Below are activities in the school during 2014. For news items, including press releases and official announcements, please visit the KU Medical Center Communications Office news.
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)
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)
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)
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
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
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, 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
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)
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
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)
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.
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
An assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy Education has received a Frontiers Trail Blazer Award.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
"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)
KU speech-language pathology student brings interventions to son, Navajo and Acoma tribes. Story at ASHA.org