Page 1




Spinal Cord Injury: Jefferson OT Professor Building New Backbone for Better Diagnostic Techniques


DNP Programs Prepare Tomorrow’s Nursing Leaders



2 0 1 5

“I like the dreams of

the future better than the history of the past. – Thomas Jefferson

As Jefferson alumni, you share a rich history spanning 191 years. Annual gifts are the backbone of this institution and help Jefferson provide students with the best education possible. Your contribution to the Jefferson Fund supports facilities like the Dr. Robert and Dorothy Rector Clinical Skills & Simulation Center, where students across all disciplines gain invaluable hands-on training that prepares them to deliver real-life patient care. The 60,000-square-foot Center includes a mock pharmacy, exam rooms, operating rooms, medical equipment and computerized manikins, all of which require maintenance and upgrading that is made possible through philanthropy. With your support, there’s no limit to what our students can achieve. Make your Jefferson Fund gift today at

Contents Features 2 Message from the Provost 4 Science, Spinal Cord Injury and the Human Bond 10 Why Get a DNP? Understanding the Future of Nursing Education 14 Jefferson School of Population Health Hosts Annual Colloquium 18  Alumna Profile: Megan Doherty, MPH ‘13

ON CAMPUS 20  School of Health Professions 20 School of Nursing 22 School of Population Health 24 School of Pharmacy 26 Class Notes 29 A Fresh Face: Barbara Goldsmith, PhD

Jefferson Review Spring 2015 Executive Vice President Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations Cristina A. Geso Senior Director, Communications Mark P. Turbiville Editor Karen L. Brooks Design Jefferson Creative Services

The Review is published by the Office of Institutional Advancement to encourage alumni interest and support for the Jefferson Schools of Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy and Population Health. Address correspondence to: Editor, the Review 125 S. 9th Street, Suite 700 Philadelphia, PA 19107 The Jefferson community and supporters are welcome to receive the Review on a regular basis; please contact the address above. Postmaster: send address changes to the address above. CopyrightŠ Thomas Jefferson University. All Rights Reserved.

CS 15-0995

2 Jefferson REVIEW

Message from the Provost Since I joined Jefferson as dean of the medical college in 2008, the institution’s culture has made me feel at home. Jefferson values its people, and it shows in our faculty and staff’s allegiance to the institution and unending references to the “Jefferson family.” My new role as university provost and executive vice president for academic affairs is a terrific opportunity to experience the entire breadth of this family in a new way. Knowing that I have helped shape the education our medical students receive has fulfilled me for nearly seven years, and I appreciate this opportunity to lead all of our schools across the healthcare spectrum. As provost, I must understand and appreciate all aspects of the university, from directing space management to articulating an academic vision consistent with the priorities detailed in Jefferson’s Blueprint for Strategic Action, our ambitious plan for the institution’s future. The role of provost, however, requires more than operational knowledge and oversight. I am striving to look inward, helping each of our schools generate responses to an increasingly complex world — one with financial and political challenges, evolving technological resources and more diverse students — while also looking forward to envision how Jefferson might change that world. The single uniting factor we’ve all seen repeatedly across a range of industries is this: high-functioning teams are central to success. Health care is no different. Even in the short time I have spent here, Jefferson has remodeled itself, expanding its scope to become a truly comprehensive health sciences university committed to educating the entire patient care team. Today’s Jefferson goes far beyond its historic roots training doctors and nurses. We are cultivating the skills needed among the myriad professionals who are essential to meeting the nation’s future healthcare needs, from policy leaders to pharmacists to physician assistants. The best way to improve the delivery of health care is to teach all of these professionals to communicate openly and to think and act like a team that has the patient at its center. At Jefferson, students from every school study, work and conduct research with students from other schools through interdisciplinary programming. Across all of our programs we are refining students’ teamwork skills through joint experiences with patient mentors and collaborative exercises at the Dr. Robert and Dorothy Rector Clinical Skills & Simulation Center. The result is that Jefferson graduates are more prepared to play an effective role in caregiving. Health care is grounded in values — from public service to social justice. It’s about idealism — a drive to make the world a better place — and it’s about stark realism — an obligation to implement effective and efficient policies and programs. Shared by students across all disciplines, these motives inspire mutual respect and an appreciation for what each profession brings to the table. While turf issues will inevitably arise as providers’ roles continue to evolve, Jefferson is embracing the reality that today’s health professionals will collaborate on patient care for the rest of their careers. As provost, I will personally see to it that our curricula are molded accordingly. My new responsibilities are substantial, but I will not let administrative duties distract me from my core goal of ensuring an unparalleled educational experience for every student. Jefferson is a more exciting place to be than ever before. This excitement has sustained me in my role as dean and continues to sustain me in my role as provost.

Mark L. Tykocinski, MD Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Jefferson University

Spring 2015 3

4 Jefferson REVIEW

Spring 2015 5


Spinal Cord Injury and the

Human Bond By Sari Harrar


iffusion tensor images are gorgeous and groundbreaking. By tracing

the flow of water through nerve fibers, this relatively new technique creates detailed “snapshots” of the human nervous system. The colorful, highdefinition pictures look like fine art — a mix of Ansel Adams precision and Vincent Van Gogh verve.

Story Summary • In collaboration with investigators at Jefferson and other institutions, MJ Mulcahey, MSOT ’91, PhD, professor of occupational therapy in the Jefferson School of Health Professions, is researching the accuracy of tests used to assess spinal cord injury (SCI) in children. • One promising new technology is diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which captures detailed images of nerve fibers in the spinal cord. Mulcahey and a co-investigator have a $1.7 million National Institutes of Health grant to study its use in the diagnosis of pediatric SCI. • Establishing and validating DTI in children with SCI may lead to better treatment and more opportunities for children to participate in clinical trials.

6 Jefferson REVIEW

For MJ (Mary Jane) Mulcahey, MSOT ’91, PhD, professor of occupational therapy in the Jefferson School of Health Professions, there’s a practical beauty in the scans. With a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, she’s testing whether diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) can improve the diagnosis of spinal cord injuries (SCI) in children and teens. “Kids with SCI and their families deserve a more accurate diagnosis,” she explains. “It would be phenomenal to be able to quickly visualize the extent of injury and where it is located along the spinal cord.” Rehabilitation plans, school placements and a child’s prognosis all depend on an accurate diagnosis after SCI. Because DTI shows the integrity of nerve bundles, called tracts, in the spinal cord, it may be used in the future to study new SCI treatments, including rehabilitation programs, she notes. “Right now, the nerves can only be seen during surgery, and with magnification,” she says. “This could also pave the way for the inclusion of children and teens in phase II and III clinical trials — something that’s extremely rare now, but that almost every family I’ve ever worked with asks about.” In a five-year study that will ultimately scan 75 kids and teens with SCI as well

as 25 with healthy spines as a comparison group, Mulcahey and co-investigator Feroze B. Mohamed, PhD, professor of radiology at the Temple University School of Medicine, are probing DTI’s ability to consistently pinpoint severed, contused (bruised) and crushed fibers in the spinal cord — as well as still-intact ones. The team has already found that DTI can be more accurate than magnetic resonance imaging at spotting pediatric SCI. The project is part of Mulcahey’s mission to put a scientific foundation under the tests widely used to assess pediatric SCI. And it fits into a bigger goal: pushing the age continuum of spinal cord injury research and care in both directions. (Also among her current research projects is an innovative fallprevention program for older adults.) “On the inside, I am very excited. On the outside, I’m very cautious,” says Mulcahey, one of the first researchers in the world to study DTI in children. “DTI shows promise. Now we need to build strong evidence.”

Valid, Reliable, Accurate Every year, about 2,400 babies, kids and teenagers in the United States sustain a spinal cord injury. Car accidents (especially

when car seats and seat belts aren’t used), falls, violence and sports injuries are leading causes. It’s a fraction of the 12,000 SCIs that happen in the U.S. each year, but in many ways the stakes for young people are higher. More than half of all pediatric SCIs occur in the spine’s top-most, cervical region, raising risk for paralysis of arms, legs and even lungs. If the injury happens before a child’s adolescent growth spurt, the risk for scoliosis — curving and twisting of the spine that can affect posture and even interfere with breathing — is extremely high, too. Knowing the location and extent of a child’s injury is crucial for developing an effective rehabilitation plan and predicting future progress, mobility and independence. “But children aren’t small adults,” Mulcahey says. “They can’t always tell you what’s going on.” That’s a challenge. The primary SCI assessment for kids and adults, called the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury, uses muscle strength in the arms and legs and sensation at 56 locations on the body to classify injuries. (Numbness or muscle weakness in specific spots correlates with cord damage.) In a 2007 study published

Diffusion tensor imaging is a type of non-invasive functional magnetic resonance imaging that measures the diffusive transport of water in tissues, which allows for the visualization of microscopic tissue structure. Jefferson occupational therapist MJ Mulcahey, MSOT ’91, PhD, OTR/L, is working to refine this technology to improve pediatric spinal cord injury diagnosis.

Spring 2015 7

Every year, about 2,400 babies, kids and teenagers in the United States sustain a spinal cord injury. More than half of all pediatric SCIs occur in the spine’s top-most, cervical region, raising risk for paralysis of arms, legs and even lungs. Mulcahey works on a pinching exercise with patient Micki Greenstein, who sustained a cervical spinal injury in a diving accident as a teenager.

Laura Krisa, PhD, uses a tool to assess patient Antonio Cancel’s hand function. Cancel — like Greenstein — was injured in a diving accident in his youth. Photos by Karen Kirchhoff.

8 Jefferson REVIEW

in the journal Spinal Cord, Mulcahey and others found that children younger than 4 couldn’t respond accurately to the test. And it distressed kids as old as 10. It was the first time the 25-year-old test had been carefully scrutinized in children. “The assessment can be an ordeal,” she says. “Imagine going through it within 72 hours after a major injury. That’s not easy. All the more reason to make sure it’s accurate.” In 2011 she led a team that recommended not using the scale in children younger than 6. And in 2009, Mulcahey was the principal investigator of a study that found another key part of the test — a rectal exam that helps determine whether a cord injury is complete or incomplete — may not be reliable in children, either. “They may have sensations from other sources even if there’s injury at that level,” she explains. “And many children who were injured before they were toilet-trained don’t understand instructions to squeeze.” Because this assessment gives such important information (the prognosis for an incomplete SCI is often better, and the news is usually more reassuring to families), Mulcahey and neuroscientist Laura Krisa, PhD, assistant professor of physical and occupational therapy at Jefferson, are now investigating its validity in a new way. Krisa is using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to see which brain areas are activated in children during the exam. “We don’t have to ask what they’re feeling; we can tell from brain scans whether the signal came all

the way up the spinal cord from the bottom or not,” Krisa says. “The results will help determine if fMRI is a reliable way to confirm the accuracy of the rectal exam.” Validating SCI tests is challenging work. Mulcahey says it’s worth every moment. “My focus has always been to ask why. As an occupational therapist, if I’m going to work with a child on an intensive rehabilitation program I want to be sure to objectively evaluate the injury and the child’s residual capacities first,” she says. “We need to be very critical of our own recommendations — for adaptive equipment, therapeutic activities and special programs — so they have the utmost benefit. We owe this to children and their families.”

Connections and Collaboration Mulcahey, who became president of the American Spinal Injury Association in May, is enthusiastic about the collaborations that push the research further. “When you have co-principal investigators from different fields coming together, the work is so much stronger. My training is in occupational therapy and my background is in spinal cord injury practice and research. Now I’m working with neuroscientists like Laura Krisa, physicists like Feroze Mohamed and spine surgeons like Alexander Vaccaro, MD, PhD, president of the Rothman Institute at. Our combined expertise makes us all more effective.”

In a new project, she and Vaccaro — the Richard H. Rothman Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and professor of neurosurgery at Jefferson — are teaming up to determine if screening of cognitive function can identify risk for falling by older adults; the screening will be done when adults come to the Rothman Institute for spine evaluations. “Falls are emerging as the leading cause of SCI in healthy older people,” she says. “We will screen adults for risks, including subtle, subclinical declines in executive function, and educate them on staying safe. An SCI in an older adult is more likely to cause severe damage, loss of independence and even death. And that’s tragic since people in this age group have worked hard all their lives and are finally enjoying retirement.” Vaccaro sees the damage and agrees that much is avoidable. “As a spine surgeon at a tertiary spinal cord injury center, I see a lot of adults with spinal injuries. Many of these injuries could have been prevented with appropriate foresight and planning,” he says. “It is MJ’s goal to use the knowledge from this study to prevent falls in older adults and reduce the number of resultant spinal cord injuries. As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’” Meanwhile, Mulcahey remains in touch with families and children she’s worked with at Jefferson and in her previous post as director of rehabilitation and clinical

Spinal Cord Injury by the Numbers: Children versus Adults

Children and Teens


Number per year: 2,400


Average age: 14-15


Top 3 causes:

Car accidents: 44% Sports injuries: 23% (such as football, gymnastics, diving) Violence: 21%

Car accidents: 42% Falls: 27% Violence: 15%

Location of injury:

Upper (cervical) spine: 60-80%

Upper (cervical) spine: 30-40%

Risk for quadriplegia: 65%


Risk for scoliosis:

Nearly 100% if injured before about age 12

About 5%

Male/female ratio:

1:1 in small children, increasing to 2:1 in teens

4:1 in adults

Spring 2015 9

research at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Philadelphia. “I stay in touch with almost all of them — lots of emails, lots of text messages,” she notes. “Some are in their late 30s now. I’m continually awed by their drive and independence. When you work with people with SCI, it’s very intimate. You create a bond that’s beyond a patient-

therapist. It’s a human bond, a commitment to personhood and to living.” To support research initiatives in Jefferson’s Department of Occupational Therapy, contact Greg Schmidt, Director of Development, Jefferson Schools, at or 215-955-0435.

Better Scans of Kids’ Spines Diffusion tensor imaging, the advanced magnetic resonance imaging technique Mulcahey is currently studying with an NIH grant, requires subjects to lie still for 20 to 30 minutes — a challenge for children, teens and researchers alike. Mulcahey and the team have taken these steps to get the best images possible and keep their young study volunteers calm: 1. A child-specific algorithm to subtract

body movement. “A child’s breathing and heartbeats create more tiny movements in the spine than an adult’s do, because their bodies are smaller,” Mulcahey explains. Researchers wrote a motion-correction algorithm for clearer images. 2. A “practice bed.” Once a family agrees

to participate in the study, the child, teen or young adult (study participants range from age 7 to 21) has a chance to try out a practice MRI bed in an occupational therapy gym near Mulcahey’s office. “That way, they know what to expect,” she says. 3. Movies. Volunteers can choose a video

to watch during the imaging. “An ocean movie with whales is the favorite,” she notes. 4. A reassuring presence. “If a child feels

anxious, I’ll sit beside them during the imaging,” Mulcahey says. “They can look up at a mirror and see me.”

Krisa and Mulcahey with longtime patients Cancel and Greenstein. Mulcahey has been working with both men for more than 20 years, both as their treating therapist and later as an investigator of spinal cord injury research.

10 Jefferson REVIEW

Megan Williams, DNP ‘14, is director of population health for Beebe Medical Center. Photo courtesy of Beebe Healthcare.

Spring 2015 11

Why get a DNP? Understanding the Future of Nursing Education By Molly Petrilla

Story Summary • N urses have been earning PhDs and master’s degrees since the 1950s, but over the last decade, interest in a newer program — the Doctor of Nursing Practice — has risen sharply.

• T he DNP is a clinical, practice-focused doctorate — the terminal degree for advanced-practice nurses, similar to DPTs for physical therapists, PharmDs for pharmacists, PsyDs for psychologists and MDs for doctors.

• T he American Association of Colleges of Nursing has been advocating that the DNP become the entry degree for advanced nursing careers, and in 2010 the Institute of Medicine recommended doubling the number of nurses with doctoral degrees by 2020.

“As healthcare providers, very few of us have the resources or time to treat and manage patients with complex chronic medical conditions,” she says. “But I actually do. It’s so rewarding for me to see a family or a child grow up and have a decent quality of life when they have so many odds against them with a debilitating disease like sickle cell. It’s also one of our missions as nurses to work with people in underserved populations. It’s a challenge, but there’s so much opportunity for us as nurses to really make a difference.” With her National Institutes of Health grant-funded position at St. Christopher’s ending in 2009, Anderson began to think about the future. She decided to pursue a terminal nursing degree — one that would prepare her to launch her own program for adults with complex, chronic medical conditions. That’s when Anderson entered the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Jefferson — the degree that helped her found Tova Community Health, Inc., a community-based, nonprofit specialty center focused on sickle cell care.

The Rise of the DNP After years of treating young patients, Nina Anderson, DNP ’12, dreamed of launching her own health center. It was a big dream, she admits, but Anderson — an avid runner and accomplished violinist — has always liked a challenge. She was working as a nurse practitioner in the Marian Anderson Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children at the time, caring for kids with sickle cell anemia and running an outpatient clinic for the hospital’s sickle cell program. Anderson had realized early on that she truly loved this work.

Nurses have been earning PhDs and master’s degrees since the 1950s, but over the last decade, a newer program — the Doctor of Nursing Practice — has been “exploding,” according to Jennifer Bellot, PhD, RN, MHSA, director of Jefferson’s DNP program. You can see it in graphs from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN): In 2006, there were just 20 DNP programs in the country and 103 nursing PhD programs. By 2014, the number had surged to 241 for DNPs and inched up to 131 for PhDs.

12 Jefferson REVIEW

Neva White, DNP ‘11, was in the first class of DNP students at Jefferson and works as a senior health educator in the Jefferson Center for Urban Health. Photo by Karen Kirchhoff.

As opposed to research-oriented PhDs, the DNP is a clinical, practice-focused doctorate — the terminal degree for advancedpractice nurses. Bellot likens it to DPTs for physical therapists, PharmDs for pharmacists, PsyDs for psychologists and MDs for doctors. “In physical therapy, for example, it used to be a master’s degree preparation,” she says. “Now the point of entry into the field is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. That’s a trend we’re seeing in advanced education.” It’s also what the AACN has been advocating: that DNPs become the entry degrees for advanced nursing careers. The AACN first threw its weight behind the DNP in 2004, back when there were just eight clinically focused nursing doctorates in the United States. The AACN voted that year to endorse a Doctor of Nursing Practice as “the most appropriate degree for preparing advanced-practice registered nurses to enter the practice.” It also recommended that all nursing practice master’s programs transition to DNPs by 2015. Eleven years later, that hasn’t happened. But DNP programs continue to pop up around the country, and now enroll more than 14,000 students nationally. Bellot says the DNP gives nurses a 10,000-foot view of clinical care. “As advanced-practice nurses, we already know how to treat patients, and we do that well,” she adds. “If we’re looking to advance the profession and lead change, then we need to pull in leadership skills and population health and all the other areas of clinical care.” That’s why Megan Williams, DNP ’14, came to Jefferson. A family nurse practitioner, she had recently become director of population health for Beebe Healthcare in Delaware — a job that involves community outreach and managing care coordination programs.

“I was at a point in my career where I was taking on more leadership roles, and I felt like the DNP would prepare me well,” she says. “The DNP empowered me with an understanding of the different forces at play in the healthcare system, beyond merely the care that’s provided.” As a DNP student, Williams says she gained more confidence and explored her strengths and weaknesses. She also learned about organizational culture and leading to empower her employees. “We really aim to pull people out of their comfort zones and expand their tool belts,” Bellot says. “For someone who’s been very clinically based, for example, we want to give them leadership skills, communication skills, project-planning and evaluation expertise. Then they’ll really be able to move their practice forward as opposed to being purely a clinician.”

Seeing the Big Picture Jefferson arrived early at the DNP party. It was the fourth accredited program in the country, and its first students enrolled in 2007, just three years after the AACN issued its recommendations. The program covers nine core competencies — everything from organizational behavior, informatics and population health to health policy and evidence-based practice. Bellot describes Jefferson’s DNP as “a generalist program that is customized to each student.” About 70 percent of those who enroll are practicing clinicians; 30 percent are nurse administrators. “We see all kinds of people,” she adds. Neva White, DNP ’11, arrived in the first class of DNP students at Jefferson. A senior health educator in the Jefferson Center for Urban Health, she already had a master’s in nursing and a postmaster’s certificate for a nurse practitioner — but White craved more learning opportunities.

Spring 2015 13

As she studied the role of nurses, the future of nursing and the dynamics of health care, White began to examine the bigger picture — beyond her immediate work in diabetes care management. “My focus went from the individual patient to looking at populations and how we can change systems, change policies,” she says. As her DNP project, White pursued an accredited, certified diabetes education program for the Jefferson Center for Urban Health. She analyzed the Center’s capacity and looked at national standards. Then she pilot-tested and confirmed that her department could handle such a program. “This wasn’t something I was just doing for my project,” she adds. “This was something I was doing for my real life.” After finishing her DNP, White got the diabetes education program accredited. But her work didn’t stop there. Jefferson’s endocrinology office wanted an accredited program, too, so White and the Center for Urban Health transferred the accreditation received to that division. “Now it’s making a system impact at the hospital level,” she says. “That’s the DNP: It helps you understand that care is bigger than your work, it’s bigger than your department — it’s what we’re trying to do as an entity. Even more than that, how can we impact what’s happening nationally in diabetes with our voice? The DNP is taking clinical practice and moving it to its highest level for its greatest impact.” “I think that nurses who are pursuing leadership roles, who are looking to be clinical experts, who want to advance health, should consider this their terminal degree,” she adds. “And clinically, those people who want to remain clinicians and advance clinical practice should also consider it.”

Anderson, the violinist-nurse, wants to be one of those change agents. She went into the DNP with dreams for her own sickle cell health center and used her class assignments to fashion a business plan. She established Tova Community Health partway through the DNP program. Anderson says Tova is a one-stop shop for sickle cell patients — somewhere they can receive primary care coordination, get referrals, meet with a social worker, confer with a hematologist. “I’m always trying to challenge myself to learn something new — to be the best I can in my specific area of expertise,” she says. “The DNP program was integral in helping me reach the milestones I’d set for myself.” “It also prepared me for some of the struggles I’m dealing with now,” she adds. “Physicians, hospitals, institutions — they still don’t fully understand our role, what our scope of practice is. I think that’s going to change over time. As more nurses get their doctorates, more people will recognize we are a fundamental part of healthcare transformation and innovation.”

A Nurse’s Role Advanced-practice nurses are vital caregivers, and their role continues to expand as health care transforms. According to the AACN, advanced-practice nurses can now prescribe medication in at least 45 states, and they can practice without physician collaboration or supervision in 16 states. But while 13 percent of nurses hold graduate degrees, as of 2010, fewer than 1 percent had doctoral degrees in nursing or a nursing-related field — a degree that can affect their leadership and advancement opportunities. That’s something the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is hoping to change. In a 2010 report on the future of nursing, it recommended doubling the number of nurses with doctoral degrees by 2020. The DNP is a step in that direction. As the IOM noted in a statement: “Nurses’ roles, responsibilities and education should change significantly to meet the increased demand for care that will be created by healthcare reform and to advance improvements in America’s increasingly complex health system.” Williams says that’s part of why she pursued a DNP. “With healthcare reform and all the changes filtering down, I think it’s really important that nurses have a place at the table,” she says. “I think the DNP prepares nurses to really step to the forefront. It’s a good fit for nurses who want to be active change agents and to lead in transforming health care.”

Jennifer Bellot, PhD, RN, MHSA, director of Jefferson’s DNP program, connects with a student. Photo by Karen Kirchhoff.

14 Jefferson REVIEW

Judd Hollander, MD, associate dean for strategic health initiatives at Jefferson, helped kick off the Colloquium’s special evening program on telehealth.

Photos by Roger Barone.

Ido Schoenberg, MD, chairman and CEO of American Well Corp.; Robert Rosenwasser, MD, the Jewell L. Osterholm, MD, Professor and Chair of Jefferson’s Department of Neurological Surgery; and Warren Bromberg, MD, chief medical officer of MDAgree, Inc., participated in the telehealth panel discussion.

Speaker Jeff Arnold answers a question from David Nash.

Marci Nielsen, PhD, MPH, co-chaired the Colloquium with Nash as well as Jeffrey Brenner, MD, executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. April Smith, admissions/program coordinator for JPSH, greets a conference attendee.

Jefferson President and CEO Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, with Nash.

Spring 2015 15

jefferson school of population health hosts annual colloquium

Industry Experts Analyze Latest Trends in Population-Based Care Computers, tablets and smartphones forever changed communication as we once knew it. And now they are also changing the face of health care. Telehealth has expanded rapidly to allow patients to “visit” their healthcare providers virtually using new technologies. More than 10 million consumers used telehealth last year, and that number is expected to double within the next two years. On March 22, a special evening summit assessing the benefits and challenges of telehealth kicked off the 15th Population Health Colloquium, hosted by the Jefferson School of Population Health. The Colloquium continued over the next three days with presentations highlighting policy and practice changes and real-world initiatives that are improving outcomes and patient care. More than 700 attendees from across the nation participated in the event, held at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel and co-chaired by David Nash, MD, MBA, dean of JSPH and the Dr. Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy at Jefferson; Jeffrey Brenner, MD, executive director of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers; and Marci Nielsen, PhD, MPH, chief executive officer of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative. The need for widespread telehealth initiatives was a theme that recurred throughout the conference, particularly during the opening day’s joint plenary session with the Medical Home Summit, a concurrent conference focused on the patient-centered medical home model. Presenter Jeff Arnold, chairman and CEO of Sharecare — a social network platform that provides users with personalized information, programs and resources to improve their health — urged providers

to cater to their patients’ lifestyles, which today means engaging with them virtually. Arnold pointed to research showing that 25 percent of smartphone owners ages 18-44 can’t recall the last time their phone wasn’t right next to them, and another 25 percent don’t go longer than half an hour with their phone out of earshot. “We have to build tools people can’t live without,” Arnold said. And when it comes to the future of health care, “I would bet the farm on mobile.” Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, president and chief executive officer of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System, also delivered a keynote address, “How I Messed Up Health Care in America (Put Your Name Here),” a candid push to stop the “blame game” for the shortcomings in today’s system and instead implement essential changes going forward — changes in how health institutions are managed, how clinicians approach teamwork, how students are accepted and how curricula are shaped. Other speakers throughout the event included industry leaders such as: • Esther Dyson, chair, EDventure Holdings; • Ray Fabius, MD, co-founder and president, HealthNEXT;

• Christopher Kay, JD, senior vice president and chief innovation officer, Humana, Inc.; • Robert Laskowski, MD, MBA, former CEO and president, Christiana Care Health System, Inc.; • Don McDaniel, MBA, president and CEO, Sage Growth Partners, LLC; • Roy Rosin, MBA, chief innovation officer, Penn Medicine, Center for Health Care Innovation; and many others. Also participating was Gregory Dorn, MD, president of Hearst Health, who announced the creation of the annual Hearst Health Prize, a $100,000 cash award that will recognize an organization’s or individual’s achievement in managing or improving wellness. The call for submissions will open this summer, and the inaugural winner will be announced at the 2016 Population Health Colloquium. The final day of this year’s event focused on “super-utilizers,” or patients with complex medical issues who consume a high proportion of healthcare resources. Discussions addressed intervention strategies to better care for this group and finding longterm strategies to improve their health while reducing their use of the system.

The Colloquium will be archived for six months and is available for purchase at For more information, contact Melissa Horowitz, JSPH’s Project Director, at

Mark your calendar! Next year’s Population Health Colloquium will be held at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, March 7–9, 2016.

16 Jefferson REVIEW

Giving Matters Joann M. Ludwig ’67 Annual Scholarship Supports Radiologic Sciences Students

Joann M. Ludwig, JSHP ‘67

 udwig L had always loved Jefferson and cared deeply about its students.

When the Jefferson School of Health Professions created its Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2001, there was no disputing that Joann Ludwig deserved to be its first recipient. A 1967 graduate of the radiologic sciences program, Ludwig kept close ties to Jefferson throughout her life, even serving as president of the JSHP Alumni Board of Directors from 1999–2001. As board president, Ludwig worked tirelessly to inspire alumni to remain active with the university through open houses, phonathons and new-student orientations. She introduced many new alumni programs and hosted the first holiday reception for alumni living in Bucks County at her home in December 2000. One of her primary goals was to foster camaraderie between Jefferson graduates and students, and she encouraged alumni participation in campus events such as exam-week coffee breaks, winter socials and class nights. She continued her involvement with the board long after her tenure as president ended. In late 2013, after learning she had pancreatic cancer, Ludwig and her husband, Fran, generously decided to build on the legacy of leadership she had already cemented at Jefferson by establishing the Joann M. Ludwig ’67 Annual Scholarship to support students pursuing a degree in radiologic sciences. Ludwig had always loved Jefferson and cared deeply about its students, and she and Fran were committed to helping those who wanted to devote their careers to radiologic sciences. They knew the demand for skilled radiologic professionals was already high and would grow over time as technological advances evolved and baby boomers reached their senior years. Ludwig died at age 67 on May 30, 2014, but her generous and compassionate spirit lives on through the memories shared by her husband; her daughter, Kristin; her son, Andrew; her brother; Daniel; and numerous other family members. Her warmth will also be felt for years to come by the students who benefit from the Ludwig Scholarship and the many patients they will serve throughout their careers.

Contributions in Ludwig’s memory can be made to the Joann M. Ludwig ’67 Annual Scholarship Fund at

Spring 2015 17

Part of our


A Letter from Elizabeth A. Dale, EdD At Jefferson, we are all about the students — present and past: current students and alumni. And just as you’ve kept growing and changing since your graduation, so has your alma mater. When he first arrived at Jefferson, Dr. Klasko told us that no one could say what the future of health care would look like, but he promised that in five years, Jefferson would not look like it did then. He has been making good on that promise ever since. Jefferson has a brilliant 191-year history. Medical firsts are part of our DNA. But as great as we are — as great as we’ve been — what we know is that if we keep doing everything the same way, our future isn’t going to be as bright as our past. Dr. Klasko never tires of pointing out that the “old math” that once supported academic medical centers — NIH funding, clinical reimbursements and tuition — no longer adds up. To the traditional pillars that have long upheld these enterprises — the Academic Pillar of teaching and research, and the Clinical Pillar of patient care — Jefferson has added two more pillars: Innovation and Philanthropy. Going forward, the “new math” will be computed using this unique four-pillar model. Jefferson will seize opportunities, create

new ideas and invest in directions that fundamentally transform health care. We are the kind of place that people want to invest in, because we couple our distinguished history with vision, optimism and energy that enable us to continue making history. Our alumni are an indispensable part of that equation, and we want to get to know you better and help you to know us. Jefferson’s Office of Institutional Advancement has recruited a new Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations, Cristina Geso, who has more than 27 years of experience creating and leading alumni programs. She is building on Jefferson’s existing programs to strengthen alumni ties, create new pathways for engagement and cultivate strong, lifelong relationships between Jefferson and alumni from all of our schools. Cristina is working this year to increase by 75 percent the number of alumni events, here on campus and across the country. Expanded offerings will include lifelong-learning and career-development events as well as cultural and social events. Her team is also creating new opportunities for alumni to serve as Jefferson speakers, panelists and mentors as well as leaders

on alumni association boards and committees. Our alumni have many gifts to give; we see it every day in the successful careers you build, in your deep commitment to health science and compassionate care and above all, in the passion and gratitude you show in countless ways for your alma mater. I invite you to send me an email ( or give me a call (215-503-5138). Tell me how Jefferson can reach out to more alumni or how you’d like to be involved. Get in touch with Cristina ( or 215-955-8164) and let her know if you’d like to host an alumni event, what alumni relations programs and services you’d like to see or how you might serve Jefferson. Or come visit our campus in Philly for an alumni event or anytime. We would love to hear from you. You are not just a part of Jefferson’s past; you are a part of our future

Elizabeth Dale, EdD Executive Vice President, Institutional Advancement

18 Jefferson REVIEW

Alumna Profile Megan Doherty, MPH ’13: Spreading a Global Health Message

In summer 2014, Doherty had an opportunity to meet the Ashanti King, Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, at an invitation-only ceremony during which her Capstone preceptor and second author on her paper, physician Ellis Owusu-Dabo, announced a partnership focused on Type 2 diabetes in Ghana.

Spring 2015 19

Megan Doherty, MPH ’13, has felt drawn to West Africa for most of her life. As a result of that invisible pull, she’s lived, worked and conducted research throughout the region — including a recent study on Type 2 diabetes in Ghana. A graduate of the Jefferson School of Population Health, she is now administrative director of the Global Health Programs office at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Doherty spoke with us about her extensive global work and the path that led her there. In 11th grade, Doherty read Chinua Achebe’s first novel. Thanks to “Things Fall Apart” — a story about Nigerian tribal life before and after colonialism — everything came together for her. “It really set me on a certain trajectory and drew me to West Africa,” she says. “I became interested in the impact of colonialism and the effects it had, especially in rural areas.” Nine years and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology later, she boarded a plane to Mali, headed for her Peace Corps site assignment. For two years, she worked with a small government maternity and health center there. She lived 50 kilometers from the only paved road, walked to the market once a week and “ate everything I was served, which is why my host family loved me.” But those early questions about Western impact lingered. “What is the value of Westerners going into African countries?” she says. “Those questions were always there for me. I knew I was the one gaining something from my Peace Corps experience, not the other way around.”

Shaping a Global Presence After the Peace Corps, Doherty returned to the United States and got a job with the University of Pennsylvania’s engineering school. She coordinated an IT training project in Mali and Ghana and spent the next 13 years supporting the school’s international and service-learning programs. Now, as director of global health programs at Penn’s medical school, she is helping to connect faculty researchers with global partners and placing medical students in international rotations. “I really wanted to do this job because of the capacity-building impact potential,” she says. “I’m very interested in helping other countries with their training capacity.”

Diabetes in Ghana Doherty examined Type 2 diabetes in Ghana for her Capstone at Jefferson. Through focus groups with patients and interviews with their caregivers, she found that most people had internalized a basic tenet: If it tastes very sweet and it isn’t fruit, avoid it. Patients also knew they should eat less starch and more stew at their meals, but said it was too expensive to actually do so. Yet people in each focus group pointed out that it doesn’t have to be pricier — not if you choose local vegetables. “That was a turning point for me,” she says. “My recommendation was to capitalize on pride of cultural cuisine by eating more local vegetables.”

Sharing Work In November 2014, Doherty made her first trip to the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting. She spoke about her

Doherty carries a baby in the compound of one of her focus group participants.

diabetes research in Ghana and about a project at Penn — and she wasn’t the only one there with Jefferson ties: eight other MPH alumni and five Jefferson School of Population Health faculty members also presented at the five-day meeting. “It was exciting to share my research,” she says. “Poster sessions are a great chance to meet other researchers with common interests, so I really enjoyed that as well.”

Local Health Is Global Health When she decided to pursue an MPH, Doherty chose Jefferson in part because of professor James Plumb, MD, MPH, who has worked in East Africa since 1992. “I liked that he had a commitment to working there and to enabling Rwandan medical researchers to come to Jefferson for research experiences,” she says. “I could tell he was doing it for the right reasons, and I felt like he would be a really good mentor.” She was also drawn to Jefferson’s Center for Refugee Health and wound up doing her clerkship there several years later. “I wanted to do a degree that encompassed both sides: some experience with local immigrant and refugee health, and some with global, on-the-ground issues,” she says. “I knew I could customize my MPH degree to a global focus without having a track in global health.” For Doherty, local and global health are intertwined — especially in her own work. She says global health is a major issue in Philadelphia, mostly because of the large immigrant populations. “With the fluidity of the population transnationally, it’s very important not to lose sight of the global concerns that are right here in Philly.” — Molly Petrilla

20 Jefferson REVIEW

OnCampus Gilman



School of health professions

School of nursing

Jefferson Named Best Radiologic Technologist Training Program

Schaaf, Colleagues Co-Author Top Article

Swan Recognized as Nursing Leader

At the Radiological Society of North America’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago in December 2014, Jefferson’s Department of Radiologic Sciences received top honors as Best Radiologic Technologist Training Program. This award is part of an annual competition held by, a comprehensive website for radiology professionals. The awards, known as the “Minnies,” are the site’s way of recognizing the best and brightest in medical imaging. Frances Gilman DHSc, RT(R)(CT) (MR)(CV), associate professor and chair of the Department of Radiologic Sciences, also was named first runner-up as Most Effective Radiologic Technologist Educator at the conference.

Roseann C. Schaaf, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy, along with several Jefferson colleagues and a team of therapists from Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Jersey, authored one of the “Most Influential Articles of 2013/2014” in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. The article, “An Intervention for Sensory Difficulties in Children with Autism: A Randomized Trial,” described a rigorous trial of occupational therapy using sensory integration for children with autism, compared to usual care. Schaaf and her colleagues are working on several projects that follow up on their study.

JSN Dean Beth Ann Swan, PhD, CRNP, has been elected to Distinguished Fellowship in the National Academies of Practice (NAP) and the Nursing Academy as a Distinguished Scholar & Fellow. A Distinguished Practitioner, Scholar or Policy Fellow within the NAP is a high honor that acknowledges outstanding achievements and recognizes Swan as a leader in her profession. Swan will work with other healthcare leaders and NAP practitioners to influence national health policy and legislation and to promote quality care through cooperative advocacy, practice, education and research. Swan also has been appointed to the Veterans Administration Choice Act Blue Ribbon Panel, which will conduct an independent review and draft an integrated final report of the Choice Act assessments (assessments of healthcare delivery systems and management processes of the Department of Veterans Affairs) to ensure the recommendations serve U.S. veterans and transform the VA into an effective 21st-century model of service.

Goldsmith Named Bioscience Technologies Chair Barbara Goldsmith, PhD, is the new chair of the Department of Bioscience Technologies. Goldsmith has a dual appointment; she also is professor in the Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson. She came to Jefferson from Temple University, where she was a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and director of clinical chemistry. (For more about Goldsmith, see page 29).

New Grad Inducted into Honor Society Chelsea Karacz, MS ’15 (bioscience technologies), recently was inducted into the prestigious American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Honor Society. Karacz also was selected to be student keynote speaker at Bucks County Community College’s Women in Science Day in March and successfully competed for a two-year National Institutes of Health post-graduate fellowship. She was the first in her family to attend college.

Miller Selected for Prestigious AACN Program Janice M. Miller, DNP, CRNP, CDE, assistant professor of nursing and coordinator of Jefferson’s adult nurse practitioner program, was one of eight

Jefferson Ranked in Top 100 Graduate Nursing Programs by U.S.News




U.S.News & World Report has ranked the Jefferson School of Nursing in the top 100 Best Graduate Nursing Schools in the country. The report, released on March 10, 2015, uses a number of statistical data sources and expert opinions to rank schools. Among the data sources are reputation, acceptance rate, student-faculty ratio and faculty credentials.

nurse educators selected by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses to participate in the 2015 Faculty Policy Intensive (FPI) in Washington, D.C., in March. Now in its third year, the FPI is a fully funded, four-day immersion program designed for faculty at AACN member schools who are interested in elevating their role in shaping health policy. The 2015 cohort was chosen from a pool of more than 30 applicants.

JSN Partners with Bryn Athyn Bryn Athyn College, a small liberal arts school in Montgomery County, Pa., and JSN have formed a new partnership through which Bryn Athyn students can attend nursing classes at Jefferson. Beginning this fall, students will be able to obtain a bachelor of science degree in nursing while still pursuing their liberal arts courses at Bryn Athyn either through dual admission, attending both schools simultaneously or completing a transfer program, attending Bryn Athyn for the first two years and Jefferson for the last two.

DNP Students Receive Awards Doctor of Nursing Practice student Sitha Dy received the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s 2014 Quality and Safety Award for her submission, “Multi-Facet Approach in Centralizing Falls Prevention.” There were more than 110 submissions for the award.

Photo by Karen Kirchhoff.

Jordanian Nurses Train at Jefferson In October 2014, JSN and the Department of Nursing at Jefferson Hospital welcomed four Jordanian nurses for an advanced nursing immersion experience. Thanks to this unique partnership between Jefferson and Jordan, these nurses spent three months gaining advanced clinical skills at sites throughout Jefferson. A shared goal of advancing the practice of nursing around the world also drew Jordan’s Princess Muna Al-Hussein to visit Jefferson on Oct. 11. One of the world’s most vocal advocates for nurses and patients, Princess Muna met with Jefferson staff and discussed developments in the nursing profession and nursing education.

22 Jefferson REVIEW





School of population health Angela Coladonato, another DNP student, received a special projects grant from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders to complete her DNP practice inquiry project, “The Impact of Nurse Leader Emotional Intelligence on Staff Nurse Job Satisfaction.”

Students Perform CPR at Jefferson Station In November 2014, two junior nursing students, Maddie Winters and Andrew Giannini, tended to an unconscious man in SEPTA’s Jefferson Station as they were headed to their train after class. While waiting for emergency medical personnel to arrive, they worked together quickly to evaluate the situation and perform CPR prior to EMS response. “These students leave no doubt that they are well on their way to being excellent nurses,” JSN Dean Swan said.

PCOM Students Can Earn MPH at Jefferson

JSPH Forms Partnership with VHA, Inc.

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) faculty and staff members have joined with JSPH in an agreement that will allow DO students the opportunity to receive a Master of Public Health degree from Jefferson while completing their coursework at PCOM. Those embarking on the dual-degree path can attain both degrees in as few as five years. Through the partnership, DO students can attend Jefferson full time for the year between what traditionally would be the third and fourth years of PCOM’s osteopathic medical program. In addition to MPH students, PCOM students will study alongside other dual-degree students, including Jefferson medical students, who are also pursuing a graduate public health degree.

JSPH has joined together with VHA, Inc., a national healthcare network aiming to improve performance and efficiency, to develop and deliver professional development on population health, governance and other healthcare transformation topics. The first event resulting from the partnership, a Population Health Symposium, was held in November 2014 in Philadelphia and focused on the fundamentals of population health. Early adopters, including Nash, offered their insights on successful delivery, accountable care models, data analytics and more. Additional sessions will be planned in various regions going forward. “Having worked alongside VHA for several years now, I know they can bring the right scale to a project to really drive significant and lasting change,” Nash said. “I couldn’t be more excited about the positive impact that working together with VHA will have on our mission around population health.”

Nash Joins Virgin Pulse Science Advisory Board JSPH Dean David Nash, MD, MBA, has been named to the newly created Science Advisory Board for Virgin Pulse, the Virgin Group company that was one of the early entrants into digital platforms for employee health, wellness and engagement. Board members are health and well-being experts who will guide Virgin Pulse’s future innovation and product development efforts.

Spring 2015 23

MPH Students Visit Harrisburg for ‘Public Health Policy Day’ Jefferson’s Master of Public Health class traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., on Feb. 27, 2015, to discuss public health issues and policy initiatives including immunizations, tobacco use and Ebola management. Students met with several key leaders including Karen Murphy, PhD, MBA, RN, acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health; Martin Raniowski, deputy secretary for health planning and assessment; and Whitney Krosse, Esq., general counsel and executive director for the Health Committee at the PA House of Representatives, before concluding their day with a private tour of the State Capitol. Rob Simmons, DrPH, MPH, MCHES, CPH, Jefferson’s program director for public health, is pictured with the group.

Jefferson Hosts ACMQ National Workshop Jefferson hosted the American College of Medical Quality’s Fifth Annual National Workshop on Quality for Medical Education, “Future Leaders in Quality and Safety,” on Dec. 6, 2014. The interprofessional program, moderated by David Nash, brought together more than 50 students in various stages of their medical, nursing, pharmacy and related careers. Several Jefferson faculty members served as speakers and facilitators.

Pictured (from left to right) are workshop participants Jason Hall, UAB School of Medicine; Ben Schanker, Harvard Medical School; Heidi Nicewarner, Boston Medical College; Andrew Jerdonek, executive director, ACMQ; Nash; Diana Huang, Temple University and mid-year conference coordinator, ACMQ; Martin Wegman, national president, student and resident section, ACMQ; and Mark Lyles, MD, MBA, FACMQ, vice president, ACMQ.

Many students and young professionals are enthusiastic about improving outcomes, controlling unsustainable costs and ensuring quality and safety — but they often lack structured training in these areas. This workshop served to inform up-and-coming healthcare leaders on quality and safety issues and career paths so they can effect change in their institutions and organizations.

24 Jefferson REVIEW



School of pharmacy School of Pharmacy Sunday Shoyele, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, has been awarded a prestigious University City Science Center QED Proof of Concept Award. This year’s awardees, who will receive a total of $650,000, were selected from a pool of 68 applicants and nine universities in the Greater Philadelphia region and include researchers developing technologies for high-speed eye exams, cancer treatment, stem cell growth and healthcare sanitation. Shoyele is developing a product for delivering highly degradable gene inhibitors to cancer and other cells using antibody-based nanoparticles.

Brailoiu Published in Special Issue Gabriela Cristina Brailoiu, MD, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, had a paper selected for an Experimental Physiology special issue highlighting important contributions to the field of experimental physiology made by women. Brailoiu’s paper is titled “Bradycardic effects mediated by activation of G protein-coupled estrogen receptor rat nucleus ambiguous.”



pharmacy Student News

Sanoski is ACCP Leadership Candidate

JSP Faculty and Students Honored

Cynthia Sanoski, PharmD, BCPS, chair and associate professor of pharmacy practice, is a candidate for president-elect of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. A frequent national lecturer, Sanoski speaks on numerous topics in cardiovascular disease management, the majority of which have focused on the treatment of acute and chronic cardiac arrhythmias. She has published in a number of peer-reviewed journals and written several book chapters on the management of acute and chronic arrhythmias and medication-induced cardiovascular side effects.

On Sept. 27, 2014, at the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association’s annual conference in Pittsburgh, assistant professor Nicholas Leon, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP, received the Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award, and fourth-year student Joseph Fulginiti received the George H. Searight Community Service Award, which honors a pharmacist or student pharmacist who has shown outstanding devotion to PPA and community service efforts to enhance the image of the pharmacy profession within the community.

King Elected Officer of Regional Pharmacist Organization Amber King, PharmD, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, has been elected Secretary of the Mid-Atlantic College of Clinical Pharmacy, a regional chapter of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy that provides continuing education and networking opportunities to pharmacists in clinical practices.

On the same day, students Walid Hammoud, Jonathan Valenzano, Jeremiah Warner and Marcell Vasquez presented in the PPA’s “Achieving Independence” competition, designed to foster entrepreneurial spirit among pharmacy students to one day own their own pharmacy.

Student Makes Good Catch Andrew Shaffer, a third-year student pharmacist at JSP, received a “Good Catch” Award from the Medication Safety Committee at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for recognizing and preventing a tenfold heparin overdose in a patient. CHOP chief operating officer Madeline Bell presented the award to Shaffer, who is an intern in the organization’s pharmacy department.

Spring 2015 25

Meyer serves as a mentor to many JSP students.

Scholarship Fund to Honor JSP Educator Gerald E. Meyer When asked to describe Gerald Meyer, PharmD, MBA, FASHP, Jefferson alumni consistently echo the same sentiments: stellar teacher, wise mentor, inspiring role model, caring friend. To recognize Meyer’s tremendous influence on Jefferson as well as the pharmacy profession as a whole, JSP is working to establish the Gerald E. Meyer Scholarship Fund, which will help the school attract top-tier applicants and alleviate the burden of debt felt by many students. An associate professor of pharmacy practice and director of experiential education, Meyer has been part of JSP since its founding and has been a leader among Jefferson pharmacy staff for nearly four decades, including serving as assistant director of operations and director of resident training in the hospital’s Department of Pharmacy. Meyer has been recognized with numerous awards for both teaching and professional achievement. Most recently, last fall the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia named him the recipient of its annual Alumni Award, given to a graduate distinguished by “having contributed in outstanding fashion to the profession, to science and/or to mankind.” If you are interested in honoring Meyer with a contribution to the Meyer Scholarship Fund, please contact Greg Schmidt, Director of Development, at or 215-955-0435 or visit

26 Jefferson REVIEW

ClassNotes Margo (Finkel) Abramson, BS ’87 (occupational therapy), and Erica Dorland, DPT ’12, both employees of Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington, Pa., recently received their certification as Certified Stroke Rehabilitation Specialists.

JoAnn Aichroth, BS ’13 (radiologic sciences), RDMS, RVT, had an article called “Retroaortic Left Renal Vein” in the Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography that was the second most-downloaded article in 2013. Traci B. Fox, EdD, RT(R), RDMS, RVT, assistant professor and clinical coordinator of the diagnostic medical sonography program in the Department of Radiologic Sciences, co-authored the piece. John Bankhead, BSN ’92, was a Philadelphia Fire Department paramedic before graduating from Jefferson. His book, “Somebody’s Got to Do It,” was published by Gypsy Publications in June 2014 and contains 79 stories taken from his career in the first mobile intensive care rescue squad in Philadelphia. He is now retired and lives in Pinellas Park, Fla. Anne M. Fink, BSN ’92, completed her PhD at Villanova University in 2011 and joined the University of Pennsylvania as assistant dean for curricular initiatives in July 2014. Sally Foster-Chang, DNP ’14, had a manuscript, “Tuberculosis Screening of New Hospital Employees: Compliance, Clearance to Work Time and Cost Using

Dori Lawson, DN ‘78, MSN, DNP

Tuberculin Skin Test and Interferon-Gamma Release Assays,” accepted for publication in Workplace

Health & Safety.

Devorah Kees, BS ’14 (radiologic sciences), RDCS, RVT, had an article, “Spontaneous Popliteal Artery Entrapment,” published in the American Society of Radiologic Technologists’ January/February 2015 issue of Radiologic Technology. Kees wrote the article while still a student at Jefferson. Dori Lawson, DN ’78, MSN, DNP, received the 2014 Alumni Professional Achievement Award from

Delaware County Community College (DCCC) at its May 2014 commencement ceremony, during which she also served as keynote speaker. This award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated distinction in their field. Lawson is a 2003 DCCC graduate and works as a nurse practitioner at Cardiology Associates of West Reading, Pa., where she manages the anticoagulation clinic, doing stress tests and treating acute care patients at Reading Hospital. She also serves as a mentor for DNP candidates and nurse practitioner students, along with lecturing to various

groups about emerging issues in cardiology and health and wellness. Lawson earned her DNP at Robert Morris University in 2012. She lives in Atglen, Pa. Melissa Muller, OTD ’12, OTR/L, designed the Young Empowerment Stroke Support program at MossRehab in Jenkintown, Pa., as a Capstone project for her Jefferson OTD degree. The program offers communitybased services for younger individuals with stroke by addressing their needs, lifestyles and goals to promote socialization and quality of life. Muller has worked with patients

Spring 2015 27

recovering from stroke at MossRehab for nine years. Deirdre Kearns O’Neill, BS ’88 (medical technology), is director of laboratory informatics at NMS Labs in Willow Grove, Pa. She is married with two sons, ages 13 and 17. William Pezzotti, BSN, MSN ’11, works as a critical care nurse practitioner and is pursuing his DNP at West Chester University. He lives in Kennett Square, Pa. Lisa Plowfield, BSN ’86, MSN, PhD, was appointed dean of the College of Health Professions at Towson University in July 2014. Susie (Korotkin) Rehr, BS ’86 (physical therapy), is the executive director of Special Strides, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides physical and occupational therapy for predominately pediatric clients using hippotherapy treatment techniques. The clinic is located on a 200-acre horse farm in Monroe, N.J. She and her husband, Eric Rehr, MD ’87, live in Marlboro, N.J., and have two daughters who are both pursuing Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees at Quinnipiac University.

Hana Renor, BSN ’04, MSN ’06, began working at the National University Hospital in Singapore in spring 2014 as part of an elite cohort of four Americantrained advanced practice nurses along with several British and Australian nurse managers and nurse clinicians working at the facility. The project was an initiative by the Singapore Ministry of Health to elevate the standard of nursing in Singapore by bringing in foreign clinicians. Mary Woltemate Stec, DN ’73, PhD, RN, CNE, is an assistant professor at Temple University. She recently presented “Build Classroom Examinations with NCLEXRN in Mind” at the National League for Nursing summit and also was accepted for this presentation at Sigma Theta Tau International. She also spoke at a Widener University Graduate Research Symposium, presenting “Health as Expanding Consciousness: Patterns of Clinical Reasoning in Baccalaureate Nursing Students.” Stec is a member of the National League for Nursing CNE Test Construction Committee and served on the Accreditation

Keep us in the Loop! Please send class notes or alumni obituaries to: Editor, The Review 125 S. 9th Street, Suite 700 Philadelphia, PA 19107 Be sure to include your name, program, degree(s), Jefferson class year and city of residence along with your personal or professional news.

Commission for Education in Nursing Board of Commissioners from 2010-2013. She lives in Chester Springs, Pa. Barbara Todd, DNP ’10, CRNP, FAANP, recently had an award named in her honor by her employer, Penn Medicine. The Barbara Todd Advanced Practice Leadership Award will be given each year by Penn Medicine during National Nurse Practitioner Week, which celebrates exceptional healthcare providers and encourages nurse practitioners to practice to the full extent of their experience and education. Todd also received the 2015 American Association of Nurse Practitioners Nurse Practitioner Advocate State Award for Excellence from Pennsylvania. This award is given annually to an individual in each state who has made a significant contribution to increasing awareness and acceptance of nurse practitioners. Amy Russo Wellen, BSN, MSN ’11, is practicing in St. Louis, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and their two sons, Solomon and Levi.

IN MEMORIAM Mary Varker Lytle, BS ’45 (bioscience technologies), of Portland, Ore., died Nov. 9, 2013. Lytle worked as a medical technologist at various hospitals for many years and also supported her husband of 67 years, Creighton Lytle, who earned his MD at Jefferson in 1948, in his medical practice. In addition to Creighton, Lytle is survived by three children, Nelson, Beverly and Douglas; nine grandchildren, Rachel, Josh, Andrew, Nicholas, Amy, Julie, Joshua, Jonathan and Rebecca; and six great-grandchildren, Sophia, Creighton, Grace, Samuel, Rebekah and Sarah. She was preceded in death by a son, Creighton II, and a grandson, Jared.

Myrtle Lane Mathews, DN ’37, 98, of Atlanta, died Aug. 16, 2014. Mathews worked in public health until she entered the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, where she met and married Maj. Edwin J. Mathews. Prior to her retirement, she worked as the school nurse at St. Margaret’s School in Tappahannock, Va. She moved to Atlanta in 1986. Mathews is survived by her sister, Lois; two daughters, Carolyn and Barbara; three grandchildren, Brittany, John and Leah; and three great-grandsons, Truett, Luke and Wyatt.

Aimee Jo Girard, BSN ’13, 26, of Gloucester Township, N.J., died Aug. 10, 2014. Girard began working at Jefferson as a nurse extern in July 2012 and became a staff nurse in August 2013. She is survived by her parents, Mark and Virginia; her sisters, Danielle and Brittany; and her grandmothers, Marian and Mary Louise.

28 Jefferson REVIEW

Create a

Legacy: Remember Jefferson in Your Will At Jefferson, “health is all we do.” Making a bequest to Jefferson enables you to partner with us to “do” health exceptionally well in all of our research, clinical and educational dimensions. A bequest is a gift from your estate — a transfer of cash, securities or other property made through your estate plans. You can make a bequest to Jefferson by including language in your will. Planned gifts are the ultimate expression of confidence in Jefferson, and their impact lasts for generations. To learn about the advantages of creating a bequest, please contact one of our planned giving officers: Fritz Ruccius Chief Philanthropy Officer, Planned Giving 215-955-8733 Lisa W. Repko, JD Senior Director, Planned Giving 215-955-0437

Spring 2015 29

A Fresh Face Barbara Goldsmith, PhD

Photo by Karen Kirchhoff.


very year, the Jefferson Schools welcome a new cohort of talented clinicians, scholars and researchers to their faculty. These individuals bring unique insights and perspectives on their fields. Going forward, we will close every issue of the Review by introducing a new Jefferson faculty member. Our lucky inaugural subject is Barbara M. Goldsmith, PhD, chair of the Department of Bioscience Technologies (BST) in the Jefferson School of Health Professions. Goldsmith has a dual appointment as director of point of care and quality management in the Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. She came to Jefferson from the Temple University School of Medicine in September 2014. Prior to Temple, she held appointments with prestigious institutions including the Tufts University School of Medicine, the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Hahnemann University. She is past president of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry and current president of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry. What brought you to Jefferson? Dr. Stephen Peiper, chair of the Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Dr. Janice Burke, dean of the Jefferson School of Health Professions, approached me to see if I would be interested in becoming chair of bioscience technologies and hold a director’s position in the clinical laboratories. I said yes! BST includes the medical laboratory sciences, cytotechnology/cell science and biotechnology programs. What were your first impressions? The support of both Dr. Peiper and Dr. Burke has been extraordinary. My colleagues are eager to assist with helping as we evaluate, invigorate and re-shape the bioscience

technologies programs to meet the current needs of our students. On the hospital side, I have been impressed with the quality and expertise of the professionals I work with in pointof-care and quality management. I am equally impressed with my colleagues in pathology. Have there been any surprises? A few, mostly in BST. This is my first experience in academic administration, and there has been a steeper learning curve than I’d anticipated. However, with the help of the deans, other JSHP chairs and BST faculty, I’m learning. Tell us about your research plans. I’m not currently conducting research, though I anticipate doing applied research in laboratory medicine, primarily in the areas of point-of-care testing and quality management. My main focus right now is building up the BST programs. We are hiring faculty, anticipating renovations for our student laboratories, reviewing our curricula and so on. Any personal heroes? My mother, who is a clinical chemist (which is also my background — I got my PhD in clinical chemistry at the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University). She was a pioneer in the field since the early 1950s, remained active in the private laboratory and academic settings and retired at age 84. How do you relax? I like to travel (South America, South Africa and Australia are favorite destinations); eat out at nice restaurants (especially Asian cuisine); and go to the movies.

Non-Profit Org. US Postage

125 S. 9th Street, Suite 700 Philadelphia, PA 19107


Permit #276 Philadelphia, PA

Change Service Requested

Printed on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper, which supports the growth of responsible forest management worldwide through its international standards.

Get Ready to Celebrate! Get ready to celebrate!

The Jefferson School of Nursing will commemorate its 125th anniversary in 2016. We hope you will join us in marking this important milestone! Stay tuned for details on a year’s worth of celebratory activities and events.

The Jefferson School of Nursing will commemorate its 125th anniversary in 2016. We hope you will join us in marking this important milestone! Stay tuned for details on a year’s worth of celebratory activities and events.


Thomas Jefferson University Alumni Office

Profile for Jefferson Office of Institutional Advancement

Jefferson Review - Spring 2015  

Jefferson Review - Spring 2015