Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy Celebrates Outstanding Alumni

Diane Parham, ’74, is a professor in the OT graduate program at the University of New Mexico, where she has received two health professions teaching awards. She is known for her research and scholarship in the fields of sensory integration, play, and occupational science.

Lindsey Telg, ’12, is a therapist at UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital. In 2013, she created the Equal Access Occupational Therapy Clinic, the first student-run free OT clinic in the state of Florida. For her efforts in establishing the clinic, she received the Florida Occupational Therapy Association’s Award of Appreciation in 2013.

Sherrilene Classen, ’04 (MPH with a concentration in Epidemiology), is a professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy. She is a prevention-oriented rehabilitation scientist who studies fitness-to-drive issues in at-risk drivers through the lifespan via clinical tests, driving simulators, on-road assessments, in-vehicle technologies and automated vehicles.

Congratulations to Dr. Parham, Lindsey Telg, and  Dr. Classen for being outstanding alumni!

Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist

Dr. Luther King, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy recently received the designation as a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS) which exemplifies competency and credibility in driver rehabilitation. To become a CDRS Dr. King had to meet specific criteria and provided over 1,600 hours of direct driver rehabilitation services as well as pass a rigorous examination. He is now 1 of 20 active certified driver rehabilitation specialists in Florida and 1 of 350 in the U.S. and Canada. This is a significant achievement as there is a great need for driver rehabilitation services in the Gainesville area and surrounding cities. Dr. King is looking forward to providing services to meet the driver rehabilitation needs throughout the life span of individuals of the Gainesville community and beyond in the years to come. 

Fieldwork Educator Award of Excellence 

The University of Florida and the Florida Occupational Educational Consortium are proud to announce that Lauren McKenna is the UF 2017 Fieldwork Educator Award of Excellence recipient. In addition to serving as a fieldwork educator, Lauren has participated at the North Central Florida Region 3 OT forum and FOTA conference panels on Demystifying Fieldwork. Lauren is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Award recipients are nominated for superior communication, interpersonal behaviors, and professional and teaching behaviors. We would like to thank Lauren for providing exceptional learning experiences for occupational therapy students in our state. The Award of Excellence is presented annually at the FOTA Conference during the annual meeting. This year’s meeting is November 4 in Orlando.

Margaret Clare Shoemyen Graduate Fund 

This year’s winner of the Clare Shoemyen Graduate Fund is Brittany Sears. This $1,700 award is directed to an outstanding student in recognition of academic excellence, leadership, and service. This award was established to assist an incoming graduate student in the Master of Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Florida who has the potential to contribute to the science of OT practice and for leadership in the profession. Ms. Shoemyen was an occupational therapy pioneer who helped shape the profession here in Gainesville. Having recently passed away at 91, the OT department honors her legacy and her generous gift.

Congratulations to Brittany on this outstanding recognition! 

FDOT Awards Aging Road User Grant

A lack of alternative transportation impacts older adults, especially those who may not drive and need transportation to reach community services (e.g., health care, shopping) as well as social activities. To help address this need, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Safety Office has awarded the Department of Occupational Therapy a $174,000 grant to provide an alternative transportation database, and an interactive mapping website for identifying transportation solutions for aging road users. Department of OT PI Dr. Sherrilene Classen and team members Dr. Sandra Winter and Mr. Jason Rogers work collaboratively with UF team members from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and FDOT on this project. These efforts support FDOT's Find-A-Ride initiative and the coordinated outreach effort of Florida’s Safe Mobility for Life Coalition.


Physical Therapy

Schack-Dugré Joins PT Department

The Department of Physical Therapy welcomes Judi Schack-Dugré, PT, MBA, DPT to our faculty. Dr. Schack-Dugré is a clinical assistant professor and joins the clinical education team as an assistant director of clinical education working with the DPT students. Her expertise is in business/management/leadership, geriatrics, and musculoskeletal. She is currently pursuing her EdD degree in health science education with a focus on simulated interprofessional education. Schack-Dugré started and led an outpatient private practice for over 15 years, has taught in DPT programs (primarily in Florida) for over 10 years, and was actually employed at Shands Hospital in her first position as a physical therapist 30 years ago!

Wills Elected to Primary Care Progress Student Organization 

The University of Florida Primary Care Progress (PCP) Student group is an active, inter-professional group which is one of the more than 50 established PCP chapters across the country. PCP’s primary interest is to promote optimal primary care in our communities. DPT student Katherine Wills has been elected as the UF PCP Community Engagement Coordinator. As well as fostering an opportunity for linkage with other professions in the Health Science Center, Wills’ service highlights the DPT program’s commitment to community engagement. Congratulations Katherine!


Rehabilitation Science

Oxford Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology Event Attended by PT Department Researchers

The Department of Physical Therapy was well represented at XIV Oxford Conference on Modeling and Control of Breathing held at Merton College in Oxford, UK. This event is hosted by the University College London (UCL) and focuses on discussing the latest research and bringing together research groups with common interests in all aspects of respiratory physiology and neurobiology; modeling, exercise physiology, chemoreception (central and peripheral), and beyond. Dr. Gordon Mitchell gave a plenary lecture on “Intermittent hypoxia-induced respiratory motor plasticity: Mechanism and applications” and a talk on “Compensatory respiratory plasticity with respiratory motor neuro death.” Dr. David Fuller gave a session on “Functional recovery of breathing capacity after cervical spinal injury” while postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Arash Tadalli presented “Impact of systemic inflammation on phrenic motor plasticity.” PT faculty, Drs. Elisa Gonzalez-Rothi and Barbara Smith, postdoctoral fellows, Drs. Kristi Streeter and Raphael Perim, and Rehabilitation Science PhD student, Michael Sunshine, presented posters.


Public Health

MPH Graduate on Wheel of Fortune

Joseph Gallant, a 2016 graduate of the MPH in Epidemiology program, recently had the opportunity to appear on the game show Wheel of Fortune. Joseph says that he has watched Wheel of Fortune since elementary school and always dreamed of being a contestant. 

“Wheel of Fortune has a big, yellow bus called the Wheelmobile that travels around the country. I saw a commercial that they were visiting my local mall and decided to try out. Two weeks later I found out I got a call back, and then I was very excited to receive the letter in the mail that said I would officially be on the show!”

Joseph finished in third place with $1,850, which he says is not a bad consolation prize for 30 minutes on the show. He says that it’s much harder to solve puzzles in front of an audience with lights and cameras. In the end, he has only positive things to say about the experience. 

“Being on Wheel of Fortune was an unforgettable experience. The contestant supervisors and the rest of the crew were extremely encouraging to all of the contestants. On stage, Pat even cracked jokes during commercial breaks to calm everybody’s nerves. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience!” 


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Social and Behavioral Sciences MPH Graduate Receives CDC Public Health Fellowship 

Summer Slaughter, a Spring 2017 SBS MPH graduate, has begun a two-year public health fellowship through the CDC's Office for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support. This competitive experience is designed to build a recent graduate's skill set within public health. Slaughter will be a part of the Forsyth County Department of Public Health Preventive Health Services Division in North Carolina. Slaughter will be working with the “Be Healthy School Kids” program, a nutrition education program targeting Pre-K - 5th grade students. She will also plan and facilitate two sessions of “Speedway to Healthy,” a walk-through exhibit, which teaches children how the food they eat affects their body. Children will “enter the body” as a piece of food and travel to different organs. At the end of the school year, Slaughter will transition into “Prevent Ongoing Spread of STIs Everywhere,” a program that provides HIV/STI screenings and education in community locations in Forsyth County.

Social and Behavioral Sciences MPH Student Volunteers at Gilchrist County Shelter

Carlyn Ellison, a master’s in public health student, had just signed up as an American Red Cross volunteer in anticipation of conducting her internship with the group in the spring, when news hit that Hurricane Irma was making a beeline for Florida.

After some hurried emergency training, Ellison got her first volunteer assignment the night before the storm hit northern Florida: staffing a shelter in Gilchrist County, Alachua County’s neighbor to the west. Ellison set up the shelter’s registration station and registered more than 250 evacuees during a 12-hour shift. Ellison plans to pursue a career in emergency management.


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

I Have Aphasia: Now What? 

Can you define aphasia? For many individuals who receive this diagnosis it is a foreign and confusing word. In fact, for someone with aphasia, many words are challenging. Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that occurs from neurological insult to the language area (usually the left hemisphere.) It results in difficulty reading, writing, speaking, and understanding speech in someone who could previously complete these activities with ease. Despite the term aphasia being largely unknown, about two million Americans suffer from this disorder.  

Aphasia impacts the entire family, imagine if you could not communicate with your spouse or your child could not communicate with you. On August 18 and 19 an aphasia workshop was held at the University of Florida. This was organized through the Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Department, the graduate student organization (GNSSLHA), and the Department of Neurology. The team from Voices of Hope for Aphasia presented this workshop focused on education and provided functional communication techniques that could be immediately implemented into everyday life. There was also a time for bonding and sharing about struggles and successes participants have overcome while dealing with aphasia.



Dr. Babette Brumback Elected as Member of ENAR Regional Committee

Dr. Babette Brumback was recently elected as a member of the International Biometric Society’s Eastern North American Region (ENAR) Regional Committee (RECOM). Dr. Brumback will serve as a RECOM member for the three year term 2018-2020. The committee consists of nine members elected to three year terms, with three new members elected each year.

The International Biometric Society is an international society for the advancement of biological science through the development of quantitative theories and the application, development, and dissemination of effective mathematical and statistical techniques. ENAR is a subdivision of this society and includes portions of the United States and Canada. As a Regional Committee member, Dr. Brumback will participate in committee meetings held during the ENAR spring meetings and the summer joint statistical meetings. She will contribute to the oversight of the biometric affairs of the region and will be asked to lead and/or work on specific ENAR initiatives that are undertaken during her term.  

Dr. Susmita Datta Selected as Plenary Speaker

Congratulations to Dr. Susmita Datta who was selected as a plenary speaker for the 2017 American Statistical Association Women in Statistics and Data Science Conference in La Jolla, California. Dr. Datta’s plenary speech, titled “Making Your Mark,” was given on October 19. The audience was a combination of professionals and students from academia, industry, and the government working in statistics and data science. The conference aims to bring together these groups to “Share WISDOM” (Women in Statistics, Data science, and –Omics) and highlight the achievements and career interests of women in statistics and data science. Read more


Clinical and Health Psychology

CHP Faculty Member Addresses Glasgow Conference

Dr. Russell Bauer spoke at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) conference on September 27-28, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. He presented on the topic entitled, “Patient treatment matching: developing process specific memory interventions.” At the BIRT conference, internationally known experts, academics, leading brain injury rehabilitation researchers, and practitioners from around the world meet to discuss and share pioneering developments, ideas, and research about the rehabilitation of people with brain injury.

Student Leadership from CHP Doctoral Student

Aviva Ariel-Donges, MS, was recently selected to be Chair Elect of the Student Advisory Council of The Society for Health Psychology (SfHP, Division 38). Aviva is a fifth year doctoral student in the medical/health psychology track under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Perri. She is looking forward to fostering a collaboration with the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) leadership in order to expand graduate students’ access to information about careers in health psychology. Aviva will serve her term as Chair for the 2018-2019 academic year, during which time she hopes to expand the role of the SfHP Student Advisory Council’s Diversity Committee.

CHP Faculty Member Receives Grant Funding from Climb for Cancer Foundation

Dr. Erika Cascio recently received grant funding to support psychological service provision within Shands Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Oncology department. Dr. Cascio has worked to build a comprehensive support program within the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Division at UF Health & Shands Children’s Hospital. With funding from the Climb for Cancer Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help ease the pain and suffering of those affected by cancer, patients and their families will receive psychological support during their time of need.


Dean's Office

HPNP Field Day 2017

PHHP joined with the College of Nursing and the College of Pharmacy on Thursday, October 5 for some friendly competition and a great cause! The Fourth Annual HPNP Field Day raised nearly $1,000 for UF Campaign for Charities. Participants enjoyed games, a live broadcast by KISS 105.3 and great giveaways, including a night's stay at the Sweetwater Branch Inn. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s event.


Environmental and Global Health

Transportation Safety and Public Health in China

In a paper published in the October 14 issue of the Lancet, Dr. Song Liang, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Global Health, examined public health impacts of transportation-related risk factors in China in collaboration with an international team of experts in the fields of medicine, environmental health science, transportation safety, and urban design. The unprecedented economic development and accompanying remarkable growth of transportation in China have brought tremendous benefits as well as health threats. The team reviewed the impacts of motorized transport on road traffic injuries and fatalities, air quality and associated health effects, regional and global climate change through transport emissions of greenhouse gases, and discussed consequences of poor urban infrastructure, knowledge, policy gaps, and future needs. Read more 

Multidisciplinary Team Reports Highly Successful Method to Collect Virus Aerosols

The dynamics and significance of airborne transmission of respiratory viruses remains poorly understood, primarily because virus aerosols are inefficiently collected by commonly used air samplers. Moreover, the collected viruses are typically inactivated during their collection. The inability to detect viruses in breathing air poses difficulties for infection control, and if the viruses are inactivated, reduces the accuracy of inhalation risk analyses. Now, a team composed of EGH researchers led by Dr. John Lednicky, UF engineers led by Drs. C-Y Wu and Z. Hugh Fan, and engineers from Aerosol Dynamics, Inc., reveal that their highly effective air sampling device, the viable virus aerosol sampler (VIVAS), outperforms the industry standard air sampler for the collection of virus aerosols, and that the collected viruses remain viable ("live").

The results of their work underscore the occurrence of airborne respiratory viruses that can remain suspended in air for long periods of time and pose inhalation risks. Read more



One Hundred Percent of Epidemiology Students Published in 2016-2017

The 2016-2017 academic year was a busy time for the Department of Epidemiology’s PhD students. All 23 PhD students published at least one manuscript or letter to the editor during this period, and 83 percent first-authored at least one manuscript or letter to the editor. Each student published, on average, 3.17 papers during this period, with an average of 1.61 first-authored papers published per student.

The journals students have published in are impactful and include: Global Public Health, Global Health Research and Policy, American Journal of Epidemiology, BJU International, Family Medicine, Social Indicators Research, Preventive Medicine Reports, Addictive Behaviors, Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Addiction, Nature, Journal of the American Society of Hypertension, and Biomedicine Hub, among others.

Congratulations to students for meeting the departmental goal of publishing at least three papers per year!

Dr. Robert Cook Awarded NIDA R01 Grant to Study Marijuana and HIV

Robert L. Cook, MD, MPH, Professor in Epidemiology, Director of the Southern HIV and Alcohol Research Consortium (SHARC) and Chair of the Florida Consortium for HIV/AIDS Research (FCHAR), has achieved yet another scientific success in the area of HIV research. Dr. Cook was recently awarded a $3.2 million R01 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study the health outcomes and cognitive effects of marijuana use among persons living with HIV and AIDS. Dr. Cook and his team at the SHARC Center for Translational HIV Research will conduct a longitudinal cohort study of 400 persons living with HIV infection in order to determine their marijuana consumption habits and identify relationships between marijuana consumption and control of HIV symptoms, HIV viral suppression, markers of chronic inflammation, and cognitive or behavioral aspects of health. Congratulations Dr. Cook!

HealthStreet Collaborator Serves as Vehicle for Change

In partnership with HealthStreet and UF/IFAS, the Fresh Wagon Mobile Farm Market Employee Wellness Pilot Program was launched in early 2017. Between February and June of this year, the Fresh Wagon visited campus weekly, bringing more than 30 diverse, sustainably grown fruits and vegetables sourced from 10 local farms.

Whenever the Fresh Wagon appeared on campus, HealthStreet community health workers were there to recruit Fresh Wagon customers to the HealthStreet cohort, assess their health needs and concerns, and refer them to appropriate medical and social services and opportunities to participate in research being conducted at UF. HealthStreet also partners with IFAS through the Cooking Matters® program, where UF/IFAS nutrition professionals teach community members how to shop for and prepare delicious, nutritious meals on a limited budget.

The Fresh Wagon has returned with more of its delicious produce and baked goods. Stop by the HPNP/BMS circle on Thursdays from 12 pm - 2:45 pm to check it out!


Health Services Research, Management and Policy

PhD Student Publishes in Cancer

Young-Rock Hong, MPH, is a second year student in the Health Services Research concentration of the PhD in Public Health. Young published as first author in Cancer on October 4, 2017. In this study, complex interrelationships are modeled between sociocultural characteristics, distrust in health care, quality of health services attributes, and the use of health services among Hispanic and Asian Americans. He found that improving the quality of health services could increase uptake of colorectal cancer screening in these groups. Read more

Master of Health Administration Open House

On November 3, 2017, from 1 - 4 pm, the Master of Health Administration program will host its annual Open House event. This event provides an opportunity for prospective MHA students to review the application process and learn more about the program. Current students, faculty, and alumni will all be on hand to answer questions and provide insight on the program and career paths after graduation. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP using this link: http://hsrmp.phhp.ufl.edu/mha-open-house/