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Learn the Art and Science of Caring




VO L U M E 8 • FA L L 2 0 1 2



Alumni in




1 A Message from the Dean

16 Low-Income Patients, High Rewards

2 Gifted Alumni Giving to the World

18 International Students Drive Innovation

4 In Their Shoes

6 Stretching the Limits

20 First International Affiliation For Athletic Training Program

8 The Heart of It

20 Faculty Accomplishments

10 A Holistic Way of Thinking

22 New SHMS Faculty

12 Helping Hands

23 Where Science Meets Spirit

14 At the Forefront of Gastrointestinal Care 24 Research Colloquium Renamed to Honor George Perez, MD

O ffice of the dean Brian B. Shulman, PhD, CCC-SLP Dean

Patricia Edwards Secretary

Mona M. Sedrak, PhD, PA-C Associate Dean Division of Health Sciences

Jaquonda Hutchins Assistant to the Associate Dean Division of Health Sciences

John W. Sensakovic, MD, PhD Associate Dean Division of Medical Residencies and Fellowships

Kathleen O’Neill Clinical Secretary

Nita Blaszka, BA Assistant to the Deans


Deborah A. Verderosa, MA ’02 Director of Administration and Graduate Admissions

CO N T R I B U TO R S Terrence F. Cahill, EdD, FACHE Elyse Carter Vikram N. Dayalu, PhD, CCC-SLP Vincent DeBari, PhD Carolyn Goeckel, MA, ATC Christopher Hanifin, MS, PA-C Pegeen Hopkins, MA Lorraine Joyce Annette Kirchgessner, PhD Anthony Liptak Christopher O’Brien, PhD, ATC Ruth Segal, PhD, OTR John W. Sensakovic, MD, PhD Doreen M. Stiskal, PT, PhD Claire Sykes

Cover photos of Alyssa Consentino, Wade Ransom and Stephanie Bryan.

A Message from the Dean Dear Alumni, Students, Friends and Colleagues: Something remarkable happens the moment someone applies to the School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS): That person becomes an ambassador of Seton Hall. As they apply and enroll, then serve as students who later graduate and move into their careers, our students and alumni eagerly promote the University, their professions and their programs. They do it proudly, while working to improve the quality of life for their patients and clients. Exciting things continue to occur in the School of Health and Medical Sciences. Our outstanding faculty and clinical preceptors continue to mold our students into exceptional clinicians and leaders. Our students continue to give back to the community through our many service-learning opportunities. Innovative minds have joined together in international research and clinical education collaborations. With health care in the United States increasingly relying on varying skill sets and with a need for future healthcare providers to team up and treat patients, we’re exploring a new School initiative relating to inter-professional education.

Our nearly 1,000 SHMS alumni are out there making a positive difference. They are our “alumni in action,” and this issue of Insights is devoted to them. In these pages, you’ll meet just a few, like Amy (Brostoski) Dietz, a physician assistant helping the people who too often get bypassed. Jodi Huntington expands her occupational therapy expertise serving children with disabilities; and Alyssa Cosentino, a speech-language pathologist, guides children through their language-learning disabilities. Getting to the heart of it for athletic trainer Wade Ransom means giving adolescents free electrocardiograms, while Ilene Schulman, a physical therapist, calls on the compassion of healing hands. And finally, Stephanie Bryan, an alumnus of our Health Sciences PhD program, shows how yoga can inspire people to stretch their physical activity. While SHMS students, faculty and alumni contribute to service and education, scholarship and research, they’re more often interacting with people from diverse cultures in the U.S. and abroad.

Whether they’re working in a clinic serving Latino immigrants, teaching children in the Philippines how to brush their teeth or collaborating with fellow athletic training/sports rehabilitation colleagues in Ireland, the SHMS community is helping to advance the School’s mission throughout the world. Our faculty, students and alumni work hard and they value their professions. Many of our alumni look forward to our annual alumni cruise around Manhattan, which this past July allowed 70 of us to gather together. In a classroom or on a boat, here in South Orange or across the globe — what matters most to everyone at Seton Hall, and especially to all of us at SHMS — is connection and community. You’re holding an example of both, now, in your hands. Enjoy this issue of Insights. Sincerely,

Brian B. Shulman, PhD Dean


Gifted Alumni Giving To THE

WORLD By Claire Sykes

When students from the School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS) cross the threshold to ‘alumni status’ — whether they work in the community, a foreign country or a classroom on the Seton Hall campus — they continue to give generously of themselves and their talents. Here are some exemplary alumni who are soaring in their success. 2


Of the 13 students from its first graduating class in 2005, two Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree recipients have received recognition as board-certified clinical specialists by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). Ryan Skripak, PT, DPT ’05, OCS, is now board certified in orthopedics and has a private practice, followed by Elizabeth Caputo, PT, DPT ’05, NCS, board certified in neurology, who is the director of clinical education for the Kessler Rehabilitation Institute in West Orange, NJ. Soon joining them will be Joseph Biland, PT, DPT ’06, studying for ABPTS board certification in orthopedics. He serves as a clinical instructor at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, NJ, and as a PT adjunct faculty member at Seton Hall. “Joseph is an inspiring individual and dedicated instructor who provides quality care,” says Doreen Stiskal, PT, PhD, associate professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. “He fully prepares students by sharing real-life clinical experiences.” For SHMS PT students who do their internships at a distance, Lisa Redavid, PT, DPT ’09, is helping to expand the department’s clinical education opportunities with the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Denver, CO. It’s one of 200 such sites around the country “that help to enhance the collective learning between them and our program,” says Stiskal. Also, Farhad Bayat, PT, DPT ’08, leads as the PT department’s first clinical site evaluator in California. “As the demand for student clinical experiences grows, our alumni are helping the PT department gain national and international recognition,” Stiskal continues. “They’re taking those steps to move us up to the next level.”

backgrounds and their accomplishments are just as varied and notable.


When potential students apply to the Physician Assistant program, one thing is for sure: their application gets personalized attention. Humans, not computers, take the time to fully evaluate every applicant’s application. Since 2010, Admissions Coordinator for the PA program Sandra Kaminski, MS ’01, PA-C, now a PA program faculty member, along with her PA program faculty colleagues, has revised and refined the admissions process for the Department of Physician Assistant. “She’s remarkable. Anything we throw at her, she jumps right into,” says Christopher J. Hanifin, MSPA, PA-C, chair of the department. In overseeing the PA program’s admissions process, “she considers the entire person, not just their science grades. In collaboration with the department’s admission committee, she reads their answers and essays and forms a fair and complete picture of each candidate. Then, out of the hundreds of applications that the PA program receives each year, 30 remarkable students are selected to join the class annually.” In their third and final year in the PA program, students conduct research with PA program faculty under the guidance of the department’s research coordinator, Denise Rizzolo, PhD ’00, PA-C. “Dr. Rizzolo encourages students to form a research agenda by exploring areas in clinical and psychosocial research they may find interesting. She pushes them hard but her enthusiasm for research is infectious and it motivates students to excel,” says Hanifin. Several students have co-authored articles with PA faculty in the esteemed Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. “Because of Denise, students understand that engaging in research is important to the profession because it adds to the scholarly conversation. Even if they choose not to

Take Anthony D’Antoni, PhD ’09, DC, associate professor of pre-clinical sciences at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, who has been selected as the editor for the ankle and foot chapter of the 41st edition of the British textbook, Gray’s Anatomy. D’Antoni’s research expertise has appeared often in peer-reviewed biomedical science journals, some that also include the bylines of the six Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) students he mentors.

“ The key determinate

of success for us is not the degree, but what you do with it.

“Anthony is so committed to research and publishing, and he really gets excited and only wants to do more,” says Terrence Cahill, FACHE, EdD, associate professor and department chair. “He’s a go-getter. He just doesn’t stop.”

Scott Saccomano, PhD ’09, GNP,

pursue research as a career, by the time they graduate, PA students understand the process of research and can help guide their patients to better understand the continuous advances in medicine that they hear about in the media. In essence, students know that a good grasp of research and the medical literature will only make them more polished clinicians.” Hanifin is thrilled that Kaminski and Rizzolo have returned to Seton Hall. “They have a good sense of the program’s strengths and challenges,” he says. “It’s nice to have that inside view.” A LWAYS I N MOTION

The Department of Graduate Programs in Health Sciences (GPHS), with its interdisciplinary approach, is unique. Its graduates come from diverse

RN, is another program alumnus who keeps moving. Saccomano is a nurse practitioner and adjunct professor for our GPHS PhD students “who gets extremely positive teaching evaluations,” says Cahill. His students at Lehman College in New York City, where he teaches full-time in the Department of Nursing, also thrive under his tutelage. Students and practicing nurses all over the State of New York thank him for starting the first NYC chapter of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing — a vital forum for nurses to meet, discuss and influence factors that have an impact on male nurses. Says Cahill about SHMS’ PhD in Health Sciences program, which could be said for all at Seton Hall: “The key determinant of success for us is not the degree, but what you do with it.” Certainly, when it comes to their professional contributions, these SHMS alumni are flying high. 3


Shoes By Claire Sykes


“Comprehensive and very rigorous in nature.” That’s how Alyssa Cosentino, MS ’07, describes her graduate training in speech-language pathology (SLP) at Seton Hall — with well-sequenced Cosentino looks back fondly at her Cosentino graduated from the SLP classes and graduate program, especially the master’s degree program with a Research Methods class taught by array of knowledge and skill clinical practica wide Vikram Dayalu, PhD, CCC-SLP, an sets in a profession that has served associate professor and department her, and others, well. Starting her that facilitated chair. “He wanted you to really career in an outpatient setting, she understand [the material]; he took worked in an outpatient center treatlearning. a lot of time out of his schedule to ing individuals from birth through age 21 with a wide range of speech, language and feeding issues before deciding to change to a school setting. Now, Cosentino is the director of speech-language services at AIM Academy, a college-preparatory school (grades 1-12) for those with learning disabilities.

She thanks her clinical experiences at Seton Hall for her ability to change her practice from an outpatient setting to the classroom. Through those experiences, she accrued valuable knowledge and skills across a wide range of disorders and clinical environments. “That was so useful as I was trying to figure out which population I wanted to work with,” she says. Although Cosentino enjoyed treating adults, children gave her the greatest satisfaction. “I liked seeing improvement in kids more, because I felt I had more impact at that early age, and with their parents. I saw how important it was to involve the family. At Seton Hall we learned to treat the whole person. We learned to put ourselves in their shoes, and their family’s, and to be compassionate and to think about what a child is going through on a daily basis. It’s important to understand how their disorders may be impacting their self-esteem and ability to communicate with their parents and friends.”

help us, demonstrating the art and science of caring. He wanted us to go out there and be fantastic speechlanguage pathologists, so he provided tons of real-life examples. He was always up to date with the latest research, which is so important.”

Recently, Cosentino collaborated with Anthony Koutsoftas, PhD, CCC-SLP, assistant professor in the School of Health and Medical Sciences’ MS-SLP program, on a research project, which compared the writing capabilities of children with language-learning disabilities to those without. Cosentino says, “It was great for me, because I’m able to contribute to keeping the speech-language pathology research current, the very kind of research I was trained to stay on top of.” The growth of the SLP profession matters a great deal to her. “I’m glad to see that more and more college students are interested in it,” says Cosentino, who is thrilled that increasing numbers of students from New Jersey and beyond choose Seton Hall for their graduate study. She cherished her time at the University and is looking forward to continued collaboration with her alma mater. 5


LIMITS By Claire Sykes


Stephanie Bryan, PhD ’12, has always

kept herself moving — from childhood gymnastics to 32 years as a fitness specialist for all ages and abilities in corporate, commercial and community settings. With an interest in yoga, she conducted an experiment as part of her master’s thesis on the positive effects of this mind-body practice. Of course, she couldn’t stop there.

“I was intent on continuing this research in my doctoral work, and Seton Hall supported me one hundred percent,” says Bryan. “I learned everything I needed to know from the school’s expert researchers. Yoga was not their area, but they were so adept at helping me apply my interest in it to my science-based research. They really got behind me, guiding me through. They’re brilliant.” One professor in particular stands out: Genevieve Zipp, PT, EdD. “She provides tremendous support, and inspires and motivates, with just the right measure of leadership and service,” says Bryan. “This woman will Skype during off-hours, and she will edit your many pages of work, sending them back to you within a day. I was lucky, and blessed, to have her as the chairperson of my doctoral committee.” Bryan is passing on the results of her doctoral research to her own health and physical education undergraduate students at St. Peter’s

University, as well as her exercise science graduate students at Kean University. From her dissertation pilot study published in the September/ October 2012 issue of Alternative Therapies, they learn how yoga can immediately relax and revitalize someone, while its philosophy of mindfulness fosters self-awareness and self-acceptance. They learn that 10 weeks of yoga classes twice a week is just the start of encouraging a sedentary person to become more physically active. For example, at the yoga studio she owned for 10 years, Bryan saw these positive benefits with a 70-year-old newcomer to exercise who, within a year, had taken up kickboxing. Bryan sees it now in the teenage group-foster-home boys she teaches yoga to, weekly, who have added outside play, weight training and jogging to their fitness fun. Whether it’s her yoga students or her college students, “I care about what they feel,” says Bryan,

reflecting on the School of Health and Medical Sciences’(SHMS) focus on the art and science of caring. “What people feel affects what they think and what they think affects what they do,” she says. Bryan knows this first-hand, having made it through the grueling two-day written doctoral candidacy exam, her most powerful Seton Hall memory. “I fully prepared for it, emotionally, intellectually and academically. I’ve been in school for 25 years, have three grown children and ran a successful business, but that exam was the most challenging and stringent experience I’ve ever had. It was also extremely satisfying, because it brought me to the furthest edge of my ability and strengths, and I performed well.” At SHMS, Bryan “learned as much about myself as I have from any academic curriculum,” she says. “I’ve discovered that I’m a visionary, an innovator and a leader. Seton Hall definitely brought out the best in me.” 7

THE HEART OF IT By Claire Sykes

If there’s one thing Wade Ransom, MS ’06, ATC, cares about, it’s keeping his students safe. As the athletic director at Cate School, a boarding school in Carpinteria, CA, he knows what can happen on the basketball court or football field. A former high school and collegiate athlete himself, he’s had his own share of bruises and broken bones. But athletes can face much worse. 8

the program at Cate,” says Ransom, Cate’s first full-time athletic trainer, who founded its Sports Medicine Department. “I used all of my Seton Hall training and experiences to help get the Cate sports medicine program off the ground.” Seton Hall’s School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS) provided an “unparalleled skill set in the prevention, evaluation and rehabilitation of sports injuries,” he continues. “Combined with its brilliant, top-notch faculty, this gave me the expertise to treat patients at the highest level. It also gave me the confidence to admit when I don’t know something, then go search for the answer.” Ask Ransom why he chose Seton Hall and he’ll tell you, “SHMS professors put an emphasis on being professional, positive and understanding, while treating us as peers.” For him, how you interact with others epitomizes the SHMS philosophy of the art and science of caring.

“Increasingly in the news, we hear about adolescents who seem perfectly healthy experiencing during physical activity a catastrophic cardiac event that results from an undetected heart abnormality,” says Ransom. Though statistically their numbers are small (less than 10 percent, reports the American Heart Association), the results are deadly for those who experience the cardiac event. It’s why Ransom provides free electrocardiograms and echocardiograms to interested students who play sports at Cate. With Dr. Joseph Ilvento, a cardiologist and cardio electrophysiologist, Ransom recently launched an eight-year study, known as the “Cate Study,” to monitor the cardiovascular heart health of 14-to-18-year olds. It’s believed to be one of the first long-

term studies focusing on this age group. The research results will help further efforts to determine the most effective methods to screen young hearts.

Ransom became interested in working on the Cate Project because of a similar study involving the New York Jets, with which he did one of his SHU clinical rotations. The Jets study compared the hearts of large-sized athletes with those of average-sized persons. Says Ransom, “There’s not a lot of research for largesized athletes, and the same is true for adolescents and young adults.” While pursuing his graduate degree, Ransom completed varied clinical rotations. “Each one gave me handson experience to develop my clinical skills, and the faith in myself to build

 ou can have all the Y technical and book-smart knowledge in the world, but if you’re not comfortable relating with people and you can’t gain your patients’ trust, they’re not going to feel that you care.

Certainly, Cate students know they’re receiving the best possible care from Ransom, especially when it comes to their personal interactions with him. For him, more than anything, that’s what gets to the heart of the matter. 9

A Holistic Way of Thinking By Claire Sykes


At the Immortelle Children’s Camp in Trinidad,* children play sports and do crafts, like children everywhere. It’s also where, for two weeks every year, these children learn to use their strengths to overcome challenges to engagement in daily occupations, such as play and self-care — thanks in part to Jodi Huntington, MS ’01, PhD ’12, and the Seton Hall occupational therapy (OT) students she supervises there.

A Holistic Way of Thinking By Claire Sykes

The camp, now in its sixth year, is one of many ways she has taken her Seton Hall OT training out into the world. The rest of the time, Huntington works in New York University’s Langone Medical Center as a pre-doctoral counseling psychology intern on the pediatric track. Part of a multidisciplinary OT and PT team, she conducts neuropsychological assessments and evaluations of children’s various injuries and disabilities. “With OT as my foundation, my work blends my knowledge of science, anatomy and neuroanatomy with counseling psychology, extending my OT skills so I can help patients more broadly and holistically,” says Huntington. “The psychological, behavioral and emotional training lets me make more informed assessments and guide treatment.”

[ The patients] were truly inspiring, because they’ve faced challenges with such strength, grace and dignity.

The OT education at the School of Health and Medical Sciences is holistic, and affords a systemic view of individuals and organizations. Huntington learned to identify areas of strength and challenge, and to use the strengths to remediate and accommodate the challenges to facilitate engagement in daily occupation. “Both my OT and counseling psychology training asked us to think more broadly,” she says.

“We learned to look at the whole person and how people dynamically interact with other systems around them. The OT program is unified in this over-arching philosophy, which I take with me everywhere.” With a holistic approach to patients’ OT needs, Huntington remains mindful of their spirituality and culture, their views of themselves and their layers of support, and what’s most important to them. “Patients can feel that I’m present and looking at the things that are meaningful to them. If you do this, they know that you care, because you’re not driven by your own agenda, but by their recovery,” she says. “I’m so grateful for the training I had. Seton Hall taught us not only OT skills, but also a way of thinking, which is so important because you can apply that to so many areas. They prepared us not just for a specific job, but for life.” Huntington’s clinical experience is her most memorable, working with people in an in-patient brain-injury unit, as well as a homeless shelter, schools and traditional mental-health settings. “[The patients] were truly inspiring, because they’ve faced challenges with such strength, grace and dignity,” she says, recalling her time with a new mother with a brain injury who was feeding her baby for the first time, and with a homeless woman about to go on a job interview. Whether it’s her clinical-placement patients, the children she sees at Langone or those in Trinidad, Huntington says, “It’s a blessing, and truly amazing, that people allow you into their lives and you can be part of their story of recovery.”

* T he Immortelle Children’s Camp experience is held in Trinidad and is a program established and directed by Laura K. Palmer, Ph.D., chair and director of training

of the Counseling Psychology Program in the Department of Professional Psychology and Family Therapy in the College of Education and Human Services.


INSIGHTS_fall_2012rev pg11.indd 10-11


4/23/13 3:40 PM

By Claire Sykes

helping HANDS


Something wasn’t right. No one should feel that kind of popping sensation. While she was enrolled in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS), Ilene Schulman, PT, DPT ’09, was directed into surgery for an organ prolapse in her pelvic floor. Next came rehabilitation — with the nearest physical therapist (PT) who specialized in this part of the body located an hour away — and extensive care requiring a one-year leave of absence from her studies. Pelvic pain can be caused by pelvic-related joint dysfunction; muscle imbalances, weakness or incoordination; and pressure on nerves, notes the American Physical Therapy Association. As Schulman completed her own pelvic-floor physical therapy, she discovered the perfect practice setting for her life work. Her personal experience spoke to the limited access to quality pelvic-floor physical therapy in New Jersey. So when she returned to SHMS’ PT program, she directed her career path toward pelvicfloor health. Today, Schulman treats women in that “very private area that many patients feel sensitive about,” she says. And Seton Hall’s art and science of caring “translates to every patient I see. I understand that some feel nervous. So first I listen to their stories, and maybe share some of my own. If they let me touch them, that shows how much they trust me. And I see it as my privilege and honor.”

Schulman first learned about compassionate hands in the orthopedics class taught by Howard Phillips, PhD, PT, OCS, ATC, FAAOMPT, an associate professor. One day he asked for a volunteer with sore hips and she obliged. “I felt like he was really my physical therapist at that moment,” she says. “I could completely trust his hands. They were kind, gentle and experienced. And they made my hip feel a lot better. The way he taught me is how I try to treat my own patients.”

Schulman carried her pelvic-floor PT focus into her Seton Hall studies, with mostly geriatric and female patients. Meanwhile, a strong academic foundation in general orthopedics and neurology prepared her well for her specialty.

Interning with Donna Del Vecchio, PT, DPT, during her final clinical placement, Schulman worked with female patients with pelvic-floor dysfunction. She realized even more that “much of who you are as a physical therapist is transmitted through your hands. I vividly remember the first time I ever touched a patient in the pelvic region. She told me she trusted me, that my hands were skilled and professional, even though I was new to this.”

Someday, Schulman would like to teach at Seton Hall. “I would love to train general PT practitioners in the pelvic floor, and how connected it is to the rest of the body.” Then, perhaps, someone in need of a pelvic-floor PT wouldn’t have to drive an hour to see one.

But Seton Hall gave Schulman more than an education; she also received empathy. After her year of rehabilitation, “I was welcomed back with open arms. All the professors were very supportive of me and what I wanted to study.”


At the Forefront of

Gastrointestinal Care By Vincent A. DeBari, PhD 14

Nothing gives Dr. Sohail Shaikh more professional pleasure than to “translate from bench to bedside” the research and cutting-edge techniques he acquired during his years at Seton Hall’s School of Health and Medical Sciences.

“It’s just been exhilarating to work with some of the best in the world to help shape the direction of GI (gastrointestinal) care and to now apply those principles to patients,” says Dr. Shaikh, who grew up in Ewing Township, NJ.

University Medical Center in Tucson. “With the burgeoning epidemic of obesity, I sought to learn more advanced techniques in addressing this disease with endoscopic surgical procedures as an alternative to traditional surgery,” he says.

It all began after the 2002 graduate of the Universidad Tecnologica de Santiago Medical School in the Dominican Republic came to Seton Hall as a resident in Internal Medicine (IM) at St. Michael’s Medical Center, in Newark, a core affiliate of SHMS.

At the conclusion of his fellowships, Shaikh had mastered virtually all endoscopic procedures. Among them were endoscopic ultrasound studies and advanced endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreotography (commonly called ERCP), a procedure to examine the ductal architecture of the gallbladder and pancreas. He is also proficient in intraluminal stenting suturing, used to close intestinal defects and perform endoscopic surgery.

Under the watchful eye of Ernest Federici, MD, the program director for IM, and Dr. Ted DaCosta Jr., associate program director, Dr. Shaikh developed into a stellar resident and, in July 2005, became the chief resident in the IM training program at St. Michael’s. “I would not be where I am today if it were not for the education and guidance of many, but most notably Drs. DaCosta and Walid Baddoura,” Dr. Shaikh says. “Teaching is a challenging art and their thoughtprovoking and balanced approach to practicing and teaching medicine and gastroenterology is an inspiration.” Accepted as a clinical fellow with SHMS’ Division of Gastroenterology, he honed his skills in gastrointestinal endoscopy, which employs sophisticated, flexible, fiber-optic tubes to explore the GI tract. In July 2009, when he completed training in his subspecialty, Dr. Shaikh sought to learn even more advanced procedures. That led him to two fellowships: one at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and then at the University of Arizona’s

Fully board-certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology, Dr. Shaikh returned to New Jersey last year and is now on the medical staffs of St. Michael’s and St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. At the same time, he continues his research in GI endoscopy, with a focus on obesity, and adds to his extensive publication list. Mindful of the many who guided him, Shaikh has since returned to teaching at SHMS to begin passing on the complex procedures he learned to the young clinical fellows in the program. “The Seton Hall University gastroenterology fellowship program affords a wide clinical experience,” he says. “Complicated cases, for which we did not possess the surgical/medical expertise, led me to pursue further training and I am now excited to use what I have learned to benefit my patients and to teach my students.” 15

It’s the overlooked and underserved whom Amy (Brostoski) Diet z, PA- C, MS ’09, most wants to work with, “bec ause they’re the ones who need it the most,” she says. “The government may give people medicine and supplies, bu t if they don’t know how to use them, how c an they receive the best health c are?” As a physician assistant (PA), Diet z makes sure they do.

She couldn’t feel more fulfilled working as a PA specializing in endocrinology at the Endocrine & Diabetes Center, in Jersey City, NJ. “We see many patients who truly have nothing,” she says. At the only endocrinology clinic in the county focusing on pediatrics, she also treats children with diabetes. Patients often feel helpless about a disease that genetics has dealt them, but Dietz works to instill a sense of control and hope. “Control is in their hands, and I want to be part of the solution. I stress how important it is to take care of yourself and I show patients ways to live a healthy lifestyle.” 16

lowincome patients “

C  ontrol is in their hands, and I want to be part of the solution. I stress how important it is to take care of yourself and I show patients ways to live a healthy lifestyle.

One reason why Dietz chose the PA profession was “because PAs can often spend extra time with patients that physicians can’t,” she says. Why Seton Hall? “Because it offers the best well-rounded education.” Coursework that dealt with healthcare disparities, patient education, public health and clinical placements in poorer areas “gave me the knowledge, insight and capabilities to work with these types of patients.” With a strong interest in emergency medicine, Dietz initially thought she would pursue a PA career in an emergency department. Then she

high rewards By Claire Sykes

started her School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS) clinical experience. Part of its PA curriculum calls for students to shadow a physician or PA in different healthcare settings. “One of my first was a PA who worked in endocrinology, and I fell in love with it,” she says. “It’s a little more black-and-white than other areas of medicine, in terms of blood tests for hormone levels and making a diagnosis based on symptoms. That gave me more confidence in treating patients.” Dietz also feels grateful for the classroom lesson from Christopher

Hanifin, MSPA, PA-C, department chair, on how to interpret an ECG strip. “I was given [a strip] to read at one of my earliest job interviews after graduation. This man was so impressed by my ease of knowing what I was looking at, it made me feel confident about the education I received at Seton Hall.” The great camaraderie SHMS students enjoy with their classmates also gave Dietz an advantage over students from other universities. “At Seton Hall, we weren’t competitive with each other. We’d do anything to help each other out.” Dietz says

she’ll never forget reenacting physical exams with other students. Or laughing with her classmates while coming up with humorous ways to remember the treatments for certain medical diagnoses. People she met during her clinical work who attended other schools “didn’t always have the close-knit friendships we did.” From coursework and clinicals to lifelong companions and career choice, “Seton Hall has provided me with everything I could’ve ever wanted and hoped for.”


International Students

Drive Innovation In the fall of 2011, 22 physical therapy and occupational therapy students worked together daily to develop a product to enhance participation and inclusion of disabled adolescents. Though the task sounds straightforward, the students were from three different countries, spoke different languages, and came from varying cultural backgrounds, healthcare structures and health-related disciplines. Plus, they only had six weeks to develop an innovative solution to the presented problem.


The International Innovation Project (IIP), an initiative developed to promote interdisciplinary networking and problem-solving on an international level, is a collaboration between Seton Hall University’s School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS); Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUA) in Helsinki, Finland; Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Institute of Health Professions; and Metropolitan University College in Copenhagen, Denmark. Four SHMS Doctor of Physical Therapy students participated in the first cohort of the project. As part of the project, coordinators from each institution “met” via Skype each Friday to discuss next steps in the program and progress being made by the student groups. “Regardless of the time difference, each week I would look forward to my 8 a.m. conference calls on Skype,” says Elizabeth Torcivia, PhD, OTR, an associate professor in the

Helsinki, Finland

Department of Occupational Therapy. “I was always impressed to hear about the innovative ideas emerging from this international group of students and their approaches to the issues of the young clients. The faculty was able to discuss common teaching goals, future aspirations for other populations and collaboration on other educational projects.” Torcivia and H. James Phillips, PT, PhD, OCS, ATC, FAAOMPT, an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, traveled to Helsinki to give lectures to the IIP student cohort. Torcivia worked with students individually and in a large group to develop students’ ideas into project plans. Phillips provided lessons in the art of copywriting, negotiating, trademarking and marketing their service offerings, along with advice on how to transport their products to any of the three countries. “The 2011 IIP,” says Phillips, “was the creation of

Students at 2012 IIP hosted by Seton Hall University.

 n international a community where physical therapy and occupational therapy students and faculty came together to provide healthcarerelated solutions to our communities

an international community where physical therapy and occupational therapy students and faculty came together to provide healthcare-related solutions to our communities while bringing intercontinental exposure to Seton Hall’s campus.”

After six weeks of intensive courses in Helsinki, the four student groups presented their product prototypes to the public. The first group’s prototype, “Olympic Games Village,” taught disabled children how to play basketball or rock climb — and won the Best Innovation Idea award for the IIP experience. The second prototype, “Shakes into Shape,” was a nutritional drink for children with disabilities. Children with cerebral palsy need highcalorie, high-protein shakes, for example, while individuals with Down Syndrome would require low-calorie shakes. The third prototype, “Helsinki Linkki,” was a web-based information site that would list venues and social groups for children with disabilities. With “Helsinki Linkki,” a child in a wheelchair could access the name of a recreational facility or library with wheelchair accessibility. The fourth prototype, “Kelaa Elamaas,” was a product that would expose kids to movement and visual arts. Students had participants dance during launch night with the help of a professional dance instructor. “This type of international collaboration has proven beneficial to our physical therapy and occupational therapy students as it has broadened their perspective on global health and their role in the healthcare arena,” says Brian B. Shulman, PhD, dean of the School of Health and Medical Sciences. The 2012 IIP took place at Seton Hall this past summer. A total of 27 students participated — 16 students from Finland, Denmark and Boston, along with 11 SHMS students. The IIP rotates among the participating schools annually. The 2013 IIP will be hosted in Copenhagen, Denmark by MUC. Look for an update on the 2012 IIP in the next issue of Insights! 19

SHMS First International Affiliation for Athletic Training Program By Christopher W. O’Brien, PhD, ATC Director of Clinical Education Department of Athletic Training After many months of collaboration, the Institute of Technology (IT) Carlow, Ireland, and Seton Hall University are proud to announce an affiliation agreement between Seton Hall’s Master of Science in Athletic Training Program and IT - Carlow’s Bachelor of Science (Honours) Course in Sport Rehabilitation and Athletic Therapy. In April 2012, Brian B. Shulman, PhD, dean of the School of Health and Medical Sciences, Christopher W. O’Brien, PhD, ATC, director of clinical education for the Master of Science Athletic Training Program, and Gene Verel, consultant to Seton Hall University, traveled to Ireland for meetings with administration, faculty and students at IT Carlow. This marks the first international affiliation for the Athletic Training Program. It is pioneering in that Seton Hall athletic training students will be able to spend their last semester of their program in Ireland. Concurrently,


IT-Carlow sport rehabilitation and athletic therapy students will come to Seton Hall for a semester of classroom and clinical experience in the Athletic Training Program. All students participating in the program will be immersed in the academic, clinical and country’s cultures while progressing to their degree completion. Students are projected to participate in the program beginning in January 2013. Institute of Technology Carlow program graduates are eligible for full membership in the British Association of Sports Rehabilitators and Trainers and in Athletic Rehabilitation Therapy Ireland. Seton Hall University’s graduate program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education and its graduates are eligible to sit for the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer exam upon graduation.

Division of Health Sciences Department of Athletic Training

Brown, A., D’Onza, G., Gruchacz, T., Hinaman, T., Klapsogeorge, M., & Hill-Lombardi, V. (2012, June). A Comparison of Heat Acclimatization Between Male and Female Soccer Players During Preseason. Poster session presented at the National Athletic Trainers Association Annual Symposium, St. Louis, MO.

O’Brien, C. W. (2012, February). Instilling Foundational Behaviors of Professional Practice in Undergraduate Athletic Training Students: A Grounded Theory Study. Poster session presented at the biennial Southeast Athletic Training Association Educators’ Conference, Atlanta, GA. Boergers, R. J. (2012, January). “Impact of Helmet Design and Work Setting on Time and Movement During Lacrosse Helmet Facemask Removal by Certified Athletic Trainers.” Oral Presentation at the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association Conference, Boston, MA. Boergers, R. J. received the Graduate Student Oral Presentation Award for his paper Impact of Helmet Design and Work Setting on Time and Movement During Lacrosse Helmet Facemask Removal by Certified Athletic Trainers at the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association Conference, Boston, MA. Department of G raduate Programs in H ealth S ciences

Svoboda, Z., Janura, M., Cabell, L., & Elfmark, M. (2012). Variability of kinetic variables during gait in unilateral transtibial amputees. Prosthetics and Orthotics International, 36(2) 225–230. Lakhan, S.E., & Kirchgessner, A. (March 2012). Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: the dangers of getting “dinged.” SpringerPlus. 1:2.

Pinto Zipp, G., & Winning, S., (2012, spring). Effects of constraint-induced movement therapy on gait, balance, and functional locomotor mobility, Pediatric Physical Therapy. Vol. 24 (1), pp. 64-8.

Selected Faculty Accomplishments Sedrak, M. & Cahill, T. (2011, July-August). Age-related conflicts: The generational divide. Making It Work at Work. 31-35. Department of Occupational Therapy

Picard, M. M. (2012). AOTA® Fact Sheet: Occupational therapy’s role in sleep. Bethesda, MD: AOTA®. Retrieved from Fact-Sheets/sleep.aspx Hinojosa, J. & Segal, R. (2012). Building Intervention from Theory: From LEGOs to Tinkertoys to Skyscrapers (chapter 9). In S. J. Lane & A. C. Bundy (Eds.). Kids Can Be Kids: A Childhood Occupations Approach. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

Podvey, M. C. (2012, April). The Outsiders: Supporting Families during Early Childhood Transitions. Poster presentation at the 92nd Annual American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Indianapolis, IN. Harra,T, Torcivia, E., Vehkaperä, U., Skov, H., Levangie, P. (May, 2012). Abstract: The International Innovation Project (IIP): Collaboration for Health Care Solutions. COTEC Congress, Stockholm, Sweden.

Stiskal D. M. “Physical Therapy for the Adult with Arthritis – What the Rheumatology Nurse Needs to Know.” 2011 Rheumatology Nurses Society, Kansas City, KS. Department of Physician Assistant

Robinson, R., Geier, M., Rizzolo, D., & Sedrak, M. (2011). Childhood Obesity: Complications, Prevention Strategies and Treatment-Part 2. Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. 24(12), 58-64.

Michael Guma, DO (Medical Director) received the School of Health and Medical Sciences’ Alumni Award at Seton Hall’s annual Many are One Gala, Jersey City, NJ.

Christopher Hanifin was recognized by the New Jersey State Society of Physician Assistant as New Jersey’s Outstanding Physician Assistant of the Year, Princeton, NJ. Ellen Mandel received the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ Award of Excellence for her poster presentation “Empathy Change during PA Education” at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Physician Assistants in Toronto, Canada.

Department of Physical Therapy

Department of Speech -L anguage Pathology

Nair, P. M., Hornby, T.G., & Behrman, A.L. (2012).

Dayalu, V.N., Guntupalli, V.K., Kalinowski, J.,

Minimal detectable change for spatial and temporal measurements of gait after incomplete spinal cord injury. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury and Rehabilitation. 18(3):273–281.

Stuart, A., Saltuklaroglu, T., & Rastatter, M.P. (2011). Effect of continuous speech and non-speech signals on stuttering frequency in adults who stutter. Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, 36, 121-127.

LaFountaine, M. F., Rosado Rivera, D., Radulovic, M., & Bauman, W.A. (2012). The Hemodynamic Actions of Insulin are Blunted in the Sub-lesion Microvasculature of Persons with Spinal Cord Injury. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association - Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Phillips, H. J., Salomone, J., Kulovitz, L., Schumann, D., & Torre, J. (2012). The effectiveness of manual therapy and eccentric exercise for bicipital tendinopathy in patients referred for work hardening service: a case series. JOSPT, 42 (1) A69.

Gerber, S., Brice, A., Capone, N., Fujiki, M., and Timler, G. (2012). Language use in social interactions of school-age children with language impairments: An evidence-based systematic review of treatment. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in the Schools, 43, 235-249.

Anthony Koutsoftas was awarded a 2011 American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation New Investigator Research Grant for his project “Writing Process Performance in Children with and without Language Learning Disabilities.”

Division of Medical Residencies and Fellowhips Qaqa AY, DeBari V, Elkersh K, Sison R, Isbitan A, Mohammad N, Slim J, Perez G, Shamoon FE. Epidemiologic aspects of abnormal ankle brachial index in the HIV infected population. Int Angiol. 2012 Jun;31(3):227-33. Gauchan D, Joshi N, Gill AS, Patel V, DeBari V, Guron G, Maroules M. Does an elevated serum vitamin b(12) level mask actual vitamin b(12) deficiency in myeloproliferative disorders? Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2012 Aug;12(4): 269-73. Alsumrain M, Melillo N, DeBari V, Kirmani J, Moussavi M, Doraiswamy V, Katapally R, Korya D, Adelman M, Miller R. Predictors and outcomes of pneumonia in patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage. J Intensive Care Med. 2012 Feb 14. [Epub ahead of print]. Bajaj S, Shamoon F, Gupta N, Parikh R, Parikh N, DeBari V, Hamdan A, Bikkina M. Acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction in young adults: who is at risk? Coron Artery Dis. 2011 Jun;22(4):238-44. Shakov R, Salazar RS, Kagunye SK, Baddoura WJ, DeBari V. Diabetes mellitus as a risk factor for recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection in the acute care hospital setting. Am J Infect Control. 2011 Apr;39(3):194-8. Eddi R, Karki A, Shah A, DeBari V, DePasquale JR. Association of type 2 diabetes and colon adenomas. J Gastrointest Cancer. 2012 Mar;43(1):87-92.

Balasubramanian, V. (October, 2011). Discourse Production and Comprehension Following Left Anterior Medial Prefrontal and Anterior Cingulate Lesions. Poster presented at the Neurobiology of Language Conference, Annapolis, MD.



SHMS Faculty


Fortunato Battaglia, MD, PhD, joined the SHMS faculty in January 2012. Battaglia received his medical degree from the University of Messina, Italy, in 1994, where he completed a residency in neurology focusing on clinical neurophysiology. He then completed a fellowship in neurorehabilitation at NIHNINDS. Battaglia also received a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Messina. He completed his postdoctoral training at New York University and Columbia University. In 2004, he became the director of neuroscience at Sophie Davis Biomed, CUNY and in 2009, he moved to New York College of Podiatric Medicine where he became the director of neuroscience and director of brain stimulation and the Motor Control Laboratory. He has 15 years of experience in the field of electromyography, brain stimulation and motor control. He’s currently the principal investigator of a research grant for the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation.

Jillian Duff, PT, PhD, CAE, joined the SHMS faculty in September 2011, as a full-time assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. Duff received a BEd from the University of Exeter (England, UK) and an MS in physical therapy from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. In 2010, she received a PhD in environmental health science (ergonomics and biomechanics) from New York University and was awarded national certification as a certified associate ergonomist. Before joining the SHMS faculty, she worked as a clinician, senior ergonomist and manager in the field of industrial ergonomics and rehabilitation. Duff is enjoying teaching and mentoring students within the DPT program. She also continues to research and consult in the areas of industrial ergonomics and injury prevention.

Kristiane Walter George, PT, MEd, PCS, has been an active practitioner of physical therapy in acute care, adult and, most recently, pediatric rehabilitation. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in health and physical education, a graduate certificate in physical therapy from New York University, her master’s degree from Seton Hall University in counseling and a PhD in pediatric science (2011) from Rocky Mountain University in Provo, Utah. She earned a Certification in Pediatric Specialty Practice from the American Board of Physical Therapist Specialists in 2001 and was recertified by portfolio in 2011. Her most current experience is in pediatric schoolbased and early intervention practice. Her research dissertation investigated the effects of an elastic garment and strapping system on functional movement in children with cerebral palsy. George plans to continue her research on motor disability and its effects on the lives of family members and how intervention outcomes can be tailored to meet the needs of the child and family in the home environment.

Karen Hoover, MS, OTR, joined the Department of Occupational Therapy faculty in September 2012. She earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Columbia University in 1994. She began her clinical career in adult physical rehabilitation with a focus on nuerorehabilitation and traumatic brain injury. Hoover later revised her clinical focus to pediatrics and has extensive experience in school-based pediatric intervention. Her primary interest is working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She also has several years of academic experience as she has taught full time in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Union County College and was an adjunct professor in the Occupational Therapy Master’s Program at Kean University. She is currently completing her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy at Chatham University.

Michael F. LaFountaine, EdD, ATC, joined the Department of Physical Therapy faculty in fall 2011. LaFountaine received his doctoral degree in applied physiology from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2008. Prior to arriving at Seton Hall, LaFountaine spent the previous seven years engaged in clinical research investigations on the medical consequences of spinal cord injury. He remains active in several research investigations at VA RR&D National Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY, where he also serves as the interim director of operations. In addition, LaFountaine is active in scientific writing and dissemination of research results and has served as a peer reviewer for several leading journals including Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Journal of Applied Physiology, Journal of Athletic Training and Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine.

Michelle McWeeney, MS, PA-C, graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/School of Health Related Professions Physician Assistant program in 1999. She then worked in the Department of Family Medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical as an assistant professor. While she was in the Department of Family Medicine, she worked in a clinic for the uninsured and underinsured for 11 years and was the director for the women’s Health Without Walls grant, which provided women’s health care to the uninsured and underinsured. She also precepted medical and PA students during that time. She is passionate about serving the uninsured and mentoring students to work in underserved areas. McWeeney continues to work in primary care in Wayne, NJ, and has been a longtime trustee of the New Jersey Physician Assistant Foundation. She was also recently inducted into her high school Hall of Fame for swimming.

Lauren Seavy, MPA, PA-C, has joined the SHMS faculty after serving as an adjunct in the Physician Assistant program over the last two years. After graduating from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, she worked as a physician assistant in the setting of anesthesia and pain management. Afterward, she found her niche in primary care medicine, where she has worked for the last five years. Along with practicing clinically, she has actively worked on electronic medical record implementation. Since bringing two PA students with her on a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic last spring, Seavy is passionate about working directly with students to become competent healthcare providers and feels privileged to be a part of academia.

Where Science Meets Spirit Father Gerald J. Buonopane, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, offers a blessing to the anatomy students at the School of Health and Medical Sciences and their cadavers — silent teachers who would guide the aspiring health practitioners’ careers. Under the supervision of Annette Kirchgessner, PhD, associate professor of anatomy, students in the Seton Hall physician assistant, athletic training, physical therapy and occupational therapy programs learn anatomy through cadaveric dissection at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, NJ.


associate professor of medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Perez was very proud of his work helping develop treatment for AIDS. He was an investigator in clinical research trials including NIAID-HELP through the National Institutes of Health, CPCRA and AmFar and he also published numerous articles. Dr. George Perez

SHMS Research Colloquium Renamed to Honor George Perez, MD By John W. Sensakovic, MD, PhD Associate Dean, Division of Medical Residency and Fellowship Programs

The School of Health and Medical Sciences’ annual research colloquium was given a new name this year to honor the late George Perez, MD, a devoted SHMS medical faculty member and scholar: the Annual Dr. George Perez Research Colloquium. Perez was born at Saint Michael’s Medical Center in 1955 and grew up in Newark, NJ. He was valedictorian of his graduating class at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, NJ, and majored in mathematics at Princeton University. He attended the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and continued with his medical 24

residency at his beloved St. Mike’s. After being named chief medical resident, he remained for his fellowship in infectious diseases. He became director of virology and later chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases. When the AIDS epidemic erupted, Perez embraced caring for HIV patients at a time when others were hesitant. He was dedicated to his patients and passionate about relieving suffering among the underserved and uninsured patients of Newark. Accordingly, he served as medical director of North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI), and later at the Peter Ho Clinic, as well as serving as clinical

Perez was a scholar and could converse not only about medicine but also history, literature, science, the classics, sports (oh, those Yankees) and, of course, mathematics. He perhaps enjoyed teaching best of all — students, residents and fellows. He was the director for the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program at Seton Hall’s School of Health and Medical Sciences where he was also professor of medicine until he passed away in 2011. Perez will be remembered for his waking in the wee hours of many dark mornings to make rounds and see patients. How many voluntarily came to a 4 a.m. clinic with Perez? Not only his patients, but his staff, as well. He did this so he could work long hours and still be home to spend time with his family. He was there to help with homework, drive to practices, cheer at games and, of course, buy ice cream. Perez always had an easy smile, an encouraging word and a generous spirit. He had remarkable gifts that he shared with many.


residents & fellows Certificate & AWARds Ceremony HEALTH SCiences Commencement AND HOODING CEREMONY


400 South Orange Avenue South Orange, NJ 07079


6 Annual

Alumni Cruise

Profile for Seton Hall Publications Alumni Magazine

Insights, Volume 8: Fall 2012  

Insights Magazine highlights the research and accomplishments of the students, faculty and alumni of the School of Health and Medical Scienc...

Insights, Volume 8: Fall 2012  

Insights Magazine highlights the research and accomplishments of the students, faculty and alumni of the School of Health and Medical Scienc...