Fall 2006 President's Cabinet Award recipients announced
UTMB employees and the Galveston community at-large stand to benefit from nine projects funded by the President's Cabinet Awards for 2006. This year's theme was “Creating a Caring and Healing Environment.”
Patient and Family Communication Boards Project
R.N., Ph.D., CNAA, BC, project director, Magnet Recognition/Shared Governance,
This project focuses on the installation of dry-erase communication boards in inpatient rooms at UTMB. These boards will facilitate increased communication of essential information with patients and their families. The Nursing Workplace Council made the original recommendation, which was approved in concept by the Nursing Cabinet, Nursing Directors and Nursing Management Council. The project is expected to contribute to a caring and healing environment because such boards will help keep patients and their families informed about whom their caregivers are and what tests and procedures are scheduled. Some institutions that have used this strategy have improved patient satisfaction scores as measured by Press Ganey Associates Inc.
Stopping the Spread of Hepatitis C in Galveston County
Elizabeth Reifsnider, Ph.D., APRN, BC, professor, School of Nursing
The purpose of this project is to develop an intervention that will encourage Hispanic residents of Galveston County to receive testing for hepatitis C and, if positive, to receive counseling and education to avoid long-term damage from the illness. The intervention will be developed and tested in collaboration with partners from the Hispanic community. Education on how to prevent the spread of hepatitis C will also be developed and tested with a community population. This project is coordinated with the Center for Population Health and Health Disparities, which is providing faculty salary support for Drs. Reifsnider and Yolanda Davila. A proposal being submitted to NIH for funding for this area of research would continue the work under the sponsorship of the Specialized Programs of Research Excellence and the CPHHD. The data gathered during this study will serve as pilot data for the SPORE project. The results from this project will also be used by the CPHHD when it applies for its continued funding next year.
Cheryl L. Kaplan, M.F.A., Institute for the Medical
Humanities, in collaboration with Jane Laping, executive director of Mothers for
Ozone Theater is an educational program that uses an interactive theatrical game to educate elementary students about air pollution. With this approach, children move around and perform while learning what causes air pollution and how it affects their health. Students discover actions they can apply to their lives and take these messages back to their homes and neighborhoods. Ozone Theater will conduct 100 classroom sessions in Galveston Independent School District schools. Trained leaders will present this 35-minute program for 20 to 25 children at a time. Each classroom will receive an activity guide to continue this program in the future. Leaders are selected for their love of children, experience teaching theater and interest in the subject. This program is offered free of charge.
I Have Asthma and I Can Do Anything
Anne Meng, M.N., CPNP, R.N.-C, AE-C,
director of Camp RAD, Department of Women’s, Infant’s and Children’s Nursing
For the past 14 years, UTMB has offered a camp experience for children ages 7 through 12 who have asthma. The camp experience has been fun and educational for the children and their families as both learn to control the disease. Each year the one-week camp achieves significant outcomes in terms of reduced ER visits and missed school days. Every camp experience culminates with a theatrical production based on a well-known fairy tale or story. The camp experience and the stories teach the children that they can do anything that other children can do, as long as their asthma is managed effectively. President’s Cabinet funding will be used to produce an illustrated book of five of the plays. The book will be available for sale. The book will include information and exercises to help parents and teachers better understand asthma, improve children’s understanding of management of the disease and overcome fears about asthma.
Financial Peace for Employees
Annette Martinez, employee assistance specialist
Human Resources Financial Peace is a nationally recognized financial wellness program created by Dave Ramsey that will be implemented for UTMB employees to help create a healthier work force. Ramsey teaches from a Christian viewpoint but doesn’t proselytize. Studies show a connection between financial fitness and overall wellness. According to Ramsey, the No. 1 cause of stress in the workplace is personal financial stress, and a Virginia Tech study showed that workers waste up to 20 hours of company time per month thinking about and dealing with personal finances. Seventy percent of consumers live paycheck to paycheck. A pilot of approximately 20 family units was held in April. This proposal includes the cost of training approximately 60 family units in the Financial Peace program. This training will help create a workforce committed to the success of the institution and aid in the creation of future benefactors to programs such as Family Matters. The first training will be scheduled in January and advertised through the daily announcements.
Taking Control of Diabetes
Ben G. Raimer, M.D., vice president for community outreach
Diabetes can be a devastating disease, or it may be the catalyst for learning how to assume control of one's own health and well-being. The Take Action Diabetes Self-Management Program offers interactive diabetes education presented in community settings. The Jesse Tree Food Fair has provided some of the most successful class sites. Individuals attending the Take Action classes say they want to learn more about nutrition, meal planning and food preparation. Take Action will provide hands-on food preparation and cooking classes to help participants to make informed food choices. Controlling diabetes requires lifestyle changes. Routine hemoglobin A1c testing will provide participants with ongoing feedback as to how the changes they are making are affecting the control of their diabetes. Giving Take Action participants the knowledge-based skills they need to control diabetes will help to create a community of empowered health advocates.
Hurricane Preparedness for Vulnerable Citizens
Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA, chairwoman, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of
Allied Health Sciences
This project will gather information from people who represent Galveston's most vulnerable population about what they would do and how they would think and feel when faced with an impending disaster. This information will be shared with city officials and health-care providers responsible for the health and safety of Galveston citizens. It will also promote student learning by offering multidisciplinary teams of students the opportunity to assist people with physical disabilities who report they need equipment or other help to plan how they will leave their homes in the event of an evacuation. Students will be encouraged to share presentations with students at other Gulf Coast medical centers and develop a clearer understanding of how personal planning, attitudes, feelings, beliefs and situations affect plans to evacuate in the days before an impending natural disaster and share these results through publications.
Helping Osteoarthritis Patients Project
Bruce A. Baethge, M.D.,
Michelle E. Eisenberg, D.O., Emilio B. Gonzalez, M.D., Division of Rheumatology,
Department of Internal Medicine, Victor Sierpina, M.D., Family Medicine
Department, and Patricia Creighton, OTR, Occupational Therapy, Geriatric
This project will develop an educational program for patients and primary care physicians to improve the care of osteoarthritis at UTMB. The HOPP plan has two parts: patient education, and physician education and training. Patient education classes will include basic information about osteoarthritis, self-help information and recommended exercises for OA and information about complementary and alternative medicine approaches to treating the condition. Physician education and training will be offered to 12 to 16 physicians each month. This component includes a lecture on osteoarthritis, including the latest information on pathophysiology and management techniques, a joint injection lecture and workshop to teach physicians the proper techniques for aspirating and injecting the shoulder and knee and educational material for home study.
Galveston County Health Fair
Charles Worthen, director of community
relations, Office of Community Outreach
The Galveston County Health Fair breaks down barriers, not only financial barriers that prevent many Galveston County residents from accessing health care services but also the barrier that prevents UTMB students from interacting with residents outside of normal clinical settings. The health fair allows Galveston County residents to meet UTMB students and health organizations that can provide valuable information on available health and social services and answer some individual health questions. Meanwhile, UTMB students gain valuable community-service experience. A community health fair is part of the care delivery system, masquerading as a festival. It can provide screening and education in a low-stress environment in which people feel comfortable seeking information regarding their health and health-care resources. Because the health fair is free, it produces little revenue outside that provided by booth fees, and permanent endowed support takes time to acquire. By beginning to work now toward self-sustainability, funding may be developed to continue the Galveston County Health Fair into the future.
For more information about the President's Cabinet or how to join, contact Marie Marczak at (409) 747-4876