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Sarah Toevs and Master of Health Science Student, Tiffany Robb Celebrate Publication of Their Manuscript

Sarah ToevsSarah Toevs, professor for the Department of Community and Environmental Health and director of the Center for the Study of Aging, and Tiffany Robb, Master of Health Science (MHS) student and graduate assistant for the Boise State Center for the Study of Aging, are celebrating the publication of a manuscript they co-authored “Evaluation of Food Insecurity in Adults and Children with Cystic Fibrosis: Community Case Study” to the peer reviewed journal Frontiers in Public Health.

The manuscript is a demonstration of the developing translational research partnership between the Boise State University Center for the Study of Aging and the St Luke’s Health System, specifically the St. Luke’s Cystic Fibrosis Center of Idaho. Additional authors include: Perry Brown, pediatrician; Dixie Durham, clinical research coordinator and May 09’ Boise State MHS graduate; Cleary Waldren, clinical research manager; and Shannon Stamper, dietician, all with the St. Luke’s Cystic Fibrosis Center of Idaho, and Rick Tivis, statistician, and Barbara Gordon, clinical assistant professor, both for Idaho State University.

“Partnerships such as this provide the synergy and resources often needed to translate and move clinical findings to publication,” said Toevs. “This project could not have been accomplished without the clinical expertise of the St. Luke’s Cystic Fibrosis Center of Idaho team and the talents and time of students and faculty. This is compelling evidence of the value of collaboration and interprofessional teams.”

The manuscript outlines the study of a correlation between food insecurity and health outcomes of individuals with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in Idaho. The importance of this research is highlighted by the growing recognition of the impact of social determinants on treatment outcomes, such as medical nutrition therapy, among individuals with CF. Food insecurity and the social, behavioral, and physical factors impacting dietary compliance among individuals with CF is not yet well understood.

The study was conducted between August 2013 and March 2015 with 87 participants, including adult patients with CF and parents of children with CF from the St. Luke’s Cystic Fibrosis Center of Idaho. Researchers used The Mountain West Cystic Fibrosis Consortium Questionnaire to assess food insecurity, identify perceptions, and the use of food assistance programs among participants.   

The level of food insecurity was found to be significantly higher compared to the community at large. However, no correlation between food insecurity and health outcomes, such as body mass index, among the participants was found. This case study highlights the need for continued research on food access for this patient population, as well as communication and education efforts to address food insecurity.

The project was also presented at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC) in Denver Colorado on Oct. 18-20. The presentation was in both poster and podium form and given by researchers, Robb and Durham.

“This research opportunity with the St. Luke’s Cystic Fibrosis Center of Idaho has provided me with an opportunity to put what I have learned through my MHS studies into practice,” said Robb. “Presenting at the 2018 NACFC was illuminating as I feel the study of food insecurity will only gain momentum in helping healthcare providers better understand its impact on healthcare, public health, and the social good.”

Read Evaluation of Food Insecurity in Adults and Children with Cystic Fibrosis: Community Case Study”

 

Radiologic Science Students Hosted Students From Homeschool Program To Learn About Radiation Exposure

3 Radiologic Science Students giving presentation of x-rays to a room of homeschool program students. The Department of Radiologic Sciences hosted K-12 students from a homeschool program in the Radiologic Science Lab on October 31 to learn about manmade and extra-terrestrial radiation exposure.

Three second-year Radiologic Science students, Katherine McKenzie, Kimberly Costello, and Kaitlin Hoffman, provided a series of talks, demonstrations, and experiments to teach six homeschool students, who ranged from seven to nine years old, about radiation risks and beneficial uses.

The three student facilitators discussed how people can protect themselves from most radiation exposures on earth and spoke to the radiation risks faced by astronauts undertaking extended space travel. Attending students got to examine lead aprons, gloves and shields. They also compared man-made exposures of radiation to common exposures, such as exposure to sunlight vs. a chest x-ray.

Under the supervision of faculty and student facilitators, attending students were able to produce x-rays to take home. The students were very interested in the impact of gamma exposure on astronauts traveling to Mars and elsewhere. Considering that the presentation fell on Halloween, the students were especially excited about what they learned and their memento x-rays.

“For a young student group, the homeschool students really came into the discussion with knowledge and keen interest,” said John Lampignano, visiting scholar for the Department of Radiologic Sciences. “The Radiologic Science students and I really enjoyed having them on campus.”

Merrick Family Gifts Department of Respiratory Care With Endowed Professorship

David Merrick at Respiratory Care Alumni Event On Friday, Oct. 26, the Boise State Stueckle Sky Center Skyline Room filled with Boise State respiratory care alumni, faculty, staff, and friends in celebration of National Respiratory Care Week for the third Respiratory Care Alumni and Friends Celebration.

The celebration provided attendees with an overview of the departments’ success over the year and an opportunity for Tim Dunnagan, dean of the College of Health Sciences, to announce the new Merrick Family Endowed Professorship in Respiratory Care, a gift given to the department by David and Kay Merrick.

David and Kay Merrick are among Boise State’s elite philanthropists with decades of student and department support. David Merrick served as the medical director for Boise State’s Department of Respiratory Care for more than 30 years. His passion for patient care was matched only by his love for teaching.

Due to his leadership, and dedication, Boise State is nationally recognized as a leader in respiratory care clinical preparation. The gift of the Merrick Family Endowed Professorship in Respiratory Care is regarded as the ultimate recognition achievement and will forever bolster the department he helped create.

“Our department is beyond lucky to have been able to maintain this long-standing relationship with the Merrick family,” said Lutana Haan, assistant dean for the College of Health Sciences and associate professor and chair for the Department of Respiratory Care. “Dr. Merrick brings joy to any situation and his sense of humor makes us all smile everytime we think of him. We are fortunate that his impact on our department will continue to make a difference forever into the future. This endowment will allow us to expand our research and positively impact the lives of our patients.”

Endowed professorships recognize the distinction of faculty members’ prominence in their respective fields, while providing invaluable financial support, above and beyond salary, for use in research, teaching and service activities.

As the university continues to grow and advance the status of its research enterprise, endowed chairs and other endowed positions are increasingly important to competitively recruit and retain the excellent faculty who nurture our students, create new knowledge and maintain Boise State’s trajectory of innovation.

“The value of an endowed professorship cannot be overstated, said Dunnagan. “The permanence brings a level of academic prestige to the department, as there are less than 10 faculty endowments within Boise State University and, because of our generous donors, the College of Health Sciences is one of them. These endowments enable people to create innovative ways of teaching and a permanent line of funding for research and service to greatly benefit the student experience.”

Celebrate Glenda Hill as She Retires

Glenda Hill PortraitThe College of Health Sciences invites the campus community to celebrate a well deserved retirement for Glenda Hill, director of Student Services and Academic Advising for the College of Health Sciences. The celebration will be held from 2:30 – 3:30 pm on Friday, December 7 in room 114 of the Norco Building.

Hill has served as a tremendous advocate for students in multiple facets of their student development for over 41 years at Boise State. For 37 years, she has been in an advising role for the College of Health Sciences. Prior to working for the College of Health Sciences, Hill was the coordinator for the Homemaker Service Program and the Neighborhood ABE Outreach for the Adult Learning Center at Boise State where she developed programs, policies, and relationships within the community. Hill received her undergraduate degree and a Master’s degree in Adult and Vocational Education from the University of Idaho.

During her time at Boise State, Hill served in many leadership positions in both national and regional academic advising organizations. She also served two terms as Professional Staff Senator and in 2001, Hill was awarded the Inaugural Professional Staff of the Year. Most recently, Hill was honored as the Staff Coach for the November 3 Homecoming Game vs. BYU.

Boise State Football vs BYU, Glenda being recognized

Glenda at the homecoming football game.

“Glenda is a fabulous role model for colleagues, staff and students,” said Erin Colburn and Olga Salinas, academic advisors for Student Services and Academic Advising. “We know many students would not have been successful without her guidance and mentorship.”

“The positive impact that Glenda has had on students, our college and our larger campus community is immeasurable,” said Joelle Powers, associate dean for the College of Health Sciences. “What a gift her service has been, and we wish her nothing but the best in this transition.”

Jenny Alderden Celebrates the Publication of Her Manuscript to the American Journal of Critical Care

Jenny Alderden

Jenny Alderden, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, recently had her manuscript, “Predicting Pressure Injury Among Critical Care Patients: A Machine Learning Model”, published to the highly regarded health care journal, American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC).

The purpose of her research was to develop a model that predicts pressure injury development among surgical critical-care patients. This research is important because hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPI) are a serious problem among critical-care patients. Some HAPI can be prevented using measures such as specialty beds, which are not feasible for every patient due to cost; however, decisions about which patient would benefit most from a specialty bed are problematic because existing pressure injury risk-identification tools identify most critical-care patients as “high risk.” This machine-learning approach is different from other available models because it does not require clinicians to input information into a tool, such as the Braden Scale, and instead relies on information readily available in the electronic health record. Next steps for her research include testing an independent sample, followed by calibration to optimize specificity.

AJCC is a peer-review journal that strives to deliver clinical content to its readers and provide information on how to improve the care of patients and their families.

Read “Predicting Pressure Injury Among Critical Care Patients: A Machine Learning Model”

Family Surprises Lonny Ashworth with Endowed Scholarship at Respiratory Care Celebration

Lonny Ashworth at the Respiratory Care Alumni and Friends Celebration.

Lonny Ashworth at the Respiratory Care Alumni and Friends Celebration.

On Friday, Oct. 26, the Boise State Stueckle Sky Center Skyline Room filled with Boise State respiratory care alumni, faculty, staff, and friends in celebration of National Respiratory Care Week for the third Respiratory Care Alumni and Friends Celebration.

The celebration provided a forum to announce the new Lonny Ashworth Respiratory Care Endowed Scholarship, established and named in honor of long-time faculty member Lonny Ashworth, professor and director of research for the Department of Respiratory Care. The announcement came as a complete surprise to Lonny Ashworth, who received the honor as a gift from his family.

Lonny Ashworth’s son, Troy Ashworth was joined by his two sisters, Kerri Funderberg and Cheryl Unruh, his mother Vicky Ashworth and Lutana Haan, assistant dean for the College of Health Sciences and associate professor and chair for the Department of Respiratory Care, to present the scholarship at the celebration.

“My siblings and I have talked for quite awhile about how important Boise State and Respiratory Care students are to our dad and we’ve mentioned how great it would be to give him a retirement present,” said Troy Ashworth. “However, the problem is, he will never, ever, ever retire. Therefore, about a year and a half ago, my siblings and I came up with a plan to give him an early retirement present that he can enjoy while he continues to teach. We would like to present to him an endowed scholarship in his name, which thanks to many different donors, has grown to $112,700. Thank you for giving all of us kids a great example to look up to and we are very proud to have you as our dad. We love you.”

Lonny Ashworth and his three children at the Respiratory Care Alumni and Friends Celebration.

Lonny Ashworth and his three children at the Respiratory Care Alumni and Friends Celebration.

The presentation of the scholarship left Lonny Ashworth speechless and moved him to tears as he was astonished and humbled by the announcement.

Lonny Ashworth has been teaching at Boise State for more than 41 years as a member of the Department of Respiratory Care. He served as department chair for 17 years and has been instrumental in the growth of the Respiratory Care program on campus and establishment of the online degree advancement program, which has since grown to be the largest in the world. Throughout his career, Lonny Ashworth has received numerous teaching awards and was chosen as a fellow for the American Association of Respiratory Care.

Lonny Ashworth is well known for his teachings with mechanical ventilators and trips to Japan where he presents workshops, recruits students and works on several research projects. He makes these trips about one to two times a year, and has continued this practice for over 25 years, as respiratory care is not yet a recognized profession in Japan. Due to his work in Japan, Lonny Ashworth was additionally awarded the Koga Medal, an honor from the International Council for Respiratory Care that recognizes an individual who demonstrates a commitment to raising an international awareness of respiratory disease.

“The love Lonny’s kids have for him and his passions brought them to want to create this scholarship,” said Haan. “The dedication his family put into this award and the fact that his kids and other family and friends contributed to this award, is really special. It really is a tribute to a lifetime of work. The Lonny Ashworth Respiratory Care Endowed Scholarship will be the largest in the department and it will continue his legendary status for years to come. This will fund students far into the future who will continue to benefit from his caring, giving spirit.”

“This is one of the kindest gifts I’ve ever seen a family give,” said Tim Dunnagan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “This will be a legacy that will carry long into the future. Lonny’s dedication to his students, to the department, to Boise State, and to the profession will be known for generations to come.”

Nursing Faculty and Student Celebrate the Publication of Their Manuscript

Cara Gallegos

Cara Gallegos

Cara Gallegos, assistant professor for the School of Nursing; Pamela Gehrke, associate professor; and Hannah Nakashima, undergraduate nursing student, are celebrating the publication of their manuscript, “Can Mobile Devices be Used as an Active Learning Strategy? Student Perceptions of Mobile Device Use in a Nursing Course” to the peer reviewed journal Nurse Educator.

The manuscript explored student learning using mobile devices and applications as it can be challenging to engage prelicensure nursing students in theoretical non clinical courses. The purpose was to further describe students’ experiences with various teaching strategies and describe their perceptions of engagement and learning using a mobile device and application. The study was conducted in a mixed-methods design, which included an online survey and oral interviews with students in an undergraduate nursing research and evidence-based practice course taught by Gallegos at Boise State.

Pam Gehrke

Pamela Gehrke

As a result, students reported high levels of perceived learning and moderate levels of perceived engagement. This provided the conclusion that students benefited from thoughtful, intentional mobile device use that engaged them with course ideas, limited off-task distractions, and improved collaborative experiences with peers and the instructor.

Read “Can Mobile Devices be Used as an Active Learning Strategy? Student Perceptions of Mobile Device Use in a Nursing Course.

Karen Breitkreuz Celebrates the Publication of Her Manuscript to the Journal Nurse Educator

Karen BreitkreuzKaren Breitkreuz, associate professor for the School of Nursing, is celebrating the publication of a manuscript that she co-authored. “Evaluating the Usability of a Second-Generation Virtual Reality (VR) Game for Refreshing Sterile Urinary Catheterization Skills” has been published to the peer reviewed journal Nurse Educator.

For this study, Breitkreuz and Anthony Ellertson, program director of GIMM, collaborated to create the VR game that allows more hands on learning for future nurses. Breitkreuz evaluated the practicality of using a VR game system for sterile catheterization practice. She chose this subject to study as VR allows for risk and anxiety free practice in certain healthcare practices in the classroom.

Breitkreuz assessed the use of the VR game systems with participant enjoyment, engagement, likelihood to practice, and comfort in using VR. The study was conducted on 31 Boise State students and faculty who used a VR game to practice placing a urinary catheter in a virtual patient. Breitkreuz collected data on participant responses using an electronic survey.

The survey results showed that 75 percent of participants rated the game as positive overall, left-handed players had more difficulty playing the game, and players with prescription glasses could not comfortably place the VR goggles over their glasses to play. Breitkreuz confirmed that the VR game shows promise for refreshing sterile catheterization skills for most students.

https://journals.lww.com/nurseeducatoronline/Abstract/publishahead/Evaluating_the_Usability_of_a_Second_Generation.99598.aspx

 

Jane Grassley Receives Institute of Translational Health Sciences Academics/Community Partnership Award

Portrait Photo of Jane GrassleyJane Grassley, professor and Joanna “Jody” DeMeyer Endowed Chair for the School of Nursing, received the Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) Academics/Community Partnership Award for her project, “A Partnership with Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to Prepare Mothers During Pregnancy to Breastfeed a Late Preterm or Early Term Infant.” Grassley was awarded $20,000 for this project.

The ITHS Academics/Community Partnership Award is used to encourage the development and support of collaborations between academic and community investigators. Projects awarded should investigate a community-based health problem, disseminate evidence-based health innovations into practice, target health promotion/prevention, or examine ways to enhance or implement sustainable health programs in community settings.

Grassley’s project, in collaboration with WIC, is a study to help prevent challenges that mothers face breastfeeding late preterm or early term infants. Preterm infants, those who are born up to three weeks early (34 to 36 weeks), must receive more immediate care and attention in the process of breastfeeding. Mothers who have just given birth to infants born early are unprepared for the challenges that are associated with breastfeeding these infants.

In an attempt to prevent those challenges, Grassley and WIC explored how educating mothers during pregnancy about breastfeeding preterm infants affects breastfeeding outcomes. Together, they designed an online resource of guidance for mothers using input from community partners and other mothers; they explored relationships between online guidance engagement, maternal anxiety, breastfeeding rates, and hospital readmissions; and they revised the online resource using feedback given by participants and WIC peer counselors.

The project’s objective is not only to prevent challenges but to invest in the future of health for the vulnerable preterm infants by providing a strategy that improves breastfeeding rates for these infants. By improving these breastfeeding rates, it could improve infant health now and in the future and lower costs to the healthcare system by decreasing hospital readmission.  

To learn more about the award visit: https://www.iths.org/investigators/funding/academic-community/

Janet Willhaus Recently Became a Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist

Studio portrait of Janet Willhaus.

Janet Willhaus, assistant professor for the School of Nursing, recently became a Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist (CHSOS) in addition to being a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE).

In order to be eligible to receive a CHSOS certification, individuals must: participate in healthcare simulation in an operations role; have focused simulation expertise about learners in undergraduate, graduate, allied health, or healthcare practitioners; have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience; and have two years of experience in a healthcare simulation operations role. Successful certification involves completing an online application, submitting three references, and passing a standardized national exam.

“The Operations Specialists are as varied and unique as the centers who employ them,” said H. Michael Young, chair of the CHSOS subcommittee. “Some have titles that include Simulation Technicians, Simulation Technology Specialists, and Simulation IT Specialists. Regardless of the title, the growing field of simulation operations is the result of the increasing demands for skills, knowledge and abilities to meet the operational needs of busy simulation centers and labs. The CHSOS communicates to current and future employers that they have the best that this field is offering to them.”

With this CHSOS certification, Willhaus will receive formal professional as well as international recognition of her specialized knowledge, skills, abilities, and accomplishments in simulation operations. It also confirms her commitment to continued professional development and lifelong learning.

The College of Health Sciences Simulation Center is a Society for Simulation in Healthcare accredited state-of-the-art facility that gives learners the opportunity to participate in designed learning activities in a safe, controlled environment. The center facilitates experiential learning and research opportunities for learners and faculty using the best practices in simulation education. It promotes the need for collaboration, communication and teamwork resulting in improved care, enhanced safety, and reduction of human error.