UNE students share experiences on second day of weeklong rural health immersion in Maine

March 15th, 2017 by healthinnovation

Fifteen UNE health professions students are currently participating 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 a 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 second day in Franklin County on March 13th, 2017.

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 early on Monday morning.

 

Kristina Carlson (first year medical student)

As the group continued to come together in the efforts to break down our barriers of medical student and nursing student, staff and not-staff, our activities during the day also had us thinking of the problems we face when barriers are present in our interactions with patients. One of the labels that gets used often is that of “addict.” While true, using it can place a divide between healthcare provider and the patient. Think of all your traits; all the items people could describe you by. Friend, sister, brother, loyal, trustworthy. Instead, they choose to label you as an addict. By doing so, you have effectively stripped that person of anything else they are, and have instead decided to see them as this one label, instead of a collection of many labels and titles. For patients that are trying to move forward with their life, or who hate the fact that they do have a substance misuse problem, this can be particularly damaging to your relationship with them as a provider.

This same thread came up once again in our meeting with local author, Bill Roorbach. He explained to us that we all hold labels and titles in front of us as part of a personality that we put on for people. However, he claimed that only when we break through these labels do we get to experience a real connection with other people. As introductions were happening, he first started with simple questions: where are you from and what do you do. The answers were equally easy: southern NH, medical school. Questions that immediately place individuals into boxes and slap labels on their head – answers that throw barriers up between people faster than we can see. But then he quickly branched out to questions that required a much more personal connection: why did you move here?, and what are you thinking right at this moment? The takeaway that I received from talking with him is that it is important to get to know someone. It is important to be open to them instead of just the labels that seem to define them.

I would challenge all of us on this trip, reading this post, and working in healthcare to consider how you refer to your patients and reflect on if there is something more you can do to understand them to provide the best healthcare to them. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m willing to put the time and effort in. Are you?

Later in the morning the students spent time at NorthStar learning about emergency medical services in Franklin and how the innovative thinking has allowed NorthStar to provide coverage over a very large geographical area.

Later in the morning the students spent time at NorthStar learning about emergency medical services in Franklin County and how innovative thinking at NorthStar has allowed them to provide coverage over an unusually large geographical area.

Ilija Bratina (ABSN student)

Monday dawned bright and crisp in Wilton, Maine. Energized by coffee-assisted adjustment to Daylight Savings, the fifteen of us arrived at Franklin Memorial Hospital Bass Meeting Room. Lorri Brown gave an excellent introduction to drug use in the community, with interdisciplinary focus on language choice and corresponding effect on patient healthcare access. Language and communication have been identified as critical factors in bridging the gap between provider and patient, and acknowledging negative connotations of medical phrasing in the common parlance was eye opening. She also spoke to navigating minute differences between med seekers and those with health seeking behavior in the opioid crisis that is heavily affecting rural and urban landscapes alike.

We heard a lot about how staff in the rural setting have to wear many hats, as evidenced by an excellent presentation by Candace Hagerstrom. Candace came in on ten minutes notice and spoke eloquently and passionately about the Drug Affected Babies program at Franklin Memorial. She demonstrated the capability and flexibility critical in the rural setting. Her message of how to ask good questions had personal resonance and showcased the benefits of crafting of a culture of effective communication.

The segue to lunch turned into the linchpin of the day. Bill Roorbach, person, discussed his fascination with single point descriptor and how labels make poor substitution for really learning about a person. A single point descriptor, i.e. nursing student, refers to simple ways people use to describe themselves in casual conversation. I found significant correlation to healthcare practice in which patient labels affect how we approach treatment and communication. Bill spoke to remaining intellectually porous, open to soaking up what others have to say. His demeanor and casual manner of asking penetrating questions served one of the best examples of how to open dialogue with patients outside of a clinical setting, truly highlighting the benefits of the interdisciplinary model.

Bill Roorbach, local and nationally recognized author, meets with the students over lunch at Calzolaios in Wilton.

Bill Roorbach, local and nationally recognized author, meets with the students over lunch at Calzolaios in Wilton.

Stephanie Czajkowski (first year medical student)

Today was one of those days that feels like a week has gone by, in a good way. The following are a few gems:

The morning began with a discussion with Lori Brown and Tania Dawson at Franklin Memorial Hospital on substance use and misuse, including patient barriers, such as those that healthcare providers can create. Instead of feeding into our biases, we can work to see patients as fallible people for whom it is not our place to make decisions, including whether they should be given Narcan during an opioid overdose.

Candace spoke with us about how it’s better to treat drug affected babies after birth instead of in utero where they could have withdrawal seizures. Further, the requirement to contact DHHS regarding a pregnant woman with a substance use issue does not equate with her losing that baby. It depends on the woman’s history and efforts to get help.

Tania also played Michael Sauschuck’s TED talk discussing the public health crisis “substance abuse nexus” and how we need to shift from a war on the addict to a war on the disease, because what we’ve been doing is not working. I hadn’t realized how pervasive substance use was from yearly unnecessary lives lost due to overdose to crime, eg. burglary, with a high likelihood of a connection to substance use.

Mike and Lee from Northstar EMS spoke with us about their time in the field and working within Wilderness medicine while covering large stretches of land in most of Maine. Training includes knowing what do to and how in certain situations, including recognizing what you’re not able to do, eg. hike through the woods to find someone while wearing improper gear (eg. heavy, unbreathable). They advised, “Go slow to go fast, because slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” Notably, their operation is subsidized by the state so they’re able to provide quality care in a timely manner, ideally a response within 8-15 minutes.

For our final event of the day, we had the privilege of attending the National Alliance on Mental Illness Suicide Prevention & Self Injury talk with Michael Hollander and Greg Marley, something I believe Michelle McCormack (a local pediatrician heavily involved in making community-wide change) was pivotal in organizing. We learned about the nine-fold increase in risk for a suicide attempt for teens who have exhibited non suicidal self injury (NSSI) behaviors of which the most common is cutting. This included remaining calm when learning of said behaviors, educating communities about how best to handle these types of situations, validating (not condoning) the teen expressing these behaviors, and working to provide support and the proper care to help these teens thrive.

Lastly, I could not have asked for a better group to go through and share in this experience with. Our immediate bonding and connecting has continued to blossom in just two short days to include inside jokes, lots of laughter, and countless insightful conversations. I can’t wait for what’s next!

UNE’s weeklong Western Maine Rural Health Immersion Kicks-off

March 13th, 2017 by healthinnovation
Fifteen UNE healthcare students from the UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine and Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing program gather on UNE's Portland campus before driving up to Western Maine for a weeklong rural health immersion

Fifteen UNE healthcare students from the UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine and Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing program gather on UNE’s Portland campus before driving up to Western Maine for a weeklong rural health immersion

Fifteen UNE health professions students are currently participating 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 a 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 first day in Franklin County on March 12th, 2017.

Cynthia Mosher (ABSN Student)

Today has already been more than I could have asked for. It was a great ride into Wilton, our van was buzzing with conversation. After arriving at the hotel a few of us took a walk to Wilson lake, taking in the beautiful mountains and scenery.

Following dinner, we had a great conversation with Dr. Michelle McCormick and Tania Dawson, R.N. It was so nice to hear from local providers about what they feel are the struggles are within the community. Michelle was an excellent speaker and her passion for helping the community really comes through when she speaks. I loved hearing about the progress the community as a whole is making and what steps they are making to engage and help more people as well.

Afterwards, the group walked onto the lake to see the full moon rising. Although most of us were freezing it was nice to be part of nature and enjoying its beauty. After we came inside and thawed out for a few minutes we did a few ice breaker activities. It was great to get an opportunity to let loose and enjoy sometime with other students prior to the busy week ahead.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing what the rest of the week has in store for us and continuing to learn as much as possible about rural health in western Maine!

 

Michelle McCormick, MD, and local public health leader talks to the students about her experiences addressing community health and what it's like to be a provider in Western Maine

Michelle McCormick, MD, a local public health leader talks to the students about her experiences addressing community health and what it’s like to be a provider in Western Maine

Sean Bilodeau (First year medical student)

Today began the rural health immersion experience in rural Maine. The theme for today was getting to know each other, icebreakers, and settling in; getting to know the other members of the group has been incredibly fun and interesting. The interplay between nursing and medicine has started to be explored by all of us students with facilitation by our faculty who are joining us on the trip. The focus on getting to know the other nursing students has been great, and even getting to know my med student colleagues better has been an unexpected benefit from this first day.

Michelle McCormick, MD, a local pediatrician, and public health champion in Franklin County also came to dinner to speak about the health care challenges that Franklin County faces as well the challenges of the local residents. Michelle’s talk was eye opening because she was discussing a new program that they are attempting to implement that sounds very interesting, and hopefully we will learn more about it at our next meeting with Michelle at tomorrow’s Suicide Prevention & Self Injury talk with the National Alliance on Mental Illness at Franklin Memorial Hospital.

It has been really fun getting to know the other students as well as the faculty on a more personal level thus far and I assume that will continue in the coming days. Taking a little time off from studying and taking part in the experiential learning of our lives is nice change from the day to day life of a med student. Moving forward, I am excited to learn more about rural health care and more about Franklin Counties health needs.

After dinner, the students and faculty pose on Wilson Lake underneath a full moon.

After dinner, the students and faculty pose on Wilson Lake underneath a full moon.

Sarah Rafferty (ABSN Student)

The day began in a freezing cold parking lot meeting 8 fellow ABSN students, 6 College of Medicine students, our leader and 3 faculty members. We stood in a circle and learned more about the intention for our trip, as well as some expectations. What stood out the most to me was the sentiment that rural living is as much about connecting to nature as it is about connecting to community.

The 2 hour drive to our accommodations flew by with the myriad of conversations with new faces. Upon our arrival, we split up into our rooms and a few of us headed down to wander on the frozen lake. Then, a pizza dinner with an hour-long talk, question and answer session with Pediatrician Dr. Michelle McCormick on community health needs, the rural Mainer spirit, and specific strengths and challenges for members of Franklin County, Maine.

Night capped with a -10 degree stroll on the frozen lake, just in time to catch the full moon rise.  Such a great taste of what lies ahead for this week.

UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation receives $2.3 million substance use prevention services grant

January 29th, 2017 by healthinnovation
Members of the Substance Use Prevention Services Grant (L-R Kathleen Duggan, LuAnn Thibeau, Doreen Fournier, Heather White, Toho Soma, Becky Ireland)

Members of the Substance Use Prevention Services Grant (L-R Kathleen Duggan, LuAnn Thibeau, Doreen Fournier, Heather White, Toho Soma, Becky Ireland)

 

The University of New England (UNE) Center for Excellence in Health Innovation received a $2.3 million contract from the Maine CDC to provide statewide substance use prevention services to Maine youth and young adults as part of Maine Prevention Services, a group of services overseen by the Maine CDC providing primary prevention of substance use and misuse, tobacco use and obesity with a focus on youth empowerment and engagement. The primary focus of the substance use prevention efforts are to reduce heroin use, alcohol use and binge drinking, marijuana use and prescription drug misuse.

As a part of the contract, UNE subcontracts with nineteen local community agencies that work with the District Coordinating Councils for Public Health to ensure complimentary and appropriate substance use and misuse prevention services occur throughout the State. In addition to focusing on youth and young adults, prevention services also focus on populations with an undue burden of substance use and exposure such as MaineCare members, rural Mainers, veterans, pregnant women, Maine’s Tribal members and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The educators providing prevention services under the grant will be certified prevention specialists or carry provisional prevention specialist credentials and will employ evidence-based prevention strategies.

The team managing the grant is assembled and includes Karen O’Rourke, MPH, Project Leader, who led the efforts to hire staff and contract with sub-recipients and now provides supervision to the Program Manager offering assistance in planning and oversight of the program. Doreen Fournier, MSW, is the Program Manager responsible for overall implementation of the program and is the lead liaison between the other Maine Prevention Services vendors and is the primary contact for the Maine CDC. Becky Ireland, CPS, is the Program Coordinator providing training and technical assistance to the central and southern district sub-recipients. Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems is sub-contracted by UNE to provide training and technical assistance to the northern and eastern district sub-recipients.

Funding for the grant is provided by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention with grants from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Partnerships for Success and SAMHSA Block Grants.

UNE students pursue three pathways to clinical distinction

January 29th, 2017 by healthinnovation
IPTI

Students discuss their case at the interprofessional team immersion training which qualifies towards the Interprofessional Honors Distinction and the Care for the Underserved Pathway.

 

The University of New England offers students more than an excellent education in their field – UNE is known for leadership in interprofessional education, which prepares students for team-based, collaborative practice. At UNE, there are three separate pathways for students to gain interprofessional knowledge- the Interprofessional Honors Distinction, as SBIRT Student Leaders, and through the four-year Care for the Underserved Pathway. Interprofessional education aligns with national initiatives such as the Triple Aim, which seeks to improve the quality and safety of patient and population care and reduce overall costs. IPE learning methods equip UNE graduates with competencies for working in medical neighborhoods that lead with integrated practices.

The Interprofessional Honors Distinction (IHD), issued by the Interprofesional Education Collaborative (IPEC, established in 2010) offers all graduate students opportunities to learn about collaborative teamwork principles as specified by national standards. Specifically, students learn about each other’s roles and responsibilities, demonstrate cross-disciplinary communication, and solve complex problems within teams. Emphasis on teamwork gives students full expression within their area of expertise, while benefitting from the combined knowledge of other practitioners in service of optimal patient care. Fulfillment of its requirements indicates to future employers that students are prepared for the rigors of contemporary practice.

The second area of interprofessional focus is substance use disorders. In 2016 UNE received a three-year HRSA grant, “Collaborative SBIRT Training for Maine’s Future Health Profession Leaders.” SBIRT stands for Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment, an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs. Students from all professions can choose to become SBIRT Student Leaders, and receive up to 15 additional hours of training in three key areas: Motivational Interviewing, Leadership and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice. Students selecting a focus in this area graduate with sought after readiness to join the workforce and have direct impact on the nation’s and Maine’s addiction epidemic.

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Students inducted into the Care for the Underserved Pathway from UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2019 and Class of 2020.

The third area of interprofessional focus is on caring for underserved and vulnerable populations in Maine. UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation, in partnership with UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, now offers a four-year Care of the Underserved Pathway (CUP) Honors Distinction that coordinates current and planned offerings in underserved care and combines them into a comprehensive pathway designed to ensure that rising physicians will provide quality care for underserved patients in Maine and beyond. CUP provides qualified and interested UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) students interprofessional (team-based) knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to care for underserved patients as well as recognizes students for their accomplishments, and encourages them to seek future positions in the care of the underserved. CUP Scholars will participate in a variety of service learning activities that are offered to the students that include influenza vaccine clinics in homeless shelters and veterans clinics, one-week rural immersions, international immersions, nutrition education among low-income Mainers, and the opportunities for clerkships in a variety of underserved urban, rural, and international locations. Stakeholders of UNE’s CUP Scholars Program hope to encourage students to obtain residency training in a program and plan for future practice that emphasizes team-based care for underserved patients.

Students who choose to participate in any of the pathways must first apply and be accepted. Upon completion of all of the requirements of the pathway, they are given a certificate for their portfolio, which students can provide to clinical sites when applying for externships, residencies, and jobs.

 

FMI: UNE Interprofessional Education Collaborative, ipec@une.edu

FMI: UNE Center for Excellence in Health Innovation, healthinnovation@une.edu

Refugee and Immigrant Youth Explore Careers in Healthcare with Maine AHEC Network

January 29th, 2017 by healthinnovation
Students from the New Mainers Public Health Initiative attend a class at the University of New England.

Students from the New Mainers Public Health Initiative attend a class at the University of New England.

 

This fall the Maine Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Network partnered with several programs at the University of New England to bring 20 high school students from the New Mainers Public Health Initiative (NMPHI) to visit UNE’s Biddeford and Portland campuses.  In an effort to increase the diversity of Maine’s healthcare workforce, Maine AHEC Network has collaborated with NMPHI to expose high school students who are the children of immigrants and refugees to healthcare careers. Karen O’Rourke, M.P.H., director of the Maine AHEC Network explained, “Many immigrant and refugee parents are unfamiliar with the educational system in the U.S. and many did not attend colleges themselves, so it’s important for us to create an avenue for these students to explore the education and career opportunities that are available to them, and become more comfortable with the application process and college environment.”

NMPHI is a health related, ethnic-based organization serving the needs of immigrant and refugee youth and their families. Their goal is to empower, inform and educate new Mainers in order to decrease health disparities. The UNE visit was part of NMPHI’s pilot program, Promoting Careers in Healthcare for Immigrant Youth, funded by the Maine AHEC Network, which targets juniors and seniors in high school in the Lewiston/Auburn area of Maine and does the following: involves students and parents in the process of entering the healthcare field; provides mentorship for students and encourages them to enter healthcare fields; provides access to job shadows at local hospitals and pharmacies; involves the elders as the community leaders to discuss the value of education; and facilitates student tours of local universities and connects them with academic advisers.

While visiting UNE, the students received a presentation from Undergraduate Admissions and toured both campuses, including a tour of UNE’s Oral Health Center. They learned about careers in the nutrition field from SNAP-Ed senior nutrition program coordinator and Nutrition Program faculty Anne-Marie Davee, M.S., R.D., L.D., and about careers as physician assistants from Joe Wolfberg, M.S., adjunct professor in the Physician Assistant Program. Faculty and students from the College of Pharmacy created an experiential learning activity that allowed the students to try their hands at creating a simulated medical compound. After the visit, one student shared, “It is very inspirational to hear [student and faculty] success stories. I also like the hands-on things because it gives deeper insight into the career field.”

Following the positive feedback from the first tour, NMPHI’s Executive Director, Abdulkerim Said, B.A.S., B.H.P., C.H.W. worked with Maine AHEC Network, and UNE’s College of Pharmacy to arrange a visit by pharmacy faculty to the NMPHI office in Lewiston. There, pharmacy faculty spoke with high school juniors and seniors about careers in pharmacy and explained the admissions process for the UNE program. Maine AHEC Network is excited to continue working with NMPHI to continue to offer programming in healthcare career exploration. “These types of programs are so crucial,” says Zoe Hull, M.P.H., program manager for Maine AHEC Network who helped organize the event, “not only because we have a dwindling healthcare workforce in Maine, but also because we can’t expect to meet the needs of all Mainers if our healthcare workforce doesn’t reflect the increasing diversity of our state.”

The Maine AHEC Network is part of UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation. Its mission is to alleviate health workforce shortages in rural and underserved areas of the state. AHEC supports that effort by working with academic and community partners to 1) provide rural, community-based clinical training experiences for medical and other health professions students; 2) encourage Maine youth and mid-career professionals to explore health careers; and 3) support practicing health professionals with continuing education and distance learning opportunities.

Maine SNAP-Ed launches new website geared towards teaching families to shop, cook, and eat healthy on a limited budget

January 29th, 2017 by healthinnovation

SNAP-Ed Website screenshot copy

 

Maine SNAP-Ed, a program of UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation, with the help of Vont Performance Digital Marketing, launched an interactive website to reach SNAP recipients outside of the classroom. The migration from a landing page to a full website was driven by the needs heard from Nutrition Educators across the State that their participants wanted more information. Maine SNAP-Ed answered that request with a full website with healthy shopping, cooking, and meal planning tips.

When visiting the site, users can review multiple pages of content created by registered dietitians and program staff of the UNE SNAP-Ed team. One section of the website is specifically dedicated to answering common questions about food and nutrition. Users can also submit a request to be contacted by a nutrition educator in their area to learn of opportunities for classes and shopping tours. Maine SNAP-Ed will tap into its trained local Nutrition Educators to develop blog posts for more tips and solutions to shopping, cooking, and eating healthy within a limited budget.

The largest feature of the site is a recipe database with over 300 recipes. This database is shared in partnership with Oregon’s SNAP-Ed program, Food Hero. Maine SNAP-Ed has worked with the Oregon State partners to share recipes that are quick, easy, healthy and low-cost. In addition to all of the informational content, the website also houses program reports, success stories, and other material pertinent to program partners.

This website complements the work that has been done over the years with the Maine SNAP-Ed Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Partners interested in setting up local programming can submit a request to have a local Nutrition Educator reach out to them. Additionally, Maine SNAP-Ed would like to extend the opportunity to partner with community agencies on content for this website.

FMI: Leslie Ouellette, louellette3@une.edu

UNE Provides Social Determinants of Health training in Bangor as part of a five-year $2.5 million Federal Grant to Improve Rural Health Care in Maine

December 6th, 2016 by healthinnovation
Bangor area UNE graduate students from medical, pharmacy, and physician assistant programs attend a Social Determinants of Health training as part of a 5 year grant to improve primary care education.

Bangor area UNE graduate students from medical, pharmacy, and physician assistant programs attend a Social Determinants of Health training as part of a 5 year grant to improve primary care education.

In July of 2016 the University of New England’s (UNE) Center for Excellence in Health Innovation 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. As part of the HRSA PCTE grant PCHC clinical preceptors and UNE students in the Bangor area attend a series of five training sessions. The trainings will cover interprofessional education, social determinants of health, oral health for primary care, health literacy, and shared decision making with patients. Each session is designed to provide students an opportunity to train together, learn the skills needed for exemplary interprofessional, and team based care.

On November 30th, the second student training session was held on the social determinates of health, presented by UNE faculty member and epidemiologist Jennifer Gunderman, MPH. “The training was aimed at creating an awareness in students that they have a critical role in addressing the social determinants of health in the population in which they serve”, explained Jennifer. “We cannot expect better health outcomes unless we get to the root of health issues such as income, education, housing, access to a healthy environment, etc.”

The training hosted students from several disciplines, “The UNE Clinical IPE training on social determinants of health was really educational and fostered great discussion among the PA, COM and Pharmacy students” said Morgan Harper UNE COP student. “The main points that I took away from this training were ways to assess patients based on their social determinants of health (income level, education, housing status, etc.) and where or who to connect them with once a need is identified. These are skills I will be bringing with me into my future clinical rotations and clinical career as a pharmacist.”

Future HRSA PCTE trainings will combine both students and preceptors. The next HRSA PCTE training scheduled in February will be led by UNE’s Dr. Timothy Martinez who will discuss oral health.

 

Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC), with nearly 70,000 patients, is Maine’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center. It has nine primary care practices and 16 clinical service sites including a flagship clinic in Bangor, a Health Care for the Homeless clinic and shelter, a Clubhouse program for those recovering from mental illness, a geriatric practice serving long-term care facilities, a 340B pharmacy, and other practices ranging from Jackman to Belfast, Maine. Providing care for one-third of all Mainers served by federally-funded community health centers, PCHC is also a Teaching Health Center with Level 3 NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home designation. Located in Bangor, its service area is over 8,500 square miles, spanning Penobscot, Somerset, and Waldo counties, which include some of the poorest and most rural areas of Maine – a population of 135,000. 82% of PCHC’s service area is designated as rural or frontier. For more information, visit http://pchc.com/

The University of New England is Maine’s largest private university, an innovative educational community with two distinctive coastal Maine campuses, a vibrant new campus in Tangier, Morocco, and a robust offering of degree and certificate programs online. UNE is home to Maine’s only medical and dental schools—part of a comprehensive health education mission built on a pioneering interprofessional approach that includes pharmacy, nursing and an array of allied health professions.

FMI: Contact Dora Anne Mills, M.D., UNE’s Vice President for Clinical Affairs and the Principal Investigator at dmills2@une.edu or Melanie Caldwell Project Coordinator at PCTE_Info@une.edu.

Center for Excellence in Health Innovation Receives Funding to Evaluate Maine Chronic Disease Self-Management Education

December 6th, 2016 by healthinnovation

alzheimers-copy

Ruth Dufresne, S.M., Research Associate and Adjunct Faculty in the Center for Excellence in Health Innovation, received a new grant from the US Administration for Community Living and the Administration on Aging to evaluate Maine’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) Program. The grant, implemented by Spectrum Generations along with four other Maine Area Agencies on Aging organizations, delivers evidence-based self-management education programs in the community that empower older adults and adults with disabilities from underserved areas and populations to better manage their conditions.

Spectrum Generations, one of the five Maine Area Agencies on Aging (M4A), serves seven counties in the central and mid-coast Maine area. Their mission is to promote life-long learning, health, wellness, nutrition, community engagement and the social well-being of all older and disabled adults. With seven locations, Spectrum Generations provides services for older and disabled adults spanning from nutrition education, adult day care, legal services, to community case management. The other four area agencies on aging, Aroostook Agency on Aging, Eastern Area Agency on Aging, SeniorsPlus, and Southern Maine Agency on Aging, will be providing support in implementing the CDSME program in their affiliated areas.

The Administration on Aging reports that nearly 60% of CDSME participants have more than one chronic condition. The most common conditions are: hypertension (41%), arthritis (37%), and diabetes (32%). The average age of a CDSME participant is 65.6 years, and 46% of participants report having a disability. “This grant provides Maine’s Area Agencies on Aging with an opportunity to strengthen its CDSME infrastructure through collaboration with sustainability partners such as health systems, insurers, and employers,” states Dufresne, “This expansion will contribute to an increase in the number of older adults and adults with disabilities that have access to CDSME, ultimately allowing them to better manage their conditions.”

Heather Doran, M.S., Research Assistant, and Ruth Dufresne, as the Evaluators for this two-year $74,000 grant, ensure data integrity, quality assurance, and perform rapid-cycle quality improvement to strengthen CDSME programing, improve health outcomes and decrease healthcare costs. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected to evaluate progress toward grant objectives. Pre- and post- surveys will be collected from CDSME participants to determine change in knowledge, attitudes and skills. Focus groups and interviews will be conducted with Spectrum Generations and the other Maine Area Agencies on Aging to better understand the successes and challenges of program implementation.

 

For more information, contact: Ruth Dufresne, rdufresne@une.edu, 221-4571

Enhance your Substance Use Disorder screening knowledge: Free SBIRT training from UNE’s IPEC and SAMHSA

December 6th, 2016 by healthinnovation

physician assistant-1906 copy

Please join us as UNE launches a three-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to train health professions students and practitioners in the field in the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) tool for Substance Use Disorders. SBIRT is an approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment to people with substance use disorders and those at risk of developing these disorders.

The first training grant of its kind in Maine, Collaborative SBIRT Training for Maine’s Future Health Profession Leaders is a three-year grant which utilizes an interprofessional approach to the development and implementation of training programs to teach UNE students across 8 health professions the skills necessary to provide evidence-based screening and brief intervention as well as referral to treatment for patients who are at risk for a substance use disorder (SUD). Additionally, the training will develop the leadership skills needed in order to champion the implementation of SBIRT throughout our healthcare system with the ultimate goal of helping clients avoid substance use disorders. Training for clinical faculty and preceptors of UNE students is a critical part of the grant – please plan participate remotely or come to the Portland campus for this free training in December.

 

Friday, December 9 | 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. SBIRT 101* Livestream only http://stream.une.edu/events/

 

Wednesday, December 14  | 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. SBIRT 101* Livestream http://stream.une.edu/events/ or in person in Ludcke Auditorium, Portland Campus

 

Wednesday, December 14  | 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. SBIRT: Hands-on training: practical exercises and role play opportunities. Livestream http://stream.une.edu/events/ or in person in Ludcke Auditorium, Portland Campus

*Watch the SBIRT 101 program Dec. 9 or 14 then join us on campus for in-person for additional training, role-play opportunity and resources!

 

Thursday, December 15 | 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Adding SBIRT to your curriculum. Livestream http://stream.une.edu/events/ or in person in Blewett 108, Portland Campus

 

If you plan to attend in person, or would like to receive Continuing Education Unit documentation for participating, please RSVP no later than December 10 to SBIRT@une.edu. Parking passes can be requested with RSVP.
This event can be Livestreamed to your computer, or you are welcome to attend in person.

Public Health Managers complete management training through UNE’s New England Public Health Training Center

December 5th, 2016 by healthinnovation
Katherine Boss (4), Nicole O’Brien (1), Leslie Ouellette (1), Jessica Shaffer (7), Jessica Eyles (2); Rindy Fogler (2), Tera Pare (3), Tonya Philbrick, Cheryl Cichowski (3), David Pied (3), Grace Cleaves (6); Garrick Brown (1), Patty Hamilton (2), Judith Johnson (5), Elizabeth Pratt (1), Holly Lasagna (4), Elaine Beaulieu (2), LuAnn Thibeau (1) (1-University of New England, 2-Bangor Public Health and Community Services, 3-Maine CDC, 4-Healthy Androscoggin, 5-Portland Public Health, 6-Beyond Clinical Competence LLC, 7- EMHS)

Participants of the Public Health Management Training: (Front to Back and Left to Right) Katherine Boss (4), Nicole O’Brien (1), Leslie Ouellette (1), Jessica Shaffer (7), Jessica Eyles (2);
Rindy Fogler (2), Tera Pare (3), Tonya Philbrick, Cheryl Cichowski (3), David Pied (3), Grace Cleaves (6);
Garrick Brown (1), Patty Hamilton (2), Judith Johnson (5), Elizabeth Pratt (1), Holly Lasagna (4), Elaine Beaulieu (2), LuAnn Thibeau (1)
(1-University of New England, 2-Bangor Public Health and Community Services, 3-Maine CDC, 4-Healthy Androscoggin, 5-Portland Public Health, 6-Beyond Clinical Competence LLC, 7- EMHS)

Over the past three months, a group of 21 Public Health managers from across the State participated in a six session Public Health Management training course entitled Managing Effectively in Today’s Public Health Environment. The management training was supported by the New England Public Health Training Center (NEPHTC). The NEPHTC offers public heath workforce development through public health trainings in six New England states. The University of New England’s Center for Health Innovation is a local performance site for the NEPHTC, administered through Boston University’s School of Public Health and supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The management training was designed to build skills in managing staff, budgets, projects and partnerships. Participants were comprised of emerging, new and experienced Public Health staff, managers and directors bringing a wealth of knowledge and interest to the training. The training course was divided into three lunch-time webinars and three day long sessions at Maple Hill Farm in Hallowell. Throughout each session participants gained skills and explored new tools to manage public health programs, lead high performance teams and effectively hire new staff. The importance of resiliency was discussed throughout the program. The six training sessions included the following topics: Trends, Opportunities and Resistance; Recruiting and Hiring; Coaching, Developing, and Managing Performance; Conflict Management and Collaboration; and Budget, Financial and Project Management.

The training was facilitated by lead trainer Grace Cleaves of Beyond Clinical Competence, LLC and included content knowledge experts Mike Miles and LuAnn Thibeau. The course organization and delivery were administered and implemented by Karen O’Rourke and Nicole O’Brien, in conjunction with Boston University.