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Radiologic Sciences Faculty Give Back

In an effort to contribute in meaningful ways to their profession, a number of faculty members in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Radiologic Sciences have recently taken on leadership positions in a variety of state and national medical imaging professional organizations.

Andrea Long

Andrea Long

Andrea Long, clinical assistant professor, is currently serving on two committees within the Idaho Society of Radiologic Technologists (ISRT) this year. ISRT is a membership society for medical professionals who work to promote the quality of patient care in the State of Idaho. Long is participating on the Nominating Committee as well as the Spring Conference Committee for ISRT. In her roles, Long is working to identify and schedule speakers as well as general planning for the annual ISRT conference which will be held in Boise this spring.

Studio portrait of Erica Wight.

Erica Wight

Erica Wight, clinical assistant professor, has recently completed her training and will serve as a site visitor for The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The JRCERT is an organization that strives to promote “excellence in education and elevates the quality and safety of patient care through the accreditation of educational programs in radiography, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance, and medical dosimetry.” In this position, Wight will play an integral role in maintaining adherence to high standards for educational institutions. Wight will travel as a team member to conduct site visits to institutions nationwide.

Joie Burns Portrait

Joie Burns

Joie Burns, associate professor and director of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program, has been elected to a position on the Finance Committee for the Society of Diagnostic Sonographers (SDMS). SDMS is a society dedicated to promoting and educating over 28,000 of its members about the science of diagnostic medical sonography. As a member of this committee, Burns will review periodic financial reports and recommend the proposed annual budget and SDMS financial policies to the SDMS Board of Directors.

Burns has also agreed to represent the SDMS on two American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine practice parameter task forces. These task forces, Practice Parameter Development for the Use of Ultrasound in First Trimester (11-14 weeks) Anatomic Evaluation, and Practice Parameter Development for the Use of Ultrasound in the Detailed Second Trimester Obstetric Exam will define examination requirements, providing guidance to physicians and sonographers worldwide. Burns has already started providing her services and knowledge in a two-year term for SDMS following their Annual Conference in Dallas Texas this previous October.

School of Nursing Members Recognized at Nurse Leaders of Idaho Celebrating Nursing Dinner

Jody Acheson, Pam Strohfus and Becky Bunderson Stand amond other winners with their awards

Boise State University is proud to announce and recognize two members of the School of Nursing who earned well-deserved recognition at the annual Nurse Leaders of Idaho (NLI) 2017 Celebrating Nursing Dinner. Pam Strohfus, associate professor and coordinator for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program and Becky Bunderson, director for the College of Health Sciences Simulation Center, were two of the many recognized at the dinner. Strohfus received the Outstanding Nurse Leader in Education Award, while Bunderson was nominated for the Outstanding Nurse Leader in Innovation Award.

Strohfus, has been the coordinator for the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program for the last five years. The Outstanding Nurse Leader in Education Award reflects Strohfus’ education, administrative, research, and practice career. Pamela Gehrke, associate professor for the School of Nursing, by whom Strohfus was nominated, believed Strohfus’ work deserved such recognition as she portrayed all of the criteria for the award. The award criteria asked for a nominee that “demonstrates competence in promoting evidence based practice, scholarly activities to prepare future nursing professionals and improve general health of citizens, and demonstrates a level of commitment to the nursing profession beyond the daily operation of their employment.”

“The collaborative leadership style used by Dr. Strohfus enables faculty and staff to provide transformational education in the doctoral program.” said Gehrke. “By that I mean, faculty are empowered to design and enact innovative courses to stimulate students to think and act to promote health in the populations they serve. Staff are empowered to creatively identify program improvements, ways to communicate with students, and to serve them. Students see a change in their view of nursing and are empowered to go forward and act as leaders in policy, practice, and scholarly endeavors in their own communities.”

Bunderson, who has worked as the director of the College of Health Sciences Simulation Center the last seven years was nominated by School of Nursing Director Ann Hubbert who sees Bunderson portraying all the criteria for the award. Bunderson, “demonstrates competence in evidence based practice, interdisciplinary teamwork, collaborative learning and leadership. She is recognized as a positive role-model by leaders and interdisciplinary colleagues in their organization.”

“Becky is nationally recognized in simulation education for her out of the box thinking and innovative problem solving which propelled the Boise State Simulation Center into the national and international spotlight.” said Hubbert. “When the simulation center opened in 2010, Becky was at the helm. She began work on the two year process to get the center internationally accredited by the Society for Simulation Healthcare. In 2013 the simulation center was accredited and remains only one of a handful of accredited centers in the world without an affiliation to a hospital or medical school. The Society for Simulation in Healthcare has since adopted Becky’s original reporting method as a standard for all accreditation and training.”

Pam Strohfus and Jody Acheson Present their awards

Jody Acheson and Pam Strohfus

In addition to these nominees, Jody Acheson, a current student in Boise State’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program and Hematologic Malignancies Program Manager at St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute received the Aspiring Clinical Nurse Leader Award. The criteria asked for a nominee that “demonstrates emerging leadership skills in a leadership position in a clinical practice that has made a positive contribution to patient care.”

Acheson’s colleagues testified to her dedication to quality patient care in their nomination letter: “Jody is an outstanding manager who believes in improving systems to make it safer and better for patients. She strives for excellence in everything she does. Not only is she supportive of staff, she has integrity and respects her staff. She has extreme compassion for patient success, as seen in her additional role as quality manager.”

“Jody’s knowledge and expertise as a clinical leader along with her passion to improve the quality of her patients’ care in marrow transplantation made her an excellent choice for our Doctor of Nursing Practice program,” said Strohfus.

Athletic Training Program Hosts Students From Japan

Boise State and Hosei University Students

Boise State University’s athletic training program and World Languages department partner each year to host Hosei University from Tokyo, Japan, in a two-week long intensive English program. Within this program, students from Hosei university can participate in athletic training workshops, attend Japanese classes for bilingual exchange, and participate in social activities with the Japanese club, athletic training faculty and students at Boise State.

This annual event recently celebrated its sixth year of the program in early September with nearly 20 sports health studies students from Hosei traveling to Boise to participate. “Hosting these students has allowed Boise State to assist Hosei University in incorporating a travel abroad experience as a part of their undergraduate experience” said Dave Hammons, director of the Athletic Training program and assistant professor in the department of Kinesiology for Boise State University.

Hosei Students in Ankle Taping Lab

Hosei University Students Participate in Ankle Taping Lab

Hammons, who has played a significant role in hosting the program, helps orchestrate an injury treatment workshop and a hands-on preventative ankle taping lab. Students from Hosei also spent time visiting Athletic Training facilities on campus as well. They were able to visit the Human Performance Laboratory which enabled them to learn more about the equipment used to measure performance and effects of exercise physiology. Students also spent time visiting the Bleymaier Football facility and the strength and conditioning facilities.

“Every time Hosei students have visited our facilities they mention how much more America is invested in Collegiate sports than Japan; it is truly an eye opening experience for them to see the facilities our athletes have to train in.” said Hammons.

Hosei and Boise State Students Play Volleyball

Hosei and Boise State Students Participate in Social Activities

In addition to the athletic training workshops, students from Hosei University also participated in social activities with the Japanese club on campus and attend two Japanese classes for a bilingual exchange within the World Languages department. Each of these classes and workshops allow the students of Hosei to dive deeper into learning the English language. For Boise State, this also creates a global event for the faculty and students on campus although they never leave Boise.

Hammons has also been able to host two professors from Hosei University which has lead to research opportunities and great friendships within the athletic training program. As this event continues to grow each year, Boise State students and faculty are able to experience workshops with Hosei students and become part of a global event here on campus; all while Hosei University students are able to study the English language through the workshops provided by the athletic training program.

Boise State Joins Community Partnership to Assist Mothers of Preterm Infants

Jane Grassley

Jane Grassley

Jane Grassley, professor and Jody DeMeyer Endowed Chair for Nursing at Boise State University has partnered with Cindi Bennett, St. Luke’s lead lactation consultant, and Cindy Galloway, breastfeeding coordinator for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program at the Central District Health Department (CDHD), to create a system for mothers of preterm infants to gain support in breastfeeding after labor. This partnership allowed for Boise State, WIC, and St. Luke’s to come together with the help of these three professionals in addressing a major problem seen within the connection between mothers of preterm infants and lactation consultants.

Bennett, a graduate of Boise State University, who worked with Grassley in the lab for Nursing Leadership and Management for the School of Nursing at Boise State, was able to further recognize an issue within her current position for mothers with preterm infants in the struggles of breastfeeding. Women who are eligible have the opportunity of gaining breastfeeding counseling from WIC, a federally funded nutrition program that strives to help mothers in the struggles of breastfeeding and other nutritional needs their infant may require. WIC creates the opportunity for women to receive breastfeeding peer counseling after giving birth to create a positive breastfeeding experience for the mothers and infants. Preterm infants however, those who are born up to 3 weeks early (34 to 36 weeks), must receive more immediate care and attention in the process of breastfeeding. Although this issue was recognized many years earlier, Grassley, Bennett, and Galloway were able to further acknowledge the need of further assistance for preterm infants and implemented a system to allow immediate counseling for mothers after labor.

With the help of this partnership, these professionals were able to normalize a way for immediate counseling from lactation consultants within WIC to mothers of preterm infants. After receiving permission from the mother, hospitals may now notify WIC of the labor to ensure the instantaneous counseling and success of the breastfeeding process provided within the hospital setting before mothers are discharged. The implementation of this program created a deeper connection between hospitals and WIC in what is now called the “Communication Bridge” for lactation consultants and women in labor. Creating this pathway for contact between mothers and WIC has helped reduce the complications and risks mothers may experience while breastfeeding preterm infants.

The project has seen nothing but success for Grassley, Bennett, and Galloway as the practice has been established in all eight St. Luke’s hospitals in Idaho. Bennett and Grassley have also had the opportunity to present their project to the Association of Women’s Obstetrical and Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN) Annual Conference. In addition to the conference, the project was also recognized by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners and the International Lactation Consultant Association which later lead to St. Luke’s receiving the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Care Award. The success continues to grow as Bennett has been invited to present about this program at the Idaho Perinatal Conference.

“The College of Health Sciences and the School of Nursing are proud to be a part of such partnerships, said Tim Dunnagan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “This is an example of our mission to unify people and align resources within our schools and our community to problem solve with progressive research and teaching to empower people to optimize resources and advance lifelong health.”

To learn more about the project itself, an article is available on the AWHONN website.

The School of Social Work Helps Host “A Night with Refugee Storytellers”

The Boise State University School of Social Work and Service-Learning Program partnered with the Idaho Office for Refugees to host “A Night with Refugee Storytellers” at Boise State. The event took place on Thursday, October 12 in the Simplot Ballroom of the Student Union Building.

A Night with Refugee Storytellers allowed for social work students and other members of the community to learn more about the diversity seen in Boise. It creates a chance for refugees within the Boise community to share their stories and personal experiences with the audience to generate interpersonal connections. Social work students are also able to further understand how their work and major applies to the lives of refugees. The event featured two students from Boise State University: Patrick Wangoi, social sciences major and Dalia Alhajjar, civil engineering major.

“Refugees, when they arrive here, go through social work and counseling and they don’t have any experience with this kind of service,” said Alhajjar. “They’re trying to understand this service and how it can help them. That’s why I am here: to share. Maybe I will help students in the future.”

Lori Watsen, clinical assistant for the School of Social Work, helped coordinate this event to allow people to gain the knowledge and understanding of refugee experiences. “We really (focused) on the power of personal story and how important it is to listen, and also about the risk of hearing one story and assuming it applies to a group of people,” said Watsen.

Read more about a Night with Refugee Storytellers in the Arbiter.

Jon Larkin Presents On Writing Panel “Why Writing Matters”

Jon LarkinJon Larkin, director of development for the College of Health Sciences, was recently one of three speakers asked to present on the panel “Why Writing Matters” at the First Year Writing Program’s Speaker Forum at Boise State University. Alongside Larkin were speakers Mike Journee, communications director for the City of Boise Office of the Mayor and Kendra-Witt Doyle, executive director for Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. The Speaker Forum was presented in front of many writing classes from Boise State, allowing for professionals within the community to explain why they believe writing matters. Larkin, Journee, and Doyle were able to shed light on writing within their profession and help share their writing processes with the students in attendance.

College of Health Sciences Honors Staff at the Annual Employee Recognition Luncheon

Boise State University recently recognized staff for their years of service at the annual Employee Recognition Luncheon Monday, October 30 hosted by the Association of Classified Employees and the Professional Staff Association. Among those recognized from the College of Health Sciences were:

  • Glenda Hill, College of Health Sciences Student Services and Academic Advising, 40 years of service;
  • Sue Ellis, administrative assistant for the Department of Kinesiology, 35 years of service;
  • Maura Rasmussen, manager of enrollment and advising and completion track
    adjunct faculty for the School of Nursing, 15 years of service;
  • Frances Jones, administrative assistant for Idaho Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program, 10 years of service;
  • Pamela Mulcock, clinical coordinator for the School of Nursing, 10 years of service;
  • Alexis Rowland, senior business manager for the College of Health Sciences, 10 years of service;
  • Katie Atkinson, licensed practical nurse for Health Services, 5 years of service;
  • Julia Beard, director of clinical operations for Health Services, 5 years of service;
  • Tara Brooks, director of business operations for Health Services, 5 years of service;
  • Michele Kelly, technical records specialist in the Department of Respiratory Care for the School of Allied Health Sciences, 5 years of service;
  • Jon Larkin, director of development for the College of Health Sciences, 5 years of service;
  • Sherepta McLeod, administrative assistant and AGNP program placement coordinator for the School of Nursing, 5 years of service;
  • Alyssa Reynolds, scholars coordinator for the School of Social Work, 5 years of service;
  • Ron Schmaltz, health information systems administrator and HIPAA security compliance officer for Health Services, 5 years of service.

Internship/Employer Meet-N-Greet Offers Students Networking Opportunities

By Taylor Music
NeighborsWorks Boise Network at Meet-N-Greet

Caile Spear, professor for the School of Allied Health Sciences in the Department of Community and Environmental Health, recently held the eighth semiannual “Meet-N-Greet” for Public Health and Health Science students in search of internships and networking opportunities to transition their education into a career. All Health Education and Promotion students are required to complete internships before graduation. Spear has helped create tremendous success for these students looking to turn their degree into an internship or future career with this event.

Approximately 20 different agencies attended the latest Meet-N-Greet, held in October, with hopes to find interns and employees who strive to excel in their education through hands on learning found in such internships. With the help of Health Education and Promotion student Kasey Tobin, Spear orchestrated the afternoon for agencies to introduce themselves, share what kind of work is done within the agencies and create rounds of networking. Students then have the opportunity to talk and meet with professionals in their degree path to expand their network. Attendees believe  this one-on-one time to be extremely beneficial in getting their name recognized when making connections and applying for internships.

“Having multiple agencies attend the event allows students to explore opportunities, even those that they may not have thought of prior,” said Tobin. “The event is a also a huge step for Boise State in helping students achieve the bridge needed to apply their major to their work after graduation.”

Spear oversees this successful event with many graduates and current students who have received not only internships but jobs through the networking. Graduates Mindy Hoskins and Kristi Wilson, who have both graduated in May of 2017 and attended a previous Meet-N-Greet, secured internships which led to jobs after their graduation. Hoskins, not only secured a job with her internship but also attended this year’s event as an American Lung Association (ALA) representative to network to other students and gain interns for her agency.

Mindy Hoskins

Mindy Hoskins Talks to Students on Behalf of the American Lung Association

“The Internship Meet-N-Greet is one of the big reasons I am where I am today,” said Hoskins. “I went through the process and at the end of the day I ended up giving at least five resumes away in hopes to get the internship I really wanted. After the fall 2016 Meet-N-Greet the ALA called me in for an interview.” After graduating from Boise State University as a Health Education and Promotion major, Hoskins was hired as the ALA Lung Health Coordinator due to  the knowledge and experience she gained about ALA programs and systems through her internship.

Wilson also created a pathway of success for herself thanks to internships provided by the Meet-N-Greet. After interning with two different organizations  from the event, Wilson was able to combine what she had learned from these experiences with her schooling to receive a job after graduation with PacificSource as a team member in the wellness department.

“I loved being a health education and promotion major, but I really struggled deciding what exactly I wanted to do with it,” said Wilson. “The Meet-N-Greet opened me up to all that is going on in the community and the different projects and areas of health I could be a part of. Events like this are what help take the students from the classroom to the working world. I only hope that events such as this can be as beneficial to other students as it was for me.”

“This one on one time at the Meet-N-Greet allowed me to learn more about organizations by asking more specific questions,” said Kasey Tobin. “By making an initial connection with ALA, I was able to apply to an internship where my name was recognized and I was immediately called for an interview. This internship with ALA has allowed me to apply educational materials I have learned in the classroom directly to the workforce.”

“This internship has really helped me receive the hands on experience in the career I am interested in pursuing after I graduate in May,” said Alexa Potter, a senior in Public Health: Health Education and Promotion who landed an internship with St. Luke’s in the area of child injury prevention. “I have also been able to network greatly through this internship and spend time in the community meeting all types of people that can help me connect to potential jobs and other internship opportunities after graduation.”

Claire Weingartner, who is a senior in Public Health: Health Education and Promotion student  currently internships for Agency for New Americans (ANA) as a volunteer manager, a position   she gained through the previous Meet-N-Greet. “Interning at ANA is aiding my education by giving me a taste of working in a professional setting and is helping me build confidence in my abilities. I am really happy that I attended the Meet-N-Greet because it helped secure the internship I have now. I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to meet and connect with so many people in the Boise community.” said Weingartner.

Success is already being seen from the latest Meet-N-Greet held in October as Maddie Hamilton, health science studies student, attended the event and has already received an internship with Central District Health Department (CDHD) in the Health Policy and Promotion Department. Due to an impressive interview, Hamilton was then offered a part-time position with CDHD and the opportunity for promotion upon graduation.

“The Meet-N-Greet provides an opportunity for students to connect with a variety of agencies, practice oral communication skills, expand their network and learn more about the agencies within the Treasure Valley.” said Spear.

To learn more about internship opportunities within the Department of Community and Environmental Health visit our Internship Information page.

Joelle Powers 2017/2018 Boise State University Association of Office Professionals Administrator of the Year

Joelle Powers

Joelle Powers, associate dean for the College of Health Sciences, was recently awarded the 2017-2018 Boise State University Association of Office Professionals Administrator of the Year Award.

Powers was recognized for her contributions in the Dean’s Office and in Social Work education research for numerous Boise State Social Work programs. Powers was nominated by Ellie Pierce, academic advisor for the College of Health Sciences, who has worked with Powers since 2012 in the School of Social Work. Pierce was eager to nominate such an “extraordinary person whose knowledge, emotional intelligence and personality contribute in equal parts to make working with her both a pleasure and an honor.”

“I feel Dr. Powers’ qualifications truly exceed what is required of this award. But it’s not just the “written” qualifications that she meets; Dr. Powers’ passion, sincerity and old fashion “gumption” is what makes her the standout candidate for this award. Her support and respect for staff, not only in the dean’s office but across the College, I don’t think can be matched by any other administrator. She cares; truly cares; by words, actions and deeds. ” said Alexis Rowland, senior business manager for the College of Health Sciences.

Shannon Eddins, administrative assistant for the online MSW program for the School of Social Work also added, “I have never had a moment’s hesitation in going to Dr. Powers with a question or request, and she never fails to help me resolve whatever may be going on.”

Boise State Association of Office Professionals (AOP) is a professional organization for Boise State employees, classified and professional, in educational office support positions. The organization assists its members in reaching a professional level of excellence, promotes positive attitudes and encourages further training in specific fields relevant to each member’s responsibilities within the university. For more information about Boise State AOP, visit http://orgs.boisestate.edu/bsuaop/ or contact membership chair Pam Robbins, pamrobbins@boisestate.edu.

Boise State to Offer Nation’s First Online Master’s Program in Genetic Counseling

Boise State University will begin offering the nation’s only fully online master of science degree program in genetic counseling beginning fall 2019.

The State Board of Education approved the program Thursday.

Genetic counselors help people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. To become a genetic counselor requires a master’s degree in genetic counseling from an accredited program.

Since 2006, the profession of genetic counseling has increased by 85 percent, and nationally there are four jobs for every graduate. Locally, the number of unique job openings for genetic counselors has doubled since 2012. However, these newly created jobs have remained unfilled for longer periods of time.

There is also substantial need for more capacity in training genetic counselors because of strong competition for extremely limited space in existing programs. Nationally, about 330 applicants out of 1,300 are accepted to genetic counseling programs each year. The only program serving students in the Northwest is a face-to-face program at the University of Utah. Similar programs are offered by California State University, Stanislaus; Stanford University; University of California, Irvine; University of Colorado, Denver, but all are in-person programs.

Boise State’s program will be available to nurses, health care professionals and others in the rural areas of Idaho and surrounding states, and to students who are otherwise unable to attend a face-to-face program in Boise. It will produce genetic counseling professionals with leadership, business and inter-professional skills who will be desirable additions to a healthcare team.

“The vision of the MS in Genetic Counseling program is to encourage and support diverse populations to pursue a career in genetic counseling and create lifelong learners who are motivated critical thinkers and dedicated healthcare professionals prepared to advance and shape the profession of genetic counseling into the next era of genetics and genomics in mainstream healthcare,” said Jennifer Eichmeyer, a clinical faculty member in the School of Allied Health Sciences at Boise State who will direct the program.

Boise State is seeking accreditation for the program through the Accreditation Council of Genetic Counselors and expects provisional, new program accreditation next year. The program foundation is based on the rigorous accreditation standards regulated by the American Board of Genetic Counselors.

“This new program is one of many that Boise State recently committed to making available online,” said Mark Wheeler, dean of Extended Studies at Boise State. “We’ve already launched several online bachelor degrees to provide Idaho’s working adults with greater access to a college diploma, as well master’s degrees, like accounting and social work, so professionals can take classes anytime and anywhere.”

Learn more about the new program and more than 30 additional online degrees and certificates at online.boisestate.edu.