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

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

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

Here are the details:

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

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

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

Here’s a rundown of the five sessions:

In Our Own Voice — Depression

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

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

Register here.

Take Care

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

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

Register here.

In Our Own Voice — Bipolar

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

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

Register here.

Strong Women

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

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

Register here.

Let’s Talk

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

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

Register here.

 

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

Tours on Tuesdays with PTS and Public Safety

Attention, UMB parkers!

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

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

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

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

Here are the dates and times:

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

Suggestion: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a water bottle.

Janet ThomasEducation, People, University LifeSeptember 21, 20180 comments
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UMB Police Chief Alice Cary

Leaders of UMB Emergency Management, Police Force Say Relationships Key to Success

UMB Emergency Management Executive Director Jonathan Bratt

Relationships matter.

That was the common theme voiced by leaders of the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) emergency management services and police force in presentations Sept. 18 at the University’s quarterly Q&A.

Jonathan Bratt, MS, CEM, who is UMB’s new first-ever executive director of emergency management, drove home that point while discussing his aim to develop strong relationships with city, state, and federal agencies.

“There’s a saying in the first responder world: ‘The worst place to exchange business cards is at the scene of the incident.’ You want to have exchanged them beforehand,” Bratt told a crowd about 70 UMB faculty, staff, and students who gathered in the Francis King Carey School of Law’s Moot Courtroom. “So we establish relationships at UMB and with the external community, bringing in the city’s and state’s emergency management offices, the fire departments, and non-governmental organizations together to understand how can we better respond to an emergency before we actually have to respond to one.”

UMB Police Chief Alice Cary, MS, who assumed command in June, seconded Bratt’s notion, stressing how she plans to build relationships within the University community while ramping up engagement initiatives in Southwest Baltimore with efforts such as UMB’s Police Athletic/Activities League program and collaborations with the Office of Community Engagement.

“The culture and philosophy is changing toward community-based policing,” said Cary, who is the first female chief in the UMB Police Force’s 70-year history. “So in moving forward, we want to develop a proactive police force. And our vision is to connect with the UMB community and the neighborhoods that surround us.”

Bratt, who has been in his post since April, delivered his PowerPoint presentation first, offering his vision for making UMB an emergency- and disaster-resilient University and detailing strategic goals for the short and long terms. He described emergency management as being a collaborative and integrative process that requires many disciplines to work together to succeed.

“There’s not just one science that encompasses all of emergency management,” Bratt said. “It involves engineering, medicine, sociology, psychology — every discipline has some input in the process. It’s a team effort. As we prepare for and respond to emergencies, different expertise is brought in to help us understand how to manage and mitigate these events.”

Bratt says he wants to introduce a culture of preparedness to the UMB campus and do it through training, exercises and community engagement initiatives such as Stop the Bleed, a campaign led by the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center that teaches techniques to stem life-threatening bleeding in emergency situations. It’s all part of his presentation’s theme: Learn. Prepare. Act.

“You’ll see it on the tagline of my emails — ‘You are the help until help arrives’ — and that’s a reminder to take action in an emergency situation,” Bratt said. “The true first responders are the bystanders, so it’s important to learn what you need to do before an emergency.”

In a similar vein, Bratt wants to integrate more emergency management into the schools’ curriculums. He says he’s talked to several deans who support the idea.

“For example, the Strategic National Stockpile might be a topic for the School of Pharmacy. Or resource management in hospitals could be a topic for the School of Medicine,” Bratt said. “And outside the curriculum, there could be similar training and seminar opportunities for students as well.”

Bratt says he will develop a five-year strategic plan for the University’s emergency management program, review and update UMB’s emergency operations plan, and build a team of professionals to execute the plans. That team was put to the test recently as Hurricane Florence threatened the East Coast. It met to assess the situation, then sent out a University-wide email to relay that UMB was tracking the storm and where updated information could be found. An audience member thanked Bratt for the email, saying it was comforting.

“It was a team effort. We came together, saw that there was a potential hazard coming, and knew we had to let you all know that we’re watching it,” Bratt said. “We’ll strive to put out that type of messaging in the future.”

Cary also cited the need for improved communication, saying she wants to make sure her officers are out and about and talking to not only members of the UMB community but the institution’s Southwest Baltimore neighbors, too.

“We need to get out of the car and walk around,” she said. “We need to communicate through emails, through websites, through just saying hi, how are you today. Our officers are out there on the front line — they’re the ones who are leading this agency, and they’re the ones that get the feedback to our department so I can better understand the needs of our community.”

Cary says it’s important for officers to be visible but not stationary.

“I’ve tasked our officers to look at the hot spots, the concern areas,” she said. “It’s a focused patrol approach, so it’s not predictive policing where you know that there’s an officer standing at the corner from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. every day, but something that works to mix it up.”

Ashley Valis, MSW, UMB’s executive director of strategic initiatives and community engagement, told Cary she’s taken notice of that approach and appreciates it.

“I walk back and forth a lot from the Community Engagement Center, and I’ve seen police officers in different spots, switching it up,” Valis said. “That makes me feel safer, because it’s not that same old pattern.”

Like Bratt earlier, Cary fielded questions after her presentation:

  • On concerns about safety around Lexington Market: “We’re working with the city of Baltimore to ensure that that area is safe, and that’s certainly something we need to move forward on and even prioritize.”
  • On body cameras for officers: “We are beta-testing a model with Panasonic and wrapping that up in the feedback stage, so that’s the next step in getting everyone outfitted. That promotes transparency, protects you as a citizen, and protects our officers.”
  • On the transient population and panhandling: “I’m working on creating a homeless liaison officer program so that we’ll have somebody that coordinates with the city of Baltimore on homelessness and panhandling issues, someone who will work cooperatively with our Office of Community Engagement.”
  • On feedback for the police force: “I have an open door for any concerns. You can come directly to me and I can relay that information. I have an exceptional staff that thinks outside the box and is very creative to ensure that you’re safe coming and going to campus.”

Dawn Rhodes, MBA, UMB’s chief business and finance officer and vice president, who moderated the Q&A discussion, urged attendees to take the lessons back to their own departments. “Relationships, collaborations, and partnerships. This doesn’t just apply in the safety world,” Rhodes said. “It applies to all of us in how we do our jobs and how we get things done.”

— Lou Cortina

Lou CortinaCollaboration, For B'more, People, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeSeptember 20, 20180 comments
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Dr. Justin Ortiz

Exhibit Examines Pandemics on 100th Anniversary of Spanish Flu

“One hundred years ago, almost to the day, the Spanish Flu reached Baltimore,” said M.J. Tooey, MLS, AHIP, FMLA, associate vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) in remarks at the library’s latest exhibit “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World” on Sept. 13.

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the pandemic that killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide. Baltimore and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) were not immune to the incredible international natural disaster.

The “Outbreak” exhibit, a collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, also features “100 years Later: Baltimore and the Spanish Flu,” a supplemental exhibit that highlights the impact the Spanish influenza pandemic had on Baltimore, which suffered the fourth-largest death toll in the United States.

Tara Wink, MLS, HS/HSL librarian and archivist, curated the Baltimore portion of the exhibit with items loaned from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), and the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

“The message behind these exhibits is ‘one health,’ ” Wink said. The Smithsonian exhibit and the supplemental Baltimore exhibit portray, “Just how connected human beings, animals, and the environment are.”

The Smithsonian exhibit visually presents how epidemics spread, are treated, and can be prevented in the 21st century. The Baltimore artifacts enhance the “Outbreak” message with a look at some of the recommended and the not so recommended “snake oil” treatments of the early 1900s. The gallery space also delves into how the University dealt with the epidemic.

Justin Ortiz, MD, MS, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at UMSOM and an international flu expert, outlined the school’s exciting research in the fight against influenza and worldwide pandemics. He noted researchers at the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health are doing a great deal of work to better define the immune response for the influenza illness as well as the vaccination “so that we can produce vaccines that can protect longer than just the influenza season.”

The ultimate public health goal, he said, is to produce a universal influenza vaccine that can protect people from a number of emerging influenza viruses.

“A universal vaccine is something that is conceptually possible and I’m very pleased to be part of the University of Maryland School of Medicine because we really are at the forefront of that research,” he said.

The exhibit runs until Oct. 14 in the Weise Gallery located on the first floor of HS/HSL.

Upcoming Events

Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Flu Clinic: Flu shots available to all UMB faculty, staff, and students in the first-floor tower of HS/HSL. Please visit the HS/HSL website to RSVP.

Oct. 5 at 11:45 a.m. Lunch and Lecture: The 1918 Flu: What’s Past is Prologue by Philip Mackowiak, MD, SOM Class of 1970, emeritus professor of medicine and the Carolyn Frenkil and Selvin Passen History of Medicine Scholar-in-Residence.  A light lunch will be served on the fifth floor of the HS/HSL in the Gladhill Board Room. RSVP to events@hshsl.umaryland.edu.

 

Laura LeePeople, UMB News, University LifeSeptember 20, 20180 comments
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Amy Bao, student pharmacist

Summer Reflections: Practicing Pharmacy Across the Pacific

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

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

An Opportunity to Broaden My Horizons

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

So Much to Learn, So Little Time

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

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

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

The Difference Is in the Details

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

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

— Amy Bao, second-year student pharmacist

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

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

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

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

Everly BrownClinical Care, Community Service, Education, People, ResearchSeptember 19, 20180 comments
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Integrative medicine collage

Learn About Integrative Medicine

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

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

Objectives

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

Note: Up to 59 CEUs are available.

To learn more, go to this link or send an email to CIMEvents@som.umaryland.edu.

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

Global Medical Bridages Applications Now Open

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

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

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

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

Lewis LiuCollaboration, Education, People, University Life, USGASeptember 18, 20180 comments
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Promise Heights

Social Work’s Promise Heights Program Receives $30 Million Grant

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Promise Heights, an initiative led by the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW), a five-year, $30 million grant to continue its efforts to improve the lives of children and families in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Upton/Druid Heights.

The grant award was announced by the Department of Education as part of the Promise Neighborhoods Implementation Grants Program. This is one of 24 Promise Neighborhood implementation awards announced since 2011, the only one in Maryland, and the only one hosted by a school of social work. Promise Neighborhoods support schools in high-poverty communities to become vibrant centers of opportunity and excellence.

“UMB’s work in the Southwest Baltimore community has been greatly influenced by the pioneering efforts of our School of Social Work and Promise Heights,” said Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, (UMB), Promise Heights’ leading partner. “To a large extent, they showed us how to do engagement the right way, how to get input and buy-in from the community, how to grow resources, how to attract partners, and how to sustain meaningful activity, even when sustaining is difficult. This grant shows that hard, hard work pays off, and I couldn’t be happier.”

UMB’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy also participate in the initiative in Upton/Druid Heights, a neighborhood near UMB that includes parts of historic Pennsylvania Avenue and extends as far south as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Eutaw Place to the east.

“This funding provides access to educational and enrichment opportunities that underfunded and under-resourced schools like the ones in Upton/Druid Heights so desperately need,” said Promise Heights Executive Director Bronwyn Mayden, MSW. “When we talk about the achievement gap for children of color, we should be more focused on the lack of equity which exists for schools in high-poverty neighborhoods.”

The implementation grant enables Promise Heights to continue its comprehensive plan for combating poverty and increasing academic achievement in the local community. This grant builds on the $500,000 planning grant awarded to Promise Heights in 2013 that generated the capacity to deliver and evaluate a full array of evidence-based services, from cradle to career, and matching funds from local foundations and local, state, and federal partners. The planning grant was used to collect data, convene focus groups, meet with school principals, and determine the needs of the neighborhood, Mayden said.

“Promise Heights endeavors, every day, to combine the best of community-based participatory program development and evidence-based practices,” said SSW Dean Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW. “We are providing research-informed parenting programs, multi-tiered systems of student support, trauma-informed interventions, and reading interventions. Matching community needs to effective programming has been a great learning lesson. We have also had to become exceptionally skilled grant writers, having scores of grant proposals (many to help support community partners) over the last decade to develop the capacity to justify this funding. Bronwyn Mayden’s innovative and indefatigable leadership of these efforts has been astounding.”

Money from the implementation grant will be used to bring additional supports to the five public schools in Upton/Druid Heights, such as early childhood mental health consultation, social-emotional support, academic support and enrichment, and college and career coaching to ensure pathways out of poverty for youth and their families, Mayden said. Targeted schools in the neighborhood include: Eutaw-Marshburn Elementary School; Furman L. Templeton Preparatory Academy; Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary; Booker T. Washington Middle School for the Arts; and Renaissance Academy High School.

Other benefits of the grant will include:

  • Increasing the number of community residents hired by Promise Heights to improve outcomes in their neighborhood. Examples include: expanding B’more for Healthy Babies to reach more pregnant and parenting families to reduce infant mortality and increase protective factors for newborns and infants; hiring parent leaders at each school to increase parent leadership and advocacy skills; and employing graduates of Parent University parent education classes to lead future cohorts and mentor other neighborhood parents.
  • Expanding work with neighborhood early childhood education providers to ensure children make age-appropriate progress toward literacy, numeracy, social-emotional development, and other skills that contribute to kindergarten readiness.
  • Providing early childhood mental health consultants to support families and provide professional development for teachers.
  • Expanding tutoring services at each of the three elementary schools.
  • Increasing after-school slots at each of the five schools to provide extended learning programming designed to support grade-level attainment in reading and math.
  • Expanding mentoring services to cover students in grades K-12.
  • Adding additional student services coordinators, AmeriCorps members, and masters of social work interns at each of the five community schools in the Upton/Druid Heights neighborhood.
  • Providing college and career coordinators at the middle and high schools to assist each student in creating a personalized path to postsecondary success.

Since 2009, the SSW has worked alongside community residents and local partners planning, creating, and implementing strategies to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and families in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Upton/Druid Heights. The intention of Promise Heights is to offer services from cradle to college or career.

At the beginning, a small group of community residents, ministers, researchers, social workers, and educators met to review the educational and health data for students who attend the five public schools in the neighborhood. The data showed that Upton/Druid Heights was ranked 55th of Baltimore’s 55 neighborhoods for many of the indicators tracked by the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD). The initial group agreed that one organization could not significantly improve the academic and developmental outcomes and agreed to create a sustained, coordinated commitment to a collective impact process to serve vulnerable children and their families.

There are more than 30 partners, including neighborhood resident associations; Office of the Mayor; UMB; Maryland State Department of Education; Baltimore City Public Schools; Baltimore City Health Department; Family League of Baltimore; United Way of Central Maryland; Druid Heights Community Development Corporation; Community Churches for Community Development; AARP Experience Corps; Baltimore Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope (CASH) Campaign; Reading Partners; and the Office of the Governor. Philanthropic support from many foundations and individuals also has built the capacity of Promise Heights to compete for this highly coveted award.

For more information about Promise Heights, please visit promiseheights.org.

— Mary Phelan

Mary PhelanFor B'more, People, UMB News, University LifeSeptember 18, 20180 comments
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Teacher of the Year: Geoffrey Greif

Founders Week: Teacher of the Year-Geoffrey Greif

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

Today: Teacher of the Year

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

Colleagues and students scoff at that possibility.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was his advice?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 — Chris Zang

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

UMB Champion of Excellence: Julie Factor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Communication and Public AffairsCollaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeSeptember 17, 20180 comments
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It's time for flu shots

Flu Shot Clinic at HS/HSL on Oct. 4

It’s time to get your flu shot, and students from the School of Pharmacy are here to vaccinate you.

They will be hosting a Flu Shot Clinic with the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, sponsored by Walgreens, for the entire campus on Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the first-floor tower of the library.

Vaccinations are $35, may be covered by insurance, and can be paid by cash, check, or credit. Please remember to bring your insurance card.

Anyone who wishes to participate must RSVP by completing this online form.

Erin MerinoBulletin Board, People, UMB News, University LifeSeptember 14, 20180 comments
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President's Fellow

President’s Symposium Takes on Gun Violence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Laura Lee

 

 

Laura LeeEducation, For B'more, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGASeptember 14, 20180 comments
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Sign up for UMB Parking and Shuttle Social Media

Don’t Be Afraid to Sign Up for Social This Fall

We tweet and post about all things Parking and Transportation and UM shuttle, especially as it relates to UMB. Sign up today to be informed! Follow one or all of the social media accounts listed below.

Two followers will be randomly chosen to win a basket of goodies on or about Oct. 31. Enjoy winning some fun items such as a UMB blanket, lunchbox, cellphone holder, or phone wallet, as well as gift cards and extra surprises!

UM shuttle
Twitter: @umshuttle
Facebook: UM shuttle

Parking and Transportation
Twitter: @umb_parking
Facebook: UMB Parking and Transportation

Dana RampollaPeople, University LifeSeptember 14, 20180 comments
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