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Uwe Reischl Presents on Reducing Smoke Build-Up in Kenyan Rural Kitchens

Uwe ReischlUwe Reischl, professor for the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health, presented a research paper at the 2018 International Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics Conference in Orlando, Florida, July 22-26.

The presentation, “Ergonomic Design Solution for Reducing Smoke Build-Up inside Rural Kitchens in Kenya,” provided new findings based on laboratory simulations evaluating the thermodynamic properties of “cool smoke” created by open fires in rural kitchens in Kenya. The research revealed that by increasing natural ventilation in the kitchens, the limited vertical convective forces created by the heat of an open fire prevents the resulting smoke from exiting the indoor space. Identifying this phenomenon helped explain why rural families in Kenya have historically limited natural ventilation in their kitchens and have endured high levels of indoor air pollution. The findings will help support the implementation of better indoor smoke removal methods.

The conference presentation and the associated research paper were co-authored with Olga Salinas, academic advisor in the College of Health Sciences.

Susan Esp Chosen as Fulbright Specialist in Malaysia

Susan Espby Maxine Durand 

They say travel is good for the soul, but cross-cultural exchange can also be beneficial for public health.

Susan Esp, an associate professor with the School of Social Work, has been selected to be a Fulbright specialist in Malaysia, where she is hosting a series of workshops on psychological intervention in addiction treatment.

“It’s one of the leading causes of death in our society, across the world,” said Esp. “We talk about diabetes, we talk about cancer… we’ve been talking about suicide a little bit more, because it’s been in the national headlines, but the majority of suicides I know were also substance abusers.”

Esp said the focus of addiction studies is to approach the client with acceptance and respect, rather than judgement, shame, or marginalization. She said she wasn’t sure of what kinds of challenges she will find in Malaysia, where there can be many cultural and religious backgrounds with differing ideas on how to handle substance abuse—and while this kind of evidence-based practice is usually required as a part of the process for seeking government funding in the United States, that doesn’t mean that it’s always being done here, either.

Esp’s Focus on Motivational Interviewing

People tend to have a reason for the things they do, or in this case, for the chemicals they use. Esp said that it’s important to understand these reasons, as well as the unique characteristics of the client, in order to help them—but stigma around substance abuse and older attitudes toward treating it can make this difficult.

“When I first entered the addictions field, I was one of those people, we used to say, ‘Oh, they just have to hit rock bottom,’” said Esp. “That never worked for me—I thought we should give people the opportunity to talk about change, and to talk also about why they don’t want to.”

Getting the client to change through their own determination to do so, rather than by command, is a key component in Esp’s lesson plan during her trip. Known as “motivational interviewing,” or MI, the clinician takes a person where they are with no judgement, shame, or blame, and the client is responsible for change, not the clinician—the client does the majority of the talking, while the clinician identifies and amplifies talk of change.

“If I go into the doctor’s office and they say, ‘Susan, you have high cholesterol, you need to go home and do this and this and this,’ that doesn’t tend to work,” said Esp. “They would have to ask me, ‘how do you feel about your cholesterol, would you like to do anything about that, have you tried anything in the past.”

MI is increasingly important worldwide, but even in America, where Millennials are dying younger than their counterparts in other developed countries, and where the opioid epidemic is in full swing. Esp said even a reduction in harm, such as a client committing to less consumption of addictive substances, is better than no commitment from the client at all—and people tend to be more receptive to gradual reduction over time than they are to an abstinence-only approach.

While Esp has travelled extensively throughout southeast Asia, she has never previously been to Malaysia, and said she fully expects to come back changed. She said the trip is the culmination of 25 years of combined professional experience, which she is eager to share with her new host country. Esp said her career has led her through a somewhat nontraditional trajectory into teaching, and her unique background was what originally pushed her to pursue the Fulbright opportunity.

“One of the things that drew me to this particular call was that I had been working in the substance abuse field as a clinician for about 15 years prior to teaching courses,” said Esp. “When I read this, I thought they wrote it for me.”

Esp will return from Malaysia in August, and will resume instruction at Boise State in spring of 2019.

Celebrate Juni Eichelberger and Diana “Dee” Tracy’s Retirement

Celebrate two of Health Services’ finest – Juni Eichelberger and Diana “Dee” Tracy – at their retirement breakfast. The celebration is from 8:00 – 9:30 am on Wednesday, August 8 in the Health Services lobby, on the second floor of the Norco building.

Juni EichelbergerEichelberger has worked at Boise State for 22 years in several departments including the School of Nursing before joining University Health Services. She performs various administrative tasks from data entry, placing office supply orders and mail delivery for various departments and enjoys people and knows the importance of a listening ear. She grew up in Idaho, attended Boise State University and has lived in multiple states, including California, Washington, and North Dakota. In her free time, Eichelberger enjoys live theater, working on home decor design projects, and spending quality time with family.

Diana "Dee" TracyTracy earned a business administration degree with an emphasis in accounting from Boise State in 2007. She has over 40 years of work experience in the accounting field and has worked at Boise State for 10 years. Prior to joining Health Services, she worked in various industries including retail, small-medium businesses, and the construction industry. Tracy manages the accounting process for Health Services, helps process the insurance payments, and assists the business manager with various projects.  She enjoys solving the daily account puzzles that arise, working with her fantastic co-workers, and visiting with students. In her free time, she enjoys watercolor painting, scrapbooking, sewing, crafts, reading and fishing.

Five Health Sciences Faculty Awarded $20,000 for Pilot Research Projects

The College of Health Sciences Office of Research in conjunction with the college’s Dean’s Office is proud to award five research faculty applicants $20,000 each from the Intramural Pilot Project Program, better known as IP³. The grant monies will assist in piloting or expanding their current research projects for the next year. Projects include identification of patients at high risk for pressure injuries; prevention, treatment and rehabilitation strategies of knee injuries in Armed Services personnel; the effects of an agricultural chemical on human development; preventing and treating Alzheimer’s Disease through exercise; and how social conforms influence a mother’s ability/willingness to breast feed her baby for the recommended length of time.

The funds will aid researchers in enhancing their research agendas and subsequently increasing the faculty’s opportunities to receive funding from distinguished organizations such as the National Institutes of Health and the United States Department of Defense.

Below are the names of the faculty and more detail about their IP³ pilot projects:

Jenny Alderden

Jenny Alderden

Jenny Alderden, assistant professor in School of Nursing – “Pressure Injury Risk Prediction among Critical Care Patients: A Machine Learning Approach.” Pressure injuries, formally called pressure ulcers, are localized areas of injury to skin and/or underlying tissue that occur as a result of pressure caused from long-term immobility. Hospital acquired pressure injuries occur among 6 to 10 percent of surgical critical-care patients in the United States and result in longer hospitalization, increased disease or complications, and human suffering. Though pressure injuries are common, some can be prevented using measures that are not feasible for every patient due to cost. Alderden’s goal is to test and calibrate a model that will allow critical care nurses to identify patients at high risk for pressure injuries so that preventative measures that are not feasible for every patient can be directed toward highest risk patients.

Tyler Brown, Center Co-Director

Tyler Brown

Tyler Brown, assistant professor, School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology – “Biomechanical Analysis to Prevent and Treat the Increasing Incidence of Knee Osteoarthritis.” Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common, costly musculoskeletal disease that results in chronic pain, loss of joint function, and long-term disability. OA development is increasing, especially in the knees among U.S. Armed Services members and others in physically demanding occupations. This disease prevents service members from returning to active duty and can ultimately lead to medical discharge. Brown’s work will use an experimental approach to determine links between knee joint instability and body borne load. This approach will lead to the development of an algorithm that will quantitatively assess knee joint instability. Brown’s research has potential for the development of new prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation strategies for knee osteoarthritis in military personnel.

Cynthia Curl

Cynthia Curl

Cynthia Curl, assistant professor, School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health – “Development of an AREA R15 Proposal to Assess Agriculture and Dietary Exposure to Glyphosate among Pregnant Women.” Glyphosate is the single most common agriculture chemical in the world and has been declared a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Recent toxicological studies have further suggested potential neurologic and developmental effects of glyphosate exposure at environmentally-relevant levels. However, despite its extensive use, frequent presence in food and environmental media and potential toxicity, current exposure levels in human populations are not well‐documented. Curl seeks to generate pilot data regarding glyphosate exposure among a potentially vulnerable population, a cohort of pregnant women recruited from the Treasure Valley of Idaho. Given the rapid and substantial increase in production and application of this herbicide in the past two decades, it is crucial to evaluate human exposures to glyphosate and to understand the pathways through which this exposure occurs.

Stephanie Hall

Stephanie Hall

Stephanie Hall, clinical assistant professor, School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology – “Protective Effects of Exercise in a Transgenic Rat Model of Alzheimer’s Disease.” Over five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and that number is expected to rise to 16 million by 2050. Currently there is no cure or even a treatment to slow its progression, however, exercise has proven to reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies have linked exercise to improved cognition and increased brain volume in Alzheimer’s disease. While human testing has successfully linked exercise with markers of improved brain function, the tests have not identified the mechanisms behind the protection. A rat strain has recently been developed that displays a complete repertoire of Alzheimer’s disease pathological features. Hall intends to establish a timeline of the exercise-induced protection against Alzheimer’s disease in this novel cross animal or transgenic model of Alzheimer’s disease. Hall plans to use her background in the field of exercise physiology to reach her broad research goal of using exercise as a tool to prevent and treat disease.

Ellen Schafer

Ellen Schafer

Ellen Schafer, assistant professor, School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health –  “Contextualizing mothers’ infant feeding environments: A social network approach to understanding perspectives of mothers and their network members.” Due to health implications across the life course for infants and mothers, leading experts recommend exclusively breastfeeding infants for the first six months of life with continued breastfeeding for the first year or two. While the majority of mothers in the United States initiate breastfeeding, most do not maintain for the recommended durations. Schafer’s research objective is to understand how social context and social network influences may affect infant feeding, breastfeeding, and infant care behaviors.  She believes that understanding social mechanisms associated with infant feeding will positively change the current culture surrounding the topic, resulting in a higher rate of adherence to expert recommendations and advance health within families and the community.

The IP³ program coincides with the college’s strategic plan and goal to expand research productivity. The college plans to publish intermittent updates and progress of the research projects.

Robert Wood Joins Boise State as School of Allied Health Sciences Director

Robert Wood

Robert Wood

Robert Wood will be the next director of the School of Allied Health Sciences. Wood will begin the directorship at the end of July. Wood comes to Boise State from New Mexico State University where he has been a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Dance. He served as the department’s academic head from 2009 to 2017.

“We are excited to have Dr. Wood join us as director of the School of Allied Health Sciences,” said Tim Dunnagan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “In addition to his leadership experience, he brings enthusiasm and a passion for supporting the success of faculty, staff and students. He will be a great asset to the college.”

Wood earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and physical education from the State University of New York – Cortland and both his master of science degree in health, physical education, recreation and dance and his doctorate in kinesiology at Louisiana State University. He has been a faculty member at Louisiana State and Husson University prior to New Mexico State and worked as a clinical exercise physiologist at the Baton Rouge General Medical Center before teaching in higher education full time.

Wood’s research interests relate primarily to aging, physical function, and disability. In addition, he has a particular interest in the aging of the autonomic nervous system and its relationship to functional decline in late life. His research has been supported by a number of federal agencies and private foundations including the National Institute on Aging and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I am very excited to join this talented group of faculty, staff and students in the School of  Allied Health Sciences,” said Wood. “Access to excellent healthcare and disease prevention is among our greatest needs and responsibilities. I look forward to the challenges ahead.”

Lutana Haan: First College of Health Sciences Assistant Dean

Lutana Haan

Lutana Haan

Lutana Haan is the College of Health Sciences’ first assistant dean. Haan is an associate professor and chair for the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Respiratory Care. The assistant dean position is a half-time, allowing Haan to continue in her role as chair for respiratory care.

“We are so happy to have Lutana join the college’s administration team,” said Tim Dunnagan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “Her years of experience in higher education, proven leadership attributes, and desire and ability to work collaboratively with individuals and groups made her the right fit for this position.”

Haan has a bachelor of science degree and a master of health science degree from Boise State. She is currently working on completing her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of New England in Portland, Maine. Haan is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and a Registered Polysomnographic Technician. Before coming to Boise State she worked in sleep medicine primarily diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea in the pediatric through geriatric populations.

Haan’s teaching and research interests include sleep medicine, high fidelity simulation and using mobile technology in the classroom and in clinical settings. Haan’s creativeness has involved her in several medical device innovation opportunities. She has collaborated with engineering students on the redesign of a crash cart that’s used in healthcare settings when advanced life support is needed. In early 2012 she filed her first patent application, titled “Flow-Inflating Face Mask Interface for Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation,” with Lonny Ashworth, professor for respiratory care, and Uwe Reischl, professor for the Department of Community and Environmental Health.

“We are a diverse college with a history of high-quality programs and, in my experience, we consistently take an innovative approach to the future,” said Haan. “I am proud to be a Bronco and especially proud to be part of the College of Health Sciences. I look forward to serving in this much-needed role to help continue growing and moving our college forward.”

Boise State Simulation Team Selected as Winner of International Award

Boise State Simulation Team

Boise State Nursing Simulation Team

In June, the Boise State Simulation Team was honored at the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) conference for their Simulation Program. The team was selected as the winner of the prestigious 2017-2018 Frontline Simulation Champions Excellence Award for providing exceptional simulation education for undergraduate and graduate students as well as education and consultation for faculty throughout the nation. The award acknowledges a hard working individual and/or team that demonstrates exemplary dedication in the day-to-day implementation of simulation, going beyond the ordinary to demonstrate extraordinary in the delivery of simulation-based learning in academic, healthcare institution, or community settings.

The INACSL’s mission is to advance the science of healthcare simulation, while striving towards a vision of being a global leader in transforming practice to improve patient safety through excellence in healthcare simulation. Kathryn Whitcomb, INACSL Awards Committee Member is quoted saying the “Boise State Simulation Team demonstrates excellence and dedication in healthcare simulation. In a category with many applicants, your team has demonstrated excellence with your wonderful accomplishments, projects and work toward improving students’ learning experiences through simulation. Keep up the wonderful work!”

Faculty members Kim Copeland and Janet Willhaus travelled to Toronto, Canada to accept the award on behalf of the program. The Boise State Simulation program uses the INACSL standards and Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) accreditation guidelines to offer simulation education to nursing, respiratory care, and radiologic science students. Three years ago the team selected a shared debriefing model after a year of studying various options. This commitment to collective excellence in simulation facilitation resulted in deeper learning and more consistent debriefing sessions. The team shares its simulation expertise with others through formal education (Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Simulation), a biennial conference with the National League for Nursing, and consultations to other schools.

“Boise State students are indeed fortunate to have such an organized and well-run simulation program,” said Janet Richards, assistant professor in the Department of Nursing at Montana Tech. “Their center is accredited and seven of their faculty and staff are certified healthcare simulation educators. We hope to model our program after their example and will continue to maintain close ties under their mentorship.  With their Graduate program in Healthcare Simulation, they are helping simulation faculty and program managers across the nation learn about simulation. They are reaching out to programs throughout the west to help spearhead evidence-based simulation methods and I am confident that their visionary leadership will continue to advance simulation.”


Teresa Serratt selected for AACN Apple Digital Innovation Bootcamp

Teresa Serratt

Teresa Serratt

Teresa Serratt, Associate Professor in School of Nursing, was selected as one of 30 nursing faculty from across the nation to participate in the inaugural American Association of College Nursing (AACN)- Apple Digital Innovation Bootcamp: From Content to Action. The AACN launched this initiative to allow nursing faculty the opportunity to leverage innovative technology to enhance the learning environment in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical setting. The 30 selected participants will gather July 9-12 in Austin, Texas to gain experience in creating digital content, developing iOS mobile apps and multi-touch books, and creating an engaging learning environment to bring back to their student learners.

Following a competitive application process that included more than 150 applicants, the incoming class of Digital Bootcamp participants were chosen for their “innovative ideas and commitment to enhancing the educational experience for today’s nursing students” according to Ann Cary, chair of the AACN Board of Directors. Serratt will accompany other nursing faculty from 20 states and the District of Columbia, representing an array of institution types, including small liberal arts programs, public and private schools, and large academic health centers.

For a complete list of attendees and their associated institution, please visit the official press release at

COHS Student, Megan Beiler Receives Fulbright Grant

Megan Beiler

COHS Alumna, Megan Beiler, Fulbright Grant Recipient

Megan Beiler, Health Sciences Studies alumna, is one of four Boise State graduates to receive a Fulbright Grant. Beiler, who graduated in 2017 with a double major earning a B.S. in Health Sciences and B.A. in Spanish, received a teaching assistant grant to Spain. She plans to volunteer with a Spanish organization that advocates for and provides programs for people with physical and mental disabilities – bridging the gap between her degrees. Beiler said “This will allow me to connect to the wider community and observe how Spain’s medical and educational system work together to serve people with disabilities.” Upon returning to the United States, Beiler plans on attending graduate school for occupational therapy with a focus on pediatrics.

To read more about the other Boise State Fulbright recipients please read more at

Uwe Reischl Gives Keynote in Croatia on Killer Smoke in Kenya

Uwe ReischlUwe Reischl presented a keynote address at the 7th International Ergonomics Conference in Zadar, Croatia, June 13-16. The presentation, titled “Killer Smoke in Kenya,” provided results of a kitchen ventilation design research project carried out at Boise State University and in Kenya.

A new ventilation design solution was developed that demonstrated the ability to reduce indoor kitchen smoke build-up by 85 percent. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 2 million women die prematurely each year in Africa as a result of such smoke exposure. The objective of the new ventilation design is to reduce the public health burden imposed on rural families in Kenya. Collaboration with Eco2librium and researchers at the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) in Kakamega, provided Boise State University with the ability to implement this design feature at the local community level.

The conference presentation and the associated research paper were co-authored with Olga Salinas, an academic advisor in the College of Health Sciences.