Saturday, December 8, 2012

NRHA Multiracial and Multicultural Health Conference

Since the NRHA Multiracial and Multicultural Health Conference was held in nearby North Carolina, the SCRHRC sent a significant delegation:  faculty members Saundra Glover, Amy Martin, Kevin Bennett, Jessica Bellinger and Jan Probst, along with student John Stewart.  We presented on a range of topic relevant to rural multiracial and multicultural populations, including HIV and ESRD service availability, cervical cancer interventions, oral health practice issues, and distance to trauma care.

Lots of good networking with rural practitioners from all over.  Most impressive was the contingent, including two allied health students, who flew down from Barrow, Alaska.  [The visiting professor from Norway was interesting as well, but since she was already in the US visiting family....]  For those of us who stayed to the end, Don Warne's presentation on American Indian health was inspiring.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Congrats to SCRHRC faculty Amy Martin and Kevin Bennett on being elected to the Research and Education Group of the National Rural Health Association!  NRHA election results

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Visiting rural, lots of us

The SCRHRC staff went all out for National Rural Health Day (November 15, 2012) –  all the way out to Edgefield, SC to join the South Carolina Office of Rural Health and assorted others in celebrating at Edgefield County Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital in a definitely rural community. [ ] Visits  to actual rural communities and actual health care providers  inspire us to keep doing what we do.

After the ceremonies, we participated in the cultural activities that Dr. Amy Martin organized for us.  First, a visit to the historic Edgefield Pottery. [ (Thanks to Dr. Naveed Sadiq for the group photo.)

Pots and other once simply utilitarian devises produced by the slave laborers in Edgefield are now worth thousands, and occasionally hundreds of thousands, to collectors.  One slave, Dave, is individually known because he was literate and signed much of his work.  He is imagined on the mural next to the pottery.  And the docent for the Edgefield County Historical Society, himself a working pottery, gave us a demonstration at the end of the tour. The demo, complete with history lesson, was captured on film by Dr. Sadiq:  demo film

One last note:  in addition to a critical access hospital, Edgefield houses the national headquarters for the National Wild Turkey Foundation, leading to turkey art throughout the main square.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Post Conference Reflections, APHA’s Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA

This year’s meeting was one that this blogger will remember as the last of their student career. The depth with which health research was conveyed was impressive. Topics varied from the struggles of those in developing nations including Sri Lanka, Africa and other countries to the policy issues facing more developed areas including the UK, Canada and the US.

One cannot leave out the sections represented at APHA. Taking part in the business meetings and networking dinners was a valuable resource allowing one to gain insight into years of experience from a diverse gathering of researchers from varied disciplines and continents.  

I would be remise if I failed to recount the most impressive residents of San Francisco…the sea lions. The opportunity to visit Pier 39 near Fisherman’s Wharf was one not soon forgotten. The hilarity and comedy that was exuded from this unique sea life will bring most to laughter.

The South Carolina Rural Health Research Center and the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina were represented well. Several presentations ranging from Oral Diseases &  Oral Health Disparities, Structural Barriers & Vulnerabilities in HIV/AIDS Prevention & Care, Innovation in Technology, Native American & Alaska Native home health quality and EHR use among Residential Care Facilities were presented by both Faculty and doctoral student researchers.

I would also say that the 24 hour coffee shops were helpful.

In all, the meeting was well worth attending. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

SCRHRC in the Big City (APHA, 2012)

Been a while, but we're back to posting again.  First off, letting everyone know where Center faculty (except Amy, still sticking close to little Lucas) will be at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in San Francisco next week.  Short answer:  everywhere!  

List of presentations by our faculty, students, and related Institutes as follows: 

Jan and Students

Disability Session 3124.0: Disability data collection and surveillance 
Monday, October 29, 2012: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Abstract 270376: Chaiporn Pumkam, MHA, Kevin Bennett, PhD and Janice C. Probst, PhD Health care expenditures among working-age adults with disabilities: Variations by disability spans

Medicare/Medicaid Policy Section 3102.0
Oral Monday Oct 29 10:42 am Samuel Towne, MPH, CPH, Janice C. Probst, PhD, Jordan Mitchell, MBA and Zhimin Chen, MS.  Lower quality of Medicare-certified home health care in areas with high levels of Native American/Alaska Native residents

Healthcare Utilization and Costs for Older Adults. 3180.3  Poster
October 29, 2012: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM  257232
Samuel Towne, MPH, CPH, Janice C. Probst, PhD, Jordan Mitchell, MBA and Zhimin Chen, MS Poorer utilization outcomes of Medicare-certified home health care in areas with high levels of Native American/Alaska Native residents

3288.0 Structural Barriers and Vulnerabilities in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care
Monday, October 29, 2012: 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM  Poster
Deshia Leonhirth, MBA, Medha V. Vyavaharkar, PhD, MPH, MD, Saundra Glover, MBA, PhD and Janice C. Probst, PhD
Healthcare resource disparities among persons living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA)

Student Paper Competition 4410.0
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 4:30 PM
Samuel Towne, MPH, CPH ,
Janice C. Probst, PhD
Zhimin Chen, MS
257164 Electronic Health Record use among residential care facilities: National estimates

Saundra & Students

2034.0 Social Determinants of Health and the African Diaspora
Sunday, October 28, 2012: 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
267330  Larrell Wilkinson, PhD, MSPH, CHES , Jelani C. Kerr, PhD , Michelle S. Williams, MPH, CHES , Muhammad Salaam , Minnjuan Flournoy, PhD, MPH, Jametta Magwood, MPH ,
Edith M. Williams, PhD, MS , Saundra Glover, MBA, PhD ,
Stress, Coping, and Oppression - Prevention and Education (SCOPE) Project: Psychosocial health indicators among students at a predominantly white institution and a historically black college

2057.0 Women's health disparities
Sunday, October 28, 2012: 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Poster 271384
Dayna Campbell, MS, PhD(c) and Saundra Glover, MBA, PhD
Self-reported mental well-being as a predictor of utilization and compliance to mammography screening. Self-reported mental well-being as a predictor of utilization and compliance to mammography screening

2087.0: Oral Health Trends: Epidemiology, Disparities, and Special Needs Populations
Sunday, October 28, 2012: 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Minnjuan Flournoy, PhD, MPH, Saundra Glover, MBA, PhD ,
Access to oral health services in PLWHA in rural South Carolina: A coordinated care model

3287.0: Women's Needs and Responses to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic.
Monday, October 29, 2012: 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Lisa Wigfall, PhD, MA, BSMT (ASCP) Heather M. Brandt, PhD, CHES, Sharon Bond, PhD , Heather Kirby , Wayne A. Duffus, MD, PhD , Saundra Glover, MBA, PhD James R. Hebert, ScD  
HIV testing among financially-disadvantaged women diagnosed with cervical cancer in South Carolina

3288.0 Structural Barriers and Vulnerabilities in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care
Monday, October 29, 2012: 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM  Poster
Deshia Leonhirth, MBA, Medha V. Vyavaharkar, PhD, MPH, MD, Saundra Glover, MBA, PhD and Janice C. Probst, PhD
Healthcare resource disparities among persons living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA)

5012.0 Service Delivery Innovations in HIV Care and Treatment
Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Donna L. Richter, EdD, FAAHB, Medha V. Vyavaharkar, PhD, MPH, MD, Lucy Annang, PhD, MPH, Leah Williams, MPH and Saundra Glover, MBA, PhD
Facilitators and barriers to care initiation and continuity among persons living with HIV/AIDS in rural South Carolina: A qualitative study

5156.0 Mental Health Programs and Services in Schools
Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Kasim Ortiz, MS, BA, Mark Weist, PhD, Saundra Glover, MBA, PhD, Melissa George, PhD and Heather Lasky
Documenting Usage of School-Based Mental Health Programs Among Racially Diverse Medicaid Patients in South Carolina

Amy and Students (Actually, Amy won’t be present)

2085.0 Epidemiology of Oral Diseases and Oral Health Disparities
Sunday, October 28, 2012: 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Poster
Naveed Sadiq MPH  and Amy B. Martin, DrPH
Emergency Department Use for Potentially Avoidable Dental Reasons by Vulnerable Populations in South Carolina

3399.0 Innovation in Technology: Using Different Types to Improve Health Care Posters
Monday, October 29, 2012: 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Grishma Patel Bhavsar, MPH, Amy B. Martin, DrPH, Kevin Bennett, PhD and J. Todd Thornburg, PhD
Impact of Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center: A Statewide Survey of South Carolina

4269.0 Medical Care Poster Session 5: Measuring Needs and Their Management across the Life Span
Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM  Poster
Deshia Leonhirth, MBA and Amy B. Martin, DrPH
Disparities in access to care, insurance coverage, health behaviors, and quality of diabetic care in the Delta region of the United States (2009)

5115.0 The importance of community involvement in research
Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Lucy Annang, PhD, MPH, Sacoby Wilson, MS, PhD, Bethany Carlos, BA, Evangeline Cornelius, Louisiana Wright Sanders, MBA, Tina Bevington, Erik Svendsen, PhD, Amy B. Martin, DrPH and L. Julia Ball, RN, PhD
Using community-based approaches to address the needs and assets of a community post-disaster: The story of Project R.I.S.E

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We are pleased to announce that the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center was one of seven chosen to receive funding from the Office of Rural Health Policy for 2012-2016!  This will allow us to continue our work in examining the dual disparities experienced by minorities living in rural America.  Upcoming projects focus on post-acute stroke care, dual eligible utilization and characteristics, and the demography of rural America.  Stay tuned as we release these products over the coming year!

For a full listing of the ORHP-funded centers, click here:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Post Conference Reflections: AcademyHealth’s ARM

This past meeting of health policy researchers at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting was one full of promise. The content covered included some of the latest and most innovative technology and research in the field. Topics ranged from Propensity Score’s to Knowledge Translation & more. Those in attendance were provided with several unique opportunities to network and explore new & innovative research.

The SCRHRC was well represented as 3 Research Associates (Grishma Patel, MPH, Deshia A. Leonhirth, MBA & Samuel Towne, MPH, CPH) were selected to present their research along with 2 professors (Kevin J. Bennett, Ph.D. & Amy Brock Martin, DrPH). Topics ranged from End Stage Renal Disease, Use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in Residential Care Facilities, Health Disparities in the Delta Region, Home Health Care Quality in Areas with high levels of Native American & Alaska Native individuals & Health Information Technology in Regional Extension Centers & the Impact on Physicians Implementation of EHRs.

The location was set in the heart of Walt Disney World, which had its own unique interest. Obviously, many were expecting Sunny Florida, however Tropical Storm Debby gave us a bit more rain than sun to say the least. Some didn't seem to mind the weather (i.e. ducks). 

In all, the future of health services research is moving forward with knowledge dissemination activities such as this and others. As health research & policy moves forward one may hope that the best available evidence is available to those who can use it to improve the health of the nation & global environment. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Post Conference Reflections: NRHA’s Annual Meeting

The most recent annual meeting of the National Rural Health Association was a benefit to those in attendance. The speakers and content allowed for a wider perspective of current issues and goals for those working in the field of rural health.

The South Carolina Rural Health Research Center was represented by two current Research Associates (Kristin Schuller, MHA & Samuel Towne, MPH, CPH) and an Assistant Professor (Kevin J. Bennett, PhD). All provided presentations and/or poster presentations on topics related to rural health.

The atmosphere in and around the conference was one of beauty. The Rocky Mountains provided scenic views tempting one to venture into the mountains for a hike. The cityscape included unique artwork and architecture including a wide variety of local breweries, which allowed for an educational perspective of the manufacturing process. The city of Denver certainly provided a meaningful experience to those attending. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Being a missionary for rural

Sadly, I [Jan] couldn’t be with friends at NRHA this year!

Instead, I participated in a meeting sponsored by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau: an Expert Workshop on Autism Intervention Research in Underserved Communities: Research Priorities and Methodological Challenges. The workshop was extremely informative: really bright investigators who are working to change outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorders.

Autism is a challenging condition for parents at any economic or geographic level. Most of the researchers present, while dedicated and caring persons with their hearts in the right place, were located at urban medical centers. Hence, my role (since I’m not an expert in autism) as the missionary for rural. The group as a whole seemed to blink when slides illustrating the distribution of pediatricians around the country were shown. Even good-hearted people just don’t realize how under-resourced rural America is.

One very bright note: the innovative work reported by Susan Hepburn of the University of Colorado. Dr. Hepburn is part of a team that has been testing off-the-web video conferencing software (specifically, ooVoo) to provide therapy for rural kids with autism. Terrific stuff: cheap software (really cheap: free download, but has security equivalent to bank transactions), the format seemed to appeal to the adolescent patients, and really really rural kids were getting highly specialized care.

Kudos to all of the investigators for their hard work, and to MCHB for pulling the meeting together.

Monday, April 2, 2012

SCRHRC Alumna featured for Public Health Week

Congratulations to USC doctoral graduate -- and one-time South Carolina Rural Health Research Center research associate -- Crystal Piper, PhD. Dr. Piper was one of three speakers featured in an hour-long discussion of Health Disparities hosted by WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina on April 2, 2012.

Dr. Piper's presentation may be heard at the WFAE website,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Post Conference Reflections

Recently one of our Research Associates had the opportunity to present at the 2012 South Carolina GIS Conference in Charleston, SC.

The topic covered utilization and access to cancer screening & other sources of care for both rural Americans and areas with higher levels of Native American and Alaska Native individuals.

The opportunity to share health policy research integrated with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was a valuable experience. Future collaborations across multiple fields of research (i.e. Geographers, Environmental Health Specialist & Health Policy Researchers) will continue to strengthen the quality of knowledge dissemination activities.

A video from one of our researchers

Dr. Jihong Liu has worked with us on several studies of rural children and obesity. In this video, Dr. Lui shares the results of one of her newer studies, on weight gain among Mexican-American children.