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Healthy Connections Newsletter

Fall 2017 Volume 2 Issue 4


From the Dean’s Office Dear Friends, Thank you for taking the time to peruse our newsletter and for your interest in learning more about the activities taking place in the Beaver College of Health Sciences. It has been a stimulating and productive fall semester. During my first semester as dean of this college, I have grown to appreciate the students, staff and faculty, and the depth of their compassion and their willingness to engage the people and communities that surround us. This year’s Transforming Health Series, sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC, focused on health issues experienced prominently in rural communities. Hundreds of students, faculty and community members attended the lecture and heard about the challenges facing so many of our neighbors in rural North Carolina. Ms. Dentzer’s presentation was also a call to action, and she encouraged us to pay attention to those policies and laws that impact rural health. As we develop our college’s strategic plan over the next few months, many of these same themes will be integrated throughout our final document. We are sad to say goodbye to two of our colleagues who are retiring this month, Dr. Paul Gaskill and Ms. Susie Litrenta. Professor Gaskill began his career in Recreation Management 1986. He has served in faculty and administrative roles and has touched the lives of hundreds of students. Ms. Litrenta is an Administrative Assistant in the Institute for Health and Human Services and is responsible for the clinic billing services. She has also been at App State for over 30 years. We wish them the best. They will be missed. During my short tenure here, I have met numerous individuals who are making significant investments in our students and programs by sharing their expertise and/or monetary gifts. If you would like to honor a loved one or signify your commitment to the college or a specific program, please consider naming a space in the new building, or supporting a student scholarship or professorship. Feel free to contact me directly for more information or check out our giving page at give.appstate.edu/ healthsciences. I cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store. Have a safe and wonderful holiday. Most Sincerely, Marie Huff, Ph.D. Dean, Beaver College of Health Sciences

Departments, Programs & Degrees Communication Sciences & Disorders B.S. Communication Sciences & Disorders M.S. Speech-Language Pathology

Health & Exercise Science B.S. Exercise Science B.S. Athletic Training B.S. Public Health M.S. Exercise Science

Nursing B.S.N. M.S.N.

Nutrition & Health Care Management B.S. Health Care Management B.S. Nutrition and Foods M.S. Nutrition M.H.A.

Recreation Management & Physical Education B.S. Recreation Management B.S. Health & Physical Education

Social Work B.S.W. M.S.W.

About the College The Beaver College of Health Sciences seeks to be the most comprehensive academic center for health professions in western North Carolina. It provides transformative education, interdisciplinary research opportunities, and service to local and regional communities. The faculty across six departments, ten undergraduate programs, and six graduate programs equip high quality graduates for successful careers or advanced study. For more about the college, visit:

healthsciences.appstate.edu


Meet some of our amazing students...

Appalachian juniors and seniors in Dr. Jennifer Zwetsloot’s PH4400 Obesity Prevention course present their service project, which focuses on components needed to develop an online weight loss maintenance program for graduates of the Fit for the Future Track of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s Thrive program at Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center. The project is part of an ongoing research/service collaboration between Zwetsloot and Dr. Rebecca Battista, assistant and associate professors, respectively, in the Department of Health and Exercise Science, and the Thrive leadership team at ARHS. The online weight loss program will be offered to Thrive graduates in spring 2018. Photo by Rebecca Battista.

Haley Love is currently an RN-BSN student in the Department of Nursing. Along with her studies, and being an active nurse researcher and Nurse Case Manager, Love will be contributing her expertise in gynecology, immunotherapy and urology to the wealth of experience on American Health Council’s Nursing Board. Earning her Associate Degree in Nursing from the same school her mother and grandmother attended, Haley Love graduated from Cabarrus College of Health Sciences in Concord, North Carolina in 2014. She then obtained her Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) certification to sharpen her clinical skills. Her enthusiasm for clinical care and desire to further develop her nursing skills motivated Love to pursue further nursing education. Congratulations Haley! Read the full story.


During the homecoming football game on October 7, 2017, AppState Athletics recognized the university’s scholar athletes with an on-field ceremony and presentation of a Scholar Athlete Ring. The students had earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better while playing a varsity sport. The Beaver College of Health Sciences had 17 students recognized: Exercise Science Majors - Ashley Bassett-Smith (Women’s Basketball), Joi Jones (Women’s Basketball), Mykel Golden (Football), Jaclyn Nieradka (Women’s Soccer), Ellsworth Parham (Men’s Track & Field), Elizabeth Simmons (Women’s Track & Field), Natalie Kile (Women’s Track & Field), Health Promotion Majors - Hannah Craver (Women’s Golf), Jane Cline (Women’s Soccer), Phenix Durham (Women’s Soccer), Aubrey Fletcher (Women’s Soccer), Thomas Layne (Men’s Track & Field), Catherine Crawford (Women’s Track & Field), Recreation Management Majors - Katrina Stammen (Women’s Volleyball), Marcus Johnson (Men’s Wrestling), Communication Sciences and Disorders Major - Taylor Drummonds (Women’s Track & Field) and Nutrition Major - Audrey Florence (Women’s Track & Field). Congratulations to you all!

Health Promotion for Faculty and Staff hosted another successful Health Fair October 27, 2017, in the Plemmons Student Union. Over 400 employees and 20 vendors attended the “Think Your Health is a Game? THINK AGAIN!” themed event. The annual employee health fair, sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Institute for Health and Human Services, a division of the Beaver College of Health Sciences, promotes health awareness and disease prevention, and increases awareness of local, state and national health services and resources for Appalachian State University employees by providing health screenings, educational information, and related activities.

Dr. Stephanie Devane-Johhnson (pictured on right with Dr. Carolyn Huffman, Assistant Professor in Dept. of Nursing at Appalachian) from Duke University School of Nursing was the keynote speaker for the fall meeting of the local chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing held at Appalachian. Devane-Johnson shared her research on breastfeeding practices within the African American community and resulting health disparities. In addition to Devane-Johnson presenting her research, the Department of Nursing senior BSN students participated in a poster session presenting their Evidence Based Practice Projects.


Making a difference

Drs. Zach and Alisha Farris address conservation and health crises in Madagascar Finding his passion set Dr. Zach Farris, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science, on a journey that would take him deep into the jungles of Madagascar. Ultimately his wife, Dr. Alisha Farris, also an assistant professor within the Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management, would become engaged in community research around food issues that affect the Malagasy people. Read the full story.

Food insecurity - it’s real and it’s a problem in the High Country Dr. Adam Hege, an assistant professor of public health in the Department of Health and Exercise Science, worked with focus groups, churches and hunger support organizations to determine the levels of food insecurity within Caldwell and Watauga counties. His research offers an insight to food insecurity within our region, as well as the ability to make real changes. Read the full story.


The power of giving

Olivia Farmer. Photo by Audrey Gurkin.

Olivia Farmer, a Social Work major, is one of the inaugural recipients of the Beaver College of Health Sciences Dean’s Scholarship. Farmer graduates this December, and after a brief break, she plans to attend graduate school and continue her path in social work. According to Farmer, the impact of the scholarship has been a real confidence booster. She explains, “I feel being a part of the impressive inaugural class of scholarship recipients has helped me set my goals high and given me the financial freedom to achieve those goals. It has also given me the confidence to wander and travel abroad, finding the things in education that are fun and rewarding.”

Phil and Pam Hardin pictured at the Grand Canyon. Photo submitted.

Phil ‘86 and Pam Hardin ‘85 hope their plan to include Appalachian in their estate is an inspiration for others to do the same. As Pam stated, “You don’t have to have a lot of money right now to make a difference. With estate planning you don’t have to stroke a check now, you can do this for the future.” While they are not graduates of the Beaver College of Health Sciences, the health care aspect of what the college is doing now is important to them both. According to Pam, “My hope is that some of the graduates would stay in this area, because you have to have healthy communities to have successful communities.” Read the full interview. For more information on making a difference through estate gifts, visit give.appstate.edu/healthsciences or contact Kelli Wilson, Director of Development for Beaver College of Health Sciences at wilsonkh@appstate.edu or 828-262-6714.


Educate. Engage. Elevate.

Susan Dentzer speaking in Schaefer Center November 9, 2017. Photo by Marie Freeman.

This year’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Transforming Health Series featured Susan Dentzer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, a not-forprofit think tank and membership organization that seeks innovative ways to advance health, improve health care and produce smarter health care spending. Her presentation addressed these challenges specifically as they relate to rural areas. Dentzer challenged the audience with ways that we can make a difference. Her presentation focused on “The Spectrum of Prevention” - beginning with early childhood education, and continuing the focus on education both for the community and providers. Dentzer also discussed the financial impacts of raising the minimum wage and utilizing the earned income tax credit. She summoned the audience to be advocates for “health in all policies” to benefit rural areas - including advancing economic development, incomes and education. She asked those headed into a health care career to draw on new technologies, such as telehealth to advance care in rural areas. Lastly, she said we can vote for elected officials who prioritize health and health care, and embrace the social determinates in health while understanding the connections between health insurance coverage and care. Read more on the Transforming Health Series.

The Southeast USDA Leadership team was hosted by the Beaver College of Health Sciences Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management on November 13-15, 2017. The focus of the visit was to highlight student/faculty initiatives and innovative public/private collaborations on key USDA topics including: food insecurity, maternal and child care, obesity, and older adult health and nutrition in low income communities. The visit also focused on preparing for the Southeast University Consortium on Poverty, Hunger and Nutrition to be held at Appalachian in 2019.


Outstanding Faculty and Staff

Pictured left to right: Steve McAnlty, Jennifer Zwetsloot, Janice Koppenhaver, Derek Mohr, Melanie Austin, Angela Heavner. Not pictured: Annette Ward. Photo by Audrey Gurkin.

Each year the Beaver College of Health Sciences recognizes members of the faculty and staff that represent excellence in teaching, research and service. The winners demonstrate a degree of excellence that BCHS strives for in all areas. Award recipients are nominated by fellow faculty and staff. Read more about our present and past winners.

Over 30 years of service!

Dr. Paul Gaskill joined the Department of Health & Exercise Science in 1986 in the Recreation Management faculty. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1991 and to Professor in 1995. He served as the Director of the Recreation Management Program for fourteen years and as the Chair of the Department of Health and Exercise Science from 2005-2013. Thank you Paul for your dedication to your students and the Beaver College of Health Sciences. Congratulations!

Ms. Susie Litrenta is an Administrative Assistant in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Institute for Health and Human Services. She is responsible for the billing services for the clinic. Susie has been with the department for over 30 years. Thank you Susie for your many years of service and congratulations on your retirement!


By the Numbers... 3,425 Undergraduate & Graduate Majors 150 Highly-Skilled Faculty and Staff 100% Of Tenure Track Faculty Hold Terminal Degrees 84% Increase in Undergraduate Majors since 2009 16 Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees 2nd Largest College at Appalachian State University

Help us to continue our growth! Donate here If you would like additional information on student scholarships, naming opportunities, or adding BCHS to your estate plan, please contact Kelli Wilson, Director of Development, at wilsonkh@appstate.edu or 828-262-6714

Follow the progress of our new building - view a live stream of the construction site.

BCHS Healthy Connections Fall 2017  
BCHS Healthy Connections Fall 2017