Issue #163 • July 2022 Recap

Students in RFU's Nurse Anesthesia program participate in simulation centers through clinical partnerships similar to what will be offered to students in the new College of Nursing.

RFU Launches MS in Nursing for Entry into Nursing Practice Program

RFU’s new College of Nursing received approval from the Higher Learning Commission on July 15 to offer a Master of Science in Nursing for Entry into Nursing Practice (MSN-ENP) degree program, which is designed to help alleviate nursing shortages in Lake County and the surrounding region.

The Illinois Board of Nursing and the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) have also granted necessary approvals for the college, the first of its kind in Lake County. The first cohort of MSN-ENP students is scheduled to be on campus for the start of the Spring 2023 academic quarter in February.

College of Nursing Founding Dean Sandra Larson, PhD, CRNA, APN, FNAP, has led the formation of innovative community and clinical partnerships aimed at broadening access to undergraduate and nursing education to attract people typically underrepresented in nursing into the profession. In addition to admitting students with strong foundational baccalaureate degree preparation in the liberal arts, RFU and Lake Forest College (LFC) have partnered to create early conditional admission for select LFC students that would allow the students to earn a BA from LFC and their MSN degree from RFU in five years. Another key feature is the Nursing Education to Workforce Pathway, which identifies diverse Lake County high school students who want to become nurses and guides them through high school, then undergraduate degree completion at LFC and into RFU’s MSN-ENP program.

The Entry into Nursing Practice program joins the College of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (DNP-PMHNP) degree program, which received IBHE approval in January. DNP-PMHNP students begin their program in the fall quarter beginning Aug. 15.

University Highlights

  • The university’s INSPIRE, Science Saturdays and Camp Med programs received a 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). According to INSIGHT Into Diversity, award recipients were selected “based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives.”
  • A photography exhibit from Refugees Media marking World Refugee Day is on display in the Scholl Gallery through Aug. 5. The exhibit, presented by the divisions of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Institutional Advancement, and Student Success and Wellness, features powerful stories of refugees past and present and is displayed courtesy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The gallery is also hosting a donation drive to collect personal hygiene items, school supplies, bedding and non-perishable food in support of the Chicago Refugee Coalition, which operates a resource center out of Sullivan High School in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.
  • The Community Care Connection (CCC) team successfully completed an initiative to administer 250 first-time doses of the COVID vaccine as part of a research project led by the Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI) and Lake County Community Foundation. Vaccine recipients were given a $100 gift card provided by the research project and encouraged to complete a survey that asked questions about vaccine hesitancy and motivation to get vaccinated. Although the survey was not required to receive a gift card, the CCC reported a 100% survey completion rate among vaccine recipients.
  • Hector Rasgado‑Flores, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics and director of Underrepresented in Medicine Student Support and Success, was awarded the prize for “Science, Arts and Biomedical Contributions for a Better Life” by the Universidad Guizar y Valencia in Xalapa, Mexico.
  • Maureen Benjamins, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, CMS, and senior research fellow at the Sinai Urban Health Institute, was initiated as a Fellow of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago. Fellows are selected based on meritorious professional contributions, recognized leadership in medicine or public health, demonstrated interest in the health of the community and high ethical standards. Additionally, Dr. Benjamins and Samuel Bunting, MD ’21, co-authored the article, “Teaching Health Equity: A Medical School and a Community-Based Research Center Partnership,” published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, a journal from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Mary L. Mattes, MS, PA(ASCP)cm, assistant professor, program director and chair, Pathologists’ Assistant Department, is a finalist for The Pathologist magazine’s 2022 Power List in the “Voyage of Discovery” category celebrating educators and mentors. The Power List highlights inspiring people in the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine.
  • Patrick Knott, PhD, PA-C, interim dean, College of Health Professions and professor of physician assistant studies, was featured in the Physician Assistant Education Association’s (PAEA) 50th anniversary video “Perspectives from Past PAEA Presidents.” Dr. Knott served as PAEA president from 2004–05.
  • Nancy Farrell, MS, RDN, FAND, clinical instructor of nutrition, was recognized as the 2022 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Melissa Bernstein, PhD, RD, LD, FAND, associate professor and chair of nutrition, and Kim McMahon, RDN, MDA, adjunct lecturer of nutrition, along with colleagues from Stanford University and the California Institute of Human Nutrition, co-authored the textbook “Nutrition Essentials: Practical Applications.”
  • Kathy Zebracki, PhD, clinical associate professor of psychology, and colleagues from the United Kingdom co-authored the book “Paediatric Neuropsychology within the Multidisciplinary Context.”

Research Highlights

  • Judith Potashkin, PhD, professor, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease and Therapeutics, and colleagues from NeuroHub Analytics, LLC, and Q Regulating Systems, LLC, co-authored the research article “Physical Activity Rewires the Human Brain Against Neurodegeneration,” published in the International Journal of Molecular Science.
  • Noah Rosenblatt, PhD, associate professor and interim director, Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research (CLEAR) and SCPM assistant dean of research, and Ryan Crews, PhD, MS, CCRP, associate professor, CLEAR, received an $848,595 grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund the research study “Improving Diabetic Foot Ulcer Offloading: A Pilot Study on the Impact of Removable Cast Walker Design Factors on Usability.” Additionally, Drs. Crews and Rosenblatt presented the poster “Do Varied Offloading Modalities Have Differing Impacts Upon Users’ Fall Risk?” at the American Diabetes Association’s 82nd Scientific Sessions.
  • Tim Cheung, PhD ’20, DPM ’22, CPT, and Stephanie Wu, DPM, MSc, FACFAS, dean, SCPM, co-authored “Highlights From the American Diabetes Association Compendium on Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy,” published in Podiatry Today.
  • Dr. Noah Rosenblatt presented the poster “The Effect of Age on Intersegmental Coordination During Gait: A Scoping Review” at the 2022 World Congress of the International Society of Posture and Gait Research. Additionally, Dr. Rosenblatt; Sangseop “Steve” Kim, MS, CPed, LPed, instructor and manager, SCPM Orthotic and Pedorthic Labs; and Sai Yalla, PhD, assistant professor, CLEAR, presented “Ultimate Strength of Transtibial Prosthetic Sockets” at the 20th Biennial U.S.-International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics Pacific Rim Conference. 
  • Rachel H. Albright, DPM ’15; Manali Chingre, SCPM ’23; Erin Klein, DPM ’08, MS, clinical instructor of podiatric surgery and applied biomechanics; Lowell Weil Jr., DPM ’94; and Adam Fleischer, DPM ’01, MPH, professor of podiatric medicine and radiology, co-authored “Diagnostic Accuracy of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Versus Dynamic Ultrasound for Plantar Plate Injuries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” published in European Journal of Radiology. Drs. Fleischer and Albright also co-authored “Normal and Diseased Imaging: Ultrasound/MRI,” published in Clinics in Podiatric Medicine and Surgery.
  • The following Scholl College students and faculty members contributed to posters presented at The National, the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Annual Scientific Meeting: Sweta Soni, SCPM ’24; Stephen Polacek, SCPM ’24; Katherine Samuelson, DPM ’22; Chase Kiefer, DPM ’22; Dr. Noah Rosenblatt; Dr. Ryan Crews; and Dr. Stephanie Wu: “Offloading Conditions’ Impact on Stability of Persons with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy.” Claudia Moreno Romero, SCPM ’24; Pratibha Patel, DPM ’06, lecturer, podiatric surgery and applied biomechanics; Sydney Yau, DPM, associate professor of podiatric surgery and applied biomechanics and assistant dean of educational affairs, SCPM; Dr. Noah Rosenblatt; and Dr. Stephanie Wu: “Intact Foot Characteristics in Individuals Who Use a Lower Limb Prosthesis: A Pilot Study.” Shaili Kumar, SCPM ’24; Joshua Harbert, SCPM ’24; Dr. Adam Fleischer; and Dr. Sai Yalla: “Impacts of Subsensory Vibration on Proprioception in Patients with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy.”
  • Marco Avalos, PhD, MD, research associate and adjunct instructor, CLEAR, and Dr. Noah Rosenblatt presented “Exploring Minimum Toe Clearance as a Predictor for Risk of Stumbles and Falls in Older Adults” at the 27th Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics. Dr. Avalos also presented two posters at the conference: “A Methodology to Determine the Effects of the Pitcher-Ground Interaction on Fastball Pitch Velocity” and “Effects of Handle-Height on Gait Kinetics in Older Adults While Walking with a Rollator.”
  • Heather Walsh, PhD, executive director of the MedTech Accelerator at mHUB, presented “Accelerating MedTech Innovation” on July 12 as part of the university’s BioPathways Entrepreneurial Speaker Series, a monthly program featuring prominent bioentrepreneurs, biotech executives and biotech investors.

News Headlines

  • Archana Chatterjee, MD, PhD, dean, Chicago Medical School, was quoted in the article “Omicron-specific COVID Boosters Are Coming,” published in Scientific American, as well as in a USA Today article about the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving COVID vaccines for children ages 6 months to 5 years old. Dr. Chatterjee serves on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), an independent advisory panel that makes recommendations to the FDA.
  • Crain's Chicago Business included in its July 22 Health Pulse section news of RFU receiving Higher Learning Commission approval to offer a Master of Science in Nursing for Entry into Nursing Practice degree program.
  • Jim Carlson, PhD ’12, PA-C ’01, vice president for interprofessional education and simulation, appeared on Chicago’s Afternoon News on WGN Radio to discuss the creation of a web-based case simulation program designed to teach medical professionals and students how to spot rare reactions to the street drug MDMA (ecstasy).

Alumni Notes

  • David Baum, MD ’85, helped gunshot victims, including a young child with critical injuries, after the 4th of July Parade mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. He reflected on his experience with local and national news outlets, including CNN and TIME. Wendy B. Binstock Rush, MD ’87, was also in attendance and provided aid to a gunshot victim. She shared her story on NBC's The Today Show.
  • James E. Fullwood, DPM ’10, was elected to the board of directors of Northern Light Health, which governs 10 hospitals and 14,000 employees in Maine.

Photo Galleries

World Refugee Day Exhibit RFU Picnic
Unstuff the Bus School Supply Drive

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