The School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Radiologic Sciences mourns Ronald J. O’Reilly, who recently passed away at the age of 85.
A memorial service for O’Reilly will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, in the McCleary Auditorium of Saint Alphonsus Medical Center located at 1055 N. Curtis Rd. Boise, ID. The service will be open to the public.
“Dr. O’Reilly, as he was fondly known to faculty, staff and students, was a strong supporter of our program and of lifelong learning,” stated Joie Burns, associate professor for the Department of Radiologic Sciences and director of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program. “We are so grateful that he chose to donate scholarships and his time to enhance our student’s education and act as a resource for our faculty for over 20 years. His warm smile and quick wit are truly missed.”
O’Reilly joined the Department of Radiologic Sciences in 1994, presenting clinical seminars on a radiologist’s view of imaging needs. He served as a resource and mentor for students in understanding the implications of the technologist’s participation in the patient diagnosis. He was instrumental in assisting the department to establish a digital imaging library and also taught a portion of the chest imaging course to the Respiratory Therapy students, utilizing this library.
“I remember Dr. O’Reilly’s warm smile and laughing eyes,” said Wende Ellis, Boise State Radiologic Sciences graduate (‘00). “He was always so friendly and fun to be around. He always had a kind word and I looked up to him so much! I have a deep respect for him and feel fortunate to have been able to learn from him. I will be forever grateful to have been a recipient of the Anna Mae O’Reilly Memorial Scholarship. Dr. O’Reilly will remain in my memories and in my heart.”
O’Reilly graduated from UCLA Medical School and completed his residency in radiology. He was a member of the American Board of Radiology for 55 years and a member of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine for 46 years. Between 1963 and 1981, he was a radiologist at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, California. There, he became the Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Radiology. He served as a visiting professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. Later, he was an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1981, O’Reilly and his family moved to Boise, where he took a position as a radiologist at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. There, he became the Chief of the Division of Nuclear Medicine and the Medical Director of the Breast Care Center. He has presented many lectures, contributed to several books and authored multiple articles in professional journals.
O’Reilly retired from active practice in 1994 to devote his time to family and working with the students and faculty at Boise State University.
“Dr. O’Reilly was a kind, patient and knowledgeable teacher,” said Marion Smith, Boise State Radiologic Sciences graduate (‘09). “He had such a positive attitude and really helped me understand difficult concepts. I loved his classes and his sweet little dog that he brought with him. He left a positive impact in my life and career.”
O’Reilly’s impact on the Department of Radiologic Sciences is evident in many ways, not the least of which is through he and his wife Brin’s consistent philanthropic support of student scholarships. They valued these students and the work they would engage in so much that they made it a priority to personally provide financial assistance to help them see it through and in 1997 created their own named fund: The Anna Mae O’Reilly Memorial Scholarship.
“My fondest memory of Dr. O was what kind of man he was: generous, kind, gentle and patient with a great sense of humor,” said Ryan Martin, Boise State Radiologic Sciences graduate (‘08). “The appreciable amount of time he spent with each of us and the knowledge he imparted to all the students he came in contact with was truly amazing, a gift to us each. Thank you for the opportunity to remember my time with him fondly. He was truly a great man that will be missed by many.”
As if their own charity was not enough, the Department of Radiologic Sciences sought to further honor his legacy by renaming their internal scholarship fund in 2004. The Ron and Brin O’Reilly Scholarship Fund for Radiologic Sciences makes O’Reilly a permanent fixture in the future of Boise State University and students following in his footsteps.
Since the publication of Rachel Carson’s 1962 seminal nonfiction book, “Silent Spring,” scientists have worked hard to understand the ramifications widespread pesticide use has on a host of organisms, including humans.
This fall, Cynthia Curl, an assistant professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Health, will take an important next step in this body of research. Curl has been awarded a three-year, $457,537 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to measure herbicide levels in pregnant women – specifically, glyphosate, an active ingredient found in many herbicides, including Roundup.
In 2016, glyphosate was controversially designated as a Probable Human Carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); in August a jury awarded nearly $300 million to a school groundskeeper who said Roundup caused his cancer.
In addition, there also is emerging literature suggesting that in utero exposure to glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides may have reproductive effects and may adversely impact developing fetuses. Curl’s research will attempt to quantify how much glyphosate pregnant women are exposed to and how that exposure is occurring.
It’s important to note that “glyphosate is not a new chemical – it was developed by a chemist working for a pharmaceutical company in 1950, though its efficacy as an herbicide was not recognized until 1970. However, the way it’s now used is new,” Curl said.
Curl explained that the introduction of crops engineered to be “glyphosate-resistant” over the past two decades has entirely changed the agricultural landscape. Certain crops, including corn, soy, sugar beets, canola and cotton, are now genetically modified to be glyphosate resistant. This means that a farmer can spray an entire field of glyphosate-resistant crops with Roundup or other glyphosate-based herbicide and get rid of the weeds without harming the crop itself. Farmers also are now using glyphosate as a desiccant to dry certain crops before harvest.
“I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that these two expanded uses of glyphosate have caused its total application volume to skyrocket,” Curl said. “Glyphosate use has increased by more than 15-fold since the introduction of glyphosate-resistant technology in 1996.”
Curl’s three-year research project begins this fall with the development of an exposure assessment strategy, as existing studies of human exposure to glyphosate are limited and the chemical is metabolized fairly quickly.
“We don’t really have a good handle on how many individual urine samples we need to collect to do a reasonable job of estimating a person’s average glyphosate exposure,” she said. “A single urine sample only tells you about very recent exposure, so we will need to collect a series of samples over time to fully characterize longer-term levels.”
Curl will begin recruiting pregnant women in year two of the study. Half of the participants will be recruited from areas near agricultural fields treated with glyphosate, the other half from more urban areas.
“We’ll use the exposure assessment strategy developed during the first study year to figure out whether there is a difference in exposure between those two groups based on residential proximity to glyphosate-treated agricultural fields,” Curl explained. “Then we’ll provide all of the women in both groups with a fully organic diet for seven days to see how much glyphosate exposure comes from diet.”
Glyphosate, like other synthetic pesticides, is not allowed in organic food production. Organic food also prohibits use of GMO technology.
The body of data collected from these two groups of pregnant women will allow Curl and other researchers to better understand the important role of diet, as well as proximity to agriculture, with regards to total glyphosate exposure.
Lutana Haan, assistant dean for the College of Health Sciences, chair and associate professor for the Department of Respiratory Care was recently quoted in the article “Career Pathways Move Respiratory Therapists (RTs) Forward Through Degree Advancement” published by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). The AARC is a non-profit professional association for respiratory care and allied health professionals interested in cardiopulmonary care.
The article outlines the importance of the AARC Career Pathways Committee which works to fill the gap of knowledge in understanding how RTs can expand their career after receiving an undergraduate degree with the appropriate degree completion programs. They additionally strive to keep students competitive and focused on furthering their education. In doing so, the article further defines the gap most RTs experience is understanding which completion programs can further their career.
Through this exploration, quotes from Haan and Ellen Becker, AARC Career Pathways Chair, help identify the gap of knowledge students lack by identifying the purpose of certain programs. “There are multiple paths to being able to sit for the NBRC, RRT credentialing exam,” said Haan. “I believe students have very little understanding of the difference between the various types of associate degrees.”
The article then outlines degree paths for students, “What’s the difference between A.S. and A.A.S.,” asked Becker. “The associate of science (A.S.) degree program prepares students for transfer to a four-year institution, while an associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree program is a career program preparing students for employment.”
“Students need to be aware, as well as programs, what this means to graduates seeking a bachelor’s or master’s degree,” says Haan. “Forming strong partnerships with baccalaureate programs is critical to set up graduates for a smoother path,” said Becker. The remainder of the article explains ways educators of undergraduate RTs can help shape a career path for their students and fill the gap of knowledge within their classrooms.
To learn more, read the full article here:
“Career Pathways Move Respiratory Therapists (RTs) Forward Through Degree Advancement”
Community and Environmental Health Student Speaks as Special Guest at College of Health Sciences Meeting
On Wednesday, August 15 all faculty and staff within the College of Health Sciences who gathered in the Student Union Building (SUB) for their fall college meeting were treated to a featured special guest and student speaker, Alexandro Amador.
Amador, a sophomore in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health and a member of the Boise State Honors College, spoke about his personal journey and experiences leading up to and during his first year of college at Boise State. Amador’s speech served as motivation and inspiration for faculty and staff to continue to bring meaningful education practices into the lives of students.
Amador’s speech highlighted the struggles his parents faced as immigrants from Mexico who made it to the United States when they were both just 17 years old. His parents first began working as fruit and vegetable pickers and after many years of hard work and dedication, Amador’s parents are now two successful business owners in Washington. After illustrating his family’s past Amador began to talk a bit more about his own academic history.
In high school, Amador described his motivation as non-existent. He explained that he did not try as hard as he should have and it was clearly displayed in his GPA. “During my final year in high school, I researched many schools, and I remember that Boise State stood out with their outstanding health sciences programs for undergraduates,” said Amador. After researching the many different programs within the College of Health Sciences, Amador found the motivation needed to complete an application and get accepted to Boise State University.
Following his acceptance to the university, Amador realized the importance of the opportunity he had been given by his parents’ hard work and he began to develop a deeper appreciation for his education. Amador talked about working as a server in his parents restaurant during the summer before attending Boise State.“While serving seems like a normal job for many, for me I got to see face to face the people that were funding my education,” said Amador. “Which was a very humbling experience that I bring with me here to Boise State University.”
Once classes started for Amador he began to thrive due to his new found appreciation for his education. “When I got to Boise State, I hit the ground running.” said Amador. “If I was not sleeping, eating or showering, I was studying. And it finally paid off a little bit further down the road. I remember when I first went to talk with my advisor, I walked in and told her, ‘I’m going to get all A’s this semester.’ Now, this advisor had been around the block a few times and she had seen a bunch of people come from my background who didn’t work as hard in high school so she gave me that, ‘you go do it, we will be here for you’ and it made me feel all the better when I actually did come back at the end of the semester with a 4.0 GPA.”
Amador continued to speak to his great success within his first year as he described the types of inspiration he found through other students and staff. “I was so successful in my first year mainly because of the resources and help that I received,” said Amador. “I feel that one of the things that makes Boise State so great is the quality of resources and quality of staff that is offered. Staff, you may think that with the new semester starting, you will be going through the motions again and again, that the information you talk about will only be remembered that week. But, I am here to inform you, that the material you share in your classes stays with students for a very long time and I believe that in itself is very impactful. The opportunities and knowledge we as students learn in your classes stays with us for the rest of our lives. I now know that when I graduate I will be successful and when I find my dream profession I will be successful and that is all thanks to you, the staff.”
The afternoon ended with smiles and laughter as Amador concluded his speech with an overview of the process he went through to prepare his speech. “I would like to share a little run down of my training up to this point. Before today, I had never publicly spoken before. My training was a mess! I had the help of my friend, and the measures that we took were drastic. To replicate this environment, we stacked two tables on top of one another, and then we didn’t have a mic, so we used a cup of ramen noodles. Now, if you think that was bad, we had a distraction gauntlet too. So my friend started throwing shoes at me, slamming doors, turning the lights on and off, it was intense. So I want you all to know that I am very honored to have the opportunity to come and speak to you all today, thank you.”
Jane Grassley, professor and Joanna “Jody” DeMeyer Endowed Chair for the School of Nursing, celebrates the publication of a collaborative manuscript, “Evaluation of a Designated Family Bonding Time to Decrease Interruptions and Increase Exclusive Breastfeeding,” in the June 2018 peer reviewed journal, Nursing for Women’s Health.
In addition to Grassley, researchers included Rick Tivis, research associate professor and assistant director of the Idaho Center for Health Research at Idaho State University; Julie Finney, unit-based educator; Susan Chapman, lactation consultant; and Susan Bennett, lactation consultant, all at St. Luke’s Health System. The evidence-based project was an excellent display of the partnerships between Boise State’s College of Health Sciences, St. Luke’s Health System and the Idaho Center for Health Research at Idaho State University.
The project served as a quality improvement plan to implement a daily family bonding time in the mother/baby care unit at St. Luke’s in Meridian and to evaluate the unit’s effect with interruptions, mothers’ perceptions of interruptions, and exclusive breastfeeding rates. Exclusive breastfeeding was measured as the number of feedings where the only method of feeding was through breast feeding during a newborn’s entire hospitalization. The project had a sample of 60 postpartum women and was conducted over three separate phases. Family bonding time is described as between mother and baby.
During phases one and three, data was collected before family bonding time was initiated and when regular interruptions occurred. The data focused on the kind of interruptions (number, duration, and by whom), women’s perceptions of those interruptions, and exclusive breastfeeding rates. During phase two, however, the family bonding time was set up between 2 and 4 p.m. where women were encouraged to rest with their newborns in their rooms and all interruptions were limited to those that were urgent, medically necessary, or requested by the women.
As a result, the group of researchers found that there was a significant amount of time associated with interruptions before family bonding time. They also found that exclusive breastfeeding rates increased significantly once family bonding time had begun. Thus, they concluded that new mothers experience many interruptions during their hospital stays. Documenting sources of interruptions before launching family bonding time helps identify hospital staff who need to be informed of how they can reduce these interruptions during a designated family bonding time. Addressing concerns of these nurses before implementation can facilitate project sustainability within the unit.
Master of Science in Kinesiology Alumna Wins 2017-2018 Boise State University Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award
Ali Ohashi, a Master of Science in Kinesiology alumna, recently won the 2017-2018 Boise State University Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award for the Humanities, Social Sciences, Education and Business. Her thesis project was titled, “Transitioning Out of Sport: Perspectives of Student-Athlete Support or Development Services.”
Ohashi’s thesis project, “Transitioning Out of Sport” explores the implications of student-athletes transitioning out of the environment of support and development services they receive from athletic departments from the perspective of directors and/or associate directors who provide these services of NCAA Division I universities. Ohashi chose this direction of research due to the lack of sufficient research examining the social support system within college athletics, as it is an important resource for student-athletes transitioning out of sport, especially for their successes later in life. Ohashi found no studies exploring the transition student-athletes experience from the perspective of support and development services coordinators housed in athletic departments that provide programming for these athletes.
Ohashi conducted her research by interviewing eight directors and/or associate directors to examine their perceptions about the factors that lead to a successful or unsuccessful transition out of sport. Participants described how their current services and programs helped student-athletes overcome the obstacles of this transitional period. As a result, Ohashi found that directors who observed their student-athletes during their transition out of sport, experienced a successful transition as their services and programs assisted them in coping with the demands of athletic treatment. She also discovered the issues within the process of athletic transitioning arise when there is a lack of career development, a sudden loss of the sport environment, and prior mental and physical health risks. Ohashi conducted that evidence-based services and programs need to be implemented to meet the needs of both current and former student-athletes.
“What I really appreciate about her research is that she focused on learning about the people (support staff in athletics), who are in optimal positions to make an impact on the lives of student-athletes through programming and services” said Shelley Lucas, associate professor for the School of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Kinesiology. “Previous research already shows that some student-athletes struggle with the transition from athletics and Ali’s research contributes to more effectively preparing student-athletes to deal with that transition.”
In addition to this award, Ohashi’s thesis project has been submitted as the Boise State University nominee to the Western Association of Graduate Schools distinguished thesis award competition. This award specifically recognizes distinguished scholarly achievement at the master’s level. “The selection committee was very impressed with the originality and creativity of her research,” said Scott Lowe, associate dean of the Graduate College. “Congratulations. It speaks well of your hard work and the Boise State University Kinesiology Department.”
Students in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology invite faculty and staff to participate in a 10-week Fitness Challenge.
The Fitness Challenge is an opportunity to improve participants health and fitness for the upcoming year, give the student trainers an outstanding experiential learning opportunity, and achieve exercise and physical activity goals. Participants will be required to complete a health history questionnaire before participating. The number of student trainers is limited, so it will be first come, first serve.
Participants commit to 10-weeks of students from KINES 432 Conditioning Principles providing personal training. The purpose of this semester-long project is to help participants improve their health and wellness by providing a knowledgeable trainer and external accountability. Participants will be provided times to train in the Kinesiology Annex weight room (locker rooms are available).
Student personal trainers will develop and guide clients through an exercise routine designed to help them meet their health and fitness goals for a minimum of two times per week for 10 weeks. Clients initial questionnaire will be compared for before/after data for height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and resting heart rate and blood pressure, as well as appropriate performance measures (e.g. speed, power, strength). Those clients making the most significant improvement across all measures will be awarded prizes (as will their personal trainers).
Congratulations to all of last year’s clients and kudos to their student trainers. In addition, donations from the Fitness Challenge clients increased the Kinesiology Department Scholarship fund by more than $9,000 last year!
Please follow this link to OrgSync to enter the challenge and choose your time slot.
The Fitness Challenge began on Tuesday, Sep. 4 but there are still spots to register.
Jane Grassley, professor and Jody DeMeyer Chair for the School of Nursing, has received the prestigious double honor of becoming the first recipient of the award “Dr. Jane Grassley Breastfeeding Award of Excellence,” an award inspired by her work and presented at the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition (IBC) 2018 summit in June.
To highlight the importance and success of educating Idaho families on breastfeeding, the IBC created the annual Grassley Breastfeeding Award to recognize individuals who fulfill the mission and vision of the IBC. The recipients will have demonstrated leadership, dedication, and compassion for breastfeeding families within the state.
Grassley inspired and received the award due to her numerous publications, honors, and awards on topics ranging from a grandmother’s role in supporting breastfeeding to supporting adolescents in childbirth. Her dissertation on “Understanding Maternal Breastfeeding Confidence,” is a subject that has been prevalent throughout her career. “Nurturing breastfeeding confidence has been a common theme in much of her research, a theme that shines in her love and passion for the new family and has made her the mentor she is today,” said the IBC.
Grassley, who joined the School of Nursing in 2010, additionally holds a joint appointment with Women’s Services at St. Luke’s Regional Health System where she collaborates with the hospitals’ lactation consultants to develop research and evidence-based practice projects that support breastfeeding. Additionally, she’s been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for 20 years.
“Grassley’s lifelong contributions and commitment to breaking down barriers to breastfeeding through her research and leadership, has touched the lives of many and shaped the career path of numerous professionals,” stated the IBC. Her current research focuses on areas related to promoting and supporting breastfeeding through the uses of mobile technologies in facilitating community support for mother’s breastfeeding a late preterm or early term infant. A focus on this specific age group (those who are born up to 3 weeks early), is crucial as these infants must receive more immediate care and attention during the process of breastfeeding.
The IBC works to facilitate a community and statewide landscape that protects, supports, and promotes breastfeeding as the biological norm for a healthier Idaho. They strive to improve hospital maternity care practices and develop systems to guarantee skilled support for lactation between hospitals and health care settings in the community. Furthermore, the IBC hosts annual summits to evaluate the current state of breastfeeding, inspire and motivate a catalyst for change, explore best practice, acquire new skills, provide networking opportunities, and share resources and tools.
Learn more about the Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition.
The Institute for the Study of Behavioral Health and Addiction hosted the first annual prevention training institute at Boise State University on August 17. The training was funded by a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Block Grant funded by the Idaho Office of Drug Policy. The prevention training was attended by professional counselors, social workers, nurses and prevention specialists from across the state.
The substance abuse prevention workshops focused on using local substance use statistics to inform prevention program planning, understanding the impact of substance use on the adolescent brain, and ethics for counselors and other professionals working in the prevention field.