2008 UTMB President’s Cabinet Awards
Four projects by faculty and staff received UTMB President’s Cabinet Awards for 2008. All of the projects focus on providing services to the communities UTMB serves.
Creating Connections with Kids
Carolyn Utsey, P.T., Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Janis Matthews, Child Life Specialist
Dan Marullo, Ph.D., Child Psychologist
Department of Physical Therapy
This collaborative project involves health-sciences students, community volunteers and a community-based environment with children who have special needs. As the number of health care students who participate as volunteer as camp counselors for the Rainbow Connection Camp has greatly increased, there has become a need to develop training modules to help them understand key issues as they care for these special-needs children during the week-long summer camp. UTMB health care providers who facilitate the Rainbow Connection Camp, will travel to Chicago, Illinois and attend training at the Children’s Oncology Camps Association. From this training, orientation modules pertaining to the emotional, spiritual, medical, and physical aspects of campers will be developed. Additionally, this project provides for the implementation of a pre-camp weekend to introduce counselor volunteers to the specialized summer camp environment, which serves children and adolescents who have been treated for cancer and blood disorders at UTMB’s Children’s Hospital.
Practice of Medicine Year 3 Expanded Pilot Project
Judith L. Rowen, M.D., Associate Professor
Hans M. von Marensdorff, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics
The Practice of Medicine Year 3 (POM3) course has been in existence since the 2006-07 academic year. This project supports an expansion of the course and provides third-year medical students with a “safe” place to reflect and grow as professionals. This course is designed to provide a venue for presenting “orphan topics”- such as understanding how patients pay for health care, how a patient’s culture influences medical decision-making, how to address the issues of patient safety, and much more. Faculty will be solicited to serve as facilitators/mentors who will assign advanced readings and reflective essays as well as ensuring that major topics are covered in each session. The project will include two Austin-based groups and seven Galveston-based groups who will meet monthly in a longitudinal small group format. Classes will be held in the evenings, with dinner, to avoid conflict with daytime clinical activities.
SCHIP and Children’s Medicaid
Jessica Allen, Student
Kyler Elwell, Student
School of Medicine
With a majority of Galveston’s public school children qualifying for the State Children Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) or Children’s Medicaid, there is a substantial demand for children’s healthcare coverage in our area. However, low enrollment in these programs results from many factors: inaccessible bureaucracies, intricate forms, detailed documentation, extended time lapses between application and enrollment, and rapid expiration of coverage. Recognizing the importance of this growing problem, UTMB medical students Jessica Allen and Kyler Elwell, created this project to organize county-wide outreach efforts utilizing UTMB students, faculty and staff to work individually with families to help them complete complicated applications and educate them on the enrollment process and policy maintenance. This two-year project will coordinate three county-wide outreach visits per year, develop a working-relationship with the Galveston Independent School District to train district employees and disseminate information to families, and establish a website to facilitate access to information on state and federal health insurance and related resources.
School-based Depression Education, Screening and
John F. (Fred) Thomas, Ph.D., Program Director; Analyst/Consultant
Community Health Services
The overlying goal of this project is to improve adolescent mental health in the Galveston community through psycho-education, screening and provision of culturally sensitive, evidence-based services. Three prevention strategies will be incorporated into a single program and will be implemented on a racially mixed and economically diverse sample of Ball High school students. Students will learn how to recognize signs of depression in themselves and others and be taught the impact of not having it treated. Additionally, students will be screened to assess depressive symptoms; those with clinically significant scores will be encouraged to utilize the services available through the Teen Health Centers located at Ball High School and Central Middle School. Participants will also be directed to a project-based website that will be monitored by an experienced clinician who will review all responses made on a brief questionnaire and write a detailed, personalized assessment. This assessment will be emailed to the student and will offer him or her the option of talking anonymously with a licensed clinician regarding “feelings-related” issues. Questionnaire responses that suggest significant problems will be addressed by urging students to seek immediate assistance at one of the two Teen Health Clinics.
Improving Patient Outcomes in
Obstetric Emergencies Utilizing Frequent Unannounced Simulation Drills
Supplemented with Interactive Web-based Education
Gayle Olson, M.D., Associate Professor
Mary Claire Haver, M.D.
Barbara Ferrell, Ph.D.
Patricia Morgan, R.N.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
This year’s President’s Cabinet funds will assist in the creation of a unique simulation suite which will allow hands-on training and provide simulation scenarios for difficult obstetric emergencies—without risk to patients—for all medical students, residents and nurses in obstetrics and gynecology. This suite, which will be located next to the labor and delivery unit, will be equipped with high-fidelity simulation mannequins and complemented by an interactive web-based program called “Design A Case.” This web-based program is a unique series of interactive study cases which will be linked to each simulation emergency. Periodic, unplanned obstetric drills will focus on the following areas: maneuvers for vaginal breech delivery, managing and controlling postpartum hemorrhaging, eclamptic seizures, shoulder dystocia and CPR during pregnancy. Each resident will have an opportunity to participate in these drills approximately six times per year.
AHEC Community Health Worker (CHW) Training Program
Mary Wainwright, Deputy Director East Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
Division of Community Outreach
The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) headquartered at UTMB will train community members to educate and support people in their own neighborhoods about healthier lifestyles in a culturally and linguistically competent manner. This cadre of community health workers (CHWs) can help clients throughout Galveston County navigate the health care system. President’s Cabinet funds will support the training component, as well as the purchase of outreach kits to community-based interventions and education programs. Kits will contain of a stethoscope, blood pressure monitor, glucose monitor, general supplies and educational aids. It is anticipated that having a well-trained CHW workforce to call upon will greatly assist organizations in Galveston County that seek to improve access to care for the underserved and that partnerships between CHWs and case managers will expand the region’s capacity to deliver care and follow-up with patients. Neighbors will be able to help neighbors, thereby creating a caring and healing environment in their own homes and neighborhoods.
A Heart for Service
David Wise, P.T., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Eric Gully, P.T. Student
Ryan Collins, P.T. Student
James Chaney, P.T. Student
Carolyn Utsey, P.T., Ph.D.
Department of Physical Therapy
To help address the health needs of a significant population of people who do not have access to medical services, this project establishes free physical therapy services through the volunteer efforts of UTMB students and clinicians. President’s Cabinet funding allows for the establishment of a student-run physical therapy program under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist at the St. Vincent’s clinic. Free, competent physical therapy services will be provided to the underserved population of Galveston while also providing students the ability to gain hands-on experience with vary diagnoses, equipment, and treatment techniques. Funds will be used to purchase physical therapy equipment that will be used exclusively for this project.
Breaking the Silence
Cheryl L. Kaplan, Director of Theater Outreach and Education
Marie Schwartz, Galveston Resource and Crisis Center
Institute for Medical Humanities
In an attempt to give domestic violence a voice, Cheryl Kaplan created “Breaking the Silence” as a traveling production that brings together art, music, theater and intellectual discussion to engage audiences in the truth and consequences of domestic violence. A total of 10, 90-minute performances will be held throughout Galveston County to dispel myths, provide factual information and empower people to learn how to get out of a dangerous situation. The traveling production will strive to reduce the incidence of domestic violence at the local level by educating audience members about free resources as well as providing information on the legal and social necessities to return back to an independent life. The production will culminate with the donation of a “comment wall” to the Galveston Resource and Crisis Center for their educational use and to perpetuate the important messages shared by audience members during these 10 productions.
For more information about the President's Cabinet or how to join, contact Marie Marczak at (409) 747-4876