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2016 President’s Cabinet Awards

Several UTMB Health faculty, staff and students received President’s Cabinet Awards for projects that promote outreach, education and improved patient care in our community. Their nine funded projects were presented during a banquet on Sept. 9, 2016, at The San Luis Resort, Spa and Conference Center. The 2016 grant recipients are, seated from left, Dr. Jillian McLaughlin, Michele Comerota, Ashley Nilson, Andrea Dimet, Dr. Juliet McKee, Dr. Theresa Smith, Alison Kelly and Rebecca Trout. Standing, from left, Susan Falgout, President’s Cabinet chair, Dr. Mary O’Keefe, President’s Cabinet awards committee chair, Dell Roach, Dr. Kanika Bowen-Jallow, Dr. Giulio Taglialatela, Dr. Christine Arcari, Naiomi Jamal, Dr. Cara Pennel, Jaquelyn Svoboda, Maurine Nichols, Karen Ratcliff, Jacob Moran, Elizabeth Wright, Dr. Karen Aranha and UTMB President, Dr. David L. Callender. (Not pictured, Lynda Chowdhury).

Cognitive Rehabilitation for Cancer Survivors
Dr. Theresa Smith and Karen Ratcliff
School of Health Professions - Occupational Therapy

Cancer is a prevalent disease in our society and has a profound impact on a person’s ability to participate in everyday activities and commonly results in mild cognitive impairment. Since cognitive deficits are not currently being addressed in local cancer support groups, this program aims to close this gap by offering a series of group sessions to provide attention and memory strategies, compensation techniques, planning and organization, problem solving skills, and cognitive training. Master’s level students in the UTMB occupational therapy program will run the classes and gain valuable experience in developing, implementing and measuring cognitive rehabilitation outcomes.

UTMB Adolescent Weight Loss Program Dr. Kanika Bowen-Jallow

Contributing factors of the growing adolescent obesity epidemic include biological, behavioral, cultural and sociopolitical aspects. While there are currently no pediatric clinics dedicated to the workup, management and implementation of a weight loss program for children (ages 12-17), this project proposes the establishment of a single location multidisciplinary clinic at UTMB where adolescents and their parents can meet with a nutritionist, pediatric gastroenterologist, pediatric surgeon, and a personal fitness instructor. Participants will also receive consultations to psychiatry and pediatric endocrinology when necessary.

Establishing the UTMB President's Cabinet Fab Lab at Ball High School Maurine Nichols and Rebecca Trout
Moody Medical Library and Health Policy and Legislative Affairs

Due to the success of the MakerNurse Medical MakerHealth Space Lab, supported by a 2015 President’s Cabinet grant, this project seeks to create a similar lab at Galveston’s Ball High School to provide higher level learning experiences to the next generation of healthcare, research and biomedical science workers. This fabrication laboratory (Fab Lab) will combine tools and materials for woodworking, metalworking, electronics, robotics, textiles, computers and soft circuits and will become part of the school’s career and technology education program. This dedicated space will also be accessible to middle school students.

Impacting Community Health through Pressure Ulcer Prevention Dell Roach and Dr. Jillian McLaughlin
Nursing APS and Surgery

Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs), commonly known as bed sores, affect more than two million people each year and cause significant physical and emotional pain for patients and economic burdens for healthcare facilities. This special surgical intensive care unit quality- improvement intervention program will provide hospital staff, patients and their families with visual cues such as checklists, signage, patient risk bracelets and color pictures in an effort to promote awareness of HAPUs and decrease the number of incidents.

HOPE Initiative: Mindfulness at St. Vincent's Clinic Dr. Karen Aranha, Jacob Moran, Elizabeth Wright and Alison Kelly
Schools of Health Professions and Medicine

The Student Healer Association, an interprofessional student organization at UTMB, plans to teach mindfulness meditation techniques for the management of stress, chronic pain and various life changes to patients at St. Vincent’s occupational therapy and psychiatry clinics. Students will be trained on how to help patients become more present, aware and non- judgmental using this affordable and accessible practice of focused attention. Suggested meditation exercises will be provided to users via free phone/web applications or digital CD recordings.

The BAMBI/School of Nursing Collaborative Project Jaquelyn Svoboda
School of Nursing

The Baby and Mother Bonding Initiative (BAMBI) at UTMB offers pregnant offenders the opportunity to live with their babies after delivery, rather than sending them away to family or foster care. Typically, mothers in this program have had inadequate breastfeeding education and resources and therefore have low rates of breastfeeding. This School of Nursing initiative seeks to improve maternal bonding through student-led educational sessions that will improve the offender mother’s knowledge of prenatal health and infant care. Nursing students will be paired with mothers to provide support during labor, delivery and postpartum and assist with the facilitation of bonding and breastfeeding.

Empowering Future Generations of Neuroscientists and Health Professions Dr. Giulio Taglialatela, Ashley Nilson, Michele Comerota, and Andrea Dimet

For the past three years, UTMB neuroscience students in the Galveston Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) have hosted a Brain Fair to inspire and foster the scientific creativity of Galveston’s youth. At this year’s fair, more than 230 high school and middle school students observed anatomy demonstrations of the brain, rode in a drunk-driving simulator and participated in phantom-limb demonstrations. To continue building upon it’s success, the group will develop more sustainable activities, create reusable materials, build more games, add new events and demonstrations, and conduct a special fair for the children and families at Shriner’s Hospital in Galveston. Community outreach programs with College of the Mainland, Galveston’s Own Farmer’s Market and the High Island School District will also be expanded.

Parent-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Dr. Cara Pennel, Dr. Juliet McKee and Naiomi Jamal
Preventive Medicine and Community Health

Data from the 2014 Galveston Youth Risk Student Survey indicated that 44.7% of the student respondents in grades 9-12 reported being sexually active. While research shows that parents have the most influence on teens regarding their decisions about sex, parents report being uncomfortable talking to their school-aged children about sex. To increase parent-adolescent communication regarding sexual health, this project will develop and implement a parent-based teen pregnancy prevention program. Classes will be held for parents of children, ages 11-16, with UTMB residents and students overseeing and facilitating each session. Topics will cover teen pregnancy, communication, parental values and teen support. Educational materials will be provided and skills will be taught through group discussions, presentations, videos, role playing and take-home exercises.

Health-Fair-Kits-to-Go: Turning Service into Service-Learning Dr. Christine Arcari and Lynda Chowdhury
Preventive Medicine and Community Health

Each year, UTMB students volunteer to organize and work at health fairs across Galveston County in order to promote health and prevent disease to a large number of people at a low cost. Educational exhibits, displays, and other resources are lacking and are needed in order for students to effectively communicate the necessary messages for a successful fair. By expanding the current collection of Health-Fair-Kits-to-Go, this project will allow students to effectively assemble kits and utilize strategies to target a chosen client population and focus on specific promotional messages such as oral health, healthy eating, maintaining good posture, etc. Additionally a website will be created to facilitate discussion of health fair experiences and obtain constructive feedback and evaluation from kit users and fair attendees.

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


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