Health Services Research, Management and Policy

PhD Student Ryan Suk Finalist for Lee B. Lusted Award

Ryan Suk, MS, a second year PhD student, was a finalist for the Lee B. Lusted Award for her poster, "Predicting the Impact of Continued Tobacco Use and Timing of Smoking Cessation among Head and Neck Cancer Patients in the US," at the Annual Society of Medical Decision Making meeting. The 39th annual North American meeting was held in Pittsburgh, PA last month. The main interest of this society is to develop and provide training in decision science, mathematical modeling, health economics, evidence-based medicine, etc. The conference consists of short courses for training, presentations of original research, interest group seminars and mentoring sessions. Congratulations Ryan!

Sonawane and Deshmukh Publish in Annals of Internal Medicine

Kalyani Sonawane, PhD, and Ashish Deshmukh, PhD, MPH, published an article in Annals of Internal Medicine on October 16, 2017. Their study found that approximately 11 million men and 3 million women in the U.S. are infected with oral human papillomavirus, or HPV. Men were also almost six times more likely to be infected with cancer-causing oral HPV strains. The findings were picked up by several news outlets including the Today show and NPR. Read more


Occupational Therapy

OT Receives Funding to Develop a Teen Distracted Driving Education Program

The Teen Distracted Driving Education Program is a collaboration between the Florida Department of Transportation Highway Safety (DD-18-04-01/G0Q23: Cahill & Classen), the UF Department of Occupational Therapy, and the UF Transportation Institute. The group’s goal is to develop a computer-based education program with the purpose of reducing distracted driving amongst teenagers in Florida. The project grants $180K and runs from October 2017-September 2018. The group members are: Dr. Sherrilene Classen (Chair of the Occupational Therapy Department), W. Parker Hinson (Doctoral Candidate), Jane Morgan-Daniel (Assistant University Librarian, Health Science Center Libraries), Matthew Muller (Research Coordinator, Transportation Institute) and Nithin Agarwal (Transportation Safety Center).

(left to right: Jane Morgan-Daniel, W. Parker Hinson, and Dr. Sherrilene Classen)

OT Students Lead CarFit: A Community Outreach Event

Under the guidance of Dr. Linda Struckmeyer and Dr. Luther King, occupational therapy students led a CarFit event on October 24 at the Alachua County Senior Center. CarFit is an educational program that offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles "fit" them. The students follow a 12-point checklist with each vehicle, and recommend any adjustments which could make the vehicle a better fit for the drivers. The CarFit program also provides information and materials on community-specific resources that could enhance their safety as drivers, and/or increase their mobility in the community. Forty-two community participants were “fitted” during this event.

OT Faculty and Students Take Leadership Roles at Florida Occupational Therapy Association’s Annual Conference

The Department of Occupational Therapy was well represented at the annual Florida Occupational Therapy Association conference which was held in Orlando, FL this month. This annual event promotes scholarship amongst occupational therapists and occupational therapy students across Florida. The faculty and students of the OT department took advantage of this opportunity to present their scientific work via workshops, short courses, and poster presentations. Faculty who presented included: Drs. Classen, Kreider, Myers, Winter, King, Struckmeyer, and Ms. Pugh. Students who presented were Daniella Abdin, Jianne Apostol, Ashley Aragon, Hannah Bowman, Maya Burns, Madison Eouse, Kristen Grube, Nicolas Harrington, Lauren Huey, Caitlin Jefferis, Erin Jeffreys, Alexandria Kellison, Allison Kennelly, Claudia Luna, Nicole Martell, Claressa Midgette, Emily Minteer, Chelsea Oglesby, Ellen Overby, Yoo Hyeon Park, Cassie Paulus, Madison Pello, Stephanie Robertson, Brittany Sears, Mackenzi Slamka, Kristine Spanos, Aisha Stevens, Tara Suter, Rachel Swain, Rachael Thibeau, Rebecca Thrift, Kailey Waskom, and Lindsay Watson. Well done faculty and students!

(left to right: Mary Jeghers-PhD student, Dr. Sandra Winter, Dr. Sherrilene Classen, Dr. Luther King, Katelyn Caldwell-BHS student)

Classen Delivers Keynote Address at Barbara A. Rider Annual Colloquium

Dr. Sherrilene Classen was honored to give the keynote lecture at the 14th annual Barbara A. Rider Colloquium on November 10 at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She spoke on “Prevention Oriented Driving Rehabilitation Science: Blending a Public Health and the Health Professions Perspective.” Dr. Barbara A. Rider is a visionary and national and international advocate for the profession of occupational therapy. She was Chair of OT at WMU from 1976-1986. Dr. Rider has been an active researcher, teacher, and consultant for more than 47 years. Dr. Rider is enjoying retirement with her partner, Dr. Fred Sammons, shown in the picture.

I-MAP Team Members Celebrate Veteran’s Day

The University of Florida’s Institute for Mobility, Activity, and Participation (I-MAP) team members represented the Combat Veteran’s Driving study at the Alachua County Veteran Services Veteran’s Day event on Saturday, November 11. The event, held at Kanapaha Veterans Memorial Park, honored veterans and their sacrifices for the country. This event attracted hundreds of veterans from the North Florida region. The I-MAP team had a table setup at the event, and informed attendees about their current study funded by the Department of Defense. This study seeks to compare the effectiveness of a simulator-based Occupational Therapy-Driving Intervention (OT-DI) to Traffic Safety Education. Testing is completed on a DriveSafety CDS-250 Driving Simulator, which is integrated in the back of a 2010 Dodge Sprinter van and can be taken to a location convenient for the veterans. Read more


Physical Therapy

Florida Physical Therapy Association Recognizes UFPT Faculty and Alumna

Dr. Meryl Alappattu was honored by the Florida Physical Therapy Association (FPTA) for her dedication to the organization and service to the members of the state of Florida. Alappattu has just completed two terms as FPTA Vice-President. In addition, UF DPT (Doctorate of Physical Therapy) alumna, Crystal Gross, was recognized as part of the 2017 Outstanding PT/PTA team for her ongoing contributions to the organization and membership.

(left to right: past FPTA President Kathy Swanick, Dr. Meryl Alappattu)

Patten Continues Research with NIH R-01 Award

Dr. Carolynn Patten is a co-investigator on a new National Institutes of Health R01 Award focusing on fall risk prediction and creating balance training programs. Read more about Dr. Patten’s work on this five year grant.

UF DPT Students Hold a Successful 5K Fun Run/Walk

UF DPT students held their annual Race for Rehab Rock N’ Run on October 22. The funds raised from the 5K Fun Run/Walk benefited the community outreach programs run by the UF Department of Physical Therapy Program, including: Equal Access Clinic, Children on the Go, Community Health and Gaitor Challenge. These programs provide rehabilitation, health education, balance screenings, activity promotion and other physical therapy-related services to the Gainesville community and beyond. The run also featured: an appearance from the IT Band, made up entirely of UF Physical Therapy students; children’s activities, including an obstacle course and sidewalk art; demonstrations for running specific exercises; strength and aerobic testing; and flexibility screenings and stretching demonstrations.

(pictured: Rock N’ Run runners take their mark at the start of the Race for Rehab 5K Fun Run/Walk)


Rehabilitation Science

Two RSD Students Receive Certificates of Outstanding Merit

Rehabilitation Science students, Chelsea Ding (left) and Mi Jung Lee (right) were recognized for outstanding achievement at the University of Florida International Center’s Outstanding International Student Awards Ceremony. The International Student Awards Ceremony was initiated to highlight the accomplishments of international students at the University of Florida. The awards recognize students who not only meet exemplary academic achievement, but also achieve a wide range of accomplishments.

Ding has a bachelor of science in rehabilitation medicine from Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University, China. Under the mentorship of Dr. Carolynn Patten, she is studying upper limb motor function rehabilitation after stroke.

Lee has a bachelor of science in occupational therapy from Yonsei University in South Korea. Her dissertation topic is “Developing a global multidimensional PROMIS self-efficacy measure.” Lee is mentored by Dr. Sergio Romero.


Public Health

PHHP Wins Booth Prize at APHA

The College of Public Health and Health Professions received a third place prize in the Best Booth competition at the recent American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting in Atlanta. Booths were judged on creativity, innovation, ambiance, display, visual impact, and interactivity features. The clean, modern design for this year’s booth was developed through the collaborative effort of PHHP faculty, staff, and students, and it was very well received by conference attendees. The reward for the win was early selection of the booth location at next year’s APHA meeting in San Diego.


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Ross Wins First Place in Early Career Lightning Talk Competition

Dr. Kathryn Ross, assistant professor in Social and Behavioral Sciences and Clinical and Health Psychology, won first place in the Early Career Lightning Talk Competition at Obesity Week, the joint annual meeting of the Obesity Society and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. For this competition, twelve top-scoring abstracts were invited as presentations, and talks were judged by a panel during the session.

(pictured: Emily Knapp, MHS; Anne Justice, PhD; Kathryn Ross, PhD)

SBS Doctoral Student Attends International Conference on Obesity 

Stephanie A. Lee, SBS third year doctoral student, had the opportunity to present a research poster on Thursday, November 2 at the Obesity Week conference in Washington, DC under the mentorship of Dr. Steve Anton. The review poster was titled “Flipping the Metabolic Switch: Understanding and Applying the Health Benefits of Fasting.” The paper was published in Obesity in October. The project identified clinical trials which examined the effects of intermittent fasting regimens on changes in body composition in overweight individuals. Two types of regimens were studied: time restricted feeding and alternate day modified fasting.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Makes an Impact at APHA Annual Meeting

Over 20 representatives from the Social and Behavioral Sciences Program attended the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Expo in Atlanta, Georgia in early November. SBS students and faculty presented their research with posters and oral presentations including topics on mobile apps use in occupational therapy; decision-making around food; disabilities and social media; eating disorders; weight loss; social media disabilities support groups; and LGBT-inclusive obstetrics and nursing support education. The SBS program is extremely proud of their faculty, students, and alumni and the research they presented at this conference. Read more


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

SLHS Showcases Research in Los Angeles

SLHS was well represented at the 2017 Annual Convention of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Los Angeles. Department Chair, Dr. Susan Nittrouer, presented a two-hour seminar that dealt with key intervention principles that speech-language pathologists should follow when working with children who have hearing loss. Dr. Ken Logan delivered two poster presentations, one of which was completed with Elena Hoogland, a current AuD student. Their research dealt with the prevalence, characteristics, and impact of residual articulation errors in a university population. Dr. Karen Hegland made four presentations, including a one-hour seminar with Julie Hicks (UF Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration) on what speech-language pathologists need to know about the use of deep brain stimulation in patients who have movement disorders. Dr. Hegland also presented three poster sessions dealing with aspects of speech, swallowing, and/or airway protection in adult patients. Each of the posters featured SLHS collaborators including two PhD students, Amy Fullerton and Jayoung Kim.

(left to right: Elena Hoogland, Dr. Ken Logan, Jayoung Kim)

Carolyn Nguyen Receives 2017 Graduate Student Scholarship

Carolyn Nguyen, currently a first-year graduate student in the MA SLP program, and long-time member of the upper airway dysfunction (UAD) lab, was selected to receive a 2017 graduate student scholarship through the National NSSLHA Scholarship fund. The scholarship, supported by the ASH Foundation, provides master’s or PhD-level graduate students with financial support of their graduate program. This competitive program supports students in communication sciences and disorders who demonstrate academic achievement and promise. Congratulations, Carolyn!

3rd Annual Florida Psycholinguistics Meeting

On October 21, the 3rd Annual Florida Psycholinguistics Meeting was held at UF. At least 70 faculty members and students from all over the state of Florida, from Tallahassee to Miami, converged on Gainesville to share their research. The all-day event included 12 speakers on a range of topics including bilingualism, language acquisition, sound perception and sentence processing. In addition, a poster session featured 27 posters on a wide range of language-related topics. The event was sponsored by the Hearing Research Center and the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, as well as the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Psychology. The event was organized by the UF Language and Brain Interest Group.



Annual Faculty Retreat

The Department of Biostatistics’ faculty members met on Friday, November 17 for the department’s annual faculty retreat. Attended by all faculty and select staff members, this annual retreat allows for discussion and strategic planning in regards to items such as faculty development, course offerings, graduate programs, etc. Facilitated by Dr. Peihua Qiu, all attendees were encouraged to contribute to the conversation in an open dialogue format. At the end of the day, several action items were generated from the daily discussions. These items will take priority over the next few months and will help to improve many aspects of the department.


Clinical and Health Psychology

CHP Doctoral Student Wins Award for Dissertation Research

Jacqueline Maye (mentor: Michael Marsiske, PhD) has won the Dissertation Research Award from the American Psychological Association (APA). Maye’s dissertation is entitled, “A 14 week study of mindfulness effects on attentional control in older adults.” This is the latest in a series of external recognitions Maye has received for this research study. Earlier awards included an NIH-funded Kirchstein NRSA Pre-doctoral fellowship and a Summer Institute Mind and Life Fellowship. The purpose of the Dissertation Research Award program is to assist science-oriented doctoral students of psychology with research costs. Awards are granted to students whose dissertation research reflects excellence in scientific psychology.

CHP Doctoral Student Wins Multiple Awards

Marie Chardon (mentor: Dr. David Janicke) has won both a dissertation research award and a student research award. Ms. Chardon has won the Dissertation Research Award from the American Psychological Association (APA). Chardon’s dissertation is entitled, “The impact of parent feeding practices on the eating behaviors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia survivors.”

Ms. Chardon has also won the Routh Student Award from Division 54 (Society of Pediatric Psychology) of APA. This comes with a prize of $3,000. In her award notification, Ms. Chardon was told “The reviewers were very impressed with your application and we hope this award helps to further your work in this important area.”

Publication of Review Paper on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

CHP doctoral student Breton Asken (right) and Dr. Russell Bauer (left) led a publication on the controversial topic of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a neurological disorder linked to repetitive brain trauma. This review discusses the state of the science of CTE and raises considerations for researching and interpreting cognitive changes in members of at-risk populations. The analysis of the paper also highlights several research gaps and sources of controversy surrounding CTE. Other contributing authors on this publication included Molly Sullan from the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, and Drs. Steven DeKosky and Michael Jaffee in the Department of Neurology. Read more


Dean's Office

Career Resource Center Creates Website for PHHP Students 

The new CRC Career Community website has workshop dates/times, customized resume and cover letter templates, guides for personal statements and professionalism, tools for salary negotiation, listings of professional associations relating to industry, and much more. PHHP students are encouraged to use this site as a valuable resource for career-related information. Link: https://www.crc.ufl.edu/students/discover-your-career-community/college-public-health-health-professions/

PHHP Family Picnic

On November 10, approximately 75 faculty, staff, family, and friends convened at Cypress Lodge, located in UF’s own natural area, Lake Wauburg. Attendees enjoyed a beautiful fall day and tasty food catered by David's BBQ. It was a great opportunity for members of the college to gather and relax in a fun setting.

Many attendees participated in various activities. Some headed to the water for paddle boating, kayaking, and canoeing. Others enjoyed throwing a football, playing corn hole, or just enjoying conversation out on the patio.

The college looks forward to even more fun at next year's family picnic and hopes to see you there!


Environmental and Global Health

Dr. Sabo-Attwood Participates in a Leadership Event for African Women

The Society for Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Africa Conference hosted a workshop on women’s leadership in Calabar, Nigeria on October 18. The event hosted three speakers, Dr. Tara Sabo-Attwood from the UF Department of Environmental and Global Heath; Dr. Artie Gerts from the Alterra Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands; and Dr. Beatrice Opeolu from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa. Each presenter spoke about their professional and gender specific experiences as women in science, and about perspectives that are both common and unique to their home countries. The lectures were followed by interactive discussions highlighting current challenges women face and road-mapping ways that women can be more effective at work-life integration and obtaining leadership positions.

Blohm Recognized by Venezuelan National Academy of Medicine

Gabriela Blohm, postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. John Lednicky, and her colleague Dr. Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi in Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela, and their Venezuelan collaborators, were recognized for their work on Zika virus by the Venezuelan National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Blohm has worked on arbovirus-related work with Drs. Lednicky and Glenn Morris, Jr. since 2016. The award they received is given each year by the Jose Gregorio Hernandez Foundation, which was founded in 1968 to honor the legacy of Dr. Hernandez, a Venezuelan physician who advocated for the health of poor communities in Venezuela. Drs. Blohm and Paniz-Mondolfi and colleagues were recognized for their work on Zika virus as well as local work their research and medical group (Red Lara) has been doing on Leishmaniasis. A hint of work in progress can be gleaned from the publication titled, “Complete Genome Sequences of Identical Zika virus Isolates in a Nursing Mother and Her Infant.” Read more



Epidemiology’s First Graduate Awarded NIMHD R01 Grant

Jennifer M. Reingle Gonzalez, PhD, the Department of Epidemiology’s first PhD graduate, recently received a $3.3 million R01 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Dr. Gonzalez is an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health in Dallas.

Dr. Gonzalez will study a smartphone app designed to assess and modify health behaviors among homeless adults who have previously been incarcerated. Homeless adults are more likely to spend time in jail and more likely to return to jail after incarceration than adults who are not homeless. She hopes that use of the app will reduce re-arrest rates.

Dr. Gonzalez was also recently promoted to associate professor and assistant regional dean and tenured. Congratulations to the Epidemiology’s “number 1 graduate” on her many recent accomplishments!

Department of Epidemiology Well Represented at APHA Annual Meeting

The American Public Health Association (APHA) 2017 Annual Meeting and Expo was held this November in Atlanta, Georgia. Numerous Epidemiology PhD, MSE, and MPH students and faculty attended the meeting and presented their groundbreaking research with posters, roundtables, and oral presentations. The Department of Epidemiology was represented by presentations in several fields, including health disparities; mental health; alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; health informatics information technology; aging and public health; and disability; and several caucuses, including the Academic Caucus; the Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus; the Women’s Caucus; and the LGBT Caucus. We are extremely proud of the diversity of our faculty and students and the research they presented at this elite conference. Congratulations to all!

Epidemiology Celebrates Students, Trainees, and Faculty at Fall Celebration

As a show of appreciation for Epidemiology’s PhD, MSE, and MPH students, pre- and post-doctoral fellows, and graduate faculty, the Department of Epidemiology hosted its annual Fall Celebration the weekend before Halloween. Students, trainees, and faculty attended in costume, and this was the department’s most highly attended celebration to date.

The winners of the costume contest were:

• In 5th place, PhD student Vicki Osborne as Elliott from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

• Tied for 3rd place, Assistant Professor Kelly Gurka and husband Matthew Gurka as American Gothic, and Associate Professor Catherine Striley and husband Fred Striley as sharknadoes.

• In 2nd place, MSE student Jessica Williamson’s son Caio as a puppy.

• In 1st place, PhD student Amy Elliott as Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter series.

The department looks forward to seeing everyone again at the annual Epidemiology Spring Celebration!