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Join Komen team for Sept. 30 Race for the Cure

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and many of those diagnosed won’t have the same access to health-care resources and support.

That’s why The University of Toledo is joining the fight and participating in the 25th annual Komen Northwest Ohio Toledo Race for the Cure Sunday, Sept. 30.

The team, Rocket to a Cure, will be led by Tonya Hoyt, a cardio electrophysiology nurse in the UT Medical Center Heart and Vascular Center. Hoyt was diagnosed with metastatic invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast in August 2017.

“This year has been a rough one getting through chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, along with getting Herceptin and Perjeta every three weeks,” Hoyt said.

The Race for the Cure cause is close to Hoyt.

“I have been a supporter of this event for years, long before I was diagnosed,” she said. “I want to make an impact in the fight against breast cancer and need the help of colleagues and friends.”

Hoyt is inviting members of the UT community to join her at this year’s Race for the Cure. Faculty, physicians, staff and students are welcome to join her by registering for Rocket to a Cure here.

Registration is $30 per adult team member and $25 for survivors.

The event, which will take place between 9:30 and 11 a.m., includes a 5K run, 5K walk and a one-mile family fun walk.

Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. in downtown Toledo at 406 Washington St.

Participants will receive a T-shirt in addition to making a difference in breast cancer care, support and research.

“Your support helps us get one step closer to a world without breast cancer,” Hoyt said.

UTMC nurse graduates from FEMA’s first National Emergency Management Basic Academy in Ohio

UT Medical Center Nurse Erin Konecki recently graduated from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Emergency Management Basic Academy in Columbus, Ohio.

It was the first such program to be held in the state.

Erin Konecki posed for a photo with Daniel Kolcum, assistant director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, after graduating from National Emergency Management Basic Academy in June.

FEMA is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security; its mission is to support citizens and first responders to ensure that the nation works together to build, sustain and improve the capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

The National Emergency Basic Academy was created to produce a comprehensive curriculum that provides the foundational knowledge and skills needed to support the unpredictable challenges in the field of emergency management.

It can be considered a gateway for those pursuing a career in emergency management and provides participants with the opportunity to build camaraderie and establish contacts for those new or transferring to the emergency management profession.

It is the first phase of FEMA’s new Emergency Management Professional Program, which is designed to be a lifetime of learning for emergency managers. The program includes three separate but closely related training programs — the Basic Academy, the National Emergency Management Leaders Academy and the Executive Academy.

“I have had a lot of experience taking classes through FEMA training, including online self-paced courses, traveling to Anniston, Alabama, to the Center for Domestic Preparedness, taking local FEMA courses, and hosting FEMA classes right here at UT,” Konecki said. “I began seeking other opportunities through the state and when I was made aware there was a basic emergency management course, I jumped at the opportunity.”

Konecki finished the five required courses — Foundations in Emergency Management; Science of Disaster; Planning: Emergency Operations; Exercise Design; and Public Information and Warning. She also completed a total of 152 hours of training to graduate from the National Emergency Basic Academy.

“Emergency management is a very complex discipline,” Konecki said. “Enrolling in the academy was extremely beneficial to me to gain a greater understanding of the foundation and background of emergency management.”

She is a registered and alternate lead nurse in UTMC’s Emergency Department. She also serves as the department’s clinical disaster liaison, working with the staff of the Safety and Health departments and the clinical staff members of the Emergency Department. She assists with disaster drill planning and other necessary tasks to ensure involvement of the nurses.

Konecki received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Lourdes University and basic EMT certification and national registry card through Owens Community College.

She is also a 2018 graduate of the Master of Public Health Program at UT, where she majored in environmental and occupational health and safety science with a focus in disaster preparedness.

Konecki said the academy taught her how to effectively plan drills while working with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency planners; improved her networking and public speaking skills; taught her how to anticipate and respond to disasters, and how to disseminate information to the public.

“It was a very proud moment to have graduated from this program,” she said. “It was especially monumental to be the first group ever from Ohio.”

Konecki plans to attend higher levels of the Emergency Management Professional Program as her career progresses.

For more information about FEMA’s training and emergency management courses, visit training.fema.gov/empp.

UT to mark International Overdose Awareness Day this week

The University of Toledo is joining others around the globe to raise awareness, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury because of drug overdose, and stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy.

“No community is immune to overdose; it is time to change the way we look at drug-related deaths. Opioid abuse, addiction and overdoses affect families of every socio-demographic group,” said Dr. Amy Thompson, interim associate vice provost for faculty affairs and co-chair of the UT Opioid Task Force. “Our research, education and service activities can help make a difference in the state of Ohio, as well as the nation.”

In 2014, nearly 80 percent of drug overdose fatalities in Ohio were caused by opioids.

In 2003, there were 296 opioid overdoses in Ohio. In 2014, that number rose to 2,202 deaths. On average, three people die each week from overdoses in Lucas County.

“Have the conversation with your friends and family and spread the message that overdose is a problem affecting every community, including Toledo,” said Thompson, professor of public health and director of the Center for Health and Successful Living. “We need to educate individuals on treatment and recovery services. Realizing that addressing substance abuse and addiction is difficult, the recovery process is a journey that needs great strength and commitment.”

“In order to help solve this problem, we all have to work together,” said Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the College of Nursing and co-chair of the UT Opioid Task Force. “In addition to treatment services, prevention efforts are key. We need widespread education about safe, appropriate pain management, safe prescribing practices, and safe storage of pain medications at home.”

For International Overdose Day Aug. 31, members of UT Rocket Wellness, UT Outpatient Pharmacy, UT Medical Center and the UT Opioid Task Force will pass International Overdose Awareness Day ribbons across campus to invite the University community to show its support and use the hashtags #OverdoseAware and #EndOverdose on social media to boost awareness. Ribbon distribution will begin Wednesday, Aug. 29, and continue through Friday.

In November 2017, UT President Sharon L. Gaber created a task force to address the opioid epidemic. The committee’s goals include identifying and coordinating current research, education and community service that UT faculty and students are engaged in; meeting with community and government leaders to strengthen partnerships; and identifying possible funding sources to support future collaborative projects. Read more here.

To find out more about International Overdose Awareness Day, visit overdoseday.com.

Satellites to hold 43-hour shoe sale

Step right up to the 43-hour shoe sale!

The Satellites Auxiliary and the UT Retirees Association in conjunction with Outside the Box Shoes will hold the sale from 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, through noon Friday, Aug. 10, in UT Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro Atrium.

Brand names will include Clarks, Klogs, Skechers, Merrell, Spira, New Balance, Danska, Alegria and more.

“This sale happens twice a year, and our employees are grateful for cushioning their soles every six months,” Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites, said.

Cash, check, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted.

Profits will benefit the auxiliary’s and association’s 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 shoe sale, contact Brand at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu.

UT staff and students trained to respond to active shooter in hospital

The University of Toledo conducted an announced exercise Aug. 2 from 8 a.m. to noon to practice de-escalation training and responding to an active shooter in a health-care setting.

The training and exercise involved approximately 75 staff and student participants at the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.

A second phase of the exercise tested the UTMC Emergency Department’s ability to respond to a surge of patients in need of critical medical care.

“It is important to regularly review our response tactics so that we are prepared for any emergency,” UT Police Chief Jeff Newton said. “In a hospital setting in particular, our colleagues need to be prepared to respond for both their personal safety and also for the safety of their patients. While we hope we never need to use this training, we are committed to being prepared.”

The training exercise is part of ongoing efforts to better prepare and protect the health and safety of faculty, staff, students and campus visitors.

To review UT’s safety procedures and plans, visit the UT Emergency Preparedness website.

UTMC to participate in active shooter training simulation Aug. 2

Staff at The University of Toledo Medical Center will practice responding to an active shooter in a hospital setting during a simulation exercise Thursday, Aug. 2.

A second phase of the exercise aims to test the UTMC Emergency Department’s ability to respond to a surge of patients in need of critical medical care.

Nurses and physicians in the UTMC Emergency Department, along with UT students and police and safety personnel, will participate in the training scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon in the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.

Most of the training will be contained inside the building. However, officers will respond in police cruisers with emergency lights on. There also will be some transport of simulated patients to the Emergency Department.

Signs will be posted that identify that a training event is in process.

American Red Cross in need of donors for blood drive at UTMC

The American Red Cross will host a blood drive at The University of Toledo Medical Center Wednesday, Aug. 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The organization needs more donors due to an emergency blood shortage.

“We need approximately 35 to 40 students, faculty and employees to come to the drive,” Angela O’Brien, account representative with the American Red Cross, said.

Blood donations from high school and college blood drives account for nearly 20 percent of the supply during the school year, but drops dramatically during the summer, O’Brien explained.

Blood has become a critical need by many with someone requiring a donation every two seconds in the United States, according to the American Red Cross. One donation has the potential to save up to three lives.

The American Red Cross is responsible for providing 40 percent of the nation’s blood, which comes from volunteers.

Less than 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood with only about 10 percent of eligible individuals donating, so it is crucial that those who meet eligibility requirements register to become a donor, O’Brien said.

To learn more about eligibility requirements, click here.

Individuals planning to attend the blood drive should come prepared by eating iron-enriched food beforehand, drinking water before the day of the drive, and getting rest, O’Brien added.

Donors will need to present a valid ID on the day of the drive.

Donors can save time by using the rapid pass on their blood app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play or accessing the pass via redcrossblood.org/rapidpass.

To schedule an appointment and become a donor for UTMC’s blood drive, visit redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code UTMED or call 1.800.733.3767.

All donors who give blood at the drive will receive a $5 Amazon gift card.

UTMC recognized for outstanding stroke care

UT Medical Center again has been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for outstanding stroke care with the Get With the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus award.

The award recognizes UTMC’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines according to the latest scientific evidence.

The hospital earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for at least the last two calendar years. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

In addition, UTMC this year received the Target: Stroke Elite Plus award, recognizing hospitals achieving Time to Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy less than or equal to 60 minutes in 75 percent or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients treated with IV tPA and door-to-needle time.

UTMC quality scores reach new heights

UT Medical Center has achieved record high rankings in two important questions asked in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems patient satisfaction survey.

When asked to rank the hospital on a scale of one to 10, UTMC has reached the 30th percentile nationally.

UTMC also is in the 36th percentile for patients “highly recommending” the hospital. 

The survey scores are an indicator of patient perspectives about the hospital and are used as a quality measurement by the Center for Medicare Services; the scores influence the hospital’s reimbursement rate from the center.

Staff and physicians continue to ensure patients and their families have an excellent experience when they trust UTMC with their health and healing.

“UTMC has a great story to tell, and our people are delivering a positive trend,” said Mario Toussaint, chief experience officer at UTMC. “As we continue our strategy to emphasize this care model, I expect we will see even more positive outcomes.”

The hospital receives monthly reports on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores through Press Ganey, an independent third-party survey administrator. That data will be shared monthly in the electronic UTMC newsletter so that employees can see how their efforts are contributing to the hospital’s success.

UTMC to celebrate cancer survivors June 7

The fourth annual Cancer Survivorship Celebration will be Thursday, June 7, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center at The University of Toledo Medical Center in recognition of National Cancer Survivor Month in June.

“Each year of survivorship is a reason for joy,” said Renee Schick, manager of Renee’s Survivor Shop in the Dana Cancer Center. “We want to recognize and honor our patients and their caregivers for their strength and courage through the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

Survivors and their guests will be treated to stories of inspiration, live music, a photo booth, refreshments and door prizes. They also will have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative mural painting with a local artist and others touched by cancer.

Experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice for survivors in caring for themselves during and after cancer treatment. Patients will receive information about survivorship care, options for treating lymphedema, wound care nutrition advice, and health coaching. Renee’s Survivor Shop will be open.

“The cancer journey is so different for each patient,” said Michelle Giovanoli, radiation oncologist therapy manager at the cancer center and breast cancer survivor. “We want to be a resource for continuing support as our patients and their families celebrate life beyond a cancer diagnosis.”

Nearly 200 survivors and their loved ones, along with doctors, nurses and other care providers, are expected to attend.

The event is free, but reservations are requested via eleanorndanacancercenter@utoledo.edu or 419.383.5243.