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2015 President’s Cabinet Awards

Pictured with UTMB President, Dr. David L. Callender (standing, from left) are the 2015 award winners, Barbara Slusher, assistant professor, School of Health Professions; Shannon Ronca, graduate assistant, Pathology; Dr. Christine Arcari, associate professor, Preventive Medicine and Community Health; Kelsey Berg, student, School of Health Professions; Dr. Vicki Freeman, President's Cabinet awards committee chair; Erin Kearney, physician assistant, Teen Health Center; Elizabeth Ginn, physician assistant, Teen Health Center; Dr. Elizabeth Lyons, assistant professor, School of Health Professions; Rebecca Trout, executive director of community relations, Health Policy and Legislative Affairs; and Rex Ross, President's Cabinet chair.  Seated, from left, are Michaela Huynh, graduate assistant, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Debbie Berger, guest; Deana M. Gehring, program manager, Cancer Center; Martha Norris, physician assistant, Teen Health Center; Ann Ross, nurse practitioner, Teen Health Center; Dr. Karen Szauter, professor,  Internal Medicine and Dr. Maria Swartz, postdoctoral fellow, Rehabilitation Services.

Shaping Healthy Families: Screening, Treating, Educating and Preventing Childhood and Adolescent Obesity and Dyslipidemia in Galveston CountyErin Kearney, Ann Ross, Elizabeth Ginn and Martha Norris

Childhood and adolescent obesity are among the most important public health problems in the United States. Obesity during adolescence increases the risk of disease and premature death during adulthood. In order to combat obesity rates among Galveston County children and adolescents, this program will partner with the Teen Health Center, Inc. to identify children aged 10 or older who are overweight or obese and provide family counseling, weight loss education and nutritional skills in addition to screens for dyslipidemia. Patients will be tracked over a two-year period.

We Need to Talk Dr. Karen Szauter and the UTMB Professionalism Committee
Educational Affairs

Difficult conversations are always challenging and most people hesitate even if it is likely to help the person involved. While education can provide the foundational knowledge to conduct such conversations, there is a great need to anticipate and rehearse for these onerous situations. Through a series of simulations, based on real situations, UTMB faculty and staff will learn to master the skills needed to engage in difficult conversations with their peers, executive management and students while being coached and receiving feedback in a confidential setting.

Patient Navigation -- Improving Outcomes and Reducing Barriers to Care Deana M. Gehring
Cancer Center

Patient navigation has become critical to the success of UTMB’s breast cancer programs. These navigators assist patients with overcoming socioeconomic obstacles, maneuvering the health care system, coordinating diagnostic follow-up, investigating financial resources and providing continuity of services. In order to provide navigation services for uninsured and medically underserved women, the UTMB Cancer Center will extend this program to satellite clinics and allow for the creation and administration of a comprehensive patient database to manage demographic, clinical, coding and billing information.

Pink Warrior: Support Group Toolkit for Breast Cancer Survivors Dr. Maria Swartz and Dr. Elizabeth Lyons
Rehabilitation Sciences

Research shows that breast cancer survivors experience a significant decline of physical activity immediately after diagnosis. By partnering with the UTMB Breast Cancer Support Group, this endeavor will provide funding for a program coordinator and the development of a “toolkit” of materials to serve women in Galveston County. With the goal to increase physical activity among this population, a 12-week evidenced-based physical activity program will be delivered by trained facilitators through group or home-based sessions.

The Return of UTMB's Mini Medical School Rebecca Trout
Health Policy and Legislative Affairs

Science can be both fascinating and confusing. In an effort to provide the general public with an understanding of science and the importance of biomedical research, UTMB will reinstate the Mini Medical School concept and offer a series of seven weekly classes to be taught by UTMB faculty and centered on the university’s strengths and medical expertise. The inaugural session, scheduled for spring 2016, will cover inflammation research, vaccines, cardiology, women’s health, cancer care and research, neurogenerative disease, transplants and bioengineering. Mini Medical School participants, ages 18+, will receive a textbook and a special class notebook along with a syllabus and educational materials for each topic presented.

Teaching Others Oral Technique and Hygiene (TOOTH) Kelsey Berg and Barbara Slusher
Physician Assistant Studies

While tooth decay is the number one chronic disease in children, it is also five times more common in children with asthma. To help combat this issue, the Teaching Others Oral Technique and Hygiene (TOOTH) project will be implemented at Parker Elementary School in Galveston and will feature a series of three, 30 minute sessions that will focus on brushing, flossing and the importance of oral health. Students will also learn how cavities are formed, what foods are good and bad for their teeth and the benefits of fluoride.

Building the Future of UTMB Health and Galveston through Urban Farming Dr. Christine Arcari, Shannon Ronca, Ariel Ludwig, Michaela Huynh and Sergio Rodriguez
Preventive Medicine and Community Health

Galveston lacks sustainable community-derived food sources and evidence-based nutrition education. By transforming underused plots of land into organic urban farm sites, this program will provide sustainable and organic fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs and goat dairy products to island residents year-round. In addition to providing education on the importance of healthy food choices, island food banks and other organizations will gain access to local produce while promoting sustainable farming techniques throughout the community.

Establishing a MakerNurse Medical Makerspace at UTMB Health Dr. David Marshall
Hospital Administration

With the support of the President’s Cabinet, UTMB has the unique opportunity to become the first medical center in the country to establish a MakerNurse Medical Makerspace. The UTMB Makerspace will be an 800-square-foot dedicated area equipped with tools, materials and equipment to support the creation of prototyping equipment. With the help of a resident-design fellow, nurses will have the ability to create innovative breakthrough solutions in medical technology in an effort to solve pain points and improve patient care.

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


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