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This is a busy, lively time for us in EWU’s College of Health Science and Public Health. I’m delighted to pass along news and updates to you about our work here in Spokane. I hope you’ll find the dedication of our students, faculty, and staff, as inspiring as I do. We continue to be an active campus partner with WSU and the UW in interprofessional activities in the health disciplines and an engaged member of the broader Spokane community. Here are some quick news items I want to be sure to pass along to you by way of update: • In partnership with Empire Health Foundation, Providence Health Care, and Washington State University Spokane, EWU’s Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs are planning to begin a new clinic within the University District Health Clinic. The clinic will provide enhanced clinical opportunities for EWU students and excellent OT/PT services to our community. • Our Department of Communication Disorders has changed its name and degree names to Communication Sciences and Disorders. This change better reflects the common terminology used within their field. • Our Master of Public Health and undergraduate program in Health Services Administration have been approved to join together as a single department, the See Dean, continued on page 2

VETS’ DAY 2016 GOES INTERPROFESSIONAL For the fifth consecutive year, the EWU Dental Hygiene department spent a Saturday providing low-cost dental services to veterans to honor their service to our country. But for the first time, the event was planned to incorporate interprofessional teams from across CHSPH, said Merri Jones, a dental hygiene professor and event organizer. “We were really proud that this was an inaugural college-wide interprofessional event with clients,” Jones said. This year, in addition to the Dental Hygiene and Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) students (who are dual-enrolled at EWU and the UW School of Dentistry), students from all CHSPH programs participated in the day, coordinated by Patricia Nelson, a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. Students from WSU’s College of Pharmacy and Speech & Hearing Sciences program also participated this year, along with some Spokane area dentists and alumni from dental hygiene who also volunteered their time for the event. The Vets’ Day provided dental care for 45 veterans and interprofessional teams completed additional health screenings for 12 of those veterans. Here are some examples of the health services provided at this year’s Vets’ Day: · dental examinations, radiographs, dental cleanings, preventive fluoride treatment and patient education from Dental Hygiene and RIDE students · musculoskeletal injury and balance/fall prevention screenings from Physical Therapy students · hearing loss screenings from students in EWU/WSU’s University Programs in Communication Disorders · screenings relating sleep problems/hygiene from Occupational Therapy students Students from the Master of Public Health and Health Services Administration provided program operations support throughout the day. Faculty and staff guided and advised students during clinical assessments as they worked in interprofessional teams to provide the most comprehensive care to veterans possible. In all, 155 CHSPH students, faculty, and staff volunteered at this year’s Vets’ Day, plus 12 more from WSU. Once tallied up, the Dental Hygiene department provided $23,130 of dental services for the day to veterans in attendance and also scheduled follow-up restorative care appointments for some clients. In addition, 12 clients received additional interprofessional services valued at $3,120. Members of the CHSPH Interprofessional Education Committee debriefed after the event and plan to build on this year’s success for the future. Nelson reported that the desire to continue offering interprofessional care is “unanimous” among the staff and faculty involved in the event. For students, the interprofessional experience gave them new insight into the clinical assessments of their peers from other health fields and how to work in a diverse health team. One student stated “being part of a team [of other professionals] to improve client care was a terrific experience.” Jones said they received very positive feedback from the veterans too. “They loved it and wanted to come back,” she said.


MPH STUDENT AIDS IN WINDSTORM EMERGENCY RESPONSE MPH student Jared O’Connor says he didn’t get much sleep in the wake of the epic windstorm that swept through Spokane and North Idaho on Nov. 17. That’s because he was up in the early hours of the morning and late into the night updating a Google Map he’d made for Spokane area residents after the storm. The map showed the locations of shelters, schools, public libraries, and grocery stores that were open when much of the area had lost power. His map also tracked the locations of the Duracell truck that came to Spokane after the storm to provide free batteries and powercharges for area residents. To fulfill his required MPH internship, O’Connor was working at the Spokane Regional Health District in the Emergency Preparedness department when the storm struck. As he began to understand the damage the storm had wrought, O’Connor says he thought to himself, “I need to do something.” He started building the Google Map as a practical resource for


the community. It felt like a fairly minor way he could quickly assist in emergency response efforts, he said. “I got it up at 10 PM the night of the windstorm, and by the next morning when I went to work, it already had 1,000 views,” said O’Connor. Overall, it received about 20,000 views in the aftermath of the storm. O’Connor suspects that, at first, people discovered it while searching online for places of shelter that were open. Quickly, though, the map was shared on local news broadcasts, cited by the Mayor’s Office and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department, and added to the Regional Health District’s website. “It picked up a lot of momentum and people just started viewing it a lot,” said O’Connor. O’Connor said he closely monitored openings and closures of area facilities and updated the map as he got new information. He said he started being included in high-level conversations about the emergency response efforts among community leaders as a result of his work on the map. O’Connor is now in his final semester of EWU’s MPH program and has already been hired as Health Education & Emergency Preparedness

Specialist for the Washington Poison Center. He credits his internship experience for helping him launch a public health career a few months before graduation. “My boss [at the Spokane Regional Health District] just raved about me,” he said. “She gave me awesome references.” For most Spokane residents, the windstorm was at the very least a temporary nuisance. For many, it was devastating. For those most vulnerable after the storm, O’Connor may have been in the right place at the right time to make a difference.

Dean, continued from page 1 Department of Public Health and Health Administration. • Our Master of Public Health program will begin offering its full degree online beginning in the fall semester of 2016. While MPH will continue offering oncampus courses as well, we expect that the added convenience of a fully online program will attract increased interest from students across not only our region, but also the country and even globe! We’re excited to expand our reach in the growing and vital field of public health. • To help prioritize fundraising and community partnerships for CHSPH, the former CHSPH Advisory Board has been reconstituted as the Dean’s Development Board. Rosalee Allen, Senior Vice President/ Chief Operating Officer of PAML, has agreed to serve as the Board’s chairperson. I appreciate your interest in our College’s developments and thank you for taking time to read about us. As we continue to establish our presence as EWU’s newest college, there will be much more to come! Laureen O’Hanlon, Dean College of Health Science & Public Health


High-stakes testing in K-12 education places a premium on persuasive writing skills, which can be a challenge for many students, particularly those with learning disabilities. The Common Core standards in English language arts/ literacy are especially concerned with writing and speaking persuasively. To help address this challenge in Spokane schools, for the third year, Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSD) professor Elizabeth WilsonFowler has led a persuasive writing and speaking research and clinical project at Rogers High School. Her project, P-SWIFT © (Persuasive Speaking and Writing Iconic Frame Training), assists students in special education classrooms with improving their persuasive writing and speaking skills. After two initial years of success, Wilson-Fowler and her team of six CSD graduate students were invited back to continue the program and are working with four classrooms this semester. They visit classrooms twice a week for about 45 minutes to an hour for each class session.

Persuasive speaking and writing have unique organizational structures and use specific sentence types depending on the type of persuasive appeal that’s being used (e.g., logic, emotions, senses, ethics). Wilson-Fowler’s goal with the project is to help students practice using these elements of persuasive language repeatedly enough until they become automatic. Graduate student Ashley Sanderson, who worked this year at Rogers on the project, said the students really didn’t know how to organize their ideas on the page at all and were writing at about a sixth-grade level. “It’s amazing to be in a setting where you see such a big need,” Sanderson said. They begin each session with an informational video about a controversial topic. Next, they use pictures, often paired with sentence types on flip cards, to elicit persuasive discourse from students. For instance, they use the image of a boxer to mentally trigger the idea of incorporating an opinion/argument/


attack in response to a controversial topic. They represent different types of persuasive appeals with symbols as well: a book for a facts/logic-based argument, a heart for an emotional appeal, and the scales of justice for ethical reasoning. Preliminary data from WilsonFowler’s project suggests that P-SWIFT is improving the students’ writing. Comparing pre-test and post-test data to measure the effect of 7 weeks of P-SWIFT instruction, Wilson-Fowler found that students with learning disabilities in her program wrote, on average, nearly 35 more words in their post-test essays. She also found that they increased word choice variety, noting an average increase of 16 additional unique words per essay. Finally, her preliminary findings showed a significant increase in the use of “metacognitive verbs” (i.e., words that demonstrate thinking like believe, wonder, admit, proclaim). Wilson-Fowler believes the program’s focus on repeated exposure to the images and sentence types associated with persuasion helps explain the students’ gains. Once students can internalize and automatically recall the organizational structures of persuasive discourse, their cognitive “load” is lightened. That allows them to devote more energy and attention to better developing their ideas on the page. In future research, Wilson-Fowler will study the overall persuasiveness of the student’s writing and examine the effects of P-SWIFT on it. Several teachers from Rogers High School said they’ve noticed a big impact from the P-SWIFT instruction. “They began the year barely able to write a paragraph,” Special Education English teacher Marcie Berry said. “At the end of the project, they were able to

See Persuasion, continued on page 6


• Local jeweler Rings ‘n Things donated gemstone strands, glass beads, pendants, and other adornments valued at $495 for the Occupational Therapy Department’s service-learning program with the Vets Garage. In a Health and Wellness course at Vets Garage led by current OT students, veterans craft walking sticks to represent their personal journeys in recovery of health and wellness. The donated items were used as adornments for the veterans’ walking sticks.


• OT professor Donna Mann and HSAD professor Anna Foucek Tresidder, along with Ryan Kiely of Excelsior Youth Center, attended a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer training course hosted by the University of Washington in their Simulation Lab at Harborview Medical Center on March 24-25. TeamSTEPPS is an evidencebased framework to optimize team performance across the health care delivery system. The team plans to use the skills learned in the training to help create IPE development goals with the College and to conduct its first training at Excelsior Youth Center in May.

• CHSPH faculty collaborated with WSU Spokane to host the 2016 Inland Northwest Research Symposium on April 1 at the EWU/WSU Spokane campus. EWU’s Communication Sciences & Disorders faculty took a leading role in organizing the research event this year.

• Looking to stay better connected with CHSPH events? Visit our college calendar for up-to-date event info at

• Health Services Administration professor Anna Foucek Tresidder has organized an Aging Policy Fair on May 18-19, a new older-adult-focused academic event that involves faculty, students, and agencies. The event is designed to spark conversations that stimulate the development of new services and improved policies for older adults in our community. For event details, visit symposium/aging-policy-fair.

• The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) honored Dental Hygiene professor Rebecca Stolberg and online degree-completion student Lisa Westhoff in March at its Annual Session & Exhibition in Denver. Stolberg was named a recipient of the ADEA/Colgate-Palmolive Co. Allied Dental Educators Fellowship, which includes a $4,000 stipend to work with ADEA staff in Washington, D.C. on issues affecting allied dental education. Westhoff received the


ADEA/Crest Oral-B Laboratories Scholarships for Dental Hygiene Students Pursuing Academic Careers, an award of $2,500 toward her tuition and fees, plus $500 for ADEA conference expenses.

• CSD professor and Hearing/Speech Clinic director Doreen Nicholas was recently featured in the SpokesmanReview for the Clinic’s Speak Out program, which helps Parkinson’s disease patients learn to manage speech complications that can result from the disease. Read the S-R story at getting-the-word-out. • MPH student Harry Daniels-Schatz was awarded a prestigious Pathways Internship in epidemiology from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He will spend the summer working in Spokane at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Spokane Research Laboratory. • CSD professor Lesli Cleveland will be honored at the Inland Northwest Service-Learning Partnership’s Community Engagement Institute in Spokane on April 20 for “Excellence in Community-Based Learning.” She will also share about her ongoing literacy project at St. Aloysius School in a presentation titled “Service-Learning in a Kindergarten Literacy Project” at the event.


In the span of just a few weeks in February, Health Services Administration students met with key health policy leaders on both the national and state level to learn about major health policy issues facing our region and nation. Just as early states had begun casting votes in each party’s 2016 presidential nominating contests, students from the Health Services Administration Organization (HSAO), the student organization of Health Services Administration majors, traveled to Washington, D.C. to hear from health policy insiders at AcademyHealth’s National Health Policy Conference on Feb. 1-2. Eight HSAO members and their advisor, professor Anna Foucek Tresidder, attended the conference, which focused on the 2016 election and its impact on health policy. The plenary speaker, former Democratic governor of Kentucky Steven Beshear, discussed his experience implementing Kentucky’s

Medicaid expansion and state health insurance exchange “Kynect” under provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Other conference speakers discussed issues such as new and changing payment and delivery models, coverage and access, and population health. The group also met with Washington’s two U.S. Senators, Patty Murray (D) and Maria Cantwell (D), during their trip. At the conference, the student founds themselves in elite company. The only two other universities who brought students to the conference were Harvard and Stanford. “Attending the conference allowed us to incorporate and apply all that we have learned within our curriculum to the present real-world scenarios surrounding health policy,” said HSAO president Misty Murphy.

Keynote speaker Laura Kate Zaichkin


A few weeks later, on Feb. 19, the HSAO brought a relevant health policy discussion directly to the EWU Spokane campus at its 10th annual Winter Luncheon. Keynote speaker Laura Kate Zaichkin from the Washington State Health Care Authority’s Office of Health Innovation and Reform came to discuss Accountable Communities of Health (ACHs) in the state of Washington. ACHs are part of the state’s Healthier Washington proposal, a plan for statewide health innovation. The Health Care Authority has designed ACHs to be public/private entities working regionally on collaborative decision-making to improve health care, developing shared priorities and strategies for population health, and innovating within financing and delivery systems to better integrate physical and behavioral health care. Over 100 students, faculty, and health professionals attended the luncheon, including representatives from Washington State University, Whitworth University, Providence, Eastern State Hospital, Better Health Together, Molina Healthcare, and the Spokane Regional Health District. Murphy said the diversity of representation at the luncheon added tremendous value to the discussion after Zaichkin’s remarks. The event also included the inductions of three accomplished local health professionals into the Upsilon Phi Delta Society for health care administrators: Peggy Currie, Chief Nursing Officer for Providence Health & Services; Mary Selecky, Washington State Secretary of Health, retired; and Lyndia Wilson, Division Director for the Spokane Regional Health District.



CHSPH STUDENTS COMPETE IN PARASPORT FUNDRAISERS By the end of the 2015-16 academic year, CHSPH students will have had two opportunities to show off their athletic prowess on the wheelchair. Or lack thereof. Thanks to Zoe White, a secondyear Occupational Therapy student at EWU and volunteer for ParaSport Spokane, CHSPH students have fielded teams in athletic fundraisers for able-bodied persons using wheelchairs. ParaSport Spokane is a non-profit

organization that provides training and competitive opportunities for youth and adults with physical disabilities. Teresa Skinner is a licensed occupational therapist who founded ParaSport Spokane and serves as its Executive Director. Skinner has more than 20 years of experience coaching athletes with physical disabilities and has personally coached some to Olympic success. In November, CHSPH students had

two different teams that competed in ParaSport Spokane’s able-bodied wheelchair 3-on-3 basketball tournament. One team actually won the tournament, in no small part due to its coach, a teen ParaSport athlete named Philip. Students who competed in the tournament said that the experience helped them better appreciate the skill and athleticism required to play basketball using a wheelchair. It also provided ParaSport athletes like Philip an opportunity to show off their expertise and take on a leadership role as ambassadors of their sport. In addition to basketball, ParaSport athletes also participate in paralympic track and field, road racing, and strength and conditioning. White first got involved with ParaSport through an occupational therapy fieldwork placement and continued to work with them as a volunteer. Those experiences inspired her to organize CHSPH teams to compete in some of their fundraisers this year. This spring, White has organized a second ParaSport fundraiser, a wheelchair relay challenge, on the EWU Spokane for April 15. White plans to register 27 teams to compete, including several made up of EWU students, staff, and faculty.

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write an entire page and actually loved writing.” Jen Wigen, another EWU graduate student, said she worked with a student whose mom had dropped out of high school. “By the end, she was talking about going to college,” Wigen said. The student told Wigen she now wants to major in journalism and write for a living.

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