Archive for December, 2017

Quantum Financials Town Hall Meeting Set for Jan. 22

The Quantum Financials Project Team invites the University community to the first Quantum Town Hall Meeting on Monday, Jan. 22, at 2 p.m. in Elm Room A at the SMC Campus Center. Every UMB department will be affected by the transition to Quantum Financials. Plan to attend the town hall for the latest update on the system’s development.

Executive sponsors Dawn Rhodes, MBA, Peter Murray, PhD, and Scott Bitner, MBA, CPA, will describe benefits the University hopes to enjoy as a result of this system change. In addition, the sponsors will share their thoughts on what they’ve seen accomplished to date. Other team members will provide background on the project, update the audience on its progress, and take a peek at what’s coming next.

For those not familiar with Quantum Financials, it will become UMB’s new financial and reporting system, replacing eUMB Financials and RAVEN. The system’s rollout is targeted for late 2018. At that time, departments will begin using Quantum Financials to create, approve, process, and track financial transactions such as requisitions, purchase orders, and receiving goods and services. In addition, the system will include new tools for reporting and analytics.

Please plan to join the meeting and stay informed. And bring your questions so you – and others – will have the best information possible. See you there!

Robin ReidTechnology, UMB NewsDecember 20, 20170 comments
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Lamy Center Names Inaugural Group of Champions

The Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has named five renowned practitioners in the field of geriatric health care to its inaugural Lamy Champions coalition. Through their work as Lamy Champions, these individuals will help the center advance its mission to improve drug therapy for aging adults, disseminating best practices for the care of older adults, developing innovative educational offerings to empower older adults and caregivers in the community, and providing high-quality continuing education offerings to health care professionals in the field.

“Faculty and staff at the Lamy Center are excited to embark on this new initiative to make a special, significant, and influential impact on the care of geriatric patients across the state of Maryland,” says Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, BCGP, FASCP, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and executive director of the Peter Lamy Center. “Our Lamy Champions have been celebrated for their expertise and passion for advancing the pharmacy profession in caring for older adults, and we are eager to learn from their leadership and experience as we work together to improve drug therapy for aging adults.”

Introducing the Champions

The Lamy Champions coalition features a diverse group of interprofessional health care practitioners who provide specialized geriatric care in various practice settings. These individuals have demonstrated sustained service to a geriatric-focused clinical practice, displayed leadership in the area of geriatrics, and currently serve as preceptors for the Experiential Learning Program (ELP) or Lamy Center postgraduate training programs at the School of Pharmacy. Their activism on the practice and advocacy levels has been critical to advancing the role of the pharmacist and interprofessional teams across Maryland and beyond.

Appointed by the center’s executive team, the inaugural members of this year’s Lamy Champions coalition are:

  • Michelle A. Fritsch, PharmD, BCGP, BCACP, founder and president, Meds MASH, LLC
  • Joshana K. Goga, PharmD, BCPP, clinical pharmacy program manager, Sheppard Pratt Health System
  • Jessica W. Merrey, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, BCACP, BCGP, clinical pharmacy specialist, Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Stephanie M. Ozalas, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, long-term care clinical pharmacy specialist, VA Maryland Health Care System
  • Avra Thomas, PharmD, FASCP, division director of pharmacy services, Sava Senior Care Consulting, LLC

Moving the Mission Forward

Lamy Champions will collaborate with the center’s faculty and staff on a wide range of research, education, and clinical initiatives; participate in interprofessional networking events; and pursue professional portfolio development through new consulting, leadership, and advocacy opportunities. Practitioners will participate in a minimum of two activities sponsored by the Lamy Center, collaborate with providers in other professions to help advance the center’s mission, and attend Champion meetings.

“Serving on the coalition not only provides practitioners with direct access to the expertise and resources of the Lamy Center, but also offers many opportunities for them to pursue professional growth, including access to continuing education programs, mentorship for promotion, and leadership opportunities,” says Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, FASCP, associate professor in PPS and director of education and training for the Lamy Center. “We look forward to collaborating with these individuals on the development of new, innovative clinical and educational initiatives that will improve geriatric care for patients and further support the need for provider status for pharmacists in Maryland.”

The Lamy Center hosted its first Champions Meeting on Aug. 24, during which the seven practitioners were officially recognized and installed as members of the new Lamy Champions coalition.

If you would like to nominate a health care professional you know to serve as a Lamy Center Champion, contact Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCPS, CGP, FASCP, at 410-706-5535 or

Malissa CarrollClinical Care, People, UMB NewsDecember 18, 20170 comments
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Deadline Nears for ATIP Grants Up to $50,000

The Accelerated Translational Incubator Pilot (ATIP) Grant Program provides funds to initiate, implement, and complete a research project that will contribute to the development of new therapies, devices, or approaches to clinical research.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) will award pilot grants up to $50,000 to investigators at UMB with some awards earmarked for community-focused research. ATIP Grant application deadline is Jan. 16, 2018.

For more information and the forms, please go to the UMB ICTR website and log into ATIP Grant Program using your UMID.

Wanda FinkBulletin Board, Research, UMB NewsDecember 15, 20170 comments
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Ward Given Five-Year, $2.6 Million Grant by National Institutes of Health

Chris Ward, PhD, associate professor, University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), has been awarded a five-year, $2,589,060 grant from the National Institutes of Health for the research project “Microtubule Regulated Mechanotransduction in Skeletal Muscle.” This research project builds upon Ward and his team’s previous work investigating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

DMD is a devastating, degenerative muscle disease caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene, resulting in the absence or reduction of the dystrophin protein. Through this disease, muscle becomes fragile and easily damaged, which predisposes the patient to muscle loss and respiratory and cardiac dysfunction, leading to premature death.

“Currently there is no genetic cure for DMD. Until effective genetic therapies become available, we are focusing on identifying dysregulated pathways responsible for disease progression,” Ward said. “Our ultimate goal is to design pharmacological interventions to halt or slow the progression of DMD.”

Through examining DMD heart and skeletal muscle, Ward and his team have discovered that alterations in microtubules lead to an excess of calcium and reactive oxygen signals that are responsible for disease pathology. The NIH grant will enable the team to define the mechanisms that alter the microtubules in DMD muscle and determine if pharmacological strategies targeting microtubules are effective in treating this devastating disease.

Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeDecember 15, 20170 comments
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Dream Employee Gets Second Chance and Award

Eric Cooper, an accounting clerk III in the Office of Operations and Maintenance, thought he was attending a team-building meeting recently when UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, walked in the room to present him the Employee of the Month award for December.

“This is not about team-building, this is about you,” Perman said. “You know what it says here about you? It says you are the type of employee whom every supervisor dreams of — hard-working, attentive, friendly, ambitious, kind, a valuable teammate. … Accountability is one of our core values and you are showing it.”

Cooper said he was surprised when Perman walked in the room after the Dec. 12 ceremony. “I’ve seen Dr. Perman in The Elm and on the website, but to actually meet him and have a conversation with him, that’s cool.”

Cooper was nominated for the award by his supervisors, Scott Versteegh, manager of Supply Services, and Nicole Miskimon, associate director of Facilities Management.

Cooper began working for the University in 2013 but left in 2015 to pursue another opportunity. Just days into his new position, he regretted the decision to leave UMB. When his contract ended sooner than expected and he emailed Miskimon asking to use her as a reference, she immediately texted him and asked him to call — there was an opening. He came back in a different position but soon moved back to his old desk after someone else left, he explained.

“When I got back here, I told [Miskimon], ‘I’m not going away,’ ” he said. He enjoys his job and said he feels like he has even more to offer.

As an accounting clerk, Cooper is responsible for purchasing needed maintenance supplies and following through with those orders. According to the nomination, Cooper consistently goes the extra mile to meet his goals and goes above and beyond what is expected of him. He offers to help technicians carry their materials across campus and helps his co-workers in the office when they get behind. He even picks up trash off the street before and after work and helps direct lost students, patients, and confused truck drivers.

“Eric has the ability to talk with everyone and make them laugh — his demeanor keeps the workplace pleasant even when the days can be monotonous at times,” his supervisors wrote in their recommendation.

Cooper says he gets his people skills from his side job — on the weekends, he’s a barber at Mel’s Clip Joint in Essex. He’s been a licensed barber for six years and has been cutting hair since he was 16. At one point, he was a full-time barber but needed steadier work and better health insurance, he said. He’s working on getting his master barber license and hopes to own his own shop one day.

In the meantime, he’s glad to be at UMB.

“Getting that second chance really made a big difference in the way I come to work,” he said. “I set my goals pretty high coming back. … I want to learn as much as I can.”

Getting this award made his month, Cooper said. His mother died last year and it’s hard around the holidays, he admitted. But the award, and the $250 that comes with it, helped.

“My mom was my hardest critic. I did everything I could under the sun to make her proud,” he said. “She’s looking down now with a smile on her face, probably tearing up. This made me feel good.”

— Betsy Stein

Betsy SteinPeople, UMB News, University LifeDecember 15, 20170 comments
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HS/HSL Unveils New Collaborative Learning Room

After a recent renovation, the Distance Education Room on the Health Sciences and Human Services Library’s lower level is now the Collaborative Learning Room.

This flexible space can be used for collaborative hands-on learning, small group work, presentations, or meetings. The space seats up to 40 and contains chairs and tables on wheels to allow for a variety of setups.

The room is equipped with five 75-inch, wall-mounted Samsung monitors. A computer connected to all five displays allows for simultaneous viewing, or users may bring their own devices to connect to individual displays, allowing for collaborative or group work. The displays connect using HDMI cables. Adapters are available at the Information Services Desk.

To reserve the room, contact HS/HSL administration at 410-706-7545.

Everly Brown Collaboration, Education, People, TechnologyDecember 14, 20170 comments
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Prestigious Award Honors UM Pharmacist’s Innovative Research

Deanna L. Kelly, PharmD, BCPP, affiliate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Maltz Prize for Innovative and Promising Schizophrenia Research by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. Established in 2005, the Maltz Prize provides $40,000 to an investigator who has undertaken innovative and promising research in schizophrenia. It is one of the most prestigious awards presented to researchers in the field of psychiatric disorders.

Kelly is the first pharmacist to be recognized by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation for advancements in the field of schizophrenia research.

“Dr. Kelly is a tremendously talented researcher whose work has significantly informed our understanding of both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments for schizophrenia,” says Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, associate professor and chair of PPS. “We are fortunate to have her as a member of our faculty and congratulate her on this extraordinary achievement.”

An Excellent Resident Turned Exceptional Researcher

Kelly received her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from Duquesne University School of Pharmacy and completed her residency in psychiatric pharmacy at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy under the mentorship of Raymond C. Love, PharmD, BCPP, FASHP, professor and vice chair for collaborative initiatives in PPS and director of the Mental Health Program at the school. A psychopharmacology researcher with more than 20 years in the field, Kelly has led numerous clinical trials aimed at advancing treatments for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for the past 15 years.

She currently serves as a research mentor for the PGY-2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency Program at the school.

“Faculty and staff across the Mental Health Program were thrilled to learn about this well-deserved recognition for Dr. Kelly,” Love says. “As a resident in our psychiatric pharmacy residency program, Dr. Kelly proved herself to be not only an adept learner, but also a promising researcher. We are grateful that she has continued her association with our school as a colleague, friend, and generous collaborator on many joint projects, and we offer her our heartfelt congratulations on this incredible accomplishment.”

Thinking Outside the Box to Help Patients

Through her joint appointment with the University of Maryland School of Medicine as professor of psychiatry, Kelly directs the Treatment Research Program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, where her research focuses on personalizing clinical trials to treat subgroups of people who may most benefit from certain treatments. One of her current studies includes a large, multinational clinical trial that aims to examine the efficacy of clozapine in the treatment of patients with schizophrenia of African descent who may have a genetic predisposition to certain side effects. She also recently concluded a collaborative study with researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University that examined a subgroup of patients with schizophrenia who exhibited a high degree of inflammation and unique immune response to gliadin — a protein found in wheat and other foods — to determine whether inflammation and psychiatric symptoms can improve when gluten is removed from the diet.

Kelly has authored and co-authored 16 books and book chapters, published 169 peer-reviewed articles, presented more than 140 posters, and delivered more than 135 invited lectures. She is vice chair of the Maryland Department of Health Institutional Review Board and current president of the College of Psychiatric & Neurologic Pharmacists.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to have been named this year’s recipient of the Maltz Prize for Innovative and Promising Schizophrenia Research,” Kelly says. “Although we as researchers know that we cannot treat all patients the same, we also understand that we can make many different discoveries — all of which are incredibly important — but, unless we are able to experiment with them in the clinical trial design, we are never going to be able to translate those discoveries into treatments for our patients who are in need. This award represents a truly amazing opportunity for my team and reinforces our belief that the focus of our research matters.”

Kelly received her award at the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s International Awards Dinner and 30th Anniversary Celebration in October.

— Malissa Carroll

Malissa Carroll People, Research, UMB NewsDecember 13, 20170 comments
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School of Nursing, P.G. Community College Sign Dual-Admission Agreement

The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) in Largo, Md., recently signed an agreement of dual admission that will ensure students’ seamless transition from PGCC’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program to UMSON’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Through the agreement, students can apply and be admitted to UMSON’s BSN program while in PGCC’s ADN program. Students will receive transfer credits from UMSON for completed coursework at PGCC 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.

“This dual admission agreement offers a remarkable opportunity for our nursing students to begin the pursuit of their BSN while simultaneously completing their ADN program,” said Angela D. Anderson, dean of health, business, and public service at PGCC. “We value our partnership and look forward to working with UMSON on this and future initiatives.”

An effort to increase qualified nursing candidates, the agreement is helping 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.

“Our partnership with Prince George’s Community College is exciting for the University of Maryland School of Nursing. It provides ADN students at the community college with a flexible option for obtaining their BSN degree as they work on prerequisites or take UMSON courses while still enrolled in their prelicensure program,” said Linda Murray, DNP, CPNP-Ped, assistant professor and director of the RN-to-BSN program at UMSON. “The partnership will assist with increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in Maryland.”

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

Kevin Nash Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGADecember 13, 20170 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the December issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on Medicaid cuts under proposed health care legislation, a holiday greeting, Russell McClain’s Diversity Advisory Council presentation on bias, volunteers helping at Project Feast, CURE welcoming its third cohort of young scholars, seasonal safety tips, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Chris Zang ABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGADecember 13, 20170 comments
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Nohe’s New York City Shot Wins 2017 Snap! UMB Photo Contest

Larry Nohe visits New York once or twice a year and doesn’t mind the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.

In fact, he relishes it.

“I love New York City,” says Nohe, an information systems engineer at the School of Nursing. “Some people say, ‘Oh, I hate the crowds,’ but I love it. It has this energy that you don’t find anywhere else.”

Feeding off that energy, Nohe took a photo in Times Square that earned first-place honors in the 2017 Snap! UMB Photo Contest, with Nohe submitting the winning entry for the second year in a row. The black-and-white shot titled “Blockin’ out the Scenery, Breakin’ my Mind” — a nod to lyrics from the Five Man Electrical Band’s 1971 hit song “Signs” — shows an intriguing mix of street signs, traffic signals, and advertisements that dominate the city scenery.

“They do street fairs in New York where they close down the streets, and this one just happened to be Broadway,” says Nohe, a UMB employee for 11½ years. “My wife was poking around at one of the stands and I was just kind of taking pictures [with his Canon Rebel], got up on a light post, and shot above the crowd with a long lens. It looked OK in color, but when I switched it to black and white, it was even better.

Nohe, who says he took up photography about 15 years ago, was surprised to win the Snap! contest again and the $25 gift certificate redeemable at the UMB Seven Scholars Store. “Especially after looking at the other entries,” he says after visiting the display in the Fireplace Lounge of the SMC Campus Center. “Some of them are pretty formidable.”

Among those formidable photos were six from Tom Paullin, UMB’s senior director of philanthropy. Paullin had three second-place entries, one third-place shot, and two honorable-mention picks.

One of his second-place photos, “Airplane (Unpainted),” was taken on an overcast day last spring at Martin State Airport in Middle River, Md., which has an aviation museum that features vintage planes. The photo shows a plane’s side windows, part of a wing and an engine, and one propeller, with ominous-looking clouds in the background.

“There’s some neat old airplanes out there, and the unpainted one captured my eye,” says Paullin, who joined UMB last March. “I have a private pilot’s license and my dad was a World War II pilot, so I’ve always been interested in airplanes. I just thought that was an interesting visual, especially on kind of a gray day like it was.”

Paullin says another one of his second-place photos, “Cloudy Saturday in Baltimore Outer Harbor,” was taken on the same day as he ventured back into Baltimore.

“That photo and the airplane shot might have been my two favorites among my entries,” he says. “An interesting part of the harbor is that part where nobody goes, where all the industrial work and the shipping happens. It was one of those rainy Saturdays — I was in town and figured I’d go down with my [Olympus] camera and see what happens.”

Paullin was excited to participate in the Snap! competition, part of the University’s Council for the Arts & Culture. “I think it’s neat that the University has this,” he says of the contest, which drew nearly 240 entries. “It’s a good way to get the employees engaged. I enjoy taking photos when I get a chance, so it was good to see what other people think of them. I’m honored to have made the cut.”

The fourth annual Snap! UMB Photo Contest was judged by Council for the Arts & Culture chair Yumi Hogan, first lady of Maryland; Calla Thompson, an associate professor in photography at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Thomas Jemski and Mark Teske, photographers, videographers, and instructional support specialists at the School of Medicine.

“We had an eclectic mix of photos this year. I’m always pleased with the quality of the images,” says Steve Bossom, MFA, web developer in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs and coordinator of the Snap! contest. “Once again, I offer thanks to all of our judges for their dedication to this contest and for picking the winners.”

The first-, second-, and third-place photos will be on display in the SMC Campus Center until Feb. 24. Or visit the Snap! UMB Photo Contest website.

— Lou Cortina

Lou Cortina Contests, People, University LifeDecember 13, 20170 comments
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