Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

archive

Keeping nursing students’ mental health at the forefront

Ivy Yip story

By Erinn Connor

Burnout is often discussed as an issue for doctors and nurses, but what about students studying medicine? The well-being of her fellow students was of interest to Ivy Yip, a new graduate of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. During her undergraduate years, Yip undertook research to explore whether Midwestern nursing students would seek mental health services and how social support, perceived benefits and barriers, stigma, seriousness and susceptibility of mental health problems were perceived by nursing students. She was the only undergraduate student to present her research at the annual Palmer Research Symposium, and also shared her work at the Midwestern Nursing Research Society and Loyola’s Weekend of Excellence.

How did you get the idea for your research project?

Nurses are expected to help and be there for others always. Student nurses already face significant stress that accompanies college and transition. We face additional stress from caregiving, witnessing illnesses and deaths, commuting, lack of sleep, and rigorous curriculum. However, few studies have looked at nursing students’ mental health. Therefore, it felt right to me to learn more about how student nurses view mental illness, stigma, social support, barrier and benefits to seeking help in hopes of finding ways to facilitate healthy coping among student nurses.

How are you hoping this mental health research helps your fellow students and current nurses? What’s your next step with this research?

When I began this research, I hypothesized that nursing students will compare favorably to other students in their perception of mental illness and seeking help. However, the study results did not show a significant difference between nursing students and non-nursing students in how they perceived stigma, barriers and benefits to seeking treatment and social support. One interesting finding is that student nurses did receive less professional help in the past year due to having other forms of social support, such as friends, family, and faculty. In the future, I hope to recruit more participants and look in-depth into social determinants of mental health and stigma against mental illness and seeking help among nursing students.

What do you see yourself doing in nursing after Loyola?

I hope to work as a nurse caring for patients on chronic ventilators in their homes. I am also excited to continue research work with healthy aging at Loyola and with Population Study of Chinese Elderly in Chicago at Rush University.

How has Loyola shaped the type of nurse you see yourself becoming?

Loyola’s mission for social justice, faith, and service for others left strong imprints on me. Faith now plays an important role in my life and has translated into my positivity and care at the bedside. As a first-generation student from China, I’ve learned to understand the disparities and hardship my family faced, appreciate their resilience, and to dedicate my time to making health and education more accessible to people and communities. The relationships I built at Loyola helped me take pride in where I am and march on to where I want to be.

What’s one message you have for your peers and other nursing students who are interested in research?

Do it. Research really isn’t this exclusive thing that only a few students can do. In fact, student nurses have basic research skills already because we constantly have to bridge the gap of knowledge or understanding in the clinical setting. Conducting this study as well as working with Dr. Lisa Skemp on Healthy Aging in Edgewater have taught me patience, listening, asking questions, understanding and connected me with many wonderful people and opportunities that I couldn’t have imagined.

Living healthy in the new year

New Year Health

By Anthony Deldin, PhD, CSCS, XPS
Assistant Professor, Exercise Science, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

The New Year has arrived—and with it comes the pressure to make resolutions that focus on improving one’s physical and mental health. This is a great time to work on healthy lifestyle habits that you can bring with you in to the New Year.

  1. Get some sleep

    For students and faculty, it’s easy to fall into a weird sleeping schedule because of studying or grading until the crack of dawn. Getting back in sync with your body’s natural sleep cycle is one of the most important tactics for attaining good sleep. While you might have gotten used to staying up late while on vacation, it’s crucial to set regular bedtimes and try to wake up at similar times each day. This will not just improve your sleep cycle, allowing you to feel more refreshed, but will make the transition into the spring semester much smoother.

  2. Get back on track with exercise

    As the temperatures stay near zero, it can be difficult to find the energy to get out there and stay active. Try using this break to begin a resistance training program. Lifting weights through a progressive exercise program is one of the best methods to increase muscle hypertrophy, improve bone density, and decrease body fat. You can begin with as little as one day a week but try to increase to exercising three to five days a week.

    If resistance training does not interest you, go for a run, take a spin class, or join a local kickboxing gym. There are plenty of options, and the most important thing is to find an exercise routine you enjoy and can stick to.

  3. Eat well

    Starting healthy eating habits might seem challenging, but there are simple ways to find balance that don’t require an “all or nothing” approach. Try eating plenty of lean protein and vegetables throughout the day. Ideally consume between 0.5-1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight. There are also plenty of vegetarian/vegan options, such as non-dairy milk, quinoa, and an assortment of beans, that can help you meet your protein requirements.

    Splurging on favorite desserts or treats isn’t the end of the world, just keep portion control in mind. If you’re going out to eat or to a party, it is important to eat healthier food earlier in the day. Eating less throughout the day in anticipation of overeating later is likely to increase your appetite, causing you to consume more than you thought you would at night.

  4. Practice for stress reduction methods

    Travel, new classes, and starting new routines can all be quite stressful this time of year. Take time early in the year to find methods of stress relief that work best for you. Maybe sign up for a yoga class at your local gym. Learn some new breathing exercises or meditation techniques. Meditation and mindful prayer help the mind and body relax and focus.

    Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of stress management techniques that can bring relief quickly and, if practiced regularly, last a long time. Almost all of them can be started right now, be done anytime, and require little or no investment.

    A new year is a chance for you to begin new healthy lifestyle habits that you can help a new and healthy you thrive physically and mentally throughout the entire year.

HRSA grant to support training of primary care nurse practitioners

HRSA grant

 
By Erinn Connor

One of the most pressing shortages in medicine today is in the field of primary care, where many people get treatment and management of chronic diseases. A new two-year, $1.4 million grant given to the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing aims to help close the primary gap, particularly in rural and undeserved communities.

Jenny O’Rourke, PhD, APN-BC, associate dean of graduate programs at Niehoff, received a two-year Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Grant to develop the Primary Care - Promoting Access To Healthcare (P-PATH) project, which will support the training of primary care nurse practitioners.

“This funding will really give us the resources we need to help our nurse practitioners provide care in rural and underserved areas that don’t have a lot of primary care options,” said O’Rourke. “It also helps us build relationships with preceptors and the organizations they’re associated with, to give students more options.”

The grant will partner nurse practitioner students in training at local sites such as the Hines VA, Cook County Health and Hospital Systems, Proviso School-Based Health Center, and Trinity Health System as well as the Appalachian Regional Health System in  and West Virginia. Students enrolled in this program will receive scholarship funding.

Another goal of the program is to help develop more nurse preceptors, who act as teachers and resources to students in the clinical environment. Having preceptors at a variety of locations with different patient populations can provide students with varying career options once they graduate.

Within primary care, there is also a shortage of health care workers with knowledge and expertise in mental health. The Health Resources and Services Administration have identified nearly 5,700 geographic areas containing 58 million residents as Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas. In Illinois, less than 5 percent of working registered nurses are working in mental health and nationally only 5 percent of nurse practitioners are certified in psych-mental health.

This coincides with a desire from Niehoff students to receive specialized training in mental health. In 2016, a survey revealed that 82 percent of respondents felt that the school should offer a psych-mental health nurse practitioner program, and 47 percent were interested in further mental health classes within their primary care-focused program.

O’Rourke is also hoping that this grant will be able to kick start some telehealth training within Niehoff. Graduate nursing students don’t participate in simulation exercises like the undergraduate students, and telehealth is becoming a more common method of treating rural communities. Telehealth can involve diagnosing and treating patients over a video feed, monitoring health data via smartphone technology, and more.

“This is something we want to implement for our students, and now we have some resources to start doing so,” said O’Rourke. “Because these areas have such a high need level, the connections made between students and preceptors can help them get jobs and serve these communities even further after graduation.”

Find more information about the nursing practitioner program here.

Recent graduates journey to Houston to volunteer at Hurricane Harvey shelter

absn hurricane volunteers

In addition to the work of our alumni, the campus community gathered for Taizé prayer in Madonna della Strada Chapel to pray for the victims of the recent natural disasters.

By Erinn Connor

After Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston, recent Loyola University Chicago graduates Joshua Torrence and Alex Yang felt compelled to help the people of southeast Texas.

They’d spent much of their summer job hunting and preparing for their nursing licensing exam, and weren’t sure they had enough experience to be much help. But eventually they decided that even if they didn’t have enough medical expertise, they could at least volunteer in some way. 

They packed Torrence’s truck and drove 16 hours to Houston, much of which was deserted when they arrived.

“The sight of an entire neighborhood with dumpster sized piles of belongings was heartbreaking,” said Torrence, who graduated from the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing in May. “After stopping at a few pop up shelters and giving supplies, we encountered some nurses who informed us of the need for nurse volunteers at the NRG Center’s emergency shelter back in Houston. Thrilled to utilize our skills to help, we traveled back and were quickly put to work.” 

The NRG Center is a giant exhibition space that normally hosts rodeos and tradeshows that had been transformed into a shelter for more than 2,000 people.

Running the shelter was BakerRipley, a non-profit that assists low-income families in achieving financial stability. BakerRipley is continuing to help residents through coordinating long-term hurricane relief efforts.

While working in the shelter’s medical center, Torrence and Yang coordinated with emergency service providers and other shelter volunteers to help treat any urgent care needs that came up among Houston residents staying at NRG.

“In triage we worked with the doctor to ensure that the residents were directed to the appropriate level of care in a timely manner,” said Yang, another May ABSN graduate. “The outpouring of support from the medical community was incredible. We met medical professionals that headed to Houston to volunteer from California to Maine.”

The two worked nights, usually from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. Torrence’s main role was to help the nurse in charge overnight. He also coordinated with the NRG staff to manage supplies, EMS services, and collaborated with Harris County Clinic. 

“These two are exceptional students and exceptionally dedicated nurses who shared their gifts and knowledge with those in need,” said Janet Mc Carthy, MSN, MBA, RN, ABSN program director at Niehoff.

Despite their lack of on-the-job experience, both Torrence and Yang felt that their time at Loyola helped prepare them to help out the people of Houston.

“Our time at Loyola taught us that nursing is about caring for more than clinical conditions,” said Torrence. “Loyola taught us to care for individuals with respect and compassion, and our ability to therapeutically communicate with patients and advocate on their behalf is what allowed us to make an impact. Also, Loyola prepared us work well as part of a health care team, and in the chaos of an emergency shelter with rotating volunteers, our ability to collaborate led us into leadership roles.”

Adds Yang: “It wasn't skills like interpreting EKGs or placing an IV that made us successful, but being able to connect with people that are going through a traumatic, life changing experience that allowed us to really make a difference. This experience really broadened my perspective of the various aspects of health care, and forced me to think about how I can impact my community outside of my hospital or unit.”

The University community is helping to coordinate donations to those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria as well as those impacted by the Mexico City earthquake. 

“Volunteering in a disaster stricken area exposes you to some truly moving stories that develop your empathy and compassion towards others,” said Torrence. “I discovered that volunteering in these areas helps develop leadership skills and that nurses can play a critical role in creating order from the chaos.”

Kathleen Kilbane (BSN ’79), DISTINGUISHED ALUMNA AWARD

kathleen kilbane bio

Bestowed upon an alum who has brought pride and recognition to Niehoff by achieving prominence in nursing on a regional, national, or international level.

Kathleen Kilbane began her career in nursing in direct patient care, working in the acute care setting. She then focused on community/public health practice, working at the local, county, state and federal levels. She entered federal service 18 years ago and served as the regional maternal and child health nurse consultant in Chicago for the six-state Midwest Region of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Admin­istration. After moving to Washington, DC in 2009, she then held positions in HRSA’s Bureau of Health Professions and rejoined the Maternal Child Health Bureau in 2010 to be part of the central office team that addressed national program implementation of the Affordable Care Act-funded Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. Her most recent position was western branch chief for the program. The MIECHV Program was created to support voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services for at-risk pregnant women and parents with young children up to kindergarten entry. The MIECHV program is now implemented in all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia.

Misty M. Kirby-Nolan (MSN '00), SPIRIT OF IGNATIUS AWARD

misty kirby-nolan bio

Presented to an alum of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing who best characterizes Cura Personalis or “Care of the Person.”

Misty Kirby-Nolan, is a nurse practitioner in Anesthesia Pain Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She is currently on the board of the Chicago chapter of the Academy of Medical Surgical Nursing and is a past president of the Chicago Metropolitan chapter of American Society for Pain Management Nursing. For the past 10 years, she has volunteered with Operation Walk Chicago, a not-for-profit volunteer medical organization that provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art free hip and knee replacements to impoverished patients with debilitating joint disease around the world. She has had a worldwide outreach to improve pain management across the globe by educating local health care staff and providing direct medical care for patients in Nepal, India, Vietnam, and Brazil.

Looking Back and Seeing How Far We Have Come

Alumni Survey Results:  

Graduates report on careers and share thoughts on the HSM Program

The Health Systems Management (HSM) degree program within the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing was founded just over a decade ago, created to meet the growing need for socially just and ethically-based healthcare administrators. This year HSM is celebrating its ninth graduating class with 65 new graduates. With almost 300 HSM alumni now in the national workforce, Loyola University Chicago has begun to leave its healthcare administration footprint from coast to coast. 

Earlier this year the 2015 and 2016 graduating classes were asked to complete a survey describing their current careers and impressions of the HSM degree program. The results are helping the HSM Program better serve students going forward.

With over 60 percent of 2015-2016 graduates responding, we learned 88 percent are employed in healthcare organizations around the country and another 8 percent are in graduate or professional school full-time. The top three employment sectors for respondents were hospital systems, health information technology organizations, and healthcare consulting firms. HSM alumni are working as project managers, data analysts, reimbursement specialists, practice managers, and more.

Almost 25 percent of 2015-2016 graduates are pursuing further education in graduate or professional school either full or part-time, and another 60 percent have plans to return to school within the next three years. A small percentage have earned a specialty certification such as Lean Six Sigma or Project Management.

Roughly 85 percent of respondents believe the HSM degree program did an “excellent” or “good” job of positioning them for success in their careers, and over 50 percent reported HSM exceeded their expectations as a degree program with another 45 percent reporting their expectations fully met. 

We learned just how much our alumni valued their interactions with faculty, the relationships they have maintained over time, and the practitioner experience our faculty bring to the classroom. They also gave us actionable ideas on how we can adapt the program to growing changes in healthcare delivery.

The alumni survey is an important touch point between graduates in the field and the ever-evolving HSM program. Our alumni have found many ways to stay involved in their alma mater – serving on the MNSON Alumni Board and the HSM External Advisory Board, mentoring seniors in the capstone project, guest lecturing in classes, offering job shadowing at their organizations or sitting on career panels. One of our HSM graduates is even teaching as an adjunct professor in the program. Whatever the role, we welcome all our former students back to HSM.

Thank you to all alumni who participated in the survey. Another survey will be sent out to 2017 graduates in the next year, so keep an eye on your inboxes and the opportunity to help shape the future of HSM. Be sure to respond and stay connected!

Go Ramblers! 

Loyola partnership revives Proviso East High School pool

PP4H-pool

By Maura Sullivan Hill

Before spring 2017, swimming, splashing, and diving were a rarity in the pool at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois. The facility was in good shape, but underutilized because it lacked a lifeguard staff.

Until the West Cook YMCA and Proviso Partners for Health (PP4H) partnered up to offer a lifeguard certification course as part of physical education at the school.

In just a few months, the scene at the Proviso East pool changed drastically. In May, 11 students received their lifeguard certification to great fanfare at a celebration ceremony in front of their teachers, families, supporters of the partnership, and even local media.

The students had spent five weeks during their physical education (PE) class completing the American Red Cross Lifeguard certification, which includes swimming, rescue drills, and first aid training.

PP4H is a multi-sector coalition comprised of Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola University Health System, as well as Proviso-Leyden Community Action, Proviso East High School, Respiratory Health Association, Quinn Community Center, Green Business Network, and more than a dozen other community and social service agencies and businesses.

Focusing on Strengths

Community support was key to this project getting off the ground so quickly, with the YMCA, PP4H, and the high school faculty all behind the effort. Talk of reviving use of the pool began in November 2016, and the lifeguard course was up and running by March.

“Offering the lifeguard certification course was a very collaborative effort,” said Joanne Kouba, associate professor and director of the dietetics education programs at Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “At PP4H, we have a philosophy to identify community assets and strengths, then bring those together, rather than focusing on deficits or negative things.”

The pool was a ready resource, and the rest happened thanks to “authentic, enthusiastic commitment,” according to Phillip Jimenez, president and CEO of the West Cook YMCA.

Teaching Water Safety

Tracy McCormick, the chair of the physical education department at Proviso East, wanted to offer the lifeguard certification class as a PE option for a number of reasons, but safety was at the top of the list. Only a fraction of the students at the school know how to swim.

“Students are going to learn safety skills around the water so that if something does happen, at least they can save themselves,” she said. “That is the most important life skill to have, to enjoy the water and not be afraid of it.”

Now that there are certified lifeguards at Proviso East, McCormick’s department can offer aquatics classes for PE. And many of the students now have another option for employment. Of the 11 students who passed the course, six have been hired to work at YMCA pools this summer.

“Those students working as lifeguards are representatives for other youth,” said Jimenez. “For them to be holding that responsibility daily out on the pool deck speaks to the caliber and potential of all the students at Proviso East High School.”

Community Transformation

The lifeguard course is one of a number of programs funded by a Transforming Community Initiatives (TCI) grant that PP4H received from Trinity Health, the national hospital system that oversees Loyola University Health System. The grant will provide $2.5 million over five years, from 2016-2021.

“The big focus of the grant is on policies and systems that support healthy living, particularly related to food, activity, and tobacco. It’s not about primary care services, weight loss programs or going to see the doctor,” said Kouba, who spearheaded PP4H’s application for this grant with Lena Hatchett, assistant professor and director of community and university partnerships at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine, and a co-founder of PP4H. “We want to get people eating and acting healthier so they don’t need as much reliance on health care providers and the medical system. We want them to do things the healthy way by default, rather than wait for diseases or obesity to develop and then try to fix the problem.”  

Before reviving the pool at Proviso East, PP4H started a community garden in Maywood and initiated a program that brought healthy, grab-and-go salads to the Proviso East cafeteria.  The lifeguard course will be offered again in September, with graduates of this spring’s program working on the pool deck as lifeguards while their classmates learn the same skills.

To learn more about PP4H, visit provisopartners.com

Health Systems Management students give back through partnership with Young Hearts for Life

HSM-service-learning-YH4L

Health Systems Management students deliver presentations during a service learning course in Professor Joan Bufalino's class in Cudahy Science Hall on April 6, 2017. The students are developing marketing and educational materials for an organization called Young Hearts for Life. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Anna Gaynor

For Health Systems Management majors, giving back to the community looks a little different from most students’ service-learning projects.

In one of this year’s Health Care Marketing classes, junior and seniors have partnered with Young Hearts for Life (YH4L), a group offering free electrocardiograms (ECGs) to high school students in the Chicagoland area. The simple test detects heart conditions that can lead to sudden cardiac death in young adults. Over the past 10 years, YH4L performed 160,000 ECGs and identified hundreds at risk.

Instead of volunteering with YH4L though, HSM students will be developing a new marketing and communications plan for the organization.

“When I was in high school, I had them actually come to my school,” Yanna Falkiewicz, a junior, said. “I remember it being in the gymnasium. It was really quick and easy and simple, and that’s kind of what we’re aiming for in our project is to let families and educators know: It’s a simple test but it can change or alter the course of your life if something is picked up on.”

For the past semester, these HSM students have divided into three groups to work on three different parts of the campaign: A press kit to explain YH4L’s mission to media, donors, school administrators, and educators; an interactive wall and brochure to engage and educate high schoolers about the test and how it works; and a blog to act as a resource and support group for family and friends who have lost someone to sudden cardiac death.

“This is our only marketing- and communication-specific class outside of general COMM 101, which is just public speaking,” said Hannah Cooper, who is helping develop the press kit. “We’re all going into health care, so being able to apply marketing techniques to the field that we’re going into I think has been really useful for us.”

Reaching out to students and their families is particularly important for an organization like YH4L, according to Joseph Marek, MD, the Loyola Stritch alum who founded the organization more than 10 years ago. By looking at 5,000 students, their volunteers may identify five who potentially have a life-threatening condition, so getting more students, parents, and educators engaged is key.

“The more kids that we can test, the more that we will identify, who have potentially life-threatening problems, to get them medical attention and hopefully prevent a catastrophe for them,” Marek said. “It’s really a numbers game. These conditions that we’re looking for—although they’re not rare, they’re not common. You have to sift through a lot of kids to find the ones who are at risk.”

These HSM students are getting the chance to present a real-world marketing pitch—but that also means researching it as if they were in the real world. In addition to using different marketing tools, they need to understand the science behind the work YH4L is doing. For Joan Bufalino, MS, MSN, BSN, their course instructor, that approach is something she wants to stay with them.

“They have to understand about arrhythmias, they have to understand ECGs,” Bufalino said. “It’s a personal issue for me that they get the medical aspect as well as the marketing—that they really understand the principals of health care delivery, not just administering it but actually knowing what’s involved.”

Bufalino, a supporter of YH4L since its beginning, approached Joseph Marek about teaming up with her class, and it’s their help that he appreciates.

“Doing these ECGs is easy and interpreting them is easy,” he said. “The biggest challenge that I face is awareness and communication, so what these students are doing for us, I think, can have a very significant impact on saving lives—as much as me reading the ECGs.”

The materials the students developed are something YH4L could easily use, said Kathy Marek, a Niehoff alum, a member of the group’s community advisory committee, and Joseph’s wife. When the organization started, they encountered many people who didn’t understand that sudden cardiac death could affect young adults.

“We quickly that realized that our mission can’t only be to screen,” Kathy said. “It has to be to educate the community. You can no longer just send a letter—everybody gets their media in different ways. You have to be creative; you have to be on the cutting edge. This is why we were so excited to work with Joan’s class. We initially thought we’d get some fresh ideas, but they blew us out of the water.”

To learn more about YH4L, visit yh4l.org.

Palmer symposium explores mobile health technology

Palmer-mobile-health-technology

The 2017 Palmer Symposium was held on March 24 at the Center for Translational Research and Education at Loyola University Chicago's Health Sciences Campus. (Photo: Holly O'Connor)

By Erinn Connor

The age of Fitbits and calorie-counting apps may just be the beginning when it comes to using technology in health care. The future of mobile health technology was the focus of this year’s Ruth K. Palmer Symposium, the annual research event hosted by the Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Niehoff Dean Vicki Keough, PhD, RN, FAAN, welcomed the largest group ever to this year’s event, noting how much of the research being presented wasn’t even fathomable a few years ago.

“We will together take a peek into the research world of digital health—these are topics that 10 years ago were figments of our imagination, wild dreams, and science fiction,” said Keough. “I believe telemedicine, wearables, self-diagnostic tools have the potential to change patient health exponentially. Technology will improve relationships between patients and nurses, nurses and communities, and health care providers all over the world.”

Keynote speaker Ryan Shaw, PhD, RN, assistant professor of health informatics at Duke University School of Nursing, discussed how various new and developing technologies will help create a bigger picture and better context of someone’s health care. Instead of only seeing a patient when they’re sick, doctors could constantly be receiving information (such as blood sugar levels, weights, and more) that could help them either prevent disease or stop a chronic illness from progressing.

Technology will help further progress the ongoing movement towards precision or personalized medicine. This is already starting to become popular in cancer treatment, particularly immunotherapy, which uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. Shaw noted that it’s likely the future of care will not be based on the response of the “average patient,” like it is now, but rather on the individual DNA, environment, and lifestyle of a person.

“Using precision medicine lets healthcare providers assess disease risk and then create custom disease monitoring, treatment, prevention, and detection methods for just that one patient,” said Shaw.

He noted that smartphones are the easiest way to collect data from people, as nearly 77 percent of the U.S. population owns one. Companies are now working to make it easier for health data collected on smartphones to be transferred to a person’s electronic health record.

Shaw also presented data from studies where he is using motivational text messages to help people lose weight or quit smoking. He suggested it’s an easy and cheap method to help patients hold themselves accountable.

Other pieces of technology that could have a future impact on healthcare include implantables (a small sensor injected into the skin that measures the oxygen level in the blood), contact lenses that can measure a person’s blood sugar, and ingestibles, a small “pill” that uses wireless technology to track how the body reacts to medication to find the best dosage levels.

“These devices can help health care workers see health as it occurs, in a person’s natural environment,” said Shaw.

In between other speakers and presentations, Palmer Symposium attendees were able to view research posters from students and faculty that were displayed through the Center for Translational Research and Education.

“Today, our care has changed so much based on technology innovation,” said Health Sciences Division Provost Margaret Callahan, PhD, CRNA, FNAP, FAAN. “Now we look to the best and the brightest of our community to bring this new knowledge to our patients.”

2017 Palmer Symposium

Photo gallery: View the photos in the gallery above or on Loyola's Flickr page.

An exercise in service

exercise-in-service

Students from a Loyola exercise science class teach Goudy Elementary School students about proper fitness. (Photo: Katie Wall)

By Anna Gaynor

Sylwia Zubek is one of many students who have come to Loyola from the Chicago Public School system—but, thanks to a service-learning course, this Exercise Science major has had the chance to give something back.

MORE ONLINE

Loyola’s Plan 2020 is a five-year roadmap to guide the University and promote social justice. This story falls into one of the strategic priorities outlined in the plan. Learn more here.

“It’s a great experience,” she said. “Especially CPS schools, they’re very underfunded. They don’t have as many resources as private schools do, so just giving the PE teachers an extra hand when they have too many students, it can be a great help for them.”

Zubek is one of many who have taken EXCM 101: Introduction to Exercise Physiology, a service-learning course that connects Loyola students with CPS physical education and health teachers. Each student is assigned to a local school to help with activities and lessons focused on fitness and health. While other students volunteered with afterschool sports programs or developed activities to encourage more physically active recesses—Zubek worked with first through fifth graders at Kilmer Elementary School during PE classes and gave presentations on healthy lifestyles and basic safety skills.

“It was fun with the little ones because they were running around, and we brought in healthy food for them,” she said. “With the older kids, it was more serious. We learned about how the body works.”

A chance to give back

All of the Loyola students are helping CPS with the LearnWELL Initiative, which promotes physical activity and healthy eating choices in schools. The partnership with Loyola allows students to fulfill their service learning hours—while helping the school meet its students’ needs.

“It does vary,” said Karen Berg, director of clinical placements and experiential learning at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “At some schools, we are supporting afterschool sports because that’s really the best fit for Loyola students to be volunteering. In others, we’re in the classroom supporting the health education teachers. We’re supporting PE instructors, and we’re also supporting recess. It really is identified by the school themselves—they’re identifying what is best for them.”

Stephanie Wilson, director of the Exercise Science Program, often sees that Loyola students start the semester a little nervous, but by the end, they can see firsthand their impact in the schools.

“They truly find it rewarding,” Wilson said. “These children really count on the Loyola students to show up. They almost look for these students on the day and the time that they’re supposed to come. I think our students recognize that and are confident and proud in the end that they have given something back to the community.”

Hands-on experience
Helping in the classroom or on the field aren’t the only ways this course offers help for Chicago’s schools. Another class came together to develop a Wellness Fair for the students at Goudy Elementary School.

“I thought the class did an amazing job of researching the demographics of where Goudy is,” said Robyn Becker, the exercise science instructor for the class. “They didn’t really need a lot of my help. I just helped organize them each class, guiding them through.”

Students used that demographic research to develop the wellness fair’s stations, which included showing parents alternative ways to use their Link cards, to find healthier food options, and to get fit without access to a gym. Other stations included the health benefits of water and the amount of sugar in sodas and other beverages.

“When we were looking up the amount of sugar in these things, that kind of surprised me,” said Kira Hinz, a senior who helped develop the stations. “The other stuff I had a pretty good grasp on, but I know I probably take that for granted too. I grew up learning about this stuff from my mom or from my school. I had a lot of things growing up, and maybe they didn’t—I’m taking that knowledge for granted.”

Health Systems Management program holds 2nd annual Match Day

HSM 2nd Annual Match Day

Loyola University Chicago President Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, hands a senior Health Systems Management student her internship decision at the 2nd annual Health Systems Management Match Day on October 13 at the Lake Shore Campus

By Megan McKinley

For the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing's Health Systems Management (HSM) senior class, countless hours of studying and preparation lead up to a defining moment. On the morning of October 13, at the Lake Shore Campus, 69 stacked and sealed letters laid heavily on minds of HSM faculty, staff, and students.

The 2nd Annual HSM Match Day, much like the medical school match day tradition that announces each four year residency location, pairs each senior with an internship program. Throughout the previous months, faculty and students meet to discuss their field of interest to find a program that partners with Loyola.

Program director Marymargaret Sharp-Pucci EdD, MPH, opened the morning festivities by affirming, "It’s not about the name of the match. It's about the skills you will gain from the experience."

Before handing out the envelopes, Loyola University Chicago President Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, a former leader in health care policy at Huron Consulting Firm and the Department of Defense, challenged the students to live in the moment during their internship.

"Everyone tried to look through the envelope to see if they can find any clues," said Battsooj "B" Jargal, who hopes to receive her MBA from Loyola next spring after completing her undergraduate studies. After the class opened the letters all at once Jargal said, "Everyone was excited but didn’t want to be overly excited. We looked around to make sure everyone else was okay first before getting too excited."

At first, Lily Karges was unsure about her match with Falcon Consulting, but faculty reassured her of the company's long time partnership with Loyola. "Being able to sit at a table with friends and be in the same room as my peers... was really amazing. It definitely exceeded my expectations," said Karges.

In the past, the internship placement was sent out in an e-mail to students, but Sharp-Pucci has been instrumental in making the HSM Match Day event an annual gathering to celebrate the achievement as a class. "It’s one of my favorite days of the year. They've worked so hard to get here," said Sharp-Pucci. "When I see all the happy and excited faces. It’s very rewarding for me."

Lunch Bunch program helps Maywood teens adopt a healthy diet

Lunch Bunch

Kelly Sierra, RD, LDN, coordinates the Lunch Bunch program at Proviso East High School.

By Megan McKinley

For a little over a decade, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing's graduate dietetic and undergraduate nursing students have been involved in health education at Proviso East High School (PEHS) in Maywood. What started out as a Niehoff outreach project 15 years ago is now a grant-subsidized Lunch Bunch program feeding lunch to almost 100 teenagers every week.

In District 209, which serves many low-income families, PEHS students are at a higher risk for obesity and have limited access to health care. To help with these struggles, the founders of the Lunch Bunch program began a school-based health center over a decade ago. The PEHS Based Health Center includes a full-time nurse practitioner, health care providers, and other health education programs.

Program director Joanne Kouba PhD, RD, LDN of the dietetic education programs said: "We don’t want to just talk about how healthy food is good for you, we want them to realize that it can taste good too." Kouba is working to expand the Lunch Bunch strategies to other schools through wellness committees, which provide students the opportunity to partner with Proviso Partners for Health, a community coalition partnered with Loyola MNSON, Stritch School of Medicine, and LUHS geared towards obesity prevention.

Each year, depending on their concentration, nursing and dietetic students are assigned to a clinical experience program, one of which is Lunch Bunch at PEHS. Throughout the internship, they complete nutrient analysis to ensure that the Lunch Bunch meals meet the standards of the USDA National School Lunch Program. Niehoff students come to PEHS three days a week serving between 70-100 high schoolers at the four lunch periods.

Getting the students onboard with the healthy eating program isn’t always easy.

"The students are living in an underserved, under the poverty line area,” said Kelly Sierra, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian who provides nutrition services and coordinates the Lunch Bunch program at PEHS. “Some of them are homeless. Convincing them to eat healthy is difficult."

Undergraduate nursing student preceptor Patty Kennelly, RN, MN, said, "We're reaching the community by consistent and repetitive education that has really made a difference in their lives." During a Lunch Bunch, Niehoff students discussed topics from nutrition to stress and relaxation. Students will often come up to tell Kennelly of their latest success—that they got a job or scholarship with the help of the Lunch Bunch program. "To know that you were influential in setting that up and encouraging them, that has been the most gratifying," said Kennelly.

Nursing students pledge themselves to the health care profession at the annual Dedication to the Profession ceremony

Dedication to the Profession 2016

Students gather in front of the Madonna della Strada chapel at the annual Dedication to the Profession ceremony and reception on October 22

The Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing held its annual Dedication to the Profession ceremony and reception on October 22 at Madonna della Strada chapel. The annual event, which replaces the former “capping” ceremony, provided an opportunity for junior class nursing students to reflect and pledge themselves to their chosen studies and the health care profession, as well as to have their hands blessed by faculty.

Christine Wimberly, Junior Class President, was joined by the Junior Class Council, who spoke about symbolic aspects of the ceremony and the health care profession. In addition, the Class Council gave symbolic momentos to their classmates: a candle signifying the light as a symbol of hope and blessed water from Lourdes, the Catholic pilgrimage site visited each year by Niehoff students.

Dr. Kim Oosterhouse was the ceremony keynote speaker followed by Brendan Filip, the Junior Class student speaker. Their speeches highlighted the important role of nurses. They spoke of Loyola values, of caring for the whole person, and the Magis philosophy that is the guiding light as they dedicate themselves to the nursing profession.

Niehoff's Dedication to the Profession. Blessing of the Hands 10.22.2016

Photo gallery: View the photos in the gallery above or on Loyola's Flickr page.

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing receives grant to expand behavioral health services in Maywood and Melrose Park

By Kate Hedlin

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing faculty Diana Hackbarth, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Fran Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, have been awarded a $928,000 grant over two years from the Health Resources and Services Administration to integrate behavioral health providers into nurse-led primary care teams.
 
The goal is to increase access to care, enhance care coordination between providers and improve outcomes in underserved community-based settings.
 
“There is so much need in our community to recognize and provide services to people with behavioral health needs,” said Dr. Hackbarth, who is a professor at Niehoff. “It’s a great opportunity to reduce the stigma of mental illness, promote social and emotional health and expand needed services.”
 
Part of the funding is for the expansion of behavioral health services at Proviso East High School, where Niehoff faculty have been providing behavioral healthcare as part of its School Based Health Center (SBHC). The program will also support behavioral health services in elementary schools in Maywood and Melrose Park.
 
In addition, the grant will be used to expand behavioral health services at the Family Medicine Clinic, located at the Loyola Center for Health on Roosevelt, 1211 W. Roosevelt Road, Maywood. The grant will pay for an additional behavioral health provider and a consulting psychiatrist, allowing for easier access to mental health screenings and earlier access to treatment.
 
Finally, the project will promote interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP) by training nurses, nursing students and other health professionals to be comfortable in screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment.

"We want people to get the mental healthcare they need as soon as possible through better integration of behavioral health services into primary care at Loyola," said Dr. Vlasses, who is also a professor at Niehoff.

This effort is a collaboration between Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and Loyola University Health System.

A final exam in treating the human condition for nursing students

A final exam in treating the human condition for nursing students

Jennifer Zitzner teaches her Anatomy and Physiology lab in the Life Science Building on January 26, 2016. Jennifer's previous class is honoring her mother's fight with cancer by doing Relay for Life in her honor this spring. (photo by Natalie Battaglia)

By Erinn Connor

This past semester, Jennifer Zitzner, PhD, from the Department of Biology mixed her personal life with her teaching life and was rewarded with a heartwarming surprise from her students.

While Zitzner’s mother was battling uterine cancer, she decided to use her mother’s experiences as a teachable moment for the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing students in a Clinical Microbiology class.

“As her cancer has related to the immune system and microorganisms, I have shared some of her journey with the students,” Zitzner said. “For me, this was nothing out of the ordinary since I often share stories of my family. However, the nursing students took it to heart.”

Zitzner’s commitment to wanting to see her students succeed in what is traditionally a challenging course made them want to do something special for her and her family.

“Zitzner’s class has been different from other classes because she has specifically catered the class to our interests and future profession,” said Christine Wimberly, a sophomore nursing major and president of the Nursing Student Council. “This is one of the first ‘nursing’ classes undergrads are exposed to. Zitzner specifically constructed microbiology around the diseases and microbes we would be encountering in hospital settings and the treatment and prevention we would be expected to perform.”

Near the end of the semester, the class presented her with 41 handwritten notes of support and encouragement to be given to Zitzner’s mother. The unexpected gesture brought Zitzner to tears. She said it helped her mother’s outlook on her radiation treatment.

 “I have tried my best every lecture to give each of my students the education they need to be successful nurses” Zitzner said. “What they have done for me and my family has taken the expansion of knowledge that Loyola strives to provide and transformed it into the care for others that I believe Loyola means when it describes a ‘transformative education.’ They are not yet practicing nurses, but the care and compassion they have exhibited makes them the embodiment of the Loyola experience.”

They also told her that they will walk in honor of Zitzner’s mother in the upcoming Relay for Life in April in the Gentile Arena. Her students also dedicated a luminary in her honor, a paper bag containing votive candles that feature the honoree and are lit after dark at the Relay for Life event.

Before their final exam, Zitzner wanted to be the one to surprise her class. Normally, to ease her students’ nerves, she would play a stress reliever video of her children having fun. This time, it was a video of her mother thanking her class for their support and sharing that she would be there to meet them at Relay for Life. Zitzner and her mother also stated they would like to be in the audience for their nursing school graduation in 2018 to support the students along with their friends and family.

“After reading the handwritten notes, she decided to make the video, picked out her best hat and best shirt, put on a little bit of makeup—and felt good,” Zitzner said. “When I played the video there were few dry eyes in the house.”

To participate in Loyola University Chicago’s Relay for Life along with the nursing students, sign up here.

Nursing professor receives prestigious research title

Nursing professor receives prestigious research title

Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, FAAN, was recently named a Distinguished University Research Professor.

After nearly 31 years of work at Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, FAAN, recently became the first ever nursing professor to be named a Distinguished University Research Professor.

Penckofer has a passion for improving the day-to-day lives of her patients. Her earlier research on women’s cardiovascular health led her to dig deeper into the mental health of women with diabetes.

How did you end up at Loyola?

I came to Loyola in 1984 as a graduate student with a master’s degree from the University of Illinois. I had been working at Rush and really wanted to go into teaching, and I came to Loyola to teach. So I taught for many years, and when I finished getting my PhD I was able to start teaching graduate students in the 90s. I always had a passion for doing research, even when I was an undergraduate. It’s something that I just found so exciting. So when I started teaching graduate students, I became more involved in research.

What led you to your current research area?

My research has been primarily in women’s cardiovascular health. For my dissertation, I looked at the outcomes of women who had cardio bypass surgery. After that, I started exploring the role of estrogen in protecting the heart. That work led to people calling me from the Diabetes Association. They would ask, ‘Do we really know anything about women with diabetes and what happens when they hit menopause?’ That was interesting because the symptoms of menopause are so similar to the symptoms of diabetes.

So I started to look at the quality of life in women with Type 2 Diabetes. At that time, I was working with the endocrinology group here at Loyola and Mary Ann Emanuele, MD, medical director, inpatient diabetes at the Loyola University Health System. She has just been phenomenal. We basically found that the structures in the lives of women with diabetes were not allowing them to take care of themselves or make themselves a priority. As a result of that, we ended up receiving funding doing group therapy for women with Type 2 Diabetes. It was intended to help people realize that diabetes affects their mood. It was really well-received.

Tell us about the research you are doing now?

When I was doing the therapy for these women, some of them said that their doctors gave them Vitamin D, and it made them feel a little bit better. I was taking Vitamin D myself, and a nurse called after some blood tests and told me my Vitamin D level was way too high. So I stopped it. About 6-8 weeks after I stopped taking the Vitamin D, I felt really kind of down. I thought, ‘this is exactly what the patient was telling me.’ I found that there was very little research at the time about Vitamin D and depression. I love that sometimes you learn something from your patients, and it impacts your own life.

Twenty-five percent of people with diabetes have depression. It’s a huge problem. With the results of that study, we found that people got significantly better with the Vitamin D. When we compared the data, the improvement that people got from 8 weeks of group therapy was almost the same amount of improvement from taking the Vitamin D for 12 weeks. We are doing a randomized study right now. From what we are seeing so far, people are getting significantly better. Whether it’s due to the drug or not, we won’t know for another year and a half.

What excites you about the possibilities of the research you are doing right now?

I’m just so excited if it really proves to be true that Vitamin D can improve the mental health of diabetic women, because this is something that is so cost-effective. It would be great if you could take this Vitamin D and not have to take an anti-depressant, which has so many side effects.

We’ve been really lucky in recruiting people and we have a big following in the Maywood community. For us this is really a win-win. We make a lot of friends in the Maywood community and we’ve had some wonderful things happen because of our study. Patients get to be a part of something that they probably would not have had the opportunity to be a part of before. It also has been a wonderful opportunity for the graduate and undergraduate students who work on our project. They learn about research, they learn about mental health, and they learn about diabetes.

I myself was trained on how to do cognitive therapy when I first got the grant to do the group therapy study. I got great administrative experience when I was director of the doctoral program, but this research has really allowed me to develop my work with the next generation of researchers. It’s been a really wonderful experience these past few years.

What does it mean to you to be the only person from Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing to have the title of Distinguished University Research Professor?

I think it’s certainly a recognition for all of the work that I have been doing, but it’s also a recognition for Niehoff. For me, at the Health Sciences Campus in particular, this has been a great opportunity. The title came with support for graduate assistance, so it will help develop our students’ work, which is tough when you run out of funds for your grant.

Why is Loyola a great place to do research?

Loyola is all about embodying the human spirit. I’m so happy that I can teach here because I get to work with small cohorts of students. The investment in the individual for their own personal development is so important. And this is also reflected in the work we do with the Loyola University Health System and their patients. We are trying to nurture the mental health of patients so they can take better care of themselves and their families.

What advice would you give to students looking to pursue research in the nursing field?

Be patient. It will come together. I would also tell my students to have confidence in themselves because they can do it, even when it gets overwhelming. Many of my students are working full-time, caring for a family, and doing their studies. I think patience and persistence are very important. Generosity is another thing. Developing science is not just about me, it’s about improving the health and quality of life.

Students pledge themselves to the nursing profession

Students pledge themselves to the nursing profession

Undergraduate nursing students celebrate the Dedication to the Profession ceremony in Madonna della Strada Chapel.

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing celebrated its Class of 2017 at the Dedication to the Profession ceremony and reception last month in Madonna della Strada Chapel. 

The ceremony allows junior class nursing students, who recently started their first clinical rotations, to pledge themselves to the nursing profession.

“It is a time for them to reflect on who they were when they came to Loyola, and who they are now,” said P. Ann Solari-Twadell, PhD, RN, MPA, FAAN, who served as mistress of ceremonies. She also acknowledged the spiritual significance of the ceremony.

“Our students are entering into a profession where they serve as instruments of God,” she said. 
“Nursing is not just an intellectual pursuit. At Loyola, the students learn how to care for not just the body, but the whole person.”

Loyola faculty presided over the ceremony and blessed the hands of students and health-care professionals in the audience. Alumni and upperclassmen also led a procession and lighted candles to symbolize the passing of the school’s ideals onto the students to continue the work and beliefs of the University.   

Loyola faculty member Mrs. Michelle Allen, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNE, CHE, was chosen by the students to provide the keynote address. Allen celebrated the accomplishments of the junior class, and encouraged them to prioritize social justice in their callings as nurses.

“I challenge you to live with intent, live globally, working well with all people no matter what culture or socio-economic status,” Allen said.

Junior nursing student Carla Dannug also spoke. She reflected about her mother, who came from the Philippines to practice nursing in the US, as a role model in her embodiment of the Jesuit tenet of cura personalis. She urged her fellow students to remember these ideals during their careers.

“We must have a caring and gentle soul, but also a discerning one,” Dannug said. “At all times, we must have passion in all that we do.”

View photos from the event here.

Focus on a Graduate

By Anna Gaynor

After earning her BSN, Linda Dybowski’s first job came about because she was offered a free trip to San Diego.

It was courtesy of the US navy, and because of it, she spent three years as a naval nurse during Operation Desert Storm.

“Just serving my country, in and of itself, was rewarding,” Dybowski said.
“Sometimes those spur of the moment decisions are the best you’ll ever make.”

She began her Naval career as a pediatric nurse, eventually transitioning to the emergency department. In 1996, she joined the Loyola University Medical Center as an ED nurse.

Throughout her 26 years in the field, Dybowski has been interested in helping and teaching other nurses and medical staff. She was always the one to show the ropes to new hires as well as nursing and paramedic students. So in 2012, Dybowski graduated as a Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist—today called Acute Care CNS—from Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Today, Dybowski works as a clinical staff educator in the emergency department at the hospital.

“As a nurse practitioner, you impact one patient at a time, but as an educator or a CNS, you’re impacting every patient because you’re impacting the nurses,” she said. “Even though I’m not in direct patient care anymore, what I do helps nurses be better nurses.”

Dybowski, who is responsible for about 80 nurses and 15 medical techs, makes sure her department has the education and information they need to thrive. This includes organizing yearly competencies as well as running orientation and assigning preceptors for new hires.

“Health care changes daily, it seems,” Dybowski said. “To provide the best care to the patient, everyone needs to be updated on the latest—whether it’s new equipment or a new process.”

Down the road, Dybowski hopes to move her passion inside the classroom, where she believes her clinical experience can help motivate nursing students, whether it’s in university or junior college setting.

To learn more about Loyola’s CNS programs, contact Enrollment Advisor Toni Topalova at atopalova@luc.edu.

Shining a Light on Research

Stories by Dirk Johnson

While research scholarship was once considered a field far apart from the practical study of nursing, Niehoff students are showing it’s now central in the changing landscape of health care.


RESEARCH TOPIC: Vitamin D Benefits

Jennifer Woo, a PhD candidate in nursing, trains physicians, nurses, medical assistants, and social workers on “Centering” at a Christian health center in Chicago.

JENNIFER WOO
PhD candidate in nursing
MENTOR: Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, FAAN • STUDY: What are
the potential benefits of vitamin D supplements for underserved,
pregnant women?

For all of her academic success, Jennifer Woo is not dazzled by the prospect of a lucrative career. She is driven by a deeper moral imperative.

“There is such a wide disparity in health care, and that is just unacceptable,” Woo says. “I want to help change that. That’s what drew me to Loyola.”

Under professor Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, FAAN, Woo is assisting with a study funded by the National Institutes of Nursing
Research to determine if vitamin D supplements improve the mood and health of women with type 2 diabetes. Woo is actively recruiting women for the study, particularly those impacted by health disparities.

In the vitamin D research being conducted at Loyola, Woo works with women who have depressive symptoms and type 2 diabetes. The vitamin, which is typically absorbed through sunlight, works to strengthen bones and may also provide other beneficial effects such as improved mood and a reduction in blood pressure. Research has shown that deficiency in vitamin D is associated with diseases such as osteoporosis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and depression. African American and Hispanic women are at greater risk for a deficiency due to the darker pigmentation of their skin, which prevents adequate absorption of the vitamin through sunlight.

The researchers postulate that the supplements might help these women feel better, which could lead them to take better care of themselves.

For her dissertation, Woo will explore the potentially beneficial effects of vitamin D in pregnant women who are underserved. She sees the research as a way to advance her larger mission: improving health care for the least among us.

In addition, she works as a midwife and women’s health care practitioner at a large Christian health center on Chicago’s West Side. Among the pregnant women she serves, many have little social support and are struggling financially.

To build a network of support for these women, she started a program called “Centering” in which eight to 12 women receive their prenatal care and education as a group, which allows them to provide emotional support to one another. The women are grouped with others who share due dates in the same month.

This program has made an impact on many new moms, including a vulnerable, pregnant 13-year-old, who had grown up largely on her own with a mother in and out of jail. In Centering, this pregnant teen came to rely on the women in her group, many of whom would serve as mother figures to her. When she went into labor, one of them was with her to support and encourage her during the birth of her baby.

“It was beautiful to watch,” Woo says.

[top]


RESEARCH TOPIC: Pregnancy Stressors

KAREN KOTZ FISHE
PhD candidate in nursing
MENTOR: Linda Janusek, PhD, FAAN • STUDY: Can past
childhood traumas increase the risk of depression and
anxiety for pregnant women?

Karen Kotz Fishe specializes in maternal infant health and how stressors during pregnancy influence health outcomes across the lifespan.

With her background as a neonatal nurse practitioner and her predoctoral training in psychoneuroimmunology, she uses  scientific investigation in her scholarship. She is examining potential biologic and immune pathways by which adversities  endured in childhood might later lead to adverse mother-infant health outcomes.

Fishe is conducting a study of 64 pregnant women at Loyola University Medical Center’s Women’s Health Clinic. Fishe’s  research, overseen by Linda Janusek, PhD, RN, FAAN, a professor in the nursing program, finds that the experience of traumas prior to age 18 can increase the incidence of depression and anxiety in pregnant women. It does this by altering their immune response, which makes them more physically and emotionally vulnerable.

As a result, research shows that these women are more likely to deliver a premature and lower birth weight infant. The complications of a premature birth can be devastating, including lasting health issues such as asthma, cognitive problems, and neurobehavioral challenges. These complications can impose overwhelming burdens on the family. In addition to the emotional and physical demands on families in such circumstances, the toll of high health care costs “can wipe them out financially,” Fishe says.

Her research indicates that having “support buffers,” such as partners who are engaged and supportive, can help ameliorate the stressors affecting women with a history of childhood adversity. She says the next step in the research will be trying to determine precisely what kinds of “buffers,” or modes of support, are most effective.

Fishe hopes to find a teaching position after graduation that will allow her to continue her research. She is grateful for Janusek’s tremendous support and guidance, which has been paramount in her academic career development. Janusek encouraged her to find innovative ways to investigate how the prenatal environment influences mother-infant health outcomes, and as the middle of nine children, including a sister with special needs, Fishe knows from experience what is at stake for families coping with difficult challenges.

[top]


RESEARCH TOPIC: Tactics for Foster Children Success

As a McNair Scholar, Karen Aguirre, a Health Systems Management major, was able to conduct her research under the tutelage of a Loyola professor.

KAREN AGUIRRE
BSN ’15, Health Systems Management
MENTOR: Scott Leon, PhD • FACILITATOR: MaryMargaret Sharp-
Pucci, EdD, MPH • STUDY: Is the level of engagement foster parents
show at all related to the length and number of children’s hospital stays?

Allied, or non-nursing, majors at Niehoff also have a desire to work in health care. One of them is Karen Aguirre, who earned her Bachelor of Science degree this spring in Health Systems Management.

The program draws on the strengths and connections of health systems management and Loyola’s excellent liberal arts tradition.

Aguirre is a McNair Scholar, a program that offers undergraduate minorities the opportunity to do tutor-led research with a faculty member of their choosing. She asked Scott Leon, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, to be her mentor. The program published her research, which she presented at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Aguirre, herself a daughter of Mexican immigrants, grew up in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. She graduated from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School.

“It was drilled into me from the beginning that I needed to do something for the community,” she says. “That gift was given to me by the Jesuits.”

As a Loyola senior, Aguirre worked on a study involving 33 foster children between the ages of 6 and 13 who had complicated medical issues such as diabetes, cerebral palsy, or cancer.

She asked them how much time their foster parents spent with them at home and in the hospital, and whether their guardians were supportive. She asked the same questions in separate interviews with the foster parents.

The study aimed to see if there was any correlation between the foster parents’ level of engagement and the number of hospital admissions as well as the length of those stays.

Aguirre says the research found that highly involved guardians made a big difference in the health care outcomes of the children. When foster parents were more engaged, the children experienced fewer hospital admissions and the stays were significantly shorter.

“The hospital was more likely to discharge a child,” Aguirre says, “if they could trust that there would be caregiving at home.”

Foster parents who were extended family members, the study found, spent more time with the children than those who were not related. Aguirre says the research indicated that support and education for caregivers might yield better health results for the children and lower hospital costs.

Aguirre speaks fluent Spanish and was able to interpret for Latino families in the study. She found that cultural bonds played an important role in the comfort level of the families in health and child services. In some cases, Latino families were reluctant to work with outsiders, especially those who were not from immigrant communities.

This reluctance typically stemmed from concerns surrounding the family’s immigration status. She says undocumented immigrants feared they would be referred to deportation authorities.

These findings have potential policy implications. If Latino relatives are fearful of interacting with authorities from the state and consequently decline to serve as foster parents, children miss out on potentially good care.

For Aguirre, the issues of health care and immigration hit close to home. She was born in Chicago, but her parents were not documented.

She noted that undocumented people live with levels of anxiety that can lead to severe psychological and emotional woes.

Aguirre is the first person in her family to go to college. Her parents, who won legal residential status after a long wait, will be sitting proudly in the audience at her graduation in May.

“We will celebrate,” she says.

She plans to seek a master’s degree in public health administration and ultimately hopes to open a health clinic that serves immigrants.

The challenges faced by her family played a key role in her desire to go into health care.

“And it’s one of the main reasons I wanted to go to school here,” she says. “Loyola has a good record on health—and a good record on human rights.”

[top]


RESEARCH TOPIC: Strategies for the Next Ebola

AMELIA BUMSTED
PIPES DNP candidate
MENTORS: Alexander Tomich (MSN ’07, DNP ’12) and
Diana Hackbarth, PhD, RN, FAAN • STUDY: How can
researchers help prepare health care workers to handle
the next Ebola?

Amelia Bumsted is pursuing the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), a relatively new terminal clinical degree in the nursing profession. Loyola’s Population-Based Infection Prevention & Environmental Safety (PIPES) DNP program, one of the first in the nation to specialize in infection prevention, focuses on populations at risk for disease. It produces graduates who become leaders and collaborators in addressing problems in health care systems.

One such challenge arose in 2014 when cases of Ebola first surfaced in the United States. Bumsted is a member of the national Practice Guidance Committee for the Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology (APIC).

She reviewed storyboards for videos developed by Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to demonstrate protocols for the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) to care for Ebola patients. A significant problem for clinicians, despite attempts to demonstrate with videos, was how to translate the CDC guidelines into practice.

Alexander Tomich (MSN ’07, DNP ’12) was a leader in the state’s preparedness efforts to safeguard against the infection of health care workers. He is the director of Infection and Control at Rush University Medical Center, one of only 48 designated Ebola Treatment Centers in the nation. Bumsted and Tomich partnered to present a national Q&A session webinar for APIC titled “Developing an Ebola Center—What Does it Take? And What if You are Not Equipped to be an Ebola Center?”

Tomich is now a preceptor (clinical instructor), to Bumsted as she works on her capstone project to help clinicians follow CDC guidelines for proper PPE use. The nursing profession has been debating the best ways to guide health care workers in such perilous situations. Bumsted remembers thinking: “There should be an app for that.”

She has since worked to develop such an app that helps clinical personnel follow CDC guidelines for donning and doffing protective equipment properly in cases of caring for a suspected or confirmed Ebola patient.

This addresses precisely the calls being made by nursing advocates, such as the American Nurses Association, which are vocal in expressing serious concerns about whether health care workers are safe.

“They were saying, ‘We need to have proper equipment and training,’” Bumsted says.

The DNP program’s objective is translational research. In other words, Bumsted and other such professionals are tasked with figuring out effective ways to translate policy guidelines into actual practice at the bedside.

Honored to have the chance to work on such an important issue, Bumsted credits the culture and camaraderie of Niehoff with building professional networks and local experts in the area of infection prevention, which is what first connected her with Tomich.

Expressing gratitude for the time Loyola graduates invest in mentoring students in the program, she says “it’s the Loyola spirit for leaders to never stop learning.”

[top]

Meet the 2015 Faculty Member of the Year

Meet the Faculty Member of the Year

Niehoff Professor Linda Janusek, PhD, RN, FAAN, talks to a research assistant in her lab on Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus. Janusek, who joined Loyola in 1978, was honored with this year’s Faculty Member of the Year award. (Photo: Erik Unger)

By Anna Gaynor

Linda Janusek’s research has improved the lives of hundreds of women with breast cancer. A large part of Dr. Janusek’s research is focused on the connection between the immune system’s influence on psychological stress and emotions in relation to disease.  Her research has also demonstrated that mindfulness-based practices, such as meditation, improve a patient's well being and coping skills while also restoring the body’s immune response after the challenges of cancer.

For her contributions, Janusek, a professor at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, was recently named the 2015 Loyola University Chicago Faculty Member of the Year during the September 21 Faculty Convocation ceremony at Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus. Chosen by members of the faculty, the award acknowledges an honoree every year for their outstanding teaching and mentorship of students and faculty in addition to successfully balancing teaching, research, and service to the University community.­

“It is so meaningful to be recognized by my faculty colleagues as Faculty Member of the Year,” Janusek said. “I did not expect this honor, as Loyola has so many esteemed and dedicated faculty members.”

More than a researcher

Fresh from earning her PhD, Janusek joined Loyola in 1978 as an assistant professor. Today, Janusek holds the Endowed Chair for Research, the only endowed chair at the school.

“Janusek has always been a fabulous teacher,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, Dean of the Niehoff School of Nursing. “She engages with students, she takes very difficult scientific topics and makes them understandable to the students. The students have continuously remarked about her ability to make complex lectures interesting and exciting.”

One of Janusek’s favorite classes to teach has been a graduate course she developed in her field of research. Called Interdisciplinary Frontiers in Psychoneuroimmunology, the course provides a forum to discuss the interaction of psychological processes with the immune and nervous systems, and, in the process, students are guided to discuss the implications of those interactions on health. 

Janusek’s research seeks to identify the environmental factors that predispose vulnerable individuals to risk for behavioral symptoms, such as depression, fatigue, and perceived stress, and poor health. Her studies have shown that stress can negatively alter the mental health as well as the immune response in women with breast cancer. Recently, she identified early life adversity or trauma as a vulnerability factor that intensifies both the psychological and immune response to cancer-related stress. 

Janusek has more recently extended her research to the field of behavioral epigenetics, an area of science that seeks to explain how a person’s psychosocial environment is translated to the genome to influence risk for disease across the lifespan. She now investigates epigenetic mechanisms that link psychosocial stress and social disadvantage to poor health. Recently, Janusek chaired a scientific symposium: Epigenetic Discovery: Unraveling Environment, Genome, and Health Interactions at the 2015 Midwest Nursing Research Society. 

Janusek engages students at all levels in research. She mentors nursing and medical students, undergraduate, and graduate students (MSN, PhD, and DNP students), as well as others across Loyola. While Keough said this type of interprofessional collaboration may be the “buzz word” in education today, Janusek was way ahead of that curve. “Long before we ever talked about interprofessional education, Janusek was mentoring nursing students and medical students,” Keough said. “She has been a leader in the Niehoff School of Nursing in that area of interprofessional research.”

A leader and mentor for all

Janusek also works a great deal with nursing faculty in completing and submitting their research and academic articles. She founded the Niehoff Scholarly Writing Program, which assists junior faculty to prepare their scholarly projects for publication. The semester-long program culminates in a two-and-a-half-day workshop at Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus. It gives faculty members a place and time to work exclusively on their publications—with some additional advice and mentoring along the way. She also spends time mentoring faculty to receive competitive postdoctoral fellowships and National Institutes of Health Mentored Career Development Awards.

According to Keough, Janusek represents the Niehoff School of Nursing and Loyola in many ways, including her national and international work, her commitment to working with vulnerable populations as a researcher and scholar, and her dedication to teaching and encouraging students to reach high levels of achievement.   “She’s touched hundreds and hundreds of lives of women with breast cancer and their families, of students and faculty,” Keough said. “But also look at all of the PhD students, the medical students, the graduate nursing students, and undergraduate students she takes on. Janusek has provided such leadership and mentorship to the students, all across the University, not just in nursing.”

 

Nursing students connect with spirituality on Lourdes service trip

Spirituality for MNSON students on Lourdes Trip

Nursing students pose with military pilgrims they assisted on their service trip to Lourdes, France.

Each year, five million patients make the pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, where a young Catholic peasant girl named Bernadette had visions of the Virgin Mary in 1858. The site is home to a spring long believed to heal those who bathed in its water. These pilgrimages could not be possible without the help of the volunteers that assist the travelers —among them, Loyola’s own nursing students.

 The students, who are selected to attend after an application and interview process, come each year to Lourdes as part of a service immersion trip through Campus Ministry. This year, 11 students attended, accompanied by three chaperones.  Led by nursing professor Dr. Ann Solari-Twadell, they spent ten days assisting pilgrims in the baths, attending Mass, reflecting, and learning about Lourdes and the legacy of St. Bernadette. For students used to rigorous demands of the nursing curriculum, it is a time to focus on spiritual care.

“Being in the baths humbles you so much and teaches you how you should look at each one of your patients with priority and understanding,” said senior Ania Domalik, who attended this year for the first time. “After serving there you start to understand that everyone has burdens they carry and fears within them that you could ease with paying attention and a few kind words.”

The service trip brings to life the Jesuit value of cura personalis­ that is crucial to quality nursing. The students felt a deeply personal connection to the pilgrims, who visited the baths.

“It is our responsibility as the nurse to care for our patients as human beings with compassion, an open heart, and a smile,” said Amanda Garza, a 2015 graduate who served as the student leader for the trip. Garza first came to Lourdes in 2013 as a sophomore, and felt called to return and give others the same inspiring experience she had. “It was the perfect way to end my time as a student and reaffirm my calling to the profession of nursing,” Garza said.

The students also loved the feeling of solidarity at Lourdes they had with each other, the pilgrims, and other volunteers. The trip occurred during a military pilgrimage when more than 20 nations sent soldiers to Lourdes as a sign of peace.

“My favorite memory from the trip was the nighttime candle rosary procession,” Domalik said. “There was such an abundance of people, who don't even speak the same language, but all of them united in prayer. It was an image that I'll remember forever.”

The trip inspired Domalik to focus more on spirituality in her studies.

“After my trip to Lourdes, I cannot wait to register for Dr. Solari's spirituality course to get another taste of what I experienced in France,” she said.

Find another student’s account of her trip to Lourdes on RamblerBuzz.

Grandma of three graduates from Loyola University Chicago

grandma graduates from LUC

Mary Splitt and Vivien Jobb pose on commencement day (left-right)

Fulfills lifelong dream to earn Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree

When Vivien Jobb, 60, became a licensed practical nurse in 1974, she always dreamed of graduating from college with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. She later earned an associate’s degree, became a registered nurse, and earned her ANCC Board Certification in Ambulatory Nursing, but her goal to complete college was put on hold as she raised a family and worked in a variety of nursing settings.

Now a grandma of three, Jobb decided to enroll in Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing’s RN-to-BSN program in 2013 after more than 40 years as a nurse. This online program is designed for licensed, professional nurses to obtain their BSN degree in a minimum of three semesters.

Jobb completed the program alongside colleague and friend Mary Splitt, 54. Splitt has worked at Loyola University Health System in a variety of settings for 18 years, and the pair has worked together at the Loyola Center for Health at La Grange Park for the past eight years. Like Jobb, Splitt had always hoped to complete her BSN degree, but put off going back to school to raise a family and to work.

“Both of my children had been in college for a couple of years, and it was then that I decided it was time to focus on furthering my own education,” Splitt said. “I decided to pursue a BSN to add to my knowledge base as a nurse and to improve my nursing practice and ultimately, the care I give my patients.”

Jobb and Splitt are among a growing group of nurses who are furthering their education. Loyola University Health System has encouraged its nurses to earn a BSN degree, and the Institute of Medicine issued a report in 2010 encouraging nurses to achieve higher levels of education and training to meet the increasing demands of the healthcare system.

For Jobb and Splitt, their dream became a reality last month when they crossed the stage to accept their college diplomas as their families looked on from the crowd.

“I have always wanted to get a bachelor’s degree,” Jobb said. “You are never too old to learn, and Loyola offered a convenient way to make that happen.”

For more information on Loyola’s RN-to-BSN program, visit LUC.edu/nursing/rnbsn.

Loyola Students Gain Real-World Exposure to Health-Care Issues

Loyola HSM students real world health care issues

Health-System Management Students Learn to Improve and Position Health Devices

A group of aspiring health-care leaders are gaining first-hand knowledge about the complexities of issues affecting medical professionals and patients.

Junior and senior health-systems management students enrolled in Loyola University Chicago’s health-care marketing class were tasked with investigating a medical device or a product and determining how it can be improved and marketed.

The project, called “Imagination Health Hackathon” involved consulting with professional engineers, designers, and patients who had experience with the device to identify issues and advances to improve them. The products included an insulin pump, a nebulizer for asthma treatment, compression stockings, a C-PAP machine for sleep apnea, and a spinal cord stimulator for pain management. Students were required to present their findings and how they would position and promote the product to a panel of health-care professionals.

“This course provided students with an opportunity to better understand health-care issues involved in the research, development, and marketing of a device,” said Joan Bufalino, MS, MSN, RN, adjunct professor who teaches the course at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “Much of our coursework focused on non-clinical topics, but health-system management students must know about day-to-day clinical issues. This project gave them a more well-rounded view of health care.”

The course is offered to junior and senior health-systems management students in the fall and spring. Loyola's health-systems management program provides students with the knowledge and critical-thinking skills necessary for the health-care industry.

“I enjoyed working on a project that had meaning and real-world value,” said senior Victoria Gordon. “This experience provided valuable background that prepared me well for a career as a health-systems management professional.”

Proviso Partners in Health awarded grant by Institute for Healthcare Improvement

MAYWOOD, Ill. (April 24, 2015) – The Proviso Partners for Health was awarded a grant from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to support their efforts to improve community health. Proviso Partners for Health (PP4H) is comprised of Loyola University Health System, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing as well as Proviso-Leyden Council for Community Action (PLCCA), Proviso East High School, Triton College, Cook County Department of Public Health and several other community organizations.

"We are thrilled with the energy that has resulted from PP4H and look forward to the resources and support from IHI," said Joanne Kouba, PhD, RDN, LDN, associate professor and director of dietetics education programs at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

PP4H is one of 24 communities that is part of the spreading community accelerators through learning and evaluation (SCALE) imitative which is made possible by a $4.8 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“The SCALE initiative will help to share the knowledge and experience of health equity solutions that benefit community transformation,” said Lena Hatchett, PhD, assistant professor and director of Community and University Partnerships at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

SCALE helps communities further their capability to improve the health of targeted populations and develop ways to share and spread community-driven approaches across the country.

“After reviewing hundreds of impressive applications, we are pleased to welcome these 24 communities to the SCALE initiative and to bring them together to deepen their ability to create effective improvement and to generously share what’s currently working in various locales,” said Soma Stout, MD, MS, principal innovator in SCALE and external lead, health improvement, IHI.

“We are excited to be awarded the grant and look forward to supporting PP4H,” said Armand Andreoni, director of community benefit at Loyola University Health System.

SCALE is designed to jumpstart an unprecedented community-to-community learning system right out of the gate in that the initiative matches four “mentor communities” – those with a recent track record of achieving better health – with 20 “pacesetter communities” that are seeking to accelerate their pace of change. PP4H has been named a pacesetter community and will support policy, systems, and environmental change through the Proviso East High School Wellness Committee, Mujeres Unidas Job training, and the Proviso East Entrepreneurial garden.

“PLCCA understands the health disparities in the community we serve, therefore we are excited to know we can build health equity within our community by evaluating the positive results of healthy environmental change,” said Andrew Martin, vice president PLCCA.

English nursing students visit Loyola

Advanced practice nursing students share unique perspectives through exchange program

MAYWOOD, Ill. (April 16, 2015) – Advanced practice nursing students and a faculty member from University of Coventry in England toured Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing recently.

Students visited Loyola’s three Chicago campuses, the medical center and the Proviso East school-based health center. During their visit, students also attended classes and traveled to Springfield, Ill., to participate in a nursing student lobby day. Here, they met State Senator Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, who provided a tour of the state Senate.

"English universities have been encouraged by their government to initiate international programs and contacts,” said Karen Egenes, EdD, RN, associate professor and chair of the Health Promotion Department, MNSON. “We were thrilled to visit with these students and expose them to our various experiences in advanced practice nursing education."

Undergraduate nursing students enrolled in Loyola’s community health nursing study abroad program in Guildford, England, visited the University of Coventry this past February after Dean Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, made the acquaintance of a faculty member at the school.

Loyola plans to continue this exchange program with the University of Coventry next year.

Palmer Research Symposium faces health disparities

Palmer Symposium Health Disparities 2015

MAYWOOD, Il., (April 14, 2015) – Nearly 100 nurses, nurse practitioners, educators, administrators, healthcare professionals and students from around the country attended the 28th Annual Ruth K. Palmer Research Symposium, held Saturday on Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus. The daylong program addressed “Inequities in Health: From Cells to Community.”

Hosted by Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the event successfully engaged its diverse audience and provided an opportunity to share inter-professional knowledge. The day’s theme tied in with the school’s special interest in addressing health disparities and supported Loyola’s social justice efforts.

Keynote speaker Shirley Moore, PhD, RN, FAAN, launched the symposium by discussing tailored and targeted interventions to reduce health disparities. Moore is a professor of nursing and associate dean for research at Case Western Reserve’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

In addition to hearing from expert speakers covering topics such as cardiovascular health disparities, stress and trauma, breast cancer in Africa American women, and the value of community engagement, attendees also viewed posters selected to reflect the symposium theme.

The Alpha Beta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International research award was presented to Seema Nasser, RN, MSN, PhD candidate (shown with Niehoff Professor and Endowed Chair for Research  Linda Janusek, chair of the Ruth K. Palmer Scientific Program Committee).

View more photos.

Loyola School of Nursing faculty, students and alumni earn accolades

MNSON Accolades 2015

Achievements highlight excellence in leadership, education and research

MAYWOOD, Ill. (April 7, 2015) – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) recognized recent accomplishments and honors for faculty, students and alumni.

International recognition

Loyola faculty member Leann Horsley, PhD, was named lead nurse planner for the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation & Learning, which promotes research and disseminates evidence-based practice standards for clinical simulation. She has been a member of the research committee and has now been asked to assume a three-year commitment to ensure the quality of its educational programming.

Postdoctoral fellow Lindsey Garfield, PhD, was selected for a Sigma Theta Tau International Research Grant to support her ongoing study “Perinatal Depressive Risk in African American Women: Early Life Adversity and Epigenetic Proinflammatory Phenotype."

National recognition

Loyola faculty member Patricia Friend, PhD, APN-CNS, AOCN, AGN-BC, is the recipient of a newly created certification in Advanced Genetics Nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Dr. Friend chaired the panel that developed the credential to attract nurses into the growing genetics/genomics specialty, notably for cancer care.

Loyola faculty member Nadine Parise received a national certification as an inpatient OB RNC from the National Certification Corp. for nursing specialty expertise and commitment to quality care.

Statewide recognition

Dietetic Internship students traveled March 25 to Springfield for the  Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Advocacy Day . They raised awareness for their profession and urged legislators to support HB3340, which would incentivize the purchase of fruits and vegetables at farmer’s markets.

Student recognition

Rebecca Ray, a student in the combined Master of Science in Dietetics and Dietetic Internship program, received the University’s 2015 Graduate School Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement to Promote Social Justice. Ray was honored for her work to help underserved populations at Loyola’s Community Nursing Center and through the Grand Family Challenge, a community-based health program with personalized lifestyle interventions for families.

Research recognition

Loyola faculty members Karen Saban, PhD, Linda Janusek, PhD, and colleagues were funded for their research "The Effects of Mindfulness on Sleep and Cognition in Women Veterans" by the VA Office of Nursing Service. This study leverages their ongoing mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) randomized clinical trial to evaluate objective and subjective measures of sleep as well as a cognitive assessment to detect cognitive changes associated with MBSR.

Loyola faculty member Mary Byrn, PhD, RN, received a $25,000 grant award for "Can Vitamin D3 Improve Cognitive Function in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes?”, an NIH-supported study. 

Publications

Loyola faculty members Margaret Kraft, RN, PhD, and Ida Androwich, RN, PhD, and Loyola Health System Management graduates Jennifer Bredemeyer, MSN ’09, and Julie Kenney, MSN ’08, are chapter authors of Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge, 3rd Ed. (2014). They also received second place in the AJN 2014 Book Award for Information Technology and Social Media.

Loyola graduate Helen Agomo, DNP ’13, and Loyola faculty member Pam Andresen, PhD, and Deepa Deshmukh published Be wise: Implementing a lifestyle intervention to reduce stroke risk in low-income midlife women, Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, February 2015.

Loyola faculty member Regina Conway-Phillips, PhD, published Spirituality in nursing practice in Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, Vol 4.3 (2014) E1-E3.

History of depression puts women at risk for diabetes during pregnancy, study finds

Loyola research also points to prevalence of depression during pregnancy

MAYWOOD, Il., (March 30, 2015) – A history of depression may put women at risk for developing diabetes during pregnancy, according to research published in the latest issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing by researchers from Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON). This study also pointed to how common depression is during pregnancy and the need for screening and education.

“Women with a history of depression should be aware of their risk for gestational diabetes during pregnancy and raise the issue with their doctor,” said Mary Byrn, PhD, RN, study co-author and assistant professor, MNSON. “Health-care providers also should know and understand the prevalence and symptoms of prenatal depression and gestational diabetes and screen and manage these women appropriately.”

Loyola researchers used the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Screen to measure symptoms of depression in 135 pregnant women attending routine prenatal care visits. Sixty-five study participants had gestational diabetes. These women were 3.79 times more likely to have a history of depression than women without gestational diabetes. In addition, 20 percent of women with gestational diabetes and 13 percent of women without gestational diabetes had significant symptoms of depression. Anxiety and perceived stress were significant predictive factors of depression for both groups.

Each year, more than 200,000 pregnancies are complicated by gestational diabetes. Pregnant women who have gestational diabetes and the added issue of depression are at an even greater risk for possible negative outcomes. Pregnant women who are depressed are more likely to practice unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use and missing prenatal doctor visits.

The relationship between diabetes and depression is complex. Clinicians initially believed that depression in people with diabetes was due to the demands of living with a chronic illness. More contemporary thinking suggests that having depression may precipitate the onset of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, if depression is present prior to pregnancy, it may be important to monitor for the development of gestational diabetes.

“Depression may also contribute to the poor self-management of gestational diabetes and potentially increase the chance for complications during pregnancy,” said Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, study co-author and professor, MNSON. “We must further explore the relationship between diabetes and depression to help understand and improve prenatal care and outcomes for women and infants.”

Loyola University Chicago offers oncology nursing certificate program

Program for nurses seeking in-depth knowledge and skills in cancer care

MAYWOOD, Ill. (March 20, 2015) – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) is offering an online oncology nursing certificate program for nurses who are interested in advancing their oncology knowledge and skills.

“The need for more highly educated nurses is imperative in order to assure safe and efficient health care for the nation. This program provides an excellent opportunity for busy nurses to take graduate-level coursework to better prepare them to care for patients with cancer,” said Patricia Friend, PhD, APN-CNS, AOCN, AGN-BC, associate professor and program director, Oncology Specialty Master's Programs, MNSON.

The program covers the continuum of cancer care from genetic risk assessment and testing to primary prevention, disease and symptom management and palliative care. Nurses interested in enrolling in the program must have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing and clinical experience in oncology nursing.

The 10-credit program includes the following four courses delivered in a fully online format:

  • Cancer Genomics
  • Supportive Care and Symptom Management
  • Cancer Pathophysiology and Disease Management
  • Palliative Care

This program is one of several certificates the MNSON offers for post-baccalaureate and post-master's nurses and other health professionals. For more information about Loyola’s certificate programs, visit luc.edu/nursing/certificate/.

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing welcomes graduates into the profession

MNSON 2015 wrapup

Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing celebrated several special events for graduate and undergraduate Nursing, Health Systems Management, Exercise Science, and Dietetics students last week.

Honors and Pinning Ceremony
The school held its spring 2015 Honors and Pinning ceremonies and receptions on Tuesday, May 5. One event, held at the Lake Shore Campus, honored Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates and recognized outstanding achievements while a similar ceremony, held at the Health Sciences Campus, recognized Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing students.

Pinning has historically served to welcome nursing students into the profession of health care. The following awards and honors were presented during the ceremony:

  • Alumni Awardees: Rachel Kim, Monica Bomben
  • Laura Difiglio Klink Scholarship Awardees: Kelsey Bouler
  • Julia Lane Silver Medallion Awardees: Kelsey Bouler, Jana DiDomenico, Shannon Jordan, Clare Marlin
  • Carol Kraft Awardees: Janice Dobosz, Karina Leon
  • Gladys Kiniery Clinical Excellence Awardees: Cecily Supan, Christine Gleason
  • Dean’s Gold Medallion Awardees: Clare Marlin, Megan Ryan
  • Scholastic Honor Certificates Awardees (GPA of 3.5 to 3.69): Samantha Anderson, Bailey Day, Vinita Ghai, Suman Gowda, Gabriela Iwan, Paige Kelly, Haley Ktsanes, Keimia Mehrabian, Carolyn O’Connor, Rizwana Patel, Megan Prouty, Victoria Pryal, Kelly Slayden, Claire Swiontek, Amanda Wong
  • Scholastic Silver Medallion Awardees (GPA of 3.7 and above): Victoria Biondo, Monica Bomben, Abigail Carlson, Kara Dal Lago, Allison De Grauwe, Lacey Eberle, Jacqueline Garreau, Sylvia Goczol, Lidia Kartashova, Amy Norman, Megan Ryan, Abla Saadeh, Vanessa Samson, Sarah Warnez, Hannah Wirtz, and Yardley Wulf
  • Spirit of St. Ignatius Award: Sarah Warnez

To view photos of the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing ceremony, click here.

Celebration of Magis
Health Systems Management and Exercise Science graduating seniors participated in the Celebration of Magis, a year-end event honoring all graduates and their families. Magis, which means “more” in Latin, was chosen as the celebratory theme as a way of emphasizing a lasting connection between graduates and Loyola’s Jesuit principles of giving, doing and being more for others.

A Magis pledge and blessing were offered at the ceremony to distinguish the graduates’ new careers as ones marked by values, ethics, and service. The following awards and honors were presented:

  • Scholastic Honor Certificates Awardees (GPA of 3.5 to 3.69): Health System Management students Elijah Ampo, Michael Brennan, Lucianna Da Fonseca, Rebecca Jones, Victoria King, Brian Meyer, Sheridan Taormina, Kevin Trieu, and Exercise Science student Alexandria Cummuta
  • Scholastic Silver Medallion Awardees (GPA of 3.7 and above): Health System Management students Iwona Barnas, Irvin Erazo, Victoria Gordon, Janaki Panchal, Ishani Patel, Parisa Piri, Kyla Marie Pomer, Mallory Ursul, and Exercise Science student Allison Rydberg
  • Spirit of St. Ignatius Awardees: Health System Management students Luis Garcia, Victoria Gordon, Sheridan Taormina, and Exercise Science students Alexandria Cummuta and Sam French
  • Advocacy and Leadership Awardees: Health System Management students Ishani Patel and Luis Garcia, and Exercise Science student Brennan Martin
  • Dean’s Gold Medallion Awardees: Health System Management student Janaki Panchal and Exercise Science student Allison Rydberg

Commencement
Commencement for the graduate school was held on Tuesday, May 5, while commencement for the undergraduates took place on Wednesday, May 6, both at the Lake Shore Campus. Melanie Dreher, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean emeritus, Rush University College of Nursing, was the guest speaker for the undergraduate ceremony. Exercise Science student Alexandria Cummuta was the student speaker. Click here to browse 2015 Commencement photos. 

Day of Scholarship
The Day of Scholarship took place for Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Dietetics students on Thursday, May 7, at the Health Sciences Campus. The event highlighted the scholarly work of these students and celebrated the completion of their coursework.

MSN students are required to complete their comprehensive examination paper on a self-selected topic. Graduates then present their topic to other students, faculty members, and invited guests.

Forty-eight graduates presented their work. Topics ranged from recognition of blunt abdominal trauma to antibiotic resistance to the effectiveness of patient portals.

Leadership Transition at Loyola University Chicago

Father Garanzini to step down

Dear Members of the Loyola Community,

After a series of conversations and planning that he initiated with the Board of Trustees, Father Garanzini has decided to step down from his position as President and CEO of Loyola University Chicago on June 30, 2015. This transition will allow Father Garanzini to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of his position as Secretary for Higher Education for the Society of Jesus, in which he is tasked with promoting Jesuit higher education around the world. After 14 years of leadership, and with the knowledge that Loyola’s financial footing and academic programs are strong, Father Garanzini feels the time is ripe for a new leader to shepherd the University and our students.

The Board of Trustees has asked Father Garanzini to continue his service to Loyola as Chancellor, where he will serve at the direction of the President for whatever amount of time is needed. As Chancellor, Father Garanzini will serve in an advisory capacity to advance strategic projects, assist the Advancement Division with fundraising, and consult on international programs, as requested by the President and the Board of Trustees.

At the request of the Board of Trustees, John Pelissero, PhD, has generously agreed to serve as Interim President, beginning July 1, 2015. John has been a member of Loyola’s political science faculty for 30 years. He joined University administration in 2003, when he served as Associate Provost for Curriculum Development until 2005. From 2005–10, John held the position of Vice Provost, and in 2010, he was elected as Provost and Chief Academic Officer. John is uniquely qualified to lead Loyola during this transition. He is a member of all of the University’s institutional administrative bodies, including the Cabinet, the Council of Deans (which he chairs), two committees of the Board of Trustees, the Budget Review Team, and the Development Council. He also serves as an ex officio member of the University Senate. John’s deep knowledge of Loyola, his commitment, and his invaluable contributions to our strategic efforts will continue to benefit Loyola and the students we serve.

Samuel Attoh, PhD, currently Dean of The Graduate School and Associate Provost for Research, has graciously agreed to serve as Interim Provost beginning July 1.

These leadership changes will provide us ample opportunity to conduct a comprehensive presidential search over the next year. We anticipate that a search firm will be retained to assist a small group—primarily composed of Trustees—in conducting a national search for our next University leader. We are confident that Loyola’s prestige as a university rooted in the Jesuit, Catholic heritage will attract extraordinarily talented Jesuit and lay leaders who are able to fulfill our mission. Additional information regarding the search process will be sent to all members of the Loyola community after the June Board of Trustees meeting.

Thank you for everything you do for Loyola and for your continued support during this important transition.

Sincerely,

Robert L. Parkinson Jr. (BBA ’73, MBA ’75)
Chairman, Board of Trustees

cc: Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.
     President and CEO

Loyola to offer high school students a look at healthcare careers

Program explores complexities, opportunities

MAYWOOD, Ill. (March 17, 2015) – High school students will have the opportunity to explore careers in the U.S. healthcare system this summer at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON).

The course, “Healthcare in America,” will provide an introduction to the healthcare system and an overview of its structure and functions. Students also will learn how to describe and explain the political, economic and social factors that influence the provision of healthcare.

This seminar, set for June 8 – 12 and, again, June 15 – 19, is part of a series that will allow students to consider career possibilities in healthcare and identify public-health issues and interventions to address them. The program includes daily lectures, demonstrations, discussions, hands-on sessions and field trips.

“This seminar series gives highly motivated high school students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the healthcare profession,” said Regina Conway-Phillips, PhD, RN, assistant professor, MNSON. “With an abundance of careers in the healthcare industry, this course will empower students to discover their talents and areas of interest.”

For more information, visit LUC.edu/summerscholars/academics/pre-health/.

Vitamin D may help prevent and treat diseases associated with aging, Loyola study finds

Vitamin D and aging

Further research needed to address common issue in older adults

MAYWOOD, Ill. (March 16, 2015) – Vitamin D may play a vital role in the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with aging, according to researchers at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON). These findings were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Aging and Gerontology.

Researchers reviewed evidence that suggests an association between vitamin D deficiency and chronic diseases associated with aging such as cognitive decline, depression, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.

“Vitamin D deficiency is a common, serious medical condition that significantly affects the health and well-being of older adults,” said Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, study author and full professor, MNSON.

Older adults are at risk for vitamin D deficiency due to diet, reduced time outdoors and poor skin absorption of the nutrient.  With the number of people ages 65 and older expected to more than double from 2012 to 2060, the problem will become much more prevalent.

“Better understanding the relationship between vitamin D and chronic diseases in older adults and whether treatment of vitamin D deficiency can prevent or treat these disorders is important given the increasing number of people at risk for these health issues,” said Meghan Meehan, FNP-BC ’13, study author, MNSON.  

The Institute of Medicine generally recommends that adults up to 70 years of age take 600 IU of vitamin D daily and adults over the age of 70 consume 800 IU of the nutrient daily.

Study authors concluded that as the older population continues to grow, universal guidelines for testing and treating vitamin D deficiency are needed. Research to examine the proper dosing of vitamin D supplements necessary to prevent the chronic diseases of aging also would have significant benefit for future generations.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Loyola University Chicago's graduate nursing program among nation’s best

Loyola recognized for excellence in nursing education

MAYWOOD, Ill. (March 12, 2015) – U.S. News & World Report magazine has ranked Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing as one of the 2016 Best Nursing Schools in the nation. Loyola’s Master of Science in nursing program was ranked 51st in the nation.

U.S. News surveyed accredited nursing schools nationwide. Out of 273 responding schools, 246 were eligible to be included in the rankings. U.S. News chose to rank master's programs, because they account for the largest graduate enrollment in nursing.

Master's programs in nursing were ranked based on expert opinions about program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. 

“Our School of Nursing is honored to be recognized for the world-class education that we provide our students,” said MariJo Letizia, PhD, RN, APN/ANP-BC, FAANP, Professor and Associate Dean of Masters and DNP Programs, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “Prospective students can feel confident knowing that Loyola will prepare them well for advancing their nursing career, including the vital role that graduate-level nurses play in clinical care, research, education and administration.” 

U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best Graduate Schools issue is available online at usnews.com/best-graduate-schools and in the print issue available on newsstands Tuesday, April 7.

Open doors for nurses

The following letter by Dean Vicki Keough was published March 2, 2015 in the Chicago Sun-Times.

As dean of the Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and as a nurse practitioner (NP), I am writing in response to the letter from Tuesday, Feb. 17, opposing House Bill 421 allowing NPs to practice without restrictions in Illinois.

NPs currently cannot practice without a collaborative agreement with a physician or a health-care organization in the state. NPs are highly educated, highly skilled professionals who should have the opportunity to practice to the full extent of their education and skills, as they do in 22 other states in America.

Approximately 15,000 new NPs enter the health-care workforce each year. Allowing nurse practitioners to practice without restrictions would help to address the primary care physician shortage and access-to-care issues facing Illinois residents. Physicians alone cannot tackle this problem. In fact, nurses and physicians together will make a stronger team who, united, can improve healthcare for the public.

Other reasons to support House Bill 421 include:

  • Research clearly demonstrates that NPs provide excellent care that is equal to the care given by physicians.
  • NPs hold prescriptive privileges in all 50 states and in Washington, DC.
  • By providing high-quality care and counseling, NPs can lower the cost of healthcare for patients. Patients who see NPs as their primary-care provider often have fewer emergency room visits, shorter hospital stays and lower medication costs.
  • Many NPs choose to leave Illinois to work in Iowa where they have independent practice authority.

Loyola University Chicago NP graduates are well-prepared to deliver high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered care to the citizens of Illinois. I encourage you to write to your legislators to allow NPs to practice independently, so that the people of our state can more easily access the care they deserve.

Vicki A. Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN
Dean and Professor, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
Loyola University Chicago

Loyola students offer pregnancy support groups

Groups help women prepare for motherhood

MAYWOOD, Ill. (Feb. 25, 2015) — Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing students are helping moms-to-be prepare for the arrival of their infants. Two support groups for expectant mothers are being offered free of charge in the underserved community surrounding Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.

“Loyola has a long history of outreach to those in need,” said Monica Dillon, RN, community public health nurse and project facilitator, Loyola Community Nursing Center. “Helping expectant mothers during pregnancy and in preparation for childbirth and parenthood is another extension of this service to the surrounding community.”

One support group will be held Mondays, March 9 through April 20, from 1:30-3 p.m. at the Heartland Health Center, 1300 W. Devon Ave., Chicago. The second group will take place on Fridays, Feb. 27 through April 17, from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Howard Area Family Health Center, 7510 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago.

Nursing students, dietetic interns and exercise science students will facilitate the groups and discuss a variety of topics about pregnancy and newborn care. Topics will include:

  • Eating healthy for mother-to-be and baby
  • Exercise during pregnancy
  • Discomforts of pregnancy and what to do to feel better
  • Having a birth plan: Labor and delivery
  • Taking care of the newborn baby
  • When to call the doctor or midwife during pregnancy

 All are welcome. Lights snacks will be served.

 For questions about the support group, contact the Loyola University Community Nursing Center at 773.508.3339.

28th Annual Ruth K. Palmer Symposium will address health inequities

2015 palmer symposium

Researchers invited to share knowledge at inter-professional conference

MAYWOOD, Ill. (January 9, 2015) – The 28th Annual Ruth K. Palmer Research Symposium will address “Inequities in Health: From Cells to Community.”

This event will begin on Saturday, April 11, at 8:30 a.m. (registration and poster viewing is from 7:45-8:30 a.m.) on Loyola University Chicago’s Health Sciences Campus, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood.

Keynote speaker Shirley Moore, PhD, RN, FAAN, will present “Using Tailored and Targeted Interventions to Reduce Health Disparities.” Dr. Moore is a professor of nursing and associate dean for research at Case Western University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in Cleveland.

“This year’s conference features research designed to increase the understanding of health inequities and strategies to close this gap in care,” said Vicki A. Keough, PhD, RN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, Dean of Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “This event will engage diverse groups and share inter-professional knowledge to help reduce health inequities and further Loyola’s social justice efforts.”             

Dr. Moore will join a respected panel of speakers. Their presentations will:

  • advance understanding of the links between biological, behavioral, social, community and environmental determinants of health inequities;
  • provide a forum to disseminate research about the processes underlying the origin and maintenance of health inequities and interventions based on this knowledge;
  • identify areas requiring increased conceptual, empirical and methodological development needed to resolve health inequities;
  • and identify opportunities for collaborative interdisciplinary research that addresses health.

Nurses, nurse practitioners, educators, administrators, health-care professionals and students are invited to attend the presentations.
Poster sessions also will continue throughout the day. The deadline to submit an abstract for a poster presentation is Sunday, February 15. Notifications of acceptance will be given by Sunday, March 15.

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Alpha Beta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International and Loyola University Health System (LUHS) will sponsor this event.

LUHS is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Illinois Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. This educational activity is being presented without the provision of commercial support and without bias or conflict of interest from the planners and presenters.

This activity will offer nursing contact hours.

The symposium was established from the Ruth K. Palmer Memorial Endowment: a gift of dean emeritus Gladys Kiniery in memory of her sister.

Visit the Palmer Symposium page for more information.

Loyola public health researchers receive grant to develop health improvement program for low-income minorities

LUC grant to develop health improvement program low income minorities

An interprofessional team from Loyola supports improved community health at its School-Based Health Center in Proviso East High School, Maywood, Ill.

MAYWOOD, Il. (Feb 17, 2015) – Loyola University Chicago public health researchers have received a $500,000 grant from the George M. Eisenberg Foundation for Charities, based in Arlington Heights, Ill., for a 10-year study to improve the health of low-income minority residents in communities surrounding Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus in Maywood. The grant is an affirmation of Loyola’s commitment to public health and community service.

Researchers will develop and test a Family-based Lifestyle Intervention Program (FLIP) for low-income African American and Hispanic/Latino families. The program will promote the adoption of healthy lifestyles and help families navigate the healthcare system. Activities include meeting monthly with families, quarterly health assessments (including measuring weight, blood pressure, fitness levels, etc.) and monthly cooking and fitness workshops. Researchers will examine the long-term effects (over 10 years) of such intervention in families. Most previous public-health interventions have had limited durations.

A lifestyle team comprised of a medical student, dietetic intern, exercise science student, public health student and healthcare navigator will administer FLIP. The navigator will receive extensive training in Affordable Care Act coverage options for low-income families, and how to refer these families to Affordable Care Act navigators employed by the state.

Loyola’s Health Sciences Division seeks to alleviate reduce health disparities through research that emphasizes improvement in healthcare access and effective disease prevention strategies for underserved populations.

Loyola students and staff to participate in poverty simulation

Exercise to teach compassion and empathy for underserved

MAYWOOD, Ill. (Feb. 3, 2015) – Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences students, faculty and staff will participate in simulations to help them better understand what it is like to live in poverty.

The simulations will take place from 9 a.m.-noon Feb. 7 at St. Eulalia’s Church, 1851 S. 9th Ave. in Maywood and 6-9 p.m. Feb. 10 in Mundelein Auditorium, 1020 W. Sheridan Rd. on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.

During the simulation, participants will role-play families living in poverty while others will serve as representatives from social service agencies.

“Participants will come away with a better understanding of the impact poverty has on health and well-being,” said Aaron Michelfelder, MD, co-director for the University’s Institute for Transformative Interprofessional Education (I-TIE) and family medicine physician, Loyola University Health System. “This workshop also will teach our students, doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals how to better care comprehensively for patients in the context and realities in which they live.”

Loyola faculty will determine how this simulation can be used in its curricula while Loyola doctors and other health-care professionals will be able to apply their findings directly to patient care.

“Loyola has a rich history of shaping our students into competent, compassionate, and socially responsible health-care professionals,” said Fran Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA, FAAN, department chair at the University’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and co-director for I-TIE. “This program is in line with our mission, as it gives our faculty and students a greater understanding of the needs of the underserved, making them more compassionate and well-rounded health-care professionals.”

This workshop is part of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration I-CARE-PATH grant (#UD7HP26040). The goal of the grant is to foster interprofessional education within schools of nursing, medicine, dietetics, social work and public health to ultimately improve care for patients.

Partner caregivers of veterans with traumatic-brain injury may be at risk for chronic disease

Researchers find link between certain feelings and inflammation

MAYWOOD, Ill. (Feb. 3, 2015) – Blame and anger associated with the grief of caring for a loved one with a traumatic-brain injury (TBI) may be related to inflammation and certain chronic diseases, according to researchers from Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. These findings were published in the latest issue of Biological Research for Nursing.

“Traumatic-brain injuries can result in devastating physical and cognitive impairments,” said Karen Saban, PhD, RN, APRN, CNRN, study co-author and associate professor at Niehoff. “Grief, anger and blame are common among caregivers who are left to cope with these profound disabilities and the loss of the person they once knew. These feelings may put these individuals at risk for inflammatory-related disease.”

Since 2000, more than 240,000 members of the U.S. military have been diagnosed with a TBI. Of these, nearly 43,000 are considered to have suffered a moderate or severe TBI. This injury often results in physically debilitating conditions such as seizures, muscle spasticity, coordination impairment, poor muscle strength and significant cognitive problems, including memory loss, impaired information processing, perceptual skills, personality changes and communication deficits.

This study examined grief and its association with inflammation in 40 wives or partners caring for veterans with TBIs. Study participants completed written measures of grief, perceived stress and symptoms of depression and provided morning saliva samples to measure TNF-alpha, a substance associated with inflammation and chronic disease.

Study participants reported levels of grief comparable to individuals who have lost a loved one. Their grief was not associated with TNF-alpha or inflammation in general. However, higher levels of TNF-alpha were found in individuals who reported high levels of blame and anger associated with their grief. High levels of TNF-alpha are related to a variety of inflammatory-related health issues and may be an important indicator of caregivers at risk for developing chronic health problems such as heart disease.

“This research gives us a better understanding of the relationship between blame, anger, grief and inflammation,” Dr. Saban said. “This may assist clinicians in identifying caregivers who are at greatest risk for developing inflammatory-related health problems and managing them appropriately.”

Loyola researcher shares 5 strategies scholars use in writing medical review articles

MAYWOOD, Ill. (Jan. 21, 2015)  Review articles in medical journals inform and enlighten physicians and other readers by summarizing the research on a given topic and setting the stage for further studies.

In an article in the journal Academic Medicine (published December 2014), William McGaghie, PhD, of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, identifies the five main strategies scholars use when writing review articles: narrative review, systematic review, scoping, critical-realist and open peer commentary.

These different approaches to synthesizing research “are not necessarily better or worse than one another, just different, ” Dr. McGaghie writes. Each tradition involves hard work and requires “polished writing to convey its message with clarity and simplicity.”

Dr. McGaghie is director of the Ralph P. Leischner Jr. MD Institute for Medical Education, vice chair, Department of Medical Education, and professor of medical education at Stritch.

Writing a review article involves a type of scholarly work called integrative scholarship. The late educator Ernest Boyer, PhD, wrote that integrative scholarship puts isolated facts in perspective, makes connections across disciplines and illuminates data in a revealing way. Integrative scholarship, Dr. Boyer wrote, is “serious, disciplined work that seeks to interpret, draw together and bring new insight to bear on original research.”

Research integration involves seven steps: formulate the problem; search the literature; gather information from studies; evaluate the quality of studies; analyze and integrate the outcomes of studies; interpret the evidence; and present the results.

Dr. McGaghie identifies the five traditions of writing review articles:

Narrative review. Until recently, this was the most common, influential and widely endorsed approach. An author or authors stakes out an area of published writing and aggregates the evidence based on expert opinion or judgment. Data are abstracted from the reviewed articles and compiled into evidence tables. An “expert” summarizes his or her understanding of the issues in a review article.

Systematic review. This is a distinct, reproducible research method requiring a testable hypothesis or focused research question. The literature search is systematic and comprehensive; articles are selected for inclusion according to criteria set in advance. As in narrative reviews, data are compiled into evidence tables. Data then are interpreted in the context of all relevant studies.

Scoping. This is a relatively new strategy. The intent is to produce a quick, narrative, descriptive account of the scope of current literature addressing a key research question.

Critical-realist. This is a hybrid of the narrative, systematic and scoping review methods. It relies simultaneously on both professional judgment and rigorous methodology.

Open peer commentary. In this approach, a journal solicits or commissions an article that is provocative, controversial or at the leading edge of science or scholarship. The peer-reviewed article is followed by commentaries that may endorse, refute, amplify or refine its methods, substance or conclusions. The author of the target article has the final say in the form of rebuttal, summary remarks and comments.

Dr. McGaghie writes: “Reviewers and editors should recognize and respect the five integrative scholarship traditions and also be ready to embrace new approaches to research synthesis such as network analysis now on the horizon.”

Dr. McGaghie’s article is titled “Varieties of integrative scholarship: Why rules of evidence, criteria and standards matter.”

Loyola names 2015 Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Award winners

MLK 2015 Spirit Award Winners

The Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award Winners (from left), Charles Pearson, Emily Kertzman, LaBianca Wright and Alexander Argianas, were selected due to their inspirational service to others in the spirit of the late civil rights leader.

MAYWOOD, Ill. (Jan. 20, 2015) – Loyola University Chicago and Loyola University Health System today presented their Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards to individuals on the Health Sciences Campus who provide inspirational service to others in the spirit of the late civil rights leader.

The University honored Alexander Argianas, a School of Biomedical Sciences master’s student, for his volunteer work at the Employment Center at DuPage PADS in Wheaton, Ill., an organization focused on ending homelessness in the surrounding community. At the Employment Center, Argianas meets with clients and helps them create resumes, emails and cover letters and provides tutoring in math and science.

Emily Kertzman, a student in the accelerated BSN program of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, was recognized for her work as a medical assistant at Lawndale Christian Health Center and for her commitment to racial reconciliation through community development in healthcare. Kertzman calls North Lawndale her home. Living and working in this disadvantaged community on Chicago’s West Side has transformed her understanding of the social determinants of health that influence so many lives. 

LaBianca Wright, a Stritch School of Medicine student, received the award for her work in the launch of Loyola’s chapter of Health Professions Recruitment & Exposure Program (HPREP). This program prepares minority students from low-income families for careers in healthcare. Wright also volunteers at the student-run clinic in Rogers Park and has been active in global work in Haiti and Kenya. She was recently recognized by the American Medical Association with the “Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship” for her academic achievements and community engagement.

The 2015 Health System award winner was Charles Pearson, an officer in the department of security and safety. Pearson has worked at Loyola for 30 years. He was chosen for the ministry work he does in the prison system, with area homeless and as an associate pastor at his church.

The honorees formally accepted their awards at the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. event held in the Paul V. Galvin Memorial Chapel.

The keynote speech was given by Richard Payne, MD, professor of medicine and divinity at Duke University. He spoke about what his patients and Dr. King have taught him about dignity.

Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, interim provost, Health Sciences Division, and dean and chief diversity officer of Stritch, closed by urging staff, faculty and students  to join the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ (AJCU) efforts to add individual names to a statement of solidarity that affirms “BLACK lives matter, ALL lives matter, JUSTICE matters.” Participants are asked to e-mail odi@scu.edu from their campus email address, indicate in the subject line I endorse the call to action and include name, title and school.

Loyola’s exercise science lab is new setting for education, evaluation

LUC exercise science lab new setting for education

Dean Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN (left) cuts ceremonial ribbon alongside Stephanie Wilson, MPT, Director of the Exercise Science Program, at grand opening of Loyola University Chicago’s exercise science lab

Program is integral to prevention of disease and disability

MAYWOOD, Ill. (Jan. 15, 2015) – Loyola University Chicago’s exercise science lab,  which opened today on the school’s Lake Shore Campus, is both a classroom for traditional instruction and a state-of-the-art facility lab area for measuring and assessing performance.

Located on the 11th floor of BVM Hall, 6364 N. Sheridan Rd., overlooking Lake Michigan, the new lab features treadmills, exercise bikes and a metabolic cart that assesses the body’s physiological response to exercise. This device measures oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production at rest and during exercise. At rest, the cart can measure resting energy expenditure, which allows for the precise calculation of energy expenditure. The cart can also measure energy expenditure during exercise as well as maximal oxygen consumption, the gold standard measure of aerobic work capacity. The data obtained can be useful to both clinical stress-testing assessments and endurance exercise performance evaluations.

“The lab offers students the latest in exercise science technology along with greater space and flexibility,” said Stephanie Wilson, MPT, director of Loyola’s Exercise Science program. “The lab also will serve as a center for research in exercise science.”

Loyola’s bachelor’s degree in exercise science prepares students for careers in health and exercise-related fields. Through coursework and hands-on experience, students develop skills in assessing health behaviors and risk factors, conducting fitness evaluations, writing appropriate exercise prescriptions and motivating individuals to adopt positive lifestyle behaviors for optimal health. Students also receive education on the assessment, design and implementation of individual and group exercise and fitness programs for both healthy individuals and those with controlled disease.

“Exercise science programs will become increasingly important to improve the health of our population,” Wilson said. “Resources such as Loyola’s exercise science lab will be integral to educate students to help prevent disease and disability.”

Reporters interested in testing the exercise-science equipment may call Nora Dudley at 708.216.6268.

Single mom of four and former engineer pursues dream to care for critically ill

Single mom and former engineer earns BSN

Lynn Anne Gantt poses with her four boys Dec. 12 after receiving her accelerated bachelor’s of science in nursing degree.

MAYWOOD, Ill. (Dec. 15, 2014) – As a biomedical engineer, Lynn Anne Gantt longed to work on the frontlines of patient care. After having four boys, she took a break from engineering before discovering an outlet that would allow her to pursue her dream.  

Gantt enrolled in the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (ABSN) program at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. This 16-month, full-time program accepts students who hold non-nursing bachelor’s degrees.

Gantt’s time in the program was not without challenges. She was newly single with four young boys when she enrolled at Loyola. Her youngest child was just 3 years old. But this busy mom found a way to balance it all. She went to class and clinical experiences during the day while homeschooling her boys and finding time for her own studies at night. Gantt relied heavily on her mother and sister who took turns cooking, educating and caring for her boys while she was away.

“It was an intense time trying to negotiate my clinicals with classwork and family demands. I couldn’t have done it without the support of family,” Gantt said. “I also am grateful to my professors and classmates who made my experience worthwhile. Loyola’s Jesuit traditions and emphasis on compassionate care are something I will carry with me as I become a nurse.”

Gantt is finally realizing her dream. She graduated this month to pursue a position in critical-care nursing in the Chicago area. She was selected by her peers to speak at Loyola’s Honors and Pinning ceremony Dec. 12 at Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus in Maywood. This long-standing tradition represents the transition from student to nurse.

“While it’s true that we arrived on campus as separate, distinct individuals, we have now become unified in purpose, grown in compassionate skillful care and become transformed into men and women who will extend the healing ministry of Christ in the lives of those we meet with kindness, quality care and dignity,” Gantt said, as she welcomed 62 of her peers into the nursing profession. “I am extremely proud of each of you, and I have great confidence in the future of nursing.”

Outstanding students recognized

The following awards and honors were presented during the ceremony:

Dean’s Gold Key Award: Malaika Dent
The highest academic award, presented to a graduating student for excellence in scholarship, service and leadership. This student exemplifies the highest ideals of the University as a nurse and a citizen.

Nursing Alumni Award: Mary Beth Webb
Presented to an undergraduate nursing student who best exemplifies a commitment to excellence, values-based leadership, and service both to Loyola and the community while promoting fellowship among peers.

Laura Difiglio Klink Scholarship: Andrea DeFelice
Memorializes Laura Difiglio Klin, an ABSN student at Loyola devoted to learning how she could provide the best care to patients. Her efforts ended prematurely at age 31 in a fatal accident caused by a drunk driver.

Gladys Kiniery Clinical Excellence Award: Andrea DeFelice
Given in memory of Gladys Kiniery, MSPH, RN, second dean of Loyola’s nursing school (1947-66), to a graduating student who exemplifies excellence in clinical practice. 

Carol Kraft Memorial Award: Jessica Guerrieri
Given to a senior nursing or graduating ABSN student who best exemplifies excellence in the practice of nursing at the completion of clinical experience at Loyola University Medical Center.

Julia Lane Silver Key Award
Given to graduating ABSN students who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher:

  • Katelynn Bragg
  • Shaina Cherniak
  • John Cross
  • Kaitlin Dembski
  • Malaika Dent
  • Caryn Ellin
  • Kristen Fleischauer
  • Brigette Forney
  • Mikaila Gawryn
  • Jessica Guerrieri
  • Sahara Knapik-Christensen
  • Jessica Layman
  • Gerald Santangelo
  • Kelly Simon
  • Nicole Stupka
  • Hilary Toaddy
  • Nicolle Waldman
  • Mary Beth Webb

View photos of the event here.

Loyola School of Nursing faculty, students and alumni earn accolades

Recognitions highlight excellence in education, research and community relations

MAYWOOD, Ill. (Dec. 5, 2014) – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) recognized recent accomplishments and honors for faculty, students and alumni.

National recognition

SuperScholar.org ranked the MNSON online undergraduate nursing degrees (RN to BSN) No. 14 of the nation’s top 50 programs.

Karen Saban, PhD, APRN, CNRN, FAHA, associate professor, was appointed a site lead for the national VA Women's Health Practice-Based Research Network, which supports research initiatives across practice settings to improve the health of women veterans. The network helps local researchers share expertise and recruit from a larger pool of study participants.

Statewide recognition

The Illinois Board of Higher Education has named Carol Kostavich, PhD, RN, a nurse educator fellow. Kostavich, associate professor and director of simulation at MNSON, is one of only 22 nurse educators in Illinois who has been given this honor. As a fellow, she plans to further her work in simulation in nursing education.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn appointed Monica Dillon, RN, project director for Loyola’s Community Nursing Center, to the Illinois Community Health Worker Advisory Board. The board will recommend core skills and develop a certification process for community health workers in Illinois.

Patricia Friend, PhD, APN–CNS, AOCN, associate professor and program director, Oncology Specialty Master’s Programs, and Lee Schmidt, PhD, RN, senior associate dean for academic affairs and associate dean for undergraduate programs, received the Pinnacle Nurse Leader Award at the 2014 Power of Nursing Leadership annual event Nov. 6 in Chicago.

Student recognition

Health Sciences Management student Samantha Cordova was named a Loyola University Chicago McNair Scholar. The McNair Scholars program prepares qualified students for doctoral education. Cordova was one of only 30 students to be chosen university-wide. She plans to study issues related to cultural competence and diversity in the healthcare workplace.

Nursing student Meg Ryan received the President’s Medallion for MNSON. This award is presented annually to the university’s most outstanding students in recognition of service and scholarship.
Simi Joseph, DNP ’14, APN, NP-C, was awarded first prize at the Illinois Association for Advanced Practice Nursing annual meeting for her poster “EBP Project: Using an Electronic Educational Module to Improve APN Adherence with a Preventative Care Protocol for Immunocompromised Patients.”

The MNSON Alpha Beta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International nursing honor society inducted 72 undergraduate and graduate students. The students and their families attended the induction ceremony Nov. 1 at Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.

Community recognition

Joanne Kouba, PhD, RDN, associate professor, spoke Nov. 5 at the Healthier Communities Learning Institute sponsored by YMCA of the USA. “School Nutrition and Obesity Prevention: Elevating Community Partnerships” covered strategies through university-community partnerships such as Loyola’s School-Based Health Center at Proviso East High School and the Grand Family Challenge through Maywood Fine Arts Center.

Teens from the Loyola-sponsored Proviso East School-Based Health Center’s Lunch Bunch Program participated in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's “Don’t Get Burned by Big Tobacco” video contest with an Instagram video exposing the harmfulness of candy-flavored tobacco products. The teens took a pledge to be poison-free.

Loyola Center for Fitness earns medical fitness facility certification

Certification is highest honor for medically integrated health and fitness designation

MAYWOOD, Ill. (Dec. 1, 2014) – Loyola Center for Fitness announced that that it has become a Certified Medical Fitness Facility by the Medical Fitness Association, the country’s leading organization dedicated to medically integrated wellness and fitness facilities. This certification demonstrates that Loyola Center for Fitness meets the highest standards for a medically integrated health and fitness facility. This is a significant step in providing for the health of the entire community and to individuals taking responsibility for their personal health care.

“We are truly proud of our team for the hard work and dedication they exerted during the preparations and certification process,” said Jaimie Lehotsky, Center Director, Loyola Center for Fitness.

This program is the first and only certification offered specifically to facilities in the medical fitness industry, which serves more than 4 million members. Based on the Medical Fitness Association’s internationally recognized Standards and Guidelines for Medical Fitness Facilities, the certification process involves an in-depth, on-site review of a facility’s adherence to the standards and guidelines. The certification process is an integral part of ensuring that facilities provide a high level of quality and safety in the programs and services they deliver in order for them to become integrated into the local continuum of health care. The Medical Fitness Association Facility Certification is recognized as a mark of excellence in the health and wellness industry.

“With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and its impact on health-care systems beginning to be realized, the industry is looking for ways to better manage and coordinate care for the communities they serve. As the incidence of chronic disease continues to rise, the need for more medically supervised, outcomes and accountability-based exercise as medicine programs have never been more relevant in our industry than today. It is clear that the task to produce and deliver this revolution in the provision of health care with all its necessary components and guidelines is a herculean task. Loyola Center for Fitness has taken an important step towards filling a gap in the current care delivery model,” saidRobert D Boone, FACHE, FMFA, President and CEO, Medical Fitness Association.

About Loyola Center for Fitness
Loyola University Chicago Center for Fitness approaches health and wellness from a medically integrated perspective. Our dedicated and educated team, state-of-the-art facility and comprehensive programs provide our members and guests with all tools needed to reach their personal health and fitness goals. Loyola Center for Fitness offers a large selection of individualized health, fitness and educational programs that focus on improving the quality of life for the healthy individual as well as those with chronic medical conditions. We are unique in our commitment to meeting each and every member and guest’s individual needs. 

For more information, call Val Walkowiak at 708.327.3526.

Majority of women report sexual dysfunction after childbirth

Loyola study underway to evaluate pelvic pain and its association to sexual health

MAYWOOD, Ill. (Nov. 25, 2014) – Many women notice that their sexual health changes after childbirth, according to researchers from Loyola University Chicago. Loyola researchers have a study underway to determine the extent to which pelvic pain may be related to this change.

“Many women experience physical changes after childbirth. This can lead to significant disability and impaired sexual function,” said Sandi Tenfelde, PhD, RN, APN, study co-investigator, assistant professor and director of the Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) Program, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “We plan to learn more about pelvic pain and its association to reduced sexual function to ultimately improve sexual health for women after childbirth.”

As a woman’s body changes during pregnancy and after the birth of a baby, her sexual function may change as well. The recovery to pre-pregnancy levels of sexual health after childbirth is gradual and varies by individual. Factors that can affect postpartum sexual health include body image and perineal pain related to trauma from childbirth. Despite the high number of women affected by pelvic pain after childbirth, the cause remains unknown. The relationship between postpartum pelvic pain and sexual function also has not been well studied.

Researchers are recruiting women for this study who are between the ages of 21 – 50 and who have delivered a baby in the past year. The study will help clinicians and researchers understand how pregnancy and postpartum changes affect sexual health and quality of life.

Study participants will be seen at Loyola’s Pelvic Floor Clinic in Maywood. They will be recruited from across the Chicago area and from the Wellness Clinic for Mothers at the Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge. This was the first multidisciplinary program in the Chicago area to help women recover from pain, injuries and other pelvic floor disorders related to pregnancy and childbirth.

For more information or to enroll in the study, contact Dr. Sandi Tenfelde at 708-216-9213.

Dr. Michael Koller, Beloved Loyola Stritch Physician and Teacher, 1960 – 2014

MAYWOOD, Ill. Michael Koller, MD, a compassionate physician, master teacher, skilled musician and beloved member of the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine community, died peacefully at his Oak Park home Nov. 11 after a long illness. He was 53.

Dr. Koller was assistant dean for Educational Affairs; chair of the Admissions Committee; director of the Second Year Curriculum; associate professor; and president of the Alumni Relations Board. He twice received teacher-of-the-year awards: the Outstanding Basic Science Faculty of the Year Award and the Ralph Leischner Master Teacher Award.

“Dr. Koller touched innumerable lives in his many roles here, serving as a model for students and colleagues alike,” said Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, dean and chief diversity officer of Stritch School of Medicine.

Colleagues described Dr. Koller as generous, caring, supportive, loving and kind, with an endearing and self-deprecating sense of humor.

“He was Loyola through and through,” said Aaron Michelfelder, MD, assistant dean for educational affairs.

Sandra Cavalieri, senior manager for Educational Affairs, added: “Dr. Koller gave of himself totally to everyone. We all loved him very much.”

Dr. Koller was a highly skilled pianist and pipe organist. He was the longtime music director and choir director at St. Victor Parish in Calumet City, Ill. And every fall, he wrote and starred in a humorous music video urging Loyola University Health System employees to get flu shots. Wearing crazy costumes, he would sing pop songs with rewritten lyrics – for example singing “The Flu is Back” to the tune of “My Boyfriend’s Back.”

Dr. Koller grew up in Calumet City and graduated from Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond, Ind. and Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill. He earned a medical degree and completed a residency in internal medicine at Loyola Stritch.

Dr. Koller, an internist,  treated about 300 priests from the Archdiocese of Chicago and Diocese of Joliet, and chaired the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Health Program for Priests Advisory Board.

After becoming a physician, Dr. Koller earned a master of divinity degree from University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein Seminary). “His experience as a seminarian, and his love for the Church, gave Dr. Koller an affectionate affinity toward the priesthood, which translated into a desire to serve the health needs of priests,” said Keith Muccino, S.J., MD, a priest and Loyola physician. “He understood that priests can at times be self-giving to the exclusion of their personal health needs.”

Dr. Koller’s nurse, Ramute Kemeza, RN, said Dr. Koller was  “personable, focused, dedicated and caring. He was concerned about the entire patient, not just the physical component.”

Dr. Koller volunteered at many student and alumni events, often serving as an ambassador for the school.

Dr. Koller is survived by his loving brother Mark (Eileen) Koller, DDS. He is the cherished uncle of Erin, Sean and Brendan Koller, and beloved son of his late father, John C. Koller, and his late mother, Marcy Koller.

Visitation will be Friday, Nov. 21, from 3-8 p.m. at St. Victor Church, 553 Hirsh St., Calumet City. Visitation again will be held on Saturday, Nov. 22, from 9:30 a.m. until the time of mass at 10:30 a.m. at St. Victor Church. Entombment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum in Calumet City.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Michael W. Koller, MD/William C. Bayer, MD, Medical Student Scholarship Fund at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Contributions also may be made payable to Loyola University Chicago, St. Victor Church or the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.

Loyola school of nursing holds dedication to the profession ceremony

MNSON Dedication to the Profession

Event welcomes nursing students into the profession 

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing held its Dedication to the Profession ceremony and reception last month in Madonna della Strada Chapel. 

The annual event replaces the former capping ceremony where students received their white caps and uniforms before they began to work as student nurses. Today, the ceremony allows junior class nursing students to reflect and pledge themselves to the health-care profession. 

Loyola faculty presided over the ceremony and blessed the hands of students and health-care professionals in the audience. Alumni and upperclassmen also led a procession and lighted candles to symbolize the passing of the school’s ideals onto the students to continue the work and beliefs of the university.   

Loyola faculty member Joanne Dunderdale, MSN, RN, AFACNP-BC, provided the keynote address. Jorgia Connor, PhD, RN, director of the BSN program, served as the emcee of the ceremony, and Lee Schmidt, PhD, RN, offered the welcome remarks. Junior nursing student Shawn O'Neill delivered a reflection. 

The students also spoke about symbolic aspects of the ceremony and the health-care profession. They provided reflections about their student experiences and their decision to join the school and health-care communities. 

Following the ceremony, the school hosted a reception at the Donovan Reading Room to celebrate the occasion with students, families, guests, alumni, faculty and staff. Loyola archivist Kathy Young and the Junior Nursing Student Council displayed the exhibit “Past, Present and Future of Nursing” showcasing photos, articles and memorabilia from the University. 

View photos from the event here.

Spiritual leader at Loyola Health Sciences Campus leaving for leadership role in Rome


MAYWOOD, Ill. – Sister Brenda Eagan, IBVM, D.Min., director of University Ministry for Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division (HSD), is leaving in December for an eight-year commitment as one of four Consultors to the Superior General of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

She will be a part of a leadership group that will help to implement five major goals that will help meet needs through the world. This will include traveling to places around the world where the IBVM is ministering and working with the sisters in those areas to ensure they are supported and that the mission is being lived out. She also will be working with other religious groups in Rome and the United Nations to bring help and hope.

“We believe that Jesus is at the center of all our planning and actions. So we will do what He says as we make our way through these eight years, one day at a time,” said Sister Eagan.

An advocate for social justice

For more than 26 years she has been a leader for student advocacy and spurred many health professionals on in their pursuit for social justice in communities across Chicagoland and around the world.

“Sister Brenda has stitched into the fabric of our institution the notion that service, the gift of one’s self to another in need, is at the heart of our understanding of professional education, an education always directed toward the greater glory of God,” said John Hardt, PhD, vice president and associate provost, mission integration, Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division.

She was a visionary for the HSD’s Center for Community and Global Health, which strives to prepare students in the Jesuit tradition of collaborative outreach and interdisciplinary research with a commitment to advocacy, solidarity and a passion for social justice. Under her leadership, the International Service Immersion trips have become a source for change in the lives of people in need around the world and have encouraged health professionals to become advocates for the marginalized and forgotten.

Happiness and unity

During her tenure, many initiatives for staff, students and faculty have flourished. The annual Thanksgiving basket drive has provided thousands of meals to local families who otherwise would go without. The drive also has brought happiness and unity to Loyola employees as they worked together to fill the baskets.

“Working with Brenda has been a joy. In the 12 years we’ve worked together she has been a colleague, motivator and friend. She will be sorely missed by our family,” said Cynthia Winters, administrative assistant, Student Ministry. “She is the kind of person who comes into your life that ministers to you and encourages you to become a better person. I am grateful for the times together and know that she will make as huge impact as she blazes a trail on her next journey. Look out Rome, an angelic voice is on her way and you’ll never be the same.”

This year, baskets will be collected at the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine November 17-19. For more information on making a donation, call (708) 216-3245.

For media inquiries, contact Evie Polsley at epolsley@lumc.edu or call (708) 216-5313.

Loyola researcher: To succeed in academia, today’s grad students need ‘street smarts’

MAYWOOD, Il.In an era of reduced funding, it’s not enough for a young researcher to be a good scientist. He or she also needs “street smarts” to, for example, find an influential mentor, dress professionally, network during scientific meetings and be able to describe a research project in the time it takes to ride an elevator.

These are among the techniques taught at a “Street Smarts for Science” workshop offered at the 2014 Society for Leukocyte Biology meeting, and described in the November issue of the journal Nature Immunology.

What students learn in the workshops can help them “navigate educational and professional waters to find success in academia,” Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD, and colleagues report. Kovacs, a professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, initiated the workshops and is senior author of the report published in Nature Immunology.

The proportion of PhDs who obtain tenured or tenure-track faculty positions has declined from 34 percent in 1993 to 26 percent in 2012, according to the National Institutes of Health.

“Worldwide fiscal constraints have trimmed government and private sources of research funding, which has created an increasingly competitive landscape for young scientists looking to succeed in academia,” Kovacs and colleagues write. “Thus, students seeking tenure-track faculty positions must make efficient use of their training time and network with colleagues in their scientific discipline, including potential employers.”

Here is a sampling of the career advice offered in the workshop and described in the report in Nature Immunology:

Find a mentor. Preferably, a mentor should be in a tenured position, or at least be around long enough to see the graduate student through the entire project. The mentor should exemplify what the young researcher wants to do professionally. Ideal mentors have “pull,” meaning they are well-established and credible, and thus can help in job searches -- especially in writing recommendations.

Self marketing. In today’s research environment, the ability to describe your research is as important – if not more important – than the research itself. “In many cases, brilliant scientists with potentially groundbreaking ideas fall short because they cannot communicate their ideas or the importance of their research to the appropriate audience.” A researcher should be able to describe his or her work and goals in one to three minutes  – roughly the time it takes to ride an elevator.

Networking tips. Get exposure by, for example, asking thoughtful questions after presentations. Collaborate. Be friendly: Sometimes it’s not what you know but whom you know that counts when seeking a job, grant, research opportunity, etc. “You never know how far kindness can get you.” Tap into potential networking opportunities. For example, if you like sports, join a sports club so you can network there.

Make the most of scientific conferences. Beforehand, do research into the speakers and topics. “This will allow the young scientists to ask more insightful questions and get more from each session.”

Dress well. “While it is true that one cannot judge a book by its cover, first impressions are lasting. Junior researchers should dress as if attending an interview because every encounter might represent an opportunity for advancement.” If another participant has a MD or PhD, address the individual as Dr. until invited to use a first name. Turn off your cell phone, because conferences “are places to learn and network.”

Kovacs is co-director of the Burn &  Shock Trauma Research Institute and a professor in the Department of Surgery at Stritch.  Co-authors are Michael M. Chen, a MD/PhD student and first author; Anita Zahs, PhD; and Sulie L. Chang, PhD.

Loyola Stritch names Katherine Radek, Michael Nishimura Junior and Senior Scientists of the Year

Stritch Junior and Senior Scientists

Senior Scientist Michael Nishimura, PhD, and Junior Scientist Katherine Radek, PhD, (right) with Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, Loyola University Chicago Interim Provost of Health Sciences and Dean and Chief Diversity Officer of Stritch School of Medicine.

MAYWOOD, Il.Michael I. Nishimura, PhD, who is developing therapies designed to turn patients’ own immune systems into potent weapons against cancer, has been named 2014 Senior Scientist of the Year at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Katherine Radek, PhD, who is studying immune system function and wound healing, has been named Stritch School of Medicine’s 2014 Junior Scientist of the Year.

The awards were announced during Loyola’s 35th annual St. Albert’s Day, which celebrates the campus-wide commitment to research on the University’s Health Sciences Campus.

The Scientist of the Year awards are based on scholarly productivity, service to the institution and community, professional society activities, research funding, mentoring and peer-review activities for both scientific journals and external sponsors of research funding.

Nishimura a leader in immunotherapeutics

Nishimura is a nationally recognized leader in the field of immunotherapeutics. He has developed a new treatment involving a type of white blood cell called a T lymphocyte (or simply T cell). One type of T cell, known as a killer T cell, attaches to and kills cells it recognizes as abnormal.

A clinical trial is underway at Loyola of Nishimura’s experimental immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma. A batch of T cells is removed from the patient and genetically modified in the lab. Two genes are inserted into the cells so that they recognize tumor cells as abnormal. The cells then are infused back into the patient. The genetically modified T cells, it's hoped, will recognize the tumor cells as abnormal, and then attack and kill them.

Nishimura is program director of Immunologic Therapeutics, associate director of the Oncology Institute and a professor in the Department of Surgery at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He is principal investigator of a five-year, $16.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Nishimura, who lives in Crete, Ill., came to Loyola from the Medical University of South Carolina, where he was a professor in the Department of Surgery and scientific director of the Center for Cellular Therapy. Before that, he was an associate professor at the University of Chicago and a staff scientist at the National Cancer Institute. He earned his PhD from the University of Maryland, which named him the 2010 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in the Natural and Mathematical Sciences.

Radek an expert in wound healing

Radek is researching the mechanisms by which stress responses and nicotinic receptors influence the immune system in models of inflammatory skin disorders (such as atopic dermatitis and chronic wounds) and traumatic burn injury. Her lab is funded by the National Institutes of Health, a 3M Wound Healing Society Foundation Fellowship and the Ralph and Marian C. Falk Medical Research Trust.

Junior Scientist of the Year is the second major award Radek has won in 2014. In January, President Obama awarded Radek a Presidential Early Career Award. It’s the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers. She was among 102 researchers to receive the honor.

Radek grew up in Oak Lawn and Chicago and went to Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School. She earned a PhD degree in 2005 from Stritch, in the laboratory of Luisa DiPietro, DDS, PhD. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in 2009 at the University of California at San Diego, in the laboratory of Richard Gallo, MD, PhD. She now is an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery of Stritch and a member of the University’s Burn and Shock Trauma Research Institute.

Radek serves as chair of the Wound Healing Society Website Committee and is a core member of the Wound Healing Society Program Committee. She is an ad-hoc reviewer for several journals.

Students recognized

Students from the Lake Shore and Health Sciences Campuses who participated in the St. Albert's Day program were recognized at a dinner held Oct. 31 at Maggianos Little Italy, Oak Brook Center.

Oral presentations

Graduate students:

  • Mallory Paynich
  • Ryan Himes
  • Kristin Hicks

Medical students:

  • Matthew Zapf
  • Grant Harmon
  • Tomas Liskutin

Posters

  • Graduate Student Level 1-3:  Audrey Torcaso
  • Graduate Student Level 4+:  Jill Ippolito
  • Medical Student Level M1-M2: Julia Graham
  • Medical Student Level M3-M4: Anthony Joudi
  • Resident/Fellow: Lindsay Ambrecht
  • Postdoc/Research Associate: Daneyal Syed
  • Lake Shore Campus:  Sana Hira

St. Albert's Day 2014 photos

View photos from the event here.

Loyola school of nursing appoints associate dean for research

Veteran researcher and academician to guide young faculty

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Karyn Holm, PhD ’80, MS, BSN, FAAN, FAHA, has been named associate dean for research at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON). She returns to Loyola after serving as a professor from 1992 – 2001 and as chair in the Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing from 1992 – 1999.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Holm has returned to Loyola,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean, MNSON. “She is a seasoned nurse researcher and academician who brings valuable mentoring experience to this role. Her vast experience makes her an ideal fit to guide our young faculty and students.”

Holm comes to Loyola from DePaul University where she served as a Vincent de Paul professor and professor in the school of nursing. She was awarded the title of professor emerita at DePaul earlier this year. Prior to that, Holm held faculty, clinical and administrative positions at University of Illinois at Chicago, Rush University College of Nursing, and Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center.

“My career has prepared me to now help others shine,” Holm said. “I look forward to helping our next generation of faculty advance their work and see new possibilities in research that can promote the care of patients, families and communities.”

Holm is an accomplished researcher who has presented and published extensively. Her interest lies in the area of women’s health, heart disease, and functional and cognitive decline with repeated hospitalizations in the elderly. Holm has received numerous research grants and honors for her work, including DePaul University’s Women of Spirit and Action Award, a mentorship award from PhD students at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the SAGE Award from the Illinois Institute for Nursing Leadership. She also was named Marquette University women’s chair in humanistic studies.

In addition, she is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the American Heart Association. Holm also is a member of the American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International, Midwest Nursing Research Society and the American Association of History in Nursing. She was recently appointed to the board of the Midwest Nursing History Research Center at the University of Illinois.

Linda Brubaker, M.D., M.S., appointed Interim Provost for the Health Sciences Division

Dear Colleagues,

With the retirement of Richard L. Gamelli, M.D., Senior Vice President and Provost, I am appointing Linda Brubaker, M.D., M.S., Interim Provost for the Health Sciences Division, effective immediately. Dr. Brubaker will also continue in her role as Dean and Chief Diversity Officer of the Stritch School of Medicine as we embark on a search for a new provost. 

Over the next two months, I will be working with Dr. Brubaker and the Health Sciences Division leadership team to further refine roles and responsibilities so that the University can begin in January a search for the new provost for Health Sciences.

Please join with me in thanking Dr. Brubaker for her willingness to take on these additional leadership responsibilities. Again, I want to thank Dr. Gamelli for his 25 years of dedicated service and his enormous contributions to the vitality of the Health Sciences Division. We wish him many happy years in retirement.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.
President and CEO

Loyola nursing alum cares for veterans on Honor Flight

Encourages other health-care professionals to help nation’s heroes

MAYWOOD, Ill.  – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing alumnus Daria Ruffolo, DNP ’12, MSN ’97, RN, CCRN, ACNP-BC, recently traveled to Washington, DC, on the Honor Flight with 92 veterans.

The Honor Flight pays tribute to Chicago area World War II veterans by flying them on an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, for a day of recognition, remembrance and celebration.

A former patient encouraged Ruffolo, currently practicing at Loyola University Health System, to get involved in the trip. She agreed and joined eight other guardians who were responsible for the health care of the veterans throughout the day. The medical and nursing team looked for signs of weakness, dehydration, hypoglycemia and fall risks. Six of the participants also required oxygen, many were insulin-dependent diabetics, several were wheelchair-bound and one man was blind.

“The Honor Flight was one of the most remarkable experiences I have had as a nurse,” Ruffolo said. “It was a privilege to be involved with a team who is committed to providing our veterans – our national treasures – with a wonderful day.”

The trip included a water cannon salute on arrival in Washington. Government officials, an honor guard salute, a performance by the Naval Rifle Artillery team and hundreds of well-wishers also greeted veterans. They then toured the World War II and other memorials before returning to Chicago. Upon arrival, they were greeted by a battalion of Chicago police and firemen at full salute, nearly 3,000 family members and friends, bagpipers and the great Lakes Naval Honor Guard.

“I recommend that anyone sign up as either a general or medical guardian to care for a veteran,” Ruffolo said. “Spending the day serving our nation’s heroes is a life-changing experience.”

This was the 60th Honor Flight. Each flight requires 1,200 working hours and more than $600 per veteran. There are an estimated 25,000 World War II veterans living in the Chicago area. The Honor Flight’s goal is to give each of them an opportunity to travel to our nation’s capital. For more information on the Honor Flight, visit www.honorflightchicago.org.

Loyola nursing students inducted into Jesuit honor society

MNSON students Jesuit honor society

Students recognized for academic achievements

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Seventeen undergraduate and four graduate Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing students were inducted into the 2014 class of Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of higher education Jesuit institutions.

The induction took place on Sunday, Oct. 12, in Madonna Della Strada Chapel on the Lake Shore Campus. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., formally introduced the inductees. 

The following students were inducted:

Tracy Aicher
Rebecca Biga
Angela Bradford
Victoria Biondo
Katherine Bohman
Timothy Cleary
Kara Dal Lago
Carly Francis
Jenna Gartz
Meghan Harris
Sarah Heigel
Michael Janiga
Wendi Lippens
Marta Makowski
Rachel Pelka
Lobna Rabadi
Salina Ramos
Abla Saadeh
Johanna Sprano
Meaghan Von Wahlde
Yardley Wulf

Juniors, seniors and graduate students who are academically in the top 15 percent of their class and who have a demonstrated record of service and loyalty to the Jesuit ideals of education are considered for membership.

MNSON Dean Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, also was inducted as an honorary member.

Loyola Health System Management students inducted into National Honor Society

LUC HSM National Honor Society

Recognized for leadership and academic achievements 

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Twenty-nine Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Health Systems Management students were inducted into the undergraduate chapter of Upsilon Phi Delta on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. 

Upsilon Phi Delta is a national academic honor society for students in health-care management and policy. The mission of the organization is to recognize, reward and encourage academic excellence in the study of health administration. The society encourages academic preparation for careers in health-care management, policy and leadership; promotes activity that will elevate the standards, ideals, competence and ethics of these professionals; provides financial assistance and recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the profession. 

New members included Elijah Ampo, Rida Aslam, Michael Brennan, Girolama Camastra, Timothy Cleary, Mariel Cruz, Taryn Deirmenjian, Michael Georges, Victoria Gordon, Taylor Hines, Adriana Inojosa, Rebecca Jones, Lillian Karges, Victoria King, Natalie Landfair, Samantha Leicht, Amanda Lunn, Nineveh Michel, Gianna Patrizi, Chantel Ropp, Brian Ruiz, Jacob Savino, Courtney Smola, Kelli Struck, Noman Syed, Jillian Toth, Kristina Uelsmann, Abby Wynstra and Erin Yurko.

Loyola students and staff to participate in poverty simulation

Exercise to teach compassion and empathy for underserved

MAYWOOD, Ill. - Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences students, faculty and staff will participate in simulations to help them better understand what it is like to live in poverty.

The simulations will take place Saturday, Oct. 25, at St. Eulalia’s Church at 1851 S. 9th Ave. in Maywood; Tuesday, Oct. 28, at Coffey Hall at 1000 W. Sheridan Road on Loyola’s Lakeshore Campus; and Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Rambler Room in Centennial Forum at 1125 W. Loyola Ave. at the Lakeshore Campus.

During the three-hour simulation, participants will role-play families living in poverty while others will serve as representatives from social service agencies.

“Participants will come away with a better understanding of the impact poverty has on health and well-being,” said Aaron Michelfelder, MD, family medicine physician, Loyola University Health System, and co-director for the Institute for Transformative Interprofessional Education (I-TIE), Loyola University Chicago. “This workshop also will teach our students, doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals how to better care comprehensively for patients in the context and realities in which they live.”

This workshop is part of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration I-CARE-PATH grant (#UD7HP26040). The goal of the grant is to foster interprofessional education within the schools of nursing, medicine, dietetics, social work and public health to ultimately improve care for patients.

Loyola faculty will determine how this simulation can be used in a greater capacity within its curricula while Loyola doctors and other health-care professionals will be able to apply their findings directly to patient care.

“Loyola has a rich history of shaping our students into competent, compassionate, and socially responsible health-care professionals,” said Fran Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA, FAAN, department chair in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and co-director for I-TIE. “This program is in line with our mission, as it gives our faculty and students a greater understanding of the needs of the underserved, making them more compassionate and well-rounded health-care professionals.”

Co-sponsors for the program are Loyola Chicago's I-TIE, Institute of Public Health, and Center for Community & Global Health.

Convocation opens school year for Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division faculty

2014 HSD Faculty Convocation

Faculty fill the Quiet Study Room in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing September 22 for the 2014 Faculty Convocation

Loyola Health Sciences Division faculty members filled the Quiet Study Room in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing September 22 for the 2014 Faculty Convocation and Reception at the University’s Health Sciences Campus.

The Convocation annually celebrates the official opening of the new academic year at Stritch School of Medicine, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Health Sciences Graduate School and Health Sciences Library. Led by President Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., and Provost Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, this event recognizes new faculty members, congratulates those who have been promoted or tenured, honors school award recipients, pays tribute to deceased or retired faculty, and looks ahead to another year of academic excellence.

“We are clinicians and researchers, surgeons and nurses – all health care professionals, all sharing a commitment to our students. They represent our promise to those who are ill that we will do everything in our power to keep the health sciences moving forward,” Gamelli said in his introductory remarks. “Together, we are sustaining the discovery and delivery of new treatments to extend life and improve the world’s well-being.”

Highlights from the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing’s year, shared by Gamelli, included:

  • The further advancement of simulation science;
  • Enhanced community nursing services in Rogers Park to help the community and prepare students for the real-world challenges they will face; and
  • Collaboration with Stritch School of Medicine through interprofessional education through initiatives such as poverty simulation events and the new Institute for Transformative Interprofessional Education (I-TIE).

Stritch School of Medicine highlights focused on the rollout of a new strategic plan with priorities including:

  • Accelerated research to improve patient care outcomes and the health of populations that Loyola serves, with emphasis on reducing health disparities;
  • Sustainable community and academic partnerships to provide service experiences for students while optimizing ongoing relationships with those in need; and
  • Engagement with those directly affected by health care disparities and the inclusion of reflection as part of every service experience.

Gamelli’s comments on the Health Sciences Graduate School highlighted:

  • Planning for the interior space of Loyola’s Center for Translational Research and Education in anticipation of the opening of the CTRE in April 2016 (the glass exterior is now nearly complete); and
  • New initiatives to broaden the scope of the Graduate School’s biomedical sciences training, including a proposed MS in biostatistics/bioinformatics.

loyolayearsofservicerecognition2014, which lists all of the faculty members who were recognized. There’s also a photo album of this year’s Convocation.

Animal therapy reduces need for pain medication after joint-replacement surgery

Loyola researchers find animal-human connection in recovery 

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Patients recovering from total joint replacement surgery who receive animal-assisted therapy (AAT) require less pain medication than those who do not experience this type of therapy.

These data are published in the August/September issue of Anthrozoos by researchers from Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and Loyola University Health System. Anthrozoos is the official journal of the International Society for Anthrozoology.

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is used in a variety of health-care settings to improve quality of life and physical, social, emotional and/or cognitive health for patients.

“The animal-human connection is powerful in reducing stress and in generating a sense of well-being,” said Julia Havey, MSN '12, RN, CCM, lead author, Loyola University Health System. “This study further demonstrates the positive influence animals can have on human recovery.”

This retrospective study measured the need for oral pain medication in patients who were exposed to AAT and those who were not. The groups were similar in age, gender, ethnicity, length of stay and type of total joint replacement. AAT consisted of daily visits from specially trained dogs for an average of 5-15 minutes. The need for oral pain medication was significantly less (28 percent less) in the AAT group (15.32 mg versus 21.16 mg).

“This study offers interesting observations about the healing potential of animals,” said Fran Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, co-author and associate professor and chair, Health Systems, Leadership and Policy Department, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “The efficacy of AAT in decreasing the need for pain medication and its effect on patient well-being after surgery deserves further study.” 

Loyola School of Nursing students, staff and alumni earn accolades

School recognizes achievements in research and grants 

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing recognized recent accomplishments and honors for faculty, students and alumni.

Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean and professor, received the Emergency Nurses Association’s Judith C. Kelleher Award, one of 12 Achievement Awards bestowed annually that recognizes emergency nurses who exemplify exceptional professional practice, innovation, leadership and advocacy in emergency nursing. Dean Keough will be recognized October 11 at the 2014 ENA Annual Conference Awards Gala in Indianapolis.

Dean Keough also was accepted into the Wharton Executive Leadership Program in Philadelphia this August. Only 40 experienced deans/directors are welcomed to participate in this highly competitive, four-day program sponsored by the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing.

Karen Egenes, EdD, RN, associate professor and chair, Health Promotion Department, has been named to the scientific panel for the NET2014 Conference, an International Networking for Healthcare Education Conference, to be held September. 2-4 in Cambridge, UK.

Leann Horsley, PhD, RN, assistant professor, recently achieved certification as a Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) through the interprofessional Society for Simulation in Healthcare. This accomplishment makes her one of only 340 CHSEs from 12 countries to receive this credential.

Alumna Barbara M. Brodie, PhD, BSN ’57, RN, FAAN, received Loyola’s prestigious Damen award for her leadership in industry, leadership in the community, and service to others. Damen awards were presented June 28 to an alumnus of each of Loyola’s schools at the annual Founders’ Dinner.

Loyola launches Institute for Transformative Interprofessional Education

Initiative to focus on collaborative education for better patient care

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Chicago has established the Institute for Transformative Interprofessional Education (ITIE) to educate future health-care providers and professionals to work as a team to better care for patients.

This initiative will offer a joint curriculum with select classes for medical, nursing, public health, law, health systems management, business, bioethics, social work, nutrition and exercise science students to learn together. Forty-nine faculty ambassadors, representing broad areas of specialization, will come together to lead the curriculum, practice and culture change necessary to fulfill the mission of the institute. The institute also will encourage faculty development and scholarship in interprofessional education and leadership. Loyola is among the first universities in the United States to implement such a collaborative model.

“This team model will allow us to decrease silos and provide a safer and more holistic educational approach to patient care,” said Aaron Michelfelder, MD, FAAFP, FAAMA, co-director, ITIE.

ITIE programs will include an interprofessional education day and team simulation. All students will be required to participate in simulated patient experiences in Loyola’s Center for Simulation Education. This facility includes a six-bed virtual hospital and home-care environment where teams of students learn together how to better care for patients in a low-risk environment.

Other interprofessional programming will include a poverty simulation day where faculty, practitioners and students will role-play what it is like to live in poverty. The goal is to better understand the impact poverty has on health and to learn how to collaboratively care for these patients in the context in which they live.

“Patients will interact with providers from a broad range of specialties and disciplines as they navigate the complexities of the health-care system,” said Fran R. Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, co-director, ITIE. “Loyola’s program will prepare future professionals to work together to meet the needs of each patient.” 

Niehoff alum finds teaching nurses clinical skills and compassion improves outcomes

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Nursing orientation programs that address both the compassionate and scientific aspects of patient care help to improve patient satisfaction scores and reduce the incidence of falls and pressure ulcers, according to data published July 22, 2014 in the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development.

“Nursing orientation typically focuses on hospital-specific policies, equipment use and clinical skills rather than on the emotional connection between nurses and patients,” said Pam Clementi, PhD ’06, RN-BC, co-author and nurse manager, Department of Nursing Education, Loyola University Health System. “Educating nurses on both the nurturing and technical side of the profession will given them a more comprehensive approach to patient care.”

The Institute of Medicine reported in 2011 that nurses need to provide holistic, patient-centered care that goes beyond the physical health needs to recognize and respond to the social, mental and spiritual side of patients and their families.

Loyola University Health System recognized this need and implemented a patient-centered model of care in new units of its hospital. The organization added a one-day training program to the general nursing orientation to address the new model and the compassionate side of nursing. The program educated nurses about communication, attentive body language, honesty, listening skills, empathy, concern and respect for patients.

After one year of practicing the patient-centered model of care, quality improvement data demonstrated that patient satisfaction scores were much higher and the incidence of falls and pressure ulcers were much lower in units that used the new model. The training was expanded to all Loyola University Health System inpatient nurses as a result.

The notion that nursing practice encompasses both compassion and clinical skills dates back to Florence Nightingale. Nightingale demonstrated that nurses who practiced infection control measures could improve mortality rates and the well-being of hospitalized soldiers when the nurse was emotionally present.

“Nurses are at the front lines of patient care,” Dr. Clementi said. “Those who have strong clinical skills and who know how to be there for patients in a time of need are invaluable to their profession.” 

Loyola School of Nursing students, staff and alumni earn accolades

School recognizes achievements in research and grants

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing recognized recent accomplishments and honors for faculty, students and alumni.

Barbara Velsor-Friedrich, PhD, RN, professor and director of Niehoff’s PhD program, received a HRSA Grant for the Nurse Faculty Loan Program for 2014-2015. This grant will provide funding to PhD and doctor of nursing practice (DNP) students who request support through this program and commit to becoming a full-time Niehoff faculty member after completing their degree requirements.

Sandi Tenfelde, PhD, RN, APN, assistant professor and the director of the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program at Loyola, received the Hill-Rom/Celeste Phillips Family-Centered Maternity Care Research Award from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). Dr. Tenfelde was honored for her research to reduce symptom burden for women with pelvic floor disorders. The award was presented at AWHONN's annual convention in Orlando, Fla.

Anne Marie Hilmer, MSN ’14, a graduate of Loyola’s family nurse practitioner program, has been accepted as the first nurse practitioner (NP) fellow at the Jane R. Perlman Fellowship for nurse practitioners and physician assistants in Emergency Medicine at NorthShore University Health System. She will begin this fall.

Students and recent graduates of Loyola’s Infection Prevention Programs were honored recently at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology’s 41st Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Calif. Scientific sessions focused on research about a variety of infectious diseases and evidence-based protocols for infection prevention in hospitals, home care, long-term care and the community. Honorees included:

Marcelina Wawrzyniak, MSN ’13, BSN ’08, RN,
received the New Investigator Abstract Award for her project “Significant improvement in CLABSI rates following routine use of disinfection caps on all access ports: Better safety, better resource utilization.” Wawrzyniak is an infection preventionist at Loyola University Health System.

Loyola professor named American Academy of Nursing Fellow

LUC professor American Academy Nursing

Faculty member honored for interventions to help at-risk children

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Barbara Velsor-Friedrich, PhD, RN, has been selected for induction as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing. The induction will take place at the Academy’s 2014 Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference on Oct. 18, 2014, in Washington, DC. Dr. Velsor-Friedrich is a professor and the director of the doctoral program at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Dr. Velsor-Friedrich was named a fellow for her intervention programs designed to improve asthma self-care in low-income minority children and teens; achieve asthma control and maintain healthy weight in minority teens; and enhance resilience to stress and violence exposure in low-income, urban African-American adolescents.

Selection for membership in the academy is one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing. The academy fellows represent more than 2,200 of the top nurse researchers, policymakers, scholars, executives, educators and practitioners from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 24 countries.

“I am honored to join this esteemed group of leaders in nursing and health care,” Dr. Velsor-Friedrich said. “I look forward to working with the fellows to further advance the profession of nursing in this changing health-care environment.”

Dr. Velsor-Friedrich will be among 168 fellows inducted in to the academy. Selection criteria included evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two current academy fellows. Applicants were reviewed by a panel of elected and appointed fellows, and selection was based, in part, on the extent to which nominees’ nursing careers influence health policies and well-being.

About the Academy
The American Academy of Nursing (www.AANnet.org) serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The Academy's more than 2,200 fellows are nursing's most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and health care.

Commencement 2014

MNSON Commencement 2014 vid and photos

Missed commencement? Or, perhaps you'd like to relive the moment!  View photos and video of the 2014 commencement exercises for the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing below.

Commencement Photos

  

View more pictures here.

Commencement VIDEO

Loyola’s research symposium brings international nursing community to Rome

LUC Palmer Symposium INTL cmnty to Rome

Presenters, panelists, and attendees of the 26th Annual Ruth K. Palmer Research Symposium

The 26th Annual Ruth K. Palmer Research Symposium, “Pushing the Boundaries: Exploring Research Frontiers to Transform Nursing Practice, Education, and Policy,” was held May 15–16 at the Centro Studi Americani in Rome. Presenters, panelists, and attendees represented 10 U.S. states and four countries. Speakers addressed emerging issues in nursing research and engaged participants to discuss global health challenges.

“For decades, this event has addressed matters seminal to nursing research, education, administration, policy, and clinical practice,” said Linda Janusek, PhD, RN, FAAN, 2014 Symposium Scientific Program Chair and Professor and Niehoff Endowed Chair for Research, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Keynote speaker Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, presented “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” based on an Institute of Medicine Report that she co-chaired. Dr. Burnes Bolton discussed the impact this report has had on nursing, and shared her vision on how nurse scientists and educators can chart new directions to transform nursing practice and positively affect change in health care. Dr. Burnes Bolton is vice chair of the Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing. She also is vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles.

Suzanne Prevost, RN, PhD, opened the second day with a keynote address on creative strategies to foster international collaboration among nurse scientists and educators to advance nursing practice and improve global health. Dr. Prevost was president of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Honor Society of Nursing from 2011–2013. She also is dean and professor at University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Nola Pender, PhD, RN, FAAN, gave the closing address, “Transforming Environments: Future Directions for Health Policy and Practice.” Dr. Pender is a Distinguished Professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, and Professor Emerita at University of Michigan School of Nursing.

Drs. Burnes Bolton, Prevost, and Pender joined a respected panel of speakers. Their presentations explored innovative research that contributes to transformation of health outcomes, nursing practice, education, and policy; disseminated research that promotes excellence in global health care; created opportunities for international and trans-disciplinary collaboration in research to advance health; provided an international forum to discuss health-related research and evidence-based practice; and engaged international scholars in a dialogue of research affecting practice.

The event was sponsored by the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Alpha Beta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. The symposium was established from the Ruth K. Palmer Memorial Endowment: a gift of dean emeritus Gladys Kiniery in memory of her beloved sister. 

Workers top off Loyola’s $137 million medical research and education center

CTRE Top Off

An American flag is attached to the final beam, signed by iron workers, to be placed in the Center for Translational Research and Education

MAYWOOD, Ill. – On June 9th, construction workers topped off Loyola University Chicago’s $137 million medical research and education building.

Iron workers signed their names and attached an American flag to the final beam to be placed in the Center for Translational Research and Education. A crane hoisted the beam, which workers secured to the top floor of the five-story building.

Construction of the center began in August, 2013. The center is on schedule to open in April, 2016 on the university’s Health Sciences Campus in Maywood.

The 227,000-square-foot building is a collaboration among Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Health System and CHE-Trinity Health. The center will support nearly 500 scientists and staff working together to improve human health.

The center will include bench laboratory and support space for 72 principal investigators plus space for 40 lead scientists engaged in desktop research such as public health, health services, nursing, bioinformatics and epidemiology. A 250-seat auditorium will provide a link with the local community, serving primarily as a showcase for health-related programming.

The center will accommodate principal investigators, postdoctoral trainees, physicians, nurses, residents, fellows, graduate students and students from Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Researchers now scattered among buildings throughout the Health Sciences Campus will be centralized in the research and education center. The center is located between the Maguire office building and Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine.

Loyola nursing community makes pilgrimage to Lourdes

LUC Lourdes pilgrimage

(Right) Group photo of students in Lourdes. (Left) Dr. Solari-Twadell and alumni Anne Guion (2012), Rachel Filer (2011), Anna Domanchek (2013), Anna Motola (2014), and Julia Newman (2014) from the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing return to Lourdes.

Service immersion program focuses on spiritual aspect of nursing

MAYWOOD, Ill. (June 9, 2014) – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) students, alumni and staff recently traveled to Lourdes, France, to care for the sick who visit the healing baths. This is the sixth year members of the Loyola community have participated in this international service immersion program.

In 1858, the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, a young peasant girl in Lourdes, France. The vision encouraged her to drink of the fountain. With no fountain in sight, the young girl dug at a spot designated by the apparition, and a spring began to flow.

This spring remains today and is believed to possess remarkable healing powers. As many as 5 million people make the pilgrimage to Lourdes every year to experience the therapeutic effect of the water.

“The Lourdes program focuses on spiritual care,” said P. Ann Solari-Twadell, RN, PhD, MPA, FAAN, associate professor, MNSON. “Caring for the sick in the baths gives our nursing students valuable experience that can’t necessarily be taught in a classroom. The students work with the other volunteers and pilgrims allowed them to witness the faith of others.”

Ten students, five alumni, one student leader, a campus ministry representative and a faculty member traveled to Lourdes. Loyola participants assisted the sick in the religious rituals of Lourdes and met with Dr. Solari-Twadell to reflect on their service. A portion of the group also visited the home of St. Ignatius Loyola in Spain following their time in Lourdes.

“While in Lourdes, we learned a great deal about serving others, both sick and well,” said Kara Podjasek, recent Loyola nursing graduate. “Serving in Lourdes has strongly influenced my nursing practice. This experience has made me a more well-rounded nurse cognoscente of my patient’s spiritual, physical and emotional needs.”

Simulation techniques in medical education improve patient care and outcomes

Techniques include lifelike mannequins,
computer systems and standardized patients

MAYWOOD, Ill. (May 19, 2014) – The use of simulation techniques in medical education, such as lifelike mannequins and computer systems, results in improved patient care, better outcomes and other benefits, according to a study led by a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researcher.

William C. McGaghie, PhD, and colleagues analyzed 23 medical education studies that measured the effects of simulation-based mastery learning (SBML). A qualitative synthesis of these studies found that SBML improved outcomes in four areas: the educational laboratory, patient care practices, patient outcomes and collateral effects such as reduced healthcare costs.

SBML “is a powerful educational model that improves clinical skills and has important downstream effects on health and society,” McGaghie and colleagues report in the journal Medical Education.

McGaghie is director of the Ralph P. Leischner Jr., MD Institute for Medical Education at Loyola University Chicago, Health Sciences Division, and internationally renowned as a medical educator.

Simulation-based medical education involves devices, trained persons, lifelike virtual environments and contrived social situations that mimic real-life professional encounters. Simulations include task trainers, mannequins, multimedia computer systems and standardized patients who are trained to portray real patients’ physical symptoms and behaviors.

McGaghie and colleagues performed a qualitative synthesis of 23 SBML studies published between 2006 and 2013. These studies examined the impact of SBML on clinical skills, including management of ICU patients on ventilators; catheter insertion; lumbar puncture (spinal tap); laparoscopic surgery; and communicating with a chronically ill patient about goals of care. Outcomes include improved procedural and communication skills in both simulated settings and the bedside; reduction in complications; reduced hospital length of stay; fewer blood transfusions; fewer ICU admissions; improved quality of surgical care; reduced catheter-associated bloodstream infections; and reduced healthcare costs.

“Simulation-based mastery learning is beginning to produce strong and lasting educational effects when it is implemented, managed and evaluated with thought and rigor,” McGaghie and colleagues wrote. “We believe the mastery model, with or without simulation technology, holds great promise to help medical learners to acquire and maintain a broad array of technical, professional and interpersonal skills and competencies. Continued research is needed to endorse or refute this assertion.”

In a coda, the authors wrote that implementing SBML as a new paradigm will not be easy. Educational inertia, conventional thinking, financial disincentives and adherence to time-based education schedules are barriers that must be breached before SBML can be adopted in medical education. But these barriers can be overcome, the authors wrote. “We cannot continue to educate 21st century doctors using 19th century technologies.”

McGaghie is first author of the study. Co-authors are S. Barry Issenberg of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; and Jeffrey H. Barsuk and Diane B. Wayne of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing celebrates class of 2014

MNSON CO2014

End-of-year ceremonies, commencement honor new graduates

MAYWOOD, Ill. – May is a busy month for students at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Here is a recap of events bringing the 2013-14 school year to a close:

Honors and Pinning Ceremonies
Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing welcomed graduating students into the nursing profession at its spring 2014 ABSN and BSN Honors and Pinning Ceremonies on Wednesday, May 7, at the Health Sciences and Lake Shore campuses. The pinning is a long-standing tradition that represents the transition from student to nurse. The following awards and honors were presented during the ceremony:

Alumni Award: Ann Tadas, Kara Podjasek
Laura Difiglio Klink Scholarship: Erin Esko
Gladys Kiniery Clinical Excellence Award: Kristen Fiedler, Julia Newman
Carol Kraft Award: Sarah Shumate, Mallory Chase
Dean’s Gold Key Award: Stuart Rivard, Danielle Balzano

View ABSN event photos here and BSN event photos here.

Celebration of Magis
The 2014 Health Systems Management and Exercise Science graduating seniors participated in Loyola’s first Celebration of Magis, a year-end event honoring all graduates and their families. Magis, which means “more” in Latin, was chosen as the celebratory theme as a way of emphasizing a lasting connection between graduates and Loyola’s Jesuit principles of giving, doing and being more for others.

A Magis Pledge and Blessing were offered at the ceremony to distinguish the graduates’ new careers as ones marked by values, ethics and service. The following awards and honors were presented:

Honors Program: Faraaz Ahmed and Kerry Hampston
Spirit Award: Faraaz Ahmed (Exercise Science), Mecca Johnson (Health Systems Management) and Bianca Rogers (Health Systems Management)
Leadership and Advocacy in Healthcare Award: Nicole Nowak (Exercise Science) and Nealy Doss (Health Systems Management)
Scholastic Honors Certificates (3.5 – 3.69 GPA): Carli Chatlosh, Sarah Choudhry, Mecca Johnson and Lindsey Kramer (Health Systems Management)
Scholastic Silver Keys (3.7+ GPA): Lily Dickens, Nealy Doss, Fatima Elahi, Kerry Hampston, Abdullah Motiwala, Devan Patel, Sophia Reyes, Bianca Rogers, Michael Russo
Dean’s Gold Keys: Kerry Hampston (Exercise Science) and Michael Russo (Health Systems Management). The Dean’s Gold Key award is the highest distinction given to graduating students. The faculty selected one student from each program who best embodies Loyola’s mission of academic excellence, service and leadership. 

View photos here.

Commencement
Commencement took place for doctoral masters and dietetics students on Wednesday, May 7, followed by graduation for undergraduate nursing students on Thursday, May 8, at Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. More than 400 students graduated from the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Amir Zadaka, Nursing master’s degree candidate, was student speaker. Judith Scully, RN ’62, PhD, delivered the keynote address.

View photos here.

Day of Scholarship
The school held its spring Day of Scholarship on Friday, May 9, at the Health Sciences Campus. This event highlighted the scholarship of Loyola’s Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Dietetic students and celebrated the completion of their graduate coursework.

Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Dietetics students are required to complete a comprehensive paper on a self-selected health-care topic. Graduates then present their review of the literature to other students, faculty members, friends and families at the Day of Scholarship.

Sixty-four graduates presented their work this spring. One expected outcome of this process is to prepare graduates to publish manuscripts on their topics in the health-care literature.

View photos here.

Loyola honors nursing alumni and students

MNSON alumni awards 2014

Distinguished nurses receive awards at annual brunch

MAYWOOD, Ill.– The Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing honored two alumni and two students at the Sixth Annual Alumni Awards Mass and Brunch on Sunday, April 27 at the University’s Lake Shore Campus.

Mary Ann Draye, BSN ’64, MPH, APRN, FNP-BC, received the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award, the most prestigious acknowledgment of Loyola nursing alumni accomplishments. Kathleen Kindelin Pender, MS, BSN ’73, RN, was honored with the Spirit of Ignatius Award, given to a graduate who best characterizes curas personalis or “care of the person.”

Kara Podjasck was given the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student Award and Ann Tadas received the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student Award. The Nursing Alumni Student Awards are presented to undergraduate nursing students in their last semester who best exemplify a commitment to excellence, value-based leadership and service to Loyola and its communities, while promoting fellowship among nursing peers.

 

Mary Ann Draye, BSN ’64, MPH, APRN, FNP-BC
Distinguished Alumnus Mary Ann Draye served as director of the top-ranked Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle for 13 years and was instrumental in transitioning the curriculum to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Draye has continued in a teaching and advisory role in the UW FNP DNP Program. She also is a nationally certified family nurse practitioner and an accomplished teacher, mentor, researcher and writer who has published papers on health promotion, behavior change, NP pioneers, NP practice and transforming education and practice with the DNP. Draye was honored in 2013 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the UW School of Nursing.

“The legacy of my Loyola nursing education is being prepared to think critically, compassionately and to find the sacred in everyday service,” Draye said. “Loyola was a life-changing experience for me, sustained by faculty, residence life and inspiring classmates.”


Kathleen (Kindelin) Pender, MS, BSN ’73, RN
Spirit of Ignatius Award recipient Kathleen Pender began her career as a staff nurse where she encountered the societal, economic, cultural and health disparities that drove her commitment to the principles of Jesuit, Catholic social teaching practiced at Loyola. Later in her career, Pender worked as a discharge planner and home care nurse and assisted a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This request became the catalyst for years of exploration, development of nursing interventions, writing, board work and professional presentations to support individuals and families with this disease. Pender also served in a variety of clinical and academic settings, including working as a nurse practitioner in shelters and outreach programs providing health care to the homeless population in Chicago. She has received numerous honors for her work.

“Loyola was my only choice when I finally responded to God’s vocational call to serve as a nurse,” Pender said. “My Jesuit education taught me to think critically and develop a worldview, to see into the hearts of my patients honoring their emotional and spiritual needs in promoting health.”

Loyola offers convenient weekend PhD program for nurses

MAYWOOD, Ill.– Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing is offering a convenient weekend program for nurses seeking a doctoral degree.

PhD in Nursing Science Program classes will meet one weekend each month during the course of a semester (Saturday and Sunday). These classes will be supplemented with a one- to two-hour online meeting between each weekend class. The weekend format will make it possible for students to attend the program while only having to commute to campus four times each semester.

“Loyola recognizes the time limitations the changing health-care environment places on the nursing profession and wants to make our doctoral program more accessible for busy nurses,” said Barbara Velsor-Friedrich, PhD, RN, professor and director of the PhD Program. “This format permits students to maintain their full-time employment, while completing the program in a timely manner.”

Loyola’s program consists of a minimum of 45 credits beyond the Master of Science in Nursing degree. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing to PhD program also is available. Coursework focuses on nursing science development, preparation for the researcher role, philosophical and ethical foundations, academic role preparation, secondary specialization coursework and teaching methods. Students also are required to complete a minimum of six credits of advanced statistics and nine credits in cognates and electives.

In the Jesuit, Catholic tradition, Loyola University Chicago offers an education aimed at empowering and transforming students to be of service to our community and our world.

For more information, visit the PhD in Nursing Program site.

Loyola’s School-Based Health Center receives grant for mental health services at Proviso East High School

CVS Caremark Grant will support community health and expand healthcare access

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing has received a $50,000 grant to support mental health services at the school-based health center in Proviso East High School. Loyola’s center was one of nine to receive this grant from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, a private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corp. in partnership with the School-Based Health Alliance.

“Mental health services are crucial at the high school level,” said Diana Hackbarth, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and SBHC project director. “This grant will allow us to continue to provide these services to support the emotional well-being of teens and children in the community we serve.”

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing faculty established a school-based health center in Proviso East High School more than a decade ago in response to growing healthcare disparities in this underserved community. Since its inception, thousands of students have been helped by the center’s primary health care, school physicals, immunizations and social work, mental health, nutrition and laboratory services.

The SBHC staff provides mental health classroom presentations and individual therapy throughout the year to help students cope with peer pressure, substance use, bullying, depression, anger management and family issues. The SBHC social worker and community outreach nurse also have taken these programs out into the community.

The school-based health center grants are part of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust’s $5 million commitment to supporting community health and expanding access to quality healthcare nationwide through partnerships with the School-Based Health Alliance, the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics and the National Association of Community Health Centers.

“Through our partnership with the School-Based Health Alliance, we are offering much-needed funding to health centers that provide thousands of children across the country access to vital health services right in their local communities,” said Eileen Howard Boone, president, CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. “We are honored to recognize the Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and its work to provide access to routine healthcare services and coordinated care to improve health outcomes for children and teenagers in the Proviso community.”

Loyola honors Health Systems Management student with Gannon Center for Women and Leadership Award

LUC honors HSM student with Gannon Center Award

Recognized for contributions in academics and social justice

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Chicago recently honored Fatima Elahi with the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership Award. Elahi is an undergraduate student in Loyola University Chicago’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Health Systems Management program. She was recognized for her contributions in academics and social justice.

Elahi was honored at the Gannon Center for Women & Leadership Awards Dinner in March. The Gannon Center educates and fosters women leaders to contribute to the development of a more just social order.

“Fatima truly exemplifies the mission of the Gannon Center, as she has not only maintained an excellent academic record, but she has further devoted her time to the community to forge a more just society,” said Janet Sisler, director, Gannon Center for Women and Leadership.

Elahi’s contributions include co-founding the Loyola Chapter for PACE (Planning to Achieve Collegiate Excellence) where she established an after-school tutoring and mentoring program for grades K-8 with the Chicago Park District. As a freshman, she served as a representative and outreach chair for Loyola’s Muslim Student Association. Through this role, she coordinated interfaith initiatives, facilitated student dialogue, and organized local service projects and campus-wide events. Elahi also volunteers in the Muslim Education Center as an eighth-grade teacher for Sunday school students.

As youth coordinator for Sisters’ Steppin’ Up, Elahi organizes community and social activities to provide a safe space for girls and teens ages 8 – 19. Additionally, she designed a research project to improve patient care, safety and professional development at Loyola University Health System, and she served as a triage volunteer at a local doctor’s office, translating for and assisting patients who are native Spanish and Urdu speakers. Elahi also volunteers as an aide for senior services and interns at a women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence.

“As a woman of culture, color and diversity, I have learned to lead despite being disregarded due to my background,” Elahi said. “It is these very challenges that allow me to serve as an advocate for young women dealing with spirituality and identity issues in hopes that they will lead the next generation.”

Loyola nursing class of ‘64, together forever

Friends to celebrate 50th anniversary during alumni weekend

MAYWOOD, Ill. – For a special group of Loyola University Chicago nursing students, 1964 was a year of remarkable transformation. They were coming of age in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and the Beatles arrival.

“This time of great change gave us a cohesion that has kept us together over the years,” Julie Donalek, BSN ‘64, recalled at a recent gathering of the group.

Donalek and her fellow alumnae and friends, Jan Cherry, Val Husak, Kathy Z. Motto and Helen Ramirez-Odell, will celebrate their 50th reunion this spring with other alumnae of Loyola University Chicago’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. The class of  ‘64 group has remained close over the years, serving as bridesmaids in each other’s weddings and godparents for their kids. They continue to see each other several times a year.

“We were faced with two options: to either become a teacher or a nurse,” said Jan Cherry. “We chose nursing, and it has been the binding material that has kept us together for 50 years.”

The class of  ‘64 wore traditional white uniforms and caps, lived in Cook County Hospital while on rotation, and walked past the morgue each day to get to their clinicals. This class was part of the early trend to earn four-year bachelor’s degrees where nurses could take university classes along with their clinical coursework, as opposed to learning in the segmented system used by hospital-based schools.

Loyola will commemorate the class of 1964’s 50th anniversary during a weekend celebration on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27. Reunion weekend will culminate with the Sixth Annual Alumni Mass and Awards Brunch on the Lake Shore Campus. Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Madonna della Strada Chapel, 6339 N. Sheridan Rd., followed by the brunch and awards presentation at 11:30 a.m. in the Mundelein Center, 1020 W. Sheridan Rd.

Mary Ann Draye, BSN ‘64, MPH, APRN, FNP-BC, will receive the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award. Kathleen Kindelin Pender, MS, BSN ‘73, RN, will be honored with the Spirit of Ignatius Award, given to a graduate who best characterizes curas personalis or “care of the person.”

For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 708.216.6576.

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing receives grant to address nursing faculty shortage

Funding to support education of doctoral student

MAYWOOD, Ill., March 24, 2014 – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing has received a $10,000 grant from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare. Loyola will match this grant to fund the scholarship for one doctoral nursing student in 2014. This funding is part of a national effort to curb the nursing faculty shortage and prepare future nurses for the evolving health-care system.

Loyola’s Jonas Scholar will join nearly 600 future nurse educators and leaders at 110 schools supported by the Jonas Center programs, which includes the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholars Program and the Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program (JVHP). Scholarships through these initiatives support nurses pursuing PhDs and DNPs, the terminal degrees in the field.

“I am pleased that this award allows our school to prepare an additional future nurse faculty leader,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean MNSON. “Loyola is proud to match this scholarship in an effort to help curtail the predicted shortfall of nurse educators in the next 20 years.”

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that 2013 had the lowest enrollment increase in professional nursing programs in the past five years. This is due primarily to a shortage in qualified faculty.

 “The call for more nurses – and thus the faculty to prepare them – is massive. Health care in America has never been more complex, yet tens of thousands of would-be nurses are turned away from the profession each year,” said Donald Jonas, co-founder of the Jonas Center. “We’ve stepped up the pace and expanded our programs to meet this need.”

The Jonas Center is a leading philanthropic funder for nursing. The organization works closely with partners in nursing practice and education, public health and philanthropy on innovative grant programs. The majority of its resources support the educational development of nursing doctoral students, increasing the number of advanced practice nurses who can fill roles as primary care providers, nursing school faculty and health care leaders.

Loyola nursing research symposium to take place in Rome

Speakers to address transforming nursing practice, education and policy

MAYWOOD, Ill.– The 26th Annual Ruth K. Palmer Research Symposium will bring the latest information in nursing research to an international audience of health-care professionals in Rome, Italy. The theme is “Pushing the Boundaries: Exploring Research Frontiers to Transform Nursing Practice, Education and Policy.” The event will take place from May 15 – 16, 2014 at Centro Studi Americani located at Via Michelangelo Caetani, 32-00186.

“For decades, this event has addressed matters seminal to nursing research, education, administration, policy and clinical practice,” said Linda Janusek, PhD, RN, FAAN, 2014 Symposium Scientific Program Chair and Professor and Niehoff Endowed Chair for Research, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “We look forward to expanding global collaboration among nurse scientists and  health-care leaders to more effectively address international health issues.”

Keynote speaker Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, will present “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” based on an Institute of Medicine Report that she co-chaired. Dr. Burnes Bolton will discuss the impact this report has had on nursing. She also will share her vision on how nurse scientists and educators can chart new directions to transform nursing practice and positively affect change in health care. Dr. Burnes Bolton is vice chair of the Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing. She also is vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles.

Suzanne Prevost, RN, PhD, will open the second day with a keynote address on creative strategies to foster international collaboration among nurse scientists and educators to advance nursing practice and improve global health. Dr. Prevost was president of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Honor Society of Nursing from 2011 – 2013. She also is dean and professor at University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Dr. Burnes Bolton and Dr. Prevost will join a respected panel of speakers. Their presentations will explore innovative research that contributes to transformation of health outcomes, nursing practice, education and policy; disseminate research that promotes excellence in global health care; create opportunities for international and trans-disciplinary collaboration in research to advance health; provide an international forum to discuss health-related research and evidence-based practice; and engage international scholars in a dialogue of research affecting practice.

Nurses, nurse practitioners, educators, physicians, administrators, health-care professionals and students are welcome to attend the symposium, which will include poster sessions.

The event is sponsored by the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Alpha Beta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is the approved provider of continuing nursing education for this event. LUHS (OH-346) is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Ohio Nurse’s Association (OBN-001-91), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Contact hours will be offered for this program. The symposium was established from the Ruth K. Palmer Memorial Endowment: a gift of dean emeritus Gladys Kiniery in memory of her beloved sister. 

For more information, visit the Palmer Symposium page or email Palmer_Symposium@LUC.edu. To register, visit www.LUC.edu/palmer.

Loyola School of Nursing receives grant for Community Nursing Center

Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust provides support 

MAYWOOD, Ill.– Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing has received a grant from Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust. The foundation will give $146,000 to support Loyola’s Community Nursing Center in Rogers Park.

“This grant will allow Loyola to expand much needed health-care services to our community,” said Jan McCarron, MSN, RN, director, Loyola Community Nursing Center. “This support also will provide our students with additional opportunities to experience community nursing and the role it has in enhancing the life of underserved populations.”

Fifty families currently receive health-care services through Loyola’s Community Nursing Center. This grant will increase the number of families served. It also will allow Loyola to identify which services are most frequently requested and next steps to expand programs and sustainable sources of support. Loyola faculty and staff also will use the resources to engage inter-disciplinary students in the care of underserved populations.

The center was founded in 1981 in a church basement by Loyola nursing faculty members. It began as an outreach effort to the elderly and mothers and children in the community. The program has since grown into one of the most valuable health-care resources for underserved families and seniors living in the Rogers Park, Edgewater and Uptown communities.

Each semester, more than 30 undergraduate nursing students have clinical experiences at the center. Home visits target isolated and homebound seniors and include a comprehensive assessment of health and social needs. Students serve as case managers, linking clients with community resources as well as working with family members, the primary health-care provider and other community workers. Health education is provided to local grammar schools, shelters and senior centers. Students also match individuals with job training and housing opportunities and help­ people navigate state and local agencies to access other resources and support. The center is supported by Loyola University Chicago and private foundation grants. All services are provided free of charge.

About The Chicago Community Trust

For 98 years, The Chicago Community Trust, the region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In 2012, the Trust, together with its donors, granted more than $170 million to nonprofit organizations. From strengthening community schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to helping lives affected by violence, the Trust continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit the Trust online at www.cct.org.

Loyola appoints Paula Hindle as vice president for nursing strategy and practice

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Paula Hindle, MSN, MBA, RN, has been named vice president for nursing strategy and practice for Loyola University Health System. In this role, Hindle will work closely with Loyola’s parent organization, CHE-Trinity Health, and with Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and other key partners to develop strategic plans for the advancement of nursing.

Hindle also will focus on nursing quality research at Loyola and the implementation of the Institute of Medicine Report on the Future of Nursing. The goals of this report are: to ensure nurses practice to the fullest extent of their licensure and education; to achieve a higher level of education for nurses in order to be partners with other disciplines in redesigning the health-care system; and to use data to plan for future workforce demands.

“Paula is a skilled nurse leader who has been influential in shaping quality health care at Loyola,” said Wendy Leutgens, MSN, RN, chief operating officer, LUHS. “Her contributions to nursing make her invaluable for this new role and the health-care profession.”

Hindle previously served as Loyola’s vice president of health-care services and chief nurse executive. Hindle was instrumental in earning the Magnet designation for the hospital and its outpatient facilities in 2009. Her leadership skills also have been integral to patient satisfaction, pressure-ulcer prevention, fall reduction, supply-chain efficiencies, and quality and patient-safety programs.

Hindle implemented Loyola’s mandatory flu vaccination policy, which placed Loyola among the first medical centers in the nation to make seasonal flu shots mandatory as a condition of employment. She also helped to institute the organization’s aggressive methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus-screening program for every planned patient admission. This led to a 70 percent reduction in MRSA infections in the hospital.

Hindle’s concern for patient safety and emerging infections led her to work with the Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing faculty to establish an online advanced education program for infection prevention. This is the first program in the nation to prepare nurses at the master’s level for infection prevention and patient and environmental safety.

During her tenure, Hindle also introduced a new model of care, which makes patients and their families partners in treatment with the goal of improving their physical and spiritual comforts, speeding healing and enhancing outcomes. She was honored for these accomplishments in 2010 with the Joan L. Shaver Illinois Outstanding Nurse Leader award.

Niehoff study to determine if vitamin D supplements will improve mood in women with type 2 diabetes

Researchers enrolling women with diabetes and depression

MAYWOOD, Ill.– Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing researchers are recruiting women for a study to determine whether raising blood levels of vitamin D can improve mood in women with diabetes. The study also will examine whether raising vitamin D levels can reduce blood pressure and affect how well women manage their diabetes.

Principal investigator Sue M. Penckofer, PhD, RN, and colleagues hypothesize that women who have low levels of vitamin D and receive weekly doses of 50,000 IUs of vitamin D3 will report a better mood than those who receive weekly doses of 5,000 IUs.

“Using a higher dose of vitamin D is potentially an easy and cost-effective way to improve mood,” Dr. Penckofer said. “Improving mood may make these women more likely to eat properly, take their medication, get enough exercise and better manage their disease overall.”

Penckofer and her Loyola co-investigators received a $1.49 million grant (R01NR013906) for the study from the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health. Women who are eligible are between the ages of 21 and 75 and have type 2 diabetes, low levels of vitamin D in their blood, are overweight and report symptoms of depression. Women will be randomly assigned to receive one of the two doses for six months. The study began enrolling women in November 2013 and will continue until 2017.

Earlier studies have found that depressed people have elevated levels of inflammatory biomarkers, notably cytokines and C-reactive protein (CRP). The study will explore whether vitamin D supplementation decreases inflammation, thus providing evidence for a plausible mechanism for how the vitamin works as an antidepressant.

About 1 in 10 people in the United States has diabetes, and the incidence is projected to increase to 1 in 4 persons by 2050. Women with type 2 diabetes have worse outcomes than men. The reason may be due to depression, which affects more than 25 percent of women with diabetes. Depression impairs a patient’s ability to manage her disease.

Many Americans do not get enough vitamin D, and people with diabetes are prone to vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. The exact mechanisms behind this are not known, but may include limited intake of foods high in vitamin D, obesity, lack of sun exposure, and genetic variations.

Penckofer is internationally known for her research on vitamin D, diabetes, and depression. Her co-investigators are Angelos Halaris, MD, PhD; Ramon Durazo, PhD; Pauline Camacho, MD,  Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, Mary Ann Emanuele, MD, and Patricia Mumby, PhD.

For more information, call 708.216.9303.

Loyola to study how stress affects heart disease and stroke risk in women

Researchers enrolling African American and non-Hispanic white women at risk

MAYWOOD, Ill.– Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing researchers are recruiting women for a study to better understand how early life adversity and stress over one’s lifetime are related to risk of developing heart disease and stroke in African-American women compared to non-Hispanic white women.

“Stroke affects African-American women twice as often as non-Hispanic white women, which may be due to adverse psychosocial factors such as lower socioeconomic status and higher stress,” said Karen Saban, PhD, RN, APRN, CNRN, FAHA, study investigator and associate professor, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Evidence suggests that difficult life experiences alter how the body responds to stress resulting in greater inflammation. However, little is known about how these psychosocial factors contribute to stroke disparity between African-American women and non-Hispanic white women.

 “This study has the potential to clarify mechanisms that contribute to disease disparities in disadvantaged, minority women, which will help us to better manage this population,” Dr. Saban said.

Women eligible for the study must be between the ages of 50 and 75 and have risk factors for heart disease and stroke but no history of the diseases. Risk factors include being overweight, having high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of heart disease.

These women must agree to attend a one-time appointment at Loyola University Medical Center to undergo an acute social stress test. Participants also will be asked to complete a written questionnaire and have their blood drawn. This study does not require medication use and it will not interfere with a participant’s medical care. Participants may receive $100 for time and travel. 

For more information, call 708.216.1244.

Loyola students and staff participate in poverty simulation

LUC Students & Staff Poverty Simulation

Emily Seidel, dietetics intern, participates in a poverty simulation.

Workshop shows how to care for people living in desperate circumstances 

MAYWOOD, Ill.– Health sciences students, faculty and staff from Loyola University Chicago participated in a simulation February 6 to help them better understand what it is like to live in poverty. During the four-hour simulation at St. Eulalia’s Church in Maywood, some participants role-played families living in poverty while others served as representatives from social service agencies. 

“Participants came away with a better understanding of the impact poverty has on health and well-being,” said Aaron Michelfelder, MD, family medicine physician, Loyola University Health System, and associate director for the Institute for Transformative Interprofessional Education (I-TIE), Loyola University Chicago. “This workshop also taught our students, doctors, nurses, and other health-care professionals how to better care comprehensively for patients in the context and realities in which they live.” 

Loyola dietetic intern Emily Seidel participated in the simulation as a 16-year-old pregnant high school student who struggled to help provide for her family while also doing her schoolwork and caring for herself and the health of her unborn child. 

“The experience was eye-opening,” Seidel said. “It helped me as a future health-care professional understand that the Number 1 thing for people living in poverty is survival, not health care. I wouldn’t get this type of experience at another institution.” 

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Associate Dean Linda Cassata, PhD, MSN, RN, played the role of a local police officer who saw a substantial amount of crime. 

“This simulation highlighted the realities of life in a place where there is a lot of activity and competing demands,” Dr. Cassata said. “You really get to see how these complexities can negatively affect behavior.” 

Following the simulation, Seidel and Loyola’s other dietetic interns were charged with making a healthy lunch that cost no more than $1.43 per serving while discussing inexpensive strategies for healthy eating. 

This workshop was part of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration I-CARE-PATH grant (#UD7HP26040). The grants fosters interprofessional education within the University’s schools of nursing, medicine, social work, and public health to ultimately improve care for patients. 

Faculty will determine how this simulation can be used in a greater capacity within its curricula while doctors and other health-care professionals will be able to apply their findings directly to patient care. 

“Loyola has a rich history of shaping our students into competent, compassionate, and socially responsible health-care professionals,” said Fran Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA, FAAN, department chair in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and associate director for I-TIE. “This program is in line with our mission, as it gives our faculty and students a greater understanding of the needs of the underserved, making them more compassionate and well-rounded health-care professionals.”

Martha King named director of administration and assistant provost for Loyola’s Health Sciences Division

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Martha King has been named the first director of administration and assistant provost for the Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division.

In her new role, King is responsible for faculty recruitment for Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and Health Research Graduate School. She also is tasked with the development, coordination and implementation of new faculty procedures as well as facilitation of the Faculty Development Review Committee on Rank and Tenure.

“Advancing a faculty member through promotion and tenure is of equal importance to identifying and recruiting the most qualified candidates. In bringing together these responsibilities into one administrative office, we will more efficiently recruit and retain the best of the best,” said Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of Health Sciences at Loyola. “Martha’s track record in these areas makes her the ideal person to establish this office.”

Before joining Loyola, King managed Saint Louis University’s Office of Faculty Affairs, where she provided training and guidance to faculty and academic units on university policies and procedures. She also taught courses in philosophy of law and German at the university.

King earned her master’s degree in philosophy from Saint Louis University and is currently a PhD candidate.

For media inquiries, please contact Evie Polsley at epolsley@lumc.edu or call (708) 216-5313 or (708) 417-5100.

Roger A. Russell named chief financial officer for Loyola’s Health Sciences Division

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Roger A. Russell has been named chief financial officer for Loyola University Chicago’s Health Sciences Division. Russell will oversee all financial efforts for the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and Health Sciences Research Graduate School.

“With a record of excellence in a wide range of professional endeavors and an understanding of our mission, I know Roger will add a dynamic and progressive presence to our already strong leadership team,” said Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of Health Sciences at Loyola.

Russell returns to the university after spending two years with Cadence Health where he supported and implemented the full use of the electronic medical record system, Epic, throughout the system.

Prior to that he worked at Loyola University Medical Center where he held roles within the finance and administrative systems including overseeing payroll, budgeting, cost accounting and working with Epic.

Russell earned his master’s degree in business administration from Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business.

For media inquiries, please contact Evie Polsley at epolsley@lumc.edu or call (708) 216-5313 or (708) 417-5100.

Loyola alumna, faculty receive Pinnacle Nurse Leader awards

Nurses honored for contributions to their profession 

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Pam Clementi, PhD, RN-BC, PhD ’06, Audrey Klopp, PhD, RN, NHA, and Janet McCarthy, RN, MSN, MBA, were honored with Pinnacle Nurse Leader Awards at the 16th Annual Power of Nursing Leadership Event recently in Chicago.

These award winners were selected by their peers for their extraordinary service in nursing and for making positive, lasting changes in their profession while serving as mentors to those less experienced. They were among 25 nurses to be recognized.

Each of these award winners has worked in nursing for more than three decades. Dr. Clementi, an alumna of Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, is the manager of nursing education at Loyola University Health System.  Dr. Klopp is an assistant professor and the director of Loyola’s DNP Program while McCarthy is an instructor and director of the ABSN Program at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. 

“Each of these nurses has had a lasting impact on the profession of nursing,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “We are proud to have these skilled professionals shaping health care across the state of Illinois.”

The PNL has become the premier gathering of the most innovative nurse leaders from academia, health systems, government and businesses throughout Illinois. The event provides an opportunity for nurse leaders in Illinois to engage with their peers who are shaping health care throughout the state and beyond.

Kenneth Byron, PhD, named Loyola’s assistant provost for research

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Kenneth Byron, PhD, professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, has been promoted to Assistant Provost for Research in the Health Sciences Division.

Byron will focus on establishing and maintaining the infrastructure to facilitate competitive, extramurally funded research in the Health Sciences Division. He will report to Richard Kennedy, PhD, vice provost, Research and Graduate Programs.

“Ken’s experience and dedication will have a very positive impact on our research programs,” said Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of Health Sciences at Loyola.

Byron received a BA in Natural Sciences from Johns Hopkins University in 1980 and a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1990. He did postdoctoral training as a Wellcome Trust Fellow in the Department of Pharmacology at Cambridge University from 1990 to 1993.

Byron joined Loyola in 1993 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to professor in 2010, and has served as graduate program director in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics since 2005.

Byron has directed an extramurally funded research program at Loyola for the past 20 years, focusing on calcium signaling and regulation of ion channels in vascular and airway smooth muscle. He has served as an ad hoc member of several National Institutes of Health, Veterans Affairs, American Heart Association and state scientific review groups since 1994. Currently, he serves as a member of the Hypertension and Microcirculation Study Section of the NIH

Registration opens for Palmer research symposium in Rome

Registration for Palmer Symposium

Registration is open for the 2014 Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing’s (MNSON) Ruth K. Palmer Symposium. This event will offer the latest information in nursing research to an international audience of health care professionals and students May 15–16 at the Centro Studi Americani in Rome, Italy.

The theme is “Pushing the Boundaries: Exploring Research Frontiers to Transform Nursing Practice, Education, and Policy.”

Keynote speakers are Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, vice president, Nursing, chief nursing officer, Cedars-Sinai Health System, Los Angeles, Calif., and vice chair, Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing; and Suzanne S. Prevost, RN, PhD, dean and professor, University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Dr. Burnes Bolton, named one of 2011’s Top 25 women in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine, will deliver the opening address. Having served as vice chair of the Institute of Medicine Report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” she will discuss the report’s impact and the ways nurse scientists and educators can transform nursing practice for positive change in health care.

Dr. Prevost, 2011-2013 president of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Honor Society of Nursing, will deliver the second-day keynote address. She will cover creative strategies to foster international collaboration among nurse scientists and educators to bridge the gap between research and practice. In her capacity as president of STTI, Dr. Prevost promoted STTI’s Vision 2020 goals for a more global society.

Drs. Burnes Bolton and Prevost will join a respected panel of speakers, all focused on the goals of the symposium: 

  • to explore research that contributes to transformation of health outcomes, nursing practice, education, and policy.
  • to disseminate research that promotes excellence in global health care, nursing practice, education, and policy devel­opment.
  • to create opportunities for international and trans-disciplinary collaboration in research.
  • to provide an international forum to discuss health-related research and evidence-based practice.
  • to engage international scholars in dia­logue of research impacting practice, education, and policy.

Registration is open and early-bird registration rates are available until February 15, 2014. For details, download the brochure or e-mail Palmer_Symposium@LUC.edu.

Loyola University Health System (OH-346, 5/26/14) is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Ohio Nurse’s Asso­ciation (OBN-001-91), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Contact hours will be awarded for this program.

The MNSON and the Alpha Beta Chapter of STTI are sponsors of the event, established from the Ruth K. Palmer Memorial Endowment as a gift of dean emeritus Gladys Kiniery in memory of her beloved sister. 

Pre- and post-symposium activities in Rome, as well day trips to Assisi and Pompeii and overnight tours throughout Tuscany, will be planned depending on interest. For details on these activities, contact Ida Androwich at iandrow@LUC.edu.

Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing holds Honors and Pinning ceremony

MNSON Holds Honors and Pinning Ceremony

School welcomes nursing graduates into the profession 

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing welcomed 53 graduating students into the nursing profession at its Fall 2013 Honors and Pinning ceremony on Friday, Dec. 13, at the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood.

The event honored graduating nursing students and recognized the outstanding achievements of student award recipients. Each nursing student was presented with a pin from a member of Loyola’s Alumni Board.

“The Honors and Pinning Ceremony is a long-standing tradition, which represents the transition from student to nurse,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean, MNSON. “This event also brings together alumni, faculty, staff, students and their families to celebrate the health care profession and identify our next generation of health care providers as recipients of a world-class Loyola University Chicago education.”

The following awards and honors were presented during the ceremony:

Alumni Award: Meredith Kiefer
Laura Difiglio Klink Scholarship: Rachel Johnson
Gladys Kiniery Clinical Excellence Award: Jessica Chakos
Carol Kraft Award: Faith Obichere
Julia Lane Silver Key Award: Annalisa Graham
Dean’s Gold Key Award: Nataliya Malimon

View photos of the event here.

Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Showcases Graduate Student Research

School of Nursing Showcases Graduate Student Research

Dean Keough (third from left) with MSN students at the Day of Scholarship.

Day of Scholarship marks completion of master’s program

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing held its annual Day of Scholarship on Friday, December 6, at the Health Sciences Campus. This event highlighted the scholarly work of Loyola’s Master of Science in Nursing students and celebrated the completion of their graduate coursework.

“The Day of Scholarship demonstrates the hard work and dedication of our graduate students,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean, MNSON. “These graduates are now among the top 20 percent of nurses in the country. They are essential to the health of our nation.”

Master of Science in Nursing students are required to complete their comprehensive examination paper on a self-selected topic. Graduates then complete a presentation on their topic to other students, faculty members, and invited guests at the Day of Scholarship.

Thirty-three graduates presented their work at this fall semester’s event. Topics ranged from providing an evidence-based plan of care for binge drinking in young women to the implications of sleep on obesity.

During the recognition ceremony following the presentations, Dean Keough addressed the graduates, stressing their obligation to accomplish great things.

 “Never has the nation needed you so greatly,” Dean Keough said. “Whether you make a difference at the bedside, in the lab, in management and imagination of new health-care systems or in the conduct of research or community and global health, I ask you to make a difference.”

Loyola Health Sciences research demonstrates additional benefits of supplement

Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes and depression, according to a study conducted at Loyola University Chicago. These findings were presented at an Oct. 24, 2013 research conference at Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with depression and pain, but few studies have looked at how pain may affect the treatment of depression in patients with type 2 diabetes and no studies have evaluated the role of vitamin D supplementation on this association.

Researchers in this study tested the efficacy of weekly vitamin D2 supplementation (50,000 IUs) for six months on depression in women with type 2 diabetes. Depression significantly improved following supplementation. In addition, 61 percent of patients reported shooting or burning pain in their legs and feet (neuropathic pain) and 74 percent reported numbness and tingling in their hands, fingers, and legs (sensory pain) at the beginning of the study. Researchers found a significant decrease in neuropathic and sensory pain at three and six months following vitamin D2 supplementation.

“Pain is a common and often serious problem for women with type 2 diabetes and depression,” said Todd Doyle, PhD, lead author and fellow, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM). “While further research is needed, D2 supplementation is a promising treatment for both pain and depression in type 2 diabetes.”

Loyola researchers have received funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research to conduct a trial comparing the effects of two different doses of vitamin D3 supplements on health outcomes in women with diabetes.

“Vitamin D has widespread benefits for our health and certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes,” said Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, study co-author and professor, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “This NIH grant will allow us to shed greater light on understanding the role that this nutrient plays in managing the health of women with diabetes.”

Other study authors included Patricia Mumby, PhD, professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, Mary Anne Emanuele, MD, professor, Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism, SSOM; Mary Alice Byrn, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Nursing, St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind.; and Diane E. Wallis, MD, Midwest Heart Specialists, Downers Grove, Ill.

Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Earns Engineering Award

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) is being recognized with an Engineering Excellence Honor Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-Illinois) for the innovative design of the school’s new building. Both the university and the engineering firm involved with this structure will be presented with the award at the ACEC-Illinois awards luncheon in February.

“We are honored to be recognized for our new building,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean, MNSON. “This state-of-the-art facility fosters collaborative, interdisciplinary education, ultimately improving the way health professionals learn and work together to care for patients.”

The four-story, 58,222 square-foot building, which opened in September 2012, houses a 165-seat lecture hall, classrooms, group study rooms, conference rooms, faculty offices, a light-filled atrium, and café. Features include the Galante Information Commons, an integrated learning environment with an electronic health sciences library, and the Walgreen Family Virtual Hospital, which is equipped with six high fidelity clinical simulation labs and a home-care environment for nursing, medical, and health studies students.
 
The design of the LEED Gold-certified building offers professors and students the rare opportunity to be able to open windows in a modern building. The availability of fresh outdoor air coupled with daylight provides occupants with natural, stress-reducing elements, which improve the learning environment.
 
The building is connected to the Stritch School of Medicine, which features a task simulation, education and advanced procedures performance assessment center. Students from various disciplines work together in both facilities to replicate patient-care scenarios. This allows students to hone their technical, communication, critical-thinking, and decision-making skills under the supervision of experienced professionals.  

Niehoff Faculty Member Accepted to Illinois Nursing Leader Fellowship Program

Molly Hewitt, MSN, APN, has been accepted into the founding class of the Illinois Nursing Leader Fellowship Program. This program is designed to bring together nurse professionals from diverse practices and educational environments to build leadership competencies and skills for the profession.

The Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders administers the Illinois Nursing Leader Fellowship. All candidates for the fellowship are nominated by the chief nursing officer of their organization. Through the program, fellows develop a leadership project to carry out in their workplace. They also agree to serve as mentors to new participants of future programs.

“I was honored to be accepted into the first class of Illinois Nursing Leadership Fellows,” Hewitt said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in this program to advance the profession of nursing in Illinois.”

Hewitt is an instructor and lab coordinator at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Prior to this, she was a nurse at the Loyola Center for Health at Homer Glen. Hewitt earned her Master of Science in nursing from Loyola University Chicago. She also completed Loyola’s program to become an adult nurse practitioner with a cardiovascular subspecialty in 2011.

Exercise Science Students Present at Conference in Chicago

Students in the Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) Exercise Science Program gave presentations at the American Society for Exercise Physiologists’ (ASEP) annual conference, held Oct. 25, 2013 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Students in the MNSON EXCM 390 Psychology of Health and Exercise course presented “Evidence-based recommendations for young exercise physiologists using self-efficacy building strategies to improve adherence to cardiac rehabilitation” and “Review of self-efficacy beliefs and their role in patient adherence to cardiac rehabilitation treatment.”

Course instructor John Coumbe-Lilley, PhD, coached the students on the organization and presentation of their findings. They spent nine weeks preparing by identifying, critiquing, and applying primary research and evidence-focused literature reviews to the patient experience of cardiac rehabilitation. They also studied the use of self-efficacy theory and relapse prevention programming.

At the conference, Coumbe-Lilley provided an overview of key psycho-emotional aspects of cardiac rehabilitation and his students Nicole Nowak, Kinjal Panchal, Lindsey Rohlfs, Faraaz Ahmed, and Kerry Hampston presented their research findings with the help of Alyssa Arwady and Mohammed Rashed. Students Jonathan Traquena and Brian Bernal fielded questions from the audience.

The student presenters were recognized as demonstrating mastery of their subject, eloquent presentation skills, and a professional approach to the event by educational leaders and professors from institutions in Texas, Minnesota, and Michigan.

“This was a very educational experience and has shown me how much time and effort it takes to successfully prepare for a conference of this magnitude,” Nowak said.

Traquena agreed, adding,  “I hope my colleagues and I were as successful in contributing meaningful information to the exercise community as other presenters at the conference.”

The ASEP is committed to the professional development of exercise physiology, its advancement, and the credibility of exercise physiologists. This is the second consecutive year students from Coumbe-Lilley's course have presented at the ASEP’s conference.

Papers presented at the conference:

"Review of self-efficacy beliefs and their role in patient adherence to cardiac rehabilitation treatment."

Nicole Nowak*, Kinjal Panchal*, Mohammed Rashed, Lindsey Rohlfs*, and Jonathan Traquena

"Evidence based recommendations for young exercise physiologists using self-efficacy building strategies to improve adherence to cardiac rehabilitation."

Faraaz Ahmed*, Alyssa Arwady, Brian Bernal, and Kerry Hampston*

* Conference presenters

Niehoff Professor Named American Academy of Nursing Fellow

Penckofer Inducted into AAN

From left: Carol Ferrans, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and associate dean for Research, University of Illinois College of Nursing; Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and faculty scholar, MNSON; and Ida Androwich, PhD, RN, BC, FAAN, professor, MNSON.

Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing on Oct. 19, 2013. This event took place at the Academy’s 40th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Dr. Penckofer is a professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON).

“I am honored to join this esteemed group,” Dr. Penckofer said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance the profession of nursing and improve health care nationwide.”

Selection for membership in the academy is one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing. The academy fellows represent the top nurse researchers, policymakers, scholars, executives, educators, and practitioners. This new class of fellows represents all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 19 countries. Dr. Penckofer was among 172 fellows inducted in to the academy. She was named a fellow for her contributions to the field of nursing for her work in improving women’s cardiovascular health, particularly for women afflicted with diabetes who are at greatest risk for cardiac morbidity and mortality.

The academy is composed of more than 2,000 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research. Selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two current academy fellows. Applicants are reviewed by a panel of elected and appointed fellows, and selection is based, in part, on the extent to which nominees’ nursing careers influence health policies and well-being.

Dr. Penckofer earned her bachelor of science and master of science in nursing and her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been an educator and researcher for more than 30 years and is recognized nationally and internationally for her expertise in women’s cardiovascular health, depression, diabetes, and vitamin D deficiency.

Her research on how emotions can affect overall health and quality of life has helped to transform the care delivered to women with diabetes. She also has made substantive contributions to promoting awareness and understanding of key health issues that disproportionately affect women in minority and underserved populations.

Velsor-Friedrich recognized as Faculty Member of the Year

Barbara Velsor-Friedrich receives LUC Faculty of the Year Award 2013

From left: Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of Health Sciences, Loyola University Chicago, Barbara Velsor-Friedrich, PhD, RN, professor and director of the PhD Program, MNSON, and Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean and professor, MNSON.

Barbara Velsor-Friedrich, PhD, RN, FAAN, a faculty member in the Department of Health Promotion of the Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, is the 2013 recipient of the university’s Faculty of the Year Award.

The award was presented Sept. 23 to Velsor-Friedrich by Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of Health Sciences, Loyola University Chicago, during the Health Sciences Division Faculty Convocation on Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, Ill.

Each year, the university’s Faculty Council Awards Committee accepts nominations from faculty at all schools and passes along its selections to the Faculty Council for approval. Criteria are excellence in teaching, research, and service.

“It is a wonderful honor to receive this recognition from my faculty colleagues,” Velsor-Friedrich said.

Velsor-Friedrich joined the Loyola faculty in 1979. Currently, she is a professor and director of the PhD in Nursing Program at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Her expertise as a clinician, educator, and researcher is health promotion for children and adolescents with chronic illnesses — asthma, in particular.

She has been recognized for her contributions to the field of pediatric nursing. Accolades include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children and the Excellence in Pediatric Research Award from the Society of Pediatric Nurses, among others.

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Earns Grants to Promote Access to Health Care

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) has received two grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to foster interprofessional education and collaboration to better meet the health needs of the community.

The first was an Interprofessional Promoting Access to Healthcare (I-PATH) grant (HRSA # D09HP25925) awarded to professor Ida Androwich, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, FHIMSS. She will receive $1.05 million over three years to engage nursing students in interprofessional education and clinical practice projects with dietetics and public health students.

Students will develop interprofessional team projects to address the health care needs of patients with multiple chronic conditions in minority or underserved areas. Their projects and other resources for conducting community assessments will be available on a website to support small or rural health care facilities in completing community health-needs assessments and to provide better care for their populations.

“There is a critical need for nursing leaders educationally prepared to engage in and direct interprofessional teams to improve the quality of patient care,” Dr. Androwich said. “This grant will allow us to educate a variety of health professionals and improve interprofessional collaboration.”

Faculty members who assisted with the grant include: MaryMargaret Sharp-Pucci, EdD, MPH; Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, LDN; Fran Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN; Holly Kramer, MD; Sheila Haas, PhD, RN, FAAN; and Patricia Friend, PhD, APN-CNS, AOCN.

The second was an Interprofessional-Collaborative Redesign and Evaluation for Population Access to Health (I-CARE PATH) grant (HRSA # UD7HP26040) awarded to associate
professor Fran Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA-BC,ANEF, FAAN. Dr. Vlasses will receive $1.5 million over three years to develop nurse leaders to create collaborative environments
to better care for patients in underserved areas.

“This grant will substantially increase the number of nursing, dietetics, social work and medical students who are prepared for interprofessional collaborative practice environments which increase access, coordinate care and promote health in the community,” Dr. Vlasses said.

Loyola’s Health Sciences Division faculty members who assisted with the grant include: Diana Hackbarth, PhD, RN, FAAN; Elizabeth Burkhart, PhD, RN, MPH; Aaron Michelfelder,
MD, FAAFP, FAAMA; Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, LDN; and Sheila Haas, PhD, RN, FAAN.

These grants are in line with the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing’s progressive approach to education focused on collaboration. The school recently built a state-of-the-art
Center for Simulation Education, which includes a six-bed virtual hospital and home-care environment where students from various health disciplines learn together how to better care for patients. In addition, the school has developed and managed an interprofessional school-based health center at Proviso East High School in Maywood for more than a decade.

“These grants support the school’s efforts to foster education and collaboration across many health care disciplines,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean, MNSON. “This work will allow us to better serve our changing health care environment.”

Loyola Launches Institute of Public Health

Loyola University Chicago is establishing a new Institute of Public Health, a scholarly program dedicated to reducing the global burden of disease, improving international health, and decreasing health disparities due to racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, gender, environmental, and other factors.

The institute will:
    

  • Educate students for careers and leadership positions in public health;
  • Conduct internationally recognized research on factors that contribute to disease and health disparities;
  • Work within local and global communities to improve health and reduce disparities;
  • Recruit a diverse faculty and student body that will improve understanding of the causes of and solutions for health risks and disparities.


“The Institute of Public Health exemplifies Loyola University Chicago’s Jesuit Catholic commitment to social justice,” said Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of Health Sciences.

The institute will build upon the master of public health (MPH) degree program that Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine established in 2009 to provide the breadth and depth required to educate future professionals and link students with community projects and public health research.

Amy Luke, PhD, professor of Public Health Sciences in Stritch School of Medicine, will serve as director of the Institute.

Luke received her PhD in human nutrition and nutritional biology from the University of Chicago in 1994, and continued her training  as a research associate in Stritch’s Department of Preventive Medicine & Epidemiology. Luke has led National Institutes of Health-funded projects on the causes of obesity and cardiovascular disease in Africa, the Caribbean, and metropolitan Chicago. She also mentors junior faculty, MPH students, and medical students.

Luke’s responsibilities will include continued development of internationally recognized research, education, and community outreach that incorporates faculty expertise from throughout the university. She will assist Holly Kramer, MD, MPH, director of the MPH program, in the program accreditation process, and work with Richard S. Cooper, MD, chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences, to recruit faculty that support public health initiatives and related doctoral programs.

Loyola School of Nursing and Hines VA to Recruit Women Veterans at Risk for Heart Disease for Mindfulness Study

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) researchers and Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital are recruiting women veterans at risk for heart disease for a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) study. MBSR is a form of complementary medicine that combines yoga and meditation.

Women veterans between the ages of 18 and 70, who have at least two risk factors for heart disease, are eligible to enroll in the study. Risk factors include high cholesterol,
high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, smoking, and a family history of heart disease or stroke.
 
“Women veterans are a rapidly growing population with unique health needs,” said Karen Saban, PhD, RN, APRN, CNRN, FAHA, associate professor, MNSON and health science
researcher at the Hines VA. “Women who enroll in this study will help us study alternative methods to improve the health and quality of life of those who have served.”

The eight-week study will determine the extent to which training in MBSR improves psychological well-being, decreases inflammation, and reduces heart disease risk. Researchers also will evaluate protective measures and risk factors, such as prior life adversity, social support and health behaviors that may alter the positive effects of MBSR.

“This is the first study that will look at mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques in women veterans at risk for heart disease,” said Fran Weaver, PhD, director, Center
for Management of Complex Chronic Care, Hines VA. “Given that heart disease is a major cause of death, this research also may have broader implications for the general
population.”

Evidence demonstrates that chronic stress doubles the risk of a heart attack and contributes to inflammation linked to artery disease and stroke. Veterans who have experienced
combat are at greater risk for stress and heart disease as a result. While previous research has focused on males, statistics reveal that a startling number (81 percent – 92 percent) of women veterans report experiencing at least one traumatic event, which contributes to stress. Women veterans also have significant rates of prior life adversity such as sexual assault and physical violence.

Using MBSR to reduce stress and develop coping strategies may improve psychological well-being and reduce heart disease risk in women veterans. Mindfulness techniques also
have been found to reduce symptoms of depression and improve quality of life in veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. People who use MBSR gain awareness about the relationship among their thoughts, emotions and reactions, which can change conditioned patterns of emotional responses. 

This study is funded through a $1.1 million four-year grant from the VA Nursing Research Initiative

Loyola Hosts Symposium of Leading Chicago Heart Researchers

Heart research in Chicago will enter a new era Sept. 20 when top researchers from all of Chicago’s major academic medical centers meet at the American Heart Association’s 2013 Chicago Research Network Symposium.

More than 100 researchers and students are expected to attend the meeting, which is hosted by Loyola University Chicago’s Health Sciences Division.

“The purpose is to share ideas, build synergies, strengthen collaboration, and establish a stronger cardiovascular network in the Chicago area,” said Richard Kennedy, PhD, Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Programs for Loyola’s Health Sciences Division.

Speakers include physicians and basic scientists from the American Heart Association, Loyola University Chicago, Rush University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, North Shore University Health System, Rosalind Franklin University, Midwestern University in Downers Grove and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. It is the inaugural program in what the heart association hopes to make an annual event.

Kevin Harker, executive vice president of the American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate, said the association plays a critical role in supporting the development of beginning investigators and offering innovative funding mechanisms to stimulate research in promising areas of cardiovascular science. “This symposium is a natural extension of our commitment to research and we’re delighted to partner with Loyola University Chicago to bring this opportunity to the Chicago research community,” he said.

Among the speakers is Amy Luke, PhD, a professor in Loyola’s Department of Public Health Sciences. Luke will speak on Vitamin D, Obesity, and Hypertension in African-origin Populations: An Epidemiologic Approach.

The symposium was organized by Loyola heart researcher Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD, FAHA, assistant professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, who will give the closing remarks. The department, chaired by Pieter de Tombe, PhD, will pay half the cost of the conference.

Undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students will present their heart research in poster sessions, with awards for the best research posters.

“This is an excellent demonstration of Loyola’s commitment to translational research that ranges from basic discovery to clinical and public health sciences,” Kennedy said.
 
The all-day symposium will be held in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing auditorium, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood.

Loyola Breaks Ground on $137 Million Medical Research and Education Center

Loyola Breaks Ground on CTRE

Larry Warren (from left), interim COO, CHE-Trinity; Larry Goldberg, president and CEO, Loyola University Health System; Richard Kennedy, vice provost of Research and Graduate Programs, Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division (LUC HSD); Richard L. Gamelli, senior vice president and provost, LUC HSD; Michael J. Garanzini, SJ, president, LUC; Bill Laird, senior vice president and CFO, LUC; Jackie Holsten, Health Sciences Committee chair, LUC Board of Trustees; Linda Brubaker, dean, LUC Stritch School of Medicine; and Vicki Keough, dean, LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Loyola University Chicago broke ground Aug. 16 on a $137 million medical research and education building that will support nearly 500 scientists and staff working together to improve human health.

The Loyola University Chicago Center for Translational Research and Education is scheduled to open in April 2016 on the university’s Health Sciences Campus in Maywood. The five-story, 227,000-square-foot building is a collaboration among Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Health System, and CHE-Trinity Health.

Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., president and CEO of Loyola University Chicago, said one of the biggest challenges in health care is acquiring new knowledge and producing great doctors and nurses. “This new Center will transform the practice of Catholic health care education and research for the benefit of students, patients, and our society as a whole."

Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of Loyola’s Health Sciences Division, told nearly 300 scientists and dignitaries: “It is almost certain that someone in your life – possibly you – will benefit from the work that is done at this health sciences campus. Patients right across the street and around the world will be able to enjoy healthier lives, thanks to Loyola health sciences. Excellence in research translates into excellence in patient care.”

Larry Goldberg, president and CEO of Loyola University Health System said: “This is about discovery, and translating that discovery to the patients who we serve. Bringing together this collection of researchers and clinicians to really build something great. . . will bring us forward for the next 10 to 15 years.”

The Center will include open laboratory and support space for 72 principal investigators plus space for 40 lead scientists engaged in desktop research such as public health, health services, nursing, bioinformatics, and epidemiology. A 250-seat auditorium will provide a link with the local community, serving primarily as a showcase for health-related programming.

In 2011, Trinity Health (now CHE-Trinity) acquired the health system from the university. As part of this agreement, the university and CHE-Trinity will share the cost of a $150 million research enterprise, comprising the $137 million building and funding to attract and support leading researchers.

The Center will accommodate principal investigators, postdoctoral trainees, physicians, nurses, fellows, graduate students, and students from Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Researchers now scattered among buildings throughout the Health Sciences Campus will be centralized in the research and education center. The center will be built on what is now a parking lot between the medical school and an office building.

In addition to Father Garanzini, Dr. Gamelli, and Larry Goldberg, other members of the partnership who handled ceremonial groundbreaking shovels were:

  • Richard Kennedy, PhD, vice provost of research and graduate programs, Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division
  • Larry Warren, interim COO, CHE-Trinity
  • Jackie Taylor Holsten, Health Sciences Committee chair, Loyola University Chicago Board of Trustees
  • Bill Laird, senior vice president and CFO, Loyola University Chicago
  • Linda Brubaker, MD, dean of the Stritch School of Medicine
  • Vicki Keough, PhD, dean of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Midwest Nursing Research Society honors Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing faculty member with Award

Midwest Nursing Research Award

2013 Senior Scientist Award winner Linda Janusek, RN, left, stands with Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Dean Vicki Keough, RN.

Linda Janusek, RN, PhD, FAAN, has received the 2013 Senior Scientist Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society. Janusek is a professor and the Niehoff Endowed Chair for Research at Loyola University Chicago’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing in Maywood, Ill.

Every year, the Midwest Nursing Research Society presents awards to members of the society who have made significant contributions to the profession of nursing through research. Janusek was among four investigators who received this award at the Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Meeting in Chicago this year.

"It was an honor to be recognized for my scientific achievements and a privilege to be included among an esteemed group of nurse scientists," Janusek said in a news release. "I look forward to continuing my research to advance understanding of how psychosocial stress increases risk for poor health across the lifespan." 

Janusek is a National Institutes of Health-funded researcher whose work focuses on the impact of psychosocial stress on physical and behavioral responses in vulnerable populations. Her research has demonstrated the detrimental effects of psychological stress on the immune system related to cancer control. Most recently, she discovered early life adversity predisposes women with breast cancer to an impaired immune response to cancer and to more intense and persistent behavioral symptoms such as depression, fatigue and perceived stress. 

Janusek most recently has extended her research to the field of behavioral epigenetics, an area of science that seeks to explain how a person’s psychosocial environment is translated to the genome to influence risk for disease across the lifespan. Her research investigates epigenetic mechanisms that link psychosocial stress and social disadvantage to poor health.

"Linda has made significant contributions to advance nursing research and guide our profession," Nancy Hogan, RN, PhD, FAAN, distinguished professor and director of research at Marcella Niehoff, said in the release. "Her work demonstrates the positive impact that empowering individuals to self-manage stress-related symptoms can have on health."

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Names Director of Health Systems Management Program

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) has named MaryMargaret Sharp-Pucci, EdD, MPH, director of the Health Systems Management Program, effective with the 2013 academic year. This program prepares undergraduate and graduate students for a career in the management side of the health care industry.

Dr. Sharp-Pucci previously served as an assistant professor in the Health Systems Management Program. Her teaching has included courses in comparative effectiveness research, outcomes performance methodology, health-care leadership and policy, health care in America, and health systems management. Dr. Sharp-Pucci also is a mentor for graduate and undergraduate students, and serves as an adviser for the graduate comprehensive examination.

"Dr. Sharp-Pucci has been instrumental in building Loyola’s Health Systems Management Program,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean of the school of nursing. “Her background as an academician combined with her extensive experience in the health care industry make her ideally suited to lead this program.”

Dr. Sharp-Pucci also is founder and managing member of Sharp Health Strategies, which provides consulting services to academic medical centers, health plans, government agencies, and hospital networks. Her work focuses on health care quality-improvement initiatives and the planning and execution of health policies. Dr. Sharp-Pucci also is an advocate for improving health care for people with disabilities.

Prior to forming her business, Dr. Sharp-Pucci served as a senior consultant to Central DuPage Health and as an associate director in the Technology Evaluation Center for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. She has held academic appointments at Virginia Commonwealth University and Northern Illinois University. In addition, Dr. Sharp-Pucci is actively involved with the Institute for the Advancement of Home Care Medicine, and serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Burn Care & Research.

The Health Systems Management Program includes:

A Bachelor of Science in Health Systems Management – This is a non-nursing major that provides students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for entry-level positions within the health care industry.

Five-Year Bachelor of Science in Health Systems Management/Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program – This dual-degree program allows students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Systems Management and an MBA in as little as five years.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Health Systems Management – This degree prepares students with the skills and competencies that recognized nurse leaders in the field have identified as essential. Members of the program learn core nursing and administration concepts and theories with subspecialty preparation in either health care informatics or outcomes performance management.

Dual Degree MSN/MBA Program – This program provides for concurrent study in the MBA program and the MSN, Advanced Practice Nursing: Health Systems Management major, equipping nurse leaders to work in business and nursing administration.

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Earns Opportunities To Expand Community Service and Research

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) faculty member Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, LDN, and dietetic interns Stephanie Rink, Lindsay Colman, Jillian Tuchman, Alida Peterson and Mary Thompson, received the Ann Hertzler Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation for $5,000 to offer a nutrition education program with a focus on gardening for children in the neighboring Maywood and Melrose Park communities.  

The dietetic interns will collaborate with the ENRICH garden, organized by Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine students in partnership with the Maywood Fine Arts Center. The interns will provide a six-week series of classes for area elementary school students to learn about gardening and healthy eating.  


Karen L. Saban, PhD, APRN, CNRN, was selected to attend the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Nursing Research 2013 Summer Genetics Institute (SGI) in Bethesda, Md. Dr. Saban is an associate professor in the MNSON.

The SGI is a one-month intensive research training program at the NIH, which provides participants with a foundation in molecular genetics appropriate for use in research and clinical practice. The program seeks to increase the research capability among doctoral students and faculty and to develop and expand clinical practice in genetics among nurses. Administered by the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences, the SGI features lectures and hands-on laboratory training.

“The course demonstrated how genetics and genomics are on the verge of transforming care for patients,” Dr. Saban said. “This is an exciting area of health care, which I look forward to applying to my research.”

Dr. Saban plans to use the knowledge and skills she gained from the course to further develop her research integrating social context and inflammation with genetics to explain disparities in cardiovascular disease and stroke in disadvantaged individuals.

Loyola To Break Ground on $137 Million Medical Research and Education Center

CTRE To Break Ground

Loyola University Chicago will break ground August 16 on a $137 million medical research and education building to support nearly 500 scientists and staff working together to improve  human health.

The Loyola University Chicago Center for Translational Research and Education, a collaboration with Loyola University Health System and CHE-Trinity, will be located on the university’s Health Sciences Campus. The five-story, 227,000 square-foot building is scheduled to open in April 2016.

The center will include open laboratory and support space for 72 principal investigators plus space for 40 lead scientists engaged in desktop research such as public health, health services, nursing, bioinformatics, and epidemiology. A 250-seat auditorium will provide a unique link with the local community, serving primarily as a showcase for health-related programming.

Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., President and CEO of Loyola University Chicago, stated “this project is one of the most significant outcomes of the partnership of Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Health System, and CHE-Trinity.” In 2011, CHE-Trinity acquired the health system from the university. As part of this agreement, the university and CHE-Trinity each committed to share the cost of a $150 million research enterprise, which comprises the $137 million building and funding to attract and support leading researchers.

Larry M. Goldberg, President and CEO of Loyola University Health System, said research conducted at the center “will translate medical discoveries into practical applications that will improve how we prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. This research will help advance the health system’s clinical programs, including cardiovascular disease, oncology, neuroscience,  infectious disease and immunology, burn and shock trauma, and public health.”

The center will accommodate principal investigators, postdoctoral trainees, physicians, nurses, fellows, graduate students, and students from Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

“The Center for Translational Research and Education will lift us to the next level of discovery, providing space where today’s ideas will grow into tomorrow’s breakthroughs,” said Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, Senior Vice President and Provost of Health Sciences of Loyola University Chicago. “It is being built on the precept that world-class health science research must be applied at the patient’s bedside to achieve the greatest good.”

Researchers now scattered among buildings throughout the Health Sciences Campus will be centralized in the research and education center, rising on what is now a parking lot between the medical school and an office building.

“Bringing our community of scientists together into one location will foster greater collaboration, which will lead to more discoveries and rapid translation into interventions for prevention and treatment of disease,” said Richard H. Kennedy, PhD, Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Programs for Loyola University Chicago’s Health Sciences Division. “Researchers no longer work alone. Science today is a team effort. The research and education center is designed to facilitate such teamwork.”

Loyola Nurse to Partner with Cook County Department of Public Health to Reduce Youth Violence

A Loyola University Health System acute care nurse practitioner is partnering with The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) to reduce youth violence in suburban Cook County.

Daria C. Ruffolo, DNP ’12, MSN ’97, RN, CCRN, ACNP-BC, will provide the CCDPH's violence prevention team with tools for key community leaders, social service workers and nurses in this area to select evidence-based youth violence-prevention programs. This training will take place from 9:30–11:30 a.m. on Friday, August 9, at CCDPH located at 15900 S. Cicero Ave. - Building E in Oak Forest. The program will address social skills, cognitive and behavioral interventions, parental training, family therapy, and strategies to improve school environments.

"Youth violence has long been a critical issue for communities within the western and southern areas of suburban Cook County," said Ruffolo, who began teaching this course as she earned her doctorate from Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. "Prevention and community mobilization are critical and complimentary tools that can strengthen a community's capacity to effectively address youth violence."

Ruffolo recently published research in the Journal of Trauma Nurses, which found that previous educational sessions with key stakeholders in suburban Cook County provided the skills necessary to identify programs that can best meet the needs of their communities. These officials also gained an appreciation for the efficacy of evidence-based prevention programs.

Youth violence is among the most serious health threats in the nation today. Homicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24 years in suburban Cook County. Although the national rates of violent injury and homicide have shown a decline in most regions of the United States over the past 15 years, the rates of violence and related injuries among youth remain high.

"The prevention of youth violence has been a priority for the Cook County Department of Public Health," said Terry Mason, MD, FACS, chief operating officer, CCDPH. "This partnership with Loyola will allow us to better protect communities that suffer from disproportionate rates of violent acts."

Congratulations to Alpha Sigma Nu Inductees!

Alpha Sigma Nu

Each year Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education, recognizes students who have distinguished themselves in scholarship, loyalty to the values of Jesuit education, and service. Membership into Alpha Sigma Nu is one of the highest honors one can achieve at a Jesuit institution and only 4% of each class is able to be inducted each year.

Graduate Students:
Kimberly Budil
Jessica Kiszka
Claudia Navarrete
Kathleen Taylor

Undergraduate Students:
Nicole Dillon
Nealy Doss
Lacey Eberle
Jacqueline Garreau
Jennifer Kirsch
Allison Rydberg
Vanessa Joyce Samson
Claire Swiontek
Sarah Warnez

Dennis J. Yesalonia, S.J. Takes Leadership Role in Loyola's Health Sciences Division

Dennis J. Yesalonia, S.J. has been named chief operating officer of the Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division. As such he will oversee the day-to-day operations of the division which includes the Stritch School of Medicine, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, and Loyola’s health sciences research efforts.

In addition, he will support and help ensure the division’s schools, inter-professional institute, and research enterprises stay focused on the university’s Jesuit, Catholic educational and service mission.

“Father Yesalonia’s background in law and higher education coupled with this dedication to furthering the Jesuit, Catholic mission makes him a wonderful addition to the health science’s leadership team,” said Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of the Health Sciences Division at Loyola University Chicago.

Yesalonia entered the Society of Jesus of New England in 1976 and was ordained in 1985. He received his law degree from Notre Dame Law School in 1974 and was admitted to the practice of law by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the following year. He was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1988.

He established the office of and served as the general counsel of College of the Holy Cross and Boston College. In addition, he has developed and implemented new organizational departments at academic institutions in the New England region and has extensive experience in a variety of administrative leadership roles.

Before joining Loyola, he served as the province treasurer for the Society of Jesus of New England. During his tenure he created and managed the operating and capital budgets as well as coordinated and managed the investment portfolio of the Society of Jesus of New England.

For media inquiries, please contact Evie Polsley at epolsley@lumc.edu or call 708.216.5313 or 708. 417.5100.

Loyola Study Provides In-Depth Look at How Patients Experience Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing

Several companies sell genetic testing directly to consumers, but little research has been done on how consumers experience such tests. The tests have raised questions about the validity and accuracy of the information provided to consumers – especially without the involvement of a qualified health care professional.

Now, a study lead by a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researcher, along with colleagues including Nancy S. Hogan, PhD, RN, a distinguished professor in Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, is providing insight into how a diverse sample of primary care patients experience genetic testing.

Lead researcher Katherine Wasson, PhD, MPH, and colleagues are conducted in-depth interviews with 20 patients recruited from primary care clinics. Among the findings, published online ahead of print in the Journal of Community Genetics:

  • Most participants thought results were fairly easy to understand – with the help of a genetic counselor (provided by the study, not the testing company). But fewer than half said they might be able to understand results on their own.
  • Most participants expressed no concern or hesitation about testing. But a few worried about confidentiality – especially whether results could affect their health insurance coverage. A few also expressed fears about getting bad results. As one participant explained, “I mean, you want to know, but then you don’t want to know.”
  • Participants gave several reasons why they decided to undergo testing. Most  simply said they were curious. “I don’t have a scientific background, so a lot of it is just fascinating to see how all of that can spin out,” one participant said. Many also said test results would provide knowledge they could act on, and help them prepare for the future. Said one: “If you know that there’s something going on you can go ahead and fix it now and not have to try to fix it later when it’s already unfixable.” A few participants wanted to help their families or the next generation, or more broadly, contribute to research and medical science.
  • Most participants were pleased with results of the tests, mainly because they had not received bad news, despite the uncertainty of the results. “This makes me feel great,” said one such participant. “I know I’ll be around at least another year or two.”
  • About half the participants said they had made no changes in response to results, mainly because there was nothing on which to act. But among a few participants, receiving “low-risk” results was a motivating factor to improve their health behavior, mainly through more exercise and a better diet.
  • One year after testing, most participants said they would take the test again, and recommend it to others. “It’s as if you stepped into a time capsule and you went ahead in time and you can see something,” one participant said.

Patients were interviewed individually four times: during an initial session in which a saliva sample was given; 4 to 6 weeks later, when they received results; 3 months after receiving results; and 12 months after receiving results. All interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim.

The patients ranged in age from 29 to 63; the average age was 49.5. Sixty percent were female, 50 percent were white and 50 percent were African American. Thirty percent were high school graduates, 40 percent had some college, 25 percent were college graduates and 5 percent were postgraduates.

Researchers concluded: “This longitudinal, qualitative study adds more in-depth information to the emerging data on participants’ decision-making process about, experience of, and reactions to direct-to-consumer testing over time. …It is possible that our findings could be relevant to more general consumers with similar demographics, though further investigation is needed.”

Companies such as 23andMe and Navigenics test consumers’ genomes for single-gene disorders such as cystic fibrosis; for risks of developing complex disorders involving multiple genes, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; for sensitivities to drugs such as Coumadin; and for traits such as hair color, eye color, and baldness. Costs range from roughly $100 to $1,500. Consumers can order these tests directly and receive results without the involvement of a qualified health-care professional, such as a geneticist or genetic counselor.

Wasson, first author of the study, is an assistant professor in the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics in Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine. Other authors are Tonya Nashay Sanders, MA, PhD, an assistant professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore; Nancy S. Hogan, PhD, RN, a distinguished professor in Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing; Sara Cherny, MS, CGC, of Cadence Health and Kathy J. Helzisouer, MD, MHS, of Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Student perspective of the Undergraduate Health Systems Management Program

Applications Being Accepted until August 1 for 2013 Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing is pleased to announce two postdoctoral research fellowships for qualified candidates to pursue mentored research. The NIH-funded faculty and their research areas are: 

Linda Janusek, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and Niehoff Endowed Chair for Research 

Dr. Janusek uses a psychoneuroimmunology framework to investigate the bio-behavioral consequences of psychosocial stress, including inflammatory and epigenetic processes implicated in behavioral symptom expression. Using a lifespan approach, she studies the consequences of stress, social disadvantage, and/or early life adverse experiences on symptom intensity and duration in adults with chronic disease, particularly cancer.  Recent work demonstrates early life stress increases adult stress reactivity, risk for depression and DNA methylation status of gene promoters for IL-6 in disadvantaged African American men. LJanuse@luc.edu

Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, professor and Loyola Faculty Scholar

Dr. Penckofer’s goal is to expand evidence-based treatment options for persons with diabetes who have depression as it significantly impacts diabetes self-management. She has created a nurse-delivered, group cognitive behavioral therapy for management of moods in women with diabetes (SWEEP) (K23NR009240) and recently initiated a randomized clinical trial to examine vitamin D supplementation as a viable, cost-effective treatment option for management of depression and diabetes symptoms (R01NR013906). SPencko@luc.edu

Loyola University Chicago, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing offers this postdoctoral program through which fellows gain experience in a focused area of research under the mentorship of senior research faculty. Fellows will conduct research projects under direct faculty supervision, as well as participate in an individualized training plan within a multidisciplinary environment. Training activities will include related coursework, seminars, workshops, and involvement in University Center or Institute programs consistent with their focus of research. In addition, postdoctoral fellows will gain experience in grant development, project management, and manuscript preparation. As part of their training, the fellow will teach one didactic course per year in the School of Nursing that is consistent with their background. Fellowships are awarded for a one-year period, with the possibility of renewal for an additional year. 

Fellows will receive funding that includes an annual salary stipend, health insurance, allowance for research related expenses, and support to attend one conference per year. Fellows will be expected to remain with the MNSON as faculty for three years after their postdoctoral award pending satisfactory faculty review. 

Application Deadline: The position is now open and applicants are encouraged to apply by August 1.

Postdoctoral Application Requirements:

All postdoctoral applicants must have an earned PhD in nursing or a related field prior to beginning the fellowship. Applicants are encouraged to contact the faculty mentor before submitting the application materials, which include:

  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended
  • Personal statement describing:
    • professional career goals
    • rationale for pursuing postdoctoral research training
    • goals for postdoctoral education
    • focus of current research
    • mentorship expectations
    • how the selected mentor builds upon your prior scholarship and matches your career plans and expectations.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal interview (competitive applicants will be contacted for an appointment)

Criteria for selection of Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Strong match with faculty mentor
  • Potential for scholarly productivity
  • Commitment to an academic research career
  • Academic record and prior scholarly achievement

For further information please contact Dr. Linda Janusek at ljanuse@luc.edu or 708.216.9551 or Dr. Sue Penckofer at spencko@luc.edu or 708.216.9303.

6/19/13

Loyola is Enrollment Site for Landmark American Cancer Society Study

Loyola University Chicago’s Health Sciences Campus is among the Chicago-area enrollment sites for the American Cancer Society’s landmark Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).

The study has the potential to change the face of cancer for future generations. Researchers are seeking to enroll men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer.

Enrollment at the Loyola site will be held Wednesday, Aug. 7 from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the second floor auditorium of Loyola’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood.

Interested parties can contact the American Cancer Society online, or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888 to set up an appointment.

Participants will be asked to read and sign an informed consent form; complete a brief survey; have their waist circumference measured; and give a small blood sample. The in-person enrollment process takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

At home, participants will complete a comprehensive survey packet that asks for information on lifestyle, behavioral, and other health-related factors. The American Cancer Society will send periodic follow-up surveys to update participant information, and annual newsletters with study updates and results. The initial and follow-up surveys will take an hour or less and are expected to be sent every few years.  

CPS-3 will enroll a diverse population of up to a half a million people across the United States and Puerto Rico. The study will help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.

“CPS-3 will help us better understand what factors cause cancer, and once we know that, we can be better equipped to prevent cancer,” said Alpa V. Patel, PhD, principal investigator of CPS-3. “Our previous cancer prevention studies have been instrumental in helping us identify some of the major factors that can affect cancer risk. CPS-3 holds the best hope of identifying new and emerging cancer risks, and we can only do this if members of the community are willing to become involved.”

Researchers will use data from CPS-3 to build on evidence from a series of American Cancer Society studies that began in the 1950s and involved millions of participants. The studies confirmed the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, demonstrated the link between larger waist size and increased death rates from cancer and other causes and showed the considerable impact of air pollution on heart and lung conditions. CPS-II began in 1982 and is still ongoing. But changes in lifestyle and in the understanding of cancer since its launch make it important to begin a new study.

The voluntary, long-term commitment by participants will produce benefits for decades to come.

Pilot Study Finds Vitamin D Improves Mood and Reduces Blood Pressure in Women with Type 2 Diabetes

In women who have type 2 diabetes and show signs of depression, vitamin D supplements significantly lowered blood pressure and improved their moods, according to a pilot study at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Vitamin D even helped the women lose a few pounds.

The study was presented at the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

“Vitamin D supplementation potentially is an easy and cost-effective therapy, with minimal side effects,” said Sue M. Penckofer, PhD, RN, lead author of the study and a professor in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “Larger, randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the impact of vitamin D supplementation on depression and major cardiovascular risk factors among women with Type 2 diabetes.”

Penckofer recently received a four-year, $1.49 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health to do such a study. Penckofer and her Loyola co-investigators plan to enroll 180 women who have type 2 diabetes, symptoms of depression and insufficient levels of vitamin D. Women will be randomly assigned to receive either a weekly vitamin D supplementation (50,000 International Units) or a matching weekly placebo for six months. The study is titled “Can the Sunshine Vitamin Improve Mood and Self Management in Women with Diabetes?”

About 1 in 10 people in the United States has diabetes, and the incidence is projected to increase to 1 in 4 persons by 2050. Women with type 2 diabetes have worse outcomes than men. The reason may be due to depression, which affects more than 25 percent of women with diabetes. Depression impairs a patient’s ability to manage her disease by eating right, exercising, taking medications, etc.

Many Americans do not get enough vitamin D, and people with diabetes are at especially high risk for vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. Reasons include limited intake of foods high in vitamin D, obesity, lack of sun exposure, and genetic variations.

The pilot study included 46 women who were an average age of 55 years, had diabetes an average of eight years and insufficient blood levels of vitamin D (18 ng/ml). They took a weekly dose (50,000 International Units) of vitamin D. (By comparison, the recommended dietary allowance for women 51 to 70 years is 600 IU per day.)

After six months, their vitamin D blood levels reached sufficient levels (average 38 ng/ml) and their moods improved significantly. For example, in a 20-question depression symptom survey, scores decreased from 26.8 at the beginning of the study (indicating moderate depression) to 12.2 at six months (indicating no depression). (The depression scale ranges from 0 to 60, with higher numbers indicating more symptoms of depression.)

Blood pressure also improved, with the upper number decreasing from 140.4 mm Hg to 132.5 mm Hg. And their weight dropped from an average of 226.1 pounds to 223.6 pounds.
 
Penckofer is internationally known for her research on vitamin D, diabetes, and depression. In October, she will be inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing for her scientific contributions in improving the health and quality of life of women with chronic disease. And she recently was appointed as the first nurse researcher to the Chicago Diabetes Center for Translational Research.

Co-authors of the study are Todd Doyle, PhD, Patricia Mumby, PhD, Mary Byrn, Mary Ann Emanuele, MD and Diane Wallis, MD.

Loyola Researcher Receives $1.5 Million Grant To Study Vitamin D Supplementation in Women with Diabetes and Depression

A Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing researcher has received a four-year, $1.49 million grant to study whether Vitamin D can improve mood in women with diabetes who are depressed.

The study also will examine whether vitamin D supplementation can reduce blood pressure and affect how well women manage their diabetes. The grant (R01NR013906) is from the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health.

Principal investigator Sue M. Penckofer, PhD, RN, and colleagues hypothesize that women receiving vitamin D will report fewer depressive symptoms. In turn, their improved mood will help them to better manage their disease by, for example, eating properly, taking their medications, and getting enough exercise. A small pilot study at Loyola found that vitamin D conferred such benefits.

“Vitamin D supplementation is potentially an easy and cost-effective therapy, with minimal side effects,” Penckofer said.

Penckofer and her Loyola co-investigators plan to enroll 180 women who have Type 2 diabetes, show symptoms of depression and have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Women will be randomly assigned to receive either a weekly vitamin D supplementation (50,000 International Units) or a matching weekly placebo for six months.

Earlier studies have found that depressed people have elevated levels of inflammatory biomarkers, notably cytokines and C-reactive protein (CRP). The study will explore whether vitamin D supplementation decreases inflammatory biomarkers, thus providing evidence for a plausible mechanism for how the vitamin works as an antidepressant.

The study is titled “Can the Sunshine Vitamin Improve Mood and Self-Management in Women with Diabetes?”

About 1 in 10 people in the United States has diabetes, and the incidence is projected to increase to 1 in 4 persons by 2050. Women with type 2 diabetes have worse outcomes than men. The reason may be due to depression, which affects more than 25 percent of women with diabetes. Depression impairs a patient’s ability to manage her disease.

Many Americans do not get enough vitamin D, and people with diabetes are at especially high risk for vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. Reasons include limited intake of foods high in vitamin D, obesity, lack of sun exposure, and genetic variations.

Penckofer is internationally known for her research on vitamin D, diabetes, and depression. In October, she will be inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing for her scientific contributions in improving the health and quality of life of women with chronic disease. And she recently was appointed as the first nurse researcher to the Chicago Diabetes Center for Translational Research.

Co-investigators are Angelos Halaris, MD, PhD; Ramon Durazo, PhD; Pauline Camacho, MD, and Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD.

Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, to receive Stritch Medal

Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, a world-renowned leader in the care and treatment of burn injury, is being awarded Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine’s highest honor. Gamelli will receive the school’s 2013 Stritch Medal in recognition of his innovative research, outstanding patient-centered care and inspiring contributions to medical education.

“Dr. Gamelli has dedicated so much of who he is to the field of medicine. Through his cutting-edge research, excellent surgical skills, and tireless training of the medical leaders of tomorrow, he brings hope and healing to countless people,” said Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, dean and chief diversity officer at the Stritch School of Medicine. “This award is one way that we at Stritch can say thanks for all he has done.”

Gamelli is senior vice president and provost of Health Sciences at Loyola University Chicago. He also is the Robert J. Freeark Professor of Surgery and director of the Burn and Shock Trauma Research Institute at the Stritch School of Medicine. His clinical excellence as the chief of the Burn Center at Loyola University Medical Center has helped to make it internationally acclaimed and the only center in Illinois to be awarded verification by the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association.

Under Gamelli’s leadership, the Loyola Burn Center is one of the busiest in the Midwest, treating more than 700 patients annually. The center provides comprehensive care for patients as well as a multidisciplinary approach to treatment and follow-up care.   

“Dr. Gamelli’s dedication is one of the reasons our health system is a leader in caring for patients who have suffered burns or trauma. As a clinician, he cares deeply about treating the whole person,” said Larry Goldberg, president and CEO of Loyola University Health System. “As a teacher, Dr. Gamelli has touched the lives and careers of countless students and residents who are better physicians because of  his mentorship,” Goldberg added.

Gamelli will receive the medal November 16 at Loyola’s Annual Stritch Awards Dinner at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The event is Chicago’s longest-running black-tie gala, and has raised millions of dollars for medical education scholarships.

For media inquiries, contact Evie Polsley at epolsley@lumc.edu or call (708) 216-5313 or (708) 417-5100.

Loyola RN-to-BSN Students Visit Lourdes

In 1858, the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, a young peasant girl in Lourdes, France. The vision encouraged her to drink of the fountain. With no fountain in sight, the young girl dug at a spot designated by the apparition, and a spring began to flow.

This spring remains today and is believed to possess remarkable healing powers. As a result, millions of people make the pilgrimage to Lourdes every year to experience the therapeutic effect of the water. Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing students Juanita Camargo and Amy Miller were among them in May. They assisted the sick into the healing waters.

“We will be meeting these people for the first time when they may not be at their best,” Miller said in a pre-trip interview. “This experience will be invaluable in making us more well-rounded nurses and in preparing us for future interactions with patients.”

Camargo and Miller are part of Loyola’s RN-to-BSN online program and a growing trend of nursing professionals who are pursuing higher degree programs in response to the Institute of Medicine’s call to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses to 80 percent by 2020.

Camargo had always wanted to return to school to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing. But with a job as a bedside nurse in a busy acute rehabilitation unit, this left little time for school.

Miller also hoped to complete her bachelor’s degree. However, her full-time career with a medical equipment company, and her distance from a good nursing school where she lives in rural Wisconsin, left few options for her to pursue higher education.

Both Camargo and Miller became familiar with Loyola’s program, which enables students to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree online in a minimum of three semesters or one calendar year. This program is intended for USA-licensed, professional nurses with an associate degree or a hospital nursing program diploma who want to further their education without draining their resources or putting work on hold. Loyola’s program has the added benefit of service-immersion programs such as the one to Lourdes. 

“My schedule would have made it difficult for me to earn my degree through a traditional BSN program,” Camargo said. “Loyola’s RN-to-BSN program gives me flexibility to complete my school assignments when I am not working and it exposes me to opportunities such as the Lourdes trip. Having this program will allow me to earn my degree and give me an edge when I apply for jobs.”

Camargo graduated in May with plans to pursue critical care nursing. Miller will graduate in December 2013 and hopes to earn her Master of Science in Nursing while working toward a hospital management position.

See photos of Loyola travelers at Lourdes.

Loyola School of Nursing Researchers and Hines VA to Study Mindfulness in Women Veterans at Risk for Heart Disease

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) researchers and Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital recently were given an award to study mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in women veterans at risk for heart disease. They will receive approximately $1.1 million for this four-year study from the VA Nursing Research Initiative (NRI). MBSR is a form of complementary medicine that combines yoga and meditation.

“Women veterans are a rapidly growing population with unique health needs,” said Karen Saban, PhD, RN, APRN, CNRN, associate professor, MNSON and health science researcher at the Hines VA. “This research award will allow us to improve the health and quality of life of those who have served using alternative methods of care.”

Researchers will study 138 women veterans who have at least two risk factors for heart disease. The eight-week study will determine the extent to which training in MBSR improves psychological well-being, decreases inflammation, and reduces heart disease risk. Researchers also will evaluate protective measures and risk factors, such as prior life adversity, social support and health behaviors that may alter the positive effects of MBSR.

“This is the first study that will look at mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques in women veterans at risk for heart disease,” said Fran Weaver, PhD, director, Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care, Hines VA. “Given that heart disease is a major cause of death, this research also may have broader implications for the general population.”

Evidence demonstrates that chronic stress doubles the risk of a heart attack and contributes to inflammation linked to artery disease and stroke. Veterans who have experienced combat are at greater risk for stress and heart disease as a result. While previous research has focused on males, statistics reveal that a startling number (81 – 92 percent) of women veterans report experiencing at least one traumatic event, which contributes to stress. Women veterans also have significant rates of prior life adversity such as sexual assault, physical violence, and combat exposure.

Using MBSR to reduce stress and develop coping strategies may improve psychological well-being and reduce heart disease risk in women veterans. Mindfulness techniques also have been found to reduce symptoms of depression and improve quality of life in veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. People who use MBSR gain awareness about the relationship among their thoughts, emotions and reactions, which can change conditioned patterns of emotional responses.
 
“Previous research conducted at Loyola demonstrated that MBSR improved psychological well-being and immune function in women with breast cancer,” said Linda Janusek, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and endowed chair, MNSON, and research award mentor and co-investigator. “We look forward to partnering with the VA to determine the impact mindfulness has on psychological well-being and heart disease risk in women veterans.”
 
The other research award mentor is Eileen Collins, PhD, RN, FAACVPR, FAAN, Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital and University of Illinois at Chicago. Other co-investigators include Herb Mathews, PhD, and Fred Bryant, PhD, Loyola University Chicago, and Sudha Bhoopalam, MD, Loyola and Hines VA.

 

Commencement for Niehoff Class of 2013 held

Commencement for the 2013 graduating class of Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing was held May 11 in Gentile Arena on the Lake Shore Campus.

Constance Ritzman, MSN, RN, assistant professor, served as mistress of ceremonies. Dean Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, provided the greeting.

Sharon L. O’Keefe, MSN ‘76, president, University of Chicago Medical Center, delivered the keynote address. Brittany Ann Benedetti, candidate for the bachelor of science in nursing degree, was student speaker.

View the photos.

Students recognized for academics and other achievements

Honors and Pinning Spring 2013

The Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing held its spring 2013 Honors and Pinning ceremony and reception on May 10, 2013, at the Lake Shore Campus. The event honored bachelor of science in nursing graduates and recognized outstanding achievements.

Pinning has historically served to welcome newly graduated nursing students to the profession of health care as they transition from students to nurses.

Alumni President Susan Finn congratulated the graduates and welcomed them to the alumni family. “I hope you will always remember that you are not alone. You will be serving along-side more than 7,000 alumni of your school,” she said.

The graduate address was given by Christine Ninchich.

The following awards and honors were presented and acknowledged during the ceremony:

Dean’s Gold Key (the highest distinction awarded by faculty to graduating students in recognition of academic, service, and leadership at the University): Nicole Kennedy-Grant and Shaheen Patel.

President’s Medallion (awarded by the University in recognition of outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service): Katelyn Wander

Carol Kraft Award (named in honor of the nurse representative on the development committee for Loyola University Health System’s burn unit who became its first head nurse and was instrumental in the implementation of nursing practice standards; given to one nursing student who exemplifies potential excellence in nursing at the completion of the clinical role transition): Ronald Durham.

Gladys Kiniery Clinical Excellence Award (named in honor of the dean of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing from 1947-66, whose leadership enabled the school to become the first fully accredited College of Nursing in Illinois; presented annually to a senior nursing student and a graduating ABSN student): Bich Pham and Kimberley Lang.

Nursing Alumni Award (presented to a senior nursing student and a graduating ABSN student nominated by a peer and endorsed by faculty for commitment to excellence, values-based leadership, service to Loyola and the community, and fellowship among nursing peers): Megan McMenamin and Matthew Hauman.

Exercise Science, Health Systems Management grads honored

On May 11, 2013, the Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing held an Awards and Recognition Ceremony for Exercise Science and Health Systems Management graduates.

The graduate addresses were provided by Meaghan Murray (Health Systems Management) and
Zachary DeCoster (Exercise Sciences).

Exercise Science Leadership and Advocacy Award: Zachary DeCoster.

Exercise Science Spirit Award: Brittany Prange.

Health Systems Management Dean’s Gold Key: Hilary Toaddy.

Health Systems Management Honors Program: Meaghan Murray.

Health Systems Management Maroon and Gold Society: Yvette Ssempijja and
Jonathan Winarski.

Health Systems Management Leadership and Advocacy Award: Beata Palarz and
Jonathan Winarski.

Health Systems Management Spirit Award: Ashley Mallek, Dakota Kunz, Noel Andrew, and Yvette Ssempijja.

Dr. Richard Gamelli Honored By American Burn Association

Gamelli Receives Award from ABA

Richard L. Gamelli, Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division senior vice president and provost receives the President’s Leadership Award from the American Burn Association (ABA) April 24 in Palm Springs, Calif. Also pictured are ABA President Tina L. Palmieri and ABA Secretary Michael D. Peck.

Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of the Health Sciences Division at Loyola University Chicago, has been awarded the President’s Leadership Award from the American Burn Association (ABA). Dr. Gamelli is a past president of the ABA and currently serves as president of the International Society for Burn Injuries (ISBI).

Dr. Gamelli accepted the honor at the ABA annual meeting on Wednesday, April 24, in Palm Springs. The ABA Presidential Leadership Award recognizes truly distinguished and exceptional service to the ABA and to the profession of burn care. It is awarded on a periodic basis to acknowledge such leadership qualities as: vision, dedication, courage, and steadfastness in the service of ABA, burn-care professionals, and burn-injured patients.

“Receiving this recognition is particularly meaningful to me because I instituted the award in 2005 to honor my associates who have pioneered burn care in the United States,” said Dr. Gamelli, who served as 37th president of the ABA. “I am deeply honored to have my name added to this legacy.”

Dr. Gamelli is one of the nation’s leading authorities on burn injury and its treatment. His research at Loyola centers on the effects of burn injury and infection on myelopoiesis, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the past 20 years. He is a member of the NIH Center for Scientific Review’s Surgery, Anesthesia and Trauma Study Section.

He earned his medical degree from the University of Vermont, College of Medicine, where he was elected to the board of trustees.

Dr. Gamelli, who is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Burn Care and Research, is a member of several other editorial boards, including Shock, Annals of Surgery, BURNS, and Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

In addition to the ABA and ISBI, Dr. Gamelli holds membership in dozens of medical and scientific societies, including the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma and American Surgical Association. He also is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

At Loyola, Dr. Gamelli is the Robert J. Freeark Professor of Surgery, director of the Burn & Shock Trauma Research Institute and chief of the Burn Center at Loyola University Medical Center. Dr. Gamelli previously held the positions of chair, Department of Surgery; dean, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago.

Loyola Student Nurse Shines as Star Athlete

Nursing Student Athlete

When she is not busy with clinicals and exams, nursing student Lauren Zaworski can be found on the softball field as a member of the Loyola University Chicago women’s team.

“Because of the demanding time constraints of clinicals and class work, student athletes are rare in nursing,” said Nancy S. Hogan, PhD, RN, FAAN, distinguished professor and associate dean for research, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “However, Lauren is a model student and a great athlete who has the discipline and drive to balance it all.”

As an outfielder, Zaworski travels extensively with her team, which on April 24 was 23-15 for the season and second in the Horizon League. Her batting average was .340, with three home runs and 16 RBIs. Zaworski also led the team with nine doubles making this her best softball season at Loyola.

Off the field, Zaworski was named to the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll. She also was nominated for the Academic All-District Team of accomplished student-athletes with a 3.3 GPA or higher for the school year. The National Fastpitch Coaches Association also named her an All-America Scholar-Athlete in 2011, which requires a 3.5 GPA or higher.

“The nursing program is so challenging and a student athlete’s time is stretched with training, traveling, playing, and community service,” said Bill Behrns, assistant athletic director for communications, Loyola University Chicago. “Lauren is a remarkable kid who has been able to accomplish success both on and off the playing field. This is a testament to her strong work ethic and organizational and time-management skills.”

Most universities do not allow nursing students to participate in sports. However, Zaworski was drawn to Loyola for the resources that make it possible to do both. 

“My coaches are flexible and stress that I am a student first and an athlete second,” Zaworski said. “I am grateful that they have allowed me to play while supporting my passion for nursing.” 

On the days that Zaworski has clinicals, she reports to an area hospital at 5 a.m. and works until 3 p.m. She then attends practice or a game until 6 p.m. before completing a few hours of homework at night. This leaves little room for down time, but Zaworski feels lucky to be involved with both and believes her experience as a student-athlete will prepare her well for nursing.

“High-intensity situations are common in college athletics,” Zaworski said. “Softball has taught me to be calm under pressure, which will serve me well as a nurse.” 

Zaworski’s nursing skills recently came into play when a teammate broke her nose and suffered a concussion on the field.

“My teammates turned to me for help, so I ran to get medical equipment to assist the athletic trainer,” Zaworski said. “Helping others and having compassion are among the reasons I chose nursing. These skills have come in handy both on the field and at the bedside.”

Loyola Hosts Nursing Students from Shanghai Institute of Health Sciences

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing is hosting 40 nurses from the Shanghai Institute of Health Sciences today, April 19, at the Health Sciences Campus, for an informational session about its RN-to-BSN program. The school previously welcomed 37 nurses and their faculty from China for a similar session last month. 

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing’s dean, faculty, and staff worked with the Asian American Advisory Council (AAAC) in the fall to plan the events and explore ways in which these associate degree nurses could enroll in Loyola’s RN-to-BSN online program, which is designed for USA-licensed, professional nurses. The main obstacle preventing them from applying to the program is that they need to first pass the USA's NCLEX-RN exam. These nurses also have little experience with online learning and social media, because Facebook and Google are blocked throughout the country.  

During their six-week visit to the United States, these nurses study at Moraine Valley Community College ESL/English and take an NCLEX-RN® review course. In China, they also are taught in English by faculty from the United States and other countries who have adopted an American nursing curriculum.

Loyola’s RN-to-BSN online program allows students to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in a minimum of three semesters or one calendar year. This program is intended for nurses with an associate degree or a hospital nursing program diploma who want to further their education without draining their resources or putting work on hold.
 
Nursing education has come a long way from the days when nurses received on-the-job training in hospitals with little clinical supervision. Today, schools are increasingly offering higher degree programs through a variety of channels in response to the Institute of Medicine’s call to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses to 80 percent by 2020. The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing is stepping up its efforts to educate more nurses through its RN-to-BSN program.
 
“We need to continue to push for a more highly educated nursing workforce worldwide,” said Maria Connolly, PhD, FCCM, CNE, ANEF, executive director, RN-to-BSN Program, MNSON. “Our willingness to work globally, as we did with the Shanghai Institute of Health Sciences, will expand the reach of our curriculum and bring online learning to diverse populations.”

Loyola School of Nursing to Host Healthy Eating Event for Families

When families eat three or more meals together each week, they consume more fruits and vegetables and less fried foods, soda pop and saturated and trans fats, according to a recent study from Harvard Medical School.

With this in mind, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing dietetic interns and Stritch School of Medicine students will host Family Champions, an event for families active at Maywood Fine Arts (MFA) to learn about the importance of healthy eating. This event will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, 2013, at Proviso East High School located at 807 S. First Avenue in Maywood. It will feature cooking demonstrations, nutrition lessons and education on the importance of family meals.

“Children and adolescents who share regular family meals are more likely to be in a normal weight range and to have healthier eating patterns,” said Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, assistant professor, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “This event will stress the importance of family meal time and its positive affect on health.”

Loyola University Chicago dietetic interns Sara Casey, Erin Gorman, Christina Jablonski and Jillian Tuchman will lead the event. Casey recently earned one of 25 Kids Eat Right mini-grants from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation to promote the benefits of family meals to the MFA community.

Kids Eat Right is designed to ensure that sound nutrition recommendations are part of obesity prevention. Casey will work with Gorman, Jablonski and Tuchman to develop the program through the MFA Grand Family Challenge, where families work on nutrition and physical activity goals with the help of an interprofessional team of Loyola students. The family who makes the most progress will have the opportunity to win one thousand dollars.

“Partnering with the Maywood Fine Arts Center will allow us to reach families interested in health and fitness,” Casey said. “Educating entire families also will have a greater influence on the health of children in this underserved area.”

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Honors Nursing Alumni and Students

Alumni Mass and Brunch Awards

From left to right: Dean Vicki Keough, Pat Drott, Sr. Donna Wolowicki, and Verna Christian-Garcia.

Donna Marie Wolowicki, CR, BSN ’71, MSN ’75, MBA, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the most prestigious acknowledgment of Loyola nursing alumni accomplishments. Verna Christian-Garcia, BSN ’61, and Patricia Matuszek Drott, BSN ’63, MS, were honored with the Spirit of Ignatius Award. This is given to graduates who best characterize- Cura Personalis or “Care of the Person.” Matthew Hauman was given the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student Award and Megan McMenamin received the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student Award for their accomplishments as undergraduates.
 
“These alumnae and students were honored for the significant contributions they have made to the school or the profession,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean and professor, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “They are role models for generations of nurses to come.”

Donna Marie Wolowicki, CR, BSN ’71, MSN ’75, MBA – Distinguished Alumni Award Winner
Donna Marie Wolowicki was recognized for her leadership in health care. Sister Donna has always kept the patient at the focus of care, ensuring the delivery of quality health services. She began her career as an intensive care nurse at Resurrection Medical Center (RMC) in Chicago. She later became a clinical specialist and nurse educator at RMC, and served as a clinical assistant professor in medical surgical nursing for Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Sister Donna also was executive vice president and CEO of RMC from 1989 to 2011. She has served on several boards and volunteered at numerous organizations. Sister Donna continues her leadership and service through participation in mock interviews for graduating student nurses from the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Verna Christian-Garcia, BSN ’61 – Spirit of Ignatius Award Winner
Verna Christian-Garcia was recognized for her support of those who need help in meeting basic human needs as well as for her work with the issues of child abuse, HIV and AIDS, and health care for the uninsured. From the beginning of her career with the Virgin Islands government, Christian-Garcia has been driven by Christian principles, a liberal arts curriculum and the cornerstone of the nursing profession: care, compassion, commitment, and competence. The sensibilities she developed as a public health nurse and administrator of a geriatric and special needs facility, combined with decades of progressive, successful management and administrative experiences, provided her with opportunities to make positive and lasting contributions to populations in need. Although retired since 1995, Christian-Garcia continues her commitment to community service through her involvement in several non-profit organizations.

Patricia Matuszek Drott, BSN ’63, MS – Spirit of Ignatius Award Winner
Patricia Matuszek Drott was honored for her service as a nurse to underserved groups for nearly 50 years. Drott worked for more than 16 years as a public health nurse. She also served as the nursing supervisor with the Cook County Department of Public Health and as a visiting nurse with the Evanston Visiting Nurse Association. Drott instilled a passion for public health nursing in her students when she taught for 18 years at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, North Park University and the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. For the past 10 years, she has been the Catholic Charities HIV/AIDS Liaison to the Archdiocese of Chicago—a unique role in which she combines her experience in nursing practice and education. Drott is determined to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS, dispel its myths, and work to reduce the stigma and discrimination which still accompany the disease.

Midwest Nursing Research Society Honors Niehoff Faculty Member with Senior Scientist Award

Senior Scientist Award

Linda Janusek, PhD, RN, FAAN

Linda Janusek, PhD, RN, FAAN, has received the 2013 Senior Scientist Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society. Dr. Janusek is a professor and the Niehoff Endowed Chair for Research at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON).

Every year, the Midwest Nursing Research Society presents awards to select members of the Society who have made significant contributions to the profession of nursing through research. Dr. Janusek was among four investigators who received this award at the Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Meeting in Chicago last month.

“It was an honor to be recognized for my scientific achievements and a privilege to be included among an esteemed group of nurse scientists,” Dr. Janusek said. “I look forward to continuing my research to advance understanding of how psychosocial stress increases risk for poor health across the lifespan.”

Dr. Janusek is a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded researcher whose work focuses on the impact of psychosocial stress on physical and behavioral responses in vulnerable populations. Her research has demonstrated the detrimental effects of psychological stress on the immune system related to cancer control. Most recently, she identified that early life adversity predisposes women with breast cancer to an impaired immune response to cancer and to more intense and persistent behavioral symptoms such as depression, fatigue, and perceived stress.

Dr. Janusek’s work also has supported the use of complementary approaches to cancer care. She was one of the first to document the potential for mindfulness-based stress-reduction to improve the psychological wellbeing of those with cancer and to restore immune function after cancer treatment. This work has received sustained funding from the National Cancer Institute and is consistently cited in the scientific literature.

Dr. Janusek has most recently extended her research to the field of behavioral epigenetics.  Behavioral epigenetics is a rapidly evolving area of science that seeks to explain how a person’s psychosocial environment is translated to the genome to influence risk for disease across the lifespan. Her research investigates epigenetic mechanisms that link psychosocial stress and social disadvantage to poor health. She is especially interested in the role of early life stress, which can leave long-lasting imprints to affect expression of genes that regulate inflammatory and behavioral responses to stress during adulthood. Such an approach is particularly exciting, because unfavorable epigenetic imprints can be improved by adopting healthy lifestyle choices.

“Linda has made significant contributions to advance nursing research and guide our profession,” said Nancy Hogan, PhD, RN, FAAN, distinguished professor and director of research, MNSON. “Her work demonstrates the positive impact that empowering individuals to self-manage stress-related symptoms can have on health.”

Dr. Janusek received her bachelor of science in nursing from Bradley University and her PhD in physiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also completed post-graduate work in molecular biology at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. Dr. Janusek also has served as a member of the NIH nursing science grant review group.

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Faculty, Students Earn Honors for Research

Karen Saban, PhD, RN, APRN, CNRN, has received the Physiology, Behavior, Genomics & Society Research Section 2013 Early Investigator Award from the Midwest Nursing Research Society. This award is given to an outstanding early nurse investigator who has conducted research with potential to significantly enhance physiology, behavior, genomic, or society nursing knowledge or practice.

Saban is an associate professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON). Her research focuses on the influence of chronic stress on the development of inflammation and cardiovascular disease and stroke in vulnerable populations. Saban received this award at the Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Conference held in Chicago in March.

“I was honored to receive this award for research that has the potential to decrease cardiovascular and stroke risk in those experiencing chronic stress,” Saban said. “I look forward to continuing my work in this exciting and growing area of psychoneuroimmunology research.”

Many Loyola nursing graduate students also presented their research at this meeting.

“The Midwest Nursing Research Society is one of the largest and most influential nursing research organizations in the country,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean, MNSON. “This meeting allowed our graduate students to showcase their research and share information with our existing and next generation of nurses.”

Karen Fishe, RN, APN, NNP-BC, PhD in nursing student, received the prestigious Doris Bloch Research Grant from Sigma Theta Tau International. The grant was established to encourage nurses to advance the science of nursing through research. Fishe will use the funds to study the impact of childhood adversity on stress vulnerability and maternal-fetal wellbeing during pregnancy.

“The study findings will enhance the screening of pregnant women to identify those at risk for greater prenatal stress, depression, and anxiety that can lead to poor health in infants,” said Linda Janusek, PhD, RN, FAAN, Fishe’s mentor, a professor, and the Niehoff Endowed Chair for Research, MNSON. “This will allow health care providers to better care for expectant mothers and improve the health of the infants.” 

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Alumni to Celebrate Alumni Weekend

2013 Alumni Mass and Awards Brunch

The Alumni Board of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing invite alumni to return to Loyola University Chicago to celebrate Alumni Weekend on April 13–14, 2013. Activities will take place on both the Lake Shore and Health Sciences campuses.

The annual Alumni Mass and Awards Brunch will take place on Sunday, April 14 on the Lake Shore Campus. Mass will take place at 10:30 a.m. in Madonna della Strada Chapel, followed by the Awards Brunch from 11:30 a.m. in Coffey Hall’s McCormick Lounge. At the brunch, the Alumni Board will honor 2013 recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus and Spirit of Ignatius awards.

Sr. Donna M. Wolowicki, CR, BSN '71, MSN '75, will be awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award for bringing pride and recognition to Niehoff by having achieved prominence in nursing. The Spirit of Ignatius Award will be presented to both Verna Christian Garcia, BSN '61, and Patricia Matuszek Drott, BSN '63, MSN, for their characterization of Curas Personalis or "Care of the Person."

The program also will celebrate the distinguished history and exciting future of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Additional events are being planned for the classes of 1963, 1988, and 2003.

As part of Loyola University Chicago’s commitment to service, the Alumni Board is encouraging alumni attending the Mass and Awards Brunch to donate supplies requested by service partners of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. The service partners, with whom the students, faculty, and alumni work to meet the needs of children and families locally and globally, are the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Belize Drive; Loyola University Medical Center Pediatric Mobile Health Unit; Proviso East School-Based Health Center; and West Suburban PADS.

The weekend also includes the 25th Annual Ruth K. Palmer Symposium from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 on the Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, Ill.. The conference is themed on “Transforming Research through Partnerships” and brings together nurses, nurse practitioners, educators, administrators, health care professionals, alumni, and students. Online registration for the Ruth K. Palmer Symposium is open until April 8 at www.luc.edu/palmer.

Sigma Theta Tau International/Doris Bloch Research Award

Karen Fishe, RN, APN, NNP-BC

Karen Fishe, RN, APN, NNP-BC, PhD in Nursing student, was awarded the prestigious Sigma Theta Tau International/Doris Bloch Research Award, honorary society for nursing. This grant will support her dissertation research titled: "Impact of Maternal Childhood Adversity on the Psycho-Neuroendocrine-Inflammatory Profile During Pregnancy." The Doris Bloch Research Award was established through Sigma Theta Tau International to encourage nurses to contribute to the advancement of nursing through research.  Karen’s project will investigate the relationship between exposure to childhood adversity and how this exposure impacts the psychosocial-neuroendocrine-inflammatory profile of women during pregnancy. She will also evaluate maternal risk and protective factors posited to modify stress vulnerability and newborn outcomes. This bio-behavioral project is significant, as it will provide important insight regarding the impact of maternal childhood adversity on stress vulnerability during pregnancy, and upon the biological pathways by which childhood adversity compromises maternal-fetal well-being.  The study findings will contribute to evidence-based screening of pregnant women to identify those most vulnerable for greater prenatal stress, depression, and anxiety that portends poor birth outcomes.  Finding ways to improve mother-infant health outcomes will not only positively impact health of the newborn, but also health over the lifespan, as research now identifies early life experiences to strongly influence adult health.  As a nurse scientist who will be trained to incorporate biological outcomes in her research, Karen plans to disseminate her research findings to improve clinical practice, as well use the evidence generated as a vehicle to advocate for policy change to advance maternal-infant health.  Dr. Linda Janusek, Professor and Niehoff Endowed Chair for Research, is Karen’s mentor and dissertation advisor.

Loyola Educates Nurses and Doctors Together to Improve Patient Care

Interprofessional Education Day

Loyola University Chicago is challenging the old practice of medicine where the physician is in charge and manages a patient with little input from nurses or other health-care professionals.

More than 250 Loyola medical and nursing students gathered March 13, 2013, for an Interprofessional Education Day on Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus to learn how to work as a team to deliver safe and effective care for patients.

“The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Stritch School of Medicine are taking a progressive approach to teaching by educating medical and nursing students together,” said Linda Cassata, PhD, RN, associate dean for the undergraduate program, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “Stressing the importance of interprofessional skills and teamwork will improve the quality of health care.”

Third-year medical students, senior undergraduate nursing students and accelerated bachelor’s nursing students had lively discussions that were facilitated by faculty from both schools. Video clips illustrated interprofessional competencies, including values and ethics for interprofessional practice; roles and responsibilities; interprofessional communication; and teams and teamwork.

“This was one of the more engaging sessions of the year, which helped me better understand nurses,” said third-year medical student Greg Eisinger. “I thought it was valuable to talk with the nursing students about what they do and to get their perspective on the communications issues between physicians and nurses.”

The workshop also allowed students to witness similarities in their disciplines and to see how working together can reduce medical errors.

“It was refreshing to learn how similar the medical and nursing professions are and that fostering communication can have a positive impact on patients,” said senior nursing student Christine Ninchich. “You reduce the risk of mistakes when everyone has a voice in patient care.”

Loyola offers ongoing, small-group interprofessional education for nursing and medical students to participate in simulated patient experiences in Loyola’s Center for Simulation Education. This facility includes a clinical simulation center with a six-bed virtual hospital and home-care environment where teams of students learn together how to better care for patients.

“We are beginning to see more multidisciplinary clinics in hospitals and outpatient settings, so education must prepare our students for this shift,” said Michael Koller, MD, assistant dean for educational affairs, Stritch School of Medicine. “Loyola’s program is unique in that it has tremendous support of both faculties and a medical and nursing school that are located in close proximity to each other making interprofessional education possible.”

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing to Host Health Fair for Area High School Students

Health Fair

Health care reform has highlighted the importance of comprehensive, culturally appropriate interventions at the community level to prevent disease and encourage healthy behaviors. Providing young people with the knowledge and skills to make healthy lifestyle choices is the best way to reduce the risk chronic disease in later life. Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing faculty and students have stepped up to the challenge of promoting health in a fun and engaging way for a diverse student population in a high school setting.

Loyola’s School-based Health Center at Proviso East High School will host a health fair from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, at the school located at 807 S. First Ave., in Maywood. The theme for this year’s health fair is “Peace, Love, Health.”

Nearly 1,900 Proviso students will visit the fair during their gym class. They will have access to 30 interactive health promotion booths staffed by nursing, dietetic, medical, social work and public health students and Maywood community groups. The booths will highlight various health topics, including healthy nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, avoidance of drugs, tobacco and alcohol, disease prevention and safety.

“Our annual health fair provides the School-based Health Center with a way to reach students with health information outside of the classroom,” said Diana Hackbarth, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and SBHC project director, Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “Our goal is to discourage poor diet and risky lifestyle behaviors and to have a lasting positive impact on the health of students and their families.”

The School-based Health Center was established by Loyola University Chicago nursing faculty more than a decade ago to give teens in this underserved area access to health care. Since its inception, thousands of students have received primary health care, school physicals, immunizations and social work, mental health, nutrition and laboratory services at the center.

“The school-based health center provides easy access to health care and education for students who might not otherwise receive treatment and preventive services,” Dr. Hackbarth said. “These resources have helped students thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.”

25th Annual Ruth K. Palmer Symposium Will Feature Latest Information in Nursing Research

The 25th Annual Ruth K. Palmer Research Symposium will bring the latest information in nursing research to area health care professionals. This event will take place from 7:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 13, at the Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Campus in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) Building 125, Auditorium Room 0505. This facility is located at 2160 S. First Ave., in Maywood.

Keynote speaker Nola J. Pender, PhD, RN, FAAN, will present “Research through Partnerships: The Payoff.” Dr. Pender is a distinguished professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and a professor emerita at University of Michigan, School of Nursing.

“Successful partnerships are productive in improving the quality of health care for individuals, families and communities,” said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean, MNSON. “This symposium will address various aspects of partnerships to help others create research collaborations in an array of health care settings.”

Dr. Pender will join a respected panel of speakers. The goal of their presentations will be to: identify the significance of collaborative partnerships between academia and practice to lead change and advance health; describe successful research partnerships to improve the quality of health care; and stimulate the development of partnerships to generate innovative, inter-professional research teams.

Nurses, nurse practitioners, educators, administrators, health-care professionals and students are attending the symposium presentations. Poster sessions also will be available throughout the day.

The event is sponsored by the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the Alpha Beta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International and nursing services at Loyola University Health System (LUHS). LUHS (OH-346) is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Ohio Nurse’s Association (OBN-001-91), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. This activity will offer a total of 2.75 contact hours for nursing. The symposium was established from the Ruth K. Palmer Memorial Endowment: a gift of dean emeritus Gladys Kiniery in memory of her beloved sister. 

Registration for this year’s event is closed. For information about future Palmer symposia, email Palmer_Symposium@LUC.edu.

50th Anniversary of the Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth)

Join Loyola University Chicago in honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) Encyclical by attending the working conference – “Building Peace in Chicago and Beyond” – on Saturday March 23rd from 8:30am to 12:30pm in the Klarchek Information Commons on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. More details and information on panel presentations, the day’s schedule, and how to register can be found at www.luc.edu/pacem. This event is free and open to the public, although space is limited. Registration is highly recommended.

Annual Ruth K. Palmer Symposium to Feature Nursing Research Partnerships

2013 Palmer Symposium

The 2013 Annual Ruth K. Palmer Research Symposium, dedicated to health care for everyone, will focus on research by multidisciplinary leaders including researchers, clinicians, caregivers and educators. This event will take place from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Campus, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood, Ill.

Keynote speaker Nola J. Pender, PhD, RN, FAAN, will present “Research Partnerships: The Payoff.” Dr. Pender is a distinguished professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, and professor emerita at University of Michigan School of Nursing.

“Research plays such an important role in improving the quality of health care for individuals, families, and communities,” said Vicki A. Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “This symposium provides a forum to discuss the value of collaborative partnerships in research, share best practices in our fields, and hopefully create new inter-professional research teams."

Dr. Pender will join a respected panel of speakers. The goal of their presentations will be to: identify the significance of collaborative partnerships between academia and practice to lead change and advance health; describe successful research partnerships to improve the quality of health care for individuals, families, and communities; and stimulate the development of partnerships to generate innovative, inter-professional research teams.

Nurses, nurse practitioners, educators, administrators, health care professionals, alumni, and students are invited to attend the symposium presentations. Poster sessions also will be available throughout the morning. This event will be sponsored by the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the Alpha Beta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, and Nursing Services–Loyola University Health System (LUHS). Visit www.luc.edu/palmer for more information and to register.

The symposium was established from the Ruth K. Palmer Memorial Endowment: a gift of dean emeritus Gladys Kiniery in memory of her sister. This year’s symposium is one of several events to which Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing alumni are invited as part of 2013 Niehoff Alumni Weekend. The annual Alumni Mass and Awards Brunch will take place on Sunday, April 14 on the Lake Shore Campus.

 

 

100% Registration Exam Pass Rate for Dietetic Internship Program

The Dietetic Internship program had a 100% pass rate on the Registration Examination for Dieticians, for the July to December, 2012 examination period. The Loyola University Chicago Dietetic Internship (LDI) program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE), an agency of the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

PhD Nursing Student Awarded Sigma Theta Tau International/Doris Bloch Research Award

Karen Fishe, PhD in Nursing student, has been awarded the Sigma Theta Tau International/Doris Bloch Research Award in the amount of $5000. This grant will support her dissertation research titled: "Impact of Maternal Childhood Adversity on the Psycho-Neuroendocrine-Inflammatory Profile During Pregnancy." The Doris Bloch Research Award was established through Sigma Theta Tau International to encourage nurses to contribute to the advancement of nursing through research.

School of Nursing Intern to Teach Teens How to Snack

Students at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Ill. will soon have the opportunity to learn about the importance of healthy snacking during National Nutrition Month in March. Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing dietetic intern, Sara Casey, will reach more than 200 students on Monday, March 11, 2013, with classroom presentations on healthy snacks to help students feel and perform their best.

Casey recently earned one of 25 Kids Eat Right grants from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation for the presentations. Kids Eat Right is designed to ensure that sound nutrition recommendations are part of childhood obesity prevention. Casey will work with Kelly Sierra, RD, LDN, registered dietitian with Loyola University Chicago, to develop the presentations.

“Many students at Proviso East rely on snack foods throughout the day, because they often skip breakfast and lunch,” Sierra said. “Encouraging students to replace unhealthy snacks with fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and granola bars will help them get the nutrients they are missing.”

Casey and Sierra are involved with Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing’s school-based health center (SBHC) at Proviso East. Loyola dietetic interns, nursing, medical and social work students work side-by-side with faculty at the facility to develop skills that enhance community health.

The school-based health center was established more than a decade ago to give teens in this underserved area access to health care. Since its inception, thousands of students have received primary health care, school physicals, immunizations and social work, mental health, nutrition and laboratory services at the center.

“The school-based health center provides easy access to health care and education for students who might not otherwise receive treatment and preventive services,” said Diana Hackbarth, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and SBHC project director, Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “These resources have helped students thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.”

School-Based Health Center Helps Thousands of Students Gain Access to Care

“The school-based health center provides easy access to health-care and education for students who might not otherwise receive treatment and preventive services,” said Diana Hackbarth, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and SBHC project director, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “These resources have helped students thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Program highlights for the facility, which is supported by federal, state and private foundation funding, were recently featured in the 2011/2012 Annual Report for the School-Based Health Center.

Lunch Program Protects Students Who Go to School Hungry

Many Proviso students go to school without eating breakfast. By lunch time, these students are famished. In response to this concern, the SBHC began offering Lunch Bunch, a program that provides students with a balanced lunch accompanied by health and nutrition education three days a week. The program has been so successful that teachers and coaches have asked the SBHC registered dietitians to provide nutrition lessons to their classes and teams beyond the lunch period. Loyola faculty and students also offer a Lunch Bunch program strictly for teachers and staff once per semester to increase their awareness of nutrition education resources and SBHC services.

The center’s nutrition programs also include counseling, weight-loss guidance and junk-free zones where students eat nutritional snacks.

“These efforts have enhanced school performance, helped to fight obesity and improved the health of students,” said Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, LDN, Assistant Professor and Director, Dietetics Education Programs, Loyola’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “The programs also have increased dietary variety for students and offered tips for healthy meals that they can share with their families.”

Mental Health Care a Necessity for High School Students

High school is often a time when students struggle with peer pressure, substance abuse, bullying, depression, anger management and family issues. The SBHC staff provides mental health classroom presentations and individual therapy throughout the year to help students cope with these issues. The SBHC social worker and community outreach nurse also have taken these programs out into the community.

SBHC Offers Alternative to In-School Suspension

In collaboration with the Proviso Dean of Students, the SBHC developed an alternative to the school’s traditional suspension program. The Positive Interpersonal Relationships Aiming Towards Enhancements (PIRATE) Program teaches students conflict resolution, anger-management skills and coping and relaxation techniques to decrease future disciplinary action and to create a more positive school environment. Forty-one students were referred to the program from October 2011 to March 2012. Twenty-nine students completed the program, and 61 percent of these adolescents did not have additional suspensions.

SBHC Cares for Future Proviso Students

The SBHC services have expanded beyond Proviso. Approximately 350 elementary school students in District 89, located in Maywood, Melrose Park and Broadview, recently received the flu shot from Loyola faculty and students. This effort took place through the Vaccines for Children program in preparation for what is expected to be a difficult flu season.
 

Exercise Science Senior Students Present Research at Sport Psychology Symposium

Exercise Science Students Present Research

From left to right, Zachary De Coster, Brittany Prange, Konrad Koczwara, Stephanie Wilson, instructor and director of Exercise Science Program, and Jeffrey Williams.

Four seniors from the Exercise Science Program at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing participated in the Chicago Sport Psychology Network’s Annual Symposium held at the University of Illinois, College of Applied Health Sciences, on December 8, 2012.

Zachary De Coster, Konrad Koczwara, Brittany Prange and Jeffrey Williams presented “The Effects of Interpersonal Relationships on Sport Performance:  physiological and psychological perspectives on student athlete performance” to an audience of faculty members, graduate students and peers.

Their presentation was born out of the course work they completed during the “Psychology of Health and Exercise” course, one of the nine required 300-level courses offered within the Exercise Science Program. The nine major courses, as parts of  the full curriculum, prepare students for continuing education in nursing, exercise physiology or physical therapy.

“The ‘Psychology of Health and Exercise’ class introduced students to theories, models and approaches in the field and applied them to exercise and movement behavior,” says Dr.  J. E. Coumbe-Lilley, clinical assistant professor and director of kinesiology internships at University of Illinois at Chicago's Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition.

“Students were shown how to locate, review and critically assess a range of literature from case study to random control trials. Over the course of the semester, students completed three research presentations that culminated in 42 articles being reviewed and presented. The capstone experience of this course was acceptance into the Chicago Sport Psychology Network’s Annual Symposium to present a summary of the research done over hundreds of hours by four students. This course is designed to stretch each student as far as they can go academically and challenges them to perform at the top of their capabilities,” Dr. Coumbe-Lilley added.

“The first day of class it was hard to believe what we had to do,” said student Konrad Koczwara of his introduction to the EXCM 390 course. “But, as the semester went on, it did not seem as difficult as in the beginning.”

The bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science prepares students for myriad health and exercise related fields. Graduates can look forward to careers in adult fitness and personal training; assessment, design, and implementation of individual and group exercise; and fitness program development for healthy people and those with controlled disease. Through coursework and hands-on experience, students develop skills in evaluating health behaviors and risk factors, conducting fitness assessments, writing appropriate exercise prescriptions, and motivating individuals to modify negative health behaviors.

Nursing Alumna Appointed to National Advisory Council for Nurse Education and Practice

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing alumna Kathy Camacho Carr, BSN ’71, PhD, ARNP, CNM, FACNM, has been appointed to the National Advisory Council for Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) by Kathleen Sebelius, United States Secretary of Health & Human Services. In this role, Dr. Camacho Carr will work with other council members to shape policies for improving nursing education and practice.

The Advisory Council is made up of nurse educators and individuals from across the country who are strong leaders in their profession. As part of their appointment, council members meet two to three times a year in Washington, DC, to develop and submit to the Secretary and the U.S. Congress, recommendations to improve nursing education. Much of this work focuses on: advising the nation’s health leaders on methods to enhance the composition of the nursing workforce; using nurses to better meet the health needs of the country; expanding the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of nurses; financing and delivering nursing services; and promoting interdisciplinary approaches to the delivery of health services.

“I was honored to be selected for the NACNEP. My first goal is to learn as much as I can about the council, its best practices for getting things accomplished, and to acquaint myself with the most pressing issues of concern,” Dr. Camacho Carr said. “Ultimately, I hope to advise the Secretary and congressional leaders about the importance of funding nursing education and facilitating interprofessional health education.”

Dr. Camacho Carr is a professor and the Jean Bushman Endowed Chair at Seattle University College of Nursing. She also is coordinator of the nurse-midwifery program for the University. Her research and teaching interests are in women’s health, maternal-child health, and education of advanced practice nurses and nurse-midwives. Much of Dr. Camacho Carr’s scholarly work focuses on instructional design, pedagogical strategies, and the use of computer-distributed learning. She received her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago and a master’s of science degree in midwifery with a minor in curriculum and instruction from University of Illinois. In 1989, she earned her doctorate in nursing science from the University of Washington.

Join Loyola Faculty & Alumni to Travel and Learn in Rome, Spring 2013

Caring for Self and Others through the Arts for Healthcare Leaders
The course will be taught in an immersion format for CE or elective 1-3 hours graduate academic credit. Opportunities to visit art and architecture, including museums, churches and health care facilities will be arranged for most days. The course is designed to balance classroom and structured field trips with ample free time.  

 Click here to view the Program Summary and contacts for more information.

The Graduate Program of the Niehoff School of Nursing Loyola University Chicago announces Spring course offerings. The goal of these programs is to enable alumni, graduate students, nurses and other health professionals, and friends to gain multi-cultural and international experiences, engage in the arts and contemplate the work of civic, religious, and artistic leaders in the Eternal City!

Loyola HSM Students Inducted into National Honor Society

Twelve students in the Health Systems Management (HSM) Program of  Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing were inducted into the undergraduate chapter of Upsilon Phi Delta on October 21, 2012. Friends and faculty attended the event in the Quinlan Life Sciences Building atrium.

Upsilon Phi Delta, a national academic honor society for students in healthcare management and policy, is a service member of the Association of University Programs in Healthcare Administration.

The induction ceremony included a welcome from Meaghan Murray, current co-chair and student in the HSM program, and remarks from Mary C. Dominiak, PhD, MBA, RN, assistant professor and director, HSM.

New members include Carli Chatlosh, Kathy Dubiel, Mecca Johnson, Bernadette Lim, Ashley Mallek, Abbey Mastroianni, Anna Presniakov, Devan Patel, Bianca Rogers, Mike Russo, Donielle Wells, and Johnathon Winarski. All are HSM students and earned Upsilon Phi Delta membership with a grade point average minimum of 2.5 and demonstrated leadership.

The HSM program hosted a reception in the Quinlan atrium following the ceremony.

 

School of Nursing gathers for Dedication to the Profession ceremony

Dedication to the Profession

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing held its Dedication to the Profession ceremony and reception on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. The annual event, which replaces the former capping ceremony, provided an opportunity for junior class nursing students, accelerated program nursing students and dietetic interns to reflect and pledge themselves to their chosen studies and the health-care profession. The faculty presided over the ceremony and blessed the hands of students and health-care professionals within the audience.

“It was a beautiful day at Madonna della Strada as the nursing and dietetic students participated in a 'Blessing of the Hands' tradition where they were reminded of the important work in which those hands will be involved as they enter the health-care profession,” Dean Keough said.

Following the ceremony at Madonna della Strada Chapel at Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus, the school hosted a reception at the Donovan Reading Room to celebrate the occasion with students, families, guests, alumni, faculty and staff.

Kara Podjasek, junior class president, Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean and professor, MNSON, Richard L. Gamelli, MD, senior vice president, professor and provost of Health Sciences Division, and Ann Solari-Twadell, PhD, RN, MPA, FAAN, associate professor, MNSON, provided the welcome remarks for the ceremony. 

Renee Thomas, a recent graduate of the school and former recipient of the Dean's Gold Key Award, gave the keynote address. Student representatives from the traditional and accelerated nursing programs and dietetic interns spoke about symbolic aspects of the ceremony and the health-care profession. They also provided reflections about their student experiences and their decision to join the school and health-care communities.

“Seeing everyone come together and unite over our passion for nursing was very touching,” Podjasek said. “I will never forget how privileged I am to be part of such an amazing nursing program.”

Nursing Professor Uses Yoga for Stress Reduction in Students

While many university professors are busy with study groups and student meetings in preparation for final exams, Sandi Tenfelde, PhD, RN, ANP, CYI, has turned to sun salutations and savasanas.

Dr. Tenfelde, who is an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, recently became a certified yoga instructor. She will offer a yoga class for nursing, health sciences management and exercise science students during final exams week. Her goal is to help her students reduce their stress levels, enhance their immune system and improve their emotional wellness, flexibility, strength, balance and posture.

“Yoga can provide college students with many emotional and physical benefits,” Dr. Tenfelde said. “Regular yoga practice during finals week also can improve mental clarity and concentration making students more likely to excel under pressure.”

Dr. Tenfelde also recognizes the long-term benefits of yoga for her students.

“Part of preparing my students to be good health-care professionals involves educating them on how to take care of themselves,” Dr. Tenfelde said. “It is easy to lose sight of self-care when you are concerned with caring for others on a daily basis. I hope to instill in my students the ability to reduce their own stress levels to better care for their patients.”

The class will take place at noon on Thursday, December 13, in the Halas Group Fitness Studio in the lower level of the Halas Recreation Center. Post-yoga refreshments will be available for Loyola students in the School of Nursing Student Lounge in the Granada Center, Room 360. Admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“My hope is that yoga will give students a healthier alternative to the caffeine, sugar and adrenaline that often carry them through finals week,” Dr. Tenfelde added.

Students and Faculty Collaborate to Improve Community Health

Hundreds of people attended a health fair and flu shot clinic at Cristo Rey High School in Chicago earlier this month. The event was hosted by Loyola University Chicago nursing, dietetics, exercise science, medical and health systems management students.

The theme was green health, which focused on healthy eating through farmer’s markets and local community gardens. Other topics included exercise, air quality, medication disposal, water quality, allergens and lead in the home.

“This was a tremendous interdisciplinary effort led by the School of Nursing to improve the health of the community,” said Sandi Tenfelde, PhD, RN, WHNP, assistant professor, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Approximately 100 people received free flu shots for the upcoming flu season. Attendees also received blood pressure and body-mass index screenings.

“The health fair offered an outlet for underserved populations to obtain valuable resources, which they might not otherwise receive,” Dr. Tenfelde said. “This event also provided our students with a great opportunity to collaborate with the community to begin to understand the unique needs of their future patients.”

 

Loyola Helps Bridge the Gap for Future Military Health-Care Professionals

Loyola University Chicago is playing an integral role in providing specialized training and support for students in health sciences who are preparing to serve as health-care professionals in the U.S. military. Loyola offers a targeted mentor program and lecture series twice a year that provides insight into the unique role of caring for the health needs of veterans, service members and military families.

“The structure of the military and caring for fellow soldiers and their families is very different than caring for the civilian population,” said Patricia McNally, Ed.D., assistant dean, medical education at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and faculty adviser for military medical students. “Just by the nature of what they are doing, whether they are serving with a deployed unit or on base, their environment, patient population and lifestyle, will be very different than their colleagues who are not in the military. We hope to help bridge that gap in their training so they are better prepared to serve the men and women of the military."

This year’s lecture series will focus on a multidisciplinary approach to treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD has been determined as an area in critical need of education for current and future health-care professionals.

Special guest presenter Col. Peter G. Napolitano, MD, MC, USA, who is a Stritch grad, will use Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (STEPPS) to help students understand their role as military health-care professionals in team building. The Department of Defense Patient Safety Program developed the Team STEPPS program to produce highly effective teams that optimize the use of information, people and resources to achieve the best outcomes for patients.

Two lectures will be offered. Nurses, doctors, social workers and other caregivers are invited to attend the lecture on Nov. 9. Medical school students from throughout northern Illinois have been invited to the Nov. 10 lecture.

Started four years ago, the program helps future military health-care professionals better understand, diagnose and treat the needs of veterans, service members and military families.

“This is not an easy road and I have the greatest respect for these men and women who have made this choice. It is an honor to be able to serve them,” McNally said.

If you are a health-care professional and wish to attend the Nov. 9 lecture, please contact Dr. Patricia McNally at pmcnally@lumc.edu or call (708) 216-4998.

Pender Named Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing

Nola Pender, PhD, RN, FAAN, was recently named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing for her lifetime achievements in nursing. The Living Legend Designation is the Academy’s highest recognition.

Dr. Pender was among four people who received this honor at the American Academy of Nursing’s 39th Annual Conference and Meeting last week. She was recognized for her contributions in theory-based research integrated into and tested in nursing practice.  

Each year, the Academy Board of Directors recognizes a small group of fellows as Living Legends. To be eligible, a Living Legend must have been a fellow for at least 15 years and have demonstrated extraordinary and sustained contributions to nursing and health care throughout their careers. Since the initiation of the award in 1994, the Academy has honored 82 Living Legends as a way to commemorate distinguished careers that have impacted health care through notable contributions to nursing practice, research and education.

“We unite across generations of leadership, as we celebrate the career contributions of these distinguished nurse leaders,” said Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, FAAN, Academy president. “We are inspired by their values and commitment, and we hope to build on their success to improve the nation’s health.”

She served on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force which develops preventive services guidelines for primary care providers.

Dr. Pender is a distinguished professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and a professor emerita at the University of Michigan. She also is an accomplished researcher and author who has published a significant amount of work on health promotion and physical activity among adolescents. Dr. Pender is a member of the Midwest Nursing Research Society, the Illinois Nurses’ Association and the American Nurses’ Association. 

She also served on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force which develops preventive services guidelines for primary care providers. She earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from Michigan State University. She went on to complete her master of arts in human growth and development at Michigan State. She also completed her doctorate at Northwestern University. 

Keough Named Fellow of American Academy of Nursing

Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN (MSN ’91, PhD ’98), was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing Oct. 13, 2012.

This event took place at the Academy’s 39th Annual Meeting and Conference in Washington, DC. Dr. Keough is the dean of Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON). She also is a professor at the school and an emergency nurse practitioner at Loyola University Medical Center.

Dean Keough was joined by MNSON alumnae Catherine Catrambone, PhD, RN (’78), Mary Johnson, PhD (’97), PMHCNS-BC (’73), and Janis Miller, PhD, APRN (’88), who also were inducted.

“I am honored to be a member of this esteemed group,” Dean Keough said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance the profession of nursing and improve health care for our nation.”

Selection for membership in the academy is one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing. The academy fellows represent the nation’s top nurse researchers, policymakers, scholars, executives, educators and practitioners. Dr. Keough was among 176 fellows inducted in to the academy. She was named a fellow for her contributions to the field of nursing, which include her leadership as dean of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

The academy is composed of more than 1,800 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research. Selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two current academy fellows. Applicants are reviewed by a panel of elected and appointed fellows, and selection is based, in part, on the extent to which nominees’ nursing careers influence health policies and well-being. 

Dean Keough earned her bachelor of science in nursing with honors from St. Xavier University in Chicago. She went on to complete her master of science in nursing and her doctorate from Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. 

Dean Keough is an accomplished author and researcher whose interests include trauma, emergency nursing, alcohol intervention, nurse burnout and nurse attrition. She also serves as a research peer reviewer for the Illinois Emergency Nursing Association and a reviewer for the Journal of Emergency Nursing and the Journal of Critical Care

Hundreds Attend School of Nursing Blessing and Dedication

‌Nearly 350 people attended the blessing and dedication of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing building Saturday, September 29, on the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood. This event took place in the Quiet Study Room at the west end of the new facility. Guests were invited to a reception and tour of the facility following the blessing and dedication.

Father Michael J. Garanzini, SJ, president and CEO, Loyola University Chicago, led the festivities, thanking donors, members of the community, and key leaders at the university and health system who made the project possible.

Fr. Garanzini welcomed Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Dean Vicki Keough, PhD, RN-BC, ACNP, Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost, Health Sciences Division, Stritch School of Medicine Dean Linda Brubaker, MS, MD, key dignitaries, and staff to the podium.

“Interprofessional development is the future of nursing and all health-sciences, and it’s imperative that we stay focused on the future,” Provost Gamelli said. “Thanks to this new facility, we can do just that.”

“We have waited more than 77 years for this moment,” Dean Keough added, prompting cheers from the audience. “I am pleased to share this historic occasion with you as we dedicate the first ever Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing building. This all came to fruition thanks in great measure to our faculty, staff, and the generous support of alumni and friends of our school.”

Also Saturday, Fr. Garanzini unveiled the Saint John’s Bible, an addition to the Health Sciences Campus, which was placed in the Quiet Study Room. Fr. Garanzini noted that the Saint John’s Bible is the only handwritten and illuminated edition to be commissioned by a Benedictine Monastery since the advent of the printing press more than 500 years ago. This fine-art copy – one of only 299 produced – is a gift of the Jesuit Community of Loyola University Chicago and donors.

Event Photos:

Dietetic Interns Earn Scholarships

Stephanie Rink and Kristine Sullivan received scholarships from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. Rink and Sullivan are Loyola dietetic intern students in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Also, dietetic interns Kathryn Bobka, Hannah Lapkin and Lori Piascik were inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honor Society.

"Both of these programs are competitive and examples of the high quality and hard work of our students," said Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, LDN, assistant professor and director of Dietetics education programs at MNSON.

Schmidt Named Alumnus of Distinction

Lee Schmidt, PhD, RN, recently was named a University of Miami School of Nursing & Health Studies Alumnus of Distinction. Dr. Schmidt is an associate professor, the senior associate dean of Academic Affairs and director of the PhD program at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. This award honors alumni who, through nursing practice, have exemplified the professionalism, humanity and citizenship and brought distinction to themselves and the University of Miami. Dr. Schmidt will receive this honor at the 64th Annual Alumni Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 20, in Coral Gables, Fla.

Jennrich Earns Power of Nursing Leadership SAGE Award

Judith Jennrich, PhD, RN, ACNP, associate professor, at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, has been selected as a 2012 Power of Nursing Leadership SAGE award winner. The SAGE award honors nurses who mentor and support leaders of today while looking for ways to guide nurse leaders of tomorrow. Dr. Jennrich will be recognized at the 15th Annual Power of Nursing Leadership celebration on Friday, Nov. 2, in Chicago.

"Dr. Jennrich has made a significant impact on the life and career of others by acting as a role model, a facilitator and a mentor," said Vicki Keough, PhD, APRN-BC, ACNP, FAAN, dean, MNSON. "This award speaks to Dr. Jennrich's love for her work, her students and her dedication to the profession of nursing."

Two Loyola MSN Nursing Students Awarded Scholarships

Two MSN nursing students, Jaime Rohde and Lisa Spiewak, were awarded Graduate Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Practice from the American Cancer Society, the largest private not-for-profit funding source for cancer research and training in the United States. This competitive award supports graduate students pursuing a master's degree in cancer nursing for two years, with stipend of $10,000 per year for tuition support.  Both students are pursuing a MSN with a focus on cancer, with the goal of becoming adult nurse practitioners with a specialization in oncology. A requirement for this award is that the graduate program demonstrate integration of cancer nursing content; the cancer specialization tract is directed by Patricia J. Friend, PhD, APN-CNS, AOCN, Associate Professor.

Two West Suburban Cook County Nursing Scholarships Available

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing invites students who currently live in West Suburban Cook County and have lived there for the past three years to apply for two new nursing scholarships. The Westlake Nursing Scholarship and The Honorable Thomas A. Hett Scholarship will provide up to $10,000 tuition funding per year for MNSON students in order to enhance health and health care in the communities of West Suburban Cook County. Scholarship recipients must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate nursing program at Loyola University Chicago’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and provide proof of residency for the past three years in West Suburban Cook County.

To be eligible for a West Suburban Nursing Scholarship:

1. The applicant must provide proof of current residency over the past 3 years in one of the following West Suburban Cook County communities:
Bellwood, Berwyn, Broadview, Berkeley, Brookfield, Cicero. Forest Park, Hillside, LaGrange, LaGrange Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, North Riverside, Oak Park, Riverside, River Forest, Stone Park, Westchester, and Western Springs.

2. The applicant must be enrolled in one of the following nursing programs at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing:

- RN to BSN
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) -- must be a junior or senior
- Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

To apply, please submit the following by August 10, 2012

- The completed application form
- A 500 word statement about your future goals in nursing and your commitment to enhancing the health of patients and families residing in the West Suburban Cook County communities.

The Scholarships Review Committee will undertake a blind review of all scholarship applications. Preference for funding will be given to those students who demonstrate a high probability for success as evidenced by their statements and GPA.

New Building Opens

New Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing building open for learning

Group Therapy an Effective Treatment Option for Depressed Women with Type 2 Diabetes

Loyola study sheds light on how to treat common problem in diabetics

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Gender-specific group therapy is effective for treating depressed women with Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the latest issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine and funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research. Evidence suggests that antidepressants may disrupt blood-sugar control and can be associated with increased weight gain; therefore, other treatment options are needed for depression.

"Using antidepressants to treat depression, although important, can be associated with side effects that make compliance an issue for people with diabetes or those at risk for diabetes," said Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, study co-author, professor and faculty scholar, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON). "This makes other options, such as cognitive-behavior therapy, increasingly important for diabetics with depression."

Depression is present in 25 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes and it occurs twice as often in women than men with the disease. This study evaluated women with significantly elevated depressive symptoms. Approximately half of study participants received a nurse-delivered group therapy program called SWEEP and the other half received routine care. Regular contact with a physician and clinic staff also was available to both groups. SWEEP is a form of group therapy based on cognitive-behavior principles developed for women with Type 2 diabetes. This is the first cognitive-behavior therapy program to treat symptoms in depressed women in a group setting and to demonstrate an improvement in depression and other emotions.

Those who participated in this form of group therapy learned how blood sugar affects the symptoms of depression, anxiety and anger. They also were taught how to recognize signs of stress and how to think differently and identify other methods to decrease negative thoughts, improve self-care behaviors and communicate effectively. The study found that the percent of women who were depressed after six months of group therapy was substantially less than those who had usual care (35 percent versus 80 percent).

"Additional work needs to be done to develop treatment options that address the emotional needs of people with Type 2 diabetes," Dr. Penckofer said. "The next step would be to explore other tailored group cognitive-therapy programs for depression based on gender, race or disease. This is particularly important since depression is associated with relapse and use of cognitive therapy is associated with a lower relapse rates."

Other Loyola University Chicago study authors included Patricia Mumby, PhD, professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences; Mary Anne Emanuele, MD, professor, Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism; Ramon Durazo, PhD, professor, Department of Preventive Medicine & Epidemiology.

Loyola Nurse Awarded K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award

Dr. Karen Saban, Associate Professor, has been awarded a 3 year, KO1 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award through the National Institute of Nursing Research. Dr. Saban's project is entitled, "Social Context and Inflammatory Risk for Stroke in African American Women." Dr. Saban will examine the psychosocial and molecular mechanisms that underlie stroke disease disparities, under the mentorship of Dr. Linda Janusek.

School of Nursing Honors Newly Graduated Students

Honors and Pinning 12-15-12

The Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing held its Winter 2012 Honors and Pinning ceremony and reception on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at the Lake Shore Campus. The event honored graduating undergraduate students, recognized the outstanding achievements of student award recipients, and brought together students, their friends and families, alumni, faculty and staff to celebrate the health care profession.
 
The 'pinning ceremony' has historically served to welcome newly graduated nursing students to the profession of health care as they transition from students to nurses. This tradition continues today, with the pin serving to identify graduates as recipients of a world-class Loyola University Chicago health care education.
 
The following awards and honors were presented and acknowledged during the ceremony:

  • Dean's Gold Key: Julia Scheidler
  • Julia Lane Silver Key: Kathryn Garner, Meaghan Panfil, Siobhan Ruff, Julia Scheidler, Ingrid Stensvaag, Catherine Wolnik
  • Nursing Alumni Award: Andrew Soltys
  • Carol Kraft Memorial Award: Mark Romond
  • Gladys Kiniery Clinical Excellence Award: Andrew Soltys
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarships: Adam Parker, Paulo Rios, Mark Romond, Andrew Soltys, Theresa Zumba
  • Ohio Health Critical Care Fellowship: Hailey Weber

As the student keynote speaker, Adam Parker, spoke about his experiences at Loyola and provided advice for his graduating colleagues. "I hope you all take what you have learned at Loyola and use it for the greater good. Keep your bag of tools close to you and remember to keep a little love in the back of your mind and in your heart," Adam said.
 
Theresa Zumba, one of the graduating students acknowledged during the event for being named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholar, said "[This honor] was the perfect culmination to the wonderful time I have had at Loyola University Chicago. I believe that through my nursing education I will be able to create the change I'd like to see in my community and beyond."