UNE Students Share Experiences on their Second Day of the Fall Long Weekend Western Maine Rural Health Immersion

October 11th, 2017 by healthinnovation
Minh Tam Hua, second year pharmacy student, and Rodger Carter, first year osteopathic medicine student provide a blood pressure screening to a volunteer at the Fryeburg Fair on Saturday, October 7th.

Minh Tam Hua, second year pharmacy student, and Rodger Carter, first year osteopathic medicine student provide a blood pressure screening to a volunteer at the Fryeburg Fair on Saturday, October 7th.

Ten UNE health professions students recently participated in a long weekend rural health immersion to Oxford County in western Maine and to Carroll County in northern New Hampshire.  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 fourth immersion experience that the Maine AHEC and CEHI have provided for UNE students but the first time that a group has traveled to Oxford County.  Last May a group of 13 medical, pharmacy, dental, and nursing students traveled to Maine’s midcoast region of Knox and Waldo Counties for a weeklong immersion; last March medical and nursing students participated in a weeklong immersion in Franklin County; and in May of 2016 a group of 15 medical, pharmacy, and dental students participated in a weeklong immersion in Aroostook County.  Of the four immersions that have been held so far, this was the most diverse group of students, five different health professions were represented from UNE from the College of Osteopathic Medicine, College of Pharmacy, College of Dental Medicine, and Westbrook College of Health Professions Physician Assistant and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs.  Throughout the trip the students were split into interprofessional teams so that they could learn about the roles of the other professions and how to communicate effectively across disciplines in order to provide team-based care and improve patient outcomes, a primary learning outcome of the four year Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation grant that helps fund the immersion experiences.   The students experienced a variety of clinical, community, and population health activities in underserved areas in western Maine and northern New Hampshire.  Below are reflections from one team after the second day on Saturday, October 7th, 2017.

Brittany Malia, second year dental medicine student

The rural health immersion trip has been an amazing experience! Today was our second day and in the morning we volunteered at the Fryeburg Fair to help staff the First Aid centers. At the fair, we handed out care kits and provided blood pressure screenings. I enjoyed interacting with members of the community at the fair and talking to them about the communities that they live in.

After the fair, we toured a local community Pharmacy at a Hannafords supermarket. The pharmacist showed the entire group how a prescription is filled from start to finish, which I thought was enlightening since I will be prescribing once I become a dentist. This was just one of the many places that we have been able to see throughout the weekend; yesterday we also toured two critical access hospitals, two community health centers, and an oral health clinic. The rural health immersion trip has been a wonderful opportunity to learn about the roles of other health professions, and how we can successfully work together as a team in order to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

Later in the evening we returned back to our house on the water to play board games and have s’mores in front of an open fire. During this trip, I have met many wonderful students from other health professions that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet. I highly recommend this trip to anyone considering attending!

 

 

UNE students pose for a photo in front of one of the first aid stations at the Fryeburg Fair, where the students helped hand out free Care Kits and provided health screenings to anyone interested.

UNE students pose for a photo in front of one of the first aid stations at the Fryeburg Fair, where the students helped hand out free Care Kits and provided health screenings to anyone interested.

Minh Tam Hua, second year pharmacy student

Today during the Fall Long Weekend Rural Health Immersion, I got the opportunity to volunteer taking blood pressure and passing out Care Kits to the people at the Fryeburg Fair, which is known to be the largest agricultural fair in Maine. We were divided into groups, where each groups consisted of a medical student, a nursing student, a dental student, and a pharmacy student. This was my first time working with other students from other health professionals so I got the chance to learn more about their profession and what their roles were.

This event gave me the opportunity to meet and talk with people from the rural communities in Maine. My group and I took blood pressure of total 12 people and only one person turned out to have a “normal” blood pressure reading. The other 11 people’s blood pressures ranked in the hypertensive range. From class I know that the normal blood pressure reading in a healthy individual is around 120/80 and anything higher than that will be a risk factor for developing certain diseases. I was shocked that it was that many people who were at risk of getting Hypertension. As future health care providers, my group and I would recommend that the people whose blood pressures were in the hypertensive range be referred to the paramedics on staff. To our surprise, most of them weren’t concerned that their blood pressures were high. I feel that most of the people that we met during this fair didn’t want to hear about many of the health risk factors, such as unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, smoking and high blood pressure readings and how they can all lead to serious health issues in the future.

Based on this personal experience, I feel that we as health professionals should create more events in Rural communities where we provide free screenings and educate the community about the danger of the chronic diseases, such as Hypertension, Diabetes, Hyperlipidemia, Stroke, and Heart diseases. I think that, as students, we can make an impact on the health of these people. From a health professional point of view, and from what we’ve learned during this immersion so far, I believe that it’s important and better to prevent a disease early on than treating it later on. I feel that if we all stand together and contribute our part, we will be able to help reduce the number of chronic diseases that are taking place not only in these rural areas but also throughout the US.

Students conducted a Worksite Health ScoreCard at the fair to assess it's performance in several categories like Animal areas, Nutrition, Tobacco, and more.

Students conducted a Worksite Health ScoreCard assessment at the fair to assess it’s performance in several categories like Animal areas, Nutrition, Tobacco, and more.

 

Kimberlee Sell, second year pharmacy student

On the second day of the immersion we attended the Fryeburg Fair which can attract between 30,000-40,000 people in a single day. We split into three teams, two teams worked at the first aid stations and one team would check the “Health Score” of the fair using an altered health assessment tool created by the CDC. While at the first aid stations we offered free blood pressure screenings and we gave out Care Kits consisting of things like toothpaste, soap, and band-aids. While the care kits seemed insignificant to me, it felt good to see how excited people were to get some basic health supplies for free, especially the toothpaste.

My first two shifts at the fair were spent giving blood pressure screenings. There was a good number of people who were very excited to see what their blood pressure was. I did notice a lot of people had a blood pressure that read into the hypertensive range. We would talk to them about visiting their primary care provider and hand them off to the NP or paramedic on staff with us. The people I talked to didn’t seem eager to visit their provider when we talked with them about it, perhaps because they had to travel long distances or couldn’t afford the co-pays at their doctors office.

The third station was checking the health of the Fair regarding Tobacco and Nutrition policies. The only ‘no smoking’ signs were located by the first aid stations. We noticed many people smoking in the middle of crowds of people. We thought the fair could improve it’s tobacco policy in order to make it a more healthy environment for guests; one recommendation would be to have designated smoking areas away from crowds of people. We also noticed that the healthy food choices were few and far between. We did see a steak salad and a smoothie bar. Overall, it was a fried paradise- anything you could think of was fried, oreos, ice-cream, dough, and more. Because of this we also thought the fair could improve its nutrition score by providing more healthy food options.

 

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Later in the evening the students returned to the house to enjoy s’mores over an open fire and reflect on the days activities.

UNE’s Fall Long Weekend Rural Health Immersion Kicks off

October 10th, 2017 by healthinnovation
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Ten UNE healthcare students recently participated in a long weekend rural health immersion to western Maine and northern New Hampshire. (From L – R Row 1 Taylor Ouellette OMS I, Brittany Malia CDM II, Kimberlee Sell CDM II, Minh Tam Hua CoP II, Kelly Banks CoP II, Katie Clark BSN IV, Nicole Caron CDM II; Row 2 Ian Imbert MPH, Rodger Carter OMS I, Lesley Lafland BSN IV, Rachel Moore PA I)

Ten UNE health professions students recently participated in a long weekend rural health immersion to Oxford County in western Maine and to Carroll County in northern New Hampshire.  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 fourth immersion experience that the Maine AHEC and CEHI have provided for UNE students but the first time that a group has traveled to Oxford County.  Last May a group of 13 medical, pharmacy, dental, and nursing students traveled to Maine’s midcoast region of Knox and Waldo Counties for a weeklong immersion; last March medical and nursing students participated in a weeklong immersion in Franklin County; and in May of 2016 a group of 15 medical, pharmacy, and dental students participated in a weeklong immersion in Aroostook County.  Of the four immersions that have been held so far, this was the most diverse group of students, five different health professions were represented from UNE from the College of Osteopathic Medicine, College of Pharmacy, College of Dental Medicine, and Westbrook College of Health Professions Physician Assistant and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs.  Throughout the trip the students were split into interprofessional teams so that they could learn about the roles of the other professions and how to communicate effectively across disciplines in order to provide team-based care and improve patient outcomes, a primary learning outcome of the four year Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation grant that helps fund the immersion experiences.   The students experienced a variety of clinical, community, and population health activities in underserved areas in western Maine and northern New Hampshire.  Below are reflections from one team after the first day on Friday, October 6th, 2017.

 

The first stop of the day was at Saccopee Valley Health Center in Porter, ME, where the students met with Dr. Jeff Ray, DO, Medical Director, and Dr. Israel Adeloye, DMD.

The first stop of the day was at Saccopee Valley Health Center in Porter, ME, where the students met with Dr. Jeff Ray, DO, Medical Director, and Dr. Israel Adeloye, DMD, to discuss providing care to underserved populations.

Rachel Moore, first year physician assistant student

Reflecting on the first day of the Rural Health immersion, it is hard to fully sum up everything I experienced and learned. From the very first stop at Saccopee Valley Health Center (SVHC), I was in awe of all the things I took for granted as a practitioner. We quickly learned that many patients in this community are severely limited by transportation, which limits their ability to go to Portland for referrals or any further care that SVHC was not able to offer. Not only that, but even basic oral hygiene did not really exist; and their dentist discussed how for a while 75% of his appointments were full mouth extractions because his patients teeth were beyond the point of repair. From one clinic to the next we witnessed the struggles everyone faced with opioid addictions and patients who are at or below the poverty line and unable to pay for their care. At Bridgton Hospital, we were informed that nearly half of the babies are born addicted to tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs. It would be understandable if someone were to look at the challenges their health practitioners are facing and feel they are insurmountable.

And yet, despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges, at each clinic we saw health care practitioners full of passion, creativity, and love for their community. Each of the people we met with were full of excitement to serve the rural populations and were willing to do whatever it took to do right by them. Throughout the day we say endless examples of this, including a dentist fresh out of school who built the entire dental program at SVHC from scratch and started outreach to the community to teach proper teeth dentition to children in schools; an NP who had achieved countless additional certifications, including one in Psych to help serve the specific needs of her community; the Bridgeton Hospital’s free shuttle for their patients so they can get the care they need; the cross competency trainings of nurses in all the departments so that they can change departments at a moment’s notice to serve where they are most needed.

There is a vast network of community in these health systems and everyone seems to know everyone and offer their support to help serve their patients. It’s true that the rural communities that we’ve visited so far have been underserved but nevertheless it is so clear that the providers that we’ve met give every ounce of their energy to improving the health of their communities.

 

 

The students discuss population health initiatives with Sue Ruka, RN, PhD, at Memorial Hopsital, a Critical Access Hospital in Conway, NH.

The students discuss population health initiatives with Sue Ruka, RN, PhD, at Memorial Hopsital, a Critical Access Hospital in Conway, NH.

 

Taylor Ouellette, first year osteopathic medicine student

What resonated with me most about today’s site visits was the passion of the providers that spoke to us about their practices. Providers of various backgrounds showed us around each site, and the different backgrounds of these providers added to our visits and served to show us the unique personality of each place. When these individuals showed us around the facility and interacted with other providers and staff at the site, we could tell by looking at their facial expression and listening to their presentation how excited and proud of their office, hospital or clinic they were even though these sites are not the may not have the most state of the art equipment to practice medicine and see patients. In fact, one provider at a small community health center communicated to us that although the practice was lacking in funding and resources, there was another similar sized health center in the state that was worse off than the site she worked at, as if to say “it could be worse”.

Hearing this providers optimism about her practice showed the positive and steadfast attitude these rural healthcare providers have about the work that they do every day. These providers that we are meeting with know how significant of an impact they are making on the local community and how vital they are to the wellbeing of the community as a whole. Yet, they were humble about this fact as they were talking to us. Listening to the providers tell stories about patients in the community they care for was very inspirational and uplifting despite the challenging circumstances of many of the people these providers treat. Their passion was contagious.

I was also very impressed by the fact that these providers develop the skills to think on their feet and get creative with the limited resources they have to treat patients who face many barriers to accessing quality healthcare. Furthermore, these providers are remarkable in the sense that their scope of practice is forced to become so broad as they have to become competent in a variety of topics due to the range of issues they deal with on a daily basis in a rural setting. I’m looking forward to what tomorrow has in store for us!

 

Sue leads the students through one of the Gemba boards at Memorial Hospital.

Sue leads the students through one of the Gemba boards at Memorial Hospital.

 

Kelly Banks, second year pharmacy student

The first stop of the day was at Sacopee Valley Health Center with Dr. Jeff Ray. Before arriving the perception of a rural area was the potential for lack of resources. What was fascinating about Dr. Ray and his facility was how much more ahead of the medical game than most facilities are in a non-rural area. When asked about E-prescribing and electronic records he indicated his facility has been working with that type of system long before it was mandatory. When asked about the opioid crisis he indicated they offer plenty of access for patients to speak with someone at the facility, hold meetings, and try their best to regulate the date at which the prescriptions can be filled. An issue he did bring up with the opioid crisis is that the pharmacy will sometimes fill prescriptions earlier than indicated which he was hopeful will eventually change.

The second stop was at Memorial Hospital in which the pharmacy students got the option to speak with the pharmacist. He had worked in community pharmacy for a number of years before working in the hospital setting. What I took away from the visit with him was the sense of community he has by working in a smaller hospital pharmacy. Two pharmacists will run the whole hospital while a larger hospital has one pharmacist per level. He explained that everyone seems like family, all of their families grow up together, and it gave him a better “quality of life”.

The third stop was White Mountain Community Center. What seemed to amaze everyone about this facility was that there was a food pantry in the middle of the practice that was run by volunteers in the community. They have a physician on site only a couple times a week so the NPs on staff run the show. Another important point to this stop was that the NPs would get extra certifications in order to serve the community needs better. This facility also had a teen clinic run by volunteers in the area where kids could get birth control, condoms, and someone to talk to if needed. There are not many teen clinics around so they are crucial to helping the area.

The last stop was Bridgton Hospital which was the most enthusiastic work setting of all. The atmosphere in the hospital was that the patient comes first while making use of their small facility. It was interesting how, in the case of a sudden patient surge, the different departments of the hospital can expand to become a part of other departments by just opening up a few doors. This helps with work flow depending on staffing and time of day.

The Rural Health Immersion allowed for us to get an idea of what health professionals deal with on a daily basis. Whether the facilities were teaching how to brush teeth through community outreach at the schools or helping the nearly 50% of babies born on drug dependence, the facilities adapt to serving their community as it needs it most. The first day showed me how much of a difference each health care professional can make on the rural community one day and one patient at a time, especially when they work well together as a team. This Rural Health Immersion has really opened my eyes to how difficult but rewarding working in a rural health community can be with the right attitude.

The students pose for a photo outside of Conway Oral Health with Dr. Eric Heirschfield, DMD.

Later in the day the students pose for a photo outside of Conway Oral Health with Dr. Eric Heirschfield, DDS.

Lesley Lafland, fourth year nursing student

I enjoyed the Rural Health Immersion to Oxford County, it was truly an eye opener as it provide a glimpse into rural health. My two favorite stops today were Saccopee Valley Health Center and Bridgton Hospital. I grew up in what I thought was a rural setting in Aroostook County but, looking back, I always had readily accessible health care.   After todays experiences, I realized that I actually had it a lot better than most people in rural settings. I had a hospital in my hometown and transportation to get to my appointments whereas the patients in the greater Porter community have to travel over an hour to get to the hospital or to specialists. I’m considering becoming an infusion nurse and noticed that they don’t have anyone doing infusions there, largely due to the fact that there is no way to monitor the patients and make sure they are communicating with their oncologist and following their treatment plan.

Bridgton Hospital was great to visit and learn that even though it’s in a rural area and is a critical access hospital they have an infusion room so that cancer patients don’t have to travel over an hour to Central Maine Medical Center to receive their treatments. Despite being a small hospital it’s great to see that that patients can get the care they need without having to travel a long distance, which is sometimes the difference between whether a patient completes their treatment plan or not.

 

UNE to Offer Opioid Use Disorder and Medication Assisted Treatment Workshop

September 26th, 2017 by healthinnovation

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In July 2017, UNE received $80,000 in supplemental funding from its HRSA Primary Care Training and Enhancement (PCTE) grant to further increase education around Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in primary care to address the opioid crisis. In 2016, 313 Mainers died of an opioid-related overdose, which represents 83% of all drug-related deaths in the State. Currently the demand for MAT in the state still outpaces the supply, especially among those who lack health insurance or live in health professional shortage areas.

To address the critical need for training, UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation will be hosting an Opioid Use Disorder and Medication Assisted Treatment Workshop on Saturday, October 28, 2017. The workshop will host experts discussing the current climate in Maine concerning the opioid epidemic and its impact on the state. Attendees will gain knowledge in areas including OUD diagnosis, prevention and treatment, and emphasizing MAT. Day of presenters will include:

  • Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH– University of New England
  • Toho Soma, MPH- University of New England
  • Peter Michaud, JD, RN– Maine Medical Association
  • Matthew Braun- Young People in Recovery
  • Clay Graybeal, PhD, MSW – University of New England
  • Bethany Fortier, MPH – University of New England
  • Brianna Nalley, MPH– University of New England
  • Lisa Letourneau, MD, MPH– Keynote Speaker
  • Alane O’Connor, DNP– MaineGeneral Medical Center
  • Mary Beth Leone – Thomas, LCSW– Penobscot Community Health Care
  • Noah Nesin, MD– Penobscot Community Health Care

The workshop is free and open to all UNE health professions students, UNE faculty, and interested community members. Student attendees to this workshop can apply their attendance toward SBIRT Student Leader Certificate, IP Honors Distinction, or Care for the Underserved Pathway (CUP) scholar distinction. Contact hours will also be available for practicing clinicians.

For more information and to register please visit:  http://www.une.edu/calendar/2017/opioid-use-disorder-and-medication-assisted-treatment-workshop

UNE Receives Federal Grant to Support Health Workforce Development in Rural and Underserved Areas

September 26th, 2017 by healthinnovation

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The University of New England Center for Excellence in Health Innovation has received a federal grant to support the Maine Area Health Education Center (AHEC), which works to alleviate health workforce shortages in rural and underserved areas of the state.

This $309,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will enhance AHEC’s ability to achieve greater workforce diversity, distribution, and practice transformation as part of, and within the context of ongoing changes to the way health care is delivered.

Through this program, AHEC will increase the number of students trained in rural and underserved areas by adding a robust AHEC Scholars program. It will increase community-based training and interprofessional learning opportunities for health profession students, support new strategies to increase workforce diversity and strengthen pipeline activities to encourage youth to pursue health professions.

The funding will also address the training needs of health professions students and rural providers on emerging health issues and health disparities, and support partnerships with government and community-based organizations to enhance workforce-training needs around the challenges of practice transformation.

The AHEC program office at UNE contracts with three rural centers: Eastern Maine AHEC at the Penobscot Community Health Care, Northern Maine AHEC at Northern Maine Community College, and Eastern Maine AHEC at Franklin Memorial Hospital.

FMI: http://www.une.edu/ahec

UNE’s Clinical Interprofessional Team on the move nationally

September 26th, 2017 by healthinnovation
Dora Anne Mills, Toho Soma, and Melanie Caldwell provide consultation to a leader from A.T. Still University.

Dora Anne Mills, Toho Soma, and Melanie Caldwell provide consultation to a leader from A.T. Still University.

 

On Tuesday August 22, 2017, several people from the University of New England’s Clinical Interprofessional Team presented a one-and-a-half hour session at the National Summit for Interprofessional Practice and Education, hosted by the federally-funded National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at the University of Minnesota.

Dora Anne Mills, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, Toho Soma, M.P.H., and Melanie Caldwell, M.S., presented a session called, “Lessons Learned from Scaling Clinical Interprofessional Sites from One to 12 Sites Across Maine.” They also provided consultations and shared resources at a kiosk. During the session they shared challenges, lessons learned and resources during their several years of developing clinical interprofessional clerkships that involve UNE osteopathic medical students working alongside other UNE health professions students across Maine, with a focus on rural health centers providing care for the underserved. The Clinical Interprofessional Team, based in UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation, works collaboratively with UNE colleges and clinical affiliates, with support from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. This last academic year, 165 UNE health professions students, including 86 osteopathic medical students, participated in interprofessional clerkships of at least several weeks in 12 clinical sites across Maine. In 2017 and 2018, 15 clinical sites are expected to participate.

The presentation at the National Summit was one of several recent national presentations by the Center in Health Innovation’s Clinical Interprofessional Team on UNE’s successful efforts to scale up interprofessional education (IPE) and practice learning activities in clinical sites in order to assure UNE health professions students have these opportunities and graduate team-ready. For instance, over the last few weeks Mills delivered: a keynote presentation at the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) Institute in Washington DC; a breakout session at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) in Baltimore, Maryland; and a webinar sponsored by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative on UNE’s clinical IPE efforts.

Additionally, team members from UNE’s clinical IPE staff and faculty, including Toho Soma, Judith Metcalf, Ruth Dufresne, and Ian Imbert, along with Mills, attended the three-day IPEC Institute in D.C. with clinical leaders from Greater Portland Health, the area’s federally qualified health center, to plan an expansion of clinical interprofessional practice opportunities for UNE health professions students that include osteopathic medical students. Mills also gave an invited keynote on leadership in a changing health landscape to the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMOs) Leadership Academy convened by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) in Washington DC. This is a year-long academy for CMOs in major academic health centers.

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

To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions

UNE Interprofessional Community Health Rotations: Training medical students in team-based rural primary care

August 27th, 2017 by healthinnovation

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August 13-19, 2017 was recognized as National Health Center Week, celebrating the work of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in providing comprehensive, coordinated health care to rural and urban underserved communities throughout America. This event drew attention to Maine’s network of mostly rural FQHCs, some of which have begun to serve as training sites for UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) students as part of an Interprofessional Education Community Health Rotation (IPE CHR) experience.

While UNE COM’s four-week CHR has traditionally addressed not only patients’ clinical needs, but the socioeconomic and cultural factors that shape health outcomes, the IPE CHR was created in 2016 to help COM students apply their on-campus interprofessional training to team-based primary care practice. The IPE CHR includes four to eight hours per week of engagement with non-medical health professionals, providing a profound awareness for COM students of the value of collaborative care. According to Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH, FAAP, Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Director of UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation (CEHI), “Maine’s FQHCs are ideal settings for introducing UNE COM students to interprofessional care, as the one-stop shop FQHC care model often includes behavioral health, dentistry, care coordination, and assistance with community resources, effectively meeting patients’ and families’ complex care needs.”

As a foundation for clinical IPE training in rural Maine, the UNE CEHI created the Clinical Interprofessional Curriculum (CIPC) in 2016, which introduces COM students to the national Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care now in place at the majority of Maine’s FQHCs. The CIPC’s three-pronged emphasis on team-based care, care management, and population health now guides UNE students in practice-based IPE CHR activities including: student engagement with specialists (podiatrists, optometrists, psychiatrists, etc.) as well as engagement with pharmacists, clinical care managers, behavioral health providers, diabetes educators, case managers (addressing social service needs), dentists, and more. COM students have also worked within interprofessional teams addressing care planning, quality improvement, post-discharge care, and palliative care.


IPE CHR Spotlight: Nasson Health Care, Sanford, Maine

Samuel Wood, OMS-III, UNE College of Medicine

Samuel Wood, OMS-III, UNE College of Medicine

Sam Wood, a third-year COM student and Care for the Underserved Pathway (CUP) scholar with a specific intent to serve vulnerable populations, recently completed his IPE CHR at Nasson Health Care, an FQHC serving rural, low-income communities in southwestern Maine. Following a wide range of team-based care experiences at Nasson including a home visit to a patient with terminal kidney disease, participation in a Cooking Matters nutrition class for food stamp program enrollees, and an unscheduled intake for an opioid-dependent patient, Sam observed that “every link in the chain matters” in meeting patients’ complex needs. At the close of his IPE CHR, Sam reflected that his opioid-dependent patient had “walked in helpless, alone, and without any resources, but roughly one hour later, she emerged with confidence, a plan, and a team to help her implement it.” –Samuel Wood, OMS-III, UNE College of Medicine

Mary Jeralds, RN, Clinical Nurse Manager at Nasson Health Care, also noted at the close of Nasson’s first IPE CHR that her team “feels very fortunate to have had an opportunity to provide a medical student with a rural health rotation. [Sam Wood] was able to participate in providing comprehensive and integrated care in a Patient Centered model of care.”


To date, students have completed IPE CHRs at Nasson Health Care/Sanford, Penobscot Community Health Care/Bangor and Brewer, MDI Hospital/Hancock County* , Swift River Family Medicine/Rumford*, Greater Portland Health/Portland (serving a large refugee/immigrant population). Future IPE CHRs are also planned at Health Access Network/Lincoln, Sacopee Valley Health Center/Porter, Harrington Family Health Center/Harrington, Islands Community Medical Services/Vinalhaven, and DFD Russell Medical Center/Leeds and Monmouth.

* rural practice network; not FQHC

 

FMI: contact MaryFrances Smith, AHEC Clinical Coordinator, msmith4@une.edu or Ian Imbert, Clinical IPE Project Coordinator, iimbert@une.edu

Maine SNAP-Ed Program Manager Testifies in Front of United States Senate Special Committee on Aging Regarding Nutrition for Older Adults

August 26th, 2017 by healthinnovation
Elizabeth Pratt, MPH, Maine SNAP-Ed program manager meets spoke to the Senate Special Committee on Aging in Washington D.C on July 12, 2017

Elizabeth Pratt, MPH, Maine SNAP-Ed Program Manager spoke to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in Washington D.C. and poses afterwards for a photo with Senator Susan Collins

On Wednesday, July 12th, Maine SNAP-Ed, a program of UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation, testified in front of the Senate Special Committee on Aging in Washington D.C regarding nutrition for seniors. Maine SNAP-Ed’s Program Manager, Elizabeth Pratt, MPH, was joined by other experts in the field, including Dr. Connie Bales, Duke University School of Medicine and Durham VA Medical Center; Dr. Seth Berkowitz, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital; and Pat Taylor, Retiree from Penn Hills, Pennsylvania. The theme of the hearing was “Nourishing our Golden Years: How Proper and Adequate Nutrition Promotes Healthy Aging and Positive Outcomes.”

SNAP-Ed is the USDA’s nutrition education arm of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It offers education, social marketing campaigns, and environmental support in all 50 states. SNAP-Ed uses evidence-based, comprehensive public health approaches to improve the likelihood that low-income families will make healthier food and physical activity choices, consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The purpose of the Maine SNAP-Ed program is to provide low-income Mainers with easy ways to shop, cook, and eat healthy on a limited budget – stretching their limited food dollars.

In Maine, there are 44 highly qualified Nutrition Educators who provide series-based nutrition education and implement policy, systems, and environmental change strategies. They work in every Maine District and are based in local community coalitions and hospitals. They work in eligible community settings and with multiple organizations to reach children in schools, veterans, adults with disabilities, working adults, and seniors.

In her testimony, Ms. Pratt noted that Maine is the “oldest state in the country” with the highest percentage of older adults, and many of them are low-income. She discussed the prevalence of food insecurity, noting that “roughly 203,000 Mainers face hunger every day.” Four out of 10 SNAP participants in Maine (43%) are in families with members who are elderly or have disabilities. Many Maine seniors have to make hard decisions related to their food choices, having to “choose between their prescriptions, feeding the children who live in their households, fuel for heating in the winter, and their own nutrition needs.” Ms. Pratt provided examples from the field, noting the efforts of two Nutrition Educators – one from Downeast and one from Houlton. These stories of success illustrated how seniors benefit from improved nutrition, while highlighting how SNAP-Ed helps address the social isolation of rural seniors by creating social and environmental supports for healthier living.

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After the witnesses presented their testimonies, Senator Collins held up the Maine SNAP-Ed annual report to the page that includes a map with the settings where Nutrition Educators provide education. She praised the program model and said the following:

“I was impressed with your chart on SNAP-Ed in my state of Maine and you show where the Nutrition Educators are located. And in which District or county. But to me what is more significant is how integrated they are into places where people shop, learn, work, play and go to church. That’s what really impressed me. It seems like you’re everywhere…and I congratulate you for that.”

 

For more information about the Maine SNAP-Ed program, visit mainesnap-ed.org or contact mainesnap-ed@une.edu.

To watch the recorded testimony or read the written testimony, visit:

Nourishing our Golden Years: How Proper and Adequate Nutrition Promotes Healthy Aging and Positive Outcomes

Review the Maine SNAP-Ed’s 2016 Annual Report.

UNE’s second cohort of Key to Oral Health Scholars begin dental rotations in Aroostook and Penobscot Counties

August 25th, 2017 by healthinnovation

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University of New England (UNE)’s College of Dental Medicine has selected its second group of Key to Oral Health Scholars (KOHS) to participate in the Key to Oral Health Program, a joint initiative of UNE and KeyBank. The 2017 Key to Oral Health Scholar award recipients are:

Audra Boynton – Windsor, ME
Christopher Casgonguay – Rutland, VT
Hillary Creed – Etna, ME
Nicholas Guy – Hollywood, MD
Molly Kalish – Beaumont, PA
Anthony Preissler – Dudley, MA

The KOHS are fourth-year dental students who have been selected to complete a 12-week clinical rotation in northern New England in Maine’s Aroostook and Penobscot Counties. The Key to Oral Health program is designed to address the shortage of dental health providers in Aroostook and Penobscot Counties, two geographic areas of demonstrated oral health need.

With 15 of 16 counties identified as dental health shortage areas and a high percentage of practicing dentists reaching retirement age within the next five to 10 years, increasing Maine’s dental workforce pipeline has heightened in importance. Through generous funding from KeyBank of Maine and the KeyBank Foundation, a select group of 12 UNE dental students have been chosen to represent the University and provide patient care at clinical sites in Aroostook and Penobscot Counties which began in June 2016 and will continue through May of 2018. The university projects that the scholars will deliver a total of 4,000 to 5,000 oral health care patient visits by the conclusion of the program on May 31, 2018.

The Key Oral Health Scholars were chosen for their commitment to serving rural and underserved areas of Maine and their residents. The selected students demonstrated a strong history of community service, had a meaningful vision for addressing critical oral health problems in Maine, and outlined an engaging service learning project that they plan to implement. Each awardee receives a comprehensive package that includes scholarship support, housing stipends, travel assistance and dedicated funding to engage the community in a robust service project. The program’s long-term goal is to encourage UNE dental students to return and build practices in these underserved areas upon graduation.

In addition to bolstering the dental workforce in these counties, the program provides a unique learning opportunity for the students. During their rotation in Federally Qualified and other health centers, they will work with the public, providing oral health education in area schools and senior centers. The program will also connect students with business leaders and local dental professionals, facilitating the development of relationships with community members. The service learning projects for the first group of KOHS included:

  • Providing oral health education during a Community Wellness Fair in Lincoln, Maine
  • Providing oral health education to students at Enfield Station School in Enfield, Maine
  • Conducting a survey and oral health exam to indentify the most prevalent oral conditions
  • Providing fluoride sealants to K-4 school children
  • Introducing students to dentistry as a career by providing simulated dental training to middle school children

The 2016 Key Oral Health Scholar award recipients were:

Thanh Huynh – Da Nang, Vietnam
Adam L’Italien – Enfield, Maine
Dustin Nadeau – Brunswick, Maine
Nathan O’Neill – Calais, Maine
Dzhuliya Servetnik – Westfield, Massachusetts
Chelsea Toussaint – Madawaska, Maine

As of May of 2017, two of the 2016-2017 KeyBank Oral Health Scholars have returned to practice in Penobscot County. One student is employed at Health Access Network in Lincoln and another student is employed at a private practice in Newport.

This program was made possible by a lead gift from KeyBank, which encouraged generous additional funding from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, the Fisher Charitable Foundation, and the PD Merrill Charitable Trust.

To learn more about UNE’s College of Dental Medicine, visit http://www.une.edu/dentalmedicine

To apply, visit http://www.une.edu/admissions

UNE Faculty Champions Interprofessional Collaboration – From Campus to Community

August 24th, 2017 by healthinnovation

 

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150 UNE students from nursing, social work, occupational therapy and physical therapy learn with, from and about each other while discussing a patient case.

This summer, faculty from nursing, social work, occupational therapy, and physical therapy collaborated on a three-part event series for 150 of their students called “Parallel Processes in IPE: from Campus to Community”.  These sessions were designed to provide student teams with the opportunity to learn about the core values of IPE from a team of practicing clinicians.

Developed jointly by UNE faculty and practitioners from Maine Medical Center, these sessions centered around an interactive team building experience that addressed the medical needs of two complex medical health care cases. Medical practitioners included Danalyn Adams,, LMSW-cc, Social Work Care Manager, Special Care Unit,  Sonja Orff, RN, MS, CNL, Maine Medical Center Clinical Nurse Leader Special Care Unit (SCU)and Kelley Crawford PT, DPT, MS, CCS, Maine Medical Center Level IV Physical Therapist, Primary in Special Care Unit (SCU), and Adjunct Faculty UNE PT Department. One student indicated, “This session has shown me what working with other professionals is like. It was refreshing and I feel one step closer to being prepared for future practice.”

The students worked within their teams to determine a problem list and identify a potential plan of care for each patient case. Each team presented their findings to the practitioners from Maine Medical Center. The students were given the opportunity to ask questions of the team related to the patient, with a focus on teamwork strategies. “I have greater respect and understanding of my fellow allied health professionals, and I will be able to better communicate and get help with patients to better give holistic, patient-centered care.”

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UNE Faculty members from four different professions are available to facilitate discussion and answer questions during interactive case-based learning.

Participating faculty included Jan Froehlich, M.S., OTR/L, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy, Kelli Fox, LCSW, Director of Field Education and Assistant Clinical Professor of Social Work (Kelli is also an SBIRT Faculty Champion), Elizabeth Crampsey, M.S., OTR/L, BCPR, Assistant Clinical Professor of Occupational Therapy and Coordinator of the Community Therapy Center (CTC), Nancy Jo Ross, PhD RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing, and Sally McCormack Tutt, PT, D.P.T., M.P.H., Associate Clinical Professor and Director of Clinical Education for the Physical Therapy Program.

The primary goal of the educational series was for students to learn about, from, and with each other within their program specific curriculum. Case-based learning allows them to practice teamwork, communication, as well as provides an opportunity for exposure to the different roles and responsibilities of these four health care professions. Several of the faculty designers of this strategy for improving health professions education outcomes have been accepted to present their model at Collaborating Across Borders (CAB http://www.cabvibanff.org/) North America’s premier interprofessional healthcare education and collaborative practice conference in October. CAB is an internationally recognized venue that brings educators, researchers, practitioners, students and patients from Canada and the United States together for essential discussions around interprofessional healthcare education, practice, leadership and policy in North America.

IPEC recognizes the vital importance of providing students with IPE activities on campus to build the skills to practice collaboratively in their clinical placements and career.

 

FMI on UNE’s IPEC: http://www.une.edu/wchp/ipec

 

UNE Receives Supplemental Funding to Further Education on Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

July 24th, 2017 by healthinnovation

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In July 2016, the University of New England (UNE) was awarded a five-year, $2.5 million federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to partner with Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC) to transform the primary care workforce in rural and underserved Maine and improve health outcomes. The Primary Care Training and Enhancement (PCTE) grant aims to educate a total of 255 UNE students — 160 medical, 25 physician assistant, and 70 pharmacy students who will train together at PCHC, learning the skills needed for exemplary interprofessional, team-based care.

In addition, HRSA recently released $80,000 in supplemental funding for PCTE grantees to further enhance education around Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in primary care to address the opioid crisis. In 2016, 313 Mainers died of an opioid-related overdose, which represents 83% of all drug-related death in the State. Currently the demand for MAT in the state still outpaces the supply, especially among those who lack health insurance or live in health professional shortage areas. To address the critical need for training, UNE plans to integrate opioid use disorder training and technical assistance for UNE students, faculty and PCHC providers.

UNE we will be hosting its first MAT event on Saturday, October 28 on the Portland campus to discuss the current climate in Maine concerning the opioid epidemic as well as focusing on MAT and its recent prominence and impact on the state. Maine subject matter experts will present to pre-clinical UNE students and clinical faculty attendees. A second on-campus event will be held in collaboration with the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral for Treatment (SBIRT) grant in the spring of 2018.

FMI: Contact Melanie Caldwell, PCTE Project Coordinator at mcaldwell4@une.edu