Sunday, November 13, 2011

Post-Conference Reflections: APHA’s 139th Annual Meeting

From the perspective of one, it seems the field of public health is moving forward in the right direction. The rich diversity of both participants and topics present at APHA’s 139th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC provides a sense of where we are and what we need to move forward. Having a diversified research strategy with long-term perspectives in focus will allow us to address many of the struggles facing our nation and the global community.

The setting was one that has inspired millions throughout the history of this nation. Walking through DC’s museums, around the national monuments and the many inspirational memorials provided a glimpse into the past and the struggles/sacrifices that have helped shape this nation. Looking forward, we understand the path may not be easy, but with a thoughtful, culturally appropriate and evidence-driven research agenda, we can make great strides to improving the health of the nation.

The SCRHRC & USC were well represented, as both students and faculty presented research that covered a range of topics. Some examples include health information technology, home health care, HIV, immunizations, cancer screening and access to care with a focus on the health of women, children, rural adults, Native Americans and Alaska Natives. These are but a few examples of the diverse research being carried out within the SCRHRC & USC.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Celebratory eating

With all of the eating that we do in our group, it's amazing we get anything done. Celebrated at staff meeting:
* Our group's article in Health Affairs (authors listed in blue on cake). Link: []
* Amy and SCDHEC winning a Dentaquest grant for improvement of oral health services for kids
* Nathan winning an RWJ grant to examine the results of shifting preventive services for kids from the public health to private care sectors
* Jordan winning an AHRQ dissertation grant to fund his examination of the association between use of clinical decision support systems and reduced disparities in care among minority and rural populations.
It's been a great couple of weeks!
The bell is a present to Amy and Jan, to be rung at celebratory moments (all others present retain the right to note when ringing should be stopped). I'm not commenting on the buffalo.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kudos to SCRHRC staffer Jordan Mitchell

Almost allowed this to get by unnoticed: Jordan Mitchell of our Center has received funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to support his dissertation research. His dissertation. entitled "Association between Clinical Decision Support Systems and Healthcare Disparities," should keep him busy for the next couple of months (or quarters)!

His award was also spotlighted on our school website:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Highlighting one of our faculty

The Rural Health Monitor profiles Dr. Jan Probst, center Director, in the August issue:

A bit of attention for our mission of removing rural health disparities.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Just back from the annual meeting of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, which this year was held in the "Holy City," Charleston, SC. It was grteat to be with a bunch of professionals focused on training the next generation of healthcare leaders.
Dr. Amy Martin, Deputy Director of the SCRHRC, along with Diane Kennedy of SC's Lowcounty Area Health Education Center, presented "Innovative Rural Health Curricula: Cultivating a New Crop of Professionals" (See students from her rural health class visiting the Angel Oak, at left) on Thursday, June 23. We have a photo of Dr. Martin presenting; Ms. Kennedy is seated. Their session triggered spirited discussion of rural education approaches at Friday's networking luncheon, at which Drs. Martin & Probst anchored the Rural table. We were joined by Dr. Keith Mueller from University of Iowa, along with colleagues from North Carolina.

Dr. Martin also presented her curriculum as a poster, as shown here. Lots of networking opportunities, as all meals and breaks were held in this large conference room.

We also offered AUPHA attendance as a one-credit option for our doctoral students. Future teachers benefit from learning about teaching as well as research. Some photos of our wonderful learners are shown below.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Post-Conference Reflections : AcademyHealth’s ARM

The Annual Research Meeting of AcademyHealth in Seattle, WA has recently passed. Those that attended will tell you of a valuable experience both in networking among some of the best health policy researchers available and in taking part in presenting the latest research in the field.

In addition, students from around the nation gathered to either begin or continue on the path of evidence-based research that will hopefully stay with them long into their career. The South Carolina Rural Health Research Center was well represented, as students and faculty presented a combined 8 poster presentations amongst other activities.

The unique culture that hosted this conference was also welcome. The city is a great place to explore, with comfortable footwear, as the supply of steep hills is endless. The city of Seattle provided a wealth of cultural activities including: the fish market, the space needle, good coffee, great seafood and a unique presence of Native American and Alaska Native art and culture. It was truly a great experience.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Honoring Graham Adams, belatedly

Every year, the Department of Health Services Policy and Management, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina bestows the Michael and Saundra Samuals Outstanding Alumni award to one of our Department's own. This year, in recognition of his ongoing contributions to rural public health, the 2011 award went to Graham Adams, MPH, PhD. Since USC's graduation coincided with the National Rural Health Association conference, Dr. Adams was not able to receive his award at his alma mater's ceremony. While a lunch and a presentation by our interim chair, Dr. Dave Murday, aren't a real substitute for being honored in front of the entire Arnold School, we can at least repeat his accolades, read at graduation, here.
Dr. Adams received his undergraduate degree from Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland and completed his his MPH and PhD degrees at the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Adams has worked with the South Carolina Office of Rural Health Since 1995, advancing to Chief Executive Officer. During his career in rural health, Dr. Adams has emerged as a national leader and advocate for rural persons and institutions. Dr. Adams serves on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services (NACRHHS), a 21-member citizens' panel of nationally recognized rural health experts that provides recommendations on rural issues to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. A past Trustee on the Board of the National Rural Health Association, Dr. Adams currently chairs the Development Committee of the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, having previously served as the NOSORH President.
Locally, Dr. Adams has built the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, into one of the largest, and the most proactive, offices of rural health in the nation. The South Carolina Office of Rural Health serves rural communities through offering health professions recruitment and retention services, a revolving loan program to help new practices get started or existing services to improve, and assisting in the deployment of new technologies. The SCORH also offers support services for certified Rural Health Clinics, acts as an advocate for rural providers, and disseminates information regarding legislative and policy issues impacting rural health. The SCORH also runs the Benefit Bank of South Carolina, a web-based system that helps match families with benefits for which they are eligible. All of these services reflect Dr. Adams’ foresight and leadership.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Great times in Austin; lessons on the way home

Wonderful to meet up with all sorts of rural people in decidely non-rural Austin, TX. Lots of great ideas exchanged.

Our students, Jordan Mitchell and Tushar Trivedi, presented their work on home health care and metabolic syndrome, respectively. Actually managed to get a photo of Jordan.

Jan wasn't supposed to
participate in any presentations, but rural means helping a neighbor. So when Mike Samuels fell ill and couldn't participate in a border health discussion, Jan filled in for him.

The way home was not full of rural good-spiritedness for one of our students, who was witness to part of the episode in which two Muslim imams were required to leave a Delta airlines flight from Memphis to Charlotte when the pilot refused to fly with them on board []. Ironically, the men were flying to a conference on discrimination against Muslims. The student was present for the men's second screening before being allowed to board a second flight:

Well, the flight they were originally scheduled for was set to depart at 8:10 that morning, we were on their ‘rescheduled’ flight – after the pilot of the original flight kicked them off. Also, if THAT wasn’t bad enough, TSA did a full body pat down (more intense than I have ever seen) and searched all of their luggage at the gate for the afternoon flight.

One could obviously tell that the other passengers were ‘anxious/hesitant’ about their presence. However after I saw them really getting patted down – I felt that their civil liberties were being trashed…

Ending on a more positive note: The bats were great.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

News Tidbits and Off to Austin

Two updates on our faculty and staff.

First, Dr. Amy Martin took the students in her (award winning!) rural health perspectives course on a field trip to the South Carolina Low Country last Monday. In the photo, the student are posed around the famous Angel Oak [], near Charleston, SC. Students pronounced it "something out of Avatar."
Next, a photo of our staffer Jordan Mitchell, whose poster, "Poverty and Rural Effects on Edentulism Prevalence", took first place at the poster exhibit portion of the fourth annual James E. Clyburn lecture series.
See everyone in Austin!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In memoriam

The faculty and staff of the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center mourn the passing of Rosemary McKenzie, minority health liaison and program services manager at the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).
Rosemary had been part of the South Carolina family since our Center was founded, in 2000. As an advocate for rural minority health, Ms. McKenzie served on our national advisory workgroup from 2000 until her recent death. Her passion for populations often lost in the majority white demographics of rural America kept us honest and engaged. Over the years, we used Rosemary's guidance as we developed our multiple presentations for the annual NRHA Rural Multiracial and Multicultural Health conferences, as well as for NRHA's annual conference.
We remember Rosemary as a spirited, stylish woman whose energy lit up every room she entered. If the Father's house has many mansions, we are assured that she is lighting those up, as well.

Picture: Rosemary at a meeting in the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center, 2004.