Salud y Saludos
Salud y SaludosFebruary 2014
In This Issue
From the Dean's Desk
UTEP Commitment to CLS Student Success
Dr. Loza Featured in KTEP Radio Interview on Public Health in the Transgender Community
Dr. Duarte Guest speaker at El Paso Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
OT Students Visit New Mexico School for the Blind
OT Students Contribute to the Community
Thank You for Making a Difference
PT Attends the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association
New Building 
Calendar of events

UTEP CENTENNIAL LECTURE UTEP/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program Team-based care to improve hypertension: The CAPTION trial results (Barry L. Carter, PharmD)
Date: March 3
Time: 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Location: UTEP Campbell Bldg- Room 237
1100 Campbell (Campbell at Arizona St)
RSVP:747 8519 /[email protected]

Conservative Management of ACL Injuries
Date: March 6
Time: 6-8 pm
Location: Campbell 237
Course Faculty: Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Restricted to physical therapists. Contact Beverly Scarborough for pricing and to register at [email protected].

Shoulder Update
Date: March 20
Time: 6-8 pm
Location: Campbell 237
Course Faculty: Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Restricted to physical therapists. Contact Beverly Scarborough for pricing and to register at [email protected]

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From the Dean's Desk 
Dean CurtisOur College of Health Sciences Centennial celebrations are off to a great start, with the inaugural Centennial Symposium,  offered by our Department of Social Work at the the end of January. We are anticipating a very successful lecture in our Cooperative Pharmacy program on Monday, March 3rd. Please watch the UTEP Centennial Calendar  closely for more events.

Congratulations to our outstanding faculty, staff and students featured below. Their contributions are enhancing our university, our region and community as well as the lives of many of its residents!

Go Miners!
Kathleen Curtis, PT, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Health Sciences

UTEP Commitment to CLS Student Success

UTEP CHS received a grant from The Upper Rio Grande Workforce Solutions to hire tutors for the UTEP Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) program. A highly successful pilot study conducted in summer of 2013 resulted in new funds for the CLS Tutors for the Spring 2014 semester. The spring semester is the most rigorous semester for the first year professional CLS students who take 16 hours of classes and laboratories in clinical chemistry, infectious diseases, hematology, and blood banking. These students must be successful in all classes before continuing to their Preceptorships in hospitals in El Paso, New Mexico, and Arizona. CLS professionals are in high demand nationwide and UTEP is committed to alleviating the shortage of professional medical laboratory scientists by helping these students be successful in their studies. GO MINERS! 

Left to Right: Nareli Romero(Senior tutor), Christine Santa Cruz, Michelle Holguin, Angie Betancourt (Senior Tutor), and Alex Granillo.
Dr. Loza Featured on KTEP Radio Interview on Public Health in the Transgender Community
Loza, Oralia

Dr. Oralia Loza, Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences was interviewed on February 2, 2014 by Dr. Keith Pannell host for the Science Studio on his series 100 @ 100: Research for our Next Century. The topic addressed by Dr. Loza was Public Health in the Transgender Community. Since her initial appointment at UTEP Dr. Loza has studied sex workers on the US/Mexico border and the perils that lead these individuals to become victims of the sex trade. She also studies the high risk for HIV among the transgender community, in particular, transgender women, who are often also at high risk for suicide, depression, and sex work. The audio interview can be played from the link below by clicking the button next on "Listen".

Dr. Duarte Guest Speaker at El Paso Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Dr. Maria Duarte, Professor and Chair in the Department of Public Health Sciences was the guest speaker for the first meeting of the year for the professional organization, El Paso Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The continuing education presentation was at the UTEP College of Health Sciences and School of Nursing on January 15th and was attended for more than 30 Registered Dietitians practicing in area hospitals, school districts, and outpatient clinics. The objectives of the presentation were to 1) Describe the latest research in nutrition therapy for gestational diabetes; 2) Summarize evidence based practice recommendations for gestational diabetes, and 3) Describe publications guidelines for case studies. Dr. Duarte is the chair of the gestational diabetes expert workgroup of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The workgroup is in charge of revising the most current evidence based research that will result in an updated version of nutrition practice guidelines for gestational diabetes.

OT Students Visit New Mexico School for the Blind

On February 12th, the Occupational Therapy Class of 2014 made a field trip to the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NMSBVI) while fulfilling hours both in the pediatric therapy course and the analysis and adaptation in occupational performance course. Dr. Elaine Struthers and Professor Rocio Alvarenga facilitated the fieldtrip. UTEP students participated in six classroom experiences throughout the day with children ranging in age from 4  to 22 years and they were invited to lunch with NMSBVI students in the cafeteria for authentic New Mexican cuisine.  The full therapy staff from the school joined them including speech, physical therapy, and occupational therapy members.

The class of 2014 had prepared for the visit by making Taiko drums and bachi drum sticks as a form of creative media that enables an occupational approach to therapy. Taiko is the Japanese word for drum and Taiko drumming is an ancient martial art form practiced today as a percussion art throughout the world. Taiko and other forms of drumming are gaining more respect as a therapy modality. There currently exists a solid and enlarging body of research relative to the use of drumming for many conditions including arthritis, psychosocial diagnoses, motor coordination, Autism and PTSD.

During the fieldtrip to the NMSBVI, UTEP OT students worked in small groups to carry out a number of therapeutic activities. UTEP students led a jam session on drums for older students, incorporating motor imitation, auditory response, and social bonding goals. They also designed a treatment session for a single child with motor control and visual attention challenges, and were highly praised by the NMSBVI staff for the effectiveness of the drum-based approach in engaging the child and enhancing his postural support, head control, and hand skills.

At the conclusion of the fieldtrip, UTEP students offered a gift of six of the drums made from old tires and colorful blue and orange duct tape (Miner Colors!) to the school, these were gratefully accepted and will be in use in the music rooms and dormitories at the residential school. NMSBVI invited the UTEP OT students to return for an annual event with their students, and to create a tradition for UTEP / NMSBVI staff and students. Professor Alvarenga is currently negotiating a contract with NMSBVI to place occupational therapy students in the facility for both Fieldwork 1 and 2 experiences. A great time was had by all and it was one of those extraordinary learning opportunities that also built relationships throughout our unique borderlands region.

OT Students Contribute to the Community 

The Occupational Therapy Program is proud to announce the amazing contributions that our students have made throughout the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters. Recently, a group of Pi Theta Epsilon members and OT students have shown their commitment to UTEP and the El Paso community.

Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE) is the national college honor society made up of current occupational therapy students and alumni. The University of Texas at El Paso is represented by the Alpha Chi Chapter with current President Samantha Minten and Vice President Noah Munoz. As an affiliated chapter, they strive to uphold the values and mission established by the society's constitution. This academic year, in response to the vision that Pi Theta Epsilon has created, the Alpha Chi Chapter has sponsored many activities which strive to support the advancement of the field of occupational therapy through student participation in community and academia.

In October of 2013 the Alpha Chi Chapter collaborated with the Junior Woman's Club of El Paso during their Spooktacular Halloween event. This event is an important event for the Junior Woman's Club of El Paso as it provides a fun and safe environment for children and families, but also because it raises money that the club then donates to local El Paso charities. The Pi Theta Epsilon members were able to provide assistance to the Junior Woman's Club of El Paso by setting up, decorating, and running one their busiest attractions called "Adventureland". The Junior Woman's Club of El Paso was very appreciative , later allocating funds to the Chapter for their service to the community. Pi Theta Epsilon- Alpha Chi chapter has also worked to collect donations of women's business clothing to be used in job interviews. The clothing was donated to the Reynolds Home, a shelter for homeless women and children. In addition to room and board, this shelter also provides an environment that fosters autonomy. The women are provided resources in which to become financially independent. The staff prepares their clients for the job search process by using mock interviews. For more information regarding the center and their services visit:

The UTEP chapter, in an attempt to support international initiatives, has recently created a partnership with the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) to collect items for the Camillian Home of Charity located in Chiangrai, Thailand. This residential school provides services to orphaned and abandoned children with disabilities, including medical and rehabilitative care. Pi Theta Epsilon will be collecting donations on the third floor of Campbell Hall throughout the semester. Requested items include: art supplies, school supplies, children's DVDs (ensure Thailand compatible region 3), children's sing -along CDs, children's paperback books, pencils, pens, and two desktop or laptop computers. They will gladly accept any gently used items from this list that you are willing to donate. Please contact PTE President Samantha Minten for more information: [email protected]

The Occupational Therapy Department Faculty and Staff are proud of our student's commitment to Pi Theta, the community, and to UTEP.

Thank You for Making a Difference
Candyce Berger, Department of Social Work Chair and Kathleen Curtis, College of Health Sciences Dean.

The UTEP College of Health Sciences hosted a Valentine's Day Open House for faculty and staff to thank them for their generosity in giving to UTEP. The event also was an opportunity for UTEP supporters to express why they give to the University.

The UTEP Family Campaign encourages faculty and staff to give back to UTEP and show alumni, friends, the community, along with other partners that they are invested in the success of the University. UTEP Faculty and Staff donors help to spread the message that philanthropy begins at home.

PT Attends the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association

Several Doctor of Physical Therapy faculty (Dr Deborah Diaz, Dr Ellen Dengler, Dr Michelle Gutierrez, Dr Celia Pechak) and students (Robin Trotter, Audrey Vasquez, Sara Cochrane, Libby Van Cleave) traveled to Las Vegas February 4-6 for the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association. With approximately 11,331 attendees, speaker and guest in  attendance the opportunities for networking, professional development and hearing "cutting edge" information were immense. Dr. Celia Pechak presented the results of two recent studies that she completed with a college. In addition to a presentation, Global Health Education: Proposed Competencies and Guidelines, she led a panel discussion about the future of global health education in physical therapy.