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Respiratory Care Honors Conrad Colby at Respiratory Care Alumni Celebration

Lutana Haan and Lonny Ashworth hold award and department plaque for new Dr. David Merrick Excellence in Respiratory Care award

Lutana Haan and Lonny Ashworth hold award and department plaque for new Dr. David Merrick Excellence in Respiratory Care award at 2016 Respiratory Care Alumni Celebration

Conversation and laughter filled the Boise State Stueckle Sky Center’s Skyline Room on the evening of Oct. 28 as Respiratory Care alumni, friends, faculty, staff and current students reunited for the inaugural Respiratory Care Alumni Celebration.

The event culminated the School of Allied Health Sciences’ Department of Respiratory Care’s celebration of National Respiratory Care Week. As the alumni and friends checked in, they enjoyed scanning the other name badges to find out who else they could expect to see. The room quickly was filled with the buzz of “catching up” during a social hour with a cash bar.

Just after the hosted dinner began, Lutana Haan, chair of the Department of Respiratory Care, gave a short presentation about the history of the department, recent accomplishments and where the department hopes to go in the future. The department faculty and students have gained momentum in their involvement at the American Association of Respiratory Care annual congress with multiple invited presentations and student research poster presentations. Two of the faculty are closing in on the final stages of their own doctoral programs and, in addition, the department is proposing a master of science degree in Respiratory Care.

Haan then invited longtime Respiratory Care faculty member and Boise State Respiratory Care alumnus Lonny Ashworth to the podium to present the first Dr. David Merrick Excellence in Respiratory Care Award. Merrick is a friend of the department and was the first medical director for the department with his tenure spanning 30 years.

Conrad Colby received the inaugural award for Colby’s dedication to the advancement of respiratory care. Colby is a Boise State emeritus faculty and an adjunct instructor for the Department of Respiratory Care. Ashworth detailed Colby’s service to the Idaho health care community, Boise State, and the profession of respiratory care. Ashworth credits both Merrick and Colby in being instrumental in Idaho requiring respiratory therapists to obtain state licensure.

“The department’s tradition of student focused education has been passed on from Conrad to the current faculty,” said Ashworth. “He is a leader and educator. He’s been active in the community – and has been active for years.”

Though Colby was not in attendance due to an unforseen family emergency, the attendees gave him a standing ovation. Haan, Ashworth and a few other Boise State representatives gave Colby his award at a private dinner later.

The event ended with photographs of current faculty and students with alumni, including Merrick and a graduate from the very first Respiratory Care class.

This Alumni Celebration will be held again on October 27, 2017. If you need to update your contact information, please do so as soon as possible so that you will receive the official invitation. Visit to update your contact information.

Annual Health Fair Offers Screenings, Info Nov. 16

By: Kathleen Tuck

Health Fair presenter points to a diseased lung.

Take the “Highway to Health” at Boise State University’s 20th annual Health Fair from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, in the Student Union Jordan Ballroom. The free event is open to the community and all Boise State students, faculty and staff. Hourly parking is available in the Lincoln Avenue Garage.

The mission of the health fair is to promote health awareness by providing access to community resources and health screenings, and encouraging personal involvement in healthy lifestyles. The fair is presented by Boise State University senior health education and promotion students.

Presenters with a prize wheel at the Health Fair.The fair will feature a number of exhibitors addressing the seven areas of health: physical, mental, emotional, social, environmental, occupational and intellectual.

In addition, the following screenings and services will be available: blood pressure, bone density, hearing test, fitness test, stress management test, mental health screening, skin analyzer, cholesterol, HIV and flu shots. Attendees will need to bring their insurance cards for screenings. For those who do not have insurance cards or forget, there is a $25 charge for flu shots. Mobile mammograms also are available. Call (208) 367-8787 to make an appointment.

Join the fun with great prizes and giveaways. One hour of release time has been approved by the Office of the President with supervisor approval.

For more information, email, like Boise State Health Fair 2016 on Facebook, or follow @healthfair2016 on Twitter and Instagram.

SART Awarded Another Homecoming Float Award

The Student Association of Radiologic Technologists (SART) participated in the 2016 Boise State Homecoming Parade on October 15. The SART float was awarded Grand Marshall award for the best student club float.

SART award winning float 2016.

The College of Health Sciences has faired well in the float contest in the last few years. See SART and other float and awards from 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Balloons and Breathing – Boise State Researchers Explain the Connection

Lutana Haan, associate professor and chair, Jeff Anderson, associate professor and director of Clinical Education, and Grace Hofmann, 2015 graduate, all in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Respiratory Care, published an article in the October issue of Critical Care Nurse.

Lutana Haan

Lutana Haan

The article, titled “Esophageal Pressure Measurements in Patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome,” explains how esophageal balloon catheters are used in the respiratory monitoring of critical care patients.

Esophageal balloon catheters are used to measure the pressure outside of the lung, in the space between the lung and the chest wall. When patients require very high pressures to breathe, it is often difficult to determine if the lungs are stiff or if there are high pressures outside the lungs. Putting in the esophageal balloon catheter allows separation of the pressure to ventilate the lung, versus pressure to “inflate the chest wall.” It is important not to use too high of a lung pressure in order to avoid lung damage, so the balloon helps to determine the cause of high pressure.

Studio portrait of Jeff Anderson.

Jeff Anderson

During expiration (breathing out) pressure is used to prevent lung collapse, but high pressure outside the lung may result in insufficient pressure to keep the lung open. Think of alveoli, tiny sacs within the lungs that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the lungs and bloodstream, like balloons. One could maintain pressure in a balloon to keep it from collapsing, but if it’s being squeezed from the outside there could be very little air in the balloon despite the pressure inside. Esophageal balloon pressure measurements also help respiratory care practitioners to select effective expiratory pressure levels.

The authors believe that the publication of this article will assist both critical care nurses and respiratory therapists to better understand the utility of lung pressure measurements being performed in some critically ill patients at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.

Haan holds a bachelor of science degree and a master of health science degree from Boise State. She is a registered respiratory therapist and a registered polysomnographic technician. Before coming to Boise State, Haan worked in sleep medicine primarily diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea in the pediatric through geriatric populations. 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.

Anderson has been a respiratory care practitioner since graduation from Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin. After graduation he worked at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics for six years in the trauma and life support center, burn unit, cardiac surgery and medicine intensive care units, hematology, oncology, pediatrics, and pediatrics intensive care units. Anderson’s primary areas of interest include adult critical care, critical care monitoring, pulmonary function testing, and exercise physiology. He is also recognized as an effective teacher for diverse groups of students via his Physiology course and Medical Terminology and Cardiopulmonary Renal Anatomy course.

Hofmann graduated in the summer of 2015 with a bachelor of science in Respiratory Care. While at Boise State, Hoffman completed an internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, which resulted in her employment there as a respiratory care practitioner. She plans to attend medical school in the future.

Human Performance Lab to Host Discounted Body Composition Testing Day

The School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology’s Human Performance Lab (HPL) will be hosting a discounted body composition testing day on Saturday, November 5 from 8 am to 5 pm at the HPL.

HPL's BodPod

HPL’s BodPod

Body composition testing determines the percentage of fat and fat-free mass in the body. Understanding the amount of fat-free mass gives one insight into how much muscle an individual has. The value can be used to estimate an individual’s resting metabolic rate, which can aid in developing weight gain/control/loss programs. Body composition testing also measures fat mass which provides insight into risk for certain diseases associated with higher fat mass, such as diabetes and heart disease.

The HPL staff will use their “BodPod” using air displacement to determine body composition. The test is safe and noninvasive.

Participants must be over 18 years of age. Individual time slots will be available every 10 minutes. A full test requires five minutes, abstaining from food or drink three hours prior to testing, and an airtight suit to wear (Speedos, lycra-type swimsuit, lycra shorts without padding, or an air-tight tank top without padding will suffice). Changing facilities are available near the HPL if needed.

Discounted prices for each body composition test vary:

  • $20.00 with a donation of two cans to the Idaho Foodbank AND one coat for Coats for Kids
  • $25.00 with a donation of two cans to the Idaho Foodbank OR one coat for Coats for kids
  • $30.00 fee without donation

Proceeds from the event will benefit the HPL equipment and scholarship fund, Kinesiology 580 hyperbaric physiology scholarship for the study abroad trip to Honduras, the Idaho Foodbank, and Coats for Kids.

Register and schedule a time here.

Consent forms and payment will be collected at the event.

Blue Sky Institute and ‘Wicked Problems’ Topic of Nov. 2 Bronco Zone


The campus community is invited to join Tim Dunnagan, dean of the College of Health Sciences, and Ken Peterson, dean of the College of Business and Economics, for a discussion on the university’s ambitious new Blue Sky Institute held at the Bronco Zone from 11:30 a.m.-noon on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

The Blue Sky Institute (BSI or the Institute) is a collaboration that spans the university and the community to research and create solutions to complex social problems. Co-sponsored by the College of Health Sciences and College of Business and Economics, the BSI serves as a “neutral space” for stakeholders, including scholars representing diverse fields of study and practitioners across industries and organizations, to work together to find solutions to the biggest, most protracted problems we face as a society. These problems are often called “wicked problems” because they have multiple root causes, many stakeholders and are nearly impossible to solve.

The institute will play the role of facilitator, honest broker, researcher and funder for these collaborative efforts, seeking to leverage the wisdom and experience of diverse stakeholders who might otherwise not be inclined to work collectively. The first mandate is an exploration of the relevant population health issues present in our community and a deep dive into those deemed critical to community and campus stakeholders. Additionally, the institute will be home to the first executive in residence jointly appointed by two colleges when former Blue Cross of Idaho CEO Zelda Geyer-Silvia joins BSI later this fall.

Lunch is available for those who would like to stay after the presentation. The Bronco Zone is located on the third floor of the Stueckle Sky Center. Please enter through the north elevator tower to access Bronco Zone. Bronco Zone lunches are generally offered every Wednesday and Thursday through the academic year.

Check out the menu or reserve your seat online at The presentation is open to anyone. To enjoy Bronco Zone lunches you must be part of one of the following groups:

  • Alumni Association
  • Boise State University faculty and staff
  • Boise State University faculty and staff emeriti
  • Bronco Athletic Association
  • President’s Club donors
  • Varsity B members

School of Nursing Students Volunteer at Local Elementary School

School of Nursing students volunteered their time at Garfield Elementary School’s second annual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Night on October 4. The event was organized in order to show students and families that STEM is accessible and fun, and that Boise State University is a resource for nurturing and supporting STEM pathways.

Picture of a Garfield elementary student learning about germs and how far they can travel in a sneeze.The event was presented by the College of Health Sciences, College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Engineering, as well as several community partners including Micron, the Idaho Botanical Garden and the Boise Astronomical Society.

Julianne Wenner, an assistant professor for the College of Education at Boise State, helped organize the event because she believes it’s important for students and their families to have an opportunity to experience STEM through a variety of fun activities and learn about the community-based STEM careers and educational resources.

“Through our STEM Night we hope that Garfield families will start to create a culture that embraces STEM as a way to problem-solve, think deeply and see the world,” said Wenner.

Picture of a Garfield elementary student learning CPR with a School of Nursing faculty.At one of the School of Nursing’s stations, “How Far Can a Sneeze Go?”, a nursing student dressed up in a gown, gloves, and mask and allowed the children to “sneeze” at her with a spray bottle. This demonstrated to the children just how far an uncovered sneeze can really travel.

The School of Nursing students also provided plastic models of the brain connected to the inner ear as well as a heart for the children to examine, gave demonstrations (complete with special lights and goo) on effective handwashing, and practiced CPR.

Garfield Elementary is a Title I school of about 400 students located on the corner of Broadway and Boise avenue. The school houses several special needs programs serving high needs students including a visually impaired program, a “successful learning classroom” for autistic children, and an Picture of a Garfield elementary student learning about the heart with a School of Nursing faculty.“English language learner” classroom serving the refugee and immigrant populations.

The School of Nursing chose to participate in the STEM night because they are an important and visible STEM field.

“Science education is extremely important, and encouraging boys and especially girls to consider the STEM fields is very important,” said Denise Seigart, professor and associate director for the School of Nursing Undergraduate Nursing Program and Master of Nursing of Populations Program. “Many students don’t believe they can be successful in science and math, so we need to show them they can be!”

Watch KTVB’s coverage here.

New Kinesiology Faculty Receives Recognition at AASP Annual Conference

Studio portrait of Eric Martin.Eric Martin, assistant professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology, received an award, presented a poster, and co-led a workshop at the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) 31st Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona on Sept. 28 – Oct. 1.

The Distinguished Doctoral Student Practice Award recognizes outstanding service delivery in sport and exercise psychology by a doctoral student who demonstrates exceptional quality and innovation in delivering sport and exercise psychology services to the public. Martin received the award for many different consulting activities that he did during his time at Michigan State University. Martin was awarded a check for $500, free 2016 AASP Annual Conference registration, and a plaque which was presented at the conference.

The poster, titled “Developing a Team Mission Statement: Who are we? Where are we going? How are we going to get there?”, outlined the steps needed to lead a sports team in the creation of a mission statement. The challenges the study participants faced during the process were: ensuring athletes had autonomy during the creation of the mission statement, incorporating feedback from all team members, and facilitating in a manner that empowered and created athlete buy-in to the process. The lessons learned were: making sure all athletes made an initial commitment to the mission statement, ensuring the mission statement remained relevant throughout the course of the season, and explicitly creating specific athlete behaviors that would indicate a commitment to the mission statement.

The workshop, titled “Student Professional Development Workshop,” focused on the topic of job preparation and the transition from student to professional. Many aspects of the transition were addressed including: interview skills, resume writing, job market demands, and negotiating compensation.

“This was the tenth time I’ve attended the national AASP conference and each year I am re-energized with meeting and connecting with passionate people in the field and seeing the great work that is going on around the globe,” said Martin. “This conference highlighted the research-to-practice bridge that I try to use in my teaching and consulting work. I can’t wait to make the trip next year to continually improve my own practices to better serve the needs of my students and the athletes I work with in my position at Boise State University.”

Martin’s focus in the Department of Kinesiology is on youth sports with an emphasis on motivation and passion in activity choices. He received his doctorate of philosophy in Kinesiology from Michigan State University, a master of science in sports studies from Miami University, and a bachelor of science in psychology from Colorado State University. Before coming to Boise State University, Martin taught as an instructor at Michigan State University. He also served as an advisory board committee member for the Clinton County Regional Educational Service Agency and as a consultant for several Michigan high schools. Martin has also been involved with Power Play Lacrosse’s travel club and the collegiate gymnastics team at Michigan State University.

Kinesiology Faculty Featured in Boise County Connection

bell_kenKen Bell, associate professor for the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology, was featured in an article in the Boise County Connection on Sept. 25.

On Sept. 22, Bell lead a combined team of 15 Boise State students, 20 Timberline High School students and 20 North Junior High students on an overnight trip to Garden Valley. The purpose of the excursion was to put into practice outdoor adventure skills the students were learning.

The younger participants built survival shelters; learned fly fishing, archery skills, and how to purify water; and prepared their own dinner over the campfire. Supervision was provided by Boise State students from Bell’s Outdoor Recreation program.

Read the full article here.

HERC Fellowship Recipients Announced

Ian Penwell, a Health Science Studies major, received a Higher Education Research Council (HERC) fellowship from the Institute for STEM and Diversity Initiatives. Penwell will work with Cynthia Curl, assistant professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health, on an eight-week research project.

Cynthia Curl, Community and Environmental Health, Studio Portrait

Cynthia Curl

Curl conducts agricultural health research, with a focus on measuring and reducing chemical exposures to farmworkers, agricultural communities and the general public. She currently has two active research projects, one of which aims to quantify dietary exposures to pesticides to pregnant women with organic and conventional diets and a second project aimed at measuring crop uptake of inorganic bromide subsequent to methyl bromide fumigation. While many don’t think of health sciences as a traditional component of STEM research, her research projects include traditional bench chemistry and biology components — including measurements of hydration and chemical constituents in urine, crop tissue and soils — and aim to improve our understanding of the effect of environmental contaminants on human health.

The goal of the HERC Fellowship is to provide students who have not previously engaged in undergraduate research with an opportunity to stretch their knowledge and skills in their chosen science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) discipline. There were 174 student applicants and 48 faculty applicants.

“Ian is a fantastic non-traditional student who is already a practicing mid-wife, and who ultimately wants to earn his M.D. to better serve his community,” Curl said. “By providing him with hands-on experience in conducting rigorous health-related research, this HERC award will make him a better prepared, more qualified and more competitive candidate for medical school.”

Visit Update to read about the other five fellowships that were granted by HERC.