2017 President’s Cabinet Awards

Oct 24, 2017, 17:23 PM by KirstiAnn Clifford


Twenty-six UTMB faculty, staff and students recently received UTMB President’s Cabinet awards for projects that promote outreach, education and improved patient care in the community and beyond. The 11 funded projects total more than $243,000.

The President’s Cabinet provides financial resources that advance UTMB’s mission to improve health. The contributions of the cabinet’s 380-plus members, which include university friends, community and business leaders from the Houston-Galveston area, and UTMB faculty members, staff and alumni, have provided more than $5 million in seed grants to more than 130 developing programs. For information on the President’s Cabinet, visit

Heart Failure Kit: Impacting Readmissions through Home Monitoring
Dennis Santa Ana
Adult Patient Care Services
This project provides heart failure patients with education on the signs and symptoms of heart exacerbation in addition to post-discharge home visits. Weighing scales and blood pressure machines will be provided to newly diagnosed Galveston County heart failure patients who have been identified as high-risk for re-admission or are under the care of the UTMB Cardiology Heart Failure Team.

Safe Kangaroo Care with our Innovative Gown
Souby George and Tracey Santiago

Women Infant and Children
Kangaroo Care is a form of developmental care that benefits all newborns, especially those in the neonatal intensive care unit. However, current patient hospital gowns do not facilitate skin-to-skin contact or allow for privacy or proper securing of the infant. This project seeks to create a new gown so that all new mothers at UTMB can provide safe and modest skin-to-skin contact with their child within the first few hours of giving birth.

Forensic Nursing Team
Nellie Loewen and Christine Wade

Emergency Department
This project seeks funding to purchase a new state-of-the-art Secure Digital Forensic Imaging Camera system, an Arrowhead Forensics Portable Light Source and training for staff on the use and care of the equipment. Together, these tools will allow for the magnification of accurate and detailed body images that can be used by physicians to determine the most appropriate treatment for victims of assault or as evidence in a court of law.

Beds for Babies: Improving Newborn Health and Safety for UTMB Patients
Matthew Johnson and Dr. Joan Richardson

Health System Administration
Beds for Babies is designed to ensure that new mothers receive fundamental education and their newborns have a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Baby boxes, outfitted with firm mattresses and fitted sheets, are designed to provide maximum security while guarding against the risks of newborns sleeping with adults. Video-based educational materials will be provided to new parents at UTMB and baby boxes will be filled with newborn supplies and supplemental information on proper sleeping practices.

Healthy Living on a Budget
Keegan Collins, Kelly Drago and Barbara A. Slusher
Physician Assistant Studies
First developed in 2015, this interprofessional community outreach program provides underserved community members access to preventive health screening and counseling on healthy lifestyle choices while also affording UTMB students the opportunity to interact and counsel patients. Health screenings performed at food distribution sites throughout Galveston include blood pressure, body mass index, point-of-care cholesterol and blood glucose screenings.

PocketPath: Providing an Innovative Tool for Each Clinician
Drs. Adam Booth, Barbara Bryant, Judy Trieu and Chris Zahner
In efforts to reduce the number of inappropriate blood product orders by clinicians, the PocketPath mobile application was created by three UTMB residents to provide guidelines and suggestions regarding the utilization of blood products and services at the bedside. Year one of the project will focus on launching, promoting and assessing the platform, and year two will focus on expanding the application.

UTMB Tough and Tiny Program
Dr. Kanika Bowen-Jallow
An after-school program with a parental involvement component will be established to target children ages 2-11 with a body mass index greater than the 95th percentile. Two one-hour sessions per month will allow parents to meet with physicians and UTMB students, eat a healthy dinner and learn about nutrition, diet and exercise while their children participate in fitness activities and group play facilitated by a certified instructor.

St. Vincent’s CHCP: Coordinated Hepatitis C Program
Dr. Robert Beach, Paul Bui, Sarah Butler, Transon Vu Nguyen and Kendrick White
Internal Medicine
The St. Vincent’s Student Run Clinic will address chronic hepatitis C in vulnerable populations by establishing a support group and hepatitis clinic in Galveston. Project funds will be used for laboratory testing, addressing barriers and providing social support and behavioral counseling to promote sustained cure and quality of life.

Early Prevention of Addictive Behaviors for Galveston Teens
Stefani Garcia, Dr. Norma Perez and Jonathan Teran
School of Medicine
In order to gain an understanding of what high school students already know about the negative health outcomes related to cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse, a survey will be created and administered at Ball, La Marque and Texas City high schools. Survey results will be presented to the community and health fairs focused on preventing addictive behaviors will be held at each school.

Expanding the Reach of the UTMB Health MakerHealth Space
Dr. David Marshall
Hospital Administration
The UTMB MakerNurse Program and MakerHealth Space have provided faculty, staff and students the creative ability to make their ideas for new health devices a reality. Additionally, a similar lab was created at Ball High School in Galveston to introduce these tools to high school students. To celebrate and showcase the outstanding innovations spawned from these labs, a Galveston Maker Week event will be created and will include Mini-Maker Fairs at UTMB and the Galveston Children’s Museum.

Language Services Alignment and ServiceHub Implementation

Manuel Higginbotham and Martha Livanec
Patient Services
To better provide and integrate language access services at all UTMB locations, a Language Access Plan will be created. It aims to provide new and accurate data to leadership, improve response times of interpreters, reduce readmissions by allowing patients to fully understand their plan of care, and improve UTMB’s compliance with regulatory entities. Technology components of the plan will include dispatching and translation software, and assistive and video remote interpreting devices as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.