Inside the School of Health Professions

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Below are activities in the school during 2014-15. For news items, including press releases and official announcements, please visit the KU Medical Center Communications Office news.


July 18, 2016

Dory Sabata named interim chair for Occupational Therapy Education

Dory SabataDory Sabata

Dory Sabata, OTD, OTR/L, SCEM, FAOTA, has been appointed as the interim chair for the Department of Occupational Therapy Education effective July 18, 2016. Abiodun Akinwuntan, dean of the School of Health Professions, made the announcement on July 18, 2016.

In her role as interim chair, Sabata will foster the growth of the department, while providing the dean with comprehensive plan for supporting the department. She will also help the school in recruiting and retaining high-quality students, faculty and staff.

Sabata received her doctorate in 2002 from Washington University School of Medicine. She previously earned a bachelor's degree in gerontology in 1995 from Missouri State University. Sabata joined the faculty at Ku in 2007 as a clinical assistant professor


July 5, 2016

Searl,2 alumni selected as Fellows by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Jeff SearlJeff Searl

Jeff Searl, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech, has been selected as a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association along with two alumni from the Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders. Fellowship is one of the highest forms of recognition given by ASHA.

In addition to Searl, Pamela Hadley, Ph.D., director of graduate studies in the College of Applied Sciences at the University of Illinois, and Sean Redmond, Ph.D., director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the of the University of Utah, also received the honor. 

Searl, who earned a master's degree from the University of Kansas in 1991 and a doctorate from KU in 1999, joined the KU Medical Center faculty in June 2004. Hadley earned her doctorate in child language from KU in 1993. Redmond received his master's degree in speech-language pathology in 1993 from KU and his doctorate in child language in 1997.


July 5, 2016

Sandra Billinger named interim associate dean for research in School of Health Professions

Billinger Bio

Sandra Billinger

Sandra Billinger, Ph.D., PT, FAHA, has been named the interim associate dean for research for the School of Health Professions effective July 1, 2016.

Billinger replaces Patricia Kluding, interim chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, who was named to the position in February by Abiodun Akinwuntan, dean of the School of Health Professions. At that time, John Ferraro, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Hearing and Speech, was named interim associate dean for faculty practice and Jeff Radel, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, was tabbed as the interim associate dean for academic and student affairs.

As interim associate dean for research, Billinger will work to foster research growth and external funding. She will also advise the school and dean on ways to support faculty scholarship. In addition, Billinger will advise the school on how to recruit and retain quality research faculty.


June 21, 2016

Six faculty members receive Frontiers Pilot Research grants

Six faculty members from the School of Health Professions have been selected as recipients of funding from the Frontiers Clinical Pilot Research Grant Program, which is administered through the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute.

The recipients are Tiffany Johnson, Ph.D., Department of Hearing and Speech; Holly Hull, Ph.D., and Heather Gibbs, Ph.D., RD, Department of Dietetics and Nutrition; Neena Sharma, Ph.D., PT, CMPT, and Wen Liu, Ph.D., Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science; and Jeff Radel, Ph.D., Department of Occupational Therapy Education.

A focus of the funding this year was to support collaborative studies.


June 7, 2016

Chertoff earns NIH R21 grant

Mark ChertoffMark Chertoff

Mark Chertoff, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech, is the principal investigator for a research project that has received a $229,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health. Chertoff's project is titled "Developing a Biomarker for Auditory Nerve Survival."

The National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders made the announcement on June 1.


June 7, 2016

AHA awards grant to Billinger

The Research Committee of the American Heart Association has awarded Sandra Billinger, PT, Ph.D., FAHA, a grant-in-aid for a research project titled "Understanding Cardiovascular Risk and Cerebrovascular Regulation in Older Adults."

The first of two award periods for the award begins July 1 and ends on June 30, 2017. The second period of the grant begins July 1, 2017 and ends June 30, 2018. Each period has been approved for $77,000 in funding.


May 18, 2016

Bielby, Billinger receive Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award

In a break from the tradition of having one recipient, a pair of faculty members received the Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award as part of the Student Recognition Ceremony for the School of Health Professions on May 14 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.

The recipients are Judy Bielby, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Health Information Management and Sandra Billinger, PT, Ph.D., FAHA, an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science.

The award honors Norton, who was dean of the school from 1980 to 1984, a member of the faculty of the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition and professor emeritus of pharmacology, toxicology and therapeutics in the School of Medicine. Faculty and students in the School of Health Professions vote on the award, which has been given for the past 30 years to recognize excellence in teaching as well as outstanding contributions by the recipient in his or her profession. (Story)


April 15, 2016

Four SHP faculty members promoted to associate professor with tenure

Four members of the University of Kansas School of Health Professions faculty have been promoted to associate professor with tenure, effective July 1.

Catherine Siengsukon, Ph.D., PT, is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, and director of the Brain Behavior Laboratory. She her doctorate from the University of Kansas and was the first graduate from the medical center campus to earn the Marnie and Bill Argersinger Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation.

Neena Sharma, Ph.D., PT, CMPT, is also an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. She earned both her master's and doctoral degrees from KU.

Jeannine Goetz, Ph.D., RD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition. She completed her dietetic internship and master's degree in 2003 from KU. She completed her doctorate in therapeutic science in 2008 before joining the KU faculty. Goetz received the Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014.

Holly Hull, Ph.D., is also an assistant professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition. She joined the KU faculty in 2011.


March 10, 2016

New deans take over leadership of School of Health Professions, School of Nursing

Abiodun AkinwuntanAkinwuntan

A new era of leadership began at the University of Kansas Medical Center in January when Sally Maliski, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, and Abiodun Akinwuntan, Ph.D., MPH, MBA, arrived as the deans of the Schools of Nursing and Health Professions, respectively. Although they come from opposite coasts and were born a world apart, the two new deans share a passion for interprofessional collaboration and a dedication to the success of their schools.

Maliski and Akinwuntan join Robert Simari, M.D. - who became executive dean of the School of Medicine in March 2014 - as the leaders of the three schools on the medical center campus, which is headed by Douglas A. Girod, M.D., executive vice chancellor. (Story)


Feb. 22, 2016

Ferraro, Kluding, Radel named interim associate deans for School of Health Professions

Three members of the School of Health Professions faculty have been named as interim associate deans for the school effective March 1, Dean Abiodun Akinwuntan announced Feb. 23.

John Ferraro, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Hearing and Speech, will serve as interim associate dean for faculty practice. Patricia Kluding, Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, will be the interim associate dean for research. Jeff Radel, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, has been tabbed as the interim associate dean for academic and student affairs. (Story)


Feb. 19, 2016

HIM, Respiratory Care students take part in Undergraduate Day at the Capitol

Six students from the University of Kansas Medical Center participated in Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol Feb. 18 in Topeka. The annual event showcases student projects from the state's eight public four-year institutions of higher learning before an audience of state lawmakers.

The School of Health Professions was represented by two two-member teams, while the School of Nursing had two individual entries. (Story)


Feb. 4, 2016

Aryn Kamerer earns BioKansas Award at Graduate Research Summit

Aryn KamererAryn Kamerer

Three University of Kansas Medical Center students received honors at the 2016 Graduate Research Summit at the Capitol on Feb. 2 in Topeka. Judges from academia and industry selected the competition winners, who will receive $500 scholarships.

Aryn Kamerer, a doctoral student in audiology from Olathe, Kansas, received the BioKansas Award. Her research poster was titled, "Beyond the audiogram: Locating regions of outer hair cell loss in the inner ear." Kamerer is researching new methods to diagnose hearing loss. Her lab is focused on developing a new method to assess the health of different types of cell types in the ear simultaneously, independently and objectively.

"Receiving the BioKansas Award was a great honor," Kamerer said. "A scientist's goal is to better humanity, not just to know a lot of interesting facts. It's reassuring to know that Kansas cares about students, science and research." (Story) (Event Photos)


Feb. 1, 2016

Audiology student Goldie Pappan-Hall to present at national convention

Goldie Pappan-HallPappan-Hall

Goldie Pappan-Hall, a doctor of audiology student in the Department of Hearing and Speech from Augusta, Kansas, has been selected to speak about her research at the Making Lifelong Connections 2016: Leading, Networking and Career Development in the Real and Virtual World conference April 21-22 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Pappan-Hall, who is on track to graduate in 2018, is researching the neurodevelopmental differences between boys and girls who have autism spectrum disorders. It is speculated that one in every 68 children is on the autism spectrum, and because the diagnosis rate for boys is four times higher than for girls, much of the current literature focuses on boys. (Story)


Jan. 15, 2016

Sertoma Hearing Aid Project coming to Department of Hearing and Speech

Julie OttoJulie Otto

The Department of Hearing and Speech has been selected as the national center for the Sertoma club's hearing aid recycling program, the Hearing Aid Project.

The program, which is run through Sertoma's charity branch, Hearing Charities of America, has several centers across the country to process donated hearing aids, but would like to centralize the process. The organization gave the department a $6,000 grant to convert dedicated space for the Hearing Aid Project on the University of Kansas Medical Center campus and fund a scholarship to have an audiology student run the center. (Story)


Jan. 13, 2016

Lauren Little and team receive Cordelia Myers Best Article Award

Lauren LittleLauren Little

Assistant Professor Lauren Little, Ph.D., OTR/L, is part of a team of researchers whose article was chosen to receive the Cordelia Myers American Journal of Occupational Therapy Best Article Award by the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Little collaborated with researchers Anne Kirby, Ph.D., OTR/L, Beth Schultz, MS, OTR/L and Grace Baranek, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the article titled "Observational characterization of sensory interests, repetitions, and seeking behaviors."

"It's exciting to receive this award and have the American Occupational Therapy Association recognize this project," Little said. "We look forward to how this knowledge may contribute to research in the future".

The Cordelia Myers Award, which was established in 1979, recognizes a high-impact, quality research study published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.  


Jan. 11, 2016

Audiology Ph.D. student Nikki Go receives American Auditory Society Travel Award

Nikki GoNikki Go

Nikki Go, a third-year Ph.D. student in audiology, has been selected for a 2016 Travel Award by the American Auditory Society.

Go's presentation, "Cochlear mechanisms and otoacoustic emission test and performance" was recognized in the Resident and Graduate Student Mentored Research Poster Session. Associate professor Tiffany Johnson, Ph.D., served as Go's mentor.

Go's poster will be included in a presentation at the Scientific and Technology Meeting of the American Auditory Society on March 3-5 in Scottsdale, Ariz.


Dec. 31, 2015

KU student audiology group adopts Shawnee Mission Northwest marching band

The hearing health of members of the Shawnee Mission Northwest Marching Cougar Pride band should be safer thanks in large part to a group of audiology students at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The KU chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology is working with Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in Shawnee, Kansas, to provide high-quality earplugs for band members through the Adopt-A-Band program, sponsored by Etymotic Research Inc. The ETY High Fidelity Earplugs are designed to reduce sounds by about 20 decibels at all frequencies.

"Hearing conservation programs are important in schools, especially band programs where noise can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears)," said KU Academy of Audiology chapter president Nicole Denney, a Cougar Pride alumna. "We are thrilled to be involved in this program." (Story)


Dec. 10, 2015

KU occupational therapy program helps Mosaic clients experience employment success

Three times a week, Ariel loads herself onto a city bus and travels nearly 14 miles from her home to her job at a T.J. Maxx store at the Legends Outlets shopping center in Kansas City, Kansas.  Holding down a job and navigating her way there and back on her own are a source of pride and accomplishment for the 32-year-old with an intellectual disability.

Ariel's ability to reach these milestones is primarily due to a partnership between the University of Kansas Department of Occupational Therapy Education and an organization called Mosaic of Northeast Kansas. Mosaic is a faith-based social ministry that advocates for individuals with intellectual disabilities, offering services, ranging from residential and occupational support to case management. Thanks to this collaboration with KU, Ariel and several others at Mosaic with intellectual disabilities now travel the city via public transportation, hold down jobs and participate in community activities. (Story)


Oct. 30, 2015

Respiratory Care Education welcomes ARCF International Fellow

UnnikrishnanUnnikrishnan

The Department of Respiratory Care Education took on an international flavor in late October at the University of Kansas Medical Center thanks to a visit from Ramesh Unnikrishnan, a fellow in the International Fellowship Program, sponsored by the American Respiratory Care Foundation (ARCF). An assistant professor in the Department of Respiratory Therapy of the School of Allied Health Sciences at Manipal University in India, Unnikrishnan is one of four fellows chosen for the program this year.  He will spend about a week at KU Medical Center before moving on to Atlanta for a week of training. He will then to Tampa, Florida, for the American Association for Respiratory Care International Meeting. (Story)


Oct. 9, 2015

Department of Respiratory Care Education celebrates 35-year milestone

The Department of Respiratory Care Education is celebrating a significant academic milestone this year. The program is honoring 35 years of conferring Bachelor of Science degrees to its graduates.

Students, alumni, faculty and friends of the department gathered Sept. 25 in the School of Nursing Atrium for a reception to honor the milestone and recognize a successful site review by the Council of Accreditation for Respiratory Care. (Story)


Oct. 5, 2015

Lou Loescher-Junge named ASAHP Fellow

Loescher-JungeLoescher-Junge

Lou Loescher-Junge, interim associate dean of the School of Health Professions, has been named a fellow by the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP).

"This special recognition is to acknowledge your important contributions to ASAHP and your many efforts to promote excellence in teaching, research, service and leadership in allied health," said Richard Oliver, Ph.D., FASAHP, president of ASAHP.

Loescher-Junge will be awarded the designation on Oct. 29 during the Fellows Lunch at the ASAHP Annual Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Story)


Oct. 2, 2015

First-year DPT students receive class pins during Jessie Ball Lecture

Fifty-eight first-year doctor of physical therapy students took part in the annual DPT Pinning Ceremony Thursday night in Battenfeld Auditorium, which takes place in conjunction with the Jessie Ball Lecture. Traditionally the DPT pinning takes place after the students have completed their first semester of classes at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Michael J. Mueller, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, division director of research in physical therapy at Washington University in St. Louis, delivered the lecture, which is named after Ball, a beloved faculty member at KU Medical Center for 28 years. (Story)


Aug 19, 2015

Physical therapy plays key role in recovery from a Grade 2+ groin strain

Whether you're a weekend warrior coming up lame after legging out a ground ball in a softball game or a highly skilled professional athlete such as the Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon, who was injured on July 8 chasing down a fly ball, injuries are all too common in the sports world, and quite often physical therapists are called upon to get players back in the game.
Neena Sharma
Physical therapists - like those educated in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science (PTRS) at the University of Kansas Medical Center - are trained to help athletes and non-athletes recover when their bodies break down. While the prognosis for Gordon is to be out of action at least eight weeks, part of his recovery calls for therapy performed by the Royals' physical therapist and athletic trainers under the watchful eye of The University of Kansas Hospital's Sports Medicine staff.

"Physical therapy students learn several best practices guidelines to treatment these types of injuries, but each treatment plan depends on the patient's specific injury." said Neena Sharma, PT, Ph.D., CMPT, an assistant professor in the medical center's physical therapy department. "By doing a thorough history and examination, physical therapists can create a rehabilitation plan that is appropriate for each patient and condition." (Story)


Aug. 14, 2015

KU's Sensory Supported Swimming program serves its 100th student

A program began four years ago by faculty in the University of Kansas Department of Occupational Therapy Education to teach children with autism spectrum disorders how to swim and learn about water safety has reached a noteworthy milestone - 100 students taught.

Lisa Mische Lawson, Ph.D., an associate professor of occupational therapy education and founder of the Sensory Supported Swimming program, was checking enrollment records for the summer sessions at the Fairway (Kansas) Swimming Pool when she discovered that a kindergarten-aged boy named Tristen from Olathe was the program's 100th student. (Story)


July 1, 2015

Johnson County Sertoma Club donates $4,400 to Summer Pre-K Literacy Camp

The Johnson County Sertoma Club has donated $4,400 to the Hearing and Speech Department to support the Summer Pre-K Literacy Camp.

The literacy camp for children who will be attending kindergarten in the fall started this year on the University of Kansas-Edwards campus with two four-week sessions.  Two groups of five children each received 18 hours of language-literacy intervention at the camp.

Under the direction of Mindy Bridges, Ph.D., from the KU Lifespan Institute, and clinical associate professor Debora Daniels, Ph.D., the session included language-focused activities designed to improve skills such as vocabulary and text structuring as well as higher-level skills such as inferencing and making predictions. These higher-level skills are key to children becoming good readers.

The donation will help fund next summer's camp. Professor Marc Fey, Ph.D., is a member of the club and was instrumental in obtaining the gift.


July 1, 2015

Stehno-Bittel named one of Ingram's '50 Kansans You Should Know'

Lisa Stehno-BittelLisa Stehno-Bittel

Lisa Stehno-Bittel, Ph.D., former chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, has been named one of Ingram's magazine's "50 Kansans You Should Know."

This is the fifth year for Ingram's to compile a list of noteworthy Kansans. The honorees include everyone from bankers and business people to farmers, university presidents, researchers and health care leaders.

Stehno-Bittel, who grew up in Hays, Kan., recently retired from the University of Kansas Medical Center to devote more time to her startup company, Likarda LLC. Stehno-Bittel and Karthik Ramachandran, Ph.D., started the company in 2012. One of Likarda's main focuses is on reversing diabetes in dogs and cats.

"Being named to Ingram's list was a big surprise and quite humbling when I looked over the bios of the other awardees," said Stehno-Bittel, who plans to continue teaching at the medical center in the future. "I could not have been in this position, had it not been for the supportive administrators, staff, faculty and students at KU Medical Center."


June 18, 2015

Searl honored with master clinician award by International Association of Laryngectomees

Jeff SearlJeff Searl

A faculty member in the Department of Hearing and Speech was honored recently by the International Association of Laryngectomees.

Associate professor Jeff Searl, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is the recipient of the 2015 Dr. James C. Shanks Master Clinician Award, which is given annually to individuals who contribute to clinical education, productivity in research and service to the profession.

"For more than 10 years, Jeff has continuously contributed to the IAL in multiple capacities with the desire to improve the larger clinical mission of IAL," said Jodi Knott, director of the Voice Institute. "He is uniformly admired and respected by his peers and laryngectomees."

Searl received his undergraduate degree in 1988 from Santa Clara University and his master's degree in 1992 from the University of Kansas, adding a doctorate in speech-language pathology in 1999 from KU. He served as a clinical instructor from 1993-99 at KU and returned to the department in 2004 after a stint at Bowling Green University.


June 1, 2015

Gibbs honored by Kansas Dietetic Association

Heather Gibbs photoHeather Gibbs

The Kansas Dietetic Association has selected Heather Gibbs, Ph.D., RD as the recipient of its Outstanding Dietetic Educator for a Dietetic Internship Award.

Gibbs, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, has been a practicing registered dietitian since 2000 in areas that include undergraduate nutrition and/or dietetics education, telehealth-delivered medical nutrition therapy, and inpatient and outpatient medical nutrition therapy.

The award recognizes the leadership, mentoring and teaching activities of faculty working in a dietetics education program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education and Nutrition and Dietetics, the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


May 28, 2015

AHIMA President Cassi Birnbaum talks about her time at the University of Kansas and her career in health care

John Ferraro photoCassi Birnbaum

A University of Kansas alumna is at the helm of an organization that influences more than 100,000 health care professionals and the patients, clients and institutions they serve.

Cassi Birnbaum, president of the American Health Information Management Association, was the featured speaker at the student recognition luncheon for the University of Kansas Department of Health Information Management.  Birnbaum received her Bachelor of Applied Science in health information/medical records from KU in 1979 and is currently the senior vice president of health information management and consulting at Peak Health Solutions.

Birnbaum talked about the future of HIM, the implementation of ICD-10 and other topics during her graduation week visit to the University of Kansas Medical Center. (Story)


May 19, 2015

Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award goes to John Ferraro

Professor John Ferraro, Ph.D., the Carolyn Doughty-Margaret Kemp Chair of the Department of Hearing and Speech and co-director of the KU Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders, received the Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award in May during the School of Health Professions Student Recognition Ceremony.

The award honors Norton who was dean of the school from 1980 to 1984, a member of the faculty of the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition and professor emeritus of pharmacology, toxicology and therapeutics in the School of Medicine

"This award is particularly meaningful to me because Stata Norton was the dean who hired me 31 years ago," said Ferraro, who came to KU in 1983. "She was a gold standard dean and human being. Stata will always be one of my heroes and to receive an award named for her is a true highlight of my career." (Story)


May 8, 2015

John Ferraro named interim School of Health Professions dean

John Ferraro photoJohn Ferraro

John Ferraro, Ph.D., has been appointed interim dean of the School of Health Professions while the search continues for a permanent replacement for Karen L. Miller, Ph.D., who is stepping down this summer.

Ferraro, who has held the Doughty-Kemp Professorship in Hearing and Speech since coming to the University of Kansas in 1983, will begin his duties as interim dean on July 1. Dr. Douglas A. Girod, executive vice chancellor, made the announcement on May 5.

"I am pleased to announce the appointment of John A. Ferraro as interim dean of the School of Health Professions," Girod said. "This appointment will ensure a smooth transition to new leadership in the school in the coming months."

"I look forward to working with the chairs, faculty, staff and students in the SHP to put our programs in the very best position to receive a new dean and to carry on the tradition of excellence we have established and enjoyed under Dean Miller's leadership," Ferraro said. (Story)


April 22, 2015

Taranjeet Singh receives School of Health Professions Citation Award

Taranjeet Singh photoTaranjeet Singh

A master's degree candidate in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition was one of three Robinson International Studies Scholars receiving Citation Awards during the International Educational Experience Showcase April 20 at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Taranjeet Singh, who is scheduled to graduate in May, was the Citation Award winner for the School of Health Professions. Singh is the first dietetics and nutrition student to take part in the Robinson Scholars program, which has sent more than 70 students to study at Christian Medical College in Vellore, India, during the past 10 years.

"This experience has taught me to approach life and my profession in a more humbling, empathetic and open-minded manner," said Singh. "Immersing yourself in such a diverse environment surrounded by different people, languages, cultures and customs really makes you look at the big picture, while also appreciating the small things in life." (Story) (Photos)


April 13, 2015

KU Medical Center students earn KPTA Scientific Inquiry Awards

Several University of Kansas Medical Center students were winners in the Kansas Physical Therapy Association (KPTA) Scientific Inquiry Awards competition at the 2015 Spring Conference in Wichita.

Eighteen of the 22 poster and platform presentations at the conference were by KU Medical Center doctor of physical therapy students, doctoral students and faculty.  The competition was judged by the KPTA Research Committee. (Story)


April 3, 2015

Kamerer earns School of Health Professions top honor at Student Research Forum

Aryn KamererAryn Kamerer

Research into finding the location of damage in the inner ear that causes hearing loss has earned a third-year doctoral student in audiology the top medal from the School of Health Professions at the 37th Annual Student Research Forum at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The medal was presented to Aryn Kamerer during the Student Research Forum awards banquet March 26 at The Foundation in Kansas City, Mo. The honor was one of several presented by the schools of Health Professions, Medicine and Nursing during the three-day event at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

"I am honored to represent the Department of Hearing and Speech and shed some light on the importance of research in communication disorders," said Kamerer, who is from Olathe, Kan. "As a Ph.D. student, I get lost in the research and the detailed requirements of my day-to-day studies, so it is a relief to step back and take a look at the big picture." (Story)


March 16, 2015

KU Medical Center Alumni Award recipients announced

The 2015 Alumni Awards recipients have been announced by the University of Kansas Medical Center Alumni Association. The winners will be honored during a luncheon on Oct. 2 as part of Alumni Weekend on the medical center campus.

Al-MomaniMurad Al-Momani

Clinical assistant professor Judy Bielby, MBA, RHIA, CPHQ, CCS, FAHIMA, has been named as the Distinguished Health Professions Alumna. The Early Career Achievement in Health Professions Alumnus award goes to Murad Al-Momani, CCC-A, FAAA, chairman of the Audiology and Balance Unit at King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Karen L. Miller, Ph.D. FASAHP, dean of the Schools of Health Professions and Nursing, is the recipient of the Honorary Health Professions Alumna Award. Miller is also being recognized as the Honorary Nursing Alumna. Miller has been dean of the School of Health Professions since 1998 and the School of Nursing since 1996. (Story)


March 9, 2015

Health Professions alumna bringing respiratory care education to West Africa

Karen Schell

Karen Schell

Mention the country of Ghana to Karen Schell, DHSc, BSRC, and her eyes begin to twinkle and a spark of enthusiasm overtakes her voice. As director of cardiopulmonary services at Newman Regional Health in Emporia, respiratory care is her vocation, but helping the people of Ghana is her passion.

During the past four years, providing aid to Ghana has become a driving force for Schell, a 1992 alumna of the Department of Respiratory Care Education. But she hasn't stopped at merely going on mission trips; Schell is changing the way health care is provided in this developing West African nation.

Schell has teamed with Lisa Trujillo, DHSc, RRT, an assistant professor at Weber State University in Utah, to create Ghana's first bachelor's degree program in respiratory care. The program will launch this fall at the University of Ghana with 10 students - a first for the school, and a first for the country. (Story)


Feb 26, 2015

Zaid Mansour earns Dorothy Knoll Outstanding Student Leader Award

Zaid Mansour

Zaid Mansour

Zaid Mansour, a doctoral student in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, was named the winner of the Dorothy Knoll Outstanding Student Leader Award in a ceremony in the School of Nursing Atrium. Mansour was one of five finalists who were nominated for the honor.

"I am so glad and honored to be the recipient of this award," he said. "I was overwhelmed by winning. I'm so honored to win this prestigious award."

Winners List | Photos | Mansour Video


Feb. 13, 2015

School of Health Professions students take part in research days in Topeka

Four undergraduates and one graduate student represented the University of Kansas School of Health Professions during Kansas Undergraduate Day at the Capitol and the Capitol Graduate Research Summit Feb. 11-12 in Topeka.

The events focus on raising awareness about the research conducted by students at the state's universities. On Feb. 11, undergraduate students from the Kansas Board of Regents' four-year universities gathered for the third-annual event in the Capitol building rotunda. (Story)


Feb. 11, 2015

Kathy Johnston earns Early Start Denver Model therapy certification

Johnston

Kathy Johnston

A clinical instructor in the Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders is the first person to earn certification in Kansas as an Early Start Denver Model therapist (ESDM) for working with children with autism.

Kathy Johnston, M.S., CCC-L/SLP, IMHE II, received notice last week that she has been certified as an ESDM therapist after nearly a year of training.  ESDM, which is a comprehensive behavioral intervention for children from 12 to 48 months, defines a curriculum of skills to be taught and the associated teaching procedures to be used to deliver the content.

"This certification will not only add to my knowledge base but will help me provide evidenced based intervention for young children with a diagnosis of autism and their families," said Johnston, who has been working for the University of Kansas Medical Center for the past 17 years. (Story)


Feb. 10, 2015

3 Occupational Therapy faculty earn Pilot Service Learning Mini Grants

Three faculty members in the Department of Occupational Therapy Education have been selected to receive 2015 Pilot Service Learning Mini Grant Awards.

The Center for Civic and Social Responsibility (CCSR) on the Lawrence campus awarded nine $500 mini grants to 10 faculty instructors, who are teaching service learning courses during spring semester in seven study areas across two campuses.

The occupational therapy faculty members receiving the grants are assistant professor Lisa Mische Lawson, associate professor Jeff Radel and clinical assistant professor Dory Sabata.

"Our faculty have made a strong commitment to both the power of service learning for our students and the importance of supporting our community partners as they serve others," said OT Department Chair Winnie Dunn. "These awards are so important to demonstrate our university's acknowledgement of the importance of these commitments."

The grant program, which is in its pilot year, is dedicated to fostering beneficial campus-community partnerships and best practices in service learning. Grant money will be used to pay for costs involved in service learning projects such as transportation and books.


Tyrel Reed: Basketball in his blood but PT school on his mind

Reed

Tyrel Reed

Whether it's age or injury or simply being overrun by the responsibilities of daily life, every athlete faces a day when the game they grew up loving simply doesn't need them anymore.

For Tyrel Reed, that day came after one of the most storied basketball careers of any schoolboy in the history of Kansas. A star athlete who played high school basketball for his father in Burlington, Kan., Reed went on to play guard at the University of Kansas, where he was part of the 2008 national championship team and is the winningest player in Jayhawk history. That was followed by a brief career as a professional basketball player in Europe.

But eventually Reed faced a time when he had to turn the page and move on to the next chapter in his life. (Story)



Dory Sabata named American Occupational Therapy Association fellow

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Dory Sabata

A clinical assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy Education has been tabbed to receive a national honor.

Dory Sabata, OTD, OTR/L, SCEM, has been named a fellow by the American Occupational Therapy Association. She will receive the AOTA Roster of Fellows Award at the 2015 Annual Conference and Expo in Nashville, Tenn.

The Roster of Fellows Award honors AOTA members who have made a significant contribution to the continuing education and professional development of members. (STORY)


Blindness doesn't slow therapeutic science student Tim Hornik's quest for doctorate

Tim HornikFor Tim, Hornik, a doctoral student in the therapeutic science program in the Department of Occupational Therapy Education, the events of Veterans Day 10 years ago dramatically changed his life.

Hornik's Army unit was about to end its patrol for the day on the streets between Baghdad International Airport and the International Zone, when it was called to provide security support to the Iraqi National Guard as it infiltrated a mosque. Its job was to lock down the outer perimeter.

The Humvee (high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle) and Bradley Fighting Vehicles in Hornik's unit were sent out, and shortly after their arrival, a sniper shot a soldier who was on foot, and a Bradley team evacuated the man to a combat support hospital. Hornik immediately elected to move his Bradley to replace a Bradley that was lost in an improvised explosive device (IED) incident earlier in the day. The tank commander normally sits in the turret, but Hornik chose to sit with his head exposed, so he could use binoculars to locate the shooter. A sniper shot hit Hornik in the temple, and the bullet exited through his right eye. (Story)


Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions honors Dean Karen Miller at national conference

Miller

Karen L. Miller

Karen L. Miller, dean of the School of Health Professions, has been awarded the Distinguished Service and Achievement Award by the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions.

The award was presented to Miller during the association's annual convention this week in Las Vegas. The honor recognizes Miller's many contributions to allied health, nursing and higher education administration.

Miller announced last summer that she would step down from her role as dean of both the School of Health Professions and the School of Nursing at the end of the academic year but will remain a faculty member as a tenured professor in the School of Nursing.

Miller has been dean of the School of Nursing for 18 years and dean of the School of Health Professions for 16 years.


Marilee Means stepping down after 37 years at KU Medical Center

Means

Marilee Means

Clinical associate professor Marilee Means uses colorful pastels to bring her landscapes to life, but these images are in stark contrast to her work at the University of Kansas Medical Center, which is done meticulously looking through the lens of a microscope examining minute areas of cells to detect diseases such as cancer.

The director of KU's Cytotechnology Program, Means will step down in December after working at KU Medical Center for 37 years. But before Means spends her final days on the Kansas City, Kan., campus, she will be honored with the Excellence in Education Award from the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC) - an award that recognizes the meritorious service or accomplishments of a cytotechnologist or pathologist in the field of cytopathology or cytotechnology education.

"This has really been a perfect job for me and my interests," Means says. "I have always loved science, and after I had my two children I wanted to try something different than teaching high school (which her first degree was in), so I found out about the program at KU Med and was thrilled when I was hired right out of school to work here." (Story)


Speech pathology student Joshuaa Burbank bridging two cultures

When Joshuaa Burbank packed his young family and all their belongings into a U-Haul last August in New Mexico he was a man on a mission as he headed east to the University of Kansas and a future filled with uncertainty.

The graduate student in the Intercampus Program for Communication Disorders (IPCD) said goodbye to a lifetime of memories and traditions from growing up on the Navajo Reservation and moved to small apartment in Lawrence along with his fiancée, Kristina Lewis, and their 3½-year-old son, Kaleb. They left behind a life filled with familiar routines, secure jobs, loving families and a network of support and headed for the unknown as a full-time graduate student with the goal of returning one day to work on the reservation.

Burbank has seen first-hand what a lack of skilled health care, particularly speech pathology, can do while working on the reservation and in rural areas, and he is driven by a strong desire to return home to make a difference in the community that has supported him his entire life. (STORY)


Dean Miller presents Jessie Ball Lecture
Karen L. Miller, Ph.D., departing dean of the Schools of Health Professions and Nursing, delivered the annual Jessie Ball Lecture on Oct. 9 in Battenfeld Auditorium.

The lecture is presented in conjunction with the pinning ceremony for the new class of Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science (PTRS). This year's class of 58 students, which began classes in late May, is the largest in the history of the DPT program at the University of Kansas. (STORY)


Sertoma Club gives $5,500 to Hartley Family Center

The Sertoma Club of Kansas City has given a gift of $5,500 to the Hartley Family Center for Childhood Hearing (HFC) at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The check was given to John Ferraro, Ph.D., co-director of the Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders, on Tuesday. Money for the gift came from proceeds from the club's Hear Me Now Fun Run and Walk in July.

"Thanks to all of you who helped or participated in this event, especially Sandy Keener and Lauren Baranowski and several members of our audiology student group - the Jayhawk Chapter of the Student Academy of Audiology," Ferraro said. "Thanks also to the members of the  Kansas City Sertoma Club who continue to support our goal of providing  the very best hearing health care to the children and families seen in the HFC. "

The Hartley Family Center serves families with children of all ages who are deaf or hard of hearing, plus children of deaf parents. The center, which is administered through the Department of Hearing and Speech, was named in honor of W.C. Hartley and his family, who have provided gifts to help support Hartley Family Center programs since 1990.


Tiffany Johnson earns SHP Faculty Research Investigator Award

Tiffany JohnsonAn associate professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech has been selected to receive the 2014 School of Health Professions Faculty Research Investigator Award. Tiffany A. Johnson, Ph.D., will receive the award, which includes a $1,000 stipend. The awards are given annually to outstanding investigators who accomplish significant research and have a high potential for sustaining their productivity..

"With all the excellent research in the School of Health Professions, and campus-wide at the University of Kansas Medical Center, I am humbled and honored to be selected for this award," Johnson says. (STORY)


 

SHP assistant professors' research selected for international conference

Little

Lauren Little

Moqbel

Murad Moqbel

A paper co-authored by a pair of assistant professors in the School of Health Professions has been selected for presentation at the annual International Conference on Information Systems in December in Auckland, New Zealand.

The paper, titled "Social networking site use among caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders," will also be published in ICIS 2014 Proceedings. The research examines the links between perceived social supports, social networking sites use and stress among caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The paper was co-authored by Murad Moqbel, MBA, Ph.D., from the Department of Health Information Management and Lauren Little, Ph.D., OTR/L, from the Department of Occupational Therapy Education. (STORY)



Three occupational therapy students earn Kitty Reed Scholarships

Three students in the Department of Occupational Therapy Education are recipients of Kitty Reed Occupational Therapy Scholarships.

Kasha Rebant received $5,000, Natalie Tarbutton and Katie Alexander each received $2,500. The scholarships were awarded in September at the University of Kansas Medical Center. (STORY)


KU Medical Center students travel to India as part of the Robinson Scholars program

You know it's never going to end well when a blog post begins, "our luggage apparently never left Chicago," but the consequences are magnified tremendously when you realize the author of the post relies on a state-of-the-art wheelchair for transportation, and his $5,000 custom ride had gone missing somewhere between the United States and India.

Most people around the University of Kansas Medical Center know Joel Strain as the affable occupational therapy student who rolls around campus in his wheelchair, engaging his classmates with his generous smile and popping the occasional wheelie for good measure. This summer, he and fellow occupational therapy student Jenna Schulte traveled to Christian Medical College in Vellore, India, as part of the Robinson Scholars Program. (STORY)


Rosann O'Dell elected to AHIMA national commission

Odell Bio

Rosann O'Dell

A new member of the Department of Health Information Management faculty has been elected by her colleagues to serve on a national commission. Rosann M. O'Dell, D.H.Sc., MS, RHIA, CDIP, will serve a three-year term as commissioner on the American Health Information Management Association's Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM).

I'm humbled and honored to be entrusted with this leadership role," says O'Dell. "I owe a great deal of gratitude to my colleagues across the country who supported my candidacy and elected me to provide leadership in the administration of certification and recertification among health information professionals." (STORY)


Goetz, Hull awarded Blue KC Health Outcomes Research Grant

Goetz

Jeannine Goetz

Hull

Holly Hull

Two faculty members in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition have been awarded a $50,000 Blue KC Health Outcomes Research Grant to study weight gain during pregnancy.

Assistant professors Holly Hull, Ph.D., and Jeanine Goetz, Ph.D., R.D., are the principle investigators for a study that will use group-based phone counseling and an interactive physical activity monitoring device (Gruve) to help prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy. The other two Blue KC grant recipients are from Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. (STORY)


Holly Storkel named ASHA fellow

Storkel Bio

Holly Storkel

Professor Holly Storkel, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing and co-director of the Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders, has been named a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

"I am honored to be recognized by my colleagues for my contributions to the field and to join a strong group of faculty, including many from the Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders, who have received this award," Storkel says. (STORY)


SHP students receive Visiting Nurse Association scholarships

Two students from the School of Health Professions are the recipients of scholarships from the Visiting Nurse Association of Kansas City.

Virginia Rogers and Jean Ruzzin were selected to receive $3,000 scholarships from the Visiting Nurse Association along with four students from the School of Nursing. The nursing students included Andrea Leach, Jacqueline Meirink, Michael Rogers and Brian Soria. (STORY)


2014 WIMS Rising Star Award goes to Catherine Siengsukon

Mattlage Bio

Katie Siengsukon

Catherine Siengsukon, PT, Ph.D., is the recipient of the 2014 Rising Star Award given by the Women in Medicine and Science (WIMS) at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The Rising Star Award is given each year to recognize and promote the accomplishments of women faculty and non-faculty members that otherwise might go unnoticed or overlooked. The award is open to all women faculty or non-faculty members at the level of assistant professor of the equivalent. Siengsukon was nominated by Lisa Stehno-Bittel, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. (STORY)


Anna Mattlage receives American Heart Association fellowship

Mattlage Bio

Anna Mattlage

Anna Mattlage, a doctoral degree candidate in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, has received a pre-doctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association.

The two-year fellowship covers the cost of a full graduate research assistant stipend along with an allowance for project support. The AHA fellowship will support Mattlage's dissertation research project, which is aimed at understanding the biomarkers of neuroprotection following an acute stroke.

"Receiving the AHA pre-doctoral fellowship is a huge honor," Mattlage said. "I would like to thank all the people who have supported me in this pursuit. Receiving the AHA pre-doctoral fellowship will financially support my experiments, as well as allow me more time to dedicate to my research." (STORY)


Billinger authors Heart Association statement about importance of exercise for stroke victims

Billinger Bio

Sandra Billinger

Regular exercise should be a key component of the post-stroke prescription, according to a scientific statement released by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA).

The statement in the May 20 edition of the American Heart Association's journal Stroke says exercise is a valuable yet underused care component after a person suffers a stroke. The statement suggests survivors should exercise from 20 to 60 minutes at least three days a week to prevent physical deconditioning but cautions some people should limit workouts to 10- to 15-minute bouts of moderate exertion.

"There is strong evidence that physical activity and exercise after stroke can improve cardiovascular fitness, walking ability and upper arm strength," says Sandra Billinger, PT, Ph.D., the paper's lead author and director of the University of Kansas Medical Center's REACH Laboratory. (STORY)


Jeannine Goetz receives Stata Norton Teaching Award

Goetz

Jeannine Goetz

Jeannine Goetz, Ph.D., RD, LD, was named the Stata Norton Distinguished Teacher for 2014. The award was presented during the School of Health Professions Student Recognition Ceremony on May 17 at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. Students and faculty in the School of Health Professions vote to determine who will receive the award. Faculty members must demonstrate excellence in teaching and have made an outstanding contribution to their profession to be considered.

"It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by students for doing something I truly love," says Goetz, who joined the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition faculty in 2009. (STORY)



Dory Sabata garners KU Excellence in Service Learning Award

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Dory Sabata

Dory Sabata, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy Education, has been awarded the 2014 Excellence in Service Learning Award.

Each year, the Center for Civic and Social Responsibility on the Lawrence campus honors one faculty member, one student and a community partner with the honor. The faculty recipient must implement service learning in a way that shows an impact on students and the community both inside and outside of the classroom. (STORY)


Laura Webb receives School of Health Professions Citation Award

Webb

Laura Webb

A second-year doctor of physical therapy student received the School of Health Professions Citation Award at the 2014 International Health Electives Showcase.

Laura Webb spent a seven-week clinical rotation in Costa Rica earlier this year. Webb, who is a graduate of Shawnee Mission East and the University of Kansas, says her primary goals on the trip were to improve her Spanish-speaking abilities and to broaden her knowledge about the way physical therapy is practiced throughout the world.

Webb traveled to Costa Rica from Jan. 2 to Feb. 19, sharing time between Heredia and San Jose.

Winners were also selected from the schools of medicine and nursing. Matthew Farley, who spent time in New Zealand, received the School of Medicine honor. And Kayla Benson, who spent time in India, was the School of Nursing winner.
All three winners presented their projects during the 2014 International Health Electives Showcase on April 28 at the University of Kansas Medical Center.


Zaid Mansour earns SHP medal at Student Research Forum

Mansour

Zaid Mansour

Research exploring changes in brain function for patients with lower back pain has earned Zaid Mansour the top medal in the School of Health Professions at the 2014 Student Research Forum.

The medal was presented during a banquet on April 3 at The Foundation in Kansas City, Mo., as part of the three-day Student Research Forum at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The award was one of several presented by the schools of Health Professions, Medicine and Nursing at the University of Kansas Medical Center. (Story)


PTRS sweeps Scientific Inquiry Awards at Kansas Physical Therapy conference

The Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science swept the Scientific Inquiry Awards at the Kansas Physical Therapy Association (KPTA) spring conference on April 5-6 in Wichita.

Associate professor Patricia Kluding, PT, Ph.D., was selected by the KPTA Research Committee to receive the best platform presentation award. Mayis Aldughmi, a doctoral student in rehabilitation science, received the best poster award. And Sara Nelson was awarded the of best entry-level student presentation.

Assistant professor Steve Jernigan, PT, Ph.D., was appointed as the new chair of the Research Committee by the KPTA Board of Directors.


SHP alumni, faculty to receive Alumni Association honors in October

Al-Jarrah

Al-Jarrah

Kluding

Kluding

Two alumni and a faculty member from the School of Health Professions have been selected to receive 2014 Alumni Awards during Alumni Weekend.

The awards are presented annually to leaders, researchers, experts and mentors who give to their communities and the health care professions. The awards will be presented to the honorees during Alumni Reunion Weekend, Oct. 10-11.

Complete list of 2014 Alumni Award winners

The Early Career Achievement in Health Professions Alumnus Honor will go to Muhammad Al-Jarrah, associate professor of physical therapy at Fatima College of Health Sciences in the United Arab Emirates. Al-Jarrah, who earned his master of science in physical therapy degree from KU in 2004 and his doctorate in 2006, will present the 2014 Jessie Ball Lecture duirng Alumni Weekend.

Patricia Kluding, associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, has been named the Honorary Health Professions Alumna. Kluding has been a member of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science since 2003.

Cynthia Kay Thompson, the Ralph and Jean Sundin Professor of Communication Sciences at Northwestern University, has been selected as the Distinguished Health Professions Alumna. Thompson received a doctorate in speech and language pathology from KU in 1983.


Lauren Little earns Trail Blazer Award

Lauren Little

Lauren Little

An assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy Education has received a Frontiers Trail Blazer Award.

LINK: Trail Blazer Award winners

Lauren Little, Ph.D., is collaborating with Cary Savage, director of the Center for Health Behavior Neuroscience, on a project titled, “Neural Mechanisms of Gustatory Processing in Autism.” The study uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at the differences between how adolescents with autism spectrum disorders process images of food versus adolescents with typical development.

Little says they are also looking at how behavioral responses to sensory stimuli align with neural responses.

Little came to the KU Department of Occupational Therapy last July after doing her post-doctorate work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where she received her doctorate in 2012. Little received her master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Frontiers awards up to $5,000 to investigators to support clinical and translational research.


Rucker earns top honor at APTA Combined Sections Meeting in Vegas

Jason Rucker

Jason Rucker

Jason Rucker, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, has had little trouble keeping busy the past few weeks.

Rucker, a member of the Georgia Holland Health Exercise and Aging Laboratory, was the recipient of the Neurology Section's Post-Professional Student Research Award at the annual Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association in early February in Las Vegas. The neurology section was one of the largest with more than 200 abstracts submitted for poster and platform presentations.

In addition to having his work selected as the best abstract by a post-professional student, Rucker also earned a prestigious spot on the platform at the conference for his presentation on Feb. 5.

"It's really a tremendous honor to receive this award and be given the opportunity to present my research on the national stage," Rucker says. "Along with receiving an honors designation at my (dissertation) defense, this certainly helped validate all of the time and effort that went into my dissertation." 

On Jan. 30, Rucker successfully defended his dissertation, "Multi-tasking, Executive Function and Functional Abilities in Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus," with honors. Rucker received his Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from Kansas State University and his Master of Science degree in physical therapy in 2002 from the University of Kansas.

"In addition to continuing in my faculty role as an instructor and clinician, I'd really like to use my dissertation work as a stepping stone to expand my research interests," Rucker says. "I'm very interested in exploring the relationship between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, and examining how physical activity and exercise influence multi-tasking and other cognitive functions in these and other populations."  


SHP faculty earn Frontiers grants

Three members of the School of Health Professions are the principle investigators on projects awarded pilot grants by Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

The 2014 Pilot and Collaborative Studies recipients will each receive $20,000 to fund beginning-stage research projects. Frontiers, which partnered with organizations and units to provide the funding, made the announcement in early February. (Full listing of 2014 Frontiers grants)

Jeanine Goetz, an assistant professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, received funding from Frontiers and the KU Medical Center Research Institute for her work titled, "Sensible Eating: A Food Security Enhancement Intervention Tailored to Improve Diet Quality and Reduce Weight Fluctuations Among Food Insecure Individuals."

Jill Hamilton-Reeves, an assistant professor in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, received funding from Frontiers for her work titled, "Caloric Restriction to Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk."

Frontiers funded research by Jeff Searl, associate professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Education. His work is titled, "Articulatory Contact Pressure During Speech by Individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis."

Jeff Radel, an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy Education, was part of a research team that also received funding. Michael Rippee, M.D., is the principle investigator on a project titled, "Evaluating Magnetic Resource Spectroscopy (MRS) as an Aid in Predicting Recovery from Persistent Post-Concussion Symptoms," that is being funded by Frontiers.


Huisinga awarded National Multiple Sclerosis Society grant

Jessie Huisinga

Jessie M. Huisinga

Jessie M. Huisinga, an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and a senior scientist at the Landon Center on Aging, has been awarded a research grant by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Huisinga's research − titled "Identification of Gait and Balance Deficits in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis Using Wireless Sensors" — targets the lack of accurate, portable ways of measuring walking and balance for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Huisinga plans to use wireless sensors to determine the most sensitive measures for detecting walking and balance deficits and abnormal postural responses associated with the disease.

In order to treat people with MS, Huisinga says, it is important to have assessment tools that are valid, reliable and specific to the patients so that researchers and clinicians can measure what is wrong and whether the treatments are effective. The outcome measures will be tested over an 18-month period to determine how sensitive the measures are in gauging changes in mobility and balance in persons with MS. If successful, the study's findings will have implications for the development of treatments for walking and balance problems in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Huisinga has worked at the University of Kansas Medical Center since March 2012.


Dolphino earns Kathy Johnson Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award

Martin Dolphino

Martin Dolphino

A clinical instructor working with the departments of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science at both the University of Kansas and Rockhurst University has been awarded the 2013 Kathy Johnson Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award.

Martin Dolphino, DPT, OCS, CMPT, has worked with KU's Department of Physical Therapy for more than 10 years as a clinical instructor and guest lecturer. Dolphino serves as a mentor to many in the field of physical therapy. As part of his teaching responsibilities, Dolphino spends six months each year with six doctor of physical therapy students from KU and another six months with students from Rockhurst University. (More)


Two master's degree students have received 2014 Kathlyn "Kitty" Reed Occupational Therapy Scholarships.

Elizabeth Markowitz, third-year master of occupational therapy (MOT) student, and Anna Keeney, second-year MOT student, each received $5,000 awards during a presentation in January at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Both students have 4.0 grade point averages and are involved in multiple community and student activities.

2014 scholarship award winners with Winnie Dunn and Peggy Person"These two students exemplified the criteria of outstanding occupational therapy graduate student to the faculty who make these choices," says Winnie Dunn, professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy Education.

Markowitz grew up in Overland Park, Kan., attended Shawnee Mission South High School and earned a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Texas-Arlington. She moved back to Kansas upon graduation to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a Jayhawk and says she has found her passion as an occupational therapist.

"The Kitty Reed Scholarship takes a huge load off financially, but mostly it reminds me that all the sweat was worth it – I am going to be an occupational therapist," Markowitz says. "Thank you, Kitty, for this amazing support and encouragement!" (More)


speech-language student Joshuaa Allison-Burbank

KU speech-language pathology student brings interventions to son, Navajo and Acoma tribes. Story at ASHA.org


See 2013 events and activities

Last modified: Jul 19, 2016
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