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2010 President’s Cabinet Awards

2010 Award Winners

Eleven University of Texas Medical Branch faculty and staff and one medical student received President’s Cabinet Awards for innovative programs that will help advance the health and well-being of Galveston-area residents. Their seven funded projects were presented during a banquet on September 10, 2010 at the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center’s Frances Anne Moody Ballroom. The 2010 grant recipients are, seated from left, Dr. Ann L. Charness, graduate assistant UTMB rehabilitation sciences; Dr. Victor S. Sierpina, professor family medicine; Chandler Rainey, fourth-year medical student; Amy Barrera-Kovach, social worker/care manager Blocker Burn Unit; Jamie Heffernan, nursing supervisor Blocker Burn Unit; Dr. Oma Morey, assistant professor/senior medical educator office of educational development; Dr. Lyuba Levine, assistant professor OB/GYN. Standing, from left, Alicia C. Simmons, coordinator educational outreach; Dr. Steven A. Lieberman, President's Cabinet awards committee chairman; Dr. Clifford W. Houston, associate vice president for educational outreach; Dr. David L. Callender, UTMB president; Mary Ann Salch, President's Cabinet chair; Diana Hearn, care manager community health; Rebecca Castro, social worker community health; and Gerald T. Cleveland, director of health promotions.

Books to Bedside ProjectChandler Rainey, Fourth-Year Medical Student
School of Medicine

Hospital libraries play a successful role in patient rehabilitation. This effort will establish a permanent fully-stocked library at John Sealy Hospital which will be accessible to patients, families and staff. Maneuverable book carts will allow volunteers to deliver a variety of reading levels and subjects with ease and efficiency to bed-ridden patients and clinical waiting areas. Plans to increase and sustain library inventory include an annual book drive and the installation of a permanent book drop outside the library entrance.

Providing Exercise Programs for Person's with Parkinson's Disease in Galveston CountyAnn L. Charness, PT, MS PhDc
Physical Therapy

There are nearly one million people living with Parkinson's Disease in the United States. Treatment predominantly consisted of medication and/or surgery, but researchers are favoring the positive effects of exercise in slowing down the progression of the disease. This project will provide free community-based therapeutic exercise groups for people with Parkinson's in Galveston County. Under the supervision of the UTMB Physical Therapy Department, students and practitioners will operate weekly classes from November to June with the goal to improve the walking, functional mobility and balance capabilities of participants in order to reduce the risk for falls.

The Long Journey Home – Caring for Loved Ones with Dementia/Alzheimer's – Bringing the Message HomeOma Morey, PhD
Office of Educational Development

Without a cure or prevention, it is estimated over 14 million Americans will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease by 2050. To increase the awareness about the trials and tribulations of caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's, this project weaves the personal stories of several caregivers into a theatrical production to humanize their feelings of guilt, frustration, anger and angst. In addition to eight community presentations, a DVD and teaching guide will be developed for use by other health care and community organizations.

Partnering with the Galveston Community to Inspire the Future Biomedical and Health Careers WorkforceClifford W. Houston, PhD
Office of Educational Outreach

UTMB is dependent on the Galveston Community to contribute toward the development of its future workforce. To foster this future workforce, a biomedical and health sciences career summer immersion experience will be provided on the UTMB campus and will target under-represented minority and/or economically disadvantaged high school students from Galveston County. A web-based health careers experience will be developed and implemented on a broader scope targeting high school students and teachers nationwide. Both experiences are designed to advance an appreciation for the biomedical and health sciences to promote career choices to include research, medicine, nursing and all fields within the health sciences.

Cancer Survivorship and Wellness ProgramLyuba Levine, MD
Victor S. Sierpina, MD
Gerald T. Cleveland, MA

Advances in medicine have led to a paradigm shift in how a diagnosis of cancer is perceived. The number of survivors is constantly increasing, however most have some degree of impairment in every aspect of life including fatigue, depression and the residual effects of treatment. This comprehensive program will serve as an integrative center for the care of cancer patients from the time of diagnosis through remission and the first year of cancer survivorship. After an initial evaluation, a targeted plan of care will be formulated specifically for each participant to include exercise, diet and mind-body and stress management therapies.

Shop 'til You Drop Your Blood SugarRebecca Castro
Diana Hearn, RN
Community Health

People with diabetes face difficult decisions each day; one of the most important decisions involves diet modification, including how to shop for and prepare nutritious foods. The Community Health Program at UTMB will select up to 60 people to participate in this educational program to learn how to identify healthy foods at the grocery store, stay within their budget, and prepare these foods in a healthy manner at home. Progress will be measured by tracking Hemoglobin A1C levels with a goal to decrease each participant's A1C by 1.0 over a 6-month period.

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


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