Community Service posts displayed by category

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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HS/HSL Workshop: Introduction to Data Visualization with Tableau

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) is offering a free workshop on Tableau, a business analytics tool for creating a wide variety of interactive data visualizations, on Wednesday, March 7. The workshop will run from noon to 1 p.m. in Classroom LL05.

The Tableau software is available as a free version and a more robust full-scale version. Tableau can be used to create an extensive variety of interactive visualizations that allow users to better explore temporal, spatial, topical, and network data. The drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to explore data without needing advanced programming skills. Dashboards allow users to combine multiple views of their data into one analytics tool.

At the end of this session, you’ll be able to:

  • Connect Excel, Access, TXT, or CSV files to Tableau.
  • Create simple visualizations and a dashboard utilizing Tableau.
  • Embed visualizations into websites or export to a PDF or image file.

The instructor is Tony Nguyen, MLIS, and attendance is limited to 25 people. Register here.

Everly BrownClinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, Research, TechnologyFebruary 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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Women In Bio Meet-Up Scheduled for March 14 at The Grid

The next Women In Bio (WIB) Baltimore Meet-up will be held at the Grid, 875 Hollins St., Suite 102, on Wednesday, March 14, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Deborah Wild, vice president of quality and regulatory affairs at Paragon Bioservices, will be the featured speaker at the event, titled, “Pioneering Spirit or Stuck in a Rut? Keeping the Pioneering Spirit in Leadership.”

WIB is an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of women in the life sciences. The Baltimore meet-ups are a way to hold meetings, networking events, etc., in the area throughout the year.

The March 14 meet-up is free, and you can register at this link.

Karen UnderwoodCollaboration, Community Service, Education, TechnologyFebruary 15, 20180 comments
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UMB Police Force Officers Make Two Arrests in One Day

Chances are, you see them on your way to class or as you head toward your office. The men and women of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Force (UMBPF) work hard to keep our campus safe. Their watchful eyes and quick thinking often lead to arrests. And that was the case recently when their dedicated service led to the arrests of two men in one day Feb. 8.

In the first incident, which occured around 8:20 a.m., Cpl. Thaddeus Baker saw a man in the 100 block of North Pine Street acting suspiciously near an EZ parking meter. Campus police have been noticing an increase in individuals obtaining EZ parking meter tickets by fraudulent means. Baker interviewed the man, who admitted to trying to use a stolen debit card to get an EZ parking ticket. The man provided Baker with a false name, but assisting Police Officer First Class Kelli Blackwell noticed a hospital bracelet around his wrist, and he was identified correctly.

As a warrants check was being conducted, the suspect tried to run away but was quickly caught and arrested.

In the second incident, which occurred around 4:40 p.m., UMBPF Officers Tia Marie Taylor and Tremell Jones, Security Officer Katarius Brown, and Sgt. Matthew Johnson responded to the 200 block of Arch Street to investigate a possible theft after it was reported a man was seen stealing a package from a FedEx dropoff box. When police caught up with the man not far away on West Lexington Street, they found a package with a dress inside, addressed to a female UMB employee who had placed the package in the FedEx dropoff box earlier that day. The dress, valued at more than $200, was returned to the employee. The suspect was placed under arrest and found to be wanted on two outstanding warrants from the Maryland Transit Administration.

The UMB community is grateful to the men and women who protect our campus and have our safety as their top priority. The next time you see an officer, share your gratitude and thank them for a job well done!

— Mary T. Phelan

Mary PhelanBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, People, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 12, 20180 comments
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Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair to be Held Feb. 24

The American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists’ (APhA-ASP) Operation Heart will be hosting the Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair on Feb. 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Lexington Market.

This is an interprofessional initiative with collaborations from several pharmacy school organizations and fellow health care professional schools. The aim of the health fair is to promote and empower patrons of Lexington Market to lead more informed and healthier lives and to make a lasting and meaningful impact on the lives of our fellow community members and on our community as a whole.

The event will provide patient-centered education on varying health topics and raise awareness about local resources and services. Screening opportunities for oral cancer, HIV, and hepatitis C will be provided.

You can reach out to Teny Joseph at teny.joseph@umaryland.edu or Jenn Miller at jennifer.miller@umaryland.edu for more information or to collaborate.

Teny JosephClinical Care, Collaboration, Community ServiceFebruary 12, 20180 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the February issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on the Live Near Your Work Program, a look ahead to his quarterly Q&A on March 7, CURE Corner, a story on Jody Olsen’s nomination as Peace Corps director, and a safety tip on winter driving.

Chris ZangBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAFebruary 2, 20180 comments
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School of Pharmacy’s Mullins to Establish Learning Health Care Community in Baltimore

C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) and director of the Patient-Centered Involvement in Evaluating the Effectiveness of Treatments (PATIENTS) Program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has been awarded a $250,000 investigator-initiated grant from Merck to develop guidance for an innovative Learning Health Care Community in West Baltimore. The project, titled “Co-developing Sustainable Learning Health Care Communities Using Community-Based Participatory Research,” aims to increase collaboration between patients and health care systems and promote greater health equity across the local area.

The grant will be used to support pilot work for future grants to implement recommendations from the guidance and create healthier communities in the neighborhoods located to the west of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campus.

“As a member of the West Baltimore community, the School of Pharmacy has a responsibility to use our expertise in pharmacy education, research, and patient care to ensure that our neighbors are living healthy lives,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the school. “Under the direction of Dr. Mullins, the faculty and staff in the PATIENTS Program have been at the forefront of this work. This new initiative represents a natural evolution in the program’s efforts to empower patients to propose questions about their health care concerns and actively participate in studies to answer them. I am excited to see how this project helps transforms the way that individuals think about and participate in their health care.”

Building on a Proven Model

For their project, Mullins and his team will build on the Learning Healthcare System model developed by the Institute of Medicine, in which “science, informatics, incentives, and culture are aligned for continuous improvement and innovation, with best practices seamlessly embedded in the delivery process and new knowledge captured as an integral by-product of the delivery experience.” While a Learning Healthcare System focuses on using the best available evidence to tailor care to each patient’s unique needs while helping educate patients throughout the delivery of that care, the Learning Health Care Community will focus on establishing partnerships with churches, organizations, health care providers, caregivers, health care systems, and other area stakeholders to actively involve patients in the community in their health care. Community leaders will be critical in facilitating patient engagement in an environment centered on comfort and trust.

“The Learning Healthcare System model is an excellent way to ensure that patients and their health care providers are using evidence-based treatments; however, the current implementation approach for this model requires that patients enter into a health care system to be active participants,” Mullins says. “We want to engage patients and other individuals currently living in the community earlier in the process to understand how we might build upon the innovations and lessons learned from Learning Healthcare Systems to help prevent, rather than just effectively treat, illness and disease.”

To assist with the development of an innovative framework for a Learning Health Care Community that effectively addresses the diverse needs of underserved communities, Mullins and his team will assemble an advisory board that includes community members, patient and caregiver advocates, health care providers, and other stakeholders to help direct the research plan. Applying principles from the field of community-based participatory research, the team will work with partners in the PATIENTS Program to co-develop an interview guide that researchers will use to conduct focus groups and key informant interviews with the residents of West Baltimore, their health care providers, and other stakeholders.

By addressing the health needs of the community, the project will help alleviate joblessness and other socioeconomic challenges affecting local residents.

“The promise of jobs has not arrived in West Baltimore, and many residents who are able to get a job have not received the appropriate physical and mental health services necessary to help them keep their job, get promoted, or benefit from other employment opportunities,” Mullins says. “Our Learning Health Care Community combines individuals’ desire for a job with the reality that getting and keeping a job requires the skills and ability to work, and this includes being physically and mentally healthy.”

Creating a Plan for the Future

The research related to this project will conclude in December 2018. Findings will be shared with the community through a patient-centered dissemination strategy developed by the research team in collaboration with its community partners. Future work related to this effort will include implementing the plan of action developed with those findings and replicating the Learning Health Care Community model in other cities across the United States.

“The Learning Health Care Community will help ensure that people living in our community have access to quality health care and also have an opportunity to participate in their care,” says Jacqueline Caldwell, president of the Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council. “They will be able to meet with a doctor who can help them and communicate with them in their own language so that they understand how to live healthier lives.”

“Having the Learning Health Care Community in our neighborhood will allow us to learn about our disease,” adds Gail Graham, director of HIV/AIDS outreach services for Mount Lebanon Baptist Church. “Instead of letting the doctors make all of the decisions, we will be able to learn about the disease and make decisions about our own health.”

— Malissa Carroll

To learn more about a Learning Health Care Community, watch this video.

Malissa Carroll Community Service, Research, UMB NewsFebruary 1, 20180 comments
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UMB Hosts Emergency Exercise

What would the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) do if a terrorist group released radioactive material in Baltimore City with large-scale contamination and mass casualties? How would UMB’s local, state, and federal partners help in such an emergency?

This scary thought was the basis for the Inner Harbor Thunder emergency exercise held Jan. 17 at the SMC Campus Center.

The all-day tabletop exercise created by the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the FBI “to build an in-depth understanding of responding to a terrorism incident involving radiological, nuclear, or other weapons of mass destruction” drew more than 130 participants.

They represented local, state, and federal law enforcement, the Baltimore City Fire Department, state and federal emergency response and regulatory agencies, UMB and other local universities, the University of Maryland Medical Center, and congressional staff members.

UMB and Yale are the two university sites where such exercises are being held this year.

“I think the exercise was a huge success,” said Steven Deck, DM, MBA, director of UMB’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety, who organized and coordinated the tabletop exercise. “Participants increased their understanding of each agency’s and organization’s role as members of a regional team responding to a radiological incident.”

Added Laura Kozak, MA, associate vice president, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, “The most interesting thing to me was the contacts that I made — these were people we would actually be working with if an emergency of this magnitude occurred — but also the number of agencies that are available to respond.

“Of course, you hope we never confront such an emergency,” said Kozak, one of more than a dozen UMB people who took part in the exercise, “but this kind of preparation and being aware of the expertise of your partners can prove invaluable.”

According to the NNSA, nearly 7,000 people from across the country have participated in such Thunder tabletop exercises. Follow-up discussions are planned in Baltimore to further improve the region’s ability to respond to a radiological incident.

— Chris Zang

 

Chris Zang Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, Technology, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 1, 20180 comments
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School of Medicine’s Hassel Wins MLK Faculty Award

Bret Hassel, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the School of Medicine, has been a team player, helping with multiple Universitywide initiatives, since coming to UMB in 1995.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that when Kevin Cullen, MD, director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, asked Hassel to be UMGCCC’s liaison for the UMB CURE Scholars Program that he jumped in with both feet.

“What started as a peripheral role on the UMB CURE team rapidly evolved to a more substantial commitment as I was ‘infected’ by the contagious enthusiasm for this program that has now spread as an ‘epidemic’ for the good across UMB schools and the entire city of Baltimore,” Hassel said of the UMB pipeline program that is preparing West Baltimore children for health and research careers through hands-on workshops, lab experiences, and mentorship.

“Indeed, the UMB CURE team is a microcosm of diversity that is at the heart of its goal, with each member bringing a unique skill set that fuels the program,” Hassel said.

For his contributions to CURE and many other programs at UMB and beyond that help under-represented minority students find success, Hassel will receive the Outstanding UMB Faculty Award as part of the University’s Black History Month celebration on Feb. 1.

Hassel, a member of the UMB CURE Scholars team since its inception, serving as a mentor and co-chair of the Sustainability Subcommittee that is charged with writing grant applications to fund the program, said he shares the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Recognition Award with many colleagues.

“It is a humbling honor especially in the context of the many UMB faculty and staff who are also deeply passionate about the importance of diversity and inclusion,” he said. “In that vein, the committed people that I work with are equally responsible for the success of the different outreach and education programs and should be considered as co-recipients of this award.”

In addition to the CURE Scholars, Hassel plays leadership roles in multiple National Institutes of Health-funded programs that promote minority inclusion and diversity at UMB. He has directed the School of Medicine’s Nathan Schnaper Intern Program in Translational Cancer Research for 16 years and is a member of the core team for the STAR-PREP minority postbaccalaureate program.

Most recently, Hassel received a Bridges to the Doctorate grant in partnership with Towson University to foster the progression of minority master’s degree students to PhD programs. He also contributes to minority-focused training programs at Morgan State, Coppin State, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

“Bret does not treat scholar diversity as a dream, he is a team player who helps find the funds and helps build the structures to make this a reality,” said Gregory Carey, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at SOM, who nominated Hassel for the MLK award.

“Bret is focused on diversity achievement at the individual level as well,” added Carey, director of student summer research and community outreach at the school and a former MLK award winner himself. “A faculty member recently asked Dr. Hassel and I to help with a Howard Hughes research fellowship application for one of our PhD-track, African-American scholars. This talented and wonderful young lady happens to also have a certified neurocognitive disability. Bret and I responded enthusiastically! Proudly, we learned from her mentor last week that the student has been advanced to the finalist round for a Howard Hughes Medical Institute student award! What greater reward for service than to read through the letter sent by this proud young lady and celebrate her win with her? This is Dr. King’s dream and what Bret lives for.”

Hassel, who loves mentoring, teaching, and interacting with students, said he gets back more than he gives.

“Working in an environment that promotes a culture of diversity, like UMB, has allowed me to experience the benefits of a diverse workplace and understand the importance of efforts to expand this at UMB and beyond,” he said when asked why helping minorities is so important to him. “The impact of programs that advance minority representation, and benefit all parties involved, provides plenty of motivation to continue this work.”

For more on UMB’s Black History Month celebration, click here.

— Chris Zang

Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeJanuary 30, 20180 comments
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SAFE Center Director Esserman to Speak About Human Trafficking Feb. 27

The UMBrella Group invites you to attend a lunch and discussion with Susan Esserman, JD, founder and director of the University of Maryland Support, Advocacy, Freedom, and Empowerment (SAFE) Center for Human Trafficking Survivors, on Feb. 27, noon, at the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, 31 S. Green St.

Esserman’s presentation is titled “Raising the Curtain on Human Trafficking in the United States.”

To read more about Esserman and register for the event, visit the UMBrella Speaker Series web page.

Sonya Evans Bulletin Board, Community Service, People, UMB News, University LifeJanuary 29, 20180 comments
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Freeman, UMB Helping Aspiring Entrepreneurs in West Baltimore

William “Bill” Freeman, business management consultant for the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), has helped all kinds of entrepreneurs develop their businesses. From carryout owners to casket makers, Freeman draws on more than 30 years of business development experience, including 15 spent in Baltimore, to help guide entrepreneurs through the process of starting and sustaining a business.

Freeman maintains an office at the Graduate Research Innovation District (The Grid) in the Lion Brothers Building, where students and community members can get his expert advice on business plan development, 8(a) and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) application reviews, funding, and taking an established business to the next level. He has visited community meetings in Poppleton and Hollins Market, offering his services to community members, because, he says, “You never know, someone there could be the next Apple or the next Bill Gates.” Freeman says he sees himself as a flashlight, helping would-be entrepreneurs navigate through unknown territory.

On Jan. 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., aspiring and established entrepreneurs are invited to The Grid, 875 Hollins St., to meet Freeman and discover the free resources available to help make your business dreams come true. The free event is part of UMB’s commitment to serving the community.

Here’s a Q&A with Freeman:

What kind of clients do you serve?

We take all kinds of people — those that have ideas, those that are already in business, and those in existing business. We can help them in all phases wherever they are in the continuum. Sometimes when it’s an idea, they need assistance. When it’s a startup, they need things to grow their business. And then you have those who are in business and are looking to enhance that business.

How do you make an appointment?

You can email me at wfreeman@umd.edu, and I will get back to you with appointment information. Appointments last about an hour and a half, and the sessions are confidential followed by unlimited visits. It only depends on your time and mine, at no cost to you. We’re here to give whatever assistance you need to grow or start your business, and it’s really up to you how much of the services you want to use.

How important is it to have a business plan?

It’s definitely good to have an idea, primarily because it shows your enthusiasm to start a business. We will review a business plan to see if it has all of the components, particularly if you’re looking to borrow money. A business plan is a road map. It tells you where you are and where you want to go. Whenever you go on a vacation, you plan that vacation, and it’s the same thing with a business plan. It helps you determine how to get there.

How does your banking experience help in this role?

As a banker, I know what is needed out there in the working world. I’ve been a banker for some 20-25 years, and I have a pretty good idea as to what a company needs to grow their business. Particularly after sitting down and talking with you and finding out about your business, that will give me more information to help move your agenda forward.

Are you looking for a particular type of business?

We’re not looking specifically for any particular business. We want to help all business owners make their dreams come true. I have a variety of different businesses, from daycare facilities to a gentleman who makes caskets. It runs the gamut. I have a psychiatrist. I have dog walkers. I never know what’s coming in the door.

Do you need a lot of money to turn an idea into a business?

You don’t have to have a whole lot of money. You just have to have an idea and go forward and really believe in it. You have to believe in your heart of hearts it will work regardless of what people say. There may be a time that it doesn’t, but you’ll never know unless you try.

What is your goal for entrepreneurs who visit your office?

We want them to start that business because it gives a feeling of accomplishment. It also helps to create wealth, and that’s very important in today’s society because you’re able to leave something for your children and your grandchildren, and that in turn will allow them to grow. Additionally, it gives you more self worth that you’ve accomplished something, that you’ve made your mark.

To make a confidential business consultation appointment with Freeman, email wfreeman@umd.edu.

To RSVP to the Jan. 31 “Meet Bill Freeman” event at The Grid, email grid@umaryland.edu.

— Laura Lee

Laura Lee Clinical Care, Community Service, Education, PeopleJanuary 26, 20180 comments
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School of Dentistry’s Otto Wins MLK Student Award

President Jay. A Perman, MD, is fond of telling new UMB graduates to “go out and change the world.” Tiffany Otto hasn’t graduated yet, but she already is on course toward changing things for the better.

A fourth-year student at the School of Dentistry, Otto has provided meaningful discussions for minority professionals after traumatic local and national incidents with University events such as an open forum on the shooting deaths of unarmed black men with City Councilman Brandon Scott, a post-Freddie Gray meeting where she allowed her colleagues to speak freely and safely, and helped coordinate an event supporting slain Muslim students at colleges in North Carolina with other student groups on the UMB campus.

She has served in organizations such as Healthy Smiles for Baltimore (vice president), the Baltimore Minority Council of Professional and Graduate Students (vice chairman), and the Student National Dental Association (president), which won Chapter of the Year honors for notable programs such as the Taste Bud Tour, where cultural groups shared their cuisines.

For this and much more, Otto will receive a Diversity Recognition Award as Outstanding UMB Student at the University’s Black History Month celebration Feb. 1.

“I truly don’t have many hobbies, thus service and upliftment of others serves me just fine,” Otto said when asked how she finds time for her yeoman organizational efforts. “It is energizing and exhausting, yet empowering at the same time. My commitment to inclusivity, dialogue, support, and service is an integral part of my being.”

This has been demonstrated in her many successful events. The open forum on the shooting of black men provided a safe space for students from all seven UMB schools to discuss their thoughts, feelings, and attitudes without fear or backlash. The goal of this, as well as many of her initiatives and events she has been involved with at the University, was to help students of marginalized ethnic groups and various religious backgrounds attain healing, discussion, and awareness amongst each other.

“I’m incredibly grateful, honored, and thankful that I attend a University that offers such a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. diversity recognition award,” Otto said. “This shows UMB’s commitment to Dr. King’s principles, and that makes me proud to be here. My hope is that this award will inspire students and staff to initiate conversations and spread love to their colleagues, friends, and community members who share different backgrounds than them.”

Some of her best work outside the classroom — it’s easy to forget Otto also maintains a rigorous dental school schedule that includes clinic work with patients several days a week — has come with the Student National Dental Association (SNDA), an organization that strives to uplift minority students.

She was community service chair for SNDA during her second year at UMB and created service events for students, on and off campus. The next year she became president and hosted over triple the community service events. In addition, she led four professional development programs, seven general body meetings, and more.

The school’s SNDA chapter won Chapter of the Year for the second consecutive year, this time with Otto as president. Notable activities were highlighted such as the Taste Bud Tour, during which all cultural groups on campus were invited to share their cuisines; Generation NeXT, which provided opportunities for School of Dentistry students to mentor high school students at the Vivien Thomas Medical Arts Academy; and an Oral Cancer Walk, which raised $19,445.

Otto says all of the SNDA events would not have been possible without the help of her executive board and chapter members who also shared the same vision of service and cultural competence.

“Her impact toward diversity and inclusivity has been monumental over her four years at the school,” said those who nominated her. “She has been a leader every step of the way.”

Otto, who plans to do a dental residency program in New York (and do community projects, of course) after graduating from UMB, credits her parents for putting her on the public service path.

“My character has been shaped by my childhood experiences in a racially diverse small town called South Orange in New Jersey, coupled by a ‘village’ of family and friends who share similar core values,” Otto said. “My parents taught me very early to treat others well, to do good, and to be the change that I wish to see — and it has truly gone a long way. It took a village to get me here, and I owe it to that village to enter spaces at UMB with the same love, energy, and tenacity that they taught me.”

— Chris Zang

Chris ZangClinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAJanuary 26, 20180 comments
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Health Information Resources for Culturally Diverse Patients

Do you want to improve your communication with patients whose native language is not English? Attend a workshop to learn about patient education resources, including medical information available in other languages. This workshop also will examine the effect utilizing these resources can have on patient compliance and improved health.

The Health Information Resources for Culturally Diverse Patients workshop will be held Feb. 26, noon-1 p.m., at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL), Classroom LL03.

For details or to register, visit the HS/HSL workshop schedule website.

Everly Brown Clinical Care, Community Service, Education, PeopleJanuary 25, 20180 comments
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Healthiest MD Schools

IPE Community Service Opportunity: Healthiest Maryland Schools

Are you interested in interprofessional education (IPE), community service in Baltimore elementary schools, or teaching children about healthy eating and physical activity?

The Healthiest Maryland Schools (HMS) program is seeking UMB students to serve as health leaders for an IPE opportunity for the spring semester. HMS aims to reduce childhood obesity by encouraging healthy eating and active living for children in kindergarten to the fifth grade while encouraging UMB students to work interprofessionally to address a community need.

Health leaders must:

  • Attend a one-day training session (Saturday, Feb. 3, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.) and commit to volunteering one hour a week.
  • Work in interdisciplinary teams representing UMB schools to lead groups of children through lessons on nutrition and physical activity.
  • Engage in IPE activities consistent with the core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice (team building, interprofessional communication, roles and responsibilities, and values and ethics).

Lessons are held in West Baltimore elementary schools Monday through Thursday between 2:40 p.m. and 5:30 pm. For more information or to sign up for this opportunity, go to this link or send an email to Salma Sharaf, project coordinator.

Salma Sharaf Bulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, University LifeJanuary 24, 20180 comments
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