Research/Health Care/

The Rural Public Health Undergraduate Student Research Project

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2013 Summary The goal of the Rural Public Health Undergraduate Student Research Projects was to introduce undergraduate students to public health through a transdisciplinary research project under supervision of a faculty member with the hope of ultimately …

Teaching & Engagement, 2013


Summary

The goal of the Rural Public Health Undergraduate Student Research Projects was to introduce undergraduate students to public health through a transdisciplinary research project under supervision of a faculty member with the hope of ultimately increasing the number of public health professionals serving rural Nebraska. The research projects addressed identified rural public health priorities and needs in partnership with a community-based organization. The projects integrate teaching and professional services, in addition to reflective activities structured to link the service experience with the learning of the student. In addition, the representation of undergraduate students provides a forum for expression of rural youth voices.

Impacts

This project represented a great opportunity for collaboration between UNMC, UNK, the Nebraska State College system, and diverse community-based organizations that has led to strengthened relationships on all fronts. For instance, the Wayne State College survey on barriers and opportunities for addressing behavioral health issues in rural Nebraska has led to further opportunities for graduate students to incorporate findings from this study into their capstone project which can inform policymakers on this topic.

The CHANCE Initiative, a partnership between Peru State College and Nemaha County Elementary schools was funded through a planning grant form ServeNebraska in the amount of $17,880.49 to expand its efforts into neighboring Otoe County.

Project Team

  • Patrik Johansson (PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health
  • Sonja Russell, University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health
  • Jill Mack, Chadron State College, Physical and Life Sciences
  • Kyle Ryan, Peru State College, Health, Physical Education & Recreation
  • Peggy Abels, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Health Science Programs
  • David Peitz, Wayne State College, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

 

Partners

  • University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Chadron State College
  • Peru State College
  • Wayne State College
  • Nemaha County Elementary Schools
  • The Center for Rural Affairs
  • Nelson Physical Activities Center
  • Two Rivers Public Health Department

 

Publications

  • Johansson, P., Blankenau, J., Tutsch, S., Brueggman, G., Afrank, C., and Lyden, E. Barriers and Solutions to Providing Access to Mental Health Services in Rural Nebraska: Perspectives from Non-prescribing Mental Health Providers. Submitted to National Rural Health Association’s Journal of Rural Health. (In progress.)

 

Presentations

  • Nebraska Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting
    Rickettsia Rickettsii Prevalence in Dermacentor Variabilis in Dawson County, Nebraska
    April 17, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Nebraska Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting
    Comparison of Infectious Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Anaplasma Species of Bacteria in American Dog Ticks from Upland and Lowland Areas of Dawson County, Nebraska
    April 17, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Nebraska Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting
    Prevalence of Disease Causing Bacteria in Dermacenter Variabilis Ticks in Buffalo County, Nebraska
    April 17, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Missouri Valley Branch of the American Society of Microbiology Annual Meeting
    Rickettsia Rickettsii Prevalence in Dermacentor Variabilis in Dawson County, Nebraska
    March 26-28, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Missouri Valley Branch of the American Society of Microbiology Annual Meeting
    Risk-Assessment for Tick-borne Diseases in Buffalo County, Nebraska
    March 26-28, 2015 | Lincoln, NE
  • Nebraska Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting
    Risk-Assessment for Tick-borne Diseases in Buffalo County, Nebraska
    April 11, 2014 | Lincoln, NE

Contact: Patrik Johansson, pjohansson@unmc.edu

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Addressing the Rural Shortage of Mental Health Providers Through a Virtual Mentorship Network

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2014 Summary The state of Nebraska is facing a critical shortage of mental health providers. In 2011, 88 of Nebraska’s 93 counties were federally-designated behavioral health professional shortage areas. Immediate intervention is required to address the shortage …

Teaching & Engagement, 2014


Summary

The state of Nebraska is facing a critical shortage of mental health providers. In 2011, 88 of Nebraska’s 93 counties were federally-designated behavioral health professional shortage areas. Immediate intervention is required to address the shortage of mental health professionals in rural areas. Therefore, the objective of this project was to engage and connect students and members of their communities with mentor relationships. A virtual mentorship community of rural students and professionals throughout Nebraska was developed. The program recruited dynamic behavioral health professionals from rural underserved areas throughout the state to partner with interested students at the high school or undergraduate level. Students partnered with mentors from two different mental health professions; psychiatry and psychology.

The long term outcomes of this project include the placement of behavioral health professionals in rural communities, and connecting them to a culture of mentorship. In short, families and rural primary care providers would be able to connect to a local psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or therapist so that they would not need to leave the community for care.

Impacts

Leaders in Nebraska are seeking solutions to critical shortages in the behavioral health workforce. The shortage is particularly acute in rural areas where there is a limited supply of practicing mental health providers to serve as role models for youth as they explore career paths. The development of a virtual mentoring network (VMN) may bridge geographic gaps and connect interested high school and college students with behavioral health practitioners to increase the number of applicants to graduate programs from underserved areas. The VMN program was rated to be helpful in both years of the project, but significantly more helpful in year two when college students were provided with tailored and career-specific information. These results suggest that separating high school and college mentoring cohorts due to different career counseling needs and allowing students to specify which licensed behavioral health professional they engage can increase the student satisfaction with an online mentoring program.  This pilot can serve as a model for other states that have significant workforce shortages in rural and urban underserved areas, as well as a model for additional behavioral health careers in which shortages are observed.

This mentorship program in the college-aged, small-group format will continue in the future. Efforts will be made to establish a sustainable program through which professionals in the behavioral health fields are able to provide career-specific guidance to mentees interested in the behavioral health career pathways. Dynamic professionals or advanced students will be recruited to serve as mentors to college students. Additionally, future work will include applying the successful VMN approach to additional behavioral health careers, such as social work, marriage and family counseling, and substance abuse counseling.

The videos created as a part of VMN are a permanent product and will be used to distribute basic career information to high school students through a variety of outlets, described above. Additionally, further outlets for the videos created for high school students will be sought, and distribution will continue as additional outlets are identified.

Project Team

  • Howard Liu (PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center, Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska
  • Heidi Keeler (Co-PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing
  • Ann Kraft, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska
  • Kay Glidden, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska

Partners

  • University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Munroe Meyer Institute at UNMC
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Psychiatry Residency Program, Creighton University
  • Wayne State College
  • Doane University
  • Grand Island High School
  • Kearney Senior High School
  • Lexington High School

Publications

Videos

Presentation

  • National Council for Behavioral Health Conference
    Addressing the Rural Shortage of Mental Health Providers
    April 20-22, 2015 | Orlando, FL

Media Coverage

 

Contact: Howard Liu, hyliu@unmc.edu

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Rural Interprofessional UNMC Student Rotations

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2015 Summary The proposed bold, creative and transdisciplinary rural rotation, grounded in public health, will allow students to work interprofessionally in teams under the supervision of a public health practitioner. During the three-week rotation students will engage …

Teaching & Engagement, 2015


Summary

The proposed bold, creative and transdisciplinary rural rotation, grounded in public health, will allow students to work interprofessionally in teams under the supervision of a public health practitioner. During the three-week rotation students will engage in team-based, service-learning-based activities that align with the East Central District Health Department Community Health Improvement Plan. By taking part in this rotation, students should become stronger and more effective leaders in advocating for the sustainability of rural Nebraska communities.

 

Impacts

A pre-post design survey was employed to examine student changes in knowledge and attitudes related to their perceived ability as a member of an interprofessional team to: engage diverse health care professionals, communicate as a member of an interprofessional team, choose effective communication tools and techniques, integrate knowledge and experience of other professions, and to manage disagreements. Students indicated the following benefits from participating in the rotation: the ability to engage diverse healthcare professionals and develop strategies to meet specific rural population health needs, and an increased understanding of the need to embrace cultural diversity.

This is a great project that has allowed students from all colleges at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) to work in an interprofessional rural setting, focused on public health competencies and interprofessional learning. This program provides invaluable experiences for the students and the PI was successful in securing permanent Program of Excellence funds to permanently continue this interprofessional rotation opportunity.

 

Project Team

  • Patrik Johansson (PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center, Rural Health Education Network
  • Rebecca Rayman (Co-PI), East Central District Health Department

 

Partners

  • UNMC College of Dentistry
  • UNMC College of Medicine
  • UNMC College of Nursing
  • UNMC College of Pharmacy
  • UNMC College of Public Health
  • UNMC College of Allied Health Professions
  • East Central District Health Department
  • Good Neighbor Community Health Center

 

Publication

  • Johansson P., Grimm B., Tibbits M., Maloney S., Siahpush M., Nickol D. (Manuscript under Review) Outcomes from an interprofessional, population health-oriented, practice-based health profession student rotation in rural Nebraska. Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice.

 

Presentation

  • Rural Futures Institute Forum
    Rural Interprofessional UNMC Student Rotations
    September 22, 2016 | West Point, NE

 

Media Coverage

 

Contact: Patrik Johansson, pjohansson@unmc.edu

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Translating Evidence-based, Family-based Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program for Adoption by Rural Communities

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2015 Summary National data have clearly documented a fourfold increase in childhood obesity during the past four decades. Pediatric obesity is associated with a plethora of health risks, yet obesity treatment programs are scarce in Nebraska and …

Research & Engagement, 2015


Summary

National data have clearly documented a fourfold increase in childhood obesity during the past four decades. Pediatric obesity is associated with a plethora of health risks, yet obesity treatment programs are scarce in Nebraska and generally unavailable in rural America. With US medical health care services changing to population-based health and evidence-based medicine, physicians are searching for tested and proven referral programs to provide health education and weight loss programs for children and adults, which achieve positive health outcomes.

The objective of this proposal is to enhance rural access to our locally successful, evidence-based, family-based, pediatric obesity treatment program, Building Healthy Families. Program translation will utilize distance learning technologies (synchronous and asynchronous) to allow rural community members in Greater Nebraska, where currently available resources and expertise are limited, to participate in the 12-week program.

Impacts

The project was deemed a success because a tremendous amount was learned about video conferencing delivery to rural families in an intensive family-based obesity treatment program. The team was able to evaluate what worked, and what did not work, and developed ideas of how to take next steps to enhance reach and modify delivery. The team was able to collaborate with new investigators from UNMC who have experience and expertise with evaluation of community interventions. The ability to better analyze the data facilitated the development of a proposal for external funding.

The objectives for the pilot study in Broken Bow and McCook included evaluation of passive and active recruitment from pediatricians and public schools in an effort to reach more potential families. The secondary objective compared the traditional Building Healthy Families program to a workbook control that was delivered to the rural communities. It is anticipated that the workbook control will experience weight loss, although not as much. However, the workbook control allows reach into rural communities where resources are not present. We are awaiting completion of the final data to determine the effectiveness of the program delivery to rural communities.

Two additional funding sources of $18,000 and $150,000 have allowed this project to expand. While a proposal to NIH for $3.3 million was not funded initially, the project is addressing reviewer critiques with plans to resubmit the proposal in the fall of 2018.

Project Team

  • Kate Heelan (PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Todd Bartee (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Nannette Hogg, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Communications
  • Bryce Abbey, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Matthew Bice, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology and Sports Sciences
  • Allan Jenkins, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Economics
  • Ron Konecny, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Management

Partners

  • Myra Stoney, Southwest Public Health District
  • Jesse Goertz, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Extension
  • Kaiti George, Hy-Vee Dietician
  • Nancy Rogers Foster, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Psychology and Pediatrics
  • Jean Mandernach, Grand Canyon University, Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching

Presentations

  • American College of Sports Medicine National Meeting
    Attenuation of Excessive Weight Gain One Year Post Pediatric Obesity Treatment Initiation
    May 29, 2018 | Minneapolis, MN
  • American College of Sports Medicine National Meeting
    Public Health Impact of a Family-based Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program
    May 29, 2018 | Minneapolis, MN
  • Nebraska Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Conference
    A Community Approach to Pediatric Obesity Treatment: Kearney Public Schools and Building Healthy Families
    April 20, 2018 | Lincoln, NE
  • International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Conference
    Adaptation of a Family-based Behavioral Weight Control Treatment Program for Rural Midwest US Families
    June 7-10, 2017 | Victoria Canada
  • International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Conference
    Interventions for Community Implementation: Process and Outcomes
    June 7-10, 2017 | Victoria Canada
  • American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting
    Self-Monitoring as a Predictor for Weight Loss in a Family-based Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program
    May, 2017 | Denver, CO
  • Central Nebraska Child Obesity Conference
    Signs of Progress: Kearney Public Schools & Building Healthy Families Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program
    December, 2016 | Hastings, NE
  • Rural Futures Institute Forum
    Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program for Adoption in Rural Communities
    September 27, 2016 | North Platte, NE

 

Media Coverage

 

Contact: Kate Heelan, heelanka@unk.edu

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HealthVoiceVision

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2016      Summary HealthVoiceVision is a combined Photovoice (PV) and survey research project that links community voices/images with rigorous social science research methods to provide more insight into the health of rural communities. This project …

Research & Engagement, 2016


 

 

Summary

HealthVoiceVision is a combined Photovoice (PV) and survey research project that links community voices/images with rigorous social science research methods to provide more insight into the health of rural communities. This project addresses an important gap in our understanding of local health ways by providing data at sub-county, community specific levels. The creation of a cost-effective and accurate means for uncovering health inequalities in rapidly changing, ethnically diverse small communities in the Midwest will lead the way to more accurate health interventions within these communities.

Impact

The HealthVoiceVision transdisciplinary team combined participatory research with traditional random spatial sampling surveys to better understand minority health disparities in rural communities. The research results from over 325 household surveys will translate into interventions, tools and data that communities can use to understand and address minority health disparities. Data from this study is in the early stage of analysis and additional findings from the study will be shared soon.

Looking Past Skin: Our Common Threads is an interactive exhibit that fosters a transformative environment for scholarship using art/research to engage instructors and students in dialogue. The display was previewed this fall in Lexington at the Dawson County Historical Society Museum. The display now may be viewed during the Spring 2018 semester on the third floor of the Nebraska History Museum.

Over 1,000 volunteer hours have been contributed to the project and over 115 high school, undergraduate, and graduate students have been involved.

The April 12, 2018, episode of Catch Up With Chuck featured project participant Gladys Godinez from Lexington, Neb.

The November 16, 2017, episode of Catch Up With Chuck featured the PI of this project, Kirk Dombrowksi.

Project Team

  • Kirk Dombrowski (PI), Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Kim Matthews (Co-PI), BOSR/Minority Health Disparities Initiative, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Virginia Chaidez (Co-PI), Nutrition & Health Sciences, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Angela Palmer Wackerly (Co-PI), Department of Communications, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Jordan Soliz (Co-PI), Department of Communications, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Jolene Smyth (Co-PI), Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Lisa Pytlik Zillig (Co-PI), Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Erin Poor (Co-PI), Sheldon Art Museum, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

 

Partners

  • Josie Rodriguez, DHHS – Office of Health Disparities & Health Equity
  • Jeremy Eschliman, Two Rivers Public Health Department
  • Rural Futures Institute
  • The Lexington Community
  • The Nebraska History Museum
  • UNL Extension
  • Dawson County Historical Society Museum
  • Humanities Nebraska
  • Minority Health Disparities Initiative
  • Office of Health Disparities & Health Equity, DHHS
  • Two Rivers Public Health Department
  • Lexington Regional Health Center

 

Publications

 

Presentations

  • Dawson County Historical Society Museum Exhibition
    Looking Past Skin
    Spring Semester, 2018 | Lincoln, NE
  • Catch Up With Chuck
    Minorities in Rural
    November 16, 2017 | Lincoln, NE
  • Nebraska State Capitol Exhibit
    Ripple Effect Mapping
    November, 2017 | Lincoln, NE
  • Dawson County Historical Society Museum Exhibition
    Looking Past Skin
    Oct 14 – Nov 15, 2017 | Lexington, NE

 

Contact: Kirk Dombrowski, kdombrowski2@unl.edu

 

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YouRhealth: Youth are Rural Health Program

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2016 Summary YouRhealth is a new, innovative and bold initiative that creates a learning community that includes civic engagement by transforming Lexington High School’s (LHS) freshman health course into a rigorous visual literacy/critical thinking/community engagement environment. This …

Teaching & Engagement, 2016


Summary

YouRhealth is a new, innovative and bold initiative that creates a learning community that includes civic engagement by transforming Lexington High School’s (LHS) freshman health course into a rigorous visual literacy/critical thinking/community engagement environment. This project will implement the YouRhealth program that teaches freshman high school students to be community health educators by developing and presenting multimedia public health campaigns to their family and friends, as well as provide NU students civic engagement opportunities in a predominately minority community.

Project Team

  • Kim Matthews (PI), Minority Health Disparities Initiative, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Tom Coviello (Co-PI), Lexington High School
  • Erin Poor (Co-PI), Sheldon Art Museum

Partners

  • Christy Kosmicki, Art & Art History, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Sharon Baker, College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Maria Reyes, Lexington Regional Health Center
  • Josie Rodriguez, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Health
  • Disparities & Health Equity

 

Contact: Kim Matthews, kmatthews2@unl.edu

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Raising Awareness of Health Professionals Education Among Rural Nebraska Latino Youth

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2016 Summary Health professions shortages represent a challenge to the sustainability of rural communities. While there are insufficient rural health professionals in general, Latinos are virtually absent from this workforce. This study will develop strategies to raise …

Research & Engagement, 2016


Summary

Health professions shortages represent a challenge to the sustainability of rural communities. While there are insufficient rural health professionals in general, Latinos are virtually absent from this workforce. This study will develop strategies to raise awareness of health professions education among rural Nebraska Latino high school and college students, resulting in increased numbers of Latino youth who pursue health professions.

Project Team

  • Patrik Johansson (PI), Rural Health Education Network, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Judy Ritta (Co-PI) Nebraska Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

Partners

  • University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska
  • Central Community College
  • Doane College
  • Grand Island Latino Leadership Group
  • Grand Island Senior High
  • St. Francis Hospital
  • Department of Health and Human Services

 

Contact: Patrik Johansson, pjohansson@unmc.edu

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Health, Exercise, Technology & Aquaponics Day Camps

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2017 Summary “Teaching Health, Exercise, Technology, & Aquaponics (THETA) Day Camps to Grow Future Health Professionals” is a collaborative project developed by a team of seven faculty members at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK). The …

Teaching & Engagement, 2017


Summary

“Teaching Health, Exercise, Technology, & Aquaponics (THETA) Day Camps to Grow Future Health Professionals” is a collaborative project developed by a team of seven faculty members at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK). The goals of the THETA Day Camps project are to inspire and motivate middle school students to pursue careers in health science. Students will participate in a series of half-day science education camps during which they will learn about various careers that are associated with health science topics through physical activity, nutrition and food growing programs. UNK undergraduate students with career goals in health science will lead the camps, and it is hoped that by leading these camps the UNK students will be better prepared for graduate education in the health sciences.

Project Team

  • Gregory Brown, Professor, Kinesiology & Sports Sciences, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Matthew Bice, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology & Sports Sciences, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Megan Adkins-Bollwit, Associate Professor, Kinesiology & Sports Sciences, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Angela Hollman, Assistant Professor, Industrial Technology, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Sonja Bickford, Lecturer, Industrial Technology, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Nate Bickford, Associate Professor, Biology, University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Dustin Ranglack, Assistant Professor, Biology, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Partners

  • Andrew Ambriz, Director, McCook Economic Development Corporation, McCook, Neb.
  • Ronda Graff, Youth Activities Director, Ed Thomas YMCA, McCook, Neb.
  • Denise Garey, Health Educator, Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department, McCook, Neb.
  • Sarah Wolford, Community Outreach & Wellness Coordinator, McCook Community Hospital, McCook, Neb.

 

Contact: Gregory Brown, brownga@unk.edu

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Ending Mental Health Stigma & Promoting Mental Health Among Rural Nebraska College and University Students

December 5, 2017
Teaching & Engagement, 2017  Summary The growing shortage of mental health professionals in rural areas, alongside the rising number of rural college and university students who experience mental health difficulties, calls for a comprehensive public health approach to addressing …

Teaching & Engagement, 2017


Summary

The growing shortage of mental health professionals in rural areas, alongside the rising number of rural college and university students who experience mental health difficulties, calls for a comprehensive public health approach to addressing underlying causes of mental illness and related stigma. It also calls for a focus on equipping students with resiliency skills that lay the foundation for growing strong and healthy minds. In collaboration with faculty and students at Wayne State College, the team seeks to develop and implement a promising mental health promotion curriculum aimed at addressing stigma and alleviating mental health difficulties among college and university students in Nebraska through civic engagement, health education and advocacy.

Impacts

According to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, suicide is the leading cause of death among college and university students in the United States and is the 11th leading cause of death in Nebraska. In 2014, 1 in 6 Nebraska adults reported a diagnosis of depression, and 1 in 12 reported mental illness.

Faced with these staggering statistics, the team at Wayne State College is scheduled to hold four forums funded by RFI and presented by UNMC’s Rural Health Education Network (REHN), in cooperation with the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) and the college’s student chapter of ActiveMinds. During winter 2017, more than 30 Wayne State College students from 17 different majors developed curriculum content and a discussion guide that will be promoted to mental health student chapters at colleges and universities across the state.

Nearly 60 Wayne State College students and faculty members participated in the first forum, held on Mar. 28, 2018, which was geared to raise awareness and generate discussion around mental health. The next forum is scheduled for fall 2018. These forums will help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, encourage people to seek help and provide meaningful and relevant solutions to address mental health difficulties experienced by college and university students.

Project Team

  • Sonja Franziska Tutsch, Graduate Student, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Rural Health Education Network
  • Howard Liu, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska
  • Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health

Partners

  • Monica Snowden, Wayne State College, Sociology

 

Contact: Sonja Tutsch, sonja.tutsch@unmc.edu

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Assessment of and Treatment Applied to Food Addiction to Encourage Self-Management of Obesity

December 5, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2017  Summary Obesity is a major health issue in the United States and is associated with increased risk of comorbidities and higher medical costs. This is particularly a concern for rural residents, who have a greater …

Research & Engagement, 2017


Summary

Obesity is a major health issue in the United States and is associated with increased risk of comorbidities and higher medical costs. This is particularly a concern for rural residents, who have a greater rate of obesity than urban residents, but are disadvantaged in obtaining care because of a shortage of health care professionals. To address this, the research team will evaluate the efficacy of using nurse practitioners to deliver interventions to patients referred to an outpatient clinic for treatment of obesity. The primary objective is to evaluate the efficacy of four interventions in obese rural patients with and without food addiction to develop effective, better-targeted interventions to help obese rural residents successfully self-manage their obesity to enable them to live healthier lives and reduce the high cost of treating the comorbidities associated with obesity.

 

Project Team

  • Trina Aguirre (PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing
  • Rebecca Kreman (Co-PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center

Partners

  • Martha Strickler, Regional West Physicians Clinic

 

Contact: Trina Aguirre, taguirre@unmc.edu

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Building Capacity for Developing, Implementing, and Evaluating the Family Health and Wellness Coalition’s Community Health Improvement Plan

November 17, 2017
Research & Engagement, 2017    Summary Social, environmental and behavioral determinants of health account for 60 percent of a person’s health status. Consequently, community development can influence health and a healthy community has a significant economic impact. High rates …

Research & Engagement, 2017

 


Summary

Social, environmental and behavioral determinants of health account for 60 percent of a person’s health status. Consequently, community development can influence health and a healthy community has a significant economic impact. High rates of chronic, but mostly preventable, diseases are one of the biggest drivers of health care costs and are limiting worker productivity. The Family Health and Wellness Coalition was formed in 2015 with the focus of reducing chronic disease risk among residents of Boone, Colfax, Nance, and Platte counties. This emerging coalition is motivated yet hampered by challenges to participation, resources and other core capabilities such as planning, implementing and evaluating their work. Through this project the coalition will increase its capacity to a) assess, prioritize and plan; b) take targeted action; c) change community conditions and systems through the implementation of evidence-based interventions; and d) achieve widespread change in behavior and risk and protective factors. By the end of the project, partners will have produced a systematic community change process that can be replicated in other rural areas.

Project Team

  • Todd Bartee (PI), University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kinesiology & Sports Sciences
  • Jerry Schultz (Co-PI), University of Kansas, Community Health and Development Work Group
  • Jennie Hill (Co-PI), University of Nebraska Medical Center

Partners

  • Family Health and Wellness Coalition, Columbus Community Hospital; East Central District
  • Nebraska Health Department

 

Contact: Todd Bartee, barteet2@unk.edu

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Collaborative Capacity Building in Rural Nebraska Schools via Technology

November 17, 2017
Special Project, 2016 Summary There are long-standing barriers to services in rural communities including insufficient mental health services, cultural differences and stigma that make access to treatment options for mental and behavioral issues a challenge for students in rural areas. …

Special Project, 2016


Summary

There are long-standing barriers to services in rural communities including insufficient mental health services, cultural differences and stigma that make access to treatment options for mental and behavioral issues a challenge for students in rural areas. The long term goal of this project is to significantly reduce mental health disparities for rural children in Nebraska and increase rural schools’ capacity for delivering research-based family-school partnership programs to address mental and behavioral health problems among their students. The immediate goal is to develop and evaluate highly accessible, effective and sustainable solutions for rural schools and families to increase access to mental health supports, address rural students’ mental and behavioral health challenges and bolster academic success.

Impacts

A Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP) online training website was created, allowing the project to be available to schools across the state and beyond.

This study collaborated with rural Nebraska schools to help rural teachers and families work together in a collaborative problem-solving process known as Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP).  School specialists from three rural communities in Nebraska were trained to implement the TAPP process and recruited family-teacher dyads surrounding children with behavioral concerns to participate. Specialists implemented TAPP with these dyads, and received coaching via distance technology from the PI throughout the project. Systematic data collection on the acceptability and feasibility of TAPP were collected throughout the project. As well, following completion of the TAPP process, participants completed semi-structured interviews wherein they detailed their impressions of TAPP, and the impact on family-school partnership in their schools.

The TAPP process was tailored to the unique needs of rural Nebraska communities and TAPP training and coaching was adapted for distance technology (Web platforms for training and coaching) delivery. Local school specialists (e.g., school psychologists, school counselors) received the training and worked with a coach as they implemented TAPP in their schools.

The project was executed over two phases, with each objective achieved in collaboration with community partners. Phase 1 involved the establishment of new partnerships between the University and local rural education partners around the state of Nebraska. Phase 2 involved implementing TAPP in the rural partner schools to establish a proof of concept for moving forward.

Project Team

  • Amanda Witte (PI & RFI Fellow), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools
  • Susan Sheridan (Co-PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Department of Educational Psychology; National Center for Research on Rural Education; and National Center for Research on Rural Education

Partners

  • Timothy Nelson, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Department of Psychology
  • Paul Springer, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies
  • Richard Bischoff, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies
  • Istiaque Ali, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools
  • Tanya Ihlo, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Department of Educational Psychology
  • Rural schools and educators
  • Nebraska Department of Education

Publications

  • Sheridan, S. M., & Witte, A. L. (2018, January 15). Teachers and Parents as Partners Online Training Portal: Practitioner Training System.
  • Witte, A. L. & Sheridan, S. M. (2018, March). Family-school partnerships: Evidence-based foundations and practice. Featured session presented at the International Conference on Positive Behavior Support, San Diego, CA.
  • Witte, A. L., Sheridan, S. M., White, A. S., Bhatia, S. A., & Strong-Bak, W. (2018, February). Teachers and parents as partners: Translating an intervention for practice. Paper presented at the annual convention of the National Association of School Psychologists, Chicago, IL.
  • Sheridan, S. M., Holmes, S. R., Witte, A. L., Coutts, M. J., & Dent, A. (2014). CBC in rural schools: Preliminary results of the first four years of a randomized trial (CYFS Working Paper No. 2014-8). Retrieved from the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools website: cyfs.unl.edu
  • Sheridan, S. M., Kunz, G. M., Witte, A., Holmes, S., & Coutts, M. (2014). Rural parents and teachers as partners: Preliminary results of a randomized trial (R2Ed Working Paper No. 2014-4). Retrieved from the National Center for Research on Rural Education: r2ed.unl.edu

Presentations

  • Nebraska Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Leadership Development Institute
    Collaborative Capacity Building in Rural Nebraska Schools via Technology (TAPP)
    June, 2018 | Lincoln, NE
  • International Conference on Positive Behavior Support
    Family-school Partnerships: Evidence-based Foundations and Practice
    March 28-31, 2018 | San Diego, CA
  • National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention
    Teachers and Parents as Partners: Translating an Intervention for Practice
    February 13-16, 2018 | Chicago, IL
  • American Psychological Association Annual Convention
    Teachers and Parents as Partners
    August 3-5, 2017 | Washington, DC
  • Rural Futures Institute Regional Forum
    Collaborative Capacity Building in Rural Nebraska Schools via Technology: TAPP
    September 27, 2016 | North Platte, NE

Media Coverage

Project trains rural educators, encourages sustainability | UNL Newsroom

 

Contact: Amanda Witte, awitte2@unl.edu

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