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The Office of Integrative Medicine and Health is excited to welcome biogerontologist Valter Longo, PhD, author of The Longevity Diet, as a guest speaker at the 3rd Annual Patrick and Marguerite Sung Symposium: Wellness and Longevity. The event takes place Friday, April 24 from 1 to 5 p.m. in Ross Hall Room 117. Other speakers include: Joel Dudley, executive vice president of Precision Health, Mount Sinai Health System; Kaylan Baban, chief wellness officer, GW Medical Enterprise; and Nick Patel, founder and president, Wellable. Use the promo code SUNG2020 for free registration.

That’s the topic on tap for the next event in the GW Biomedical Cross-disciplinary Seminar Series: Connecting Academic Research & Inquiry Across Disciplines. Sana Syed, MD, MS, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, will discuss bioinformatics and inflammation on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 12 to 1 p.m. in Ross Hall 117. The annual seminar series explores a new cross-disciplinary topic each year. The goal is to promote networking and collaboration on translational health among researchers, health care providers, and policy makers from different disciplines to shift the paradigm—from seeking a cure to developing a strategy of prevention. Registration required for lunch purposes.

HS has won two bronze awards in the 2020 District II Accolades Awards competition sponsored by CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education). The honors in the Marketing and Communications category recognize materials created for the Governor’s Health Sciences Academy – an award for “Individual Special Public Relations Projects” was for the ribbon-cutting event at T.C. Williams High School in 2018, while the “Institutional Marketing Identity/Branding Programs” award recognizes the Academy logo design and its use in materials. The awards acknowledge the collaborative work of Teri Capshaw, Linda Zanin (both of HS), Dominic Abbate and Josh Schimmerling (GW Marketing & Creative Services), and Sherri Chapman and Helen Lloyd of the Alexandria City Public Schools.

When Ivy Meadows earned her master of social work degree, she didn’t plan on a career in academia. But Meadows’ training as a therapist is proving helpful in her role as an academic advisor in the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences. “I never thought it would be something I would be interested in, but I really enjoy working with students,” she said. “I enjoy being a part of the academic journey.  This is the career path I want.” Meadows joined GW in November from West Virginia University, where she was a program assistant in the academic affairs office of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. A native of West Virginia, she earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in social work from West Virginia University. Her move to Washington, D.C., is her first of living away from home. “This is my first time in a big city; I love it,” she said.  “Everyone is so nice. There’s always a lot to do. It’s hard to get bored.” She likes the hectic life of D.C., but Meadows also enjoys VSTC’s quieter setting. “There’s a lot of trees and hills at VSTC, so it reminds me of home. It’s very peaceful.” Away from work, Meadows likes to go to concerts and try new restaurants with friends. “I’m a foodie. I look forward to anytime I can go out to eat.”

Roger Ideishi, JD, OT/L, FAOTA, has big plans for our soon-to-be-established entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program. “My goal is that the OT program makes a dent in health care and occupational therapy, and establishes a teaching, service, and research identity that’s recognized,” Ideishi said. “We want to produces graduates who care about changing the future rather than just getting a job. There are not a lot of large universities in the region that have OT … GW entering the field, I think, is a significant benchmark in our profession.” Ideishi joined HS in December as professor and director of OT programs in the Department of Health, Human Function and Rehabilitation Sciences. He previously served as a director and professor in the OT program at Temple University. Ideishi is a cultural arts and accessibility specialist that has worked with a number of organizations. It’s his commitment to continue working with some of those groups that’s behind his decision to live in Philadelphia and commute to GW – he takes the train here and back, daily, several times a week. “The worst part of the commute is getting from Union Station to GW,” he said with a laugh. His drive to improve the quality of life for the neuro diverse community led to projects with the Smithsonian and the Kennedy Center. “A lot of my work has occurred in D.C. for the past decade, so in some ways, I already feel a part of the area,” he said. One focus area is in helping arts organizations develop sensory friendly programming. “Someone with a disability can be a full patron at the Kennedy Center or the Smithsonian Institution. We can modify the sound or visual environment… supporting their sensory processing preferences. It’s not changing the art; we can modify the audience experience,” he said, noting that the cultural shift is creating a new audience. “It has become a global phenomenon.” Away from work, you’re likely to find Ideishi training for a marathon. An avid runner, he has run four marathons and has the Tokyo and Los Angeles races on his to-do list. A California native, he earned a JD from Temple University and a bachelor’s degree in OT from the University of Washington.

Reamer L. Bushardt will retire from the Journal of the American Academy of PAs (JAAPA) at the end of June after serving as Editor-in-Chief for nine years. Bushardt published his first article in JAAPA in 2005 and became the journal’s editor in 2011. Under his leadership, JAAPA transitioned to Wolters Kluwer, expanded its global reach through Ovid, and received impact factor (IF) rankings, which have steadily increased. Since 2013, JAAPA has won numerous national publishing awards including FOLIO, APEX, and ASHPE awards. Bushardt’s contributions have supported JAAPA being cited as the top PA journal in North America and raised the journal’s visibility nationally and globally. Harrison Reed of the Department of PA Studies will serve as Acting Editor-in-Chief until a new editor is selected. Read Bushardt’s farewell editorial in the January issue of JAAPA here. And check out Reed’s latest article.

Happy 2020! Health Sciences has greeted the new decade with enthusiasm and a flurry of activity. Our new Dean Barbara Bass is onboard and the spring semester is off to a great start. We are already hard at work planning for future programs and initiatives in the upcoming years.

Our strategic plan will inform much of our work this year as we look to embody our four focus areas – Investing in People; Living Our Social Mission; Influencing Heath Professions Education, Healthcare Policy, and Practice; and Catalyzing Innovation and Entrepreneurism. Many faculty and staff are already working on key initiatives identified in the strategic plan for this first year. In the coming month, you will learn about an HS-wide service event, activity around recruiting and retaining diverse students, interdisciplinary collaborations in research and education, and the development of new strategic partnerships.

There is much to celebrate this new year: we have a new provost, a new dean, a new strategic plan, and a faculty and staff committed to drive innovation and quality in health and health care delivery through education, scholarship, and service. All the pieces are in place for us to lead in transforming health and health care delivery – locally, nationally, and globally. Let’s greet 2020 with excitement and anticipation of great things to come.

Amy King
Senior Director, Online Education

Marisa Birkmeier headshotMarisa Birkmeier and colleagues made two presentations at the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy Annual Conference earlier this month in Anaheim, California. The presentations were titled, “Pediatric Clinical Instructor Toolkit: What every clinical instructor can use to build a foundation of teaching and learning for clinical education” and “Describing Excellence in Pediatric Physical Therapy Education.” Birkmeier also successfully renewed her specialist certification as an advanced practitioner in pediatric PT practice as recognized by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists of the American Physical Therapy Association. Birkmeier is with HHFR.

A university High-Quality Undergraduate Education Strategic Planning Committee is generating recommendations for a five-year strategic plan with measurable outcomes to attract and retain high quality-students and to guide what educational opportunities should be available to students. In remarks at a recent SMHS Faculty AssemblyPresident Thomas LeBlanc added his call that GW increase the percentage of GW undergraduates pursuing STEM majors. LeBlanc also challenged SMHS faculty to lead efforts in shaping new undergraduate pathways in pre-medicine and health professions at GW, which are prevalent among top research universities. To that end, an interdisciplinary faculty committee within HS met extensively and designed a proposal for a residential BSHS with an emphasis on preparing students for numerous graduate programs and careers in health care. This proposal has been reviewed with the university provost, SMHS leaders, and the architects of the MD program curriculum. We have also offered our colleagues in the School of Nursing the opportunity to explore collaborative undergraduate pathways. Next steps include integrating curricular enrichments and new elective options to ensure that the proposal meets the needs of a pre-medicine population. Then, the goal is to present the revised proposal to the university’s new provost, M. Brian Blake, who joined GW this month. HS is already leading outstanding undergraduate programs across several disciplines, and this proposal would grow our capacity through a proposed residential option, support regional pipeline efforts, foster excellent candidates for SMHS graduate programs in the health professions, and prepare graduates with a strong foundation in teamwork and health equity principles. Further, a distinctive residential BSHS program that blends science and health sciences education could help GW achieve its goal to increase STEM majors and produce graduates that are highly competitive for numerous careers in the ever-expanding health care market. Dean Barbara Bass was briefed on the proposal in September and looks forward to supporting our efforts to shape a cutting-edge curriculum and new options for distinctive, high-quality undergraduate education within SMHS.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children’s National is sponsoring a one-day workshop, “Using Controlled Terminologies in Health Data Analysis,” on Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Gelman Library Room 101. Seyed Miran, Stuart Nelson, and Yijun Shao of the Biomedical Informatics Center (BIC) are leading the workshop. They will review the major terminologies used in health sciences and provide an opportunity to work through common problems that arise in data analysis. ICSs, CPT, SNOMED-CT, LOINC, RxNorm, and MeSH will be reviewed. Clinicians, researchers, and graduate students are welcome. Lunch will be provided. Register here. For more information, contact

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