Health Services Research, Management and Policy

MHA Student Publishes Paper in MGMA Connection

Rafi Choudhury, a class of 2017 MHA student, co-authored a paper in the MGMA Connection magazine titled, "The murky waters of physician non-competes," which was published on January 1, 2017. Read more

Dr. Kalyani Sonawane Appointed Program Director for the PhD in Health Services Research

Dr. Sonawane joined the HSRMP faculty in September 2016. She has been appointed as the program director for the PhD in Health Services Research. Her expertise is a great asset to the program and she will do a terrific job guiding our students. Congratulations Dr. Sonawane.


Occupational Therapy

Margaret Odom Renner Wins UF Superior Accomplishment Award Health Science Center Division

Margaret Odom Renner will be honored at a banquet on March 2, 2017 as one of the UF Superior Accomplishment award winners of the Health Science Center division. The award program recognizes employees who contribute outstanding service, efficiency and/or economy to the university, or play a role in the quality of life provided to students and employees. Margaret, an academic assistant II, supports all aspects of the Master of Occupational Therapy program, from program inquiries to admissions to fieldwork and graduation certification. This includes organizing admissions data for more than 400 applicants and handling the logistics for nearly 300 fieldwork placements. Ms. Renner is known to be an invaluable asset to the Occupational Therapy Department, ensuring that things run as smoothly as possible for both the faculty and students. 

Occupational Therapy Researcher Dr. Consuelo Kreider Translates Research to Practice for University Instructors and Academic Advisors

Dr. Kreider has partnered with the University of Florida Office of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence to produce two videos highlighting findings from her team’s research in supporting university students with learning and related disorders in the classroom. Research findings regarding inclusive practices for advisors were also shared with UF academic advisors at this year’s University Advising Council’s 11th Annual Advising Conference.

Videos are available at  http://teach.ufl.edu/learning-disabilities/. Information about the research supporting students with learning disabilities can be found at http://stemscholar.phhp.ufl.edu/.

Tana Carson, PhD, Receives a CTSI Grant

Tana Carson, PhD, a courtesy research assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy has recently received a CTSI grant for almost $20,000 for her project entitled: “Treatment for Auditory Hyper-Reactivity Behavior in Children with Autism Using Exposure and Response Prevention Principles.” The project addresses a highly significant problem in many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that can affect the quality of life for both the children and their families. Occupational Therapists have historically addressed this clinically, yet there is need for empirically based interventions to be used in clinical practice. Reviewers commented that the “application and evaluation of the intervention is sufficiently novel and, if successful, has great potential for affecting current clinical practice and standard of care for individuals with ASD.” Congratulations Tana!

2017-2018 Pre-Occupational Therapy Students Take Honors Program by Storm

The BHS Honors Program accepts 35-40 students per year. This intensive program requires that students conduct research under a faculty member and develop a thesis in their last semester. The program is made of students with a variety of career goals within the health professions and public health. Over two-thirds of this year’s 2017-2018 honors class is made up of Pre-OT students. There are seven OT faculty serving as mentors for these students including Dr. Foss, Dr. Schectman, Dr. Struckmeyer, Dr. Kreider, Dr. Myers, Dr. Young, and Dr. Pomeranz. The 2017-2018 Honors Pre-OT students include: Alyssa Baez, Kaitlyn Caldwell, Caroline Castillo, Gabrielle Cutliffe, Samantha DeMaria, Shannon Domfort, Kristine Farley, Jessica Garcia, Sarah Hayes, Isabella Hower, Taylor Kimes, Ashley Parigian, and Alexandra Ushdorf. Congratulations to all the Pre-OT students and OT faculty for their involvement in this prestigious program. 


Physical Therapy

Student Physical Therapy Association Elects Class of 2019 Officers

The Student Physical Therapy Association (SPTA) recently held elections for the Class of 2019 officers. Congratulations to new President, Marco Italia, Vice President, Chantelle Jerald, Secretary, Jessica Oram, and Treasurer, Chris Fuller. The Physical Therapy Department also recognizes and thanks the outgoing APTA officers of the Class of 2018 for all their efforts and enthusiasm: President, Dino Medic, Vice President, Brittny Silke, Secretary, Kelly Hardesty, and Treasurer, Adam Scofield.

(Photo of Class of 2018 and 2019 SPTA Officers)

UF Physical Therapy Equal Access Clinic Elects 2017-2018 Board

The UF PT Equal Access Clinic recently held elections for the 2017-2018 board. Congratulations to Spencer Kasmere, Administrative Co-Director; Erin Ginn, Clinical Co-Director; Camille Jamshidi, Public Relations Chair; Andrea Peña, Communications Chair; Chris Marshall, Treasurer; Ian Palmer, Infomatics Chair; Jenae Rankin, Inter-Professional Chair; Josh Hare, Clinician Recruitment Chair; and Jorge Ramirez, Translation Chair.

(Photo of incoming and outgoing EAC officers)

Student and Faculty Activities

The annual Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) student and faculty softball game was held earlier this month at Diamond Sports Park. The Professor vs. Second Year DPT Students Softball Game took place on February 8 and was attended by more than thirty spirited participants vying for the win. Great team effort and great team fun was had by all the faculty, teaching assistants, and students who came out to play ball!

(Photo of softball competitors)

DPT Alumna Named Employee of the Year

HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altamonte Springs has named UF DPT Class of 2011 alumna Sarah Burkhardt Employee of the Year. Burkhardt is an integral part of the health care team which provides comprehensive rehabilitation services for patients recovering from stroke, brain injury, and spinal cord injury. 


Rehabilitation Science

Rehabilitation Science Student Awarded UF Informatics Graduate Student Fellowship

Rehabilitation Science PhD student, Mi Jung Lee, has been selected for a UF Informatics Institute (UFII) Graduate Student Fellowship for her proposal, “Developing a Computerized Universal Measure of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL).” MJ is mentored by Dr. Sergio Romero who will serve as principal investigator (PI) on the project.

This study aims to link six existing standardized health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures to develop computerized adaptive tests that will provide an efficient, precise, and practical platform for assessing HRQOL. It will leverage existing data from the National Health Measurement Study (NHMS) and the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) to obtain item level information from these six most commonly used HRQOL measures in research and clinical practice. The overall goal is to provide clinicians and researchers with a standardized data-driven universal HRQOL that takes advantage of modern test psychometrics to provide a common metric that can be used to evaluate and compare interventions that aim at improving HRQOL.

The UFII Graduate Student Fellowship is designed to further the UFII’s mission to develop and nurture integrative informatics research and education. Successful applicants are awarded after a rigorous peer-reviewed and merit-based process.

Rehabilitation Science Students Present at Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting

Rehabilitation Science PhD students, Kelly Hawkins, Michael Sunshine, and Tommy Sutor, presented at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) annual meeting. The SfN is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. More than 30,300 attendees from 80 countries convened in San Diego to hear emerging science from learned experts, collaborate with peers, and explore new tools and technologies at SfN’s 46th annual meeting. Hawkins presented: “Executive control of walking in adults with mobility deficits quantified by fNIRS neuroimaging.” Sutor presented: “Locomotor-respiratory coupling after spinal cord injury and the effects of locomotor rehabilitation." Both students are mentored by Dr. Emily Fox. Michael Sunshine, who is mentored by Dr. David Fuller, presented: “Intraspinal activation of respiratory muscle depends on phase of respiratory cycle.” View his poster here: sfn2016_sunshine_csne-poster.

(left to right) Tommy Sutor, Kelly Hawkins, Michael Sunshine


Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Future Voices of Public Health Featured as One of the "Top 50 Health and Fitness" College Blogs of 2017

The Future Voices of Public Health Blog aims to inform and inspire public health students by providing new knowledge, insight, and an opportunity for their voices to be heard. The Blog is completely student-run, and strives to further promote public health as an interdisciplinary field of study. Articles are posted on a bi-weekly basis, and the next article is scheduled to be published on February 24. The core staff include Summer Slaughter, Director; Shamiel Nelson, Co-Director; and staff members Johanzynn Gatewood, Cara McDonnell, Kelli Selwyn, Casey Parker, and Mirna Amaya. Read more

(left to right) Cara McDonnell, Johanzynn Gatewood, Summer Slaughter, and  Kelli Selwyn


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

39th Annual G. Paul Moore Symposium

The 39th annual G. Paul Moore Symposium hosted distinguished speakers and professionals from around the southeastern U.S. in the world’s largest and longest-running student-run continuing education event in our professions. Dr. Rene Gifford from Vanderbilt University and Dr. Lyn Turkstra from McMaster University spoke about recent advances in the fields of cochlear implants and traumatic brain injury, respectively. The talks evoked fruitful discussions over the two-day event which honors the former professor and department chair, Dr. G. Paul Moore. A researcher and lifelong innovator in the field of voice science, Dr. Moore would have felt right at home with the thought-provoking, memorable presentations. Credit also should go to this year's hard-working symposium chairs, Angela Andersen and Alexa Thompson, as well as faculty advisor, Dr. Scott Griffiths, for coordinating this event.

(left to right) Alexa Thompson, Dr. Lynn Turkstra, Angela Andersen

Little Ears Field Day 2017

The 3rd annual Little Ears Field Day, a benefit for children with hearing loss and their families, was held at Norman Field on February 11, 2017. The UF Student Academy of Audiology and National Student Speech Language Hearing Association organized the event for the pediatric patients at the UF Speech and Hearing Clinic. It was a day filled with lots of fun games, face painting, and food for the kiddos and their families as well as the students, faculty, and their families!

Student organizers of the event: (left to right) Brittany Schmidt, Jennifer Aranda, and Lexi Cunio

NSSLHA at Stomp the Swamp

On Saturday, February 4, members of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) attended the Ninth Annual Stomp the Swamp for Autism. This is a fitness and autism awareness event arranged by the UF student organization, Impact Autism, and all proceeds raised at the event were donated to the UF Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. NSSLHA tabled at the event, passed out ear plugs, and talked to participants about their upcoming 5K fundraiser, Stride Against Silence. Stride benefits the UF Health Cochlear Implant Program in the UF Health Speech and Hearing Center and will be happening on Saturday, March 18. Other NSSLHA members participated in the event and got a great workout in by Stomping the Swamp!

(top to bottom, left to right) Cara Duncan, Hailey Shacklock, Katie Walker, Meghan Kobus, Alexa Thompson, Michelle Carter, Elana Brodksy



Biostatistics Workshop: Statistical Inference for Biomedical Big Data April 7-8, 2017

The dramatic improvement in data collection and acquisition technologies has enabled scientists to collect vast amounts of health-related data in the past decade. This workshop, which is to bring together some prominent statisticians in the field of biomedical big data and some local biomedical researchers, will provide a platform for the development of new statistical theory and methodology for biomedical big data as well as interdisciplinary interactions. The workshop organization committee invites submission of abstracts for contributed poster presentations for the workshop. The student and postdoc submitters have the possibility to compete for five travel awards and two best paper awards. The workshop is funded in part by NSF and hosted by the Department of Biostatistics.

For more info regarding registration and award opportunities, please visit our website: http://biostat.ufl.edu/seminars/biostatistics-workshop/


Environmental and Global Health

PhD Student Published in Atlas of Science

Sarah White, a fourth year Environmental and Global Health PhD student, recently published a research summary, “Occupational exposure to new influenza virus that infects cows” in the Atlas of Science. The Atlas of Science is an online platform which provides a forum for scientists to write and publish short summaries of their work, that are based on peer-reviewed articles, that are accessible to the public. This summary was based on work published in the Journal of Clinical Virology in August 2016 which found evidence to suggest that exposure to influenza D virus, a common respiratory pathogen in cattle, elicits an immune response. Read more

NIH R01 to Study Infectious Disease Surveillance in China

Dr. Song Liang, associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Global Health, along with colleagues from the University of California, Berkeley and Emory University, has received an R01 grant from NIH/NIAID to develop and apply spatial and temporal data integration methods for analyzing and optimizing infectious disease surveillance networks. In this five-year project, the team will take advantage of high-dimensional data from China’s infectious disease surveillance systems, examining four diseases of global health importance—schistosomiasis, malaria, hookworm infection, and tuberculosis—and develop ways to optimize their surveillance. The goal is to develop tools that can be applied in China and in other low- and middle-income countries.



New Business Manager Joins Epidemiology

The Department of Epidemiology is excited to announce that Holly O’Ferrell joined the team in mid-January as the new business manager. Ms. O’Ferrell’s most recent post was with IFAS, in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication as an administrative assistant/administrative specialist II to the Department Chair, but she also has experience in PHHP, where she started in March of 2003. Holly’s initial assignment was with the Department of Communicative Disorders, then in 2005 she moved into the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics to work with Chair Dr. Elena Andresen. Welcome back Holly!

Journal Club Publishing Success

As part of Epidemiology Journal Club, taught by Dr. Linda Cottler, students are required to review a current article and write and submit a letter to the editor of that journal. Fall 2016, 11 of the 13 students’ letters were accepted for publication! The journals and authors are as follows, from bottom left:

• Yiyang Liu – American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

• Denny Fe Agana – Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine

• Akemi Wijayabahu – Journal of Human Pathology

• Yunan Xu – American Journal of Epidemiology

• Jae Min – American Journal of Epidemiology

• Mirsada Serdarevic – American Journal of Public Health

• Verlin Joseph – American Journal of Public Health

• Kai Wang – Asian Journal of Andrology

• Bin Yu – American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

• Zhaoyi Chen – International Journal of Urology

• Yun Zhu – Journal of the American Medical Association

• Mustapha Kamara (not pictured) – Sexually Transmitted Infections

• Marko Predic (not pictured) – American Journal of Infection Control

Congratulations to our successful authors!