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MPH Students Making an Impact with Final Projects

Culminating Experience Project Presenters John Ukadike, LaQuisha Hervey and Antoinette Newburn

(left to right) John Ukadike, LaQuisha Hervey, Antoinette Newburn

True to the spirit of public health, the final projects typically chosen by COPH Master of Public Health students don’t just advance their learning and test their competencies. The Culminating Experience (CE) projects also embody the “make a difference” spirit that is the heart of public health. That was certainly the case with the CE projects presented last week as the semester came to a close.

The roster of 17 project presentations (shown below) reflects the diverse nature of public health as well as student research interests. Childhood obesity, health literacy in dental services and flu prevention, motorcycle accidents and helmet use, nursing school recruitment from underserved areas, variation in use of imaging in hospital emergency departments, strategies for working with large datasets, and the mental health of African-American males were among the topics.

“These projects are always interesting, always varied and show an immense amount of work and dedication,” said Kevin Ryan, JD, MA, COPH Associate Dean for Professional Programs.

Each student project was guided by a committee composed of UAMS faculty and in some cases outside experts. Most projects resulted in a tangible product, such as a report on research findings or a set of recommendations, which will be offered to public health practitioners who can use the information.

Culminating Experience Project Presenters Molly Miller, Kripa Patel, Brian Delavan, Andrew Cox, Kelvin Gibson and Bolton Kirchner

(left to right) Molly Miller, Kripa Patel, Brian Delavan, Andrew Cox, Kelvin Gibson, Bolton Kirchner

One of the presenters was Bolton Kirchner, whose project focused on childhood obesity. He worked with obesity prevention educators at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) who teach school children about healthy lifestyles. The aim of his project was to explore possible programmatic changes in the current program to ensure that the efforts adhere to best practices with measurable impacts.

In a review of the scientific literature, Mr. Bolton learned about the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) program, which has proven effective in other states. CATCH is an evidence-based coordinated school health program that has shown to increase healthy eating, physical activity, and decrease overweight and obesity rates in children.

Culminating Experience Project Presenters Lisa Alley, Randall Walker, Stephen Lein, Zoe Anaman, Joeline Brown, LaKaija Wood-Johnson, Danelle Poole and Rebecca Scissors

(left to right) Lisa Alley, Randall Walker, Stephen Lein, Zoe Anaman, Joeline Brown, LaKaija Wood-Johnson, Danelle Poole, Rebecca Scissors

Mr. Bolton shared his findings on CATCH with ACH and helped staff determine if it would be feasible to implement the program in area schools. ACH plans on exploring the possibility of implementing the CATCH program with interested schools.

“It was a great pleasure to have the opportunity to work with Arkansas Children’s Hospital,” Mr. Bolton said. “The hospital is very committed to reducing childhood obesity. It made me think about the role hospitals can play in impacting public health problems.”

2015 Fall Semester Culminating Experience Projects

Student’s Name Presentation Title CE Committee
Lisa Alley Examining the Potential Role of Allelic Heterogeneity in Differentiating Between Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Phonotypes Using Molecular Epidemiology Techniques Mohammed Orloff (chair), Rosalind Penney
Zoe Anaman Telemedical Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Screening and Anal Cancer T. Mac Bird (chair), Wilbur Hitt, Billy Thomas, Keith Williams
Joeline Brown Literature Review of Influenza Vaccination Among Long-term Care Workers Jennifer Dillaha (chair), Jay Gandy
Andrew Cox The Use of Data-Mining Techniques for NHANES Survey Data Keith Williams (chair), Barbara Fuhrman
Brian Delavan A1C Levels in Arkansas: A Multivariate Approach James Selig (chair), T. Mac Bird
Kelvin Gibson Folic Acid Use and Childhood Birth Defects: 2006-2008 and 2009-2012 Comparisons Michael Morris (chair), Mary McGehee
LaQuisha Hhervey Building Community Capacity to Prevent Influenza through Community Collaborations Karen Yeary (chair), Mohammed Elfaramawi
Bolton Kirchner Best Practice Recommendations for FAN Club: Arkansas Children’s Hospital Community Outreach Health Literacy Program Kate Stewart (chair), Alexandria Marshall
Stephen Lein Analysis of Arkansas Motorcycle Accident Data Keith Williams (chair), Barbara Fuhrman
Molly Miller Building the Capacity of Community Health Workers in Arkansas Kate Stewart (chair), Tiffany Haynes
Antoinette Newburn Standardizing Clinical Intake Forms to Include LGBT-Specific Information Nick Zaller (chair), Kate Stewart
Kripa Patel Dental Educational Materials that Include Substantial Original Content and Address a Public Health Problem and/or Need in the Community Nick Zaller (chair), Kristie Hadden
Danelle Poole UAMS Family Experience Satisfaction in the Intensive Care Unit Elaine Prewitt (chair), Page Moore
Rebecca Scissors Defining Access to Inform a Strategic Needs Assessment to Improve Access to UAMS for Students with Disabilities Kevin Ryan (chair), Alexandria Marshall
John Ukadike A National Evaluation of the Use of Neuroimaging to Evaluate Dizziness in the ED Mick Tilford (chair), Mohammed Orloff
Randall Walker Psychosocial Effects on the Health of the African-American Male Billy Thomas (chair), Tiffany Haynes
LaKaija Wood-Johnson Process Evaluation of the “A Day in the Life of a Nurse” Program: Promoting Nursing as a Career for High School Students in the Arkansas Delta Region Kevin Ryan (chair), Keneshia Bryant