Marylyn Morris McEwen PhD, PHCNS-BC, FAAN, an associate professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing, has been awarded $1.8 million, five-year grant titled Decreasing Diabetes Disparities: Building Mexican American Family Social Capital.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the project seeks to build family capacity for managing diabetes among individuals of Mexican origin who reside in the United States–Mexico border region, where type 2 diabetes (T2DM) exceeds the U.S. national rates for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites. Elimination of T2DM health disparities in this unique geopolitical region is of utmost importance in the fight to reduce diabetes and its negative long-range health consequences.
Using community-based participatory research principles to engage Mexican American adults with T2DM and their family partners, Dr. McEwen’s research team will facilitate the design and testing of a culturally tailored diabetes management education and social support intervention for building family capacity (“social capital”) to reduce T2DM health disparities. A total of 168 Mexican American adults with T2DM, ages 35-74, and their family member (18 years and older) will randomly be assigned to either intervention or wait-list control groups. A compressed intervention will be offered to participants in the wait-list control group. The intervention will be delivered in Spanish and English through group education and social support activities, home visits and telephone calls. The intent is to improve and sustain glycemic control within individuals with T2DM and effect positive downstream outcomes for families and communities as well.
For more than 20 years, Dr. McEwen has been working in several health-related ways with Mexican Americans who reside in the U.S.–Mexico border region – conducting community health assessments, mentoring nursing and other health professional students to provide educational interventions and case-management services and conducting community-based pilot studies that focused on diabetes self-management.
Dr. McEwen’s inter-professional team includes: Carolyn Murdaugh, PhD, FAAN, UA College of Nursing; Harold Szerlip, MD, UA College of Medicine; Deborah Koniak-Griffin, RNC, EdD, FAAN, director Women's Health Research, Center for Vulnerable Populations Research, UCLA School of Nursing; and Gwen Gallegos, FNP, CDE, Carondelet Health Network, Tucson.
Faculty at the University of Arizona College of Nursing envision, engage and innovate in education, research and practice – to help people of all ages optimize health in the context of major life transitions, illnesses, injuries, symptoms and disabilities. Established in 1957, the college ranks among the top nursing programs in the United States. For more information, please visit the website, www.nursing.arizona.edu
Twenty Tucson middle-school students are learning if they’ve got what it takes to be a registered nurse this week at University Medical Center’s “Camp Scrubs.”
This is the eighth year UMC has offered the popular summer camp, said camp Director Lori Mare, RN, BSN, CCRN, clinical nurse supervisor at UMC.
“Arizona and the nation are facing a critical nursing shortage and we must recruit more young people into the profession. Camp Scrubs is one way we can show teens some of the joys of nursing,” she said.
Getting seventh- and eighth-graders thinking about nursing as a possible career choice gives them time to adjust their high school coursework with an eye toward getting into nursing school, Mare said.
During Camp Scrubs, students hear from UMC nurses in a variety of specialties, including emergency services, infection control, orthopedics, pediatrics, cardiovascular services and perioperative services. They also shadow working nurses, learn about nursing degrees offered through the University of Arizona and Pima Community College, and receive training and certification in first aid and CPR.
“We wanted to show these impressionable young people that nursing is more than giving medications and bed baths, that it also has some very exciting aspects,” she said.
UMC, with more than 1,000 registered nurses on staff, can show the students a huge array of specialty nursing, she added.
In 2003, UMC was the first hospital in Arizona to earn the prestigious Nurse Magnet Hospital designation from the American Nurses Association, and UMC remains the only hospital in Southern Arizona to win this so-called “Nobel prize for nursing.” Magnet Hospital designation is held by only 2 percent of all acute-care hospitals in the United States.
How to remain civil when under stress is the topic of “Empathy and Self Care: A Blueprint for Renewed Civility,” a free presentation, open to the public, on Wednesday, July 6, 6 to 7:30 p.m., at University Medical Center, Chase Bank Auditorium (Room 8403), 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. The lecture is presented by the Arizona Arthritis Center at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
Speaker Steve Ross, MA, will address how we can ensure civility in our daily interactions when we are dealing with many stressors and what seems to be an impatient, angry mood in the collective psyche. The interactive presentation will outline a new blueprint for relaxed, open communication. Ross is a California-licensed marriage and family therapist who, since relocating to Tucson in 2002, has worked primarily in the areas of stress and chronic pain reduction and bereavement counseling.
Seating is limited and prior registration is requested. For more information or to register, contact the Arizona Arthritis Center, (520) 626-5040, or email LivingHealthy@arthritis.arizona.edu
The lecture is part of a series of “Living Healthy with Arthritis” monthly talks presented by the Life Compass initiative of the Arizona Arthritis Center at the UA College of Medicine and supported through the Susan and Saul Tobin Endowment for Research and Education in Rheumatology.
The Arizona Arthritis Center, a Center of Excellence at the UA College of Medicine, is a research leader with a focus on identifying the causes of arthritis and developing improved technologies for diagnosing, measuring and treating the disease. For more information, visit the website www.arthritis.arizona.edu
TUCSON, Ariz. – Theodore Tong, PharmD, associate dean for academic and student affairs at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, was honored as an Advocate for Diversityin Medicine by the Victoria Foundation June 3.
Dr. Tong was recognized for his numerous activities that encourage and support diversity on the UA campus. These include being a member of the UA’s Diversity Coalition and a leader of the Asian American Faculty, Staff and Alumni Association. For 14 years, Dr. Tong also has directed PharmCamp, a program that introduces middle school students to the pharmacy profession and the UA.
The Victoria Foundation, located in Phoenix, advocates for higher education and awards scholarships to colleges that focus on improving the human condition. This year its emphasis was on health professions education and included scholarship awards to the UA Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine and the UA Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.
TUCSON, Ariz. – On Friday, June10, 18-year-oldDillon Schultz will receive a new pulmonary valve without having to undergo open-heart surgery.
The novel catheterization procedure, known as the Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve (TPV) Therapy, will be performed at University Medical Center by pediatric interventional cardiologists Ricardo Samson, MD, and G. Michael Nichols, MD, from the UA Department of Pediatrics, and the UMC catheterization lab team.
Dillon recently graduated from Canyon Del Oro High School. He was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect that results in low oxygenation of the blood. He had his first conduit placed when he was 6 months old and a replacement conduit at 10 years. Each time, Dillon underwent open-heart surgery. A conduit is a surgically implanted tissue valve placed between the right ventricle and pulmonary artery to establish blood flow between the heart and the lungs.
“It’s really cool that I won’t have to get my chest ripped open again,” says Dillon.
Recovery time from the TPV procedure is minimal compared to open-heart surgery. Dillon will be in the hospital for only one day and should be fully recovered within a week.
In April, Veronica Smith of Sierra Vista was the first person in Arizona to undergo this groundbreaking procedure at UMC. “I feel like I have a new heart,” she said.
The Melody TPV Therapy was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2010 as the first replacement pulmonary valve that can be implanted without open-heart surgery. It treats narrowed or leaking pulmonary valve conduits.
“Over time, the conduit wears out and needs to be replaced approximately every seven to 10 years,” explains Dr. Samson. “For our pediatric patients who have their first conduit placed by the time they are 10 years old, they are looking at many surgeries during their lifetime,” he says. “By placing the Melody TPV valve by catheterization rather than by operation, our patients know this will save them from open-heart surgeries in the future."
TUCSON, AZ– The University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center has received approximately $450,000 to establish the “PANDA Healthy Babies Project.”
The funds were raised from the PANDA Children Helping Children Fashion Show that took place in Phoenix in April.
PANDA --People Acting Now Discover Answers -- is the adopted name for the Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Center, which coordinates the fashion show fundraiser every year.
The PANDA Healthy Babies Project will support the work of Steele Center researchers Bohuslav Dvorak, PhD, professor; Melissa Halpern, PhD, associate professor; and Alan Bedrick, MD, professor and section chief of neonatology.
The project focuses on Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), a painful inflammatory gastrointestinal disorder that afflicts approximately 9,000 premature infants annually. It is the most common GI ailment of premature babies. Approximately 20 percent to 50 percent do not survive this painful disease.
Dr. Dvorak studies ways to prevent the development of NEC, while Dr. Halpern’s research focuses on developing the first predictive test for NEC. In addition, Dr. Bedrick has designed clinical studies to determine if common procedures and medications in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) contribute to the development of NEC.
Moreover, Drs. Bedrick and Halpern are building collaborative research partnerships with NICUs throughout Arizona, including Phoenix. Expanding their research projects to these sites will increase the amount of viable data, ensuring the success of the researchers’ efforts.
“Necrotizing enterocolitis is a devastating disease for any baby in the NICU,” says Dr. Bedrick. “It can strike without warning, resulting in severe consequences for critically ill infants. This funding furthers our work to identify infants at increased risk for NEC and diagnose the disease in its earliest stages—enabling prompt and early therapy.”
“We are very grateful to PANDA for their efforts,” says Dr. Dvorak.“We are working hard to develop new treatments for this devastating disease, and this funding will help us achieve our goal.”
The University of Arizona College of Medicine –Tucson, Department of Pediatrics, and UA Healthcare welcome new faculty member Joel S. Blumberg, MD, assistant professor, to the Section of General Pediatrics.
Dr. Blumberg comes to the UA from the University of Texas –Southwestern Medical School, where he both taught and practiced at Dell Children’s Medical Center.
As a general pediatrician, Dr. Blumberg will provide care for children at the Arizona Elks Clinic for Children and Young Adults at University Medical Center and at the Children’s Center at University Physicians Hospital.
Dr. Blumberg completed medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch and his residency in pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He has a special interest in pediatric nephrology and medical education/adult learning.
Dr. Blumberg is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A free talk, “Stroke and Risk for Seizures,” by Kendra Drake, MD, medical director of the Primary Stroke Center at University Medical Center and clinical assistant professor with the University of Arizona College of Medicine Department of Neurology, will be held Tuesday, June 21, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at La Rosa Health Care Center, Santa Catalina Villas, 7500 N. Calle Sin Envidia, Tucson.
The talk is open to the public and health-care providers. RSVP requested; contact the UA Department of Neurology, (520) 626-1986 or email email@example.com
Dr. Drake is involved in several national clinical research trials for stroke prevention and treatment including studies assessing the effects of aspirin, clopidogerl and blood pressure management on the recurrence of small strokes; the effectiveness of pioglitazone in stroke/TIA (transient ischemic attack) patients who have insulin resistance; the effect of albumin infusion on stroke outcomes; and a study of racial and ethnic differences in hemorrhagic strokes. She also is a collaborator on a four-year UA study of epilepsy in seniors.
The UMC Primary Stroke Center has offered quality stroke care for more than 30 years and is Southern Arizona’s first certified stroke center. The center is staffed by nearly 20 board-certified neurologists and 16 medical residents with the UA College of Medicine Department of Neurology. All have specific training in current guidelines and treatment of stroke. The center also offers outpatient services in Tucson, Green Valley and Sierra Vista. For information about the Primary Stroke Center, visit the website www.neurology.arizona.edu/clinical/stroke.phpor call Jenny Chong, PhD, (520) 626-1986.
TUCSON, Ariz. – Twenty-four exceptional Arizona high school students will gain hands-on experience in scientific research this summer during the fifth annual KEYS (Keep Engaging Youth in Science) Internship Program at the University of Arizona.
This year’s students are from greater Tucson-area high schools, including Pueblo, Catalina, University, Tucson High, St. Gregory’s, Basis, Flowing Wells, Mountain View, Canyon del Oro and Sahuarita, and schools in Phoenix, Chandler, Peoria, Bullhead City and Glendale. They were chosen competitively from more than 80 applicants. The high-school students will work in UA laboratories engaged in bioscience, bioengineering and environmental health science research.
The KEYS interns will attend a training institute during the first week of the program. This year’s opening will feature remarks by several past interns, including Kim Tham, a graduate of the initial KEYS group who currently is a senior in biosystems engineering at the UA. Regarding her KEYS experience, Tham says, “I began to understand the possibilities and rewards for pursuing a degree in science. I learned more about college, graduate programs and possibilities than any other outreach program had offered.”
Following the training week, interns will complete research under the mentorship of UA investigators and graduate students and attend weekly seminars to discuss their experiences and practice science communication skills. The six-week experience culminates with research poster presentations to their peers, families and the public, at 10 a.m. July 15 in the Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch Building.
More than 40 UA faculty members have mentored KEYS interns since the program began in 2007. More than 20 researchers are involved this year, including Rod Wing, PhD, Arizona Genomics Institute, and Serrine S. Lau, PhD, director of Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center. Dr. Lau welcomed high school students to her lab for summer projects even before the KEYS program was organized.
“These young people are the ones who will be continuing with the scientific discovery,” Dr. Lau says. “They will be the ones who will be taking from what little we know now and expanding on further investigation. We must start now by allowing students to ask questions in the search for answers.”
The KEYS internship program is funded by the BIO5 Institute, corporate sponsorships from Research Corporation and Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals and contributions from several individual donors.