New Strategies to Identify Genes Associated with Human Birth Defects

May 20, 2016: This presentation will introduce an integrated approach to identify genes linked to human structural birth defects.  Specifically, the application of systems based approaches in combination with animal models to identify the genetic basis of ocular and craniofacial defects will be discussed.

Dr. Lachke is an Assistant Professor at the University of Delaware’s Department of Biological Sciences and a Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences.  He holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Iowa and was an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School prior to joining UD.  His research program on the genetic basis of ocular and craniofacial developmental defects is funded by R01 and R03 grants from NEI and NIDCR (NIH).

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Innovative Strategies for Engaging Vulnerable Populations

May 13, 2016: The purpose of this talk is to describe effective academic-community partnerships to engage vulnerable populations. The talk will draw evidence and lessons from two major efforts. The first was a long-term project on youth homelessness, conducted in partnership with arts-based organizations, social service providers, journalists, researchers, and marginalized youth. The second is a partnership between academic researchers and public libraries to address the social determinants of health.

Dr. Cannuscio is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She completed training in social epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars Program at Penn. Her work concentrates on the health and social implications of disadvantages in housing, food, health care, and safety. She is a proponent of community-engaged and mixed methods research as strategies to improve the health of populations, especially low-income urban populations.

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Owning Attention: Applying Human Factors to Alert Design

April 8, 2016: Alert numbness and fatigue is a blight on the health care industry. Because we can alert on basically anything, and we can argue that anything could be a harbinger of things that could drastically affect care, we generally put an alert on everything we get our hands on. This presentation will explain the impact on the patient, provider, and health care system and introduce opportunities to mitigate the associated risks.

Dr. Kristen Miller is the Associate Director of Human Factors at the Value Institute.  Prior to Christiana Care Health System, Kristen was a senior research fellow at the Veterans Health Administration National Center for Patient Safety and faculty at the University of Michigan.  She received her masters and doctorate degrees from the Texas A&M Health Science Center and her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University.  Her research experience is primarily in the application of human factors engineering and ergonomics to healthcare as it relates to improved patient safety and quality and medical device design and usability testing. 

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The Impact of Toxic Stress on Lifelong Health

April 1, 2016: This will be a didactic and interactive presentation to define toxic stress and the biology of exposures to adverse experiences, describe the prevalence nationally and in Delaware, describe screening methods in clinical care and research tools, and discuss evidence based treatments.

Dr. Sharif is Chief, Division of General Pediatrics at Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children, and Professor of Pediatrics at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Sharif received her medical degree at New York University School of Medicine (1993), completed residency training in Social Pediatrics at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY (1996), and completed a Fellowship in Health Disparities at the Bronx Center for Reducing and Eliminating Health Disparities (2006). Her research has spanned health literacy, pediatric literacy promotion, child and adolescent media exposure, asthma, childhood obesity, underserved children, and the identification of and reduction of health disparities. Honors include election to the New York Academy of Medicine (2006), the Society for Pediatric Research (2006), and American Pediatric Society (2012).

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Opioid Use in Pregnancy: Trends, Treatment, and Controversies

March 25, 2016: There has been a large increase in opioid use and its consequences in the US. This presentation will approach opioid use through a historical and epidemiological lens focusing on how the reproductive life course intersects with substance use in pregnancy.

Mishka Terplan is a physician boarded in both obstetrics and gynecology and addiction medicine. He serves as Medical Director of Behavioral Health System Baltimore, the local behavioral health authority, and is adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland Department of Epidemiology and Public health. His clinical, research and advocacy interests lie along the intersection of reproductive health and addiction. 

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Moving Community Engaged Research from Participatory toward Anticipatory: Utopia as Method in the Reconstitution of Healthy Society

March 18, 2016: The mainstream health and social policy agenda is largely limited to “tinkering with the system”, influenced by normative values and dictated by incrementalism and lifestyle-drift. At the core of utopia is the desire for being otherwise, individually and collectively; therefore, this seminar will examine the sociological and epidemiological significance of utopia as an imaginative and useful method for community engaged research aimed at addressing health inequalities. This talk will engage four sensitizing concepts: context, capacity, community, and conflict as a foundation for overcoming the remarkable persistence of policy proposals to tackle health inequalities via mostly downstream interventions, in spite of the strength of evidence challenging such approaches. We will highlight ontological and methodological frameworks such as Cultural Historical Activity Theory, activity systems analysis and anticipatory engagement for research on health inequity that moves beyond an analysis of how things were or currently are, to consider how things could be. 

Brian Rahmer, Ph.D., M.S., is Director of Communty Health Engagement at Christiana Care Health System and a Value Institute Scholar. He holds an appointment as Policy Fellow in the Center for Community Research & Service at the University of Delaware’s School of Public Policy and Administration. Dr. Rahmer’s professional priorities and research agenda include the structural determinants of health and the socio-political forces that shape health outcomes across the life-course. He works to frame these efforts with a cross-sector, service-oriented emphasis on civic engagement for healthy public policy.

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Maternal and Infant Behavioral Health and Nutrition: Incentives and Mobile Technology in Community Settings

March 11, 2016: Health incentives have been one of the most effective, yet controversial approaches in public health behavioral interventions. This presentation will introduce the general knowledge of health incentives and address common critiques related to the use of incentives for maternal and infant health and nutrition behavioral change. 

Yukiko Washio is a maternal and infant health researcher, jointly hired by Christiana Care OBGYN and University of Delaware College of Health Sciences. She is trained in behavioral science focused on maternal and infant health disparity issues. She works on health behavioral issues with socioeconomic disparities including smoking, drinking, drug use, and breastfeeding. Her research efforts are not limited to address specific behaviors but also inclusive of examining and addressing psychosocial correlates and infrastructural focus.

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The Use and Misuse of Statistics in Medical Research

March 4, 2016: The misuse of statistics in medical research is more common than one might think. While some may be due to use of the wrong statistical method, it more often reflects a lack of understanding of the purpose of statistical analysis, assumptions of inferential statistical methods, and the connection between statistical methods and research hypotheses. This presentation will identify some of the more common mistakes encountered and how to correct them. 

Dr. Kolm is Director of Biostatistics at Christiana Care Health System, Research Professor of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and Director of the Biostatistical Core of the Bridging Advanced Developments for Exceptional Rehabilitation (BADER) Consortium funded by the Department of Defense. He has over 30 years of experience in consulting with investigators in the design and analysis of clinical trials, retrospective and observational studies, and large patient registries. He has provided statistical reviews for a number of clinical and statistical journals, and currently is the Statistical Editor for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology – Interventions. Dr. Kolm is a co-investigator and lead biostatistician on several NIH- and industry-funded research projects. He has considerable experience in the application of general and generalized linear and hierarchical models, classification and tree regression, time-to-event analysis, multivariate analysis, cost-effectiveness analyses and multiple imputation methods for missing data.

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Qualitative Methods: Tools for Understanding Patient, Provider and Community Experiences

February 19, 2016: Qualitative methods can augment, explain, or shed light on quantitative findings. Additionally, qualitative methods can inform the development of a testable hypothesis. While qualitative research methods originated in the social and behavioral sciences (sociology, anthropology, and psychology), today qualitative methods are powerful tools in the hands of health researchers. This presentation will introduce the audience to an array of qualitative data collection techniques and explain the important steps needed to assure rigor in this work. 

Dr. Rosemary (Rosie) Frasso is a qualitative methodologist at the Mixed Methods Research Laband the Director of the MPH Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Each year she provides consultation, mentorship and advising on over 30 qualitative research projects conducted by faculty, clinicians and students. Rosie is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice (PhD in 2011) and the Harvard School of Public Health (earning Masters Degrees in Maternal Child Health and in Society, Human Development and Health in 2003, 2004 respectfully). Rosie has been teaching qualitative research for nearly 10 years and is the Director of the Penn's Center for Public Health Initiatives' Winter Institute on Qualitative Methods, a 4 day intensive training program for researchers across the region. 

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Improving Assisted Reproductive Technologies through Identification of Oviductal Components

February 12, 2016: Infertility/subfertility, the inability of a couple to conceive a child after 1 year of trying, is a fairly common health problem which affects 10-15% of couples in the U.S. and 70 million couples worldwide (with increasing frequency). The most commonly used treatment option, ICSCI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection), has only a 32% success rate. This presentation will discuss some of the causes of male factor infertility and highlight the potential application of the results of recent sperm function research that could significantly increase the current success rate of assisted reproductive technologies (ART).

Dr. Martin-DeLeon is Trustees Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Delaware. Her research interests focus on reproductive genetics, specifically genes involved in sperm development and function. Recent emphasis has been on sperm  membrane proteins and the interaction of sperm with the secretions of the reproductive tracts. Her work has been funded by the NIH (National institute of Health) and the NSF (National Science Foundation). She served as a member of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, NIH Study Sections, an NSF Review Panelist, and on the Executive Council of the American Society of Andrology where she was recognized for her scientific contributions to Andrology in 2006. A member of the editorial boards of four journals in Andrology/Reproduction, she has published widely in the field, and has three patents issued or pending.

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