2015 August | UToledo News - Part 2

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Archive for August, 2015

Funding to help create jobs in community health field

The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences recently announced a program that will add 35 community health workers to the region to connect patients with resources to help them obtain the care they need.

UT, through its Area Health Education Center program, received $458,000 from the Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program Healthcare Access Initiative to provide scholarship stipends to allow community members to receive the appropriate training to become a community health worker.

Vasquez

Vasquez

“Community health workers are entry-level health practitioners who serve as a liaison between individuals and health-care providers,” said grant administrator Kathy Vasquez, director of the UT and Ohio Statewide Area Health Education Center programs and UT associate vice president for government relations. “Community health workers go by many titles that include care coordinator, navigator or advocate. No matter what they are called, though, they are vital employees who connect individuals and families to health insurance, health information, food, housing and transportation, so that those things do not keep them from obtaining the care they need.”

The Area Health Education Center Partnership for Community Health Workers program is a collaboration among UT’s Area Health Education Center program, the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio/Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB, Mercy College of Ohio, North Central State College and Care Coordination Systems.

The Healthcare Access Initiative is funded by the Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program through the Ohio Department of Medicaid and administered by the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center. It supports the development, training and retention of health-care practitioners to serve Ohio’s Medicaid population using emerging health-care delivery models and evidenced-based practices.

Scholarship stipends, with commitment to serve Ohio’s Medicaid population, are available and will cover the full cost of the program being conducted by North Central State College. Partial coverage (up to $3,000) for those attending the program through Mercy College of Ohio in Toledo also is available.

Mercy College started a class Aug. 15. North Central State College will offer a class at the Mansfield campus in August and another class on UT Health Science Campus in early 2016.

The certification program will include classroom, laboratory and clinical components designed to prepare students for work in many health-care settings, including an ambulatory care center, a senior outreach program and a pregnancy center.

Course work in the program entails medical terminology, cultural diversity, basic life support, and first aid and community health specific topics such as advocacy, referral processes, documentation, and skills to complete home visits. Practical experiences in community health settings also are part of the program.

Graduates of the program will receive assistance finding a job upon successful completion of the program and certification by the Ohio Board of Nursing. Employers also could be eligible for funds to assist with the cost of creating new community health worker positions and employing workers to fill those positions.

The Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB partners with organizations that hire community health workers. The HUB is focused on finding people at risk for poor health and identifying and reducing barriers to care by addressing social issues and measuring the results.

“Through the Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB, nonprofit organizations that hire community health workers can secure sustainable sources of funding for their care coordination program focused on addressing the social determinants of health,” said Jan Ruma, director of the Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB and vice president of the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio.

According to national employment data, community health jobs are supposed to increase 21.8 percent through 2020. Annual salaries vary greatly based on the type of employer but average approximately $37,000.

“Community health workers are expected to be in demand in our area in the coming months and years,” said Cheri Nutter, dean of innovative and transitional education at Mercy. “This certification program is helping Ohio create employees for the growing Medicaid population, and Mercy is glad to be partnering with The University of Toledo.”

UT research featured on cover of chemistry journal

Featured on the cover of a recent issue of one of chemistry’s most notable journals was a diagram of lead iodide molecules assembling into a complex photovoltaic material. It referenced an article inside the magazine written by a group of scholars from The University of Toledo.

Chemistry of Materials is a peer-reviewed scientific journal featuring fundamental research in chemistry, chemical engineering and materials science.

Chemistry of MaterialsThe article and cover art in the July 14 edition focused on the formation of revolutionary material that is exciting the photovoltaics community: so-called perovskites. This material, applied to solar energy conversion only in the last five years, has quickly demonstrated high efficiency for generating power from solar energy.

The project has been worked on for the past two years in UT’s Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization, which was started in 2007 to strengthen photovoltaic research and manufacturing in Ohio. Drs. Michael Heben, Randy Ellingson and Adam Phillips of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, along with students Suneth Watthage, Zhaoning Song and Brandon Tompkins, contributed to the research and writing for the article.

Heben, UT professor of physics and the Wright Center’s endowed chair, explained that perovskites have attracted so much attention for photovoltaics because they have only been around for a fraction of the time of other photovoltaic materials, but already have demonstrated great effectiveness.

“It’s really unanticipated that a material that was not on anybody’s radar would come on the scene about three years ago and rapidly progress from efficiencies of just a few percent to efficiencies greater than 20 percent,” he said. “Researchers from all over the world have been very rapidly working to improve the performance of the materials in solar cells.”

With all the haste to improve efficiency, some fundamental science questions have gone unanswered. The UT group’s research gained attention due to the creation of a phase diagram for the handling and processing of the perovskite material. A phase diagram is a material’s representation of the limits of stability of the various phases in a chemical system with respect to variables such as composition and temperature, Heben explained.

“The reason that this is important is because it will provide a road map for others who want to work in this field, and help those currently working in the field to understand and improve upon the results they already have,” he said.

In the past month, the article has been one of the top downloads from the journal.

“Solar energy is booming; the market is growing 30 to 40 percent each year and has been doing so for more than 15 years. In many parts of the country, clean solar energy is already cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity,” Heben said.

For more information about the article, contact Heben at Michael.Heben@utoledo.edu.

Professors assessing financial damage from water crisis

The memories of last year’s water crisis in and around Toledo are still fresh in the minds of most residents, and the anxiety about a repeat event in 2015 is high.

But two University of Toledo professors are hard at work at one of the critical issues surrounding last year’s three-day event: What was the economic impact of the 2014 Toledo water crisis on the local economy?

Aug.24.FA.inddDr. Andrew Solocha, professor in the Department of Finance in the College of Business and Innovation, along with Dr. Neil Reid, director of the UT Jack Ford Urban Affairs Center and professor of geography and planning in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, are researching that very issue, funded by a grant from the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago. They began their research in May and will have an initial impact report by the end of August.

“Lake Erie is an enormously important resource,” Solocha said. “I didn’t know anything about the science behind this, but I was really concerned about what happened here last year, and so I volunteered my time for this research. We envision a series of reports, the first one in August about the three days from last year, and then other reports over time.

“My training is in economics, data and model building, and for this research and report it is essential to have someone with experience in both business and economics because we have to interpret this data, find out what the data is saying to us; sometimes it doesn’t say anything at all. We have to go and interview people, and people can be confused or have misinformation. This is a work in progress, and we don’t yet know where all the answers are to make this complete.”

“One of the main challenges in doing this research is getting reliable data,” Reid said. “Often in the research we do, you can go to a public data source like the census and use data that has been collected in a systematic fashion. But with unanticipated one-off events like this, there are no data that are systematically collected.

“So it becomes like doing a jigsaw puzzle, but one in which you have to go out and find all the data pieces,” Reid said. “And, unfortunately, many of the pieces are either very hard to find or may not even exist. Our task here is to find as many of the pieces as possible and put them together to paint as complete a picture as we possibly can.”

“We need to be able to assess what the damages — all the damages — are. We know several sectors that were impacted by the 2014 water crisis, including hospitals, the food processing industry, restaurants, tourism and consumers, plus we will probably see an impact on housing,” Solocha said.

“But there may be impacts that we can’t see, and there could be a long-term impact. For example, people who typically go to Lake Erie beaches who have decided that now they can’t go there in the future because of the negative publicity for the region.

“Of course, there was also good news, such as the charities that came out, mobilized and helped,” he observed. “For example, the American Red Cross brought in water for people, and the National Guard distributed water and food.”

Solocha added, “The University of Toledo has been fantastic in helping us with this project, as have other organizations such as the United Way of Greater Toledo. It is absolutely critical that people know we are working on this report and that they help us.”

If you have information you would like to share about the economic impact of the 2014 water crisis, contact Solocha at Andrew.Solocha@utoledo.edu or Reid at Neil.Reid@utoledo.edu.

UT updates student insurance policy to offer voluntary coverage

The University of Toledo continues to offer health insurance plans for students, but no longer has a policy that requires students to have insurance coverage.

The passage of the Affordable Care Act that requires individuals to have health insurance coverage made it redundant for the University to also have a policy making it mandatory for students to have health insurance, said Dr. Thea Sawicki, vice provost for health science affairs and university accreditation.

“We continue to believe in the importance of all students maintaining health-care coverage to help ensure academic success and well-being, which is why we continue to offer a competitive option for students,” Sawicki said. “This change in policy means that University-offered coverage is voluntary for students to sign up for, rather than it being automatically applied to their accounts and having them opt out if they had other insurance coverage.”

For international students and students who are in a program that requires health-care coverage, the UT student insurance program will continue to be placed on their accounts with the ability to opt out of the UT plan if they have other comparable coverage.

The UT Board of Trustees approved the policy change in June. The mandatory student insurance policy had been in place since 2013.

The policy change also reflects the trend of fewer students using the UT policy because of having other health-care coverage. Only 1,774 students were assessed the UT coverage in fall 2014, compared to 3,825 five years prior in fall 2010.

The Student Health Coverage Plan is run by Student Educational Benefit Trust-Medical Health Services, a subsidiary of Medical Mutual of Ohio. Pharmacy coverage is included, and students also can select optional vision and dental coverage plans.

Information about the insurances plans is available at utoledo.edu/healthservices/student/health_insurance.

Downtown Coaches Association luncheons set to begin

A University association will host weekly luncheons featuring the UT athletic community.

The Downtown Coaches Association is an organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging interest in The University of Toledo athletics program. Members and guests will have the opportunity to attend a weekly buffet lunch that will feature talks from different members of UT’s athletic community.

Downtown Coaches AssociationThe cost of lunch is $14, and anyone interested in Rocket athletics is encouraged to attend. Annual membership dues are $40 for those who choose to join the organization.

“The Downtown Coaches Association has been an instrumental support group for Rocket athletic programs for several decades,” said David Nottke, senior associate athletic director. “Members get the up-close and personal look inside of Rocket athletics. Our coaches and student-athletes are regular guests on our Monday luncheon programs.”

The opening luncheon on Monday, Aug. 31, will feature UT Football Coach Matt Campbell with a report and Football Equipment Manager Jeremy Boyd with a demonstration on what it takes to outfit and protect players. Lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. with the program beginning at noon.

UT President Sharon Gaber will speak at the second luncheon, which will be Tuesday, Sept. 8, due to the Labor Day holiday.

Lunches then will continue each Monday until winter break. After winter break, luncheons will resume Monday, Jan. 4.

For more information or to join Downtown Coaches Association, click here or contact Julia Kudla at 419.530.5087 or Julia.Kudla@utoledo.edu.

Start of school year signals stress in students

Back to school can mean back to stress for some students, according to a psychiatrist at The University of Toledo Medical Center.

The school year — as opposed to summer vacation — is ripe for stress and anxiety, said Dr. Theodor Rais, director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division at UTMC.

Parents need to try to continually communicate with their students, even those in college, if they want to stay on top of mental health issues that might arise during the school year, Rais said.

Rais

Rais

Students in high school are more likely to be bullied or worried about getting good grades, he said, while college students, especially first-year students, are adjusting to a new environment and being away from home for the first time.

Rais, who said his office sees an uptick in patients September through May, recommends giving your student advance notice before a visit to check in, that way you aren’t surprising him or her. Incorporating food into the conversation is also a tactic that works with many young people. It’s hard to turn down a free meal, he said.

Listening to students is most important. Just let them talk, Rais said. Too often parents try to inject their opinions before hearing what their child has to say.

Parents should be concerned if their students are suddenly getting involved in high-risk behaviors like drinking or drugs.

“You have to be in tune with your child,” Rais said. “The golden principle is that you need to talk to your child. Most of the problems happen when the channels of communication get interrupted.”

Changes in eating or sleeping patterns also should be taken seriously.

“If you see something that is wrong, do not take any chances,” Rais said. “Even if you have the least degree of suspicion, you need to take your child in for an assessment.”

College can be particularly stressful because of the “imposter syndrome,” Rais said. Students at Ivy League schools, for instance, might think that they don’t belong, feeling like they are there by luck and won’t be able to make it academically and socially, he said.

“My best advice is preserving the communication, which is made easier these days with texting, Skype and email,” Rais said. “Even though your students are striving for independence, they still need a family.”

ProMedica, The University of Toledo reach academic affiliation agreement

ProMedica and The University of Toledo College of Medicine have finalized an academic affiliation agreement that will enable the two organizations to develop one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. The academic and clinical medical model will recruit medical students, physicians and researchers to northwest Ohio and benefit our communities for generations to come.

ut-promedicaA signing ceremony will take place Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. at the Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Toledo.

“Our goal is to establish one of the nation’s premier academic medical programs that will attract and retain the best caregivers and specialists,” said Randy Oostra, ProMedica president and chief executive officer. “This agreement lays the foundation for our long-term vision to create healthy individuals and healthy communities for generations to come.”

“As we look out at the next half century, this affiliation positions both organizations to be national leaders in health-care education and medical research,” said UT President Sharon Gaber.

The focus of the agreement is on academics and research as well as:

• Offering a broader range of educational and training opportunities for future physicians and medical professionals;

• Attracting and retaining a greater percentage of physicians and other medical specialists;

• Increasing clinical training capacity that will be comparable to other major academic centers;

• Creating new jobs and driving community revitalization, economic and business development opportunities; and

• Enhancing research and innovation opportunities.
Substantially, all of UT’s medical students, residents and fellows will be placed at ProMedica facilities. The agreement includes a commitment by ProMedica to support the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, including teaching, research, and the college’s facilities.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to enrich the quality of medical education and expand our clinical training capacity in Toledo and northwest Ohio,” said Dr. Lee Hammerling, ProMedica chief medical officer. “We’re very excited about the future.”

According to a recent report released by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the nation will face a shortage of between 46,000 to 90,000 physicians by 2025, including primary and specialty care. At the same time, the demand for physicians continues to intensify as a result of the nation’s growing and aging population.

The partnership will be governed by an Academic Affiliation Operating Group, which will serve to develop and implement an academic and programmatic plan for the affiliation. The group will be comprised of six members with equal representation from both parties. A first key action by the group will be the development of a transition plan, which is anticipated to begin implementation in July 2016.

The dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Dr. Christopher Cooper, will chair the Academic Affiliation Operating Group.

“The outcomes of this agreement will be truly transformational,” said Cooper, who also serves as UT’s executive vice president for clinical affairs. “For too long, we have educated students that have traveled to other parts of the country to practice medicine. Thanks to UT’s and ProMedica’s affiliation, not only will we retain far greater numbers of the health-care providers we educate, but I have no doubt students, residents and clinical faculty will be drawn to northwest Ohio and what we have created together.”

For more information about ProMedica, visit promedica.org/aboutus. For more information about UT, visit utoledo.edu.

Welcome greeting from President Gaber

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Welcome to the start of a new academic year!

As you might know, I have had the privilege of serving as UT’s president since July 1, and I have been eagerly awaiting the energy and enthusiasm that comes with the start of the fall semester.

I’ve had the chance to say hello to some of you, and I’m looking forward to many more meetings during campus activities and programs, at athletic events, or just in line for lunch at the Student Union.

During the summer, I’ve been able to meet with many groups across campus, as well as community leaders and elected officials at all levels of government representing northwest Ohio. I’m excited to work with my leadership team to find ways we can enhance our relationships with the various components of the community to provide learning and engagement opportunities for our students and faculty.

I am currently working to finalize my senior leadership team. We’ve combined the external affairs and institutional advancement vice presidencies into one position. Sam McCrimmon, a great addition to UT from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, will lead the new division.

Additionally, Institutional Research is now led at the director level and will be reporting to the Provost’s Office. I’ve also asked Matt Schroeder, who previously worked in the UT Foundation, to join my office as chief of staff. He starts today.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been meeting with colleges and other divisions. At each meeting, I’ve been laying out my goals for UT:

1. We will raise the standing of the University on the national stage, and we will do that by investing in the academic and research core of the institution. We’re going to celebrate and recognize on a greater level the thousands of accomplishments of our students, faculty, researchers and alumni.

2. We’re going to increase the numbers and the academic preparedness of students enrolling at UT, put programs in place to support and retain them as they take robust curricula, and make sure they graduate on time.

3. UT will recommit to increasing externally funded research, advancing scholarship, and demonstrating for the world the new knowledge that we discover.

4. We will increase our fundraising efforts to fund more student scholarships, establish endowed chairs and professorships, develop academic programs and initiatives, and fund new and renovated facilities. I mentioned Sam earlier. Sam and his team will be working with the college deans and units across campus to do this.

5. The University also will be working to reduce administrative costs over time to ensure a UT education remains financially accessible for students.

In the coming months, we will begin a formal strategic planning process that will depend upon substantial campus input and feedback to develop the necessary steps to achieve these goals and move UT forward. The faculty, staff and students are critically important to our collective success.

I joined The University of Toledo because I see what you see: a strong University with an incredible potential for greatness. I am proud to be a part of this community and am grateful for the warm welcome I have received.

To our entire community of UT students, employees, alumni and supporters, thank you for all you continue to do to help this University reach new heights.

Sincerely,
Sharon L. Gaber, Ph.D.
President

Student Part-Time Job Fair to be held Aug. 28; prep sessions available Aug. 25

Looking to build your resumé or gain extra spending money? Go to the Part-Time Job Fair Friday, Aug. 28, in the Student Union Ingman Room from noon to 4 p.m.

“Employers are looking for not only that degree and credentials, but for experience as well,” said Sabina Elizondo-Serratos, associate director of the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services.

The job fair will feature various campus student employment opportunities, as well as community and campus federal work-study jobs.

“This year we are combining our community work-study job fair along with the part-time job fair,” Elizondo-Serratos said. “We are inviting community agencies and nonprofits on campus to interview our work-study students and hopefully get them connected so they can get that hands-on learning experience in the community.”

The event will feature student employment opportunities several the following campus entities:

• Aramark;

• College of Natural Science and Mathematics;

• Department of Art;

• Department of Foreign Languages;

• Institutional Advancement;

• Jesup Scott Honors College;

• Office of Student Experience;

• Office of Student Involvement;

• Transit Services and more.

“Working on campus, you get 20 hours a week, but employers realize you’re a student so the departments will work with students’ schedules; that’s something you don’t always get off campus,” said Joshua Vail, student employment specialist in the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services.

Community and campus federal work-study jobs opportunities include:

• Food for Thought;

• Kids Unlimited;

• MetroParks of Toledo;

• Nightingales Harvest;

• School for Autistically Impaired Learners;

• Toledo Botanical Garden;

• Toledo Campus Ministry;

• Toledo Museum of Art; and

• United Way.

“A number of our students are awarded federal work-study,” Elizondo-Serratos said. “It’s a mutually beneficial experience for both the community agencies and the students.”

Students should bring resumés and wear professional attire at the event.

Six pre-fair one-hour prep sessions are available to students Tuesday, Aug. 25. Those who qualify for federal work-study status must attend. Register here.

“We will go over interviewing tips that students should know about, resumés to make sure it’s presentable, and professional attire to make sure that students understand what that is and should be,” Elizondo-Serratos said.

For more information, visit the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services in Student Union Room 1533 or call 419.530.4341.

Open forums set for CFO candidates

In the coming weeks, The University of Toledo will welcome to campus three candidates for the position of executive vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer.

Each candidate will hold two open forums during his or her visit, one on Main Campus and one on Health Science Campus.

Listed by dates, the candidates are:

Thursday, Aug. 27
— Sherideen Stoll, vice president for finance and administration and CFO at Bowling Green State University
• Main Campus Public Forum — 1:15 to 2 p.m. in Libbey Hall Main Dining Room
• Health Science Campus Public Forum — 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 110

Wednesday, Sept. 2 — Gregory Scott, assistant vice president for finance and business at Pennsylvania State University
• Main Campus Public Forum — 2:15 to 3 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Board Room
• Health Science Campus Public Forum — 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 110

Tuesday, Sept. 8 — Dawn Rhodes, vice chancellor for finance and administration, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
• Main Campus Public Forum — 1:15 to 2 p.m. in Libbey Hall Main Dining Room
• Health Science Campus Public Forum — 4:45 to 5:30 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 110

In a letter to campus, UT President Sharon Gaber encouraged faculty, staff and students to participate in the forums to help evaluate the candidates.

“The executive vice president for finance and administration and CFO will play an important role as we develop and implement our strategic plan for UT in the years ahead,” she wrote. “Your input during these forums will play an important part in ensuring we make the right choices for the University’s future.”