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Boise State Faculty Collaborates with Nursing Educators Nationally to Improve Palliative Care Nursing Education

20 nursing faculty, researchers, administrators, and clinicians met this week in Portland, OR to update the Peaceful Death Document - Competencies for undergraduate nursing students.

20 nursing faculty, researchers, administrators, and clinicians met this week in Portland, OR to update the Peaceful Death Document – Competencies for undergraduate nursing students.

Kim Martz, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, will participate in a Cambia Health Foundation three-year grant to improve palliative care nursing education in undergraduate nursing programs across the nation.

Cambia Health Foundation is investing nearly $800,000 to develop an innovative online curriculum to integrate palliative care in undergraduate nursing education across the nation. The online format will make the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) curriculum equally available to students in rural areas and help standardize palliative care nursing education. Initially, the new ELNEC curriculum will be introduced to 92 undergraduate nursing programs in Idaho, Utah, Oregon, and Washington, before dissemination to nursing schools in all 50 states. ELNEC is a collaboration of City of Hope and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Betty Ferrell, professor and research scientist at City of Hope, is the project’s principal investigator along with co-investigators from AACN and City of Hope.

“This investment aligns with Cambia Health Foundation’s focus to increase access to palliative care in rural areas and strengthen the palliative care workforce nationwide,” said Peggy Maguire, president and board chair of the Cambia Health Foundation. “This experiential, online curriculum, which ultimately will improve the care of our most seriously ill patients, reaches the intersection of innovation, compassion and leadership in our journey to improve health care.”

The online curriculum supports recommendations made in the 2014 Institute of Medicine report, “Dying in America,” which illustrated the gap between what services are available to individuals and what they want, and highlighted the critical need for additional palliative care training amongst healthcare professionals.
The first year of the grant is dedicated to reviewing the current state of undergraduate palliative care nursing education. The investigators met with 20 nursing faculty from around the country, including Martz, for a summit in Portland, Oregon on October 19-21 to revise the AACN “Peaceful Death: Recommended Competencies and Curricular Guidelines for End-of-Life Nursing Care.” The outdated guidelines were developed in 1998 to define competencies that nurses need to provide care.

New Lab Offers Advanced Fitness Testing to the Public


In November, Boise State’s Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) opened its doors to students, researchers and the public in its new home on the first floor of the Norco Building. While its unveiling was marked with little fanfare, the new space is one of the region’s most unique and sophisticated physiological testing spaces, making it not only a great learning and teaching space for Boise State kinesiology and nursing students but a vital health resource for the public.

“We see this as an investment in students, giving them quality facilities to engage in research and learning,” said Tim Dunnagan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “When paired with the biomedical lab in Yanke Center, we’ve created a premier space in exercise science at Boise State. It’s a big step up.”

In the HPL, athletes, health enthusiasts, recreationists and individuals looking to overhaul their sedentary or otherwise unhealthy lifestyles can make an appointment to test their body’s muscular strength, metabolic rate, anaerobic and aerobic capacity, and body fat composition, to name a few. Then, armed with their base-level fitness and guided by professionals, individuals can craft exercise plans to improve their fitness. The lab’s close proximity to the Health Services Center on Norco’s second floor have turned the building into a one-stop holistic health space.

“For years we’ve known that what we need to develop for our greater population is a cohesive health system with behavior and health coaches to make long-term changes for folks,” explained Ron Pfeiffer, associate dean of the College of Health Sciences. “That’s an effective integrated health system and that’s what we’ve created here. We have physicians on campus, nutritionists, behavior health specialists and now the Human Performance Lab. In a single building we can help people craft a preventative health plan that will greatly improve the quality of their lives. It’s a big cultural shift and we’re proud that shift is happening here.”

The HPL also is the ideal environment for learner-centered teaching. Students participate in activities using equipment unavailable anywhere else in the region. They experience first-hand, as participants and technicians, the tests used to understand human physiology and manipulate data to help athletes excel.

“Fifteen thousand people come through this building each year,” Dunnagan said. “Now they’ll be able to see a process that’s usually hidden – the process of research and learning.”

Walls of windows give passersby views of each piece of state-of-the-art equipment in the Human Performance Lab. Treadmills allow kinesiology students to conduct electrical studies on the heart, which help them identify heart disease, heart arrhythmia and overall cardiac function. “These treadmills function at higher speeds and greater inclines to accommodate athletes,” noted Shawn Simonson, an associate professor of kinesiology and director of the HPL.

Other equipment includes an antigravity treadmill, which allows researchers to reduce body weight down to 20 percent of a person’s mass. This is not only great for athletes looking to rehab injuries; overweight individuals can use the machine to work out without the physical stress of carrying their full body weight, and older adults could use it to increase their muscular function, which may help reduce falls. “We’re hoping to do a study on that in the near future,” Simonson said.

Serving more than 700 students within the College of Health Sciences, the Department of Kinesiology hosts four undergraduate and two graduate degree programs each with multiple sub-discipline areas of specialization. The department provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate degree programs that incorporate scientific and professional methods of inquiry to study physical activity, exercise, sport and health-related issues; advances the body of knowledge through scholarly inquiry; and offers a wide-range of fitness and sport activities that help promote lifelong well-being.

The HPL is equipped with research-quality equipment and is set up to be a learning environment for students in related fields as well. Faculty and students working in the HPL have conducted original research in body composition, cycling, energy expenditure, environmental stress, exercise and resting metabolism, hydration, nutrition, Olympic weightlifting, resistance training, weight loss and many other areas. Clients have included local entrepreneurs, the Boise Fire Department, AlterG, weight loss centers, and numerous health enthusiasts and recreational athletes.

“This is what we envisioned when we launched BroncoFit,” Pfeiffer added. “We’re literally trying to build out a model that can be translated to healthcare clinics anywhere. That’s the shift we’re talking about.”

Innovative KIN-ACT Blends Classroom Lectures, Physical Activity


Student advisors take note: a new class launched this fall is blending traditional lectures on health and well being with at least 20 minutes of planned exercises for students. KIN-ACT: Intro to Healthy College Living is being taught as part of the BroncoFit initiative. The 10-week, one-credit class is targeted at incoming freshmen and aims to educate young adults on topics they wouldn’t normally learn in a university setting such as finance, injury prevention and crafting a personal wellness plan.

However, “every student, no matter their degree, can take a KINACT class,” added Michelle Ihmels, director of Wellness Services. “There’s room in their degree for it and some majors require it.” Students receive an activity elective credit for the class.

“In upholding the ideals of BroncoFit, we decided to add a physical activity component to each class and it’s been a huge hit,” said Tina Freeman, an academic advisor with the kinesiology department. The activities included yoga, drumming, dance and mini boot camp sessions. “This is a personal health class but we want to look at health and wellness from a different perspective and show how easy it is to make small changes in your daily routine to improve mental, emotional and physical well-being.”

The KIN-ACT class also incorporated MyZone heart monitors into its homework load, asking students to wear the monitors and meet the CDC requirements for weekly exercise (which is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week for adults) as part of their pass/fail grade.

“The philosophy now is moving from prescribed health to shared partnership in your health,” Ihmels said. “You need to make health decisions and have a role in that. This is a different way of thinking for 18-22 year olds, who are used to mom taking them to the doctor, and that’s why this class is so important.”

Freeman added, “The main feedback we’ve gotten from students is, ‘wow, I wish I would’ve learned this in high school.’”

Social Work Faculty Presents at National Conference on Correctional Health Care

BonnieKenaleyBonnie Kenaley, associate professor in the School of Social Work, presented at the National Commission on Correctional Health Care’s Conference (NCCHC) in Dallas, Texas on Oct. 17-21.

Kenaley, along with Patrick Wolberd, licensed and certified social worker in Idaho, and Richard Craig, chief psychologist of the Idaho Department of Correction, presented on the effectiveness of the newly developed self-management and regulation training, a program for violent offenders.

The mission of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care is to improve the quality of health care in jails, prisons and juvenile confinement facilities.

NCCHC’s lineup of educational sessions and networking opportunities attracts thousands of correctional health professionals. With sessions geared toward basic, intermediate and advanced levels of experience and knowledge, the conference provided opportunities for attendees to learn, mentor, connect and grow.
The conference offered more than 100 educational sessions and 100 exhibitors to close to 2,000 colleagues in five days. The conference offered comprehensive coverage of all aspects of correctional health care: chronic care, mental health, suicide prevention, oral health, crisis intervention, liability challenges, risk management and more.

Athletic Trainers Featured in Column by Nancy Napier in Idaho Statesman

The Idaho Statesman featured an article on Nov. 19 giving a behind-the-scenes look at Boise State football athletic trainers. The article describes athletic trainers’ routines, responsibilities, and impact on the team.
Read the full article here.

Jaime Sand Publishes in Reference Services Review Journal

Jaime Sand

Jaime Sand, associate professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health, published an article in June along with Mary Aagard and Marilia Antunez, Albertsons Library faculty.
The article is titled “Learning from Degree-Seeking Older Adult Students in a University Library” (Vol. 43 Iss: 2, Reference Services Review), and examines the use of library resources and services by degree-seeking older adult students, aged 50 years and over, to inform libraries in serving this often overlooked population.
Sand has worked at Boise State University in the College of Health Sciences since 2004. She has taught a variety of different courses, both in the Health Informatics and Information Management and Health Science Studies programs at the undergraduate level, including subjects such as health information, medical coding and reimbursement, health data, medical terminology, and the interprofessional capstone course.

Bonnie Kenaley Publishes in Oxford Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging

BonnieKenaleyBonnie Kenaley, associate professor in the School of Social Work, along with Zvi Gellis of the University of Pennsylvania, published a chapter in the’ ‘Oxford Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging’.

Kenaley and Gellis’ chapter, titled “Mental Health Disorders in Later Life,” reviews the epidemiology, comorbidity, and evidence-based treatments of depression and anxiety in later life and provides a discussion on how these disorders are associated with impaired physical and cognitive functioning, disability, mortality, and high-service use and costs.

The handbook was released on Nov. 1.

School of Nursing Faculty Presents at Montana Tech Public Lecture Series

Willhaus_Janet-e1381424562250Janet Willhaus, assistant professor for the School of Nursing, presented  a lecture at the Montana Tech Public Lecture Series in Butte, Montana on Oct. 22.

The Montana Tech series focused on veteran healthcare, which made Willhaus, a veteran, the perfect speaker for this series. Willhaus’ lecture, titled “Joining Forces: Learning about Veterans Using Healthcare Simulation Techniques,” discussed how simulation can help nursing students better understand the care needs of veterans and their families. Willhaus used a case she wrote for the National League for Nursing’s Advancing Care Excellence for Veterans.

The case Willhaus discussed is that of Randy Adams, an Iraq war veteran who suffered a car accident. In the case, the nursing students caring for his concussion from the wreck find that there may be other issues that Adams experienced during his deployment that could impact his recovery. Adam’s wife, Joy, reports that he’s had difficulty adjusting in the years since he has gotten out of the Army. He has headaches, is forgetful, and the transition has been difficult for them all.

Willhaus’ character, Randy, and others like him are used in unfolding cases during simulations. The cases better prepare nursing students to effectively treat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and a host of related physical, mental health and social ills associated with combat.

Willhaus noted that 60 to 65 people attended the lecture and that she was also able to stay an extra day to conduct a workshop about simulation to the Montana Tech nursing faculty as they are transitioning from a two-year to a four-year nursing program.

Vivian Schrader Gives Keynote for Nurse Practitioners of Idaho Falls Conference

Vivian Schrader

Vivian Schrader, associate director of the RN-BS completion track, AGNP, and DNP programs in the School of Nursing, was the keynote speaker for the 2015 Nurse Practitioners of Idaho Falls Conference on Oct. 8. The conference theme was “Honoring the Past and Embracing the Future” as nurse practitioners are celebrating 50 years since the development of the nurse practitioner role.

Schrader’s presentation was titled “Population Focus: National Trends in Nurse Practitioner Education.” She presented the benefits of nurse practitioners adopting the population focused approach, using evidence-based treatments for a population, as well as future trends for nurse practitioners’ education and employment.

Nichole Lasich to Teach University Studies Abroad Consortium Classes in San Ramón, Costa Rica

Nichole Lasich, Health Sciences, Studio Portrait, TagNichole Lasich, clinical instructor in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health, will be teaching two University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) courses in San Ramón, Costa Rica in Fall 2016. USAC is a non-profit consortium of US universities joined together to provide high quality, affordable study abroad opportunities. Boise State is part of the consortium, and students are encouraged to apply.

Global Environmental Health is the first class Lasich will offer during her time in San Ramón. The class is a 200-level, three credit course to strengthen student knowledge about global environmental health in an interactive learning atmosphere. Population dynamics, food production, pollution, and water quality are among many of the topics to be explored.

The second class Lasich will be offering is Women’s Health. This class is a 400-level, three credit course to explore the intersection of race, gender, culture, and socioeconomic status in order for students to have a more holistic perspective of women’s health.

Students enrolled in the program will have the opportunity to attend Universidad San José to study other upper division science courses in an ideal location for ecology, biology, and health sciences, in small groups with field experience. Students will also be able to participate in independent research, internships, or volunteer in field-related institutions while enjoying a small town atmosphere with easy access to the best of Costa Rica. Eligibility to participate includes a current minimum grade point average of 2.5 and applications can be submitted until June 15, 2016.

Students interested are encouraged to contact Lasich at or (208)426-3912.