As a Fulbright Scholar, Lorraine Wallace, PhD, Associate Professor, Family Medicine, immersed herself in a foreign culture, learning the effects of a healthcare system that has been based on reactive medicine and teaching its physicians ways to practice preventive health care. From August 2009 through January 2010, Dr. Wallace, with her husband Will Wallace, Compliance Officer, Dean's Office, and their daughter Muriel, lived in Moldova, a country located between Romania and Ukraine that was once part of the Soviet Union.
Dr. Wallace said the atmosphere in Moldova is best expressed by a billboard that says, "Towards Europe, Towards a Decent Future." She explained that even though the Republic of Moldova became an independent state in 1991, the country is still rebuilding its economy and wants to westernize its culture, including the incorporation of more community health education.
"The experience was eye-opening," Dr. Wallace said. "I got to see another culture with another standard of care. The Soviet Union was hospital–based, so people only got treatment if they were sick. They didn't practice preventive care. After the collapse of the former Soviet Union, they were left with a subpar health system. The patient rooms and ambulances are not well-equipped."
As part of the Fulbright Program, Dr. Wallace taught classes in the Master Public Health program in community health and biostatistics. She also assisted practicing physicians in translating their master's theses from Romanian to English to help students publish their results in international journals. Dr. Wallace said there was not much of a language barrier because most people in Moldova younger than 40 years old speak English to some degree.
Dr. Wallace also completed two research studies in Moldova. Through her research, "Female Family Physicians' Scope of Practice and Personal Experiences in the Republic of Moldova," she discovered that 75 percent of family medicine practitioners are female, and while they find their work rewarding, they are limited through system-related factors and need to increase public health knowledge.
In another project, "Romanian or Russian: The Influence of Language on Knowledge and Attitudes towards Tuberculosis among Moldovan Adults," Dr. Wallace found that novel approaches are necessary to provide Moldovan adults with accurate, understandable messages in both languages to prevent the spread of this disease, which is an excessive public health concern throughout the region.
In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Wallace provided service work to the U.S. Embassy's English Language Center and the Peace Corps. For the Peace Corps, she trained volunteers on ways to promote health behavior changes in the communities where they lived.
Upon returning home, Dr. Wallace is staying connected to the Moldovan community. She has written some grants to work with physicians on community health projects, including tuberculosis and asthma management for children. She hopes to return to Moldova for a short period in 2011 under the Fulbright Program and also hopes that faculty she met there will apply for a Fulbright Scholarship to work in the U.S.
Posted: June 28, 2010
From across the U.S. to Ghana to Moldova to Beijing, the June issue of The Scope E-Newsletter highlights achievements of University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine faculty, staff, residents and fellows in the national and international arenas, providing education, patient care and service and sharing research. Also, discover how the University of Tennessee Medical Center's new Heart Hospital is enhancing fellowship programs; how our faculty are inspiring high school students; and why a first-year resident was chosen for a teaching award.
Posted: June 24, 2010
UT Interim President Jan Simek Appoints Steve J. Schwab, MD, Chancellor for the UT Health Science Center
Interim University of Tennessee President Jan Simek has recommended that Steve J. Schwab, MD, be elected chancellor for the UT Health Science Center. Simek recommended Dr. Schwab at a meeting of the Executive and Compensation Committee in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the UT Board of Trustees in Knoxville. The committee approved Simek's recommendation and will forward it to the full Board of Trustees for action on Thursday.
Dr. Schwab has served as UTHSC interim chancellor since October 1, 2009. He simultaneously served as executive dean for the UTHSC College of Medicine, largest of the Health Science Center's six colleges. A national search was conducted to fill the chancellor post.
"Throughout the search process, Dr. Schwab demonstrated his commitment to thinking strategically, responding openly, and acting in a collaborative and decisive fashion," Simek said. "His management skills coupled with his ability to innovate and build strong, mutually beneficial bonds with internal and external partners are tremendous assets that he brings to his role as chancellor.
"Under Dr. Schwab's leadership, UTHSC will continue to expand its outreach and service to the community, to increase its research capacity, and to sustain its long-term commitment to educating competent caring health care professionals to serve the region and the global community."
Dr. Schwab joined UTHSC as the first-ever executive dean for the UT College of Medicine in July 2006. In this role he took on responsibility for the Health Science Center's three College of Medicine campuses in Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga. As chancellor, Dr. Schwab will relinquish his role as executive dean, and a search will be conducted for his successor in that post.
"It is an honor to be selected to serve as the leader for the UT Health Science Center team," Dr. Schwab said. "Our faculty, staff and students have many reasons to be proud of our legacy and optimistic about our future as we move forward to fulfill our mission -- to improve the health of our local, regional and global community."
Prior to joining UTHSC, Dr. Schwab served as interim dean and chief clinical officer of the Medical College of Georgia, where he was also a Regents Professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine. Before that, from 1985 to 2003, he was at Duke University where he rose to become professor and vice chairman of medicine. He has held board positions in both the private and public sectors. Dr. Schwab is internationally recognized in the field of renal disease with more than 150 refereed publications and five books to his credit.
The UT Graduate School of Medicine in Knoxville is part of the UT Health Science Center, the statewide academic health system. The mission of the UT Health Science Center is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care and public service.
Posted: June 23, 2010
Recent studies have shown clinicians often overestimate their adherence to national healthcare guidelines, particularly in the areas of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension and myocardial infarction (MI). Failure to follow standard protocols can result in poor patient outcomes and higher costs.
The 2010 Heart, Lung, Vascular Update will give primary care providers tools to better understand, evaluate and manage COPD, hypertension and MI. Regional and national experts also will address the deficiency in adherence to guidelines and demonstrate improved patient outcomes when guidelines are followed.
Faculty experts from the UT Graduate School of Medicine will lead discussions, and joining the presenters this year will be Domenic A. Sica, MD, Professor, Medical College of Virginia, Department of Medicine, Nephrology Division, Richmond; and Allen Taylor, MD, Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, Director, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C.
The HLV Update is offered by the UT Graduate School of Medicine and Department of Internal Medicine and is directed by Stuart Bresee, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Medicine, Chief, Cardiology Division.
Registration and information are available at www.tennessee.edu/cme/HLV2010. Early registration ends September 10. For more information, contact UT Graduate School of Medicine at 305-9190 or CME@utmck.edu.
Posted: June 22, 2010
The University of Tennessee Comparative and Experimental Medicine program and the Center for Public Health will jointly hold the Comparative and Experimental Medicine and Public Health Research Symposium June 14-15 on the UT Agriculture Campus in the Plant Biotechnology Building. This year, the UT Center for Public Health, UT Knoxville Office of Research, UT Agriculture Research, UT Graduate School, and the UT Graduate School of Medicine will join the College of Veterinary Medicine to offer two days of oral presentations on human and animal health research.
The Symposium will feature keynote presentations by Dr. Steve Blair, Professor, Division of Health Aspects of Physical Activity, Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina; Dr. Kristina Thiagarajan, Biological and Environmental Sciences Directorate; Dr. Arnold Caplan, Professor of Biology and Director of the Skeletal Research Center, Case Western Reserve University; Dr. Asha Kallianpur, Assistant Professor, Institute for Medicine & Public Health, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; and Sam Venable, Knoxville News Sentinel Columnist.
The Comparative and Experimental and Public Health Research Symposium is sponsored by the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, Center for Public Health, UT Graduate School of Medicine, Tennessee Agricultural Research, the UT Graduate School and the UT Knoxville Office of Research.
Posted: June 14, 2010
Dialysis Clinic Inc., recently continued its commitment to the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine Preston Medical Library by making a gift of $50,000. Since 1995, DCI has donated $175,000 to support the purchase of nephrology-related materials for teaching, research and patient care at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and Graduate School of Medicine. These resources, including textbooks, journals and the clinical database UpToDate, are also available for use by area physicians.
In addition to purchasing nephrology-related library resources, DCI's current gift will be used to support Preston Medical Library's updated Rolland F. Regester, M.D. Resource Area, a computer lab for clinical and research staff, in Preston's new location in the Heart Hospital. DCI staff will name this resource area after Dr. Regester, Associate Professor, Medicine's Division of Nephrology, to honor their colleague for his years of devotion to education and patient care.
DCI is a nationwide non-profit organization formed in 1971 in Nashville, Tennessee, to meet outpatient dialysis needs. DCI is now affiliated with major universities and teaching hospitals across the country, including the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Preston Medical Library staff anticipate opening in the library's new location in the Heart Hospital in early 2011. This new location will provide private and group study space, a presentation practice room equipped for video playback, a computer classroom with adjoining conference room, reference computers, open collaborative learning areas, and compact shelving for journals.
Posted: June 7, 2010
Faculty in the University of Tennessee Counselor Education Doctoral Program recently gave Eric Heidel, UT Graduate School of Medicine Statistical Consultant in the Office of Medical Education Research and Development (OMERAD), an Outstanding Student Award in the area of research.
In his counselor education program, Heidel specializes in statistics, psychometrics, consultation, assessment and evaluation. At the Graduate School of Medicine, Heidel serves as a statistical consultant to assist residents, fellows, faculty and staff with research design planning, power analyses, database creation and maintenance, univariate and multivariate statistical analyses, and academic writing support.
Heidel said of winning the award, "The knowledge and experiences I have acquired while working at the Graduate School of Medicine are an integral part of my success as a researcher within my PhD program."
OMERAD is a new entity created as a central resource and consultant center for promoting excellence and innovation in research and teaching at the Graduate School of Medicine.
Posted: June 4, 2010
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