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Sept. 28 Seminar: ‘RBC Alloimmunization in (Mostly) Lung Transplant’

Gustaaf de RidderGustaaf de Ridder, MD, PhD, a transfusion medicine faculty candidate for the Department of Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, will lead a seminar Friday, Sept. 28, titled “RBC Alloimmunization in (Mostly) Lung Transplant.”

The seminar will start at 11 a.m. in the pathology classroom (NBW74) at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

De Ridder is a Belgian-American dual citizen who attended high school in Greenville, S.C., followed by undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina Honors College in Columbia, S.C. After two years at the National Institutes of Health, he entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at Duke University. Gustaaf finished medical school and earned a PhD in the pathology department under Salvatore Pizzo, MD, PhD. Gustaaf has authorship on 15 published or accepted peer-reviewed articles and has presented his work at the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology; Experimental Biology; the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis; the American Society for Investigative Pathology; and American Society of Human Genetics meetings.

Lisa RodgersClinical Care, EducationSeptember 21, 20180 comments
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Diversity tree graphic

Oct. 8 Workshop: ‘Health Information Resources for Culturally Diverse Patients’

If you provide care for patients/clients with limited English proficiency, learn about quality multilingual and multicultural health information resources available to you from the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) at a free workshop on Oct. 8 titled “Health Information Resources for Culturally Diverse Patients.”

Learn where to locate patient education resources, including medication information, available in other languages as well as those written in easy to read English. The discussion will include the potential impact utilizing health literacy resources can have on patient adherence, safety, and satisfaction.

Here are the details:

  • Date: Monday, Oct. 8, 2018
  • Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Where: HS/HSL, Room LL03
  • Registration: Go to this HS/HSL webpage.
Everly BrownClinical Care, Community Service, Education, People, ResearchSeptember 21, 20180 comments
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People sitting around a question mark

Launch Your Life Speaker Series: ‘Do You Know Someone?’

Human Resource Services’ Launch Your Life is sponsoring a five-week speaker series in October titled “Do You Know Someone?” as part of an effort to reflect the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s commitment to health and well-being in a community of care and support. If you know someone struggling with mental health and its stigma, let’s talk.

Here’s a rundown of the five sessions:

In Our Own Voice — Depression

Oct. 4, Noon-1 p.m.
SMC Campus Center, Room 349

The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) In Our Own Voice presentations change attitudes, assumptions, and stereotypes by describing the reality of living with mental illness. People with mental health conditions share their powerful personal stories in this presentation and engage with audience members to give them a better understanding of mental health.

Register here.

Take Care

Oct. 10, Noon-1 p.m.
Lexington Building, Room 2-111

Did you know perinatal depression affects 15 percent to 20 percent in all populations of pregnant and postpartum women? Other statistics show as many as 1 in 7 women are affected, and it is recommended to get screened at least once during the perinatal period. To learn more and help support women in your lives, join us in this riveting presentation.

Register here.

In Our Own Voice — Bipolar

Oct. 18, Noon-1 p.m.
Lexington Building, Room 3-111

NAMI’s In Our Own Voice adds a critical perspective to the popular understanding of what people with mental illness are like. You will gain understanding that every person with a mental illness can hope for a bright future, and you will discover how it is possible to live a healthy life with a mental illness.

Register here.

Strong Women

Oct. 24, Noon-1 p.m.
SMC Campus Center, Room 351

Get tips and learn how to prevent depression and anxiety in pregnancy, focusing on women in the workplace. Join us in support of mental health, learn about resources, and start talking toward a change. Presented by Women’s Mental Health Program.

Register here.

Let’s Talk

Oct. 30, Noon-1 p.m.
Lexington Building, Room 3-111

Anyone can struggle with a mental health problem. As a family member or friend, do you sometimes feel helpless to do anything to be supportive? Join the EAP for an open, supportive discussion on how to support a family member or friend struggling with mental health issues. All UMB employees are welcome to attend.

Register here.


Jina BacchusCollaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeSeptember 21, 20180 comments
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Group on walking tour

Tours on Tuesdays with PTS and Public Safety

Attention, UMB parkers!

Get better acquainted with the UMB campus by attending one of our University Tuesday Tours, led by the parking and public safety teams from Lexington Street Garage and Market Center Garage.

Tours are open to all faculty, staff, and students, and they will include tips for navigating the campus from a parking and public safety perspective.

Open to one and all, the tours will be offered each Tuesday in October and will include tips for navigating the campus from a parking and public safety perspective. Tours will last approximately an hour and end with a stop at Lexington Market.

Registration is required: Go to this Parking and Transportation webpage.

Here are the dates and times:

  • Oct. 2 – 12:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 9 – 11 a.m.
  • Oct. 16 – 12:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 23 – 11 a.m.
  • Oct. 30 – 12:30 p.m.

Suggestion: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a water bottle.

Janet ThomasEducation, People, University LifeSeptember 21, 20180 comments
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Amy Bao, student pharmacist

Summer Reflections: Practicing Pharmacy Across the Pacific

Editor’s Note: This post is the fourth in a series of Summer Reflections authored by student pharmacists at the School of Pharmacy who participated in study abroad experiences during their summer breaks.

As a first-year student pharmacist, I was initially overwhelmed by the number of student organizations and opportunities to get involved at the School of Pharmacy. During the first month of school, I attended all of the general body meetings (GBMs) and student panels I could to figure out which organizations might interest me the most. It was at the second GBM for the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) that I first discovered the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), and its Student Exchange Program (SEP). After listening to the student panel share stories about their time in countries like England and Taiwan, I decided that I definitely wanted to take advantage of this opportunity during the free time I would have the summer after my first year.

An Opportunity to Broaden My Horizons

On my application, I indicated Japan as my top choice of countries in which I’d like to study abroad. I had just vacationed in Japan for two weeks before starting my first year of pharmacy school, and I enjoyed my time there so much that I wanted to go back. I was already familiar with some elements of Japanese culture, but I had never been exposed to Japan’s health care system. Despite having just spent the previous summer in Japan, I had never visited a hospital or pharmacy — I didn’t even know what the Japanese word for pharmacy was when I applied for this experience! In addition to gaining a better understanding of Japanese culture through learning about the country’s approach to health care, I wanted to learn some new aspects of pharmacy practice that I might be able to take back to the United States. I also hoped to improve my Japanese language skills, since studying languages is one of my passions.

So Much to Learn, So Little Time

I was fortunate to have my application accepted by the Association of Pharmaceutical Students in Japan (APS-Japan). The program’s student exchange officer (SEO) reached out to me to provide more details about the program. My study abroad experience included two major parts: a four-day internship at a community pharmacy in Kouchi prefecture, which I would complete alone, and a two-week exchange program in Nagoya, where I would be placed with four other exchange students.

I spent the four days of my community pharmacy internship at three different locations of Blue Cross Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy chain. Although I was not able to work as a traditional intern due to language barriers (the prescriptions were written exclusively in Japanese, and some of the commonly prescribed medications are different from those we use in America), this internship was still one of the most insightful parts of my study abroad experience. I was able to spend the majority of each day talking to the pharmacists at each of the pharmacies. We talked for hours about the similarities and differences between some of the more complex aspects of pharmacy, such as insurance systems and pharmacy education, in our respective countries. I also had the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning with compounding ointments, operating the medication packaging machines, and providing patient counseling in Japanese.

The second part of my exchange program offered additional exposure to various sectors of pharmacy practice through visits to a community pharmacy; hospital; Pfizer’s manufacturing plant; the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a government agency that provides assistance to developing countries; and a skin care workshop with Shiseido. All of the exchange students — or SEPers, as we liked to refer to ourselves — were also required to prepare brief presentations about pharmacy practice in our home countries, which we presented to each other and the SEP staff. In addition to me representing America, the other four students had traveled from the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, and Taiwan, so we were all able to learn a lot about how pharmacy is practiced in completely different cultures. The rest of our time was spent sightseeing around the city. We ate local specialties, sang at karaoke bars, did a lot of shopping, visited museums, and explored local shrines and temples. In those two weeks, I grew very close to the other SEPers, as well as the local SEP staff, who also were pharmacy students. Parting ways was bittersweet, but I still keep in touch with everyone online, and we will hopefully stay lifelong friends.

The Difference Is in the Details

Looking back on this experience, I am extremely thankful to all of the staff for guiding me through the internship and exchange program, allowing me such a unique opportunity to experience what pharmacy is like in another country. The differences between Japan and America are almost impossible to count, but some notable contrasts that I learned about involved the insurance systems, pharmacy education, types of medications dispensed, and patient counseling. One of the biggest takeaways from my stay in Japan was learning about the principle of omotenashi, which is a concept of hospitality that is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. The term loosely translates to “looking after guests wholeheartedly” — going the extra mile to look after needs that guests might not even realize they have. Omotenashi is exhibited through various services that the pharmacy provides, such as dividing a patient’s medications into different packages according to the time of day they need to take them, providing services such as free tea and foot massage machines in the pharmacy’s waiting area, and spending more than 10 minutes to counsel every patient. To the Japanese pharmacists, these acts of consideration were an obvious part of patient care, and they were surprised to learn that pharmacies in America do not normally provide these same services. I think the concept of omotenashi is a very admirable part of Japanese culture and could be very beneficial to incorporate into the patient care that we provide in American pharmacies.

Learning about how your profession is practiced in another country not only teaches you about the ways that you can improve those practices in your own country, but it also makes you more aware and appreciative of how the profession operates in your home country. In addition to learning so much new information during the internship, I was able to connect with the pharmacists and students I worked alongside, making new mentors and friends. Participating in study abroad programs like SEP is one of the most valuable experiences a pharmacy student can have, and I would highly recommend it to any student who is able to take advantage of such an opportunity.

— Amy Bao, second-year student pharmacist

Amy BaoEducation, People, USGASeptember 20, 20180 comments
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Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World

Oct. 5 Luncheon and Lecture: ‘Spanish Flu 1918’

Philip A. Mackowiak, MD ’70, MBA, emeritus professor of medicine and the Carolyn Frenkil and Selvin Passen History of Medicine Scholar-in-Residence at the School of Medicine, will present, “The ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1918, What’s Past is Prologue” at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library on Friday, Oct. 5, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will take place in the Gladhill Board Room on the fifth floor of the library. A light lunch will be served. This event is in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution’s “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World” exhibit and the HS/HSL’s supplementary exhibit remembering the 1918 flu pandemic in Baltimore. Please RSVP to

Everly BrownClinical Care, Community Service, Education, People, ResearchSeptember 19, 20180 comments
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Flow Cytometry Graphic

UMGCCC Flow Cytometry Shared Services Lecture Set for Oct. 8

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) Flow Cytometry Shared Services monthly flow lecture will be held Monday, Oct. 8, 10:30 a.m. to noon, at the Bressler Research Building, Room 7-035.

The lecture will be led by Xiaoxuan Fan, PhD, the School of Medicine, and you will learn:

  • How flow cytometry works
  • Multi-color design and compensation
  • Instruments and services
  • New technology and tools
  • Online booking system

The lecture is free, but you need to reserve your spot at this link.

All are welcome, and this lecture is required for those who want to be “trained users” at the UMGCCC FCSS facility.

Karen UnderwoodBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, Research, TechnologySeptember 19, 20180 comments
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Integrative medicine collage

Learn About Integrative Medicine

According to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, one third of U.S. adults use complementary and integrative therapies. In some populations, such as those with cancer and/or chronic pain, that number is more than double. Integrative approaches are effective in the management of pain, mood disorders, sleep dysfunction, inflammatory conditions and more. Are you prepared to help your patients choose integrative treatments that are safe and effective? Would you like more tools to treat patients who suffer with frustrating chronic conditions?

The Center for Integrative Medicine, part of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has developed an evidence-based integrative medicine training program designed to give health care professionals practical patient care skills that will be immediately applicable to their practice. Through a mixture of lectures, case discussions, hands-on experiences, and access to exclusive online resources, participants will learn which modalities are evidence-supported, when to use them, and how to fit effective integrative approaches into a standard office visit and self-care plan.


  • Apply integrative medicine approaches in patient care
  • Describe the evidence, indications, and contraindications for complementary therapeutic approaches such as acupuncture, mind-body therapies, manual medicine, neurofeedback and more
  • Utilize mind-body techniques, such as meditation, guided imagery, relaxation breathing, and meditative movements
  • Offer positive psychology and cognitive behavioral techniques to help oneself and patients manage stress, depression and anxiety and improve quality of life
  • Help patients create and sustain a healthy lifestyle, including nutritional medicine, dietary supplements, and integrative physical activity
  • Critically evaluate integrative medicine literature

Note: Up to 59 CEUs are available.

To learn more, go to this link or send an email to

Rebekah OwensClinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, ResearchSeptember 19, 20180 comments
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Global Medical Brigades Group Photo

Global Medical Bridages Applications Now Open

The application for Global Medical Brigades is open. Click here to apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and applicants will hear within a week if they have been selected. The deadline is Monday, Oct. 8.

Global Medical Brigades is the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization. Since 2004, Global Medical Brigades has mobilized tens of thousands of students and professionals through skill-based programs that work in partnership with community members to improve quality of life in under-resourced regions while respecting local culture.

Our chapter at the University of Maryland, Baltimore is one of hundreds of chapters around the globe. Each chapter brings students on one-week trips to areas in Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, or Ghana that have little access to health care. While there, students work together to set up makeshift clinics and can see anywhere from 500 to 1,000 patients per brigade.

This year, the UMB chapter will be going to Honduras from Jan 6-12.

Lewis LiuCollaboration, Education, People, University Life, USGASeptember 18, 20180 comments
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Teacher of the Year: Geoffrey Greif

Founders Week: Teacher of the Year-Geoffrey Greif

Every fall, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) dedicates one week to commemorating our rich history and celebrating the future we’re building together. Among the highlights of Founders Week is recognizing the extraordinary work of our faculty and staff. Four awards are given every year, each signifying outstanding accomplishment in one facet of our mission. Leading up to Founders Week, we will highlight the award winners every Tuesday on The Elm. For more information on UMB’s annual celebration, please check out the Founders Week website.

Today: Teacher of the Year

Geoffrey L. Greif, PhD, MSW
Professor, School of Social Work

Geoffrey Greif likens the ingredients of a skilled instructor to that of a good soup.

“The classroom is like a pot of soup,” he says. “To make it tastier, you have to add a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper, and turn the heat up a bit or lower it a tad to achieve the right meal. All classes are different and some students are hungrier and can consume more. Hopefully, by the end of the first class, they will catch the aroma and want to be nourished.”

Greif has been nourishing students at the School of Social Work (SSW) since 1984. Called by some the most popular and sought-after professor at the school, regularly graded 15 on a 15-point student evaluation scale, Greif says he is surprised to still be here.

“I expected to stay about a month, which is when I believed they would find out I didn’t know anything and would fire me,” he says in the humble manner that has attracted him to so many. Despite his longevity and many awards for his teaching, research, and community service, Greif still does the little extras.


“The context in which we practice social work changes,” Greif says. “I have to stay on my toes or the ‘context-train’ will pass me by and neither the students nor I will learn.”

Colleagues and students scoff at that possibility.

“Our graduate students are not the only beneficiaries of his teaching skills,” says professor Frederick A. DiBlasio, PhD, LCSW-C, a 32-year SSW veteran himself. “Many of us standing alongside Dr. Greif have gleaned from his numerous approaches to teaching that have served us well in the classroom and have withstood the test of time.”

Like calling the students by name, which Greif tries to do from day one. “Geoff knows and cares about his students,” says SSW Dean Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW. “And they know and care about him.”

Adds Megan Meyer, PhD, MSW, senior associate dean,Dr. Greif has been a mentor to many younger faculty, always willing to share his sage advice on topics ranging from navigating difficult conversations in the classroom to maintaining a steady rate of publishing while dedicating time to school leadership and community service.”

In fact, his work on difficult conversations grew into an in-service training video that is part of orientation for new SSW faculty.

Students mention how his risk-taking in the classroom — using demonstrations, role plays, observations, student projects, and more — promote active learning and enhance their interest.

“Ten years later, his teaching continues to impact my own engagement as an educator,” says Shari E. Miller, PhD ’08, associate dean at the University of Georgia School of Social Work. She remembers Greif approaching her in her first year as a PhD student and saying, “I hear you have an interest in social work education research. I’ve got this idea for a study, would you be interested in collaborating?”

Now Miller looks to pass on Greif’s insight to others. “I hope to mentor my students and give to them in the profound ways Geoff has given to me and to countless other students over the years.”

Through his voluminous writing (14 books and more than 125 journal articles and book chapters), Greif has provided guidance to many who never sat in his class. Parenting is a favorite topic, and not just because he and his wife of 42 years, Maureen, have two daughters of their own.

“It is hard to travel far in clinical social work and not run into family systems,” he says. “I was fortunate to do a yearlong training in the 1970s with one of the greatest 20th-century family therapists, Salvador Minuchin. That training solidified my clinical work and my research around the importance of understanding our interconnectedness.”

Books he’s written in recent years also revolve around relationships: understanding male friendships, couples friendships, and adult sibling relationships.

He’s not tied to the UMB campus either. He is coordinator of the Dual Degree Program in Jewish Leadership with Towson University and has collaborated with Freeman Hrabowski, PhD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in writing about his Meyerhoff Scholars Program.

“Freeman is a fabulous role model in so many ways,” Greif says. “He has the uncanny ability to draw in people for a common cause — creating a world-class learning environment.”

Then there is the community service of Greif, who has offered pro bono clinical assistance to many groups, including patients with AIDS, low-income parents, and groups such as The Family Tree, Christopher’s Place, Jewish Family Services, the Chesapeake Detention Center in Baltimore, and more. He also was a founding co-leader of a parent support group “Help! My Kids Are Driving Me Crazy!” at various elementary schools in Baltimore.

What was his advice?

“There are so few ‘correct’ answers about how to parent given the amazing variability in people’s experiences,” he says. “You have to find a way, by connecting with and supporting your clients, to help them arrive at their own conclusions about how to make their relationships better.”

Greif’s caring nature has crossed from professional to personal on more than one occasion at the School of Social Work.

Sarah Wise, MSW ’18, associate director of development, recalls how she was taking Greif’s Family Therapy course when her father died. “When I returned from Colorado, Geoff immediately reached out to me. He was not worried about where my midterm paper was, he wanted to know what I needed. He asked me to tell him about my dad. Ironically they had common interests, in particular enjoying live music. Geoff has a gift for connecting with people.”

Tanya L. Sharpe, PhD, MSW, associate professor at SSW, calls Greif “my guy” who has been a faculty mentor for 11 years — never more so than shortly after Sharpe’s arrival when her mother in Connecticut became seriously ill.

“As an only child and a junior faculty member, my time was emotionally and physically split between caring for my mom and meeting the demands of being on the tenure track. At every turn, Geoff was there, checking in. This is the kind of person Geoff is. When my mother passed, his phone call was one of the first I received. He has been for me and so many the voice of reason and calm within the storm. I am forever grateful for that.”

A “ridiculous optimist” who “got lucky in getting into the right profession,” Greif humbly sees such support as part of the job. Teacher. Mentor. Writer. Community and diversity advocate. Committee member. Grandpop (“FaceTiming with the four grandkids” is his favorite hobby). And don’t forget his terms as associate dean and chair of the SSW faculty.

Despite receiving many honors, including the UM Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010, Greif was “thrilled” to learn he was UMB’s 2018 Teacher of the Year. “It is a tremendous honor to receive an award for something I love doing so much.”

 — Chris Zang

Chris ZangEducation, People, Research, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeSeptember 18, 20180 comments
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UMB Champion of Excellence: Julie Factor

UMB Champion of Excellence: Julie Factor

The Champions of Excellence campaign is a multi-year branding campaign at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) in which we highlight individuals and teams that exemplify extraordinary accomplishment and represent excellence at the University. During the next few months, The Elm will be featuring these UMB Champions, who are making Baltimore, our region, and in some cases the world a better place. (Read about all of the 2017-18 UMB Champions of Excellence.)

Today’s Champion:
Julie Factor
New Solutions to Fight Opioid Addiction

Every day, news networks are filled with stories about the opioid epidemic plaguing our nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the death toll from drug overdose in the U.S. was five times higher in 2016 than in 1999, totaling more than 42,000 deaths — a startling statistic.

In the search for solutions, a new generation is stepping up to tackle this issue. Among them is Julie Factor, a student at the University of Maryland School of Nursing who is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a focus on substance abuse.

She chose the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), she says, “because I knew that the nursing program was highly regarded, and there were a variety of resources at the school that could help me maximize my success.”

And success is certainly what she’s found at UMB. In her first year at the School of Nursing she’s already received major recognition, having been selected for the Conway Scholarship, accepted into the President’s Student Leadership Institute, receiving summer research grants, and getting involved in a variety organizations on and off campus.

In her undergraduate studies as a neuroscience major at Mount Holyoke College, Factor’s favorite courses were related to pharmacology and psychology. She was interested in how dynamic changes in the brain can influence a person’s motivation to continue to use drugs despite adverse consequences — and substance abuse became a natural research path.

But Factor understood that addiction couldn’t just be boiled down to a person’s mental health. She sought to know more about the many factors of addiction and overdose so she could better understand how to treat it.

“[Drug use] is multidimensional,” she says. “There is a biological and genetic aspect, but so much of what drives drug seeking is a person’s environment, support system, and access to different resources in their community including treatment, health care, education, and more.”

As she dives into her research, Factor will spend 10 weeks this summer working on an epidemiologic study with the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) through the UM Scholars Program, part of the strategic partnership between UMB and UMCP. The study will look at trends in drug-related hospital admissions to better understand patterns of synthetic cannabinoid, opioid, and other drug use. Revealing areas where there may be contaminated batches of drugs or increasing rates of use can inform intervention strategies.

The day after she completes this internship, Factor and two other students will travel to Rwanda for three weeks through UMB’s Center for Global Education Initiatives grant program. Working at a health clinic in the capital city of Kigali, the team will administer a survey to assess the prevalence of injection drug use and associated practices that increase a person’s chance of contracting HIV, including sharing syringes and having unprotected sex.

The team’s main goal is to make the first assessment of injection drug use and associated HIV risk behaviors in Kigali, which will inform the national HIV program in Rwanda and set the stage for incorporating injection drug use questions into the next national HIV/AIDS Behavioral Surveillance Survey. The data is important to the team, but the free HIV testing offered as a part of the survey will benefit all participants.

Outside of this research, Factor is an active member of Nurses for Justice Baltimore, a group promoting a vision of health and justice for all Baltimore residents. Members use their trusted status as nurses to advocate for progress in public health measures in the community.

Currently, they are focusing on harm reduction for substance users by advocating for safe consumption spaces, needle exchange programs, and overdose prevention training. Through panel discussions and informational events, nurses and members of the public learn how to be advocates for change.

Through her involvement in Nurses for Justice Baltimore, Factor has realized advocacy is one of her main passions.

“[Substance abuse] is so stigmatized. An important goal going forward is to challenge the bias associated with substance abuse, especially within health care professionals,” she says.

Factor believes changing the attitude of health care providers can significantly improve patient outcomes and help substance abuse be treated as a public health and social justice issue.

She emphasizes that patients with substance use disorders may be hesitant to seek help from medical professionals for fear of judgment and reprimand.

“You can’t scare an addiction out of somebody. And you can’t tell them that all it takes is willpower to recover,” she says. “It is more effective and therapeutic to have a productive conversation with the patient, ask about treatments they’ve tried in the past, what has worked for them, and present options on how the team will collaborate to move the patient forward.”

Encouraging treatment in a space where health counselors are nurturing and empathetic toward patients brings a human aspect to intervention and can lead to a better chance for recovery.

“People think [substance abuse] is a fault or character flaw of the individual person, but advocacy is about challenging that idea and encouraging medical professionals to provide high-quality care while treating the patient with dignity and respect,” she says.

The potential for change is endless, and when Factor completes her degree in May 2019 she is poised to be a real stigma changer in her community.

“I chose nursing because I can practice, I can travel, I can educate, and I can get into policy,” she says. “There are so many avenues to have an impact as a nurse, and we have a unique opportunity to change people’s perspectives and challenge their biases.”

Communication and Public AffairsCollaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeSeptember 17, 20180 comments
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President's Fellow

President’s Symposium Takes on Gun Violence

In the aftermath of a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018, that killed 17 people, University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, MD wrote a letter to the UMB Community expressing anger and sadness at yet another senseless school shooting. He wrote, “As a father, grandfather, and pediatrician, I am horrified by the ongoing slaughter of children — in schools nationwide and on the streets of Baltimore.”

In addition to inviting readers to use the “power of the purse” to influence state-level gun policy, Perman noted he was eager to hear ideas about how UMB might focus scholarship, research, and teaching on the fight against gun violence.

As a result of that rallying cry to action, the 2018-2019 President’s Symposium and White Paper Project will tackle the pervasive and controversial issue of gun violence. This interprofessional initiative engages students, faculty, and staff from all of UMB’s schools and academic programs in a year-long conversation on a topic of importance to the University community. This year, the Speakers Series and the White Paper will explore UMB’s role in addressing gun violence through education, research, clinical care, and service while using an interdisciplinary lens to examine the impact of trauma on communities.

At a kickoff event Sept. 6 at the SMC Campus Center, President Perman frankly admitted “we have little control over the gun violence that occurs routinely in our city, in our nation.” However, as he introduced this year’s group of President’s Fellows, he added, “If we absolve ourselves from studying it, then who can we expect to take up the issue?

“I know we have to find and an answer and I know we have to start somewhere,” Perman emphatically stated.

Keynote speaker Cassandra Crifasi, PhD, MPH, assistant professor and deputy director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, agrees that scholarship is one way to push back against gun violence. In her work as an injury epidemiologist and gun policy researcher, she says she “strives to develop the strongest evidence base possible to promote policies that will reduce gun violence.” The goal is to improve public safety and “make everyone safer, regardless of where they live.”

Her talk, titled “Understanding Violence: Epidemiology and Evidence-based Policy,” outlined standards for legal gun ownership; regulation of gun purchasing and carrying; and public opinion on gun policy. As a public health researcher, Crifasi called gun violence a complex public health problem but explained, “It’s more than a public health problem. It’s law, it’s nursing, it’s social work. It’s all of these things together.”

This year’s fellows are an interdisciplinary team that will study the root causes of gun violence and use a team approach to examine its traumatic impact on communities. They will use this same team approach to develop recommendations and present a proposed Universitywide implementation strategy in spring 2019.

The 2018-2019 President’s Fellows are: Nicole Campion Dialo, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Zachary Lee, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law; Vibha Rao, University of  Maryland Graduate School; Basant Motawi, Graduate School; Jenny Afkinich, Graduate School; Lauren Highsmith, University of Maryland School of Social Work; and Jessica Egan, University of Maryland School of Nursing.

Campion Dialo is a third-year medical student interested in psychiatry and family medicine. She thinks these two medical specialties are uniquely suited to addressing communities affected by the trauma of gun violence, and she wants to deepen her knowledge about possible solutions. “I want to learn more about what has worked in other places to get at the problem and what we can do better right here in Baltimore,” she said.

Lee, the law student, also wants to help alleviate the issue of gun violence in Baltimore, “Given our geography, I think it’s important we focus on Baltimore and also more broadly in Maryland,” he noted.

But like his colleague Campion Dialo, Lee is looking at the issue through a wide lens. “This is an issue of national importance, so I’m looking at it from many angles and examining how it sits on our national conscience,” he said.

This is the eighth year of the President’s Symposium and White Paper Project, which is a joint initiative with the Office Interprofessional Student Learning and Service Initiatives. The most recent topic of study was global literacy. The topics before that were  entrepreneurial exploration, cultural competence, community engagement, interprofessional education, civility, and urban renewal.

— Laura Lee



Laura LeeEducation, For B'more, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGASeptember 14, 20180 comments
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To sign or not to sign ... UMBEIN.ORG

Sept. 27 Workshop: ‘Dealing with Non-Disclosure Agreements’

You’ve been asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) — how should you respond?

In a Sept. 27 workshop titled “Dealing with Non-Disclosure Agreements” from the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Network student group, the use of NDAs to protect confidential information that may be exchanged during discussions or negotiations between companies will be discussed.

The workshop will review standard terms in an NDA and highlight problematic provisions that you might want to avoid. It also will touch on confidentiality provisions in employment and independent contractor agreements and other types of contracts.

Here are the details:


Edwin OakBulletin Board, Collaboration, Education, For B'more, People, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGASeptember 13, 20180 comments
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Francis S. Balassone Memorial Lecture To Be Held Oct. 3

Meghan SwarthoutThe University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is pleased to welcome Meghan Swarthout, PharmD, division director of ambulatory and care transitions pharmacy services at the Johns Hopkins Health System and director of clinical pharmacy services at Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, as this year’s presenter at the Francis S. Balassone Memorial Lecture.

The lecture will be held Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 1 p.m. in Pharmacy Hall, Room N103, and shown via teleconference at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Building III, Room 2202.

Swarthout will present “The Pharmacist’s Role in Population Health Management: How Do We Go Beyond the Buzzword?” The lecture is open to anyone who wishes to attend.

For more information and to add this event to your calendar, go to this link.

Erin MerinoClinical Care, EducationSeptember 12, 20180 comments
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Outbreak: Opening Reception, Sept. 13, 10:30 a.m.

Opening Reception for ‘Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World’

Please join the Health Sciences and Human Services Library for the grand opening reception for the exhibit “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World” on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 10:30 a.m. in the Weise Gallery on the first floor of the library. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served.

This event is in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s “Outbreak” exhibit, and the HS/HSL has created a supplementary exhibit remembering the 1918 Flu Pandemic.

Please RSVP here.

Everly BrownCommunity Service, Education, People, ResearchSeptember 11, 20180 comments
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