UNE’s Midcoast Maine Rural Health Immersion Kicks-off

May 22nd, 2017 by healthinnovation

 

UNE students and faculty attend a weeklong rural health immersion in Midcoast Maine (L-R, Row 1 Nancy Simpson, Purvi Patel, Molly Callnan, Emma Mason, Brandi Sargent, Cassidy Carpenter, Row 2 Jennifer Gunderman, Jason Greenbaum, Matthew Fiorilo, Sara Stafford, Kurdistan Pishdary, Heather Curran, Abby Golash, Neva Gross, Katelyn Van Leir , Ian Imbert)

UNE students and faculty attend a weeklong rural health immersion in Midcoast Maine (L-R, Row 1 Nancy Simpson, Purvi Patel, Molly Callnan, Emma Mason, Brandi Sargent, Cassidy Carpenter, Row 2 Jennifer Gunderman, Jason Greenbaum, Matthew Fiorilo, Sara Stafford, Kurdistan Pishdary, Heather Curran, Abby Golash, Neva Gross, Katelyn Van Leir , Ian Imbert)

Thirteen UNE health professions students are currently participating in a week long rural health immersion in Midcoast Maine.  The immersion experience is a part of a pipeline program with Maine’s Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program and UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation (CEHI) to address healthcare provider shortages in rural Maine.  This is the third immersion experience that the Maine AHEC and CEHI have provided for UNE students; last May medical, pharmacy, and dental students participated in a weeklong immersion in Aroostook County and last March medical and nursing students participated in a weeklong immersion in Franklin County.  The students have been split into interprofessional teams consisting of medical, pharmacy, nursing, and dental students.   The students are experiencing a variety of clinical and community activities in underserved areas in Knox and Waldo county.  Below are reflections from one team after the first day in Waldo County on May 22nd, 2017.

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Dr. David Loxterkamp, MD, and Mary Beth Leone, LCSW, provide a training on Medication Assisted Treatment at Athena Health in Belfast, ME

Brandi Sargent (second year medical student)

As a college of osteopathic medicine student, I learned a lot today about not only physicians in a rural health atmosphere, but other care providers as well. We began the morning with a discussion about treating patients with addiction held by Dr. Loxterkamp and Mary Beth Leone at Athena Health. I admired their idea of a “tribe” setup and how important it is for their program that the patients meet as a group and build relationships with people like them. One key takeaway I had from this experience was how often treating patients with addictions will be for us in the future and how we, like the patients, will have to work as a tribe with different health professions to best care for them.

In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to tour Waldo County General Hospital and Stockton Spring Rural Health Center. In each setting, I was excited to learn about the different roles physicians play in a rural setting. Dr. Smith, a hospitalist at Waldo County General Hospital, wore a variety of hats as he treated the patients in the hospital. He also talked about how in another rural setting, he delivered children as well as being a family physician. I had never heard of a TeleHealth intensive care unit before coming to this hospital and found it a really unique and thoughtful way to connect patients in remote areas to experts in the field in other locations. At the Stockton Spring Center, we learned about their patient centered approach to treatment and I was able to experience another physician who was able to do a variety of things in the practice. They also had a trauma room equipped to handle suturing patients, which I found really great in this remote area to be able to provide quick treatment. One of my overall goals for this immersion was to see physicians who were able to experience a variety of patients and procedures due to being in a rural setting and I definitely saw this today. This immersion definitely made me more open to practicing in a rural setting and helping to treat patients recovering from addiction.

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Students discuss rural health care during a visit to the Stockton Springs Regional Health Center in Stockton Springs, ME.

Jason Greenbaum (second year dental student)

Today was the first day of our immersion into rural health in mid-coast Maine. We started our journey in Belfast at the Seaport Community Health Center where we learned about the very serious opioid crisis that is affecting Maine. Dr. Loxterkamp explained what it is like to be a physician who helps run a medication assisted treatment (MAT) program. Mary Beth Leone explained what it is like to be a licensed clinical social worker for the MAT program and how it is important to walk a fine line between establishing trust with your patients and keeping them accountable. As a dentist, I feel that it will also be crucial to walk this fine line between establishing trust and holding patients accountable for their oral hygiene. After our training, I also can appreciate my role as a dentist in preventing the over prescribing of opioid pain medication that may lead to misuse by the patient or others that might have access to the medication. We then toured around the Athenahealth building which surprised me because it seemed like it was some corporate headquarters right out of Silicone Valley. I very much appreciated how this business provides jobs and the opportunity of a fulfilling career for the residents of Waldo county.

Our next stop was to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast. We were introduced to many of the public health and health education programs that exist in Belfast through Waldo County General Hospital. We toured around the hospital and even got to see the dental clinic that exists there. Dentists are severely lacking in Waldo county and I was shocked to hear that there are about 3,600 patients to every one dentist in the clinic. I was happy to hear that a recent UNE graduate will be taking a position at the Waldo County General Hospital dental clinic after a positive experience during his externship this past year. I enjoyed meeting one of the dentists in the clinic, Dr. John Slaughter, who after retiring came back to practice in the clinic to help meet the dental needs of the residents of Waldo county. We then split up into groups and several of us toured around the inpatient nutrition services and outpatient diabetic clinic. Thankfully one of the UNE CDM faculty, Dr. King, was there to help me look at inpatient nutrition from the aspect dentistry. We conversed about how it is important for the dentist to educate the patient or patient’s parent about the high carbohydrate content of many liquid nutrition diets and how this can affect the dentition. Therefore, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene when on a liquid diet to prevent the progression of dental caries. I am happy to be learning so much on the first day of this rural health immersion. This program is helping to reiterate the reasons why I chose to come to dental school and why I want to stay and practice in Maine.

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Students get a tour of Waldo County General Hospital

Matthew Fiorillo (OMS II)

As a rising second year medical student (and a current Maine resident) I found today’s agenda to be especially interesting.   Unfortunately, the state has a real problem with opioid abuse, and healthcare professionals need to play an active role in helping to resolve the problem. To begin, I thought that Dr. Loxterkamp and Mary-Beth Leone made great points regarding the treatment of addiction patients. Substance abuse can affect anyone, but it tends to involve patients with poor social histories–namely people (1) from lower income backgrounds, or (2) who have suffered physical or emotional abuse.

I thought this was an important point to consider. Some people are–through no fault of their own–more predisposed to addiction. As healthcare providers, we need to be mindful of this concept, and make sure that we afford each of our patients the time and respect that they deserve. With this in mind, an ideal treatment plan should include methods to not only treat addiction, but to also address the issues underlying the addiction. To accomplish this goal, providers need to form close, caring relationships with their patients. Interestingly, this concept was reinforced throughout the day, and was echoed by providers at both Waldo County General Hospital and Stockton Spring Rural Health Center.

One of my goals for this immersion experience was to better understand how interprofessional cooperation could be used to benefit patient care, and I definitely was able to see this today. I am excited to work with everyone over the next few days, and am looking forward to learning more about the intricacies of rural medicine over the next few days!

Students split into interprofessional teams and bowl at the Point Lookout Resort bowling alley.

Students split up into interprofessional teams and bowl at the Point Lookout Resort bowling alley.

New Resources Bring Opportunity for Public Health Emergency Preparedness Volunteers

April 29th, 2017 by healthinnovation

MRC YORK Flier copy

In October of 2016 students and staff from UNE participated in a Public Health Emergency Preparedness exercise with partnering agencies ranging from state and county governments to local healthcare partners. The volunteer driven Flu Clinic and Points of Dispensing (POD) exercise was a success with over 160 vaccines administered and an After Action Report indicated an opportunity to engage local volunteers in preparedness activities in an ongoing capacity (and not rely on spontaneous and unaffiliated volunteers to support public health response in times of actual emergency).

In the months that followed the 2016 exercise a new public health resource was established in the Public Health District serving York County, Medical Reserve Corps Unit 2640 (AKA the “York MRC”). The York MRC is made up of community preparedness volunteers (from both on and off campus) interested in responding during a public health crisis. Maine MRC State Coordinator Jared McCannell remarked that “this unit was established as a direct result of the recent exercise at UNE; it was clear that an opportunity exists to engage students in this work as well as tap into the greater community for support.”

In an effort to launch this collaborative volunteer opportunity the new York MRC unit applied for—and received—a $13,000 “Challenge Award” from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to increase awareness about Public Health Emergency Preparedness volunteer opportunities and to develop a MRC presence on the UNE campus.

The funds will have a large impact on the growth of the unit as all new members will be eligible for numerous training and exercise opportunities, receive supplies, uniforms, go-bags, first aid kits and other resources. Volunteers will also gain priceless skill building and professional networking experience. “Whether it is a student early in their pursuit of a career in healthcare or a local citizen interested serving their community during times of need, it is not just the volunteers of this new MRC unit that will reap the benefits of this award, but the greater community of York County”, says McCannell.

FMI about joining the Medical Reserve Corps in Maine please email MedicalReserveCorpsME@gmail.com.

To register as a Public Health Emergency Preparedness volunteer with the State of Maine please visit www.maineresponds.org.

Implementing Team-based Health Care: UNE Team Presents at Quality Counts Health Conference

April 29th, 2017 by healthinnovation


The Clinical Interprofessional team at the University of New England Center for Health Innovation presented a breakout session at Quality Counts, Maine’s largest health conference, held at the Augusta Civic Center on April 5, 2017. The group joined nearly 1,000 others from across Maine for the day to learn strategies to improve health quality. Don Berwick, M.D., was the keynote speaker.

 
“Partnering to Improve Provider and Patient Experience Through Interprofessional Practice and Education” was jointly presented by the UNE team and partners at Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC), including Felix Hernandez, M.D., Frank Bailey, and Andy Pritchard, M.P.H.

This participatory buzz session featured EMMC and UNE team members presenting lessons learned through their three-year partnership to develop and implement interprofessional practice and education at EMMC, with a focus on how this approach has enhanced the patient experience as well as improved the relationship between provider and patients. The session featured interprofessional student home visits with pharmacy and osteopathic medical students to recently discharged complex patients. The session was presented through in-person sharing, dialogue with the audience, and video. Participants were then asked to discuss several questions at their table, followed by a whole group discussion. A lively and engaging discussion wrapped up the session.

Dora Anne Mills, M.D., M.P.H.; Felix Hernandez, M.D., and Frank Bailey, talk about implementing a model of collaborative practice at the 2017 Maine Quality Counts Conference.

Dora Anne Mills, M.D., M.P.H.; Felix Hernandez, M.D., and Frank Bailey, talk about implementing a model of collaborative practice at the 2017 Maine Quality Counts Conference.

The UNE team included: Dora Anne Mills, M.D., M.P.H.; Ruth Dufresne, SM; Ruby Spicer, RN, M.P.H.; Toho Soma, M.P.H.; Melanie Caldwell, M.S.; Ian Imbert, M.P.H. They were joined at the session by Dean of the College of Pharmacy, Gayle Brazeau, Ph.D.

To learn more about the Center for Excellence in Health Innovation, visit: http://www.une.edu/academics/centers-institutes/center-excellence-health-innovation

 

Multiple Stakeholders Partner to Build Multidimensional Interprofessional Training Series

April 29th, 2017 by healthinnovation

UNE’s Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) and the School of Social Work partnered with Maine Quality Counts and the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network (NNE-PTN) to build a multidimensional interprofessional training series. NNE-PTN is a multi-million-dollar grant project spanning Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire designed to raise awareness of the Institute for Health Care Improvement’s (IHI) Quadruple Aim goals leading to improved and coordinated healthcare. Tenets of the Quadruple Aim include improving the patient experience of care, improving population health, reducing healthcare costs, and increasing provider satisfaction.

The first of the three-part series was an in-person workshop that introduced providers and healthcare administrators to concepts of seamless care, medical neighborhoods and collaborative practice. The primary site of the half-day training took place on March 9th at Maple Hill Farm and Conference Center in Hallowell Maine, and was livestreamed to the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord, New Hampshire.

A captive audience of diverse health professionals watches Pat’s story at the NNE-PTN live learning session on March 9th.

An audience of diverse health professionals watch Pat’s story at the NNE-PTN live learning session on March 9th.

The second training for Quality Counts NNE-PTN was an interactive webinar on March 28th (Find the link here:https://www.mainequalitycounts.org/articles/161-1565/march-28th-webinar-seamless-care/3). The webinar built upon concepts of seamless care and collaborative practice, adding community-based exemplars to demonstrate how these concepts reduce costs in care. Jaclyn Chadbourne, Research and Development Principal of MedTech™ and MedGym and Victoria Hynes, Clinical Outreach and Implementation Coordinator of Maine Behavioral Health’s PRIDE Program, joined Shelley Cohen Konrad, UNE-IPEC and School of Social Work Director, to present the business case for successful seamless care implementation exemplified in their respective programs.

The final tier of the training collaboration will be educational modules that draw upon UNE-IPEC’s COMPtime series of interactive online modules (http://www.une.edu/wchp/ipec/comptime) designed to demonstrate real world use of interprofessional competencies (https://ipecollaborative.org/uploads/IPEC-2016-Updated-Core-Competencies-Report__final_release_.PDF) through a patient story. The development of COMPtime was funded by an Arthur Vining Davis Foundation grant received by UNE-IPEC in 2012. The educational modules will be posted on the Quality Counts website in mid-May 2017.

Faculty members Arabella Perez and Kelli Fox are filmed discussing seamless care for the NNE-PTN online modules.

Faculty members Arabella Perez and Kelli Fox are filmed discussing seamless care for the NNE-PTN online modules.

The successful execution of this training series brought together collaborators from a host of organizations, proving that tenets of seamless care exist both within and outside the halls of healthcare. Partners in the NNE-PTN training series include Maine Quality Counts, Maine Behavioral Health, Jaclyn Chadbourne from MedTech™ and MedGym™, Sylvie Demers, Project Manager, Alyssa Wyman, UNE graduate assistant, instructional designers Anne Fensie and Shiva Darbandi, Kelli Fox and Arabella Pérez, School of Social Work content experts, and UNE-IPEC’s Kris Hall, and Shelley Cohen Konrad. Those wishing to view the NNE-PTN trainings can find them on the Quality Count website.

 

Holding Effective Meetings, the Latest New England Public Health Training Center Course

April 27th, 2017 by healthinnovation

PHT - Module 2 Holding Effective Meetings

If you manage a team, you may have asked yourself the following question; How can I make the best use of my employee’s time in meetings? Or, better yet, have you ever attended a meeting that was disorganized, took much longer than it should have, and ended with nothing to show for it? If you have, you may want to consider the New England Public Health Training Center at the University of New England and it’s newest course, Holding Effective Meetings, where we’ll look at how to put an end to these “time-wasters” and instead offer strategies on how to execute an effective meeting. We’ve all been made to sit through ineffective meetings at some point in our careers and most of us agree that not only are these meetings annoying to the attendees, but they can also be a waste of one of our most valuable resources: time.

By participating in the course Holding Effective Meetings you will learn how to:

  • optimize your time by identifying the need for a meeting and the benefits of planning for a successful outcome;
  • find better ways to engage staff at crucial steps throughout the meeting process;
  • properly execute meetings by improving your facilitation skills to help you manage your team more efficiently; and
  • review the key components to running a successful meeting and learning the basics of meeting setting and facilitation skills.

The Public Health Training site is supported by The New England Public Health Training Center at the University of New England through funding from HRSA, offering free professional and workforce development modules for public health professionals. To access our latest module, Holding Effective Meetings, visit our website at Maine.gov/PHT. Once on the site, you can quickly and easily set up an account and choose at least one course from the several that are available based on which course is more relevant for you and your teams’ professional development goals. Courses are typically an hour long and can easily fit into your workday

FMI: Contact Nicole O’Brien, M.A., Research Assistant in UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation and Project Manager, Community Access to Child Health in Maine (CATCH-ME) grant at nobrien1@une.edu

Upcoming Training for Maine providers, Taking It To The Next Level: Meaningful Use of IPE in Clinical Settings

March 28th, 2017 by healthinnovation
Flyer for the April 28th IPE training held on the UNE Portland Campus rom 8:45 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Flyer for the April 28th IPE training held on the UNE Portland Campus from 8:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The University of New England is pleased to invite UNE clinical affiliates and providers to attend an interprofessional education (IPE) training with two nationally recognized IPE experts, Brenda Zierler, Ph.D., RN, RVT, and Sarah Shrader, PharmD, BCPS, CDE. The training will be held on Friday, April 28th, from 8:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on the University of New England’s Portland Campus located at 716 Stevens Avenue and will feature two training sessions, one on interprofessional facilitation and one on collaborative community practice. The training is offered through the four year Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation grant that was awarded to UNE in 2015 which aims to improve healthcare outcomes through collaborative practice. The goal of the training is to help clinical preceptors, IPE facilitators, and practice leaders build skills to guide students in delivering collaborative and effective team-based patient care.

The objectives for the training are:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of interprofessional principles and their meaningful use in campus and clinical practice and education.
  • Describe how IP facilitation is similar to and different from traditional teaching and learning.
  • Analyze the core elements of IPE facilitation.
  • Identify areas of where and how to apply these in your curriculum and activities.
  • Identify and overcome barriers to implementing IP learning and facilitation.
  • Demonstrate IP facilitation skills that can be implemented in classroom and clinical settings.
  • Discuss the range of venues in which IP facilitation skills can be operationalized.

Interested participants can register here: www.surveymonkey.com/r/3PK9XLY .

Dr. Brenda Zierler is the Associate Director for the Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies at the University of Washington School of Nursing and Health Systems. As the co-principal investigator of a Macy Foundation-funded study (with Brian Ross MD, PhD). Dr. Zierler led a group of interprofessional faculty and students in the development of a simulation-based, team training program it improve collaborative interprofessional communication both within teams and with patients. In addition, Dr. Zierler is a fellow in the RWJ Nurse Executive Program (2008 cohort).

Dr Sarah Shrader is a Clinical Associate Professor at University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. She has a clinical practice site in the Interprofessional Teaching Clinic in Family Medicine. Her areas of interest are Interprofessional Education, Preceptor and Experiential Learning/Site Development, and Primary Care.

FMI on UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation: http://www.une.edu/academics/centers-institutes/center-excellence-health-innovation

FMI on UNE’s Interprofessional Education Collaborative: http://www.une.edu/wchp/ipec

FMI on the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation: http://macyfoundation.org/

 

UNE’s Center for Health Innovation Forms a Pipeline to Franklin County to Address Healthcare Shortages

March 27th, 2017 by healthinnovation
Students from the Franklin County rural health immersion pose for a photo on Wilson Lake the day after a Nor'Easter hits Maine and most of New England.

Students from the Franklin County rural health immersion pose for a photo on Wilson Lake the day after a Nor’Easter hits Maine and most of New England.

Fifteen healthcare students from UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and Westbrook College of Health Professions Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program recently attended a weeklong rural health immersion in Franklin County. The experience, which is coordinated and funded by UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation and the Maine Area Health Education Center (AHEC), is a pipeline activity created to reduce healthcare provider shortages in rural Maine and to strengthen UNE’s relationships with healthcare centers around Maine. The weeklong rural health immersion experience was the second time that it has been offered to UNE students; last May a weeklong immersion was held in Maine’s northern most county, Aroostook County. The enormous amount of positive feedback from students and community members of last years 2016 immersion spurred two more immersions to be scheduled for 2017.

Attracting healthcare professionals to rural and underserved communities has been a national priority for several years and a particular issue for Maine partly due to the fact that, according to the 2010 Census Data, Maine was the most rural state in the United States. Rural terrain can lead to long commutes for patients seeking basic healthcare services and can exacerbate provider shortages, leading to poorer health outcomes. The locations for the immersion experiences are chosen based on the three AHEC centers strategically located around Maine in Aroostook, Franklin, and Penobscot counties, three of Maine’s most rural counties.

Franklin County, which ranked middle of the pack among Maine’s sixteen counties for health factors (8th) and health outcomes (7th), has been given less favorable ratings in quality of life (12th) and social & economic factors (10th), according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 2016 county health rankings. It’s predicted that some of the health challenges that Franklin County faces would be improved if there were more providers in that area. According to the Robert Graham Center and the Nursing Workforce Forecast, Maine will need an additional 120 primary care physicians and 3,200 nurses in the next decade in order to maintain current rates of healthcare utilization. Research shows that students are more likely to practice rural medicine if they have a personal connection to a rural area, so, the rural health immersions aim to provide opportunities for students to connect to rural Maine and hopefully alleviate healthcare provider shortages.

Brad Gilbert, RN, talks to the students about his career path as a nurse and how he ended up in rural medicine

Brad Gilbert, RN, of Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, ME, talks to the students about his career path as a nurse and how he ended up in rural medicine

The students who participated in the western Maine rural health immersion came from a broad array of backgrounds, some growing up throughout the country in areas like California and Oklahoma while about a third of the students had grown up in Maine or had spent time previously in rural Maine. Most students had some experience working with underserved populations in the past but, for some it was their first opportunity to experience rural underserved healthcare. One ABSN student, originally from Taiwan, Feng Cherng (Alex) Hsu, who was an economist before enrolling in UNE’s ABSN program, said he is already considering returning to Franklin County after graduating It would be my honor to be able to become one of the colleagues of Franklin Memorial Hospital because they have many professionals who contributed so many years in such working environment without many support and resources…We were constantly informed that [Franklin County] is and will be a great [place to] work under such a beautiful area. The working environment in Franklin County is great, people of Maine are very nice, and workers can enjoy all kinds of outdoor recreational activities all year long.”

The students experienced a variety of activities in underserved areas in Franklin County, such as meeting with providers of Franklin Memorial Hospital for a tour of the facility, meeting with a local pediatrician and nurse to discuss current strategies used to address population health, and meeting with a local EMS agency to discuss emergency medicine in rural Maine. There was also an overarching behavioral health theme during the trip and all of the students were exposed to topics within that field on multiple occasions, such as a panel discussion on the opioid epidemic in rural Maine with a public health professional, maternal child health nurse, and nurse practitioner who work in Franklin County. Later, they also attended a three-hour public seminar to discuss suicide prevention and strategies, which featured a well-known expert from Maine General and the director of the Maine Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “There was great depth and breadth of exposures during the immersion that the students will be able to bring to future courses and clinical experiences”, says UNE clinical assistant professor, Judith Metcalf, APRN, BC, MS, FMGS, one of the faculty members who also attended the immersion.

The students also enjoyed having time to take in the natural beauty of the area, such as when they went snowshoeing under a full moon on Wilson Lake. They also got a taste of the local culture when they met with with Bill Roorbach and Tom Saviello. Roorbach, a nationally known author from Farmington, had lunch with the students and gave each of them a signed copy of one of his books. The next morning, Saviello, a Maine state Senator, talked with the students about economics and health policy in rural Maine.

Students wake up early to meet for breakfast and talk health policy with Maine state senator Tom Saviello

Students wake up early to meet for breakfast and talk health policy with Maine state senator Tom Saviello

Some of the week’s activities were canceled due to the March 14th blizzard that hit most of Maine and New England. There were a variety of clinical skills activities that were scheduled but had to be canceled due to the storm such as conducting health screenings at a senior citizens center in Farmington and Rangeley; collecting vitals and providing patient education at Edgewood Rehab in Farmington, and doing home visits with Androscoggin Home Health. Despite the wintery conditions, the students were determined to make the most of their rural health experience, and, after making a trip to the local Hannafords to stock up on food and water for the storm, the group hunkered down at the motel in Wilton to work on team-building exercises, as they collectively decided to cook dinner together and then self-facilitate an evening debrief.

Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH, FAAP, and Vice President for Clinical Affairs and director of UNE’s Center for Health Innovation attended the immersion and had this to say of the students experiences “It’s been very exciting to see medical and nursing students learn from, with, and about each other, and I found it very inspiring to learn from them.  They are truly an interprofessional team, as partly evidenced by how I couldn’t tell who is which profession.” Another UNE faculty member who participated in the immersion, Jen Van Deusen, Director of Curriculum in UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, saw the tight bonds that had formed among the students as an opportunity to continue the interprofessional learning and extended an invitation to the nine nursing students to attend a panel session on addiction and substance use with the first year medical students the week after they returned from the immersion. “The rural health immersion leads to longstanding friendships and increases students’ value of interprofessional learning experiences, which is why I invited the nursing students to join our medical students in the March 24th training session”, says Van Deusen.

The full team of students who attended the Franklin County immersion included six medical students from UNE’s College of Ostepathic Medicine, Sean Bilodeau, Jessica Brancely, Kristina Carlson, Stephanie Czajkowski, Kristin Frisby, and Zachary Lane and nine nursing students from UNE’s Westbrook College of Health Professions Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, Sheridan Aspinwall, Valerie Bedard, Ilija Bratina, Anika Gannon, Feng (Alex) Hsu, Kane Kunst, Cynthia Mosher, Sarah Rafferty, and Kali Waters. You can read more on each students experience here.

Lorri Brown and Tania Dawson, RN, talk to the students about substance misuse in Franklin County.

Lorri Brown and Tania Dawson, RN, talk to the students about substance misuse in Franklin County.

The majority of the planning and coordination for the trip was provided by Ian Imbert, MPH, project coordinator of a four year Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation grant and staff member in UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation. Jen Van Deusen, M.Ed., Director of Curriculum for UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Judith Metcalf, APRN, BC, MS, FMGS, clinical assistant professor of nursing and coordinator, Upstream Practicums in Nursing Program, both attended and provided expertise and mentorship during the trip. Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH, FAAP, Vice President of Clinical Affairs at UNE and director of UNE’s Center for Health Innovation also attended the immersion.

The next weeklong immersion is scheduled for May 21st – 26th 2017 in the Midcoast region and will involve students from UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, College of Dental Medicine, and College of Pharmacy.

The trip was graciously supported by Maine’s Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. The Maine AHEC has continued to prioritize experiential learning in rural communities for graduate healthcare students and their commitment to the rural health immersion proved to be invaluable for the success of the trip. Tania Dawson, director of the Western Maine AHEC was an essential resource in setting up connections with providers, community members, and hospitals in Franklin County. The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation grant that also helped fund the experience is a four-year grant awarded to UNE in 2015 from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and aims to improve health care and education in rural areas.

FMI: Contact Ian Imbert, MPH, (207-221-4625 or iimbert@une.edu)

Maine AHEC Partners with the MPHA to offer a Training on HPV Related Cancer Prevention

March 27th, 2017 by healthinnovation
Every 20 minutes someone is diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV

Every 20 minutes someone is diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV

Every year in the United States 27,000 people are diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV, that’s 1 case every 20 minutes.  Most of these cancers can be prevented by the HPV vaccine; however, in Maine fewer than half of girls and boys are fully vaccinated against HPV. The National AHEC Organization  received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a project to provide continuing education to health professionals about the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The Maine AHEC Network was awarded a grant to facilitate this effort in Maine.

Since beginning this work in 2014, Maine AHEC Network has worked closely with a variety local organizations to partner on this shared goal of preventing HPV related cancers. Each partner organization has brought valuable knowledge and resources to increase the reach and success of this cancer prevention campaign. Some of the organizations throughout the state involved in this effort include the New England Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS) , the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Quality Counts, the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing, Maine Primary Care Association, MaineHealth, and the AHEC Centers across the state.

Most recently, Maine AHEC Network has developed a partnership with the Maine Public Health Association, and together with ACS they will offer a free webinar training,  “You are the Key to HPV Cancer Prevention” on Friday, April 21st from 12-1pm.

Interested participants can register here.

Featuring the New Public Health Training Course: Marketing Public Health

March 23rd, 2017 by healthinnovation
Visit www.maine.gov/pht to enroll in one of the free online public health trainings

Visit www.maine.gov/pht to enroll in one of the free online public health trainings today!

Have you ever wondered if your marketing efforts were effective? Questioned if your messages were reaching your target audience? If so, you and your team can build confidence in your marketing approach by learning about public health marketing strategies with Maine’s free online Public Health Training program.

Whether you are managing a single program or an entire public health department, understanding the basic principles of branding and marketing can be crucial to your success. Every program and organization has key stakeholders, and the goal of this course is to offer you concrete strategies for communicating with those stakeholders in order to support your broader program and organizational goals.

This module follows a marketing strategy developed for a highly-focused community organization using principles, strategies, and tactics that can be applied universally. By participating in this free one hour training you will learn about the four pillars of building a strong brand and outline the steps for developing an effective marketing communications plan.

This module will help you and your team better understand how to define your organization’s mission and goals, target marketing to your various audiences, identify core umbrella messaging, and prioritize tactics. It will also help you learn about the importance of educating your staff and other stakeholders on desired brand behaviors, and identify and track success metrics in this module.

 

The Public Health Training site is supported by The New England Public Health Training Center at the University of New England through funding from HRSA, offering free professional and workforce development modules for public health professionals. To access our latest module, Marketing Public Health, visit our website at Maine.gov/PHT. Once on the site, you can quickly and easily set up an account and choose at least one course from the several that are available based on which course is more relevant for you and your teams’ professional development goals. Courses are typically an hour long and can easily fit into your workday.

 

FMI: Contact Nicole O’Brien, M.A., Research Assistant in UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation and Project Manager, Community Access to Child Health in Maine (CATCH-ME) grant at Nobrien1@une.edu

UNE students share reflections on day three of their week-long rural health immersion in western Maine

March 17th, 2017 by healthinnovation

Fifteen UNE health professions students participated in a rural health immersion over their spring break in Franklin County, Maine.  The immersion experience is a part of a pipeline program with Maine’s Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program and UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation (CEHI) to address healthcare provider shortages in rural Maine.  This is the second immersion experience that the Maine AHEC and CEHI have provided for UNE students, last May a similar number of different students participated in a weeklong immersion in Aroostook County. The students have been split into five interprofessional teams consisting of medical and nursing students.   The students are experiencing a variety of clinical and community activities in underserved areas in Franklin County.  Below are reflections from one team after the third day in Franklin County on March 13th, 2017.

Students wake up early to meet for breakfast and talk health policy with Maine state senator Tom Saviello

Students wake up early to meet for breakfast and talk healthcare policy with Maine state senator Tom Saviello

Kane Kunst (first year nursing student)

Today started earlier than most with an 7 AM meeting with legislator Tom Saviello. A thirty-year native to Franklin County, Mr. Saviello informed the students about many of the complications surrounding a rural community. The dynamics of the Maine rural communities are changing with the closing of the mills. The lack of jobs and shrinking forest industry has worried the community as the unemployment rate climbs.

A common theme surrounding the trip is the close-knit-community. Most of us do not come from a small town, let alone from a major industry promoting an individual as a focal point.  In Franklin County, the three main employers are the hospital, school, and ever shrinking mill.  If you work in the health care field it is not uncommon to spend additional time grocery shopping, or at the bank or shopping in general.  As a provider, you service the community and that community sees you as always on duty.  The staff speaks to the work life balance and the overall feeling of community, both in the hospital and out.

As we moved through the day, we were granted a guided tour of the hospital. The aesthetics resemble that of a rural cabin.  This hospital is an all-inclusive approach to patient care.  Considering the rural community, the goal is for people to visit once and receive all the treatments and screening to prevent a return trip just a few days later for more tests. The emergency department, hospital, patient service, general practitioners, behavioral health, MRI, and other screenings are all in connected buildings.  Patients can make an appointment with one facility and additional services can be scheduled/coordinated.

Students get a tour of Franklin Memorial Hospital from nursing staff at the hospital

Students get a tour of Franklin Memorial Hospital from hospital nursing staff

Kristin Frisby (first year medical student)

Today began at our new favorite restaurant, Calzaolaio’s Pasta Co., having breakfast with legislator Tom Saviello. Tom spoke at length about his desire to do right for his community and give back to them the same way they had so generously given to him in his time of need. We learned even more about the unique problems the area has faced with unemployment and some of the possible solutions.

Our final event of the day before the impending snow storm was a tour of Franklin Memorial Hospital followed by a discussion of the preventative health efforts put forth in the community. The stand out message of the tour was the amazing capacity for flexibility and teamwork that everyone displays in order to provide the best possible care for the community. At the end of our discussion, it felt as though we too were being invited into that team as our ideas and suggestions were openly embraced, which served to solidify a goal of this trip, interprofessional collaboration.

It is becoming increasingly more evident that there are overlying themes of communication and teamwork that are interwoven into every aspect of the immersion. We are learning that, even though the problems are monumental and overwhelming, this doesn’t stop people from all different professions from coming together and trying to solve them. This is a true testament to the spirit of the people in rural Maine.

Brad Gilbert, RN, talks to the students about his career path as a nurse and how he ended up in rural medicine

Brad Gilbert, RN, talks to the students about his career path as a nurse and how he ended up in rural medicine

Valerie Bedard (first year nursing student)

Today we had the opportunity to take a tour of the Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington. Walking around the hospital with Brad and Tina gave us a firsthand view of what it is like to work in a rural hospital. The sense of community that is instilled into their facility is clear and insightful of the qualities of life people that chose to work here deem important. Hospital faculty are able to snowmobile and cross-country ski to work demonstrating their passion for the environment as well as their personal health. When the children of hospital faculty are sick they are encouraged to bring them to work where they would be cared for on the pediatrics unit while they work.  It is evident that health care providers that chose to work in this area thrive in a setting that is dedicated to the care of its residents.

Whereas for a large portion of the events and collaborations we have attended thus far have been conducted by managerial staff, the tour of the hospital was conducted by working nurses. They held different perspectives on the pros and cons of working in a rural health care system, as well as the nature of the position. Providers in this particular location are held to high standards in that they are often called upon to be knowledgeable in several different fields.  The amount of staff working at one time is smaller then would be found in an urban hospital and so it is imperative for staff to have leadership experience, as well as the necessary medical skill set.  Staff collaboration is not only encouraged but also necessary to facilitate successful patient care in rural healthcare.

Although our day was cut short midday due to the impending blizzard it was an efficacious morning. As a collective group we reiterated all the information we have absorbed over the last few days, building on what we have learned and considering all of the competences of rural healthcare that we have not yet begun to understand. The night was spent in deep conversation with other students about our ability as educated professionals to empower change in communities, which begins to expand in potential when we open our minds to the opinions and viewpoints of other professions. Even though the storm limited the events that were attended that day the extensive conversation that ensued throughout the night ensured that the time was not wasted.

Students hunker down for dinner during a Nor'easter that brought more than 16" of snow overnight

Students hunker down for dinner during a Nor’easter that brought more than 16″ of snow overnight