiment; it can be a popular music chart. You’ll use similar tools for any kind of data.”

Zubricky said that UT tries to instill this philosophy in chemistry students. Interdepartmental research relationships are constantly being formed between students and faculty, he said.

“Even though these are ideas we teach in chemistry classes, these can be applied to everyday problems,” Zubricky said. “The stuff that we’re talking about in general chemistry, the same kind of critical thinking skills that are applied in real-life issues. That’s one of the things I really stress in my classes.”

For more information on the free, public event, contact Zubricky at james.zubricky@utoledo.edu.

Surgeon hopes to start liver, pancreas transplant programs at UT

If you haven’t met Dr. Jorge Ortiz, you probably will; he’s going to do big things at The University of Toledo.

Ortiz

Ortiz

Ortiz, an associate professor and chief of surgical transplant who joined the faculty last year, has been doing kidney transplants and teaching residents the tools of the trade. As an expert of solid organ transplantation, Ortiz hopes to do more than just kidney transplants; he wants to start a liver and pancreas transplantation program at UT in the next two years.

“Transplant surgery is like general surgery, but the risks and benefits are much higher,” he said. “You have to know your general surgery, you have to know transplant surgery, medicine, the whole deal. You have to take care of the whole patient, not just one organ.”

On top of teaching and creating new programs, Ortiz is passionate about the effect of race on transplants. He plans to join the Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program and is part of the diversity committee for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

“I have a particular interest in helping even out disparities in health care, and also studying those disparities between ethnic and socioeconomic groups,” Ortiz said. “I want to learn and teach what are the outcome differences, if any, between groups.”

Ortiz is working with Dr. Donald White, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, to decipher data from UNOS regarding race and transplant outcomes.

“We can’t have a system or a society or a culture where there are different opportunities amongst people, different outcomes amongst people,” Ortiz said. “It should all be fair. We should embrace our differences, but correct our inequalities.”

The initiative for new organ transplantation programs and the collaboration to improve transplants for everyone are just two of Ortiz’s goals. He also said he is looking forward to improving UT’s global outreach and teaching his residents.

“When you do an activity repeatedly, it’s a task, but when you do that with someone to teach them that activity, it’s more enjoyable,” Ortiz said. “I enjoy the energy that the students have — trying to get ahead, trying to improve, not just trying to get by.”

Med student writes about mustard gas, its connection to chemotherapy

Though mustard gas was introduced as a chemical weapon during World War I, it later became the foundation of modern chemotherapy.

Gallagher

Gallagher

That’s what Sean Gallagher, a University of Toledo fourth-year medical student, wrote about in a recent publication in the World Journal of Clinical Urology.

His article, “From the Battlefield to the Bladder: The Development of thioTEPA,” takes a look at how the science behind mustard gas evolved into modern treatments of cancer. He specifically looks at thioTEPA, a molecule that was developed out of mustard gas research and is used in today’s treatment of bladder cancer.

When mustard gas first appeared in war, military physicians had seen nothing like it, so they began recording everything they could about its effects. Later researchers analyzed the information and noticed that those who were exposed to the gas had low blood cell counts. They hypothesized that because patients with cancer usually have high blood cell counts, the use of the chemical could be a beneficial treatment.

It was this discovery that led to the testing of these chemicals on cancer patients, and later the development and use of similar compounds that had different effects. Some of the compounds developed then are still used in modern chemotherapy.

“Their work really gave birth to a whole new field of research,” Gallagher said.

Though Gallagher has always had an interest in history, his article was something he didn’t expect to be able to do in medical school.

“It’s really cool that, being in the medical field, I can still pursue my interest in history,” Gallagher said. “I thought that was something I gave up, or at least that I’d be relegated to reading books.”

The door opened for Gallagher when he joined UT’s History of Medicine Club, led by Dr. Steven Selman, professor and chair of urology. Each student in the club does a research project and an informal presentation, but more often than not, that research becomes a publication — as was the case with Gallagher.

“It was a neat process because it was a bit different than more traditional health science research,” Gallagher said. “Really, you’re just trying to learn the story about how someone else made a big breakthrough.”

Gallagher said he really enjoyed reviewing the other articles, which took him two years to compile and draw conclusions from.

“It was a really fun process,” he said. “Taking that chemical weapon and seeing it turn into something useful is kind of neat.”

Gallagher is finishing his last year of medical school at UT and will be matched with a residency in March. His chosen field is pediatrics, and his wife, Mae, another fourth-year medical student at the University, plans to go into family medicine.

Business professor serves as keynote speaker at West Point conference

Dr. Clinton Longenecker, Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Organizational Excellence in The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation, was a keynote speaker at the 29th annual National State of Ethics in America Conference at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

Dr. Clinton Longenecker and his wife, Cindy, right, posed with Rachel Maddow, center, host of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” at a recent conference at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. Longenecker and Maddow were keynote speakers at the conference.

Dr. Clinton Longenecker and his wife, Cindy, right, posed with Rachel Maddow, center, host of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” at a recent conference at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. Longenecker and Maddow were keynote speakers at the conference.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Inspiring Honorable Living — Moving From Compliance to Internalization,” which addressed ways to inspire someone to live above and beyond the honor code, regulations and prohibitions. The goal was to have participants leave the conference inspired to live honorably, build trust, and influence others to do the same.

Longenecker is a frequent speaker for senior U.S. military leaders on the subject of leadership, the ethical challenges associated with success and power, and how to avoid ethical failure.

“I have three years of doing programs and projects with senior military leaders and have spoken at all of the military senior graduate schools, but to have the opportunity to speak at West Point was both humbling and remarkable,” Longenecker said. “The place is a cornerstone of U.S. history; you are surrounded by it and deeply moved by what you see.”

“I spoke about my research about the Bathsheba Syndrome — a leader’s potential inability to cope with and respond to the byproducts of success, the ethical temptations leaders face, and how not to get caught up in wrongful, unethical behavior,” he said.

Comments from evaluations completed by cadets after the conference included:

• “It was the first time I was called out to systematically think through the challenges and temptations that come along with success and power of command; it really made me think differently about success.”

• “The idea of predicting personal leadership challenges to put in place safeguards is literally life-changing.”

• “In our profession, we often discuss errors of others after we find out that they have occurred. With Dr. Longenecker’s methodology, we can learn to have the hard conversations before they become embarrassing or toxic behavior patterns.”

Longenecker said, “The cadets and military leaders are driven to success, which can be a very good thing, but I know I shook up their thinking when it comes to ethical leadership, character and competency, and the dangers of success.”

Also presenting at the conference was Rachel Maddow, host of the nationally broadcast MSNBC program “The Rachel Maddow Show,” who spoke on her book Drift, concerning politics and the use of military force.

After the conference, one cadet wrote, “I liked how the second day presentations fed into one another; it was like Rachel Maddow asked questions and Clinton Longenecker answered them.”

UT Health urologists educate community on prostate cancer screenings and treatment

Dr. Samay Jain, assistant professor and medical director of The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Urology Clinic, and Dr. Ajay Singla, professor and director of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at UTMC, presented on prostate cancer screenings and treatment options at several lectures this fall.

Jain

Jain

Tie One On at UT offered four lectures at the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center as part of its Prostate Cancer Awareness Lecture Series. Each lecture was followed by free screenings.

Jain discussed updates related to prostate cancer screening as well as future technology in the field during the first lecture Aug. 14.

The topic of the second lecture Sept. 18 was “Prostate Cancer Treatment: From Robotics to Radiation.” At this event, Jain discussed different treatment options for prostate cancer, including robotic surgery and Edge radiosurgery. UTMC is one of five medical centers in the world that have the Edge radiosurgery system, which is extremely precise and non-invasive.

Singla joined Jain Oct. 16 for the third lecture on how to manage the effects of prostate cancer treatment. For the last lecture in the series, Jain spoke about new treatment options for advanced, recurrent and metastatic prostate cancer.

In addition, Jain gave an informative lecture Sept. 7 at the Woodlands at Sunset House in Toledo. Jain dispelled the idea that incontinence is something people have to live with and provided treatment options.

For more information about UT Health, visit uthealth.utoledo.edu.

UT Water Task Force to lead discussion at Science Café event

“The Science Behind the Toledo Water Crisis” will be the topic at The University of Toledo’s Science Café Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The free, public event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. in Libbey Hall on Main Campus.

The café is designed to give undergraduate and graduate students and community members a chance to meet and engage with science and engineering experts in an informal, social setting.

The following UT Water Task Force members will lead the discussion at the event:

• Dr. Kevin Czajkowksi, professor in the Department of Geography and Planning;

• Dr. Patrick Lawrence, professor and chair of the Department of Geography and Planning, who led a restoration project of the Ottawa River;

• Dr. Isabel Escobar, professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, and interim associate dean of research, development and outreach in the College of Engineering;

• Dr. Daryl Dwyer, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and director of the Stranahan Arboretum; and

• Dr. Carol Stepien, Distinguished University Professor of Ecology in the Department of Environmental Sciences and director of the Lake Erie Center.

“One of the task forces’ goals is to educate the community about the science behind the water crisis,” Escobar said. “This event allows us to connect to the UT community to answer questions about the scientific reasons for why the water crisis occurred and to share what we are doing about the problem.”

The event is hosted by Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society at The University of Toledo, and will have refreshments.

Winners of the Raftopoulus and the Eleni and Evangelos Theodosiou Sigma Xi Young Investigator Research Award also will be announced at the event.

For more information, contact Stepien at carol.stepien@utoledo.edu.

Two UT professors to participate in water crisis discussion Oct. 8

“Crisis: Freshwater in Northwest Ohio” will be the topic of a forum Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. in the Dicke Forum at Ohio Northern University in Ada.

A three-member panel will discuss the latest crisis of freshwater that occurred this past summer in Toledo and dissect what occurred and the ramifications of the crisis. The water problem was a result of toxins contaminating the water supply to approximate 400,000 residents in northwest Ohio.

Members of the panel are:

• Dr. Isabel Escobar, professor of chemical and environmental engineering, associate dean of research development and outreach in the UT College of Engineering;

• Dr. Patrick Lawrence, professor and chair of UT Department of Geography and Planning in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, who led a restoration project of the Ottawa River; and

• Beth Seibert, the stormwater and watershed programs coordinator with the Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District in Lima, Ohio.

The free, public forum is sponsored by Ohio Northern University’s Phi Beta Delta honor society for international scholars and the ONU chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, an international honor society in geography.

UTMC provides cardiac rehab, Medicare benefits for chronic heart failure patients

Heart failure is increasingly common. An estimated five million patients in the United States suffer from chronic heart failure, and an additional 500,000 new cases are diagnosed annually.

Although rest was traditionally recommended, many patients often remained burdened by fatigue, diminished exercise tolerance, poor quality of life, recurrent hospitalizations and early mortality. Several studies have assessed the ability of exercise training to improve functional capacity in patients with heart failure and have observed relatively few complications during training.

Cathy Johns talked with Dr. Dalynn Badenhop.

Cathy Johns talked with Dr. Dalynn Badenhop.

The University of Toledo Medical Center cardiac rehabilitation program participated in a National Institutes of Health study titled “Heart Failure: A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise Training.” The randomized, controlled trial featured 2,331 medically stable outpatients with heart failure at 82 participating centers in the United States, Canada and France.

The study was undertaken to determine whether aerobic-type exercise training reduces mortality and hospitalization, and improves quality of life in patients with medically stable chronic heart failure when administered in addition to usual care.

Dr. Dalynn Badenhop, director of cardiac rehabilitation and professor of medicine, was UTMC’s principal investigator, and the late Dr. Thomas Walsh was UTMC’s chronic heart failure cardiologist for the study. Other UTMC health care personnel involved in the study were nurses Katie Roberts and Sandra Gardam, and exercise physiologists Abby Steigerwalt and Angie Petree.

The main results of study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009, showed that patients in the cardiac rehab group experienced modest to significant reductions in mortality and hospitalization, a significant reduction in cardiovascular mortality, and a significant reduction in heart failure hospitalizations compared to the usual care group.

In February 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved coverage for cardiac rehabilitation services for beneficiaries with a diagnosis of chronic heart failure. Several studies have shown notable improvements in physical function, symptoms, psychological health, recurrent hospitalizations and death. Guidelines and policies from other countries have recommended cardiac rehabilitation coverage for chronic heart failure patients since 2010.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated the following in its decision memo: “Cardiac rehabilitation improves symptoms of chronic heart failure, decreases mortality and reduces hospitalizations. We conclude that the evidence that supports the clinical benefits of the individual components of cardiac rehab programs is sufficient to determine that participation in these programs improves health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic heart failure.”

Cathy Johns, a patient in the UTMC Phase II cardiac rehab program, was one of the first to benefit from the centers’ decision to cover cardiac rehab for chronic heart failure patients.

“I was on vacation and I thought I was having a heart attack, but it turned out to be heart failure. The UTMC staff noticed some unexpected symptoms and discovered a virus that was attacking my heart and other vital organs,” Johns said. “I am still here because of their magnificent work and diligence. I owe my life to UTMC, that’s no exaggeration.”

“In the 1980s, we wouldn’t have considered cardiac rehabilitation an appropriate therapy for patients like Cathy. We didn’t know enough about the beneficial effects. After 25 years of research, we now have the proof that these programs have merit,” Badenhop said.

“I didn’t exercise at all before I got sick,” Johns said. “I can’t imagine not having a program like this to monitor my progress and help further heal my heart.”

During one of her final cardiac rehab sessions, Johns completed 72 minutes of exercise.

“Cathy showed great improvement over time. She started with the ability to walk 2,700 feet in 12 minutes, and she can now walk more than 3,100 feet in 12 minutes,” Badenhop said. “Ultimately, the goal of cardiac rehab is to improve the patient’s quality of life. Numbers and statistics are great, but those improved numbers need to transfer to the patient’s daily activities.”

Johns was concerned that she would never be able to attend another Detroit Tigers game due to complications from chronic heart failure. Since going through UTMC’s cardiac rehab program, she was able to see her favorite team in action without incident.

“It was an incredible experience,” Johns said. “I was able to walk around the park and get to and from my seat without any issues.”

Johns has chosen to enroll in the Phase III maintenance program to continue the healing process. Phase III is similar to a gym membership, but with the added benefit of being in a medically monitored setting.

“I was worried about the cost, but it’s as affordable as being a member at a traditional gym. It’s the best investment I could hope to make,” Johns said.

“For chronic heart failure patients, UTMC is the place to be,” Badenhop said.

For more information about UTMC’s Heart and Vascular Center, visit utmc.utoledo.edu/clinics/hvc.