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SHP News

SHP Announces New Entry-Level OTD Program

UTMB School of Health Professions announces the Doctor or Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program. Admitting students in Fall 2019 having received candidacy status from the American Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

UTMB's SHP Occupational Therapy department is excited to announce that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has approved UTMB's transition from its long-standing master's degree program (MOT) to a doctoral-level (OTD) degree. The OTD program will begin admitting students in Fall 2019 having received candidacy status from the American Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

Read More: Press Release


2019 News

SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight - June 2019

SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight - June 2019

Elizabeth Lyons

Dr. Elizabeth Lyons is an Associate Professor in the department of Nutrition and Metabolism at UTMB. She came to UTMB in 2011 and spent her first three years here in the Institute for Translational Sciences. She has received external research funding from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association. She has also published over 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Read More: SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight

Dr. Carolyn Utsey named 2019 Piper Award Winner

Dr. Carolyn Utsey named 2019 Piper Award Winner

Carolyn Utsey

GALVESTON, TX - The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation selected a University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston professor as a 2019 Piper Professor.

Dr. Carolyn Utsey, a professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at UTMB, was honored with the prestigious award and received a $5,000 grant from the foundation. The Piper Professor Awards were first introduced in 1958 and honor effective and dedicated professors from two-and four-year colleges and universities in Texas.

"Many individuals influenced my faculty career as they encouraged and mentored me throughout my professional development," Utsey said. "I am thankful for these individuals and the many opportunities that I have had to teach, encourage, and mentor. The Piper Professor award is truly an honor for me."

Utsey, who has worked at UTMB for the past 28 years, began her career in health care as a physical therapist before earning her PhD in Educational Psychology. In her nearly three decades at UTMB, Utsey has served as a teacher, mentor and friend to students and colleagues alike.

Dr. David L. Callender, president of UTMB, said the award was a great honor but should not come as a surprise.

"Dr. Utsey exemplifies all the traits you want from a professor and a leader in education of the next generation of health care professionals," Callender said. "She is passionate, caring, driven and we are fortunate to have her here at UTMB."

In letters of recommendation sent to the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, Utsey was described as a selfless leader, encouraging mentor and an inspiring professor.

"I have been able to see her serve others in so many unique ways, but the common denominator in all of it is that she serves them with her whole heart," one of the letters states. "You can see her passion for helping others through her actions, you can hear it through her words, and you can experience it by learning from her."

Among her many different roles, initiatives, and undertakings, Utsey also helped lay the foundation for the Global Health Interprofessional course at UTMB and was instrumental in developing the career advancement Physical Therapist Assistant to Physical Therapist clinical doctorate program, one of only two like it in the nation.

"She truly is a role model in developing innovative curriculum and learning opportunities to meet student and community needs," Dr. Vicki Freeman, a professor and chair of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences department at UTMB, told the selection committee.

Source: TMC News

UTMB AMT's April Educator of the Month

UTMB AMT's April Educator of the Month

Laurie Farroni

Congratulations to our Academy of Master Teachers' April Educator of the Month, Dr. Laurie Farroni. She is an Assistant Professor of Instruction and Director of Clinical Education, UTMB Department of Physical Therapy, in the School of Health Professions.

Dr. Farroni is known for her dedication and innovation, creating novel activities to enhance learning in the Department of Physical Therapy. She was instrumental in developing the PT Healer Track, which she facilitates.

"Her passion for teaching is readily apparent from the moment she walks into the classroom. She loves her students and will bend over backwards to make sure we get the best education she can provide," her nomination letter reads. "She presents the information and prompts us to think about it and explore our own biases and personal issues with certain types of patients."

Well done, Dr. Farroni. Thanks for all you contribute to PT education at UTMB.

SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight - March 2019

SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight - March 2019

Amol Karmarkar

Dr. Amol Karmarkar is an Associate Professor in the division of Rehabilitation Sciences at UTMB. He joined Rehabilitation Sciences at UTMB in December 2009 as a post-doctoral fellow after completing his doctoral training and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh and VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Dr. Karmarkar is also a co-director of the Techniques and Methods Development core for a NIH-funded Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation (CLDR). He is been part of the leadership of the center since its inception in 2010, which has a primary mission of developing capacity for rehabilitation professionals to conduct research using large datasets.

Read More: SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight

PT Students Visit Friends of Maua Hospital in Kenya

PT Students Visit Friends of Maua Hospital in Kenya

A collage of images of PT students teaching community members stretch exercizes.

Six UTMB physical therapy students recently spent two weeks in Kenya and were accompanied by Drs. Vicki Freeman (CLS) and Carolyn Utsey (PT). They were working daily with patients in the Friends of Maua Hospital and in the nearby villages. In realizing that several of their patients had visible pain caused by heavy loads they carry on their shoulders and backs, the students taught them various stretching exercises and yoga poses.

PT Students Take Annual Interprofessional Trip to Peru

PT Students Take Annual Interprofessional Trip to Peru

Eleven nursing, medical, and physical therapy students pose together for a group photo

A total of 51 students including nursing, medical and physical therapy attended the Hands and Feet Mission trip to Lima, Peru. In four days, the clinic treated over 500 patients with more than 150 seen by our 8 PT students and our PT Clinical Education Assistant. This included Sirena Holder, class of 2019 and Amanda Lochte, Ashley Nguyen, Desirae Sack, Greg Conner, Kylie Nemecek, Madison Beene and Nithin Thaimuriyil from the class of 2020 and Dr. Lindsay Allen.

The students all did an amazing job of working with the inter professional teams to ensure each patient received the best treatment possible. PT played a vital role and helped to educate our future nurses and doctors the value of physical therapy.

SHP Welcomes New Senior Vice President and Dean of the School of Health Professions

SHP Welcomes New Senior Vice President and Dean of the School of Health Professions

David Brown

We are pleased to announce that David A. Brown, PT, PhD, FAPTA, will join UTMB Health as Senior Vice President and Dean for our School of Health Professions, effective March 1, 2019. Dr. Brown is known for his outstanding expertise in leadership, innovation and excellence in education, his commitment to research, and his success as an entrepreneur. Dr. Brown is a leader in the Rehabilitation Science community at the institutional, national, and international levels, with a reputation for cutting-edge research and impact on individuals with neurological dysfunction.

Dr. Brown joins us from The University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he served as Professor in Physical Therapy, Director of the PhD in Rehabilitation Science Program, and Co-Director of the UAB University-wide Research Center on Disability Health and Rehabilitation Science. Dr. Brown earned his PhD in Exercise Science from the University of Iowa, MS in Physical Therapy from Duke University and BA in Physics from the University of Rochester. He received post-doctoral research training at Stanford University and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Palo Alto, CA.

Dr. Brown has received numerous honors throughout his career. He is a past recipient of the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) Marian Williams Award for Research in Physical Therapy and the APTA Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Academic Faculty Member. He is also a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Dr. Brown has conducted research at Emory University, University of Iowa, Stanford University, Northwestern University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in the study of the neural control and biomechanics of locomotion. He has examined motor-control issues associated with ambulation after stroke to propose theories surrounding a better understanding of how the damaged nervous system, post-stroke, reorganizes to create functional locomotor behavior. Methodological paradigms have included the influence of cycling, reflex activation and assisted/challenged gait. Over the course of his career, Dr. Brown has collaborated with engineering professionals to develop products, secure patents and investigate the clinical feasibility of these products, in an approach that can serve as a model for all rehabilitation scientists with an interest in translational research. Patented devices developed by Dr. Brown include the limb-loaded cycle ergometer, KineAssist Walking and Balance System, and PushPull Exercise Test. He has consistently received funding from a variety of federal agencies, private foundations and commercial entities, including the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

Dr. Brown brings to UTMB a wealth of leadership experience, an appreciation for the tripartite academic mission, a desire for enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the health professions, and an energy and passion for mentoring and developing others in making their optimal contribution.

We want to express our appreciation to our search committee chair and members for their contributions to the search process. These members include: Mr. Jim Amato; Dr. Christine Baker; Dr. Abbey Berenson; Mr. Scott Boeh; Mr. Toby Boenig; Dr. Karen Chapman; Ms. Betsy Clardy; Dr. Patricia Fingerhut; Dr. Jim Goodwin; Dr. Kathleen Murphy; Dr. David Niesel; Dr. Ken Ottenbacher; Dr. Blake Rasmussen (Chair); Dr. Tim Reistetter; Dr. Laura Rudkin; Mr. Loren Skinner; Mr. Kevin Smith; Dr. Barbara Thompson and Dr. Rebeca Wong.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Vicki Freeman for her outstanding service as interim Dean of the School of Health Professions and in welcoming Dr. Brown to UTMB.

Sincerely,

Anish Bhardwaj, MD, MBA
CPE. FACMPE, FACHE, FAHA, FCCM, FAAN, FANA
Associate Dean for Faculty Development
Professor (tenured), Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Provost ad interim Chair, Department of Neurology
John Sealy Chair of Neurology
Professor, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Anatomy

2018 News

UTMB'S School of Health Professions Celebrates 50th Anniversary

UTMB'S School of Health Professions Celebrates 50th Anniversary

For more than five decades, UTMB's School of Health Professions has educated generations of health care professionals who have become leaders in their fields and changed the world through life-altering care and research.

The school, which was founded in 1968 as the School of Allied Health Sciences and was the first of its kind in Texas and the southwestern United States, has graduated more than 12,000 alumni.

"Today, SHP offers multi-level educational programs for a diverse group of students, colleagues and members of the community; facilitates student and faculty involvement in scientific investigation and scholarly activities that advance health care; and encourages service through active participation in professional and community activities," said Dr. Vicki Freeman, interim dean of the School of Health Professions, during the SHP's 50th anniversary commemoration event held at the Galveston Island Convention Center on Oct. 20.

Currently, the school has an enrollment of more than 800 students seeking degrees or certificates in 32 academic plans who will eventually enter fields as diverse as occupational therapy, clinical laboratory sciences, respiratory care, physical therapy, rehabilitation services, and nutrition and metabolism among others.

In her remarks during the celebration event, Freeman noted that SHP faculty members are nationally recognized leaders in their field and that the school offers doctoral degrees in Physical and Occupational Therapy and Clinical Laboratory Sciences. In addition, she said the SHP attracts millions of dollars in external support to provide over $300,000 in scholarships a year to students and more than $7 million for faculty research.

"I believe the founders all had the hope that one day in the future the school would be in a nationally elite class," Freeman added. "I also think that the visionaries who laid the foundation over 50 years ago had faith that outstanding things in the school would happen, and they have."

Source: UTMB Impact

SHP Celebrates their 50th Anniversary

SHP Celebrates their 50th Anniversary

Vicki Freeman

It has been a pleasure to serve as Interim Dean this year during The School of Health Professions 50th Anniversary. Many activities took place including the Kickoff Celebration back in November 2017 with current students, faculty and students in Levin Hall. This summer, our SHP departments hosted a lecture series pertaining to their fields of study in partnership with the Sealy Center on Aging and the SHP Dean's Office.

The Office of Alumni Relations helped us organize the Dean's reception. It was great to be able to connect with alumni and reminisce about the changes that have taken place in the school in the last 50 years. Our distinguished alumnus, Marco Rodriguez, gave an inspirational presentation on how we should pursue our passion.

We celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at both the UTMB Campus and at the Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis Resort. During the Open House, our departments' faculty and students welcomed approximately 75 guests into their laboratories, giving them an opportunity to get a first-hand look at the University's progress. I know that the alums appreciated being able to see how we are teaching now and to reconnect with their program.

In the evening, special guests, University President, Dr. Callender, and Past Dean, Dr. Christiansen, spoke about SHP, its history and current activities with Kevin Haslam serving as our Emcee. We are grateful to the Mayor Pro Tem and District 2 Councilman, Dr. Craig Brown, for issuing a Proclamation designating October 20, 2018 as The UTMB School of Health Professions Day (thanks to Hank Thierry for organizing it). Wasn't it nice that we were able to celebrate the school's 50th Anniversary in such a spectacular way? When I walked in to our celebration, the room felt "magical". From the decorations to the dinner and then on to the dancing, it was a great event.

A BIG Thanks goes out to everyone who worked to make this a fantastic event, in particular to Michelle Conley who organized it all and to the staff in the departments and the Dean's Office who assisted her. As we all know, it takes a team to pull off these occasions.

Sincerely,

Vicki Freeman, PhD, MASCP, MLS (ASCP)cm SCcm, FACB
Interim Dean, School of Health Professions
Associate Dean for Faculty Development
Professor (tenured), Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences
University of Texas Distinguished Professor

SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight - October 2018

SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight - October 2018

Lynne Hughes

Dr. Lynne Hughes joined the SHP faculty in 2014 to teach in the Bridge PTA to DPT program. Her current research interest is incorporating manual therapy as an appropriate and effective intervention for older persons. Dr. Hughes utilizes mixed methods design to provide both quantitative and qualitative views of participant outcomes.

Read More: SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight

SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight - August 2018

SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight - August 2018

Christopher Fry

Dr. Christopher Fry is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism.

His research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle plasticity to establish interventions to maintain muscle mass and strength during conditions of muscle wasting. Muscle strength is compromised in a variety of acute and chronic health conditions, contributing to reductions in quality of life and functional recovery.

Read More: SHP Faculty Researcher Spotlight

SHP Welcomes Associate Dean Dr. Christine Baker

SHP Welcomes Associate Dean Dr. Christine Baker

Christine Baker

Dr. Christine Baker has been appointed the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs (ASA) in the School of Health Professions, effective July 3, 2018. She was named the Interim Associate Dean for ASA on March 20, 2018.

Dr. Baker earned her baccalaureate degree from Texas Woman's University (TWU) in 1977, followed by her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from TWU in 1978; her EdD in special education was awarded by Texas Tech University in 1989. She has been at UTMB since 1986, is a tenured professor in the Department of Physical Therapy , and holds the Ruby Decker Professorship in Physical Therapy. Dr. Baker is the recipient of numerous teaching awards at the school, university and UT System including the Regent's Outstanding Teaching Award.

Dr. Baker has been designing and delivering distance education for more than 10 years and has served as a site visitor and team leader fr the Commission on Accreditation in Physical therapy Education (CAPTE). She has many years of experience in academic and student issues at UTMB, having served on many UTMB committees.

Student Accomplishments

Student Accomplishments

Students posing on a sail boat.

Kudos to Dr. Adrianna Laprea and to the PT students that participated in the Inaugural Land and Sea Adaptive Sports Challenge this past weekend. The students include, Samuel Callia, Gregory Conner, Paxton Cook, Emarchele De Villa, Jordaine-Faith Enriquez, Jacob Erickson, Elaine Gattenby, Jacqueline Gracia, Miriah Hadley, Ellen Hermes, Sara Holland, Melanie Hummert, Elizabeth Kunder, Matthew Lee, Anna Ng, Kierra Patton, Hannah Powell, Erin Rose, Nisha Sanchez, Leslie Snider, Nithin Thaimuriyil, Chelsea Vasquez and Justin Yeh.

Activity was captured by the Galveston Daily News

Students posing on a basketball court.
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