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“Biggest bequest ever” endows new global health scholarship

A $1-million planned gift from retired UTHealth faculty member James P. Turley, PhD, RN, has established the Lillian Eriksen Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Global Health at the UTHealth School of Nursing. Turley, retired associate professor at the UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI) and an associate professor at the School of Nursing for nine years, formalized the planned gift last December.

“Having known Lillian since we were doctoral students together, the purpose of this gift would be an epitome of what she stood for and what she devoted her life to,” said School of Nursing Dean Patricia L. Starck, PhD, RN.

Turley – who has a master’s degree in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University – noted that he and his late wife, Lillian Eriksen, DSN, RN, both were trained as nurses, and that she always remained focused on the profession of nursing. For many years, she was a tenured associate professor at the UTHealth School of Nursing, with research interests in the development of technologies to improve hospital work environments, patient safety and delivery of care

“My career diverged after I had an opportunity to create a school centered on informatics [now SBMI] with Dr. Doris Ross in 1997,” Turley said.

The Lillian Eriksen Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Global Health is a permanent endowment that will be used for the benefit of the School of Nursing. Funds distributed from the endowment will be used to provide scholarships to students in good academic standing, with a preference for international students who intend to practice in their home country and United States citizens and permanent residents who intend to practice outside the U.S.

“In establishing the Lillian Eriksen Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Global Health, I wanted to commemorate Lillian’s life and work, while emphasizing the importance we both placed on the nursing profession,” said Turley. “It is my hope that this planned gift – as well as my arrangement to provide equal support to SMBI through the James Turley Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Global Health – will inspire others to incorporate our university into their estate plans.”

ALSO, “skillful and attentive” nursing care by UTHealth alumni has inspired a thank-you expressed to future nursing students by the husband of cancer patient Carol Lewis Heideman, namesake of the new Carol Lewis Heideman Endowed Scholarship for incoming first-year BSN students with financial needs. CLICK HERE for more.

Faculty Presents at Conference
The following faculty members were presenters at the Southern Nursing Research Society’s 28th annual conference in San Antonio last month:
  • Dr. Anitra Frederick, Assistant Professor, Family Health, “Exploring the Skin-to-Skin Contact Experience During Cesarean Sections” (Poster)
  • Dr. Lisa Boss, Assistant Professor, Nursing Systems, “Psychosocial Correlates to Cognitive Function in the Elderly: A Biobehavioral Approach” (Poster)
  • Dr. Ngozi Mbue, Assistant Professor, Acute and Continuing Care, “The role of Depression, Stress, and Self-Management Behaviors on Metabolic Control in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes” (Poster)
  • Dr. Ruth Burk, Assistant Professor, Acute and Continuing Care, “Agitation Onset, Frequency, and Associated Temporal Factors in the Adult Critically Ill” (Poster)
  • Dr. Mary E Ross, Associate Professor, Nursing Systems, “Psychological Profile, Salivary Cortisol, C-Reactive Protein, and Perceived Health of Grandmothers with Childrearing Responsibility” (Podium)
  • Dr. Licia Clowtis, Assistant Professor, Family Health, “The Impact of Maternal Stress and Maternal-Child Engagement on Inflammation in Early Childhood: A Bio-Behavioral Study of Child Health Outcomes” (Poster)
  • Dr. Jing Wang, Assistant Professor, Nursing Systems, “Effect of a Behavioral Intervention with Smartphone Based Self-Monitoring on Weight Loss and Glycemic Control among Underserved Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: A Pilot and Feasibility Study” (Poster)
  • Dr. Sandra Branson, Assistant Professor, Nursing Systems, “Dosage Effects of Therapy Dog Visitation on Biobehavioral Responses Among the Aging” (Poster)
  • Dr. Teng-Yuan (Erica) Yu, Assistant Professor, Acute and Continuing Care, “The Association between Selected Inflammatory Cytokines and Cardiac Outcomes among Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients with prior Untreated Depressive Symptoms” (Poster)
  • Dr. Karen Mellott, Assistant Professor, Acute and Continuing Care, “Patient Ventilator Asynchrony: Associated Patient Behaviors – Research Abstract” (Poster)
  • Dr. Robert Hanks, Assistant Professor, Family Health, “FNP Student Self Confidence and Satisfaction Measurement of the Stimulation Experience” (Poster)
  • Dr. Jennifer Sanner, Assistant Professor, Nursing Systems, “Self-reported Quality of Sleep and Life in a Community Sample of Men and Women after Hospitalization for Acute Coronary Syndrome” (Podium)
  • Dr. Dana El-Hajj, Assistant Professor, Acute and Continuing Care, “Cultural Predictors of Tobacco Use among Arab Immigrants Living in Colorado: A Socio-Ecological Perspective”

Forensics Conference

Dr. Wardell on KZSU-FM
Dr. Diane Wardell was a guest on KZSU-FM’s “State of the Human” program March 12th. She spoke about Healing Touch and its impact on both patients and practitioners.

Save the Date!
UTHealth is seeking dedicated team captains for the 2014 Houston March for Babies – the No. 1 March of Dimes event in the nation. Help us break previous fundraising records by recruiting and motivating UTHealth employees and students to walk and raise money for the Sunday, April 27 event!

This year, Sean C. Blackwell, MD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at UTHealth Medical School and Kevin P. Lally, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatric Surgery at the UTHealth Medical School, will serve as Team UTHealth Co-Chairs. Money raised helps fund research in the Texas Medical Center – including at UTHealth – and supports education programs in our community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies.

STTI Members Provide Medical Services for the 2014 Houston Marathon
Thanks goes out to all of the valiant STTI members who volunteered their time and talents to provide unsurpassed first-aid and medical services for the participants and visitors of the 2014 Houston Marathon. According to one seasoned race director, this year’s Houston Marathon volunteer community initiated more changes and process improvements than he has seen in the previous 28 years. The devotion and energy of the volunteers helped to make our Houston Marathon the best and safest in the country.

During the Marathon, the George R Brown (GRB) convention center is efficiently transformed into a temporary self-contained, fully-functioning medical facility. This includes well-equipped and staffed Triage, Major Medical and ICU units. Without this “field hospital,” the Houston area hospitals and EMS would be overwhelmed.

In addition to the GRB medical units, 15 aid stations are set up along the Marathon route. Each station has at least one physician, one RN, and 2-3 additional members made up of MDs, RNs, athletic trainers, or med/nurse students. The aid station crew performs the initial runner assessments, then will: 1) Treat and recommend to continue, 2) Treat and monitor, then release to continue, 3) Treat and elect to transport to the GRB Major Medical, or 4) Assess and call for emergent transport to GRB or TMC hospital. The most commonly encountered medical problems during the Marathon include exercise associated collapse, hyponatremia, dehydration, debilitating muscle cramping, hypothermia, and hyperthermia.

Our STTI Members, including NPs, RNs, and students, volunteered throughout the GRB and marathon route medical stations. As Jason Decker MD, one of the amazing marathon medical directors declares, “Without you guys, we couldn’t have a marathon.”

Thanks again to all who spent the weekend with us. It was a safe and well-orchestrated event and a lot of fun! See you again next year. --Kathleen D Murphy RN – Chair 2014 Houston Marathon STTI Zeta Pi Volunteers

Dr. Jing Wang presents on Channel 2
Dr. Jing Wang did a great job sharing important, timely information via KPRC-TV Channel 2 about how life-threatening diabetes can be mistaken for flu.

Zeta Pi on Facebook and LinkedIn
Check out our Facebook page: Zeta Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International/UTHSC  and don't forget Zeta Pi's LinkedIn page: Zeta Pi Chapter- UTHSC Houston.

Zeta Pi chapter Vice President Gerardo Rivera has posted chapter Leadership Mentoring Program documents, for chapter leaders and their mentees who are interested in working together as partners to accomplish leadership goals through mentorship. These documents may be downloaded from our documents page.


Dr. Laura Rooney Appointed Director
Dr. Laura Rooney, an alumna of the first Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) graduating class in 2009 and assistant professor of clinical nursing in the Department of Family Health, has been appointed director of UT Health Services, effective Aug. 4. She will take over as head administrator from Dr. Tom Mackey, who is retiring from the UTHealth School of Nursing after 25 years of service.

Pat Obulaney Receives Scholarship
Pat Obulaney received the Houston Area Nurse Practitioners scholarship to assist with the continuation of her DNP. "The scholarships are awarded to students based on their demonstrated involvement and commitment to serve the Houston area community through the Advanced Practice Nurse profession with academic and professional achievement”.

Martina Gallagher Elected
Martina Gallagher has been elected to serve as Chair Elect for the Diversity Section of The Obesity Society. She will be Chair Elect for the 2013-2014 calendar year and will assume the Chair position in 2014--2015.

Dr. Terri Armstrong's Abstract Selected for Presentation at ASCO Annual Meeting
Dr. Terri Armstrong, the John S. Dunn Distinguished Professor in Oncology Nursing in the Department of Family Health has been selected to present her study results as part of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting to be held May 31- June 4th in Chicago.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology is a professional oncology society committed to conquering cancer through research, education, prevention, and delivery of high-quality patient care. The Annual Meeting is held each year and attended by nearly 30,000 oncology health care professionals from around the world. Each year over 5,000 abstracts are submitted with approximately half selected for presentation.
Dr. Armstrong’s work is one of only 9 abstracts selected for oral presentation at the Neuro-Oncology Oral Presentation Session. She will report on the net clinical benefit of treatment on patient reported outcomes. The findings are from the net clinical benefits portion of the large national multi-center Phase III trial, RTOG 0825. The primary results of this study will also be presented at the Plenary Session at the same meeting. RTOG 0825, one of the largest trials to study the clinical benefit of a brain tumor treatment, evaluated newly diagnosed patients treated with bevacizumab in addition to standard chemoradiation and maintenance temozolomide, versus those who received a placebo and standard treatment. Dr. Armstrong’s abstractt has also been hand selected to be included in the Best of ASCO® program, which will be held this summer following the ASCO Annual Meeting. The Best of ASCO® is an educational initiative that condenses highlights from ASCO’s Annual Meeting into a two-day program. The purpose of this initiative is to increase global access to cutting-edge science. Abstracts were selected according to specific criteria and reflect research that is relevant and significant in oncology today.
Congratulations, Terri!

Presentations and Publications

Faculty updates
Professor Emerita Dr. Marianne T. Marcus is a co-author of a just-published article that shares data from a nationwide, cross-sectional electronic survey of schools of nursing:
  • Savage, C., Dyehouse, J., Marcus, M.T., (2014). Alcohol and health content in nursing baccalaureate degree curricula. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 25(1), 28-34, January/March 2014.
Dr. Deborah J. Jones has a new, peer-reviewed educational video, along with instructional materials, posted online in MedEdPORTAL Publications, a program of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Dr. Claudia Smith    Petra Grami
     Dr. Smith                Ms. Grami

Dr. Claudia Smith, PhD, RN, NE-BC, will be presenting two abstracts to the STTI Research Congress in Prague later this year. The first abstract , "Evaluating the Feasibility and Effectiveness of a Delirium Prevention Bundle in Hospitalized Critically Ill Patients", was written by Dr. Smith and Ms. Petra Grami, BSN, RN, NE-BC, CVNRN II. The second abstract , "A Pilot Study Testing Intrinsic Strength Factors as Predictors of Depression in the Houston Hispanic population with Cardiovascular Disease" was written by Dr. Smith and Aaron Bayles, MSN, RN.

Leyden, K. N. L., & Hanneman, S. K. (In press). Validity of the Modified Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale for use in sedated, mechanically ventilated swine. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science

Congratulations to Stacy Drake and co-author, for her publication in Journal of Forensic Sciences, entitled “Essential Medicolegal Death Investigation Services: Standardization of a Survey Instrument Based on the Essential Public Health Services.” The article was published July 2011, vol 56, No 4, 1034-1040. We a proud of Stacy for accomplishments.