Salud y Saludos
Salud y SaludosOctober 2014
In This Issue
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From the Dean's Desk
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UTEP Wellness Program Receives Grant Focused on Sexual Health
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Lusk Selected for Lifetime Achievement Award by the Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project
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Duarte Presents at Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conference
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OT Students Present at UTEP Symposium
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MSW Student Appointed To Statewide Board On Disability Rights
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Speech-Language Pathology Participated in the Binational Health Week
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Pharmacy Faculty Members Present at the 2nd Annual Clinical Simulation Conference
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The Pre-Pharmacy Organization Makes Homecoming Week Memorable
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Positive Deviance for Vocational Rehabilitation
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October is Physical Therapy Month
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Calendar of events

The Healthy Exchange
Speaker: Kathleen O'Connor, Ph.D., Assistant Professor - UTEP School of Nursing
Date:Wednesday, Nov. 5
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00PM
Location: College of Health Sciences and Nursing Building - Room 211

The Healthy Exchange
Speaker: Bibi Mancera & Marķa Torres, IHS Ph.D. students
Date:Wednesday, Nov. 12
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00PM
Location: College of Health Sciences and Nursing Building - Room 211

The Healthy Exchange
Speaker: Feng Yang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor - UTEP Department of Kinesiology
Date:Wednesday, Nov. 19
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00PM
Location: College of Health Sciences and Nursing Building - Room 211
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From the Dean's Desk 
Dean CurtisOctober was a big month for the College of Health Sciences. We celebrated Homecoming week in grand style with an incredible Legacy Project exhibition, highlighting the history of the College of Health Sciences. A beautiful 15-foot mural hung in the lobby of the Health Sciences and Nursing building, explaining the history of health sciences at our university, starting with the very earliest mining students, who took courses in safety and hygiene. Through this project, we were able to detail the development of our nine disciplines, once housed in four different colleges, that came together to form the College of Health Sciences. Each of our programs and departments created free-standing panels that depicted their rich histories. Alumni recorded their memories for posterity in a "Memory Lane" oral history booth and signed in on our alumni roster. Former College of Health Sciences Gold Nugget awardees, Pamela Perez, Katherine Long, Tony Harper, Virginia Martinez and Ray Tullius all attended, in addition to  Marilyn Cromeans, Kinesiology graduate and daughter of the late Ross Moore, UTEP Distinguished Alumnus. Many, many thanks to Becky Downey, Denise Mankin, Letty Paez, Daniela Lerma, Jeff Bourke, our Department Chairs and Program Directors for their hard work in creating our most memorable Legacy Project exhibition.

Sue Glover Mottinger, Ph.D., a 1965 Kinesiology graduate of Texas Western College, then and now!

And that's not all! Congratulations to all of our faculty, staff and students featured below who have contributed to our community and their professions. Go Miners!

Kathleen Curtis, PT, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Health Sciences
UTEP Wellness Program Receives Grant Focused on Sexual Health

Mangadu, Thenral The UTEP Wellness Program has been awarded a grant from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, under the Two Should Know initiative in the amount of $543, 951 for the next two years. The Healthy Miner Sex Positive Peer Education Program will focus on UTEP student sexual health with the primary aim of increasing self-efficacy among students to successfully engage in healthy relationships and prevent unintended pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STI). The program will offer UTEP students  a unique and valuable opportunity to become health leaders on campus by empowering fellow UTEP students to make well-informed decisions about their sexual health, while at the same time influencing a sex positive culture on campus and in the community. The program will increase availability of positive sexuality education through a peer education program and effective prevention strategies that align with the UTEP Wellness Program mission and overarching goal of the Two Should Know initiative, which is to effect long -term improvements in sexual health across the life-span and reduce negative health outcomes in the Paso del Norte Region (www.twoshouldknow.org). To learn more about the Healthy Miner Sex Positive Program, please contact the University Wellness Manager, Eileen Aguilar at 915-747-6738 or [email protected].

Lusk Selected for Lifetime Achievement Award by the Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project

Mark Lusk, professor of social work, has been selected by the Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project for the 2014 Albert Armendariz, Sr. Lifetime Achievement in Civil Rights Award. The award honors those who have contributed greatly to improving human rights for those living in the El Paso Ciudad Juarez Region.

Professor Lusk has been working with refugees and migrants from Mexico and Central America as a social worker. He also has been an advocate and voice for social justice for immigrants who have fled Mexico and Central America as a result of criminal victimization, extortion, kidnapping, and torture. Dr. Lusk is a volunteer with the Las Americas Immigration Advocacy Center and is the Chair of the National Association of Social Workers - Texas Human Rights Committee. He also serves on the board of directors of the Proyecto Sin Fronteras Center for Farm Workers and the Hope Border Institute of the Diocese of El Paso. Congratulations Dr. Lusk!

Duarte Presents at Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conference

Maria Duarte, professor and chair in the department of Public Health Sciences was a presenter at the Foods and Nutrition Conference and Expo of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics held in Atlanta GA from October 18 - 21. The work presented by Dr. Duarte was co-authored by Dr. Ximena Burgos, nutritionist and lecturer  in the Department of Public Health Sciences and Dr. Hector Balcazar, Regional Dean of the University of Texas - Houston, School of Public Health- El Paso Campus. The research presentation -  "Fruits and vegetable intake among low income overweight and obese Hispanic adults," demonstrated that the study population did not meet the USDA recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. The work presented is part of the Community Based Participatory Research - Health Education and Assessment Research Team (HEART) project that was funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health from 2008 - 2014.

OT Students Present at UTEP Symposium

Edgar E. Ortiz, 2nd year Master of Occupational Therapy student at UTEP, presented alongside Prof. Rocio Alvarenga and MOT student Brittany Diaz at the Second Annual Interdisciplinary Symposium on the topic of Occupational Therapy, the MOT Program at UTEP and  its involvement in the community, regional and state levels. Those attending this presentation were a diverse group of students, faculty, and members of other rehabilitation therapies such as Physical Therapy and Rehab Counseling. The presenters emphasized their unique contribution to the rehabilitation world as well as the essential collaboration with the other rehabilitation disciplines. The Occupational Therapy students will also be attending the San Elizario 7th annual Health Fair on October 25, 2014. Education will be provided on the topics of strength testing, use of adaptive equipment, and exercises.

MSW Student Appointed To Statewide Board On Disability Rights

UTEP MSW student Christian Salas has been selected to serve on the Board of Directors of Disability Rights Texas, a statewide organization advocacy agency for people with disabilities in Texas. Salas, a first year MSW student will attend meetings in Austin four times a year over the next three years. The mission of Disability Rights Texas is to provide legal assistance, policy advocacy, and education to people with disabilities whose  rights have been threatened or violated. Mr. Salas is the youngest member of the Board and hopes to utilize his skills and experiences in the area of strategic planning for the agency. We are very proud of you Christian! 

Speech-Language Pathology Participated in the Binational Health Week

Graduate students in the Speech-Language Pathology Program participated in the Binational Health Week at the Consulate General of Mexico in El Paso on October 8th. Two 2nd year graduate students, Alexandra Burciaga and Luisa Esquivel, coordinated the activities as part of a Global Health course. Eighteen 1st year graduate students participated in health screenings and presentations. The students offered hearing, oral cancer, cognitive, and speech screenings to approximately 50 people. Students presented on four topics which included stroke awareness, concussion warning signs, language milestones, and development of literacy. For most students, this day was their first experience at a health fair. Faculty from the Speech Language Pathology program provided supervision. Dr. Jamie Desjardins, supervised the hearing screenings. Dr. Pat Lara supervised oral cancer screenings. Ms. Bertha Manriquez supervised cognitive and oral cancer screenings. Dr. Connie Summers supervised the presentations and the speech screenings.

Pharmacy Faculty Members Present at the 2nd Annual Clinical Simulation Conference

Faculty from the UTEP/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program attended the 2nd Annual Clinical Simulation Conference on October 9-11, 2014 at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. This three day conference is specifically designed to allow healthcare practitioners to gather and closely examine current issues within the medical field as well as analyze clinical competence. Furthermore, practitioners have the opportunity to receive hands on training centered around these main objectives.

The UTEP/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program faculty presented on 'Development of Inter-professional Collaborative Competencies: Knowledge of the Professional Role of Others'. Dr. Jose Rivera, UTEP/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program Director, delivered the didactic portion of this presentation. To follow, Dr. Celeste Vinluan, two pharmacy students, Juan Villanueva and Michael Payan, and a standardized patient presented the hands-on training. Their main objectives while presenting was to allow the practitioners to be able to recognize the concept of interprofessionality, be able to analyze the core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice, and to be able to maintain competence in one's own profession appropriate to scope of practice.

The Pre-Pharmacy Organization Makes Homecoming Week Memorable

During homecoming week, the Pre-Pharmacy Organization (PPO) showed their many talents (beyond Chemistry and Calculus) in the student organization competitions. To name a few, they participated in Around the World Basketball (1st place), Centennial Photo Shoot, Spelling Bee, Miner Morning Mysteria Mania (3rd Place), Triathlon (3rd place), and UTEP Trivia (2nd place).

Furthermore, Cristina Rolph, a member of the PPO, was part of the Homecoming Pageant, where she was chosen as Homecoming Duchess. Ms. Rolph expressed that she was strongly encouraged by her PPO peers to participate in the contest. The pageant consisted of three competition sections: spirit wear/talent, formal wear, and questioning. Once named Duchess, she had the opportunity to meet several influential UTEP faculty and attend the Alumni Dinner, Golden Nugget Gala, homecoming parade, tailgate, and game. Once homecoming week came to an end, she stated, "This experience has truly allowed me to grow in my feeling of community involvement at UTEP and has showed me the strong UTEP school spirit shared by so many people in El Paso. I am so honored to have participated in the Homecoming Festivities." Cristina Rolph was able to proudly represent the PPO as she was the first freshman to be part of the Homecoming Court! Congratulations to these talented students!

Positive Deviance for Vocational Rehabilitation

Traditionally, we approach complex health issues by asking, "What risk factors are associated with poor outcomes?" Positive Deviance (PD) is an approach to solving complex issues, which "flips" this traditional research question on its head. PD asks, "Are there individuals in the community with x, y, and z risk factors, who are successfully navigating these issues without additional resources?" The PD approach assumes that within every community lie individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviors and strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than their peers with the same resources and challenges. These outliers are deviants because their uncommon behaviors are not the norm; they are positive deviants because they have found ways to effectively address the problem, while most others have not. PD has opened the door to a new way to approach and solve complex problems in the healthcare industry.

Dr. Arvind Singhal, the Samuel Shirley and Edna Holt Marston Endowed Professor of Communication and Director of the Social Justice Initiative in UTEP's Department of Communication, and Dr. Kristin Kosyluk, Visiting Assistant Professor in UTEP's Rehabilitation Counseling Department, have recently begun to work with the Department of Rehabilitation Services in Oklahoma to consider the use of PD inquiry to address unemployment for people with psychiatric disabilities. The goal of this work is to find individuals with psychiatric disabilities in the community who represent an at-risk population and who are successful in obtaining and maintaining employment against all odds. Dr. Singhal and Dr. Kosyluk spent a day in Oklahoma City on October 17, conducting a PD workshop with a team of rehabilitation practitioners.

October is Physical Therapy Month
Physical Therapists in Texas celebrated Physical Therapy month by having their Annual Texas Physical Therapy Association Meeting and the Student Conclave in Galveston Texas on October 17-18, 2014. Three of the UTEP DPT faculty and 8 of the students and several alumni attended this meeting.


Michelle Gutierrez, PT, DSc presented a poster at the conference. Dr. Gutierrez presented her clinical research on the development of a new outcome measurement. "Development and Content Validity of the Military Concussion Readiness Inventory for Dizziness and Balance (MCRI-DB) for Service Members." She presented how the outcome tool was developed by successfully combining the use of service member experiences with expert opinion to determine content validity of the MCRI-DB. Dr. Gutierrez would like to further develop this tool to fully determine the psychometric properties of the instrument.

Loretta Dillon, PT, DPT presented a poster at the conference as well. She was the primary investigator of a pilot study: Inter-rater reliability among clinical instructors assessing entry- level Spanish communication of DPT students. Her co-investigators were Deborah Diaz, PT, PhD and Celia Pechak, PT, PhD, MPH. The University of Texas at El Paso Doctor of Physical Therapy Program requires a Spanish medical terminology course and integrates some Spanish language in the majority of clinical courses. The study aims were to: (1) revise the previously developed clinical assessment tool to evaluate Spanish communication skills in student physical therapists in the clinical setting; (2) assess inter-rater reliability among CIs with Spanish language proficiency; and (3) establish priorities for future research particularly in regards to student physical therapists Spanish language acquisition in the UTEP DPT Program. Data suggest that the Spanish Communication Skill has the potential to measure Spanish language proficiency, but will benefit from further revision, testing, and evaluation.

There were many clinicians and students who visited Dr. Dillon at her poster. They expressed interest in the topic and the implementation of this curricular piece in the UTEP DPT Program. Dr. Dillon also received the William Gould Memorial Faculty Award. The purpose of this award is to acknowledge an outstanding faculty member in Physical Therapy education in Texas who has demonstrated excellence in that role. In addition to serving UTEP and our profession locally, Dr. Dillon has provided countless hours of service at the state level. Congratulations Dr. Dillon on this well-deserved honor!

We were proud to see one of the 2012 UTEP DPT graduates, Marcos Lopez, PT, DPT, present "Pain Science Education and Physical Therapy Intervention for Pain". He also presented at the Awards dinner as the New Professional TPTA Membership Chair. He will begin promoting some of the new initiatives set forth by APTA including Texas PT Pub Night.