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News and Notes spring 2014

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Spring 2014 & Notes News
Page 1: News and Notes spring 2014

Spring 2014



Page 2: News and Notes spring 2014


News & Notes Spring 2014a publication of the College of Allied Health Sciences Georgia Regents University Augusta

in this issue...

On the Cover:Team Cardiac KIDZ Chili Peppers – aka first-year Clinical Laboratory Science students – jump for joy at the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. See page 13 to learn more about CAHS participation at this great event.

4 Activities

7 Appointments

9 Welcome

11 Achievements & Awards

13 Outreach & Service

15 Alumni

16 Calendar

3 Dean’s Note

10 Publications

17 just one more

Page 3: News and Notes spring 2014


Dear colleagues and friends of CAHS,

As you read this issue of News & Notes, I hope you will notice the collective influence of our many efforts. I am very encouraged to see a steady growth of collaboration not only among our colleagues in other GRU colleges, but with our communities, peer institutions, and professional organizations. As we push ever forward in pursuit of the goals set forth in our strategic plan, our college is committed to fostering an appreciative culture that encourages and emphasizes the development and promotion of new ideas. In doing so, we build bridges of opportunity and create a welcome community of scholars focused on innovation and excellence. Please know that the progress we are making together is truly appreciated on all levels! We are, indeed, Aspiring to Greatness.

We have much good news to report as we wind down this academic year. The Board of Regents has approved the Master of Physician Assistant Bridge Program. There has been an encouraging uptick in out-of-state student enrollment, particularly in the Department of Physical Therapy. And, as we go to press, we have just learned that our Respiratory Therapy program has received the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care’s Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award. Less than 12 percent of 450 RT programs are so recognized. Outstanding!

And, just for fun, our college sponsored a CAHS Night with the Jags in January at Christenberry Fieldhouse. Faculty, staff, alumni, and students enjoyed free pizza, reserved seating, and more during a great night of Jaguar basketball. We are the first GRU college to sponsor such a sporting event, just another example of CAHS leading the way!

Read on for more about the wonderful achievements of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni.


Dean’s Note

Andrew Balas, MD, PhDDean and Professor

Page 4: News and Notes spring 2014



CAHS hosts national meeting In March our college hosted the annual conference of the Consortium of Baccalaureate and Graduate Health Informatics and Information Management Educators. The consortium began as an informal meeting of HIM educators at institutions in the Southeast, and now draws participants from all over the country. We are honored to have had this event take place at Georgia Regents University, and thank Lori Prince and Jim Condon in the Department of Health Management and Informatics for their hard work in making this happen.

Dean’s Research Seminar Series brings noted guests to GRUOur seminar series continues to draw the best and brightest minds in health care research to campus, thanks to the diligent work of Abiodun Akinwuntan, Interim Associate Dean for Research. In recent months, our college welcomed Dr. Marilyn Moffat, President of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy and Professor at New York University, and our own Dr. Lin Mei, Director of the GRU Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Neuroscience. Stay tuned for more to come!

Busy, busy, busy... here at home and across the globeNasrul Hoda (MLIRS) was an invited lecturer at the 6th International Conference on Drug Discovery and Therapy held in February in Dubai. His discussion on “Remote Ischemic Conditioning: Will it translate into a promising acute stroke therapy,” addressed the translational potential and putative mechanism of action via nitric oxide generation in remote blood vessels. The conference also featured Nobel Laureate Ferid Murad of George Washington University on a related topic, the application of nitric oxide research in drug discovery and therapy.

Michael Iwama (OT) continues to have an impressive national and international presence. In November, he gave the opening address at the OT Association of Puerto Rico’s annual conference, and he has two events scheduled this month in Europe – he is the keynote speaker at the National Occupational Therapy Students Congress of Spain in Barcelona and he will give a lecture on his work at the University of Paris, Sorbonne. He is also scheduled to give the keynote address at the 2014 California State OT Association Annual Conference in October.

Abiodun Akinwuntan (PT) is fast becoming an internationally recognized expert on driving with a

Page 5: News and Notes spring 2014


neurological condition. He just returned from Istanbul, Turkey, where he gave a presentation this month on “Rehabilitation of Driving Performance in Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease” at the 8th World Congress for NeuroRehabilitation. Last November, he presented the 1st Thompson Oshin Abayomi Elite Lecture at the 53rd Annual National Scientific Conference in November in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria, his home country, where he is a current Fulbright Scholar. Closer to home, in March, Abiodun gave a presentation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s 2013-2014 Kinesiology and Community Health Colloquium series, and this month spoke at the Neurorehabilitation Grand Rounds Lecture Series at Washington University in St. Louis.

Pam Kearney (OT) will also travel abroad soon. Her poster presentation, “Educating students to work with diverse clients,” has been accepted for the World Federation of Occupational Therapy International Congress in Yokohama, Japan in June.

Our Radiation Therapy program made a great showing at the Georgia Academy of Science’s Annual Meeting in March, hosted by GRU on our Summerville campus. Over 300 students and faculty from 31 universities attended, including 230 undergraduate research students. Several of our radiation therapy students volunteered at the event, showing a first-rate level of commitment, leadership, and efficiency, while Program Director Lynne Eggert served on the Planning Committee, contributing to several significant changes that improve the academy’s traditional program supporting physical, environmental, social, biological, and medical sciences. The meeting featured 56 posters and close to 100 presentations, and of just three selected for judged awards, two belonged to GRU students!

Vibha Kumar and Tran Nguyen (MPH) attended the Georgia Public Health Association annual meeting in March. Vibha presented two posters, “Application of ADDIE Instructional Design Model in Designing an Online Graduate Course” and “Health Informatics Capacity and Meaningful Use Readiness of Georgia’s Health Districts,” while Tran presented a student poster “Health Information Exchange: Alliance to Better Care.”

Georgia Academy of Science Annual Meeting - a bird’s eye view

Page 6: News and Notes spring 2014


Pam Kearney and Beth Hunter (OT) have completed leader training for the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop sponsored by the CSRA Area Agency on Aging and will soon offer community workshops and courses.

Sue Ward (DH) presented “Instrument Sharpening Techniques” to the CSRA Dental Hygiene Society in February.

Raymond Chong (PT) recently reviewed grant proposals for the Department of Veteran Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Lori Bolgla (PT) made two presentations at the 2014 American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting in Las Vegas in February – “A Guide to Exercise Prescription for Common Lower Extremity Pathologies: A Biomechanical Approach” and “Synopsis of the 3rd International Patellofemoral Research Retreat.”

Dale Hardy (CEHS) has had her abstract “Association Between FTO Rs9939609 Polymorphism with BMI and Physical Activity on Metabolic Syndrome in Whites and African Americans With and Without Diabetes” accepted for presentation at the American Diabetes Association’s 74th Scientific Sessions this June in San Francisco.

Coloring outside the linesYou may remember the coloring book created by Ana Thompson and her team in Dental Hygiene to help kids learn about oral health care in a fun way (see the December 2013 issue of News & Notes). Well, it’s getting noticed elsewhere, and in June Ana will present “Utilization of a Coloring and Activity Book for Oral Hygiene Instructions during Outreach Activities” at the 2014 American Dental Education Association Allied Dental Program Directors’ Conference.

Now that’s how you get someone’s attention!Would you attend a presentation entitled, “Zombie Nation: Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Healthy People 2020 Goals”? How about one called “Not Tonight Dear: Managing the Headache Patient in the Primary Care Setting”? Kathy Dexter (PA) created a buzz when she made those presentations at the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants’ Spring CME Conference at Lake Lanier in March, which attracted over 140 physician assistants from across the country.

Sharing knowledgeTwo of our faculty members made presentations at GRU Health Sciences Education Day in March, with work that speaks to and influences the future of health sciences education. Lynn Jaffe (OT) spoke on guided inquiry learning in occupational therapy education while Malorie Novak (PT) gave two presentations on lifelong learning in the health professions.

Page 7: News and Notes spring 2014


Thompson named Chair of Dental HygieneAna Thompson has been named Chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene. Under her leadership as Interim Chair since August 2012, the department strengthened curriculum, elevated internal and external collaboration, produced a retention rate of 93 percent, increased tuition revenue, cut expenses, and showed a 30 percent improvement in its ability to support itself financially.

Ana has personally participated in six funded extramural research projects, and was instrumental in the acquisition of a $70,000 Faculty Development Training Grant from the American Dental Education Association for a children’s outreach program. In addition to being heavily involved in interdisciplinary and community service, Ana serves as course director and lecturer for an extensive list of regional and national continuing education activities, and recently was appointed as consultant and site visitor by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.

A hearty congratulations to Ana!

Seol becomes Interim ChairYoon-Ho Seol (HMI) was named Interim Chair of the Department of Medical Laboratory, Imaging and Radiologic Sciences in January, following Lester Pretlow’s appointment to Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Leadership roles accrueCAHS faculty members continue to take on influential positions here in our own college and on the national level. Our many thanks to all who devote their time and energy to promote and advance our professions, unversity, and college.

Sharon Chestnut (RadT) has been elected a medical dosimetry delegate of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. Her two-year term begins July 1.

Raymond Chong (PT) has been named to the editorial board of the journal Gait & Posture.

Ana Thompson


Page 8: News and Notes spring 2014


Hannes Devos (PT) has been appointed to the Transportation Research Board’s Simulation and Measurement of Vehicle and Operator Performance (AND30) Committee.

Lynne Eggert (RadT) has been appointed to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists Scholarship Review Committee for a three-year term beginning October 1.

Robert Gibson (PT) has been named a reviewer for the NIH’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Mimi Owen (NMT) has been named chair of the Nuclear Medicine Advanced Associate Work Group for the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

Congratulations to our latest class of the CAHS Health Sciences Leadership Program – Tiana Curry-McCoy (CLS), Kitty Hernlen (RT), and Yoon Ho Seol (HMI). The 12-month program supports faculty members who aspire to leadership roles, offering development opportunities within a mentoring experience.

Faculty promotionsSeveral CAHS faculty members have received well-deserved promotions effective July 1. Promoted to full Professor are Bonnie Dadig (PA), Lynn Jaffe (OT), and Lester Pretlow (MLIRS); to Associate Professor, Kathy Dexter (PA) and Scott Wise (MLIRS); and to Assistant Professor, Erin Boyleston and Kandyce Mack, both in Dental Hygiene. Congratulations to all!

Bonnie Dadig Lynn Jaffe Lester Pretlow

Kathy Dexter Scot Wise Erin Boyleston Kandyce Mack

Page 9: News and Notes spring 2014


Debra Beazley joins us as Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, bringing with her an extensive background in clinical and academic arenas. She has more than 20 years of rehabilitation management, consulting, and treatment experience as well as academic credentials that include serving as Dean and Professor at the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah. She has a doctorate in applied management and decision sciences from Walden University in Minneapolis, an MBA from Kennesaw State University, and a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from then-MCG. Welcome home, Debra!

Alicia Elam has joined the Physician Assistant Department as Assistant Professor. A Certified Immunization Pharmacist with a background in nursing home geriatrics, treatment centers, and retail pharmacies, Alicia consults for several Augusta-area clinical practices and has served as adjunct faculty at Maryville University and Kaplan University School of Health Sciences. She has a doctorate in pharmacy from Mercer University in Atlanta and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. Her postgraduate education includes physical assessment in patient care management and ambulatory pharmaceutical care.

Vahe Heboyan has joined the Department of Health Management and Informatics as Assistant Professor with a focus on health economics. He most recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of South Carolina researching health and behavioral economics, socio-economic and behavioral determinants of health, and impact assessment of policies and programs. He has doctorate and master’s degrees in applied economics from the University of Georgia, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and management from the Armenian State Agrarian University in Yerevan, Armenia.

Georgianna Laws and Randle Berlin have been appointed to the College of Allied Health Sciences as Instructional Designer and Instructional Systems Analyst, respectively. Both have offices in the Health Sciences Building and are available to support faculty and students in the use of technology to achieve successful learning outcomes.


Debra Beazley

Alicia Elam

Page 10: News and Notes spring 2014


Cover girl!Amanda Behr’s (MI) illustration to accompany the article “Activation of Gpr109a, Receptor for Niacin and the Commensal Metabolite Butyrate, Suppresses Colonic Inflammation and Carcinogenesis” graces the cover of the January 16 issue of the journal Immunity. She is also co-author of the chapter “Photography for the Plastic Surgeon” in the recently published book Essentials of Plastic Surgery, Second Edition.

...and on the insidesIn an area of study considered to have tremendous practical significance, Hannes Devos (PT) is the lead author on an article, “On-road Driving Impairments in Huntington Disease” published recently in Neurology. He also co-authored “Rehabilitation for Improving Automobile Driving After Stroke” in the Cochrane Library, and “Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus on Freezing of Gait in Parkinson’s Disease: A Prospective Controlled Study,” in the January issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.

Scott Hasson (PT) co-authored two articles that were published in January, “Electrophysiological Evaluation of the Modified Tardieu Scale (MTS) in Assessing Poststroke Wrist Flexor Spasticity” in Neurorehabilitation, and “Effect of Therapeutic Infra-red in Patients with Non-Specific Low Back Pain: A Pilot Study” in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement. Another co-authored article, “Effect of Bilateral Step-Up and -Down Training on Motor Function in a Person with Hemiparesis,” has been accepted by the journal Physiotherapy Theory and Practice.

The article “Protective Effect of Solanum Nigrum Leaf Extract on Immobilization Stress-Induced Changes in Rat Brain” by lead author Nasrul Hoda (CLS) has been published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Another article, “Endothelial 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase Plays a Critical Role in Angiogenesis,” appears in the journal Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Malorie Novak (PT) is primary author on the article, “Jefferson Scale of Lifelong Learning-Health Professions Students Version: An Instrument to Measure Health Professions Students’ Orientation Toward Lifelong Learning,” published in MedEdPORTAL. Malorie’s co-authors are MCG faculty and staff Christie Palladino, Deborah Richardson, and Brittany Ange.


cover illustration by Amanda Behr

Page 11: News and Notes spring 2014


Accreditation accomplishedOur CLS program recently enjoyed a very successful site visit from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science. Visitors praised our program’s competent and committed faculty, communication between the academic institution and clinical affiliates, enthusiastic students, and supportive administration. Congratulations to program director Barbara Kraj and everyone on her team for a job WELL done!

A remarkable achievementThe Physician Assistant Class of 2013 achieved a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the national certifying examination from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. You can’t get any better than that!

Phi Kappa Phi inducts two from CAHSTwo CAHS faculty members, Michael Iwama (OT) and Malorie Novak (PT), were inducted in March to the GRU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the oldest, largest, and most selective collegiate honor society in the country, recognizing the best and brightest in all academic disciplines. Congratulations Michael and Malorie, we are very proud of you!

Two recognized by EII Malorie Novak (PT) is this year’s recipient of the GRU Educational Innovation Institute’s Educational Research Award, which honors the “individual who has best disseminated innovative, peer-reviewed health professions scholarship during the last calendar year…encouraging and facilitating high-quality health professions educational scholarship at GRU.” You’ll find note of Malorie’s work on lifelong learning elsewhere in this issue.

Amanda Behr (MI) has begun a year-long EII Teaching Fellowship. Her fellowship project involves the design and implementation of an evaluation instrument for student projects in patient education.

University Senate recognizes Outstanding Faculty At the Spring University Senate hosted by the University Faculty Senate in March, Pavani Rangachari (PH) received the College of Allied Health Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award. Congratulations, Pavani!

Achievements & Awards

Page 12: News and Notes spring 2014




Medical illustration students are the cream of the crop At the 2014 GRU/UGA Student Scientific & Medical Illustration Exhibition in Athens in March, three of our extremely talented GRU students received special honors. Congratulations to Elizabeth Nixon-Shapiro (’14), who received the prestigious William J. Stenstrom Award of Excellence for her illustration, “Cardiac Ablation of the Mitral Valve,” and to Amy D’Camp (’14) and Megan Llewellyn (’15), who each received an Award of Merit for their illustrations, “Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy” and “Bullae Emphysema,” respectively. The entire exhibit of 50 masterful works is now on display at the Greenblatt Library through May. Check it out!

And a university-wide design contest to promote the inaugural GRU basketball season was won by MI student Brandon Holt (’15), who picked up a $500 JagCard for his effort. T-shirts featuring Brandon’s winning design can be found in the JagStores on the Summerville and Health Sciences campuses.

The contest was sponsored by the Office of Communications and Marketing, Student Affairs, and GRU Athletics.

A trend in the makingOccupational Therapy senior Amanda Rowe was presented with the Matt Miklas Adapted Volunteer Award at the Family Y’s annual meeting in March. This is the second consecutive year one of our OT students has received this community-wide award! Way to go, OT!

Students receive scholarships, grantsHMI student Christi Snider (’15) received the Health Information Management Systems Society Georgia Chapter Scholarship at the organization’s annual meeting in Orlando in February.

Sydney Knapp, a CLS senior, has received a $1,000 ASCP-Siemens scholarship from the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

MI students Megan LLewellyn (from left), Elizabeth Nixon-Shapiro, and Amy D’Camp

Page 13: News and Notes spring 2014


Senior medical illustration student Tasha Obrin has received a research grant from the Vesalius Trust for Visual Communications in the Health Sciences for her project entitled: “The role of liver biochemistry in blood tests and veterinary medicine: An interactive iBook project for veterinary students.”

Smooth SailingCongratulations to the Student Occupational Therapy Association for picking up the GRU Lighthouse Award for Student Organization of the Year, and to Sharon Swift (OT) for receiving the Admiral Award for Outstanding Faculty or Staff Member of the Year. The awards are given by GRU Student Life and are part of the annual Smooth Sailing awards given to exceptional student organizations.

A heartwarming turnoutOur college had an outstanding turnout at the CSRA Heart Walk in March. The camaraderie was so great and the weather so perfect, at least one team walked the 3.8 mile course along the Greeneway in North Augusta twice! Our 128 CAHS participants raised a total of $5,714, substantially exceeding our goal of $4,000. Many thanks to Miriam Cortez-Cooper (PT) for leading and inspiring our group to such success, and to everyone who put in months of fundraising for the American Heart Association. Let’s do it again next year!

Department $ Raised $ Goal Participants

CEHS $463 $575 14

Dental Hygiene $536 $575 16

MLIRS $600 $585 14

Occupational Therapy $371 $575 12

Physical Therapy $2,109 $575 33

Physician Assistant $1,635 $575 39

CAHS Total $5,714 $4,000 128

Outreach & Service

Part of the crowd at the AHA Heart Walk - PT students Sheida Rezai (from left),

Jordan Thrasher, and Ashley Henry

Page 14: News and Notes spring 2014


Yet another great effort for a good causeThe Physician Assistant Class of 2015 sponsored the Superhero Resolution Run 5k in January to benefit the Christ Church Health Clinic. Not only do our PA students do a great job raising funds for the clinic – on this occasion, 133 runners brought in $6,000 – they regularly devote many hands-on hours providing health care to Augusta’s underprivileged population.

OT students working hard at home and abroadOur Occupational Therapy students have been busy lately. Not only did they make a return trip to Jamaica in March for a second fieldwork rotation at the Mustard Seed Community Jerusalem Orphanage, they volunteered at Adapted Ballet, the Family Y ART-ability Studio, the CMFA (Champions Made from Adversity) Archery Tournament, a VA Game Night, and their own Chili Cook-Off!

Keep that smile shining!In February, senior Dental Hygiene students Adrienne Smiley and Michelle Williams represented their discipline at the College of Dental Medicine’s Impressions Program, where over 100 high school and college students interested in pursuing a dental or dental hygiene career learned more about offerings here at GRU. Adrienne also volunteered at the “Lessons in a Lunchbox” program at Wilkinson Garden Elementary School, with more than 250 children receiving tips on oral health and nutrition.

PA Superheroes one and all - including the dog!

Page 15: News and Notes spring 2014



Alumni, we love to hear from you! Please send news of your actvities and accomplishments to

[email protected] and/or [email protected] for publication in News & Notes and in the GRU alumni magazine Gravity.

An Optic Chiasm features Medical Illustration alumniSeveral of our Medical Illustration alumni and faculty have selected works from the David J. Mascaro Teaching Gallery of Medical Illustration included in an exhibition through May 4 at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art in Atlanta. “Optic Chiasm: The Crossing Over of Art & Science,” an exhibit held in conjunction the Atlanta Science Festival, features works by Joshua Bird (‘12), Craig Luce (‘77), David J. Mascaro (‘69), William Winn (‘66), the late William J. Stenstrom (Chair and Professor Emeritus), and Interim Department Chair Bill Andrews.

Page 16: News and Notes spring 2014













CAHS Dean’s Research Seminar Series, EC-1222, noon- 1 p.m.Dr. Jin-Xiong She, Director, Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine and Bradley Turner Eminent Scholar Chair in Genomic Medicine, GRU

History of Health Sciences Lecture Series, Greenblatt Library, noon-1 p.m. Bill Andrews, Interim Chair, Department of Medical Illustration

CarFit, AAA Augusta, 9 a.m.-noon A free safety program for senior motorists sponsored by the Department of Physical Therapy

GRU Alumni WeekendDrs. Robert and Lois Ellison Lecture Series, Lee Auditorium, 2 p.m.

Featuring Nina Tandon, CEO and founder of EpiBoneSignature Event, Christenberry Fieldhouse, 5 p.m.

Keynote speakers Ben Stein and William “Bill” TaylorCAHS eventsDental Hygiene Alumni Day, GRU Alumni Center Ballroom, 7:30 a.m.Art Hardy Golf Tournament, Forest Hills Golf Club 8 a.m.MLIRS Honor Program, Lee Auditorium, 2 p.mCAHS Alumni Banquet, Pinnacle Club, 6:30 p.m.

President’s Lecture Series, Lee Auditorium, noon Dr. Eugene P. Trani, President Emeritus, Virginia Commonwealth University

CAHS Hooding and Honors Ceremony, Bell Auditorium, 6-8 p.m.

GRU Graduation, James Brown Arena, 2 p.m.

CAHS New Faculty Orientation, Faculty Retreat, and Spring Faculty Assembly, JSAC Ballroom, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Augusta Area Asthma Camp, Girl Scout Camp, Columbia County sponsored by the Respiratory Therapy program


Page 17: News and Notes spring 2014


Please send information about student, faculty, staff, and alumni news, including community and outreach events; appointments; program and membership updates; grants, awards and publications;

alumni activities; and your newsletter comments, suggestions and ideas to the editor:

Sharron Walls EC-3408

706-721-7955 [email protected]

just one more

Who will ever forget the winter of 2014?