Updates and Activities 2013

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Here are updates and activities from the school during 2013. For news items, including press releases and official announcements, please visit the KU Medical Center Communications Office news.


Grant will help American Indian children with speech-language impairment

When a child's ability to develop speech or language skills is impaired, early action is critical. Whether due to hearing loss, cerebral palsy, autism or syndromes such as Down syndrome, such a child needs extra help to gain the language ability needed for education and socialization in childhood. Story


School of Health Professions alumnus changing the face of health care halfway around world

Muhammed Al-Jarrah in front of Fatima College of Health Sciences in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

A University of Kansas Medical Center alumnus is changing the face of a health care in a country halfway around the world. Muhammed Al-Jarrah, Ph.D., PT, is leading Fatima College of Health Sciences' effort to establish the principles of physical therapy education and clinical practice in the emirate of Abu Dhabi — the largest of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Story


Billinger named chair of American Heart Association Stroke Rehab and Recovery Committee

Sandra BillingerSandra Billinger, director of KU's REACH Laboratory, has been named chair of the Stroke Rehab and Recovery Committee of the Stroke Council of the American Heart Association.

According to the Heart Association's website, the Stroke Council – one of 16 scientific councils – is "dedicated to advancing the science of stroke prevention, treatment and recovery through research and education."

The Stroke Rehab and Recovery Committee was formed with three goals in mind: 1) to create programming on stroke recovery and prevention for the International Stroke Conference; 2) to increase participation from neurorehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, physical medicine and neuroscientists in the field of neuroplasticity; and 3) to expand the quality of improvement programs to include the recovery continuum of care.

Billinger, Ph.D., PT and Fellow of the American Heart Association, will lead the 10-member committee representing rehabilitation and recovery professions.


Simulation lab provides hands-on clinical experience for KU nurse anesthesia students

four nurse anesthesia students working in the simulation labFar away from the bright lights and often tense atmosphere of an actual operating room, students in the University of Kansas nurse anesthesia program hone their skills in the less-intimidating environment of a patient simulation surgical suite at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Mo. Story | Images | Video


Bielby honored as AHIMA fellow

Judy BielbyClinical assistant professor Judy Bielby, MBA, RHIA, CPHQ, CCS, has been recognized as a fellow of the American Health Information Management Association.

The fellowship program recognizes AHIMA members who have made significant and sustained contributions to the profession. The lifetime honor is open to AHIMA members with at least 10 years of experience in health information management, have been a member of AHIMA for a minimum of 10 years, hold at least a master's degree and have shown professional growth, creativity and innovation."This recognition is not just about me," Bielby says. "It is also about all of the people who have mentored me along the way. I have been very fortunate to work with a number of terrific people, and I have learned a lot from them." Read more


Siengsukon receives National MS Society grant

SiengsukonAssistant professor Catherine Siengsukon, Ph.D. PT, has received a one-year pilot grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Siengsukon's research will assess the impact of a three-month aerobic exercise program on the sleep quality and cognitive function of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) versus the effects of a home exercise program. Her research grant is titled "The effects of aerobic exercise on cognitive function and sleep quality in individuals with MS."

The grant will be used for participant reimbursement, research supplies and salaries for collaborators on the project.


VanHoose chosen Soroptimist Ruby Award winner

Assistant professor Lisa VanHoose has been chosen as the recipient of a 2013-14 Soroptimist Ruby Award: For Women Helping Women by Soroptimist International of Kansas City.

VanHoose will be honored on Oct. 16 at the club's dinner meeting at Homestead Country Club in Prairie Village.

VanHoose, Ph.D., PT, CLT-LANA, is one of the founding partners of KU HealthPartners Rehabilitation and Wellness Clinic, which opened this year at the University of Kansas Medical Center from the treatment of patients suffering from acute and chronic illnesses. Kimberly Doty nominated VanHoose for the award.

"Your work with women pursuing education in physical therapy, your mentorship of young girls, and your emphasis on cancer rehabilitation, particularly the health of female cancer survivors, equates with our mission of improving the lives of women and girls," says Jacqueline A. Bond, chair of the Ruby Award Selection Committee.


Kluding chosen for Faculty Research Award

Patricia KludingPatricia Kluding, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, received a Faculty Research Investigator Award during Faculty Research Day
on Oct. 8.

Lisa Stehno-Bittel, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, introduced Kluding, who received the honor from among her peers in the School of Health Professions. Kluding led a team that developed the Pioneers Recruitment Registry website, which is a research participant registry that serves the University of Kansas Medical Center and other regional hospitals and universities.

Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research is a network of scientists from across Kansas and the region working on research that transforms laboratory discoveries into treatments and cures. The Pioneers program matches community members interested in research with appropriate research studies.


Billinger, Sullivan receive alumni honors

Debra Sullivan

Debra Sullivan

Sandra Billinger

Sandra Billinger

Two members of the School of Health Professions faculty were among the 2013 Alumni Award recipients from the Schools of Health Professions, Medicine and Nursing honored at a luncheon during Alumni Weekend festivities on Oct. 4.

Debra Sullivan, PhD, RD, chair of the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, was named the Honorary Health Professions Alumna. Sandra Billinger, PT, PhD, FAHA, an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, was named the Early Career Achievement in Health Professions Alumna.

Kathleen Davis, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine, was named the Distinguished Health Professions Alumna.

The highest honors presented by the University of Kansas Medical Center Alumni Associations, the Distinguished and Honorary Alumni Awards and the Early Career Achievement Award are presented annually during KU Medical Center Alumni Weekend. See full list of award winners


Three occupational students use wheelchairs on the sidewalk at KU Medical Center

KU occupational therapy students spend a day learning about what life is like for those in a wheelchair. Story  |  Photo Gallery


Dr. Carlson (center) and research assistant measure a study subject.

Researchers find ways to improve childhood development. Story


OT State Conference

KOTA presentersA group of occupational therapy education faculty, students and former students represented the University of Kansas Medical Center recently at the annual conference of the Kansas Occupational Therapy Association.

The KU Medical Center contingent was invited to participate in the conference's research forum on Sept. 12 at the Doubletree Hotel in Overland Park. The KU group was comprised of nine faculty members and 33 past and present students. Presenters | Photos


Marilee MeansMarilee Means, cytotechnology program director, has been busy this summer writing a research paper and serving as co-editor for books on cytology and cytopathology. More


New Clinic

physical therapist works with woman in pool

The Rehabilitation and Wellness Clinic provides physical and mental health care services to address the needs of patients through a focus on wellness and quality of life. Committed to treating the whole person and not just the disease process, the clinic offers a multidisciplinary team that understands life is different after a medical diagnosis.

The clinic is a great opportunity for KU students in physical therapy, occupational therapy and psychology to engage in integrated learning experiences. Students learn to critically evaluate a patient and prescribe an intervention in a clinical setting under the supervision of a licensed therapists. Read story  |  Visit the clinic website.


Winnie Dunn speaks at ceremony

Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, received an honorary doctorate from the Arizona School of Health Sciences and delivered the commencement address for the residential and distance learning programs at the ceremony Aug. 2. Video


Aug. 23, 2013: KUMC students participate in community volunteer days
Decked in blue "We Are KU" T-shirts and armed with shovels, rakes and paint brushes, first-year students from the University of Kansas Medical Center fanned out across Kansas City, Kan., Wichita and Salina as part of a student volunteer day. Story


Aug. 6, 2013: The Kansas City Business Journal featured Lisa Stehno-Bittel and her business parter at Likarda, LLC for their work showing promise in curing diabetes by transplanting pancreas islet cells in mice. This installment of "Made in KC" notes the significance of the technology they've developed, and what the company's location could mean for the health of both humans and animals. Video


Billinger to lead The Stroke Walk in KC
Assistant Professor Sandy Billinger, PT, Ph.D., FAHA, who completed the 570-mile Walk Across Kansas this summer with her son to raise awareness about stroke, will lead a walk for stroke survivors on Sept. 7 at Theis Park in Kansas City, Mo.

The director of the REACH Laboratory, Billinger will also be the guest of honor at The Stroke Walk sponsored by the American Stroke Foundation. Money raised by the event will benefit the American Stroke Foundation. The walk is open to both stroke victims and non-stroke victims. More information/donate


students discuss an intern's display presentation

Health Professions students take part in 2013 Community Health Projects
Occupational therapy student Traci Moklestad was one of four student presenters featured at the annual Community Health Project Luncheon and Showcase on July 31 in the School of Nursing. Story and photos


KU Researcher on NPR
Sandy Billinger, PT, Ph.D., joined several area experts to discuss heat-related health issues during the summer months on NPR's "Up to Date" with Steve Kraske, July 24. Listen


Two women sit with an elderly man who received hearing assistance from a KU team's trip to Guatemala

July 25, 2013: The lives of people from one of the world’s poorest countries were touched by a team of medical professionals from the Kansas City area on a recent Medical Missions Foundation trip to Guatemala. Story and photos


July 22, 2013: Dunn to receive honorary doctorate
Winnie DunnWinnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, will receive an honorary doctorate from the Arizona School of Health Sciences. The chair of the KU Department of Occupational Therapy Education will also deliver the commencement address for the residential and distance learning programs at the ceremony Aug. 2. Read story


Angie Ford

July 12, 2013: Angie Ford retired this week from the Department of Occupational Therapy Education. During her time with the department, Ford assisted in the management of field work placements for OT students. She also coordinated with the Office of Student Affairs to ensure that students progressed and graduated properly to ensure their eligibility for the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists exam.


book cover

July 11: 2013: Marilee Means, PhD, SCT(ASCP), cytotechnology program director, has co-authored a new book, Gynecological and Breast Cytopathology Board Review and Self-Assessment. Written by professionals with experience in the practice and teaching of modern cytology, the book is a top resource for pathologists, cytopathologists, cytotechnologists, and trainees preparing for board examinations.


July 08, 2013: Tips for breathing easier when summer heat affects air quality

Dave BurnettWe sat down with David Burnett, Ph.D. the director of the Respiratory Care Education program at the University of Kansas Medical Center, to discuss the dangers of ozone and other challenges people face on air-quality or ozone alert days. Burnett is a registered respiratory therapist (RRT) and a certified asthma educator (AE-C). Students in KU's Respiratory Care Education program learn how to evaluate and treat breathing and cardiopulmonary disorders, including asthma and emphysema. Read Story


PT in Motion journal coverSeveral members of the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science faculty are featured in articles in the July issue of "PT in Motion." Department Chair Lisa Stehno-Bittel, Carla Sabus, Patricia Kluding and Lisa VanHoose play major roles in the cover story titled, “Not-so-strange bedfellows.” VanHoose is also quoted in an article on oncology rehabilitation.

The article examines how these researchers maintain integrity in their work when conducting industry-funded research. Backed by business dollars, the department has explored diabetes drugs, compression garments and orthotic devices, among other projects. One key to such partnerships, according to department Chair Lisa Stehno-Bittel, PT, PhD, is ensuring upfront that the researchers control how the data is used.


Walk Across Kansas journey ends

Sandy Billinger, PT, Ph.D., and her son, Michael, completed their 23-day, 570-mile journey across Kansas on June 7 and raised more than $20,000 to benefit stroke research! • PhotosVideo

Michael and Sandy walking

On the Air: Billinger and her son appeared on KCUR 89.3 FM's Up to Date with Steve Kraske June 11. Listen


man with disabilities works to grind sausage at the Local Pig

Jun 05, 2013: School of Health Professions students help developmentally disabled adults learn to make sausage at the Local Pig

When occupational therapy service learning students from the University of Kansas Medical Center were brought together with adults with developmental disabilities and a crew from a local butcher shop for a sausage-making class, it was a match made in hog heaven. Read Story


Laura DeLozier

DeLozier honored by Heart of America Association Blood Banks

Laura DeLozier, a 2013 graduate of KU's Clinical Laboratory Science program, was honored in May by the Heart of America Association of Blood Banks. Her essay was chosen as the winner in the HAABB competition. DeLozier and the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences each received $500.


Newly promoted and tenured faculty honored at the annual Promotion and Tenure dinner May 23

Tiffany JohnsonLisa Mische-LawsonTiffany Johnson, PhD, CCC-A, Department of Hearing and Speech (at left), was awarded tenure at associate professor.

Lisa Mische-Lawson, PhD, CTRS, Department of Occupational Therapy Education, was promoted to associate professor with tenure.


Hildegard Knopp, the first graduate of the KU Dietetic Internship certificate program at the University of Kansas Medical Center and the 2008 recipient of the School of Health Professions' Life Long Learner award, died on May 8. Read full story


Norb Belz and Karl KoobFormer HIM Program Director Retires
After 14 years of service to KU Medical Center, Karl Koob, former program director of the Department of Health Information Management, retires June 30. A retirement reception for Karl was held Tuesday, June 18.


woman slaps hands with young boy in pool
KU program teaches children with autism how to swim

Kids splashed in the crystal blue water under the direction of occupational therapy students from the University of Kansas Medical Center. The children range from age 4 to 17 and rank along the spectrum of autism disorders. While other children can be drawn almost irresistibly to the joys of flopping about in a pool, these kids sometimes find the water a place of discomfort — without the right introduction. • Story: Kansas City Star



Marc Fey, Ph.D.
, a professor in the KU Department of Hearing and Speech, received the 2013 Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award at the School of Health Professions Student Recognition Ceremony May 18, 2013. Read more


Can Losing Weight In Your 'Second Life' Help In Your First?
May 19, 2013: The School's Debra Sullivan, PhD, RD, speaks with Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin about her research showing that the online game Second Life can help some people lose weight — and keep it off — in real life. NPR's All Tech Considered


Class of 2013 Recognized
May 18, 2013: The School's recognition ceremony, held May 18 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. recognized the achievements of 175 graduating students. Congratulations on a job well done! Award and scholarship winners

two female graduates
See images from the event YouTube icon


KU professor walks across Kansas to promote stroke research
May 16, 2013: A University of Kansas Medical Center professor whose research focuses on the benefits of exercise after stroke will walk across the entire state of Kansas this month in support of National Stroke Awareness Month and Exercise Is Medicine month in May. Story


Benefit Concert for Stroke Research
May 9, 2013: KU Medical Center students combined musical talents Thursday, May 9, in support of stroke research. The free event, held in the Murphy Courtyard on campus, aimed to raise awareness and donations for Walk Across Kansas, a project created to generate attention and funding for stroke rehabilitation by researcher Dr. Sandra Billinger. Details


May 3, 2013: Research finds Second Life program can help with weight loss and maintenance
New research shows the virtual reality world of avatars created in Second Life can help people keep weight off once they lose it. A study led by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., professor and chair of the University of Kansas Medical Center's Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, used Second Life's three-dimensional, virtual reality environment to study both weight loss and maintenance. Read


April 16, 2013: Rucker receives School's overall medal at 2013 Student Research Forum
Research into the role that multitasking may play in falls among older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus has earned Jason Rucker, PT, the first place overall medal in School of Health Professions at the 2013 Student Research Forum. Read


March 28, 2013: School lands five programs in top 25
In the 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Graduate Schools," the University of Kansas School of Health Professions continued its tradition of impressive rankings. Five of its programs are ranked in the top 25 nationally among public universities: occupational therapy (No. 2), speech-language-pathology (6), audiology (7), physical therapy (9) and nurse anesthesia (21). From Advances, campus newsletter; KU release


Deb Sullivan and Jeannine Goetz holding awardsMarch 28, 2013: Leading Lights in research - Two professors at the University of Kansas School of Health Professions are among 40 University of Kansas researchers to receive the university's Leading Light Award. Dietetics and Nutrition's Debra Sullivan, PhD, RD, professor and chair, and Jeannine Goetz, PhD, RD, assistant professor, received the Leading Light Award for their extensive research into weight management.

In one project, the researchers collaborate on use of virtual reality as the platform for weight management. Another main area of work explores weight management among specific populations, such as people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is the second year of the Leading Light Award program. From Advances, campus newsletter


Feb. 28, 2013: Quilting for a Cure
A KU Women's Basketball game was the perfect opportunity for Debby Daniels, Ph.D., to combine her passion for basketball with her sewing skills – and for a great cause. The clinical associate professor in the KU Department of Hearing and Speech created a one-of-a-kind quilt specifically for the KU Women's Basketball team and the Jayhawks for a Cure fundraising campaign. Read


Feb. 25, 2013: Prenatal DHA reduces early preterm birth, low birth weight
University of Kansas researchers have found that the infants of mothers who were given 600 milligrams of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA during pregnancy weighed more at birth and were less likely to be very low birth weight and born before 34 weeks gestation than infants of mothers who were given a placebo. This result greatly strengthens the case for using the dietary supplement during pregnancy. From KU News


Feb. 5, 2013: Marilee Means photoMarilee Means, Ph.D., program director of the KU Cytotechnology program has accepted an invitation to serve on the inaugural Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Society of Cytopathology. Dr. Means will participate as the section editor of “Challenges in Cytology Education and Assessment Tools”. The JASC aims to help shape the content, education and overall mission of the American Society of Cytopathology.


KU's Clinical Laboratory Science Program Hosts 2013 Educator's Conference. Annual Clinical Laboratory Educator's Conference comes to KU Medical Center for the first time. more (image)

Feb. 2013: KU's Clinical Laboratory Science Program hosted the 2013 Clinical Laboratory Educator's Conference. It was the first time the annual event was held at the KU Medical Center.

Campus Corner - Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences. One of only three accredited programs left in Kansas City, KU's Clinical Laboratory Science program graduates 50 percent of all the new medical laboratory scientists in the metro area. Practitioners in this field provide vital information, like calcium and Vitamin D levels, to physicians for diagnosing disease and monitoring treatment.

Approximately 70 percent of all medical decisions are based on laboratory testing, ranging from therapeutic drug monitoring to thyroid function tests to cultures for infectious organisms, that are conducted by medical laboratory scientists and technicians trained in CLS programs like KU's. There is a shortage of board-certified medical laboratory science professionals across the country – a void that KU strives to fill in Kansas City.

Educators attending the conference will go on to provide training to future medical laboratory scientists, medical laboratory technicians, and phlebotomists who will staff hospital, reference, and physician office labs in every hospital in the United States. This is the first year that Kansas City has hosted this conference. St. Luke's Regional Medical Center and North Kansas City Hospital's accredited programs are co-hosting the conference. From KUMed Central/Campus Corner, Jan. 18, 2013

More past events and activities

Last modified: Apr 21, 2014
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