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UMSON at USG, Partners Address Projected Nursing Shortage in Montgomery County

As the nation’s Baby Boomers continue to age, there is a critical need for nurses. Maryland is one of four states in the country predicted to experience a shortage of 10,000 registered nurses or more by 2025.

In response, the University of Maryland School of Nursing at the Universities at Shady Grove is working with WorkSource Montgomery (WSM) and the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) to combat the projected nursing shortage in Montgomery County, Md., home to USG’s Rockville location.

WSM, a public-private partnership that convenes key stakeholders to create an innovative workforce system approach for sustainable, industry-driven talent solutions in Montgomery County, was awarded a two-year, $200,000 extension of the Rx for Employability grant from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to fund the Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) grant. The grant aims to accelerate the pipeline of Montgomery County residents earning Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees while addressing the critical nursing shortage in the county.

“BSN nurses are now preferred by the majority of hospitals and health care agencies, and most of our graduates seek employment within the region. These monies are an excellent investment in the area’s workforce,” said Rebecca Wiseman, PhD ’93, RN, associate professor and chair of UMSON at USG. “We are very appreciative of the efforts of WorkSource Montgomery and the Healthcare Initiative Foundation in providing scholarship funding for our students. These funds can make the difference as to whether a student can attend our program on a full-time versus part-time basis.”

HIF supports organizations that offer solutions to improve the quality and delivery of health care for Montgomery County residents while providing a high-quality, comprehensive, cost-effective, and sustainable health care system. In 2011, HIF and UMSON began working together, forming an RN-to-BSN workforce pipeline scholarship program. Now, WSM has joined the team, providing funds through the EARN scholarship to supplement tuition support for more than 60 UMSON BSN students at USG.

“We are excited about the opportunity to further expand our BSN pipeline with USG in collaboration with WorkSource Montgomery though the Maryland EARN grant,” said Crystal Townsend, president of HIF. “One of HIF’s investment priorities is to develop a highly skilled health care workforce to meet the health and wellness needs for all Montgomery County residents. The nursing workforce pipeline supported through this collaborative partnership helps us meet this vision for our community.”

Since 2013, UMSON has increased enrollment by 27 percent in its traditional BSN and its RN-to-BSN programs at its Baltimore and USG locations in response to the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which calls for increasing the proportion of nurses with a bachelor’s degree to 80 percent by 2020. Currently, about 55 percent of nurses nationwide are educated at the baccalaureate level or higher. Funding from the EARN Scholarship is one of many ways UMSON nursing students are being supported in their efforts to complete their baccalaureate education.

“As we work to expand the number of nursing graduates at all levels, we need to increase the number of nurses educated at the baccalaureate level or higher,” said UMSON Dean Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Supporting new students or practicing nurses in obtaining their BSN degrees is critical to ensuring that we will have a nursing workforce that can meet the needs of our patients, their families, and our communities in the years ahead. This scholarship support is an important component of addressing that need, and we are deeply appreciative.”

Employment opportunities for nurses are projected to rise 15 percent nationwide over the next decade.

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Education, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGAMarch 19, 20180 comments
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Bear Family v. Gold E. Locks Case Offers Schoolkids Lessons on Law

On March 13, members of the Francis King Carey School of Law’s trial team hosted 32 students from UMB partner school George Washington Elementary’s after-school program for a career exposure activity.

The activity held in the Ceremonial Moot Courtroom involved a mock trial of fairy-tale character Gold E. Locks,  played by third-year student Jackie Taylor, “for having bad manners” for entering the home of the three bears, eating their porridge, and vandalizing their rocking chairs. Pop A. Bear was played by third-year student Donavan Ham, Babe E. Bear was played by second-year student Timothy VanCisin, and Mom A. Bear was played by third-year student Jhonell Campbell.

Other law students involved in the activity included third-year student Courtney Watkins as Gold’s mom Curl E. Locks, third-year student Ashley Fellona as the judge, third-year student Tyler Brown as an advocate for Gold, and third-year student Andrew Nagel as an attorney for the Bear Family. The children were split into three separate juries of approximately 10 students each, all of whom got a chance to sit in the jury box. One jury found Gold guilty of having bad manners, but the other two juries were more sympathetic to the defendant, finding her not guilty.

The exercise in career exposure allowed our K-12 community partners an out-of-classroom learning experience that many of our partner schools are not funded to provide. These types of experiences are well-documented to have positive outcomes for participating students and are among the most cost-effective ways for us to engage our community partners.

The Office of Community Engagement challenges student groups, staff, and faculty across the UMB campus to develop creative ways to share their chosen career paths with our K-12 partners. If you, your student organization, or department would like to propose such an activity or for assistance in developing creative ways to engage our community partners, please contact Brian Sturdivant, MSW, director of strategic initiatives and community partnerships, at or 410-706-1678.

Brian SturdivantCommunity Service, Education, For B'more, UMB News, USGAMarch 15, 20180 comments
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Eight DNP Students Share Expertise Through Poster Presentations

As part of their coursework in preparation for graduating from the University of Maryland School of Nursing’s (UMSON) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, students submit poster presentation abstracts on health topics to national nursing organizations.

Eight UMSON DNP students — Kelly Allen, BSN, RN, CCRN; Sharon Ballinger, BSN, RN, CCRN; Eugena Bergvall, BSN, RN, CCRN, CNRN; George Bigalbal, BSN, RN, CEN; Jamie Bowman, BSN, RN; Ajibola Ibironke, BSN, RN, CCRN; Megan Lucciola, BSN, RN, CMSRN; and Theresa Nowak, BSN, RN, CCRN — had their abstracts accepted to several national nursing organization conferences.

In developing their abstracts, DNP students in Diagnosis and Management 5: Advanced Practice/Clinical Nurse Specialist Roles in Health Care Delivery Systems were asked to select a national nursing organization to which to submit a poster presentation abstract, review the organization’s abstract submission guidelines, and describe how and why they identified the health care need or topic they focused on. Assistant professors Maranda Jackson-Parkin, PhD, CRNP-BC, ACNP, CCNS, CCRN-K, and Alicia Williams, DNP, RN, MBA, ACNP-BC, CCNS, served as mentors. Some students’ presentations were accepted to multiple conferences.

“Having so many of our students have their abstracts accepted at national conferences demonstrates the dedication of our students and their faculty mentors to advancing the practice of nursing and is the reason UMSON is a top-10 DNP program,” said Shannon Idzik, DNP ’10, MS ’03, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN, associate professor and associate dean for the DNP program. “Much like any of the other skills our advanced practice registered nurse students learn, dissemination takes practice. Presenting at these conferences will set the stage for lifelong scholarship.”

Allen will be presenting “Using Clinical Data to Design Nurse Education for Expansion of Oncology Services” at the Oncology Nursing Society’s 43rd Annual Congress on May 17-20 in Washington, D.C. The abstract also will be published in an online issue of Oncology Nursing Forum. Allen had a second abstract, “Translation of a Vascular Specific Cardiac Risk Stratification Tool into Practice for Patients Undergoing Open Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair,” accepted for display at the Society for Vascular Nursing 36th Annual Conference on June 20-21 in Boston.

Ibironke also had two abstracts accepted. She will present “Effectiveness of Quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (QSOFA) as Sepsis Screening Tool in the Emergency Department (ED)” as a podium presentation at MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Third Annual Nursing Evidence-Based Practice and Research Conference on March 8 in Washington. The same abstract also was accepted to the Sixth International Congress on Bacteriology and Infectious Disease on May 21-22 in New York.

Additionally, Ballinger, Bergvall, Bigalbal, Bowman, Lucciola, and Nowak presented their posters at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists’ annual conference on Feb. 28-March 3 in Austin, Texas.

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGAMarch 14, 20180 comments
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USAD Hosting ‘Jazz Fusion and the Arts’ on April 6

Join United Students of African Descent for “Jazz Fusion and the Arts,” a celebration of black culture that will include music, dance, and food on Friday, April 6, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the SMC Campus Center, Room 349.

Learn more about the history of jazz music and its role in black culture. There will be a live jazz band, an African dance group, and other performers who will bring awareness about black culture.

The event is sponsored by the University Student Government Association.

Temitope FoleysonBulletin Board, University Life, USGAMarch 14, 20180 comments
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Celebrating Charm of a Million Hearts in Charm City

Editor’s note: This post by third-year student pharmacist Teny Joseph was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

February was American Heart Month. To help raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of cardiovascular diseases across our campus and in our community, the School of Pharmacy’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ (APhA-ASP) Operation Heart committee continued its longstanding tradition of celebrating American Heart Month and the national Million Hearts Initiative by hosting a number of community outreach and student welfare events throughout the month. The Million Hearts Initiative focuses on the ABCs of heart disease and stroke prevention — including, appropriate aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation — in an effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and stroke-related incidents within a five-year time period. On Feb. 24, Operation Heart celebrated the culmination of its month-long series of Million Hearts-themed events by organizing the Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair at Lexington Market in Baltimore.

Continuing a Tradition of Community Service

Because we received such positive and encouraging feedback from last year’s Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair, we wanted to continue improving and building upon our success with this year’s event. The community members, Lexington Market staff and administrators, community vendors, and student representatives who were involved in last year’s health fair shared how much they appreciated having the opportunity to participate in the event as well as the impact and value that it had on them and their community. Last year, we invited 25 student organizations from across the University and community vendors to provide various patient care resources and health screening services. We served approximately 250 patients and provided 25 blood pressure screenings, 40 oral health/cancer screenings, and eight HIV/Hepatitis C screenings. The response and feedback that we received motivated our committee members to host the health fair again this year and envision new ways that it could have an even larger and more meaningful impact.

Broadening Our Outreach

By reaching out to the Baltimore City Health Department, we were able to advertise and invite numerous local community organizations and vendors to participate in this year’s event. Our committee members also reached out to their peers in other student organizations throughout the University to ask if they would like to participate in our interprofessional community health fair.

As a result of these outreach efforts, this year’s Charm of a Million Heart Health Fair featured screenings and patient education provided by nearly 40 organizations, including 21 student organizations from the School of Pharmacy; interprofessional support from the schools of nursing, dentistry, medicine, and social work; as well as community vendors such as JACQUES Initiative, the PATIENTS program, Giant Food, theBaltimore City Fire Department, and Community Risk Reduction Services — just to name a few. The health fair featured screenings for blood pressure, HIV/Hepatitis C, body mass index, sleep apnea, and diabetes risk, as well as naloxone training and certification, immunization services, CPR-chest compression training, and a separate exercise and educational section just for kids.

Making an Impact in the Community

With the help of all of the student volunteers and community vendors involved, we surpassed our outreach and engagement goals for this year’s event. By the end of this year’s Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair, we had:

  • Served more than 400 community members
  • Performed more than 60 blood pressure screenings
  • Conducted 20 HIV/Hepatitis C screenings
  • Administered 10 immunizations
  • Distributed 40 free naloxone kits
  • Trained 22 residents on proper CPR/chest compression techniques

In addition, student pharmacists had the opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers in different professional schools, as well as community members, to educate patients on topics such as smoking cessation, services available through the Maryland Poison Center, medication adherence, nutritional and affordable healthy foods, opioid overdose and naloxone use, hospice awareness, and much more.

Thanking Everyone Who Made It Possible

Operation Heart thanks the University Student Government Association and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy Student Government Association for supporting and funding this year’s health fair; Lexington Market for hosting us; the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Community Engagement Center for helping with advertising and promotion; the Baltimore City Health Department for helping to recruit community organizations; all of the organizations that participated in the health fair; the more than 90 students who served as volunteers; and Amy Howard, PharmD, staff pharmacist at the School of Pharmacy; Lucianne West, PharmD, PGY-2 cardiology pharmacy resident at Johns Hopkins Medicine; and Tricia Schneider, PharmD, community pharmacy administrative resident with Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, for serving as our preceptors.

I also would like to thank my fellow Operation Heart committee members, especially first-year student pharmacists Ayaa Ahmed, Bhavna Jois, Clynton Musngi, Juhi Hegde, Katelyn Callaghan, and Qianyu “Rita” Chen; second-year student pharmacists Carly Cheng, Jennifer Joo, and Nabila Faridi; and third-year student pharmacist Charlie Summerlin for serving as this year’s Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair coordinators and hosting a successful and meaningful health fair. We hope that we were able to offer a valuable experience to our community through this outreach effort and hope to continue learning and improving for next year’s Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair.

To see photos from the event, click here.


Teny JosephCommunity Service, University Life, USGAMarch 12, 20180 comments
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School of Nursing, Harford CC Sign Dual-Admission Agreement

The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and Harford Community College (HCC) in Bel Air, Md., recently signed an agreement of dual admission that will ensure students’ seamless transition from HCC’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program to UMSON’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. HCC becomes the eighth community college in Maryland to sign such an agreement with UMSON.

Through the agreement, students can apply and be admitted to UMSON’s BSN program while in HCC’s ADN program. Students will receive transfer credits from UMSON for completed coursework at HCC and will be granted special student status, allowing them to take UMSON courses while still working on their associate degree, thereby saving them time and money in completing their BSN degree.

“We encourage all of our nursing students to determine their career goals early in their nursing education and develop an academic progression plan,” said Laura Cianelli Preston, dean, Nursing and Allied Health Professions, HCC. “This partnership adds to our students’ options in taking the next step in advancing their nursing degree.”

An effort to increase qualified nursing candidates, the agreement is helping to further the mission of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the AARP to advance comprehensive health care change. The campaign uses as its framework the landmark 2010 Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The partnership program specifically addresses one of the eight goals set forth in the report: to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020.

“We are excited to begin this partnership with Harford Community College. It will provide ADN students at Harford Community College with a flexible BSN degree option for continuing their education,” said Linda Murray, DNP, CPNP-Ped, assistant professor and director, RN-to-BSN Program, UMSON. “This option provides them with a seamless transition to the BSN, as it enables them to work on prerequisites or take UMSON courses while enrolled in their prelicensure program.”

To matriculate to UMSON’s BSN program, students must graduate with an ADN from HCC and satisfy UMSON’s progression criteria.

Kevin NashCollaboration, Education, UMB News, USGAMarch 12, 20180 comments
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Stoneman Douglas Graduate: Action Needed on Gun Violence

Editor’s note: This post by third-year student pharmacist Alli Cowett was originally published on Inside SOP, the School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Day — is now tied to one of the saddest days in recent U.S. history.

On what was supposed to be a national day of love, Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School — my alma mater — fell victim to one of the largest mass shootings in America. Seventeen lives were lost and many others were wounded, making this shooting worse than the one that took place at Columbine High School in 1999.

Painting a Startling Picture

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) last complete report regarding firearm fatalities in 2013, more than 30,000 Americans die from gun violence every year, which is comparable to the number of causalities reported in car crashes. However, unlike car crashes, the federal government does not view or fund gun-related injuries or fatalities in the same way — as a public health crisis.

In addition, Americans currently own 357 million firearms, despite the fact that the country only has 317 million residents. The number of weapons owned surpasses the number of civilians in our nation.

The 1996 Dickey Amendment is also still in place. Lobbied for by the National Rifle Association (NRA), this amendment essentially prevents the CDC from using its funding to research the impact of gun violence on public health.

This information is absolutely alarming to me and only helps demonstrate the immense need for change in our nation.

Turning Tragedy into Action

Spearheaded by Danielle Cordero, a graduate of MSD’s Class of 2010 who attends the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, the #WhiteCoatsAgainstGunViolence movement encourages alumni enrolled in health profession schools across the country to show solidarity with our alma mater and bring awareness to gun violence as a public health issue. My former classmates from MSD’s Class of 2011 have organized #WhiteCoatsAgainstGunViolence rallies at Tufts University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Florida, and the University of Miami.

On March 1, I added my voice to theirs and organized a #WhiteCoatsAgainstGunViolence rally at the School of Pharmacy. It was great to see dozens of my colleagues show their support for the cause. Many took the time to leave a note on the banner that I designed to honor the lives of the students lost or wounded at MSD. We also came together to take a picture with the banner and other posters that we created to display messages of support, which I plan to send to my alma mater.

At the end of the day, students at the School of Pharmacy are future health care professionals. When we put on our white coats, we accept responsibility for the care of our nation and the public health issues that plague it. Gun violence is a public health issue that needs to be addressed. I am thankful for the opportunity to have brought awareness to this issue through the #WhiteCoatsAgainstGunViolence rally at our school. I am also proud of the overwhelming support demonstrated by my peers and faculty.

As incidents of mass shootings become more commonplace in our nation, it is clear that action needs to be taken to keep our nation safe. Regardless of our individual political affiliations, I hope this is a cause that everyone can agree requires more attention. After attending the School of Pharmacy’s anti-gun violence event, I hope my colleagues consider incorporating calls for new gun safety legislation into their own advocacy efforts.

To learn more about the rally held at the School of Pharmacy, you can read this UMB News article or view this seven-minute video that contains highlights from the event.

Making Your Voice Heard

If you’re looking for a way to make your voice heard on the issue of gun violence, consider participating in the March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C., on March 24, when children and their families will take to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end this epidemic of mass school shootings.


To see more photos from the #WhiteCoatsAgainstGunViolence even, click here and here.



Alli CowettUniversity Life, USGAMarch 9, 20180 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the March issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on the significance of Women’s History Month, a 2017 global education recap, a look back at our Black History Month presentation, a look ahead to Dr. Perman’s Q&A on March 7, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAMarch 1, 20180 comments
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Getting Involved and Finding My Purpose in Pharmacy

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

Student pharmacists at the School of Pharmacy are incredibly fortunate to have a plethora of opportunities available to them through the school’s many student organizations. I quickly got involved with the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) during my first year as a student pharmacist because it seemed to be the organization that everyone joined, but it was through my involvement with APhA-ASP that I soon discovered my passion for patient care, leadership, and advocacy. It is also through APhA-ASP that I have learned many valuable lessons that have gotten me to where I am today.

Turn Failures into Successes

After attending the 2016 APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition, I was motivated and inspired to run for president-elect of the school’s APhA-ASP chapter. I spent countless hours brainstorming ideas for the position and improving my candidacy. I remember I was sitting in class when I received the email with the election results. My name was nowhere to be found. I lost. Having put my all into that position, I was quite devastated at the time. After losing the election, however, a good friend shared this quote that had a profound effect on me and motivated me to stay involved — “Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration.” In other words, it didn’t matter that I lost that election; I could still make an impact and serve as a leader in other capacities. I took that advice and moved on to pursue many other opportunities within APhA-ASP.

Take Advantage of Endless Opportunities

While I lost the election for president-elect my first year, I knew that there were still endless opportunities to get involved on the local, regional, and national level within APhA-ASP. I was fortunate to be able to serve in local (interim membership vice president, assistant to the patient care vice president, and patient care vice president) and regional officer roles (Region 2 member-at-large). Serving in these roles shaped me into the person I am today, ignited my passion for APhA-ASP, and pushed me to seek national leadership roles. I am excited and humbled to be continuing my involvement during the 2018-2019 academic year as a recently appointed member of the APhA-ASP National Standing Committee on Member Engagement.

Do Not Fear the Unknown

Part of pursuing other opportunities is to not fear the unknown. You really never know what to expect when you take the plunge to do something new, but I am so thankful that I pushed beyond my comfort zone to seek out those opportunities. My involvement with APhA-ASP has helped me grow in more ways than I ever could have imagined, personally and professionally. From being anxious about simply attending my first outreach event to traveling solo through Europe for the first time as part of the APhA-ASP/IPSF Student Exchange Program, and now serving in roles I never envisioned possible, the transformation I have seen in myself is unreal.

In my early days of pharmacy school, I never saw myself as a leader, and I certainly never saw myself pursuing regional and national officer positions. However, I am incredibly thankful that I was motivated to turn my failures into successes, to push beyond my comfort zone, and to take advantage of amazing opportunities. I cannot imagine what my life would be like today without the many invaluable experiences I have had as a result of this mentality. Adopt this same mind-set, and I assure that you also will be shocked about how it will transform your life for the better.

As a result of the many experiences and opportunities I have been fortunate to have, I will be much better equipped as a future pharmacist. Not only have I strengthened many practical skills, such as time management, leadership, and communication, that will benefit me in my future career, but the connections I have made also will make a lasting impact. While I have grown a tremendous amount as a student pharmacist, I am excited to grow even more through future experiences.

— Charles Summerlin, third-year student pharmacist

Charles SummerlinUniversity Life, USGAFebruary 28, 20180 comments
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Hollins Market Food Tour Offers Free Samples on March 14

The Hollins Market Food Tour is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14, noon to 1 p.m., starting at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL).

The tour is an opportunity for members of the UMB community to get to know the neighboring community of Hollins Market and sample free food from three restaurants: Primo Chicken, Culinary Architecture, and Zella’s Pizzeria.

Please go to this link to RSVP.

Colin SmithBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, For B'more, University Life, USGAFebruary 23, 20180 comments
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Four Nursing Students Awarded Grants to Participate in Global Health Projects

Four University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) students have been awarded grants to participate in the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Center for Global Education Initiatives (CGEI) grant program, which supports students traveling abroad this summer to participate in global health initiative projects.

Clinical Nurse Leader master’s student Elyse DeLaittre; Bachelor of Science in Nursing students Julie Factor and Sarah Litts; and PhD student Amy Nelson received grants to participate in various projects. CGEI is also providing guidance to the students regarding travel planning, cultural preparation, funding resources, and safety and security.

“We are very excited for Amy, Sarah, Elyse, and Julie. Traveling to another country to address critical global health challenges forces our students to shift their cultural stances and opens their eyes to other ways of providing health care,” said Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD ’11, MS ’05, BSN ’04, CRNP-Neonatal, assistant professor and director, UMSON Office of Global Health. “Global health service-learning experiences are important pathways for bi-directional learning and are often transformational experiences.”

Nelson and Litts will travel to Costa Rica with four other UMB students and three faculty members from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law to participate in the project titled, “A comparative analysis of emerging infectious disease outbreak preparedness and response in Costa Rica and the U.S.” The team will examine how the United States and Costa Rica governments responded to the 2016 Zika outbreak from clinical, pharmaceutical, health care, and community perspectives; compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of the two different approaches; and assist in conceptualizing how to implement in the United States successful practices used abroad, while overcoming potential barriers. Additionally, students will learn how to engage the community during infectious disease outbreaks.

DeLaittre, three other UMB students, and two faculty members from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) will travel to Gambia to participate in the project titled, “Health system strengthening in The Gambia: A continuation of prior work.” This project will build upon the foundational work laid in previous UMB visits in 2014 and 2016, with the aim of providing  Gambian health leaders with the knowledge and resources to fortify the country’s health system. Previously, UMB has served as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health in support of WHO’s Global Plan of Action on Worker’s Health. The team will provide technical expertise and content knowledge focused on the health care environment to assist low- to middle-income countries in implementing practices to ensure basic worker protections. Additionally, the group will work to prioritize and implement health care worker protections as one pillar of health system strengthening and sustainability.

Factor, two other UMB students, and a UMSOM faculty member will go to Rwanda to participate in the project titled, “First assessment of injection drug use practices and associated HIV risks in Kigali, Rwanda.” Students will partner with a team of Rwandan medical and nursing students to develop a survey to implement a pilot study at a clinical site in Kigali. The team will seek to ascertain the prevalence and associated behaviors for injection drug use in addition to processing data and presenting the results at an international infectious disease conference.

UMSON’s Office of Global Health predominantly focuses on nursing students, while CGEI is a Universitywide academic resource center for UMB faculty and students who are interested in global education opportunities. CGEI promotes and supports interprofessional global education, identifies global themes that can be contextualized locally, and facilitates academic work related to global education.

“The summer grants program spearheaded by the Center for Global Education Initiatives provides an extraordinary opportunity for our nursing students to join other UMB students and faculty in interprofessional learning opportunities within a global context,” said UMSON Dean Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Our students will participate in what will undoubtedly be an incredible learning and service experience that reflects our commitment to interprofessional education and to diversity and inclusion.”

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, University Administration, USGAFebruary 22, 20180 comments
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Bringing Substance Abuse Education to High School Students

Note: This post by second-year student pharmacist Anoopa Poovathodi was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

Recently, I volunteered to assist with an event organized by Generation Rx, a branch of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) chapter at the School of Pharmacy. The mission of Generation Rx is to promote safe medication use among members of the local community. To help fulfill this mission, student pharmacists who volunteer with this group visit high schools each semester to deliver presentations about marijuana and opioid use. Last semester, presentations were held  Nov. 30 at Gaithersburg (Md.) High School.

Tackling a Hot-Button Issue

I offered to volunteer for this event given the relevance of the topic to the broader opioid abuse epidemic that is rattling nearly every state in the country. It is important for teenagers to be aware of the epidemic, because research has shown that the younger students are when they first become aware of the problem, the more vigilant they will be about taking steps to prevent drug and opioid abuse in their own lives. Our presentations provide students with important scientific data, which can help them understand the serious consequences associated with drug and opioid use.

Our group delivered multiple presentations to students throughout the day. The presentations began at the start of the school day and ended after students’ last class. Students from across the School of Pharmacy volunteered to assist third-year student pharmacist Larissa Nguy and second-year student pharmacist Michael Ho, co-chairs for Generation Rx at the Universities at Shady Grove, with presenting the talks. Each presentation lasted about 40 minutes and was followed by a question-and-answer session.

Having the Important Conversations

It was great to see the students become actively engaged during the presentations, sharing their knowledge and asking questions. Although they appeared to know a lot about the opioid abuse epidemic, it had not necessarily “hit home” enough to  make them think about the seriousness of the problem. In fact, many students didn’t think that using marijuana or opioids could lead to problems with addiction. They also were unaware of the health problems that could occur as a result of abusing these substances. It was truly an eye-opening experience.

At the end of each presentation, we could see changes in the attitudes of many students.  It was a very gratifying experience to have this opportunity to interact with young, active minds and to help plant new ideas within them that hopefully will help them lead healthy lives. It feels great to know that our words can make a lifelong impact on these students since we are presenting them with scientific facts from reliable sources.

Getting Involved with a Good Cause

Generation Rx is always looking for new volunteers for this event. As student pharmacists, it is our responsibility to make our communities — and especially our young people — aware of the substance abuse problem that is looming in our area. As an APhA-ASP member, I urge other student pharmacists to take part in this event and others like it. Let us work together to make a positive impact in our community by educating future generations about this nationwide epidemic.


Anoopa PoovathodiEducation, University Life, USGAFebruary 15, 20180 comments
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School of Nursing Accepted to Maryland Green Registry

The University of Maryland School of Nursing has been accepted to the Maryland Green Registry, a free, voluntary program that offers tips and resources to help businesses and other organizations set and meet their own goals on the path to sustainability.

Members are required to demonstrate that they have shared information about a minimum of five environmental practices at their facility and must provide a measurable result for at least one of the practices. For example, in fall 2006, UMSON instituted a pay-for-print system in student computer labs and dropped the number of student computer labs from four to one, decreasing the school’s monthly use of printing paper from 1.5 cases per week to three reams per week. And in 2017, UMSON adopted a desktop printer policy for faculty and staff that has reduced toner cartridge use from 500 per year to 35. Also in 2017, the school implemented an online, interdisciplinary elective course on climate change, thanks to a grant from the MADE CLEAR organization. Additionally, UMSON implemented water bottle-filling stations about four years ago.

“At our institution, we are doing what we can to improve the environment and create sustainability, both through education and action,” said Robyn Gilden, PhD ’10, MS ’01, RN, assistant professor and chair of UMSON’s Climate Change Committee. “We are focused on reducing UMSON’s negative impact on the environment, and it is important to show that the nursing profession is leading the way toward safer and healthier communities and workplaces.”

As a registry member, UMSON has the opportunity to increase the visibility of its environmental efforts through the registry’s website, to have access to free information and technical assistance for implementing new environmental best practices, and to receive information about webinars and conferences to help continue its greening efforts. Additionally, UMSON is eligible for the annual Maryland Green Registry Leadership Awards.

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, For B'more, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAFebruary 13, 20180 comments
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Wear Red Day

2018 Heart Gala Planned for Feb. 23

Don’t miss the Heart Gala planned by the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Operation Heart committee.

The event is being held Feb. 23, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the SMC Campus Center to raise awareness of women’s cardiac health to improve health outcomes in women and the entire community. Students can come and show off their red outfits and compete in a fun, heart-healthy trivia/pageant style show where a winner is selected by a group of judges. The event also will include a speaker from the American Heart Association, heart-health trivia, and raffles to win prizes. At the end, “Mr. and Mrs. Heart” will be selected.

RSVP or sign up to compete in the Heart Gala here.

All funds raised from the event will be donated to the American Heart Association.

Michael ObinemeContests, University Life, USGAFebruary 13, 20180 comments
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Need a Poster for Graduate Research Day?

Students preparing for the annual Graduate Research Conference on March 15 are discovering the value of the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) in the research process.

The HS/HSL offers poster printing services to all UMB faculty, students, staff, and University of Maryland Medical Center staff. Posters are printed on up to 42-inch-by-60-inch glossy paper ($50) or canvas fabric ($60) and are available for pickup within two business days after submission.

The library’s Presentation Practice Studio is ideal for practicing oral presentations. Taping your presentation for later review is an option, too.

Each school’s faculty librarian can meet with students to retrieve relevant articles from quality databases and demonstrate efficient management of these references using RefWorks or EndNote. In addition, any student, staff, or faculty member preparing to present at a professional meeting or table clinic or to defend a dissertation is encouraged to contact their school’s faculty librarian.

Everly BrownCollaboration, Education, Research, Technology, University Life, USGAFebruary 12, 20180 comments
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