Family Science professor Dr. Norman Epstein and CFT graduate student Le (Clio) Zheng participated in the 47th Annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Conference in Nashville, Tennessee from November 21-24. They were part of an international panel on Cognitive-Behavioral Couple Therapy Around the World representing China, and working with other panel members from Switzerland, England, and Colombia.
ABCT, founded in 1966, is an organization that seeks to understand and improve human functioning through the use of behavioral, cognitive, and other evidence-based principles to assess, prevent, and treat human problems. The conference, held each year, covers such topics as CBT for the LGBT community, treatment of OCD, and CBT across global contexts.
For 24 hours on Dec. 11, the University of Maryland is hosting Scholarship Day, our first-ever, 24-hour giving challenge to support student scholarships.
The School of Public Health is calling on all alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends to give any amount they can to support undergraduate scholarships for public health students. Each school and college can qualify for matching scholarship funds by getting the most donors.
Any amount you give will go to help students in need.
Scholarships are critical to recruiting the best and most diverse student body to Maryland. They change lives. And the public health students who receive them go on to change lives everyday. Your contribution to the School of Public Health scholarship fund can help support students like these SPH students and alumni.
Ana Martinez, Family Science junior
A first generation college student and daughter of Mexican immigrants, Ana is interested in helping Latino families, and specifically women, who experience domestic violence.
Isaiah Bell, Behavioral and Community Health junior
Dedicated to educating others about health, Isaiah serves as a peer educator with the university's Sexual Health and Reproductive Education (SHARE) program and a peer counselor with the UMD Help Center.
Chris Day, BS '12, Kinesiology
A veteran of the war in Afghanistan, Chris got his degree in physical education and is now making a difference in the lives of high schoolers in Montgomery County, Md.
A first generation college student who earned her degree while raising seven kids, Tawanna now works for the Anne Arundel County Department of Health where she was named 2013 "Person of the Year" for her HIV/STD prevention work in the community.
SPH doctoral students Sue Lin and Shikha Prashad were two of 10 poster winners at the university's Bioscience Day on Nov. 19.
Lin, a PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, won for her poster, "Children with Developmental Disabilities and Parental Health and Well-Being." Lin co-authored the study, which examines the relationship between having a child with developmental disabilities and self-reported parental health. The findings demonstrate significant disparities between parents with developmentally disabled children and those without.
Prashad, a doctoral student in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science program, won for his poster, "The Importance of Sequence Structure in Motor Sequence Learning." The study, which Prashad co-authored, examined implicit motor sequence learning and found that performance patterns depend on the transitional properties of the Markov chain used to generate the probabilistic sequences.
The poster session featured participants from 14 fields and ran as part of the Bioscience Day events, which included research talks, presentations, and demonstrations by university scientists.
Research Associate Professor Dr. Muhiuddin Haider joined the Acting Surgeon General RADM Boris Lushniak and other public health experts at a Capitol Hill briefing on Nov. 24 to share findings from his report on the performance and value of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
Senator Kay Hagan (N.C.) hosted the educational briefing to discuss the impact of Public Health Service officers on American health and security.
The USPHS Commissioned Officers Foundation commissioned Dr. Haider to conduct an assessment of the PHS Commissioned Corps' performance and its value to the American taxpayer and to the mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The report, "The USPHS Commissioned Corps: A Study on Value and Contributions to the DHHS Mission and National and Global Health Priorities and Initiatives," aimed to provide a scientifically-based and balanced analysis of the Corps role in protecting and promoting national and global health and security. It includes a cost analysis of hiring practices, an examination of the quality of the system, and recommended improvements.
Dr. Haider shared his recommendations at the Capitol Hill briefing. Included in the report's recommendations are suggestions for the Corps should build relationships with the private sector and organizations such as the American Public Health Association to increase innovative training opportunities, increase the officers' role in achieving Healthy People 2020 goals, increase public health roles of officers to meet the health workforce needs of America and serve at-risk populations, and increase recognition of leadership and services provided by officers stationed in different agencies and departments.
Other speakers at the briefing included COL Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret.) of the Military Officers Association of America, NARFE Magazine reporter David Tobenkin, and RADM Lushniak, who has headed the PHS Commissioned Corps since July.
To read Dr. Haider's full report, click here.
Remarkable improvements in the quality of life, prevention and treatment of disease have been made possible through advancements in biomedical research, including clinical trials involving human subjects. The November 2013 issue of the American Journal of Public Health focuses on the ethics of human subjects research and the critical need for researchers to do better in their efforts to include women and racial and ethnic minority populations into the research enterprise. University of Maryland Center for Health Equity directors Dr. Stephen B. Thomas and Dr. Sandra C. Quinn are guest editors of this theme issue, focusing on The Ethics of Human Subjects Research on Minorities.
Research abuses in the past have contributed to fear and mistrust among minority populations, resulting in regulatory measures designed to protect them due to their real or perceived "vulnerability." But, what makes a research subject vulnerable? Is it the color of their skin? The language they speak? Their socio-economic condition or physical abilities? Increasingly, groups seen as "vulnerable" are demanding access to the benefits of research, and investigators are making progress in successfully including women and minorities. The question of vulnerability is just one of many ethically relevant concepts raised in the American Journal of Public Health issue (Nov. 2013).
The theme issue is made possible by a grant to the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity from the NIH-National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities for their project Building Trust Between Minorities and Researchers, which provides online training modules for researchers and community members on the ethical engagement of minority populations in research. The peer-reviewed papers assembled for the AJPH issue explore the complexities involved in the ethical inclusion of minority populations in research, and the challenges of creating a national research enterprise that is both protective and inclusive of vulnerable groups. In addition, an interview with Dr. John Ruffin, director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, is available in audio podcast form. Drs. Thomas and Quinn talked with Dr. Ruffin about the importance of including minorities in research, and his insights on the changing demographics of the US population, new challenges for researchers, and the value of community participation.
Read the commentary Building Trust for Engagement of Minorities in Human Subjects Research: Is the Glass Half Full, Half Empty, or the Wrong Size? by Sandra C. Quinn, PhD, Guest Editor, Nancy E. Kass, SCD, Guest Editor, and Stephen B. Thomas, PhD, Guest Editor.
The print version will be available in December 2013.
On Dec. 11, the University of Maryland is calling on all Terps to come together to support undergraduate student scholarships. The School of Public Health is counting on our alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends to help us win matching funds in the campus-wide, 24-hour Scholarship Day challenge. Spread the word!
Visit the UMD Scholarship Day website for details!
Two University of Maryland School of Public Health faculty members joined a distinguished panel of speakers to brief the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy on November 21. The panel presented at the workshop "Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health," held in Irvine, California on November 21, 2013.
Dr. Alice Horowitz, (Center for Health Literacy), briefed the roundtable regarding Maryland's oral health literacy initiatives, and Dr. Olivia Carter-Pokras (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics) spoke on public health education in health literacy. The IOM Roundtable on Health Literacy brings together leaders from academia, industry, government, foundations and associations, and representatives of patient and consumer interests to discuss challenges facing health literacy practice and research, and identify approaches to promote health literacy through mechanisms and partnerships in both the public and private sectors. Slides and videos from the presentations will be posted at: http://www.iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/HealthLiteracy/2013-NOV-21.aspx
Dr. Spangenburg gave a presentation to the Department of Physiology faculty and students in the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University on Nov 20, 2013 entitled "BRCA1 regulates skeletal muscle function: a role in non-proliferating cells"
A team including two School of Public Health graduate students from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health has advanced to the semi-final round of the Future of Information Alliance (FIA) Seed Grant Competition, a campus-wide contest designed to identify innovative solutions to key information-related challenges.
Doctoral student Erica Doxzen and MPH student Sarah Pomerantz have developed a proposal for Text Message Innovation for Promoting Family Physical Activity among Parents and Their Preschoolers. Doxzen and Pomerantz, both research assistants in the school's Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, along with doctoral student Irina Iles from the Department of Communication, will pitch their ideas to FIA judges on December 9 for a chance to be one of four winning teams.
"My current health literacy research with parents of preschoolers in Prince George's County found that existing campaigns to promote physical activity are often unrealistic for these families, but that parents are eager to get active together with their children," Pomerantz said. "Our team is proposing to create the 'seed' of a tailored text messaging program to meet the needs of parents of preschoolers by providing easy-to-understand information about family physical activity."
Dr. Linda Aldoory, director of the Center for Health Literacy, is the team's faculty mentor.
The FIA Seed Grant Competition launched in 2011 and incorporates the twelve colleges and schools at the University of Maryland's College Park campus. It focuses on topics such as culture, transparency, credibility and info-literacy. Four student teams will be chosen as designated FIA-Deutsch Student Fellows and will win grants of up to $25,000. They will collaborate with one or more FIA partners to carry out their projects and present the outcomes in April.
For more on FIA and the competition:
Two students and three faculty members in the School of Public Health were honored Friday at the Philip Merrill Presidential Scholarship Program, which celebrates the university's most prestigious seniors and their designated mentors from Maryland and K-12.
SPH seniors Linda Billotti and Joshua Schimmel chose Dr. Marian Moser Jones from the Department of Family Science and Dr. Eva Chin from the Department of Kinesiology, respectively, as their university mentors. Dr. Donna Howard from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health was selected by a senior in Undergraduate Studies, marking the fourth time in the last seven academic years that she has been recognized as a mentor by the program.