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2009 President’s Cabinet Awards

2009 Award Winners

The 2009 President's Cabinet Award grant recipients are, seated, Dr. Kathryn A. Cunningham, professor and ad interim chair in the department of pharmacology and toxicology; Dr. David W. Niesel, professor and chair in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Standing, from left, Rebecca T. Walsdorf, executive director of UTMB's community health promotion program; Rev. Helen W. Appelberg, fellow in the Sealy Center on Aging; Christopher Packard, associate vice president of marketing at UTMB; Dr. Jason E. Glenn, assistant professor in the Institute for Medical Humanities; Dr. David L. Callender, UTMB president; N. Miles Farr, medical student; Dr. Barbara M. Doucet, assistant professor of occupational therapy; Mary Ann Salch, chair of the President's Cabinet; Dr. Norbert K. Herzog, professor of pathology; and Dr. Steven A. Lieberman, chairman of the President's Cabinet awards committee. Not pictured, Ted Hanley, executive director of the Jesse Tree.

Sealy Center on Aging-Senior Seaside Club Rev. Helen W. Appelberg, DMin.
Sealy Center on Aging

In an effort to establish a supportive and collaborative environment designed to motivate seniors to become active partners with UTMB, the Sealy Center on Aging has created the Senior Seaside Club.  Galveston seniors (age 65 and older), UTMB faculty, staff and students will engage in educational, social and recreational activities designed to build a sense of community.  Activities include learning dinners with presentations related to health and wellness; “By the Sea” senior beach walks; a three-day conference for seniors, their families and caregivers; renewal of the “House Call” program; and expansion of the “Friends of the ACE Unit” volunteer program.  The overall goal of this program is to lay a foundation and create the momentum for seniors to become active partners with UTMB to build a stronger and better future.

UTMB Post-Stroke ClinicBarbara M. Doucet, PhD
Occupational Therapy

Stoke continues to be one of the leading causes of serious, long-term disabilities in the United States.  Research shows that six months following the onset of a stroke, patients have typically completed rehabilitative services, are no longer eligible for continuation of services, or are out of the health care system altogether.  Under the direction of the UTMB Department of Occupational Therapy, occupational and physical therapy students will provide free, state-of-the art, evidence-based rehabilitation services to any person who has suffered a stroke.  This six-week program will not only serve as a teaching model for students, but will provide a much needed service to the community and promote the clinical excellence of UTMB.

The Rx for Prescription CostsRebecca T. Walsdorf
Ted Hanley
Office of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs

While major pharmaceutical retailers have developed low-cost prescription programs for generic and common over-the-counter medications, it is difficult to determine which retailer offers the best price and which drugs are covered under what plan.  To help uninsured and under-insured patients find specific medications at the lowest possible cost, the Jesse Tree organization developed and piloted a database of best-price providers. Using this Best Cost Formulary database, the Jesse Tree was able to fill prescriptions or find less costly alternative medications for more than 100 people in a six-month period.   Due to its huge success, this collaboration with UTMB’s Office of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs will provide for updates to and maintenance of the database; develop training materials and expand access to prescription assistance; and create a prescription assistance fund for patients without financial means.

Frontera de SaludN. Miles Farr, (MS4) Student
School of Medicine

Supported by a President’s Cabinet award in 2000, this service organization was able to provide health care services to under-served patients in the Rio Grande Valley.  Now, 10 years later, this organization will continue its service in the Valley and expand its mission to the Galveston community.  To serve Galveston’s “working poor,” Frontera student volunteers – under the supervision of UTMB faculty preceptors - will host weekend health screening and outreach activities at the St. Vincent’s Clinic; provide primary care exams and screenings; and conduct home visits in coordination with community health promoters.  This expansion program will support: 12 mission trips to the Rio Grand Valley; 10 Frontera mission weekends in Galveston; education classes for student volunteers; a lecture series; and travel to regional and national meetings relevant to the program.

Medical Discovery News:  Educating the Public About Biomedical ScienceDavid W. Niesel, PhD
Norbert K. Herzog, PhD
J. Christopher Packard
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

While science permeates everyday life, explaining the advances in biomedical and medical science is minimal at best.   As UTMB experiences a significant expansion of research activities, its success is not fully appreciated by the public at a local, regional or national level.  Continued production and enhancement of Medical Discovery News, a radio program about topical areas in biomedical science, will bring the university’s biomedical expertise to the community and enhance the name recognition of UTMB.  Currently more than 130 episodes on a diverse range of topics have been produced and are being broadcast on 94 radio stations in 11 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico.  President’s Cabinet funding will support the goal to broadcast MD News on 250 radio stations by 2011, increase and improve the companion web site to include interactive features and comprehensive links for listeners, and involve students in writing, editing and producing more episodes.

Drug Courts Work:  Transformation for the Galveston CommunityKathryn A. Cunningham, PhD
Jason E. Glenn, PhD
Pharmacology and Toxicology

Addiction remains one of the greatest challenges on the public health agenda.  To address drug abuse and addiction as the root cause of poverty and crime, the UTMB Center for Addiction Research, the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office and the Gulf Coast Center have partnered to create a Drug Court.   The Drug Court is charged with identifying substance abuse offenders and placing them under strict court monitoring and community supervision, coupled with effective, long-term treatment services.   Participants will undergo an intense regimen of substance abuse and mental health treatments, drug testing, probation supervision and regular status hearings before a judge.  The overall goal is to graduate sober, healthy, responsible, productive and employed members of our community.

 

For more information about the President's Cabinet or how to join, contact Marie Marczak at (409) 747-4876

 

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