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25 seal2018 President’s Cabinet Awards

pc 2018

View event photos here

The President's Cabinet celebrated its 25th anniversary with a dinner and awards program the evening of Friday, September 7, 2018 at The San Luis Resort, Spa and Conference Center in Galveston.  Several UTMB faculty, staff and students received awards for projects that recognize and address health needs in our community. The 2018 grant recipients are, seated from left, Rebecca Castro, Sylvia Campbell, Jennifer Higgs, Anna Fields, Anthony Nguyen, Brenda Yanez, Shelley Smith and Kaitlyn McMahon. Standing, from left, President's Cabinet Chair, Dr. Tom Kimbrough, President's Cabinet Awards Chair, Dr. David Niesel, Barbara Slusher, Julia Anderson, Savannah Parks, Katherine Golden-Beck, Emily Motter, Daniel White, Jessica Stauber, Briana Sowell, Jennifer Bledsoe, Sara Nowakowski, Souby George, Ashley Kwartler, Jaspreet Sodhi and UTMB President, Dr. David L. Callender. (Not pictured Kelsie Carpenter, Mercedez Hernandez, Vic Sierpina, Lauren Michelle Thierry and Jay Truitt.)  


UTMB League City Campus Patient Navigation and Health Resource CenterSylvia Campbell, RN, BSN
Savannah Parks, MEd, LBSW
Lauren Michelle Thierry, MHA
Patient Navigation and Support

Studies show that low income and elderly patients with complex life-altering health diagnoses often have trouble accessing adequate health care.  Some may lack transportation, are unfamiliar with the hospital system, lack insurance or are unable to afford medication.  Those barriers ultimately may lead to a poor quality of life and unfavorable health outcomes.  In an effort to improve hospital access, the UTMB League City Campus Patient Navigation and Health Resource Center will provide patient education, dedicated navigation team support, community outreach, enhanced communication and increased access to multidisciplinary care.

The Care Closet
Rebecca Castro, LCSW
Savannah Parks, MEd, LBSW
Health Resource Center

Unexpected health crises often mean patients and their families are unprepared for hospital stays, and many find themselves in need of food, clothing, personal hygiene products and laundry services.  Through the creation of The Care Closet at the John Sealy Annex, patients will have access to such items and will be provided with information and referrals to community resources.  Two adjoining rooms will be dedicated within the hospital for laundry services and food storage.  The project will be sustained through partnerships with the Galveston County Food Bank and the Salvation Army of Galveston County.

Disaster Day - Preparing for Community SafetyKelsie Carpenter, School of Nursing Student
Ashley Kwartler, School of Nursing Student
Kaitlyn McMahon, School of Nursing Student
Shelley Smith, MEd
Interprofessional Education

Disaster Day is a student-led exercise designed to recreate an emergency scenario where students and members of the community act as first responders and patients.  This simulation aims to prepare health care students for catastrophic events, allows them to practice skills they are learning in class and fosters interprofessional teamwork.  This program, in conjunction with the Galveston County Community Emergency Response Team, teaches students to successfully manage disasters while preparing them to act as a community resource.  President's Cabinet funds will be used to purchase simulation and casting/molding supplies and related equipment for a two-year period.

UTMB Stroke Program Proposal - Advanced Stroke Life Support ClassesBrenda Yanez, RN, BSN
Julia Anderson, BSN, RN, CCRN
Jennifer Higgs, MSN, RN, CEN
Georgia Emily Motter, RN, BSN
Briana Sowell, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
Hospital Administration

Since 2016, more than 100 nurses and emergency medical services (EMS) staff have attended the Advanced Stroke Life Support class.  UTMB is the first academic center in Texas to serve as a training site for this certification.  The university has noticed an increase in the number of stroke patients who are brought to the emergency department via EMS rather than a personal vehicle.  This might indicate an increased awareness that being transported by ambulance means quicker treatment for stroke patients.  Due to the program's success, President's Cabinet funds will support training for an additional instructor and educational materials to certify an additional 200 per-hospital and hospital providers.

Realizing UTMB's Institutional Vision through 100 Kitchen Gardens and Door-to-Door CompostVictor Sierpina, MD
Anna Fields, School of Medicine Student
Mercedez Hernandez, School of Medicine Student
Jessica Stauber, School of Medicine Student
Daniel White, School of Medicine Student

Family Medicine

Food insecurity is an unreliable access to affordable and nutritious food.  Rates of food insecurity in Galveston exceed national and state averages.  A partnership between UTMB, the UTMB Greenies Gardening Club and Seeding Galveston will work with at-risk residents to build and maintain backyard and neighborhood gardens.  The program will also establish a compost pick-up program designed to generate a cost-effective alternative to conventional garden fertilizer.

The Mother and Babies CourseSouby George, MSN, RNC-MNN, CKC
Sara Nowakowski, PhD, CBMS
Obstetrics and Gynecology

In an effort to provide mental health treatment for new mothers who may be experiencing perinatal depression, the Mother and Babies Course will launch a new clinical service within UTMB's pediatric clinics.  This course will be facilitated by psychologists, nurses and lactation consultants trained to address issues surrounding motherhood.  President's Cabinet funds will be used to purchase instructor manuals, equipment, supplies and marketing materials.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure:  The St. Vincent's/Luke Society Preventive Dental Health Clinic CollaborationAnthony Nguyen, School of Medicine Student
Jaspreet Sodhi, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Student
Jay Truitt, MD, PhD, PharmD
Barbara Slusher, MSW, PA-C, DFAAPA
Physician Assistant Studies

In 2014, the President's Cabinet supported the creation of St. Vincent's Dental Clinic for basic dental services to Galveston's indigent, uninsured and under insured populations.  Since the program's inception, the clinic has modestly addressed the need for end-stage dental services by treating oral infections through tooth extractions and antibiotics.  This new project will expand current services by establishing a new preventive dental health clinic that will offer oral health education, dental exams and cleanings, fluoride varnish and seal applications for adults and children.  The goal is to prevent new tooth/oral infections, reduce dental decay, decrease the need for antibiotics and improve overall health.

De-escalation and Response to a Violent EventKatherine Golden Beck, RN, MS
Jennifer Bledsoe, RN, BSN
Ambulatory Services

Workplace violence incidents are on the rise and are the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States.  Employers and employees are ill prepared and unable to respond swiftly in the aftermath of these events. Experts agree that proper training and access to medical response resources can lead to a reduction in fatalities.  This project will work with Galveston Police Department Sgt. Destin Sims and the NEAR program to provide training for emergency staff on how to recognize, de-escalate and respond to aggressive behavior.  Bleeding management kits will be distributed to 80 UTMB clinics and staff will receive training on how to use the kits and where each should be located within the clinics.


 For more information about the President's Cabinet contact Marie Marczak at (409) 747-4876.


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