The Skaggs Institute for Health Innovation (SIHI) will serve Montana as a statewide hub for health education, research and outreach to improve access to health care for all Montanans, particularly those living in underserved communities. Pharmacogenetic consultations will be provided via telehealth, allowing these services to be used by health-care professionals and patients statewide. SIHI is led by Skaggs School of Pharmacy Professors Hayley Blackburn and Erica Woodahl.
Stroke Survivors Receive Holistic Care From the School of Speech, Language, Hearing and Occupational Sciences
“Just ordering a cup of coffee or saying hello to a friend … all these minute acts of communication make up our identity,” said Harley Kincheloe, a UM second-year speech-language pathology master’s student. “To have something like aphasia take that away from you causes so many complex levels of change.”
The College of Health's Center for Translational Medicine received 4 new research awards from the National Institutes of Health totaling $8.5 million last year. Also, the center and its private-sector partner, Inimmune Corp., earned a five-year, $33.4 million award in September for the development and clinical trials of opioid vaccines. It was the largest such award in UM history.
More than 400 community members were immunized for COVID-19 at the University of Montana's Adams Center on Sunday. Twenty Skaggs School of Pharmacy PharmD students volunteered to help with the vaccinations. The university is currently partnering with the Missoula COVID-19 Coordination Team to vaccinate people in Phase 1A and tier one of Phase 1B.
UM recently launched its Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree – the only undergraduate degree of its kind in Montana. From teaching students how to make simple health adjustments in their lives, to preparing them for today’s major health challenges, the program aims to train the next generation in the science and art of health promotion – at a time when it has never been more essential.
The University of Montana’s 2021 Mansfield Lecture will present the country’s leading infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a Zoom conversation at noon Wednesday, Feb. 17. Free and open to the public, the discussion is an opportunity for Montanans to hear directly from Fauci on developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. Register for the event online. Online you can also find information to a previous discussion with the School of Public & Community Health Sciences.
As recently reported on KPAX, the MPHTC and the Department of Public Health & Human Services are teaming up to co-sponsor a certification course that will train public health professionals how to become case investigators and how to do contract tracing of COVID-19 in Montana. Learn more by visiting the MPHTC website http://health.umt.edu/mphtc/trainings/contact-tracing.php and by watching the interview with KPAX.
SSOP students receive immunization training during the first few weeks in the professional pharmacy program. Now, with the COVID-19 vaccines ready for distribution, our students are being asked to participate in the campaign to vaccinate the public in Montana. Read more about how our students are prepared to work on the frontline to help safe guard public health during the pandemic.
The UMPT Clinic was recently featured in an article by the Montana Kaimin - "At the University of Montana, injured student-athletes receive support from coaches, teammates, athletic department trainers and departments on campus like the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science." Read more about the services provided by the clinic online.
A recent episode of iHeartRadio's Stuff You Should Know podcast shouts out to Dr. Brent Ruby, Director of the Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism, and faculty member in the School of Integrative Physiology and Athletic Training. Tune in at the 21:47 mark to hear a simplified explanation of why bodies might give out during endurance athletic events and visit the original research in Comparative Exercise Physiology to learn more about his research to determine upper values for total energy expenditure (TEE) and water turnover during sustained work for periods of more than 12 hours.
P4 students Dustin Crabtree and Lindsey Compton-Crabtree look forward to using the education they have received through UM's Skaggs School of Pharmacy to facilitate the purchase and transition of pharmacy practice services at a rural community pharmacy in Portola, California. The couple, who will graduate with their Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from UM in May 2020, specifically chose to attend school at UM for the "expertise in the needs of rural America, their specialized training for delivering health care in remote areas, and the interdependence on independent pharmacies." Both students credit UM for preparing them for the unique needs of their rural community through experiences in the IPHARM program, specialized training in diabetes care, and extensive training in asthma management.
Dean Reed Humphrey appears on KPAX to discuss health profession careers during the MTN News segment Face the State. Watch the full interview where he describes growing healthcare needs in the state, the academic realignment of programs at UM, and new programs and partnerships coming on board.
HHP Faculty Receive Continued Funding for Occupational Athlete Research
Faculty members in the Department of Health and Human Performance at UM were recently awarded funding from the U. S. Forest Service’s National Technology and Development Program to continue developing programs to assist the nation’s wildland firefighters with injury risk, and the physical, nutritional, and mental demands of their jobs. The grant, which to date totals 1.15 million dollars, includes faculty members and graduate students in the fields of exercise physiology, biomechanics, athletic training, performance psychology, and community health. Leading fire organization, FireRescue1, recently named the project's podcast “On The Line”, as one of the top ten podcasts for firefighters. The project also features an information portal called “The Black” to serve the nation’s wildland firefighter population.
SLSH Faculty Member Cathy Off recently co-edited and had research appear in a special issue of Topics in Language Disorders. The issue, which focuses on caregivers of individuals with stroke or brain injury, includes an article written by Off and colleague Jenna Griffin that highlights their research focused on their interprofessional intensive cognitive rehabilitation program run in our UM DeWit RiteCare Speech Language Hearing Clinic.
The University of Montana was recently recognized for its ongoing efforts to promote education for students interested in aging and efforts that include older adults in educational and wellness programs on campus through acceptance to the Age Friendly University Global Network. In addition to the efforts of the MTGEC, UM was also recognized for the work of the Institute for Gerontology Education, the interdisciplinary gerontology minor and the Montana Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
BMED faculty member Rich Bridges recently received a $300,000 grant from the Keck Foundation to expand neuroscience course offerings to science and non-science majors alike. The grant will help UM faculty members in neuroscience, literature, psychology, philosophy and languages create courses with neuroscience themes across all disciplines. This new undergraduate curriculum – which builds on UM’s growing neuroscience major – stresses the impact of fast-evolving brain science on our understanding of a wide range of human experiences, including literature, history, art, language and education.
Missoula-based Headwaters Foundation will partner with UM to launch the Zero to Five program, a $16.7 million, multiyear strategic initiative focused on building resiliency for Montana’s youngest children. This six-year initiative will invest $5.2 million to establish a program office anchored in the College of Health with Dean Reed Humphrey serving as PI. The Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development as well as Childwise and Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies will also participate.
Dr. Jay Evans, director of UM’s Center for Translational Medicine and Research Professor in the Division of Biological Sciences, along with BMED faculty Drs. Hélène Bazin-Lee and David Burkhart recently received a $10M contract from the National Institute of Health to develop a new universal flu vaccine.
Dr. Mark Pershouse, one of 16 advisors for Pre Health Professions Students, encourages students to focus on their strengths and successes when applying to medical school. Our students are accepted to professional health programs at a higher rate than the national average even though we exclude no students and support all those who ask for assistance. Come see how robust access to non-judgmental and appreciative advisors can help you succeed.
Tony Ward, Professor & Chair of the School of Public & Community Health Sciences, recently received a $1.2M grant from the NIH to teach high school students in rural areas about air pollution.
Thanks to $1 million in seed funding from Mark and Cheryl Burnham of the Madrona Hill Foundation, UM will expand its commitment to educate health care practitioners for communities across Montana through the UMHM Innovation Fund.
The IPHARM program was recently named a featured "What Works in Montana" project at the Montana Healthy Communities conference. The conference identified access needs critically important when it comes to the health of Montana's residents.
The COH Annual Report is available online for review. Detailing accomplishments from the last academic year, we highlight the important work we've done together to advance healthcare education, research & service. We invite you to read through this publication, share our story, and commit to advocacy.
TJ Sherry, MD, alumnus of the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana, can be seen on local channels as a part of Providence Health & Services "Health Break" series. TJ is one of several former residents who have gone on to practice Family Medicine in rural areas.
The School of Public & Community Health Sciences was recently awarded $1.8 million from NIH to establish the Montana Pediatric Clinical Trials Site studying environmental influences on child health outcomes.
Preventative medicine is crucial to promote population health and UMHM is a way for the University to be an integral part of that solution. Read more about UMHM in this fall's Montanan.
Watch a new video produced by the UM Foundation in which Dean Reed Humphrey describes how COH collaborates with clinical partners to train the brightest and best healthcare professionals.
Please join us for the 2016 MGWEP Annual Conference on Managing Chronic Disease in Older Adults, taking place October 11. Continuing education credits are available!
Pharmacy students Keith Ginoff and Manraj Bains summited Mount Kilimanjaro after a 3-week Interprofessional Education Experience in Gondar Ethiopia.
The spring issue of COH Success is now available! This special issue features heart & lung research conducted by faculty, staff and students in the College. Read it today!
Wilena Old Person, staff in the School of Pharmacy, recently graduated from the inaugural class of fellows of the Women's Leadership Initiative. Launched in 2015, the WLI seeks to transform the culture of the University of Montana through the support, advancement, and vision of women. Congratulations, Wilena!
Right now, COH faculty and students are in Ethiopia completing a service learning project with the University of Gondar to promote health education, collaborate with local medical providers, & learn about non-governmental organizations to coordinate efforts. Travel costs for each person is $3,000 and each student is responsible for their own travel expenses. Please help our students offset these costs by making a tax-deductible donation through the UM Foundation. Your generous support helps educate students from UM about global health issues!
As part of a tour across the state, Zinke visited the Neural Injury Center at the University of Montana on Thursday to hear about its work supporting students who are veterans. The Neural Injury Center, which started in 2014, conducts assessments of student veterans to determine if they have a traumatic brain injury, which can affect their ability to succeed in school, among other issues. The center can then provide documentation, referrals and help with accommodations for the students. “We were founded with the mission to serve student vets, to see why their graduation rates were suffering a little bit,” said UM professor Alex Santos, who will take over as the center’s director this summer.
The topic of brain injuries has become a high-profile issue highlighted by a large number of former NFL players, among others, being diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Recent findings show people who suffer numerous brain injuries or get a second TBI before they are fully healed from the first experience long-term effects on the brain. Thanks to on-going research at UM in Neural Injury Center, we're learning to understand and treat TBIs better.
The topic of brain injuries has become a high-profile issue highlighted by a large number of former NFL players, among others, being diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Recent findings show people who suffer numerous brain injuries or get a second TBI before they are fully healed from the first experience long-term effects on the brain. But UM is on a mission to understand a treat TBI's better.
Hospitals and clinics across Montana have long had a hard time recruiting doctors and nurses to serve the state’s needs. That can be true of other healthcare professions, too, like therapists, pharmacists and technicians. A new analysis this year says demand for healthcare workers in Montana is going to grow by 40 percent in the next 10 years. UMHM is designed to address the state's medical workforce need by serving as a portal for students to understand what opportunities they have to pursue a health career in Montana.
Growing demand for healthcare means that Montana is going to need 40 percent more healthcare workers in a decade than it has now. That’s according to University of Montana Economist Bryce Ward. He says that just to meet the projected growth in demand, the state will need 7,000 more healthcare workers by 2025. Replacing retiring healthcare professionals will mean Montana will need to fill an additional 9,000 positions in the next decade. That adds up to a total of 16,000 additional healthcare workers that the state will need.
In an effort to improve the experience of current students and enhance recruitment efforts, Dean Reed Humphrey sparked the development of a comprehensive website documenting the opportunities for students to join a community of learners interested in studying health & medicine. UMHM's mission is to advance academic healthcare opportunities at UM and to enhance the quality of healthcare provided to Montanans. The amazing array of over 50 degree programs, including all of those offered through the COH, are featured in UMHM. We encourage you to learn more online at www.umt.edu/umhm.
Nancy Wilson, third-year pharmacy student in the UM Skaggs School of Pharmacy, is Head Coach of the Loyola/Sacred Heart Speech and Debate Team, which recently celebrated its 33rd consecutive win at the state meet. Having competed in speech & debate herself while at Flathead High School, Nancy was the state champion in Duo Oral Interpretation her senior year. LSH does provide a stipend for her time, but Nancy continues coach in spite of her busy schedule as a pharmacy student because of her love of the coaching process and opportunity to work with students.
Vince Colucci receives 2016 George M. Dennison Presidential Faculty Award for Distinguished Accomplishment
Each year, the Dennison Awards recognize distinguished faculty and staff who have brought excellence, merit and distinction to UM. Vince Colucci will receive the award during the UM Charter Day celebration on February 18 at 5:30 PM in the UC Ballroom. Dr. Colucci contributes to the success of UM from his work on building the URX pharmacy benefit program to the Montana Bioterrorism Training Project and various projects in between. In the classroom and at the clinic, Dr. Colucci has inspired and touched the lives of many.
In a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work, School of Social Work faculty member Keith Anderson and his colleague at Ohio State University showed that using automobiles as a focus of reminiscence has emotional and even cognitive benefits for older adults. The article, "Auto Therapy: Using Automobiles as Vehicles for Reminiscence with Older Adults," is one of 600 that UM researchers published in scholarly journals and other media in the 2015 school year.
COH researchers were recently awarded a $2.2M grant to address traumatic brain injury from the MREDI program. An issue that affects a significant portion of Montana’s population, there are currently no available diagnostic tests to assess recovery & no proven treatments to reduce the cognitive and neurological damage from TBI. This project will bring together TBI researchers & private companies to create diagnostic tools for TBI survivors and expand clinical services for TBI survivors & veterans at UM’s Neural Injury Center by initiating clinical trials based on the technology developed by the research team.
A new, five-year $3.8 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has been awarded to a research team led by UM Professor Chuck Thompson. The grant will be used to support research that investigates new chemical and imaging technologies to understand how poisonous chemical agents known as organophosphates (OPs) enter the brain and how antidotes and therapeutics can be used to reduce neurotoxic effects to OP exposure. The researchers hope to transform toxic OPs into safe, beneficial imaging technologies that lead to highly useful clinical tools and therapeutic inventions.
Led by project director, Gayle Hudgins, Pharm. D., and associate director, Terry Egan, M.S., the COH Montana Geriatric Education Center is a recipient of a Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program award in the amount of $682,634 in year one, which is renewable for two additional years through June of 2018 for a possible total of $2.1 million. Working in collaboration with RiverStone Health and St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings and the Mountain Pacific Quality Health Foundation in Helena, the Montana GWEP will implement seven initiatives to provide education and training for health care professionals, direct care workers, and caregivers.
Personalized medicine is the way of the future, and at UM, Associate Professor Erica Woodahl’s pharmacogenetics research aims to answer why people with the same disease respond differently to the same medication, and why some diseases affect racial and ethnic groups in different ways. The hope is that with increased research, physicians can make better decisions about what medicine to prescribe and move away from a "one size fits all" model.
Clark Fork Valley Hospital recently hosted Noxon, Thompson Falls, Hot Springs, & Plains students as a part of the Western MT AHEC's REACH program. This one-day program provides high school students the opportunity to explore the healthcare field through a variety of hands-on stations and activities at a local healthcare facility. This year more than 450 students will have participated in REACH at seven locations.
Megan Svec knew she wanted to be a doctor when she served in the Peace Corps in West Africa. Svec, a resident physician with the Family Medicine Residency of Western MT, saw the shortage of providers, and believed she might have the opportunity to learn something helpful and share it. Now in her second year, she's one of many doctors in this residency program shaping a new and different future.
Hellgate High School junior Kit Fieldhouse, winner of UM’s first Brain Bee competition, heads to Baltimore on March 20 to compete in the U.S. National Brain Bee. On February 21, Fieldhouse won UM’s Brain Bee, an initiative of spectrUM Discovery Area and the University of Montana Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience. He competed against 17 other high school students from Missoula, Lolo & Florence in a written and laboratory exam, with the finalists advancing to the live Brain Bee.
The Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana was recently awarded the highest level of accreditation available from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education – 10 years. UM launched the residency program in 2013, and it will train 30 medical residents at a time after the third class is added this year. In addition to accreditation by ACGME, the program is also accredited by the American Osteopathic Association.
BMED faculty member David Shepherd and his research team is developing a more targeted response to treating autoimmune disease. Their highly specific approach will leave the rest of the immune system fully functional. So this new type of targeted therapy will still allow people to be protected from infectious diseases and cancerous cells by their immune system. This represents a significant advancement in the treatment of patients.
Findings by Dr. Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, MA, MD, Ph.D., and her team of researchers reveal that children with lifetime exposures to concentrations of air pollutants above the current U.S. standards, including fine particulate matter, are at an increased risk for brain inflammation and neurodegenerative changes, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Her recently published findings can be read online at http://bit.ly/1ywtPqE.
Promentis Pharmaceuticals has entered an agreement with UM faculty scientists to commercialize a discovery that has the potential to treat brain cancer and possibly other disorders of the central nervous system. Professors Rich Bridges, Sarj Patel, Nick Natale, Philippe Diaz and Chuck Thompson in the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences within UM’s Skagg’s School of Pharmacy will be working with the pharmaceutical industry leader.
Annie Glover, a MPH student in the School of Public & Community Health Sciences at UM recently completed a practicum in Zambia with Akros Global Health. Annie’s time in Zambia was spent learning the intricacies of the work community health workers and volunteers do. Specifically, she engaged in focus groups with district health providers working on issues related to malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and water sanitation.
PublicHealthOnline.org, a leading online resource for public health education and careers, recently published a new list of the Best Online MPH Programs for 2014-15. The University of Montana MPH program ranks among the top 50 coming in at #16. Included programs meet the standard of excellence of traditional on-campus public health programs and provide students the flexibility to continue their higher education while working and building experience in their chosen field.
Martha Robertson was recently named the State Director for Montana HOSA: Future Health Professionals; a Career and Technical Student Organization that allows students an opportunity to explore healthcare careers while building relevant clinical, leadership, and teamwork skills. As a part of this service, Martha will plan the State Leadership Conference in Bozeman this spring and continue to work with the 24 chapters of HOSA in high schools and colleges around the state.
Annie Belcourt named Harvard JBP Environmental Health Fellow
Congratulations to Dr. Annie Belcourt! Annie has been invited to be a funded JPB Environmental Health Fellow in the School of Public Health at Harvard University. The selection committee noted: "We are impressed with your scholarship and accomplishments and feel that the expertise, commitment to underserved populations, and enthusiasm for this work you will bring to the fellowship, will be valuable to the program and for the field we are trying to advance."
The MSW program in the School of Social Work was named among the top 25 most affordable programs nationwide according to Social Work Degree Guide. Our program provides "all the benefits of a top-ranked education with the affordability needed to reduce the financial burden of pursuing a graduate degree." The UM MSW program is ranked #3 for affordability and in the top 100 according to US News and World Report.
On Saturday, October 18, the Skaggs School of Pharmacy will host the 8th Annual Dr. Frank Pettinato Memorial Lecture. UM graduate Commander Dean T. Goroski, PharmD, BCPS will present "Transform Health Care in 2014: A Call to Action for Pharmacy!" The program is approved for continuing pharmacy education and will be followed by a pre-game gathering with food and drink. Please register by October 6!
Dave Forbes, dean of the University of Montana’s College of Health, retired June 30, marking the end of a 26-year career. During his tenure, Forbes helped save the School of Pharmacy and gave faculty members within the college room to spearhead many new programs, including the Family Medicine Residency Program of Western Montana and the new Neural Injury Center. His is a legacy that will live on.
Dr. Ryan Mizner of the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science has built a cutting-edge device to provide patients — ranging from those recovering from knee surgeries to those suffering severe brain injuries — with a path to recovery that’s surprising in both its simplicity and its efficacy. The Bodyweight Reduction Instrument to Deliver Graded Exercise (BRIDGE) offers consistent vertical force no matter what the movement.
The UM Brain Initiative was announced earlier this year. Under Dr. Darrell Jackson’s directorship, it will consolidate brain research across campus, reach out to the community through exhibits in spectrUM Discovery Area’s children’s science center, establish an undergraduate degree in neuroscience, and work with the new Neural Injury Center to help students with traumatic brain injuries access services across campus.
In class and out, obtaining a PharmD is demanding. Students spend their first two years taking prerequisite courses and apply to the School of Pharmacy in their second year. Annually, the school admits a class of sixty-five students, who take professional classes together for three years and then spend their final year entirely in the field, learning alongside medical professionals in real heath care settings.
Individuals suffering from traumatic brain injury may benefit from research conducted by two UM faculty members through a new $300,000 grant awarded by GE and the NFL. The companies announced 16 winners in the first stage of the $20 million Head Health Challenge. UM Research Assistant Professors Sarj Patel and Tom Rau were among those selected to speed diagnosis and improve treatment for mild TBI.
One year after launching, the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana is off and running, and the 10 inaugural residents who made last year’s cut are now a full year into the program. Dr. Ned Vasquez, the program’s medical director, said efforts are now underway to grow the program to 30 residents by 2015, helping Montana gain ground in a service it’s sorely lacking. FMRWM welcomes the second class of residents on July 1.