Vital Record » Public Health http://news.tamhsc.edu Your source for health news from the Texas A&M Health Science Center Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:47:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Texas A&M’s new environmental research center awards stimulating research at Texas A&M and across the Texas Medical Center http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=texas-ams-new-environmental-research-center-awards-stimulating-research-at-texas-am-and-across-the-texas-medical-center http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=texas-ams-new-environmental-research-center-awards-stimulating-research-at-texas-am-and-across-the-texas-medical-center#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 22:33:16 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22161 The Center for Translational Environmental Health Research (CTEHR), headquartered at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute for Biosciences and Technology in Houston, has awarded its first five pilot program grants]]>

The Center for Translational Environmental Health Research (CTEHR), headquartered at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute for Biosciences and Technology in Houston, has awarded its first five pilot program grants, each intended to fund “high-risk, high-reward” science to better understand the effects of the environment on human health – with most recipients also receiving matching funds from their own organizations.

Researchers in lab

The Center for Translational Environmental Health Research (CTEHR) awarded its first five pilot program grants to researchers across The Texas A&M University System and University of Houston.

Named by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in April as the newest National Center of Excellence in Environmental Health Science, the CTEHR – a cross-institutional initiative which includes collaborators from across The Texas A&M University System, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Houston – serves as the cornerstone for integrated environmental health research, translation of research advances into practice and community outreach and engagement aimed at improving human health.

The Pilot Project Program, an integral component of the CTEHR, is designed to enhance the overall mission of the center by advancing and promoting early-stage environmental health research, the hardest to fund via traditional funding sources, but the most important for launching “high-risk, high-reward” science.

Texas A&M researchers receiving CTEHR pilot program grants include Clinton D. Allred, associate professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Science; Leslie Cizmas, assistant professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health; Gerard L. Cote, department head, Biomedical Engineering and the Charles H. & Bettye Barclay Professor of Biomedical Engineering; and, receiving a joint grant, Robin Fuchs-Young, professor, College of Medicine and Mick Deutz, director of the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity. Funding was also awarded to Maria Bondesson Bolin, research assistant professor in the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling at the University of Houston.

Allred, along with co-principal investigator Arul Jayaraman, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, will receive a $25,000 grant to support their project titled, “The role of estrogenic compounds and their metabolites in colonic inflammation” which will be matched by the College of Engineering and Department of Nutrition and Food Science for a total project budget of $50,000.

Cizmas’ project, “A multi-step approach to assessing the toxicity of drinking water disinfection by­ products following chlorination, chloramination or a novel fen·ate disinfection process,” will receive $25,000 from CTEHR to support this research and Virender Sharma, interim department head of the Texas A&M School of Public Health Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, has committed $25,789 in matching funds.

Cote’s project, “Blood-based point-of-care system to measure radiation exposure using citrulline as a biomarker,” has a total budget of $50,000. CTEHR will provide $25,000 to support this research and Dr. Costas Georghiades has committed $25,000 in matching funds from the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station/College of Engineering.

Fuchs-Young and Deutz applied jointly for their project, “A quantifiable biological endpoint to assess the impact of an educational intervention on control of childhood asthma in the Rio Grande Valley.” CTEHR will provide $25,000 to support this research and the College of Medicine and Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine has committed matching funds to support the total project budget of $50,000.

Bondesson Bolin will receive $25,000 to support her project titled “Modes of action of vascular disrupting compounds” and the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling has committed matching funds, to total $50,000.

As pilot project award recipients and center members, all grant recipients will also have access to the center’s facility cores and qualify for subsidies to further leverage their research

“Through a unique team science approach, members of the CTEHR are unlocking the mysteries of environmental health through new discoveries aimed at improving human health,” said Cheryl Lyn Walker, Ph.D., director of the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology and director of the CTEHR. “The center aims to accelerate innovative scientific discoveries and move them from bench-to-bedside, across translational boundaries, and from the laboratory to the clinic and ultimately to communities to improve human environmental health.”

One of only 21 centers of excellence in the country, the CTEHR is poised to lead the state and nation in better understanding the effects of the environment on human health. The center’s members are focused on translating research advances in environmental causes of disease to improve detection, prevention and management of diseases induced or worsened by environmental exposures.

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MHA students receive national recognition for social media research http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=mha-students-receive-national-recognition-for-social-media-research http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=mha-students-receive-national-recognition-for-social-media-research#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:06:16 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22126 Four Master of Health Administration students of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health received national recognition for their research on the use of social media by health care organizations to engage current and potential breast cancer patients]]>
Candi Young, Rachel Johnson, Taylor Huffman, Tiffany Kung

Candi Young, Rachel Johnson, Taylor Huffman, Tiffany Kung

Four Master of Health Administration students of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health received national recognition for their research on the use of social media by health care organizations to engage current and potential breast cancer patients.

Their research paper entitled, “Breast Cancer and Social Media” was selected as runner-up in the graduate student category of the American Academy of Medical Administrators (AAMA) competition. Authors Candi Young, Rachel Johnson, Taylor Huffman and Tiffany Kung have been invited to present their research during the award ceremony at the upcoming AAMA National Summit in Clearwater, Florida on January 19, 2015.

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Touch-screen diabetes education kiosk proves successful in low-income clinics http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=touch-screen-diabetes-education-kiosk-proves-successful-in-low-income-clinics http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=touch-screen-diabetes-education-kiosk-proves-successful-in-low-income-clinics#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 21:41:20 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22107 The touch-screen diabetes education kiosk (Diosk©) has shown to be a potentially valuable tool for diabetes prevention and management. Additional strategies to improve the utilization of the Diosk is the subject of an article published in this month’s Diabetes Spectrum Journal]]>
Screenshot of Diosk Menu

Patients found the Diosk to be very effective at providing useful, easy to understand information on diabetes.

The touch-screen diabetes education kiosk (Diosk©), developed by faculty at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, has shown to be a potentially valuable tool for diabetes prevention and management. Additional strategies to improve the utilization of the Diosk is the subject of an article published in this month’s Diabetes Spectrum Journal.

Diosk developers Regents and Distinguished Professor Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Jane Bolin, B.S.N., J.D., Ph.D., professor and interim department head of Health Policy and Management, examined the implementation process of the Diosk in a family medicine clinic. “The Implementation of a Diabetes Education Kiosk in a Low-Income Clinical Setting: A Community Implementation Process” provides the results of the three-month study.

“The Diosk is a form of interactive behavior change technology designed to encourage healthy behavior changes,” Ory said. “The Diosk is a bilingual, Spanish and English touch-screen computer education program that works by motivating patients to be more independent and improve their self-management on their own without consuming sparse time from health care providers.”

Jane Bolin, B.S.N., J.D., Ph.D.

Jane Bolin, B.S.N., J.D., Ph.D.

The study showed that overall, patients found the Diosk to be very effective at providing useful, easy to understand information on diabetes and step-by-step guidance on diet and exercise suggestions.

“The intent of this study was to focus on strategies for improving the implementation of interactive behavior change technology, which have shown promise in impacting behavioral change,” Bolin said.

Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Ory emphasizes “To enhance successful implementation of the Diosk in the future, it is important to clearly define the needs of the community, provide clinic-wide training to clinicians and staff, and designate an on-site advocate to promote the use of the Diosk to patients.”

Ory and Bolin conclude that with the use of the Diosk and other emerging technologies, clinicians can provide patients with necessary health resources and education without them incurring the extra cost of an appointment.

Co-author of the article is Araceli Lopez-Arenas, doctoral student at Texas A&M University and graduate of the Texas A&M School of Public Health.

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Combating adolescent smoking in Texas: Tobacco cessation program harnesses participant interaction to teach teens to quit http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=combating-adolescent-smoking-in-texas-tobacco-cessation-program-harnesses-participant-interaction-to-teach-teens-to-quit http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=combating-adolescent-smoking-in-texas-tobacco-cessation-program-harnesses-participant-interaction-to-teach-teens-to-quit#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 22:02:37 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22091 Brian Colwell, Ph.D. and his research partners at the University of Houston and the University of Texas develop an intervention used in virtually every Texas county over the past decade targeting tobacco cessation among adolescents]]>
The program helps adolescents understand their own motivations for using tobacco.

The program helps adolescents understand their own motivations for using tobacco.

Each day in the United States, more than 3,200 people younger than 18 years old smoke their first cigarette with little thought to the long-term health impacts. If smoking persists at the current rate among this age group, 5.6 million of today’s Americans are projected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness.

Brian Colwell, Ph.D., professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, is passionate about helping young people quit using tobacco. He and research partners at the University of Houston and the University of Texas have developed an intervention used in virtually every Texas county over the past decade targeting tobacco cessation among adolescents.

Colwell and his partners Drs. Dennis Smith and Stacey Stevens-Manser developed the Texas Youth Tobacco Awareness Program (TYTAP) based on the need for resources to support adolescents in their attempts to quit smoking that were based on teens’ life situations, level of cognitive maturity, and motivations for initiation, maintenance and cessation of tobacco use. Originally designed as a voluntary program, the curriculum was modified to accommodate a Texas law passed in 1997 that required youth caught in possession of tobacco products to complete a mandatory tobacco awareness program.

“The program uses a cognitive-behavioral approach and incorporates motivational techniques designed to encourage youth to reconsider their current tobacco use behaviors,” Colwell said. “It is designed so that ‘preaching’ by a program facilitator is nearly impossible, with a variety of activities that require participant input rather than simple lectures from an instructor.”

Brian Colwell, Ph.D.

Brian Colwell, Ph.D.

The focus is on understanding their own motivations for using tobacco, the cues that tell them to use tobacco in their environment, how to manage moods in situations where they might normally use tobacco and ways to quit.

“So many young people think they are going to live forever and know little of the health consequences of tobacco use,” Eric Wallace, coordinator of intervention programs for Amarillo College. “Having taught Dr. Colwell’s program for 10 years to hundreds of adolescents, I have seen first-hand the benefits of the program.”

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) does as well, having awarded Colwell yearly contracts since 2003. The program has been successfully conducted throughout the state not only in public schools, but also by local and regional councils on substance abuse and by mental health/counseling professionals. Self-reports from youth who have completed the program indicate that approximately 40 percent indicate they quit using tobacco at three months post-intervention and 30 percent at six months.

“Most are not addicted yet, and getting information to them that they would not otherwise have before they are addicted is critical,” Wallace said.

Recently, Colwell’s focus turned to tobacco cessation programs for college students working in collaboration with researchers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center on the National Cancer Institute funded, “Enhanced Smoking Cessation for University Students (SUCCESS).”

According to Colwell, working with college students has some similarities with the youth work, but there are major differences as well. The environment in which college students live is very different than home, with different stressors and environmental cues to use substances. Additionally, tobacco is a legal product for them. This makes addressing the issue much different.

“We always try to leave folks – regardless of their age – with the thought that quitting today is easier than it will be tomorrow, so every day you delay makes it just a bit more difficult,” Colwell said. “But in the end, everybody can quit if they want to do so.”

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Mehta receives NIOSH grant to revise endurance prediction model for the changing U.S. workforce http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=mehta-receives-niosh-grant-to-revise-endurance-prediction-model-for-the-changing-u-s-workforce http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=mehta-receives-niosh-grant-to-revise-endurance-prediction-model-for-the-changing-u-s-workforce#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:34:37 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22072 Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D. awarded a research grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, to develop a revised force-endurance model to accommodate for the changing capacity of the overweight and obese workforce]]>
Researchers will develop a revised force-endurance model to accommodate for the changing capacity of the overweight and obese workforce.

Researchers will develop a revised force-endurance model to accommodate for the changing capacity of the overweight and obese workforce.

With one in three adults considered obese and approximately another 40 percent overweight, accommodating heavier employees has simply become a fact of life in the workplace, from large-scale factories to corporate cubicles.

Injuries from overexertion or fatigue are a significant cause of worker disability, with U.S. employers spending in excess of $200 billion annually on obesity-related health conditions. Existing endurance prediction models provide ergonomists work guidelines to protect workers from injury by measuring the maximum amount of work an individual can perform at different levels of exertion. These models consider many factors, but not obesity.

Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D.

Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D.

Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, was recently awarded a research grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a section of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to develop a revised force-endurance model to accommodate for the changing capacity of the overweight and obese workforce. The $72,750 grant is the first of a two-year research project that will be conducted by researchers at both the Texas A&M School of Public Health and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

“Findings from a Liberty Mutual Research Institute study indicates that obesity is associated with a 25 percent higher risk of work-related injury, independent of all other relevant factors, such as age, work hours, and occupational hazards,” Mehta said. “Americans spend a significant part of our lives in the workplace and this presents an increased injury risk for the majority of the workforce that are overweight and obese.”

Researchers will collect data from individuals in Texas and New York with varying body types – average, overweight and obese. The proposed work will focus on examining individuals’ endurance times at different levels of physical work across three tasks that target commonly injured muscles of the upper body and trunk. The data collected from a diverse, widespread population will be more applicable to the general population and will assist the researchers in developing an accurate revised force-endurance model to reduce workplace injury for all workers in the future.

 

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High childhood asthma rates spur research on prenatal air pollutant exposure in South Texas http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=high-childhood-asthma-rates-spur-research-on-prenatal-air-pollutant-exposure-in-south-texas http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=high-childhood-asthma-rates-spur-research-on-prenatal-air-pollutant-exposure-in-south-texas#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:47:29 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22054 An increase in industrial expansion and trade has led to higher air pollution along the Texas-Mexico border. Astounding childhood asthma rates in Hidalgo County - among the highest in the state - and research linking childhood asthma to prenatal exposure to air pollution has prompted a team of Texas A&M Health Science Center researchers to dig deeper into the issue with an end-goal of developing intervention strategies to combat the adverse effects of air pollution. ]]>
Young girl with an inhaler.

Astounding childhood asthma rates in Hidalgo County – among the highest in the state – and research linking childhood asthma to prenatal exposure to air pollution has prompted a team of Texas A&M Health Science Center researchers to dig deeper into the issue.

An increase in industrial expansion and trade has led to higher air pollution along the Texas-Mexico border. Astounding childhood asthma rates in Hidalgo County – among the highest in the state – and research linking childhood asthma to prenatal exposure to air pollution has prompted a team of Texas A&M Health Science Center researchers to dig deeper into the issue with an end-goal of developing intervention strategies to combat the adverse effects of air pollution.

Natalie Johnson, Ph.D., Genny Carrillo, M.D., Sc.D., and public health graduate student Jairus Pulczinski, all with the Texas A&M School of Public Health, along with Josias Zietsman, Ph.D, P.E., of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, and Patrick Breyssee, M.A., Ph.D., and Kirsten Koehler, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University, will conduct a pilot project in McAllen, Texas, to gather additional information on the types and levels of prenatal air pollutant exposure.

The team will characterize pollutant exposure by monitoring amounts and types of traffic in the area. Using Environmental Protection Agency models, they will study dispersion of pollutants into the atmosphere, giving them a better understanding of the pollutant concentrations in South Texas.

With help from Rio Grande Regional Hospital OB/GYN clinics, the team will then measure personal air pollution exposures for 25 expecting women who will wear backpack monitors that will measure pollutant concentrations in various environments, including their homes, workplaces and outdoors. This information will help researchers determine the frequency with which pregnant women are exposed to pollutants, and when and where the exposure is highest. Finally, they will examine biological markers of pollutant exposure through blood, urine and hair samples. This will help the researchers determine how the pollutants physically affect those who are exposed to them on a regular basis.

“The data collected by this pilot research project will be used to characterize air pollution exposure in South Texas, which will assist in determining appropriate intervention options in the future,” Johnson said.

The study is part of the Texas A&M Healthy South Texas 2025 Initiative, an unprecedented effort to reduce preventable diseases and their consequences in South Texas by 25 percent by the year 2025. The initiative’s initial focus will be on diseases of highest impact in South Texas, including diabetes, asthma and infectious diseases, with the goal of improving the wellness of South Texans for generations to come.

This research project is supported through funding from the Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas Transportation Institute and Johns Hopkins University.

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Cline wins CHOT student research poster competition http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=cline-wins-chot-student-research-poster-competition http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=cline-wins-chot-student-research-poster-competition#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:46:33 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22029 Kayla Cline, M.S., won the student research poster competition at a recent Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT) meeting in Boston, Massachusetts]]>
Kayla Cline, M.S.

Kayla Cline, M.S.

At a recent Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT) meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health graduate student Kayla Cline, M.S., won the student research poster competition. Graduate students from Penn State University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Northeastern University also participated in this competition.

Cline is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Health Services Research at the Texas A&M School of Public Health.

Cline’s research poster, “Economics and Potential Financial Model of the Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH): Developing a Framework for PSH Design and Action,” outlined a research project with the American Society for Anesthesiologists to determine best practices in perioperative surgical care. The project will eventually set the standards of care for organizations seeking to obtain Perioperative Surgical Home status.

CHOT is an industry-university cooperative research center (I/UCRC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and industry members to conduct research supporting major management, clinical and information technology innovations within healthcare. CHOT, which is based at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, received renewed funding in May of this year from the NSF through 2019

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Implementing Affordable Care Act mandated health risk assessments will stretch primary care providers beyond capacity http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=implementing-affordable-care-act-mandated-health-risk-assessments-will-stretch-primary-care-providers-beyond-capacity http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=implementing-affordable-care-act-mandated-health-risk-assessments-will-stretch-primary-care-providers-beyond-capacity#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:24:21 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=22022 The Affordable Care Act established a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit that mandates the inclusion of routine health risk assessments (HRAs), but until recently little was known about the extent to which health care providers can routinely engage patients, and about the health risks and patient attitudes that will be uncovered]]>
Doctor speaking with patients about their medications and treatments.

Attending to patient concerns is the essence of patient-centered medical care and can ultimately lead to better health outcomes.

Primary care practices are willing to implement behavioral and mental health assessments required by the Affordable Care Act, but lack the resources to do so effectively. If they implement the assessments, the high number of health risks identified will likely stretch many practices beyond treatment capacity, according to two studies published this month in the Annals of Family Medicine.

The Affordable Care Act established a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit that mandates the inclusion of routine health risk assessments (HRAs), but until recently little was known about the extent to which health care providers can routinely engage patients, and about the health risks and patient attitudes that will be uncovered.

Coordinated by clinical researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, three national funding agencies and researchers from eight universities collaborated on these studies including Regents and Distinguished Professor Marcia Ory, Ph.D., of the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health. Ory helped direct the research at two clinics in the Brazos Valley examining the way HRAs work in clinics in more rural areas.

Marcia Ory, Ph.D.

Marcia Ory, Ph.D.

As described in “How Primary Care Practices Field a Behavioral and Mental Health Assessment,” HRAs can be effective in identifying patients who are at risk, and primary care practices are promising places to conduct HRAs because of the long-term relationships these doctors have with their patients. However, conducting health risk assessments and then helping patients improve their behaviors and mental health takes time and a team-based approach.

“We know that primary care clinicians can be strong change agents, but to be most effective they need to be taught basic behavior change principles. Additionally, such assessments will work best if they are embedded into clinical practice and not seen as an ‘added on’ activity,” Ory said.

In that study, nine diverse primary care practices conducted HRAs with more than 1,700 patients, but most of the practices lacked capacity and infrastructure to maintain the work on their own and none chose to maintain the HRA after study completion. Most sites did, however, integrate elements of the supplied HRA into their workflow.

In the next study, researchers described the patient-reported frequency, readiness to change, desire to discuss and perceived importance of 13 health risk factors identified on the supplied HRA — which was called My Own Health Report (MOHR). This study is titled “Frequency of and Prioritization of Patient Health Risks: Findings from the My Own Health Report (MOHR) Implementation Trial.”

Close to 55 percent of patients had more than six risks ranging from inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption to depression, but on average, they only wanted to change or discuss one of those risks. Engaging patients in prioritizing health risks and then focusing on the one to three that are of highest priority may be a more realistic, acceptable and manageable compromise between neglecting these health risks and trying to address all of them simultaneously.

“This study advanced knowledge about best practices for behavior change by pulling together an interdisciplinary team of clinicians, behavioral scientists and public health researchers who took a very practical approach to addressing how standardized assessments could be embedded into clinical practices” Ory said. “In particular this study shows that HRAs can help patients identify risks and prioritize those they would like assistance dealing with in the primary care setting.”

Attending to patient concerns is the essence of patient-centered medical care and can ultimately lead to better health outcomes, according to Ory.

Both studies were jointly supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR).

In addition to Ory, researchers from Carilion Clinic, Fielding School of Public Health UCLA, OCHIN, University of Colorado School of Medicine, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, University of Vermont and Virginia Tech were involved in these studies.

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CHOT awarded NSF supplemental grant http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=chot-awarded-nsf-supplemental-grant http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=chot-awarded-nsf-supplemental-grant#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:10:42 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21946 Lesley E. Tomaszewski, Ph.D., has joined CHOT in this new position and will be assisting Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A., FACHE, associate professor and director of CHOT, in industry engagement, research dissemination and center operational management]]>
Lesley E. Tomaszewski, Ph.D.

Lesley E. Tomaszewski, Ph.D.

The Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT) at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health was recently awarded a three-year supplemental grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) to hire an innovative managing director. CHOT was one of only 10 NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers in the nation that was awarded this highly competitive grant.

Lesley E. Tomaszewski, Ph.D., has joined CHOT in this new position and will be assisting Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A., FACHE, associate professor and director of CHOT, in industry engagement, research dissemination and center operational management.

Tomaszewski has over 16 years of academic program planning and evaluation experience. After earning her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University (TAMU), she worked at TAMU as an assistant research scientist for a Texas-funded literacy center then transitioned to an assistant professor at the Mays Business School. From 2010-2014, Tomaszewski worked in the Netherlands as a faculty member, researcher and administrator within higher education. Before moving to CHOT, Tomaszewski was program manager at the TAMU Dual-Career Program.

In May of this year, CHOT received renewed funding from NSF through 2019. CHOT emphasizes bringing together health management researchers with those from industrial and systems engineering, information systems and related fields to develop cutting-edge solutions for the health care industry.

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