Tag Archive | "school of nursing and health studies"

El Centro Co-Hosts Child Welfare Conference

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El Centro Co-Hosts Child Welfare Conference

Special to UM News

childwelfare2CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 9, 2015) — Each year domestic violence, mental health disorders, and substance abuse take a significant toll on the welfare of children. Last week, on December 9, the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies’ (SONHS) Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research: El Centro co-hosted the 9th Annual Miami-Dade Community Based Care Alliance Child Welfare Conference to focus on child welfare and related therapeutic approaches in addressing substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental health among children and families interacting with the criminal justice system, many of whom have been affected by intimate partner violence.

The conference theme, “Improving Frontline Practice through Therapeutic Jurisprudence,” aligns with El Centro’s mission to reduce health disparities in the areas of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, family and intimate partner violence, and associated mental and physical health conditions through research, education, and collaboration with community and academic partners.

SONHS/El Centro faculty members Anthony Roberson and Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda served on the planning committee and presented at the event, which was held on the Coral Gables campus. Approximately 280 child welfare professionals, including judges, case managers, attorneys, court staff, administrators, volunteers, advocates, and mental health professionals, participated, receiving training on how to implement a therapeutic approach in the courts system that considers not only the prescribed legal route, but also the science-based impact that these decisions may have on the therapeutic process and, consequently, on the mental and physical well-being of children involved in the system.

“According to Florida Department of Children and Family statistics, the top three maltreatment areas are domestic violence, mental health disorders, and substance abuse,” said Gonzalez-Guarda, co-director of El Centro’s Community Engagement Dissemination and Implementation (CEDI) Core and a nationally recognized expert on the intersection between intimate partner violence, substance abuse, and mental health disorders. “It is only through synergistic efforts with our community partners, such as happened at today’s event with the Miami-Dade Community Based Care Alliance, that we can bring the best scientific knowledge to bear in addressing the needs of underserved and vulnerable populations on the front lines of practice, including the courts systems.”

El Centro’s CEDI Core aims to serve as a bi-directional bridge for the implementation of evidence-based practices in community systems. In this case, agencies which serve abused, abandoned, and neglected children involved in dependency court were the target population of the daylong seminar.

The concept of Therapeutic Jurisprudence (TJ) was developed largely in the 1980s by the late University of Miami School of Law professor Bruce Winick in an effort to improve outcomes for children and families and reduce the high recidivism rate in Miami-Dade County’s dependency system.

Roberson, who has conducted extensive research into the intersection of TJ and mental health, especially among youth, said one of the overriding goals of the conference, which was coordinated by El Centro and other community partners, “was to facilitate a dialogue among the various disciplines about the complexities we all face in treating this vulnerable and oftentimes ignored population.

“Identifying the most therapeutic legal approach in addressing the issues of mental health among our youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system will be critical as we move beyond the conference and return to our work with this population,” he said.


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Simulation Hospital Breaks Ground to Transform Education and Patient Care


Simulation Hospital Breaks Ground to Transform Education and Patient Care

By Meredith Camel
UM News

Sim.HospitalCORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 13, 2015) — In hosting the groundbreaking ceremony for its 41,000-square foot Simulation Hospital on Thursday night, the University of Miami’s School of Nursing and Health Studies officially kicked off the largest endeavor in its 67-year history. When it opens in 2017 as one of the nation’s first education-based destination centers for simulation immersion, the hospital will transform health care education while igniting a paradigm shift in patient safety outcomes.

“The hospital will be a unique resource to train those who share our passion for caring for others, as we all know that simulation saves lives,” said Pamela J. Garrison, co-chair of the Simulation Hospital fundraising campaign and retired nurse who spearheaded a matching gift program with her late partner, R. Kirk Landon.

The Simulation Hospital will be equipped with all of the tools housed in the world’s most advanced clinical and home health care settings. Susana Barroso, director of operations for the school’s International Academy for Clinical Simulation and Research, presented a virtual tour of the hospital’s rooms, suites, and units where students, nurses, physicians, and other health care professionals will work in teams to “treat” standardized patients and high-fidelity simulators while learning the clinical and communication skills needed to prevent medical errors.

“Simulation provides students with the ‘fight or flight’ ambiance in a safe, controlled teaching environment without risking the life of a real patient,” said Luis Diaz-Paez, B.S.N ’15, a recent graduate who is a registered nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital. “Because of simulation, I am confident and feel prepared to care for critically ill patients in the emergency department.”

Dean Nena Peragallo Montano noted that in addition to dramatically increasing its current simulation experiences for students, the Simulation Hospital will greatly enhance the school’s outreach and service to the professional health care community. The hospital will offer a variety of simulation courses, needs assessment services, and a beta testing site for medical devices and equipment.

“And of course,” Dean Peragallo Montano continued, “I want to remind everyone that our Simulation Hospital campaign is still ongoing, and we have lots of naming opportunities.”

UM President Julio Frenk, a physician and former minister of health in Mexico, stressed the important role the Simulation Hospital will play in engaging student nurses and doctors in critical interprofessional communication.

“This will be a great way to bring together our two health sciences schools—the Miller School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies,” Frenk said. “Something I’ve heard from both ends of the Metrorail is that this will shorten the distance between our two campuses. Having this state-of-the-art facility will be a key to advancing our global mission in health education.”

The school commemorated this historic milestone with a festive reception where students, faculty, staff, clinical partners, and friends enjoyed medical-themed hors d’oeuvres and attended tours of the International Academy for Clinical Simulation and Research in the M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing and Health Studies.

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UM Launches New Online Master’s Degrees in Communication, Nursing Informatics

 CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 13, 2015)—The School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) and the School of Communication (SoC) are now registering students for their first, fully online master’s degree programs, with SONHS offering two master’s degrees in health informatics and SoC offering a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. All three UOnline programs launch in January.

SONHS’s new Master of Science in Nursing—Nursing Informatics (MSN-NI) and Master of Science in Health Informatics (MS-HI) programs are designed to address the increasing demand for qualified health informatics professionals, which, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, will increase by 22 percent by 2020, a growth propelled by the Affordable Care Act and the federal mandate that health care providers use electronic medical records.

“Health care providers across the nation are seeking professionals with the specialized knowledge to bring them into compliance with new governmental mandates to implement shareable electronic health records,” said SONHS Dean Nilda Peragallo Montano. “We are educating the first generation trained to provide this expertise. Our MSN-NI and MS-HI graduates will be positioned to help lead the transformation of health care delivery in the U.S.”

The School of Communication’s Master of Arts in Communication Studies program, which will be taught by the school’s world-renowned faculty in a flexible, online format, is geared toward working professionals who want to pursue careers in communication or earn advanced degrees. The course of study is designed to build oral, written, critical thinking, and research skills.

“In this program students will study conflict resolution, group decision-making, relationship management, persuasion, and much more in courses designed for people who understand that mastering the art and science of communication is key to leadership development,” Dean Gregory J. Shepherd said.

The 36-credit program can be completed in 24 months. Program graduates can expect to gain a competitive edge in the workplace by improving their communication and leadership skills in the contexts of interpersonal, intercultural, and organizational communication.

The SONHS’s online degrees target professionals in nursing and health informatics and bring together the knowledge and skills needed in nursing and health care practices to successfully manage electronic medical records. Students will develop competencies to use and apply information and computer sciences to manage and communicate data and information.

Potential students for the new degree programs include working professionals in the health care and information technology fields, workers already in the informatics field seeking a health care focus, and career changers from diverse backgrounds.

The two programs will share a common core of five fundamentals courses, but will differ depending on their admission prerequisites. The MSN-NI, which focuses on the role of nursing leadership within clinical informatics, requires an R.N. degree for admission and will educate nurses to use informatics in their daily nursing and nursing management practices. Nursing informaticists work in settings that are directly related to nursing care.

With a broader scope, the MS-HI program is open to applicants without nursing credentials who seek a career in health informatics. Health informaticists are generalists prepared to work in diverse settings such as pharmacies, hospitals, medical insurance agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and public health agencies. Either program can be completed online in 12 months of full-time study or 24 months of part-time study.

Applications for the SoC’s Master of Arts in Communication Studies and the SONHS’s MSN-NI and MS-HI programs are now being accepted. Scholarships are available for qualified applicants. For more information, visit www.miami.edu/online or call 888-926-6968 to speak to an advisor.


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Junior Receives 2015 Newman Civic Fellows Award

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Junior Receives 2015 Newman Civic Fellows Award

UM News

Civic Scholar 2015 - 1

UM President Donna E. Shalala presents the 2015 Newman Civic Fellows Award to Natasha Koermer, with, at left, Andrew Wiemer, director of the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development, and, at right, Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 7, 2015)—Natasha Koermer, a biomedical engineering student who is minoring in public health and Spanish, has received the 2015 Newman Civic Fellows Award for her extraordinary leadership, civic engagement, and commitment to creating sustainable solutions to global engineering and health issues.

Koermer received the award, which the national organization Campus Compact bestows on the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders, from UM President Donna E. Shalala, who lauded Koermer for implementing numerous projects in the community, including a local urban sustainable gardening initiative, an outreach program to inspire high school students to pursue service-based careers in STEM disciplines, and the U’s first 5K Run/Walk for Water to raise awareness about the importance of clean water for all communities.

As if those accomplishments weren’t enough, Koermer is also president of the University’s student chapter of Engineers Without Borders, for which she led the fundraising for and the implementation of a $25,000 sewage system in Las Mercedes, Ecuador, and a research assistant at the School of Nursing and Health Studies, where she works closely with faculty to collect data for a study on intimate partner violence across Miami-Dade County. Her group’s research was selected for multiple conferences, including the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International 2015 and Futures Without Violence.

“She is an incredibly bright, civically engaged student and will no doubt continue to bridge the gap between cutting-edge research and its practical application in solving real-world issues,” said Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement.

Offering her congratulations to Koermer in a ceremony in her office on April 28, Shalala was not surprised to learn the junior would not be resting over the break. She is headed to another service project for the summer, this time in South Africa’s Limpopo Province to assist in the Water, Society, and Health Research Experience for Undergraduates funded by the National Science Foundation.

Presented annually by Campus Compact, the Newman Civic Fellows Award honors inspiring student leaders who invest their time and energies in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

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Nursing School Creates Virtual Leadership Course


Nursing School Creates Virtual Leadership Course

Special to UM News


SONHS faculty members Mary Hooshmand, third from left, and Johis Ortega, center, developed the online course with D.N.P. students, from left, AnnaLisa Chery, Lainey Kieffer, Lorraine Keith, Shavone Johnson, Claudia Warren, Nichole Crenshaw, Joanne Christopher-Hines, and Salma Hernandez.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 2, 2015)­­—Faculty and students from the School of Nursing and Health Studies have created the first nursing leadership course on the PAHO Virtual Campus of Public Health, which provides distance learning tools to strengthen health care policy and practice in Latin America and the Caribbean. Offered in Spanish and English, the free course, “Empowering Nurse Leaders,” attracted 263 applicants from 34 countries, which exceeded its capacity and underscored how critical the course is to a region facing severe shortages of faculty and educational tools, particularly in the area of leadership development.

Aspiring nurse leaders, including Ministry of Health directors from a diverse array of Latin American and Caribbean nations, will pursue leadership learning activities from their own computer stations, in their home countries, and at their own pace. The course’s eight modules cover topics such as ethics, the nurse as advocate, and evidence-based research.

“Not every school or health care institution has the resources to send its students and personnel outside their own country for leadership training,” says Mary Hooshmand, assistant professor of clinical, who helped lead the SONHS team that created the course. “But almost every organization today has Internet connectivity. This course provides an overview of leadership and management principles in a no-cost e-format to the future nurse leaders of the Americas.”

The state-of-the-art course is the most recent global project of the school’s World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Nursing Human Resources Development and Patient Safety—one of only 10 such centers in the United States and 43 in the world. The center’s team worked with international partners at the University of the West Indies and the Colombian Association of Schools and Colleges of Nursing to ensure course content is tailored to the needs of the geographical regions it is intended to serve.

“Collaborating for the betterment of international health care education and knowledge dissemination is a two-way street,” explains UM’s Johis Ortega, deputy director of the Collaborating Centre and co-leader of the course design team. “You can’t just drop in on developing world nations and tell them how you are going to help them, and you can’t generate a global collaboration plan in isolation. If you really want your efforts to have an impact you must first take the pulse of the regions you are trying to serve and hear their needs and concerns.”

In an effort to disseminate health care knowledge and leadership tools to difficult-to-reach segments of the health care workforce, the SONHS’ WHO Collaborating Centre facilitates an ever-expanding list of web-based courses in English, Spanish, and Portuguese at no charge to nurses, students, and faculty across the globe, with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior courses include Preventing Medical Errors, Domestic Violence, HIV Prevention and Care, and Nursing and Patient Safety—the latter with more than 3,000 enrolled participants since its inception.

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