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SUMMER 2016

AHS MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF THE UIC COLLEGE OF APPLIED HEALTH SCIENCES

Now it’s personal Two alumni wield emerging technologies to help familiarize people with the human body

PLUS: PT CLINIC IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

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AT HOME WITH DISABILITY


Message from the Dean

News that’s really new In recent years, our college has hosted a celebration for graduating students in the last week of the academic year. It’s called Welcome to Alumniville—a lighthearted name for an event that marks a moment of significance: the metamorphosis of students into alumni. During that reception, we convey to our guests of honor our hope that they’ll view their graduation not as an end to their relationship with AHS, but rather as a transition to a permanent new position in our college community. As a member of our alumni community yourself, you can feel exceedingly proud of the individuals joining your ranks each year. I’m continually astounded by their accomplishments and their drive to contribute to a healthier, happier, more peaceful world. If you need any convincing, this issue is at your service. It features stories about three of our most recent alumni. Luca Badetti finished his doctorate in disability studies in December 2015. This young man is dedicating himself, in the most integral way, to a movement that promotes dignified and just living arrangements for people with disabilities. Jon Bowen and Carrie Shaw graduated in May with master’s degrees in biomedical visualization. Both, in their own ways, have created products that educate people on the human body so that they can care better for themselves and for others. Our final feature is also about something new to our college: our Physical Therapy Faculty Practice. The clinic is serving our community not only by providing direct services but also by educating new therapists to a deeper level in our residency program. At the same time that we relate stories pointing to the exciting future of the AHS community, I must also share one detail about our future that is less thrilling. This is the final issue for AHS Magazine chief editor Elizabeth Miller. From her first feature about an AHS team advising the Komen Foundation on how to make its Chicagoland 3-Day route accessible to people using wheelchairs, Elizabeth has given her heart to this magazine. I thank her for steering this publication, carefully crafting it into our most vivid demonstration of pride in our college and deep appreciation for alumni and friends.

AHS MAGAZINE Summer 2016 EDITORS Elizabeth Miller Director of Marketing and Communications Erika Chavez Assistant Director for Advancement DESIGN Kimberly Hegarty UIC Office of Publications Services CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sonya Booth, Jeffron Boynés, Francisca Corona, Libby Goldrick, Anne Brooks Ranallo CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS UIC Photo Services, Ryan Lebar ©2016 University of Illinois at Chicago. All rights reserved. Published by the Office of the Dean (MC 518), UIC College of Applied Health Sciences, 808 South Wood Street, 169 CMET, Chicago, Illinois 60612-7305. Telephone Fax E-mail Website

(312) 996-6695 (312) 413-0086 advanceahs@uic.edu ahs.uic.edu

Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor, the college or university.

You might notice abbreviations throughout this issue. They correlate to academic units in the College of Applied Health Sciences. BHIS Department of Biomedical and Health Information Sciences BVIS Program in Biomedical Visualization DHD Department of Disability and Human Development HI

Program in Health Informatics

HIM Program in Health Information Management KINES

Programs in Kinesiology

KN Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition

Bo Fernhall Dean UIC College of Applied Health Sciences

MLS

Medical Laboratory Sciences

NUTR

Programs in Nutrition

OT Department of Occupational Therapy PT

Department of Physical Therapy


SUMMER 2016

AHS MAGAZINE TABLE OF CONTENTS

FEATURES

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9 Similarities among differences  Alumnus Luca Badetti finds that dedication to supporting people with disabilities is a two-way street.

11 Practice makes perfect  The Department of Physical Therapy rounds out its excellence in education and research with the addition of a clinical practice.

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Now it’s personal

 iomedical visualization alumni offer tools that give users first-person B insight into how our bodies are built and how they can change over time.

DEPARTMENTS NOTEBOOK 3

Kinesiology prof puts $2.2 million to meaningful use

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 T research team finds that walking in the neighborhood is more O hazardous than you think

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 eammates from kinesiology and nutrition win big in campus T competition

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PEOPLE 22 

 appy gatherings: Highlights from alumni get-togethers in the first H half of 2016 22

On the cover: A "We Are Alfred" user is transformed into an elderly man via virtual reality.


Notebook AHS NEWS AND NOTES #UICBVIS

Vizz-able talent Wai-Man Chan '16 ms bvis was among 10 winners chosen from among hundreds of entries for this year’s Vizzies, a National Science Foundation competition for “the most beautiful visualizations from the worlds of science and engineering.” Chan’s work won the Expert’s Choice award in the posters and graphics category. Inspired by a visit to the Field Museum, she crafted a detailed illustration of the trapping mechanisms in the common bladderwort, a rootless, flowering plant that lives in fresh water. “I’ve always loved art, I’ve always loved science, so to be able to visualize science and create educational materials for the public has become really important to me,” she says. All Vizzie winners, including Chan, were featured on the website and in the March/April 2016 issue of Popular Science magazine, co-sponsor of the competition. Cari Jones '14 ms bvis was one of 50 finalists selected for her animation that shows how woodpeckers can peck without injuring their brains. The force of their blows would cause a concussion in a human. “Because of its implications in human health, narrowing the focus on concussion prevention was the obvious choice,” Jones said. View Jones’ animation at go.uic.edu/JonesWoodpecker. Check out Chan’s coverage in Popular Science at go.uic. edu/ChanPopSci.

#UICOT

News: Paper A paper co-authored by occupational therapy professor Joy Hammel and assistant professor Susan Magasi has become the first qualitative research paper ever to win, or even be nominated for, the Best Paper Award from the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers. This is the ninth year of the award program. “Environmental barriers and supports to everyday participation: A qualitative insider perspective from people with disabilities” was originally published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in April 2015. The paper was also included in Science Direct’s “Top 25 Hottest Articles.” To access the paper, visit go.uic.edu/BestPaperNARRTC.

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#UICNUTRITION #UICBVIS

Stairgazing These foods were made for walking

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What happens when 10 students studying nutrition writing pair up with 10 students studying advanced illustration? The UIC Applied Health Science Building gets 10 beautiful posters for its first-ever stairwell messaging campaign. “The goal was to provide sound nutrition science to anyone taking the stairs,” says Amy McNeil, who developed and teaches the nutrition course involved. “Presenting that information visually makes it so much more interesting and easy to absorb.” Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that physical improvements to stairwells, including motivational signage, can increase the use of stairs by occupants of multistory workplaces.

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Each poster offers beautifully presented, useful information as well as a QR code that takes readers to more details, recipes, shopping tips and the like. “Most of our students will go into careers working for and with clients,” says John Daugherty, BVIS program director and instructor for the illustration students who took part. “In this, they got good experience and exposure to real client relationships.” “Collaboration is never all smooth sailing,” adds McNeil, “and working through differences of opinion is where the learning happens. That’s what collaboration is."

#UICKINES

Wound-fighting warrior Glyburide, a drug taken orally to control blood-sugar levels in diabetic patients, may promote wound healing when applied directly to injured tissue, according to kinesiology professor Tim Koh. This summer, Koh began a four-year study funded by a $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. “We’ve been studying how this treatment works in diabetic mice,” he says. “Now we’ll extend these studies to diabetic patients.”

The human study will enroll 60 diabetic patients, for whom chronic wounds such as foot ulcers are common and debilitating. Koh believes that wounded tissue communicates with the bone marrow, where macrophages (cells crucial in healing) are produced. In diabetic patients, the signals may be amplified or extended in duration, and he hopes to determine whether those signals can be controlled by applying glyburide to the wound.

Tim Koh’s research career centers on tissue repair and wound healing. SUMMER 2016

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Notebook

#UICOT

Talking the walk Walking and moving around the neighborhood is an important way for people with disabilities and their families to participate and engage in the community. It’s also the most common form of physical activity. But for many residents of Chicago, especially youth and people with disabilities, this simple activity can be hazardous. So say the findings of a walkability/mobility and safety study conducted by Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar, professor and head of occupational therapy, with a team of OT students. In an effort to examine environmental barriers to participation in the community, the OT team staked out 25 intersections and 52 blocks in the Pilsen neighborhood. They recorded evidence of, on the one hand, safety issues that likely discourage walking and participation, and on the other hand, features of the neighborhood that invite walking and engaging in the community. The work is part of a project funded by The Chicago Community Trust. Among the more shocking safety concerns were that only 29 percent of vehicles exiting an alley yielded to pedestrians, and fewer than one-third of cars stopped at stop signs.

Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar wants Chicago to be a city of walkable neighborhoods.

“In our observations, we saw instances of cracked sidewalks, uncut curbs and similar issues that make it unsafe for people, especially the elderly and those with disabilities, to engage in their community,” says SuarezBalcazar. “Now we’re methodically collecting data to quantify these issues­and we’re planning a campaign in collaboration with local community agencies to bring this to the attention of policymakers and city officials who can act to improve conditions." The team will collect data in another Chicago neighborhood this summer to be similarly used to advocate for change.

#UICBVIS

Homecoming A historic collection has returned home to UIC: the archive of the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI). In spring 2016, the national professional society, founded at the UIC College of Medicine in 1945, moved its archive from Wake Forest University to the UIC Library of Health Sciences. The collection includes seven decades’ worth of original medical illustrations, photographs, slides, journals, newsletters and working papers.

UIC’s bid to house the collection, submitted by the Program in Biomedical Visualization, bested proposals from Johns Hopkins University and Cincinnati’s Lloyd Library and Museum. Says John Daugherty, BVIS program director and clinical assistant professor, “It will be a valuable resource for our students, faculty, alumni and other scholars for years to come.”

Illustration by Tom Jones, founder of the AMI and UIC’s biomedical visualization program. 4

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#UICKN

It’s grow time The “backyard” of the Applied Health Sciences Building at 1919 W. Taylor St. is now home to a teaching garden, courtesy of the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition. This summer, clinical instructor and garden director Renea Solis is filling nine raised beds with herbs, vegetables and fruits. Growing, harvesting and preparing the foods will be part of the curriculum in her "Introduction to Foods" course, open to all UIC students and required for nutrition undergraduates. “I think the garden will help students discover different ingredients,” says Solis, emphasizing that the wide variety of plants will prompt students to be more creative about healthy alternatives to common options. “For example, basil isn’t just basil; we have

six varieties of basil. We’ll look at how those can be used to season food instead of, say, salt.” Ross Arena, interim head of Kinesiology and Nutrition, says the time is right for integrating such a garden into the curriculum, given the growing emphasis on local, farm-to-table food production and consumption, as well as community-supported agriculture and sustainability. “In a traditional model, dietitians see people in a clinical setting who’ve been eating poorly for decades and are fighting disease,” says Arena. “We want our graduates to be able to teach people how to prevent illness, and gardening is an important tactic, especially where access to produce is limited.”

Garden director Renea Solis grew up living and working on farms.

#UICOT #UICPT

Programs stand firm in rankings The programs in occupational therapy and physical therapy maintained their excellent standing in the 2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School Rankings, a listing for which OT and PT programs were last evaluated in 2012. The occupational therapy program held its position at No. 4 among master’s programs nationwide. OT is the highest ranked health-related program at UIC according to U.S. News & World Report rankings. The physical therapy program jumped one place from three years earlier to be listed at No. 15. “We’re especially proud that our OT and PT programs are ranked No. 1 and No. 6, respectively, among public universities,” said Dean Bo Fernhall. “We not only have some of the best programs in the country, but we make them comparatively affordable.”

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Notebook

#UICOT #UICPT

Team training A team of occupational and physical therapy students made new connections with a neighboring community when they trained some 300 home healthcare aides during an in-service held at the Chinese American Service League in May. The aides learned body mechanics and safe functional transfer techniques in caring for elderly patients. Jenica Lee, assistant professor of occupational therapy, and Tanvi Bhatt, assistant professor of physical therapy, organized the group of nine PT and 10 OT students to conduct the training. “It was a great collaboration and wonderful opportunity for both OT and PT students to apply their skills outside of the classroom, as well as to engage with the Chinese community,” says Lee. “And we’ve already been invited to do it again next year.”

#UICKN

#UICBVIS

The team to “beet” A beet-infused nutrition bar was a prize-winning concept for an AHS team in the 11th Annual UIC Startup Challenge business plan competition sponsored by the College of Business Administration. Austin Robinson, a PhD student in rehabilitation sciences, and alumna Sofia Sanchez '12 bs nutr, an MBA student and registered dietitian nutritionist, won second place and $1,000 for Beet Strong, a nutrition bar high in protein and fiber and made with real fruits, nuts and chocolate. Robinson and Sanchez say the ingredients are linked to improvements in cardiovascular function, athletic performance and muscle building. More than 150 students from 12 colleges competed in the April 15 contest, presenting their business plans to judges who included business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors.

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Artists are breaking anatomy out of the confines of the medical world and thrusting it into the public space. —Vanessa Ruiz '10 ms bvis, founder and creative director of Street Anatomy, in her invited talk at TEDMED 2015. See the whole talk at go.uic.edu/ RuizTEDMED.


#UICHI

Researcher on the rise Andy Boyd, assistant professor of health informatics, was named one of nine 2016 Researchers of the Year by the UIC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. He received a Rising Star Award in clinical sciences, given to earlycareer researchers who show promise as future leaders. For the last five years, Boyd has studied—and published prolifically about—the complexities associated with the transition from version 9 to version 10 of the International Classification of Diseases, the

system healthcare providers use to code each diagnosis and procedure for every patient. “His analyses have highlighted gaps in ICD-10 that may affect patient safety and have economic implications,” said Mark Musen, chief of biomedical informatics research at Stanford University, in supporting Boyd’s nomination.

Andy Boyd received his award at a recognition ceremony on Feb. 17, 2016.

#UICDHD

UIC makes space for disability arts The Department of Disability and Human Development has partnered with the UIC College of Architecture, Design and the Arts in a project to foster disability arts and culture at UIC. The partners, sponsored by a fellowship from Chicago arts-promoting organization 3Arts, have brought to campus four artists with disabilities to give performances, lectures and workshops. In addition to these artist-in-residence events, students in the School of Art and Art History take classes in disability and human development, and doctoral students in disability studies take classes in the art school.

Carrie Sandahl, associate professor of disability and human development, fostered the crosscampus program through DHD's Program on Disability Arts, Culture and Humanities, which she directs. “This collaboration creates a bridge between UIC’s ‘west campus’ and ‘east campus,’” says Sandahl. “It’s a gratifying validation of our work when the arts departments include disabled artists and accessibility practices in their curricula and exhibition spaces. That recognizes our artistry and de-medicalizes disability.”

Artist-in-residence Barak adé Soleil performing.

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Notebook

#UICHIM

Leading lady Tina (Stiris) Esposito '97 bs him has been listed among the "Most Powerful Women in Healthcare IT" by Health Data Management. Now vice president of the Center for Health Information Services at Advocate Health Care, she was honored on May 12 at Health Data Management’s annual conference in Boston. This national accolade recognizes women who are driving technology innovation, deploying leading-edge technology and implementing healthcare systems that dramatically increase patient safety and organizational efficiency.

operations, Advocate Health Care. “Her leadership helped Advocate advance our data strategy and develop technology solutions that enhance the delivery of safe, patient-focused care.” Karen Patena, director of the AHS Program in Health Information Management, remembers Esposito well. "Tina was an outstanding student," says Patena. "I'm not surprised by her accomplishments, but it's always so wonderful to hear when alumni do so well!"

“We are so proud that Tina has been honored with this prestigious recognition,” said Rishi Sikka, senior vice president, clinical

#UICNUTRITION

Into the wild In May, nine undergraduate nutrition students left civilization behind for a survivalist weekend of identifying edible plants, building animal traps and purifying their own water in Illinois’ Apple River Canyon State Park. Renee Jeffrey, incoming president of the Student Nutrition Association (SNA), planned the trip upon the suggestion of a classmate. “It sounded so different from our urban setting, so I ran with it,” she explains. “How many nutrition students can say they know how to survive in the wilderness in an emergency situation? I think it will make us stand out when we’re applying for internships.” This was a first-of-its-kind educational outing for the SNA. Led by professional wilderness guides, students practiced not only the skills of survival, but also those of team-building and personal reflection.

Nutrition students (L-R) Liz Torres, Laura Rupprecht and Renee Jeffrey chomp on freshly picked garlic mustard. 8

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“The best part,” says Jeffrey, “was being out in the country, learning something new and building stronger friendships around the campfire.”


Similarities among differences

In his life and his work, alumnus Luca Badetti supports people with disabilities … and finds himself equally supported in return Sometimes people look at others who have intellectual disabilities as “angelic or animalistic,” says Luca Badetti, who graduated in 2015 with his PhD in disability studies. “Some think they’re always smiling, always happy and innocent, while others perceive them as not acting appropriately enough and look down on them,” he says. “But individuals with intellectual disabilities are neither angels nor animals. They’re people, like anyone else.” Badetti is community life director for L’Arche Chicago, which maintains two residences—Angel House on Austin Boulevard on Chicago’s West Side, and Peace House, in west suburban Forest Park. Each is home to four people who have intellectual disabilities, ranging

in age from their 30s to 70s, and three or four assistants. The four individuals who have disabilities are referred to as “core members,” from cor, the Latin word for heart, because they are the heart of the community. A third home will open in Chicago this year. Financial support comes from donations and the State of Illinois. An interesting thing about L’Arche, says Badetti, is that people without disabilities do provide care, but in a short time, they and their housemates with disabilities become friends. “Disabilities labels lose their hold, and the emphasis is on the person. People with disabilities need support, but we need them too.”

He adds his perspective that, by living only with people who are like ourselves, “we’re missing a chance to open our hearts.” Badetti’s first L’Arche community, where he lived for a year, was near Boston. Once, when he returned after a vacation, Jimmy, a core member with Down syndrome, came up to him and asked, “Did you miss me while you were gone?” “Now, most of us easily say, ‘I missed you,’ but we don’t always have the courage to say, ‘Am I important to you?’” explains Badetti. “There was love and friendship in that question. There was courage; there was vulnerability.” His four years with such communities have taught him important truths.

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L’Arche was founded in France in 1964 by philosopher and theologian Jean Vanier after he invited two men with intellectual disabilities who were living in institutions to move into his home in the town of TroslyBreuil. It was the first L’Arche community. Today there are 147 in 35 countries, including L’Arche Chicago, which began in 2000. At the two local homes, “we cook together, go to events in the city, watch TV, pray and hang out,” explains Badetti. As community life director, a job he began two and a half years ago, “My role is to support community life, spiritual life and quality of life of the people in the community,” he further explains.

Badetti and friends from the L’Arche community in Chicago.

His duties range from leading assistants’ meetings and organizing events and celebrations to training assistants and meeting with people one on one. In addition to Chicago and Boston, Badetti lived for two years at the L’Arche community in Washington, D.C. He also spent a semester at the Rome community and the original one in Trosly-Breuil.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, and a master’s from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Arlington, Virginia. His PhD dissertation is on “the relationship between the selfdetermination of people with intellectual disabilities and community life,” he says. As for his life post-PhD, “I like my community work,” he affirms. “It will be interesting to see if I can combine it with more academic work.” Badetti, who lives in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, hopes and believes that a world recently troubled by tragic events, such as terrorist attacks in Europe and police shootings here at home, can learn from L’Arche’s example. “I hope L’Arche can be a sign of peace, a sign that it’s possible and great to live together in our similarities and in our differences.”

Badetti grew up in Rome, where he lived for 10 years, and Milan, for four years, before moving to the United States with his parents.

“By embracing our inabilities, we can become more complete and connected human beings.”

Courtesy of TEDxBend 2016 10

Courtesy of L’Arche Chicago

“You can learn to know what it is to be human, and to grow into that,” describes Badetti. “There is a simplicity, a living from the heart rather than just the mind, an honesty, and a slower sense of time that I think pinpoints what are the great things about being human.”

–Luca Badetti ’15 phd dis, speaking in the TEDx talk he was invited to deliver in Bend, Oregon, on April 23. Watch the whole talk at go.uic.edu/BadettiTEDx.

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Practice makes perfect The college’s physical therapy department, already internationally admired for its top-ranked educational program and its well-funded research enterprise, adds a clinical practice to directly serve the community

Ross, I just don’t believe you.” Those were the words that job candidate Aaron Keil spoke to Ross Arena, head of the Department of Physical Therapy, as Arena outlined his vision for a state-of-the-art clinic while touring Keil through the poorly lit, undeveloped space designated to become the UIC Physical Therapy Faculty Practice. “Ross was promising a beautiful facility, autonomy for me to run the clinic, resources to get topquality equipment, and a residency program that wouldn’t pressure residents to spend more time

treating patients than developing skills,” says Keil, now faculty practice director and clinical associate professor of physical therapy.

that offers expert therapists to treat orthopaedic pain and injury, with new services being added this summer for patients with cardiacrelated disorders.

That was summer 2014. Today, the clinic is heading into its second year, fully functioning as an orthopaedic practice, beginning to incorporate cardiac rehabilitation, and on the cusp of integrating nutritional and exercise counseling.

“I got a lot of one-on-one attention. That helped me get better quickly,” says Bernadette Dunn of Chicago, who came to the Faculty Practice recently for treatment of neck, arm and shoulder pain.

A clinic in a college? The faculty practice is a fully operational physical therapy clinic

The faculty practice opened quietly in fall 2014 as a partnership between the College of Applied Health Sciences and the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System.

Continued on page 14

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LOVE WHAT YOU'VE DO

Exam Rooms An exercise physiologist is on hand in the clinic for treadmill stress testing.

Exam Rooms Cardiologists from UI Health see patients inside the clinic, a true convenience for cardiac rehab patients.

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The Gym Four faculty clinicians offer orthopaedic treatments from “head to toe,” says clinic director Aaron Keil.


ONE WITH THE PLACE The UIC Physical Therapy Faculty Practice is located in a brightly remodeled space on the third floor of UIC's Disability, Health and Social Policy Building. The Gym The facility is fully stocked with standard equipment, as well as premium equipment like an ultrasound machine and motion-analysis camera.

Waiting Area Once a patient arrives, average wait time is under five minutes. Clinic staff pride themselves on that.

Reception The clinic promises a session will be scheduled within 72 hours of contact, even for new patients. SUMMER 2016

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Continued from page 11

To imagine the difference between a clinic that is based in a university and one that is not, consider the difference between a hospitalbased health center and a for-profit fitness gym. They’re both dedicated to helping people achieve health and wellness, but the former has immediate access to the emerging research and medical knowledge of faculty beyond the center.

At the same time, there’s something in it for the faculty too. The clinic offers them the opportunity to combine teaching, research and patient care.

muscles as they contract in real time—“a great teaching tool for patients,” says Keil. They also offer video analysis to analyze gait, a particularly useful tool for runners.

“Here, I get to do what I love—be a clinician and teach at the same time,” says Keil.

The faculty practice averages 500 to 600 patient visits a month, a figure Keil expects to increase dramatically with its new cardiac rehabilitation service.

“We wanted to create something that integrates all our strengths,” says Arena. “As a large department with a strong foundation in education and research, it makes sense for us to deliver on those strengths through a strong clinical practice enterprise.”

The four faculty clinicians “treat everything, head to toe,” Keil says. Besides him, they are Brad Myers, clinical assistant professor; Deborah Davey, clinical assistant professor; and Justin Payette, adjunct clinical instructor.

Patients get treated directly by the experts who are educating the next generation of physical therapists.

Full service

In addition to standard PT treatments, services include cutting-edge modalities like realtime ultrasound, which shows

The faculty clinicians (L-R): Brad Myers, Deborah Davey, Aaron Keil and Justin Payette

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“Cardiac rehab is an untapped area in Chicago,” he says. “We’re going to be busy.” The cardiac rehab unit is a partnership with UI Health hospital cardiologists who recently moved their offices to the faculty practice location. “Patients will visit their cardiologists, then go to our


The 2015-16 residents (L-R): Sean McInerney, Ryan Cummings and Brian Baranyi

exercise physiologists for their stress test, get started in cardiac rehab with our therapists, and see a nutritionist for cardiac health,” Keil says, explaining how a “culture of excellence,” as the staff calls it, drives all decisions made in the faculty practice. The unit also includes two new faculty: exercise physiologists Cemal Ozemek and Hanna Claeys. Plans call for a faculty clinician in nutrition and, eventually, a new cardiac rehab residency program.

The residency factor For licensed physical therapists seeking advanced training, the faculty practice also offers a 13-month residency program of clinical practice, teaching, mentoring and research. Three orthopaedic PT residents work under the direction of faculty in a program accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association. There are fewer than 100 such programs in the nation. “The residency is for ambitious people who want to be better therapists,” says Keil. “Residents acquire advanced skills quickly,

and they put them to use right away to benefit patients.” Residents see patients, teach PT graduate students in both clinic and classroom, and may choose to complete a research project. They earn a graduate certificate in clinical research or clinical education with 20 graduate credits that can be applied toward a PhD. “It’s given me a lot of experience,” says Brian Baranyi, a current resident who earned his doctorate in physical therapy from UIC in 2015. “It’s experience I would not have gotten if I’d taken a traditional PT job right out of school.”

What’s next? Plans to expand the faculty practice are continually in the works. “We’re always considering how we can continue to meet the needs of our patient populations,” says Arena, “by aligning with our education and research strengths and by working in partnership with the UI Health hospital and the services it provides.”

If you need PT … Referrals from all physicians are welcome at the UIC Physical Therapy Faculty Practice. Patients can also make appointments without a referral, depending on their health insurance plan. Treatment is covered by most major health insurance; staff can advise patients on their coverage. To learn more about appointments, call 312-413-8043. Hours and location 1640 W. Roosevelt Road, third floor Monday through Thursday: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday: 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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THE APPLIED HEALTH SCIENCES SCHOLARSHIP FUND The AHS Scholarship Fund distributes financial awards to outstanding student leaders anywhere in AHS who are high academic achievers, who have financial need and who demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism within the UIC community and greater Chicago area. Please join faculty, staff and fellow alumni in supporting the accomplishments of our students. Give online at ahs.uic.edu/support, send a check via the enclosed envelope, or call 312-996-1339.

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Now it’s personal Two recent graduates in biomedical visualization use interactive technologies to give users a first-person experience in navigating the human body

March and April are a feverish time for AHS students finishing their master’s degree in biomedical visualization. Each of the approximately 20 students is putting the finishing touches on an original product two semesters in the making—a product based on intensive research and hard-earned skills in leading-edge technology. The breadth and depth of talent displayed in these research projects is stunning. Here we present the story of two 2016 graduates who stood out for the unique perspectives, literally, that they brought to their projects. SUMMER 2016

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Up to six people can use HAAM at a time, which encourages conversation and makes it more fun, Bowen says. “Jon did far more than just create a prototype. He rather successfully demonstrated that it could be a fully functional product,” says Kevin Brennan, clinical assistant professor of biomedical visualization and the committee chair for the project.

Jon Bowen can help you see yourself differently

D

o you know where your liver is? How about your spleen? Your kidneys? Waving a hand in front of your mid-section and saying, “Somewhere around here,” isn’t enough, says biomedical artist and communicator Jon Bowen '16 ms bvis. “When you go to a health practitioner, you need context to have a conversation,” he adds. That’s why Bowen created the Human Augmented Anatomy Mirror, or HAAM, as the final project for his recently completed master’s degree. HAAM is an interactive display application that shows viewers on their own bodies where the major organs are located, what they’re called and what they do. It’s designed to be easy to use,

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simple to understand, informative and entertaining. (Watch a video demonstration at amalgam.media/ HAAM.html.) Step up to the screen and images of your organs immediately appear, superimposed on your body. Turn or step to the side, and the organs move too. Unlike a drawing or model, which illustrates anatomy from an onlooker’s perspective, HAAM shows where the organs are in the user’s own body. When you “touch” an organ, its name and brief information about its function appears on screen. In game mode, the organs are arrayed to the side of the screen. The user can “grab” an organ and drag it to its proper place. Select the X-ray mode, and you’ll see the organs hidden behind the larger ones.

Bowen demonstrated a beta version at the 2016 Chicago Science Festival on May 14, sponsored by the Illinois Science Council at the Merchandise Mart. He’ll continue to refine HAAM based on user suggestions and responses at the event. “There was a whole range of reactions,” Bowen says. “One girl ran away. Most people walked by, did a double take, then came up to it. Lots of people just started exploring and playing with it. “It was a great experience. It was really rewarding to see people react so positively.” HAAM uses augmented reality, a technology that adds images and information to user surroundings (unlike virtual reality, which replaces the surroundings). Before developing the program, Bowen delved into learning theory, focusing on how to present information without overwhelming the user. “Augmented reality is great for that,” he says. “It’s not like a textbook, which is a wall of text. It presents an image that allows for the exploration of information. It’s a more natural way of learning.”


Photo: Courtesy of 1871

Bowen (right) demonstrated a beta version of HAAM at the 2016 Chicago Science Festival.

Bowen was inspired by video games like Sim City, which isn’t branded as an educational game but teaches users about topics like economics and urban planning. “The goal is to educate; the hard part is making it fun,” he says. Bowen also put a lot of thought into the physical aspects of the user interface. “I did research on museums and found that people generally spend less than one minute per exhibit. If they have trouble understanding an exhibit, they walk away within seconds. That’s why I wanted the image to pop up immediately. “Interacting with it, moving around, touching a place on your body (where the image of an organ appears)—that keeps people more

engaged. I tried to keep it simple: point and select, or drag and drop.” So far, he’s spent more than 150 hours developing HAAM.

“This project absolutely has potential for future development,” Brennan says, including use in museums, classrooms, patient care and health professions training.

He learned C Sharp, a programming language, and Unity, a game development platform. To create images of the organs, he used data from the National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project and the National Museum of Health + Medicine Chicago, creating threedimensional images with Zbrush and 3ds Max digital modeling tools.

Inspired by science fiction authors like Isaac Asimov and Neal Stephenson, Bowen wants to continue using art, technology and imagination to communicate the complexity of science.

“I gained a lot of skills,” he says.

“There’s a lot of room out there for innovation,” he says.

His ultimate goal: to run a small, serious games company (“serious” is the term used to describe games that have learning as their primary goal).

Now he’s looking to gain new ones, this time in business and entrepreneurship.

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“[We’re] trying to portray different kinds of medical conditions, sensory changes from the firstperson perspective of a patient,” says Shaw. (Watch a video about the project at www.embodiedlabs. com/work.) The project won first place in the Art/Design/Humanities & Social Sciences Category among graduate student projects at the UIC Research Forum in April 2016, and also earned Shaw a scholarship award from the Vesalius Trust, one of the highest honors for students in medical illustration. Given the growth rate for the U.S. population over age 65, Shaw designed “Alfred” with an eye toward its use being part of geriatrics curricula in medical schools.

Carrie Shaw can help you feel what others feel

I

magine sitting across from your doctor.

He’s speaking to you, but you can’t hear him clearly. There’s a large black smudge where his face should be, so you’re not able to get help from reading his lips. What he’s saying is important, so you lean in. But you’re frustrated as you struggle to understand what’s going on. You’re experiencing life through the eyes of a 74-year-old patient

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named Alfred—seven minutes in the body of an elderly man whose hearing loss and macular degeneration are misdiagnosed as cognitive impairments. It’s a virtual reality (VR) experience that Carrie Shaw ’16 ms bvis created as her final research project in the biomedical visualization program. To create the VR case study, titled “We Are Alfred,” Shaw worked with collaborators from UIC’s College of Engineering and the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts.

“[Medical students] are usually in their early 20s and not experiencing those kinds of challenges yet, so we decided to create something that would give them the experience of what it might be like to go through the aging process,” she says. Indeed, users experience exactly that with the help of headphones and the Oculus Rift, a headset that can immerse them in a 360-degree VR experience. The headset also includes a Leap Motion device that tracks and projects user’s hands in the story to make them feel like he or she is actually Alfred. “The project is focusing on comfort,” says Eric Swirsky, clinical assistant professor of biomedical and health information sciences and a faculty advisor for the project. “It’s not … treatmentoriented. It’s about comforting and


A virtual reality experience transforms a user into a 74-year-old named Alfred in order to see his perspective as a medical patient.

understanding where the patient is so that you can be with him.” The story, told via live action shot in 360-degree video combined with interactive computer graphics elements, is composed of six scenes. One is a daydream or memory, in which Alfred sees and hears clearly, reminding the user that an elderly person was once young and is likely struggling with aging in a way that deserves empathy. Shaw was drawn to this work after a decade of helping care for her own mother, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. “In the beginning, when my mom was having so much trouble understanding me and doing small tasks, I couldn’t understand why,”

she says. “And I didn’t want to just understand it; I wanted to feel what she was feeling. That was the first time I thought, ‘What if I could just be in her brain for one hour?’” What started as a homework assignment, to put it mildly, is now growing into a full-fledged business. With her “Alfred” collaborators, Shaw has founded Embodied Labs. The start-up’s first client is the UIC College of Medicine, which will integrate “Alfred” into the curriculum at the Chicago campus during the 201617 academic year. “We plan to create really sound educational models for how to use this type of VR experience in medical education,” says Shaw. “Our vision is that [‘Alfred’] could be used in every medical school in

the U.S. for geriatric education.” It’s also on her mind that this type of VR educational tool could be of interest to practicing physicians, caretakers and patients themselves. Shaw’s ambition is to develop additional VR films that put the user in the body of the patient, if only for a few minutes. They’ll expand beyond geriatrics to create experiences of whatever medical conditions, populations or cultures their clients require. “This technology is so cool,” she says with pure passion in her voice. “It’s the only way you can get an experience that you cannot live through in any way yourself.”

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People

Happy gatherings

#AHSmingles

The first half of 2016 saw a number of professional gatherings and AHS-hosted events, drawing alumni from all the college’s programs. Will you be among our friends attending events in the latter half of 2016? Alumni Reception at CSM 2016

Happy Hour at HIMSS16

February 19 Anaheim

March 2 Las Vegas

Physical therapy alumni and friends networked and socialized during the annual reception at the 2016 Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Who needs a pub when you have a booth? Alumni from our health informatics and health information management programs stopped by our exhibition booth at the HIMSS16 Annual Conference & Exhibition for happy hour.

Second Annual OT Scholarship of Practice Day

March 4 Chicago Nearly 180 OT students, alumni, fieldwork supervisors, educators, practitioners and collaborating community partners immersed themselves in the latest OT theory, education and research during this year’s Scholarship of Practice Day. Velma Russ Reichenbach ’55 bs, ’81 ms (below top right) was awarded the UIC OT Alumni Partner Award; although she was unable to attend, another OT alumna travelled to her home to personally present Reichenbach with the award.

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Alumni Meet-up at GLATA 2016 March 10 Wheeling Athletic training alumni met up for an evening of fun and fellowship during the 2016 annual meeting of the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers Association. The meet-up was organized, as always, by UIC’s former head athletic trainer Carol Humble ’82 bs, ’89 ms.

UIC OT and MOHO Reception at AOTA16 April 9 Chicago The UIC Department of Occupational Therapy and the Model of Human Occupation Clearinghouse hosted a special reception during the American Occupational Therapy Association’s 96th Annual Conference and Expo. More than 130 OT alumni and friends attended the reception!

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People

CE DAY and 2016 Vivette R. Rifkin Lecture

April 16 Chicago The gorgeous weather wasn’t the only reason alumni were beaming during our second annual CE DAY and the 2016 Vivette R. Rifkin Lecture. More than 60 alumni took advantage of the numerous continuing education opportunities that were available—all for free. World-renowned disability rights scholar Gary Albrecht presented this year’s Rifkin Lecture to a crowd of alumni, researchers, students and faculty. Attendees were buzzing with new insights during the closing reception.

Welcome to Alumniville: The UIC AHS Alumni Community

April 28 Chicago More than 75 2015-16 AHS graduates, along with the faculty and staff who helped them throughout their academic journeys, attended this year’s “Welcome to Alumniville.” As part of a short program, several students were presented with awards for achievement and participation during their years at AHS. The event was launched last year to formally welcome new graduates into the AHS alumni community. 24

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2016 AHS ALUMNI AWARDS

David Reavy ’98 BS 2015 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Recognizing alumni in three categories:

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award • Loyalty Award • New Alum Award

Nominate yourself or a classmate for a 2016 award before July 31! Find criteria, nomination forms and details of past recipients at: go.uic.edu/AHSAlumniAwards SUMMER 2016

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See you soon

#AHSmingles

Connect with fellow alumni, future colleagues and mentors by attending UIC AHS events happening this fall. Visit ahs.uic.edu/news/events for details.

OCT 14

OCT 20

HIM In-service

AHS CELEBRATES

OCT 17

NOV 2016

HI and HIM alumni, students and friends event at AHIMA 2016

HI alumni reception at AMIA 2016

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AHS Magazine - Summer 2016  

The publication for alumni and friends of the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago

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