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Greetings from the College of Health Science and Public Health at EWU. We are in our fourth year and are excited to update you on the activities happening in the college as we continue to excel in our clinical training programs and expand new programs. The Health Service Administration program has received accreditation for the new option for Longterm Care. This is the only program with national accreditation this side of the Mississippi. Our Master of Public Health program is expanding its reach with a new partnership with Colombia. Our students will collaborate with medical and nursing students from Colombia to impact health policy in a post-conflict setting. Our students in Occupational Therapy, Dental Hygiene and Public Health have been out in the community engaged in volunteer and service opportunities and our dental clinic continues to serve over 5,000 community members every year. The Successful Stuttering Management Program developed by Emeritus Professor Dorvan Breitenfeldt draws people from all over the world to Spokane every summer. We are thrilled to welcome four new assistant professors to the Physical and Occupational Therapy Department. These faculty members are active clinicians and researchers in areas with significant community health impacts like fall prevention and children with disabilities and will make valuable contributions in teaching and health science research. Finally, we have launched our new fully online Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences. This degree is designed for individuals working with associate degree in health-related fields. See our website for more details: health-sciences I am proud to share with you the work and successes of the faculty, staff and students in the CHSPH at EWU. We are leading the way in training innovative and collaborative allied health professionals in Washington!

Laureen O’Hanlon, Dean College of Health Science and Public Health

EWU AWARDED 100,000 STRONG IN THE AMERICAS INNOVATION FUND GRANT Eastern Washington University, working in partnership with Juan N. Corpas University in Bogotá, Colombia, has been chosen as a 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant winner. The alliance, which involves EWU’s Office of Global Initiatives and the College of Health Science and Public Health, will give students from the two universities the opportunity to conduct research and present public policy proposals on ways to improve health outcomes and increase access in postconflict rural settings in Colombia. This $45,000 grant will allow Eastern and Corpas students to participate in a virtual course, and the project will conclude with a trip of 15 students from the partner universities to a rural area of Colombia to conduct the post-conflict health policy research. The goal of 100,000 Strong in the Americas is to increase the annual number of U.S. students studying in Latin America and the Caribbean to 100,000, and bring 100,000 students to the United States by 2020. This grant is one of five grants awarded by the U.S. State Department, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA Association of International Educators that are intended to stimulate new strategic alliances between institutions of higher education in the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere, leading to innovative and sustainable student exchange and training programs. They will also provide more dynamic learning opportunities for students in STEM, agricultural sciences and social sciences, with an emphasis on post-conflict resolution and peace building. In particular, this grant will allow for the expansion of EWU’s six-year relationship with Juan N. Corpas that former EWU President Rodolfo Arévalo quoted as instrumental in further defining the health mission of EWU’s CHSPH and the university as a whole. Names of students (L to R): Victoria Senechal, Dilli Gautam, Jessica R. Ochoa, Zoe Dugdale and Guillermo Mendez



The Eastern Washington University Dental Hygiene and Master of Public Health students attended the Hands Across the Falls event on Saturday, Sept. 30, as part of Recovery Month, demonstrating public support celebrating recovery. About 200 individuals gathered and joined hands on the Monroe Street Bridge in Spokane, Washington, as a way to show strength and unity for those in recovery.

COMMUNICATION SCIENCES AND DISORDERS HOSTS STUTTERING CLINIC Eastern Washington University hosted an intensive summer workshop for people working to manage a stuttering disorder at the University Hearing and Speech Clinic on the EWU Spokane Campus. The Successful Stuttering Management Program (SSMP) program was developed 52 years ago by Emeritus Professor Dorvan Breitenfeldt, and has been utilized at Eastern since then. SSMP helps clients learn to control and gain confidence in their stuttering, while also training student clinicians on how to work with people who stutter. This year, eight individuals who stutter participated in the program, guided by 16 student clinicians and three former workshop participants. The student clinicians are undergraduate and graduate students in the university programs for communications disorders – a cooperative program of EWU and WSU students in speech-language pathology. “I think [the student clinicians] come to really understand the issue of stuttering. For many of them, this is their first clinical experience,” said Robbie Jackson, graduate program director for the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department. “They learn what the role of clinician or therapist is. It’s not just chatting – it’s being directive, it’s being reinforcing, it’s being overt with the type of activities you’re asking someone to do.” The therapy includes both group and individual work to meet the specific needs of each person. The program is divided into three sections: first, dealing with the fear of stuttering; second, learning techniques to control stuttering; and third, maintaining that approach. “All of these people have stuttered since they were children, which is called developmental stuttering. So this is something that has been part of them forever,” Jackson said. “We’re really working on getting all of the stuttering behavior out in the open instead of a covert way.” The program does not advocate for a cure, but is designed to assist the stutterer in managing the stuttering, the elimination of word and situation fears and developing improved attitude and self-image. “This is tremendously courageous for [people who stutter],” Jackson said. “It’s like facing your worst fear and then having to do that for 8 hours a day, plus homework at night. It’s pretty exhausting. I really value and honor the courage they demonstrate.”

CARFIT EWU Master of Occupational Therapy students Leah, Amy, Mackenzie, Ali, Lauren, Kassy, Maggie and Yasmin participated as trained technicians in a CarFit event at Whitman Hospital and Medical Center in Colfax, Washington, under the supervision of CarFit certified trainer and occupational therapist, Bonnie Kirkpatrick. The students worked with each participant to ensure they “fit” their vehicle properly for maximum comfort and safety.

CHSPH MEET OUR NEW FACULTY Elena Skornyakov What courses are you teaching at EWU? In the Physical Therapy Department: Integumentary Therapeutics I & II, Neuroscience, Applied Neuroscience, Ethics, and Clinical Research What are your research interests? Sleep, rehabilitation outcomes, balance and fall risk. Previous work/research experience: For the past four years, I practiced as a physical therapist at Sacred Heart Medical Center. During that time, I also worked at the Sleep and Performance Research Center, where I investigated the effect of sleep and circadian misalignment due to shift work on fatigue, performance and autonomic activity. Favorite thing about Eastern so far? The people! I am an Eastern graduate – I received both my BS and DPT degrees from Eastern, so I have had a long time to explore the many, many wonderful things about Eastern. The people – the students, faculty, and staff – are phenomenal. Their commitment and drive to succeed is like no other, and contagious. Fahed Mehyar What courses are you teaching at EWU? Functional Anatomy courses What are your research interests? Neuromuscular effects of manual therapy Previous work/research experience: Traveling physical therapist in New York, teaching and research assistant at University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas. Favorite thing about Eastern so far? Working with supportive staff. Amelia Jay

Lucretia Berg


What courses are you teaching at EWU? Theory and Practice in Occupational Therapy, Leadership in Enabling Occupation in Diverse Settings and Capstone Research What are your research interests? I’ve focused my research on the use of modified constraint induced movement therapy with the pediatric population; the impact of experiential learning for second year occupational therapy students preparing for Fieldwork Level II; and the role of occupational therapy for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities entering postsecondary education. Previous work/research experience: An experienced pediatric clinician, mentor and lecturer, Lucretia completed her doctorate in 2016 in educational leadership with a focus on the role of occupational therapy for postsecondary students with intellectual disabilities. She remains passionate about fostering the growth of students and clients with varying abilities to attain optimal life independence or co-independence and competitive wage employment. Lucretia joined the Eastern Washington University Occupational Therapy Department as an assistant professor August 2017. What’s your favorite thing about Eastern so far? Very warm and supportive faculty and students within the Occupational Therapy Department and the general Health Sciences community. I deeply appreciate the focus on “transformative learning” expressed by the EWU mission. Rachel Stankey What courses are you teaching at EWU? I am teaching assistive technology, evidence-based practice, and leadership in the occupational therapy program. What are your research interests? My current research is focusing on the use of video modeling to decrease food selectivity in children with autism.

Previous work experience: Physical Therapist at Sacred Heart Medical Center, Kindred at Home

Previous work/research experience: I have been an OT for 22 years, with the majority of that time spent working in pediatrics in a rural setting. My most recent faculty experiences were at Oregon Health and Science University and the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.

Favorite thing about Eastern so far? Working with people who are passionate about students and the physical therapy profession!

What’s your favorite thing about Eastern so far? I think my favorite thing about EWU so far is the warmth of the faculty, staff and students. My super-short commute is a close second.

What courses are you teaching at EWU? Clinical Education Seminars




Communication Sciences and Disorders • One hundred percent of students who graduated in May with a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders passed the national Praxis exam and were employed within three months of graduation. • Six recent graduates from Communications Sciences and Disorders are presenting their research projects at the national convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Los Angeles in November. Occupational Therapy • MOT3 Student James Wingo presented the research he and two other MOT students did at Vet’s Garage at a conference in Croatia in October. • MOT2 Student Amy Burtelow has been the driving force behind a diversity initiative within the CHSPH which includes faculty and staff education, as well as curriculum development within the OT program. • Susan Burwash participated in an invited one-day workshop on creativity for mental health occupational therapists in Croatia in October. Dental Hygiene • Dental Hygiene had a 100 percent clinical licensure pass rate. Health Services Administration • The Bachelor of Arts in Health Services Administration with Long-term Care program at EWU has received its program accreditation. Eastern is the first program west of the Mississippi with the accreditation, which is valid for five years. Physical Therapy • The Class of 2017 had a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination, which is the licensure exam.

As part of a leadership project, occupational therapy student Amy Burtelow developed and led a college-wide Cultural Sensitivity Workshop on Friday, Oct. 27. Aimed at encouraging discussion around cultural identity, this half-day training asked students to explore their own cultural lens and consider how this may impact their work in health care. Two-hundred students in the College of Health Science and Public Health participated in the workshop which included one or more case studies and small group discussions. The hope is that this activity will continue to spark conversations, start building the skills to engage in dialogue, and enrich further classroom dialogue around issues of cultural identity and sensitivity. The project was sponsored by the Board of Trustees Diversity Initiative Grant and the College of Health Science and Public Health.

HELP MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN Even in these times of perceived economic prosperity, 74 percent of all students attending Eastern receive need-based scholarships, which enable them to pursue and finish their degree. Your financial gift can change the lives of students who pursue a health science degree at EWU by providing much-needed scholarship support. Those students, graduating with strong clinical and analytical skills, are also making change happen by practicing in cities and communities in our region where these skills and abilities are in short supply. Whether modest or large, your personal financial gift can make change happen in a meaningful and immediate way for a student who struggles to pay for tuition, books and supplies, and lab fees while, in many cases, also working a part- or full-time job. To learn more about the College of Health Science and Public Health and how you can make change happen, contact Dennis Hake, director of Philanthropy at 509.359.6979 or

College of Health Sciences and Public Health 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd. Room 133 Spokane, WA 99202-1677 Please recycle. 12442/11.17

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EWU CHSPH Newsletter | November 2017  

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EWU CHSPH Newsletter | November 2017  

College of Health Science & Public Health

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