Promoting Healthcare Innovation on Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
There exists many unmet needs in healthcare today- a crossdisciplinary approach is essential for the success of advances in biomedical research, coordinated healthcare delivery, as well as effective clinical medicine. With current support from leadership at The Jacobs Insitute, CBLS, Kaleida Health, UB Bioengineering, JSMBS (and many more), I am building an incubator/accelerator to promote healthcare innovation between students, trainees, and faculty. The first initiative is a Sling Health chapter, which will launch Q3-2021 and focus on clinical needs-finding.
Understanding potential biases in medical student clerkship grades
In their third and fourth years of training, medical students recieve grades that are intented to reflect their clincial performance during their clerkship rotations. A student's demographics, such as race and gender, may influence the grades they recieve from clinical preceptors during a rotation as a result of evaluators' unconscious baises. The goal of my project is to investigate how these biases may influence the clerkship grades students recieve from clinical preceptors affiliated with the Jacobs School of Medicine and make changes to address biases that may be present.
Medical Spanish Track
With an expanding local and national Spanish-speaking population, there is a growing demand for bilingual medical professionals. Student interest in meeting this need and learning Medical Spanish at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is also on the rise. My project is working to formalize opportunities for meaningful student interactions with Spanish-speaking patients through the development of a Medical Spanish Track for anyone who hopes to strengthen their Medical Spanish skills.
Youth Gender Affirmation Program
LGTQIA+ youth are at a high risk for suicide, depression, homelessness, and drug use. With increased awareness, the rates and ages that Transgender and Non-binary (TGNB) youth are seeking mental health and medical gender affirming care is increasing across WNY. The goal of my project is to work with clinicians at Oshei, a queer youth oranization GLYS, and many other mental health and social service providers in the community to form a unified network for these youth to seek care. Ideally such a program will be multidisciplinary, accessible and affordable.
Improving Fertility Care Counseling at General OBGYN and Primary Care Practices
According to the CDC, about one in ten women in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty becoming or staying pregnant. Despite this high prevalence, the cost of fertility care often creates an economic barrier to accessing treatments or alternative conception methods. This project seeks to examine epidemiological and socioeconomic characteristics of patients who seek fertility care by (I)conducting a records review examining fertilty outcomes of women seeking care at a local OBGYN practice (II)utilizing a literature review to inform the obstacles LGTBQ individuals have faced throughout their family planning journey. In doing so, this initiative will clarify the prevailing circumstances driving fertility consultations and create a guide for both providers and patients to utilize at general OBGYN as well as Primary Care practices serving traditionally underserved populations in Buffalo.
Prescription for Healthy Living
Many chronic diseases that are so prevalent today such as heart disease, type II diabetes, stroke, and cancer are preventable. Often, because of time constraints in a doctor’s office, the motivational interviewing about a healthy diet and exercise is neglected. My project involves the concept of writing a “prescription” for these social aspects of health. This prescription would consist of concise, realistic steps that patients can follow to improve these aspects of their lives and give them something concrete to reference.
History of Medical Racism Pilot Program
Evaluation and implementation of a new course outlining the history of racism in the medical profession. Previous 1st draft of study protocol and creation of course curriculum was completed by JSLT member Jenna Heath. I have been assisting and expanding on the project. We have also onboarded an additional project member Hijab Khan, M1. The planned manuscript will evaluate the feasiblity and impact of this course, which is designed to teach medical students about the history of medical racism through seminar discussion and engagement wiith various texts. Additional work be done ongoing to fortify and update the course contents. After the study results are obtained, measures to implement this course into the Jacobs School of Medicine curriculum will proceed.
Assessing and improving the readability of outpatient discharge instructions
Medical documentation provided to patients and their caregivers is often written at a level of complexity above that which can be readily understood. In the outpatient settings of the Emergency Department or Ambulatory Surgery, discharge or pre- and post-operative instructions are the primary sources of information regarding the medical treatment a patient receives and any guidelines for at-home management. Any discrepancy in understanding has the potential for miscommunication and preventable adverse health events. This quality improvement project evaluates the discharge or pre- and post-operative instructions of local Emergency Departments and Ambulatory Surgery Centers to determine areas for improvement.
Water Safety in the Buffalo Community
Increase water safety and awareness to populations with lower health disparities in the Buffalo community. Surveying the needs of the communities and addressing the barriers to water safety instruction.
Hidden Voices in Healthcare
Healthcare workers are expected to exemplify dichotomies: to be perfect and exact but also human and compassionate in the delivery of their care; to uphold standards and uniform care as a population but to remain unique as an individual. My project involves exploring what makes healthcare workers human and unique.
UB HEALS Public Health Training Program
UB HEALS is a street medicine outreach initiative of the Jacobs School of Medicine. Through the use of weekly street medicine outreach rounds we aim to engage with the chronically homeless of Buffalo, NY with the goal of increasing access to the health care system, as well as improving overall health outcomes for this underserved patient population. My project will be to establish a partnership between UB HEALS and the UB School of Public Health Field Training program. A public health student will work with our team to increase the sustainability of our services and increase the impact of our work, while developing the students skills in research and community development.
Sister Program to the NYS Mentoring Program
This program offers virtual one-on-one mentorship with elementary aged students in the community, specifically at Future's Academy. We encourage mentors to foster a trusting, supportive, and encouraging relationship with their mentee. Students meets once a week for 30 minutes -1 hour to work on homework, school projects, or simply chat about their week. We have found that mentees are delighted to have a medical student take sincere interest in their life, and mentors benefit equally by learning from a young person in their community. The name is TBD. Currently, we are trying to establish a website and digital badging system. Additionally, I am working wtih the General Surgery Residency Program Director, Dr. James Lukan to adapt this program for residents. He hopes to make this program a part of mandatory curriculum for residents training at UB.
Planned Parenthood Youth Group Peer Mentorship Program
I am working to create a peer mentorship program at The Connection, which is a youth center in Niagara Falls funded by Planned Parenthood. This youth center functions partly as an after school program for kids and young adults between the ages of 11-18 years old, where they engage in a variety of fun and educational activities involving health and wellness. I am hoping to create a relationship between JSMBS and Planned Parenthood through this youth center by developing a program that will allow medical students to act as mentors to the kids that attend the after school program. In an effort to promote women's health education to young women, I will be working with sexual heath educators at the Erie County Department of Health to develop a curriculum that will both educate young women and inspire them to take care of their bodies.
Peer Educator Program
The Peer Educator Program (PEP) is lead by Dr. Jennifer Meka and Carrie Gillings through the Office of Medical Education. This program is designed to provide extra support to current first and second year medical students as they meet the rigors of the Phase I curriculum. Peer Educators are current medical students that have successfully completed and excelled in pre-clinical course work and are interested in providing mentorship and counsel to Peer Mentees currently enrolled in those courses. My project involves assessing and expanding upon the goals of the PEP and creating a conceptual and practical framework for a PEP session, all based in feedback and discussion from current Peer Educators and Peer Mentees. This information will then be used in conjunction with input from current module leaders to design a curriculum that both supplements the module and establishes continuity across the Phase I curriculum, national examinations, and clinical medicine.
Team Alice is a multidisciplinary group that is determine ways to improve patient medication safety specifically in the elderly. I will be assisting the team in identifying ways for quality improvement and specifically deprescribing. Additionally, I will be surveying medical students to see their educational experiences with deprescribing during M3 and M4 rotations.
Diabetes Mentorship Program
The Diabetes Mentorship Program is a student-led and doctor-patient supported program wherein students are trained to become diabetes educators. Once trained, students are paired with prediabetic and/or newly diagnosed type II diabetic patients to help them implement lifestyle changes towards the management of diabetes and overall health.
Tip Top Flip Flop Circus Arts
My JSLT project is converting a children's circus arts group, Tip Top Flip Flop Circus Arts, into a 501c3 and expanding and implementing it into the Buffalo Public Schools. Ideally, this will be a year long curriculum that includes lessons in acrobatics and flow arts and culminates in a field trip to a local circus arts studio to participate in a wider array of forms and watch a performance. Unfortunately, our society has deemed the arts a luxury that is mostly reserved for those with wealth even though the arts have a positive impact on a person's health and can be a career. As a performing artist, I want to give children, especially those historically denied access, the opportunity to be creative.
Identifying Unmet Basic Needs among Immigrant Communities in WNY
Within the United States, immigrant populations face major barriers to English language acquisition, economic stability/employment, housing, healthcare, education, and accesses to basic resources.There are a number of local Buffalo organizations which aim to identify and address these barriers among immigrant populations. It is the goal of the proposed initiative to identify basic needs, such as food, clothing, housing, and access to healthcare, which are not being met among the immigrant communities of Buffalo.
JSMBS Admissions Office Official Instrgram Account
In partnership with the JSBMS Office of Admissions, I will lead an effort to establish an official (University at Buffalo recognized) Instagram page for admissions, with the goal to attract top notch prospective students from a diverse background. We will collaborate with student content creators from each class, to ensure we accurately portray "life as a UB medical student". Our students, faculty, student groups, and even our school building itself are all incredible and should be highlighted for applicants.
Trauma Informed Physical Exam Module
I am working to create an educational module on a trauma informed physical exam for graduate medical education. Many patients have experienced trauma in the form of physical, emotional, sexual, or historical abuse. I would like to create a set of teachable guidelines for a physical exam that is sensitive to patients who may have experienced trauma.
Improving homeless access to healthcare through UB HEALS pharmacies
Homeless patients that are seen by volunteers with UB HEALS are given tremendous help in terms of wound care, over-the-counter medications, hygiene products, clothing, and medical counseling. Oftentimes, homeless patients are advised by our physicians to follow up at walk-in clinics or in the ED. Most importantly, there is much being done to promote our patient's trust in the healthcare system. Building on this, my project aims to improve homeless access to healthcare resources by allowing physician prescribers on street medicine rounds to prescribe patients their necessary medications at one of three local pharmacies: Buffalo General Medical Center, Oishei Children's Hospital, and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. Special accounts at these pharmacies are funded by UB HEALS, allowing patients to pick up their medications for free. This allows UB HEALS to expand upon the treatments that can be provided and promotes long-term care for our homeless patients.
Global Health Education in Medical School
My project is focused on improving global health education in the medical student curriculum. More specifically, I am developing a of a curriculum and guide for medical students participating in our school’s
travel clinic in Fontaine, Haiti.
Wearable device-automated exercise oncology intervention
A burgeoning literature has demonstrated the positive effects of physical activity on cancer-related outcomes and quality of life. We aim to leverage this knowledge by equipping cancer patients at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center with wearable devices to deliver a personalized and automated physical activity intervention. Wearable devices will be pre-programmed to measure each patient’s baseline activity and automatically develop a custom intervention trajectory according to baseline measurements and patient and disease characteristics. The wearable device will automatically increase activity goals according to this personalized trajectory and deliver custom motivational messaging from each patient’s clinical team. Devices will measure active minutes, total steps, heart rate, sleep information and other clinically relevant data points and will be analyzed for associations with both immunological biomarkers and clinical endpoints. Results from this study will enhance our understanding of both the immunological and clinical effects of a physical activity intervention among cancer patients and serve as preliminary evidence to guide the design of future, larger-scale interventions.
Aligning UB HEALS with evidence-based medicine approaches
My project has focused on expanding and improving the UB HEALS street medicine program through multiple avenues. First, it involved developing a partnership with a long-standing community health center to expand offering for services for our patients. Additionally, I am developing a number of interventions/projects that will align the work UB HEALS does with the Street Medicine Institute's International guidelines to ensure that the work we do is based in evidence and of the highest quality.
Understanding the Relationship between Grit, Resilience, Dignity and Burnout in Medical Students
Defined as a syndrome of emotional exhaustion and cynicism, burnout has been related to increased physician self-reported medical errors, decreased work effort, and poorer patient outcomes. Studies have shown relationships between the presence of personality characteristics such as grit and resilience and the absence of burnout in emergency medicine and surgical residents, as well as a large cohort of 500-plus practicing physicians . The following study seeks to determine if such relationships between burnout and personality characteristics such as grit, resilience, and self-perception of dignity are present at the medical student level.
Kendall Franz’s project will evaluate shifts toward bundled payments and how they affect day-to-day operations. As part of her analysis, she plans on evaluating changes to processes and workflow, patient satisfaction and outcomes, supply chain management, resource utilization (including time, space and supplies), along with physician and staff buy-in and morale. By the end of the project, she would like to be able to recommend opportunities for improvement and/or cost savings in one or more of these categories.
Kyle Zittel has proposed bringing his long history of work with projects concerning management, nutrition, and health to the benefit of the Buffalo community. He has worked with Harvest Malawi, a group that seeks to teach improved agricultural practices to farmers in Malawi, as well as JSMBS’s own Global Health Interest Group and Sprouts. He hopes to implement the lessons he learned while working with Harvest Malawi to build a similar program in Buffalo that will spread knowledge about health and nutrition in a similar fashion.
Mattie Rosi-Schumacher, Emily Benton, and Laura Reed's project focuses on medical student advocacy through academic detailing aimed at engaging physician care providers in an interactive marketing-style presentation of the most current evidence on co-prescribing naloxone in order to influence and promote optimal evidence-based patient management, increase physician and patient awareness, and provide laymen tools to decrease overdose rates. This project has the potential significance to promote the avoidance of excessively prescribed opioids, promote prescriber and patient responsibility for medications and the potential hazards of opioid misuse, and provide a tangible option for care in the event of an overdose that otherwise may not be available in a timely manner.
Lack of trust/distrust in physicians and the healthcare system as a whole can act as a barrier to healthcare and have a negative impact on healthcare outcomes. One of the goals of UB HEALS is to build relationships with the homeless community with hopes to increase their access to healthcare and improve their healthcare outcomes. Nick Pokoj will investigate whether or not we are actually accomplishing this goal either through a series of case studies, in-depth interviews, or survey distribution. This way, we can quantitatively measure the gain in trust, if any, we’ve accomplished and whether or not that increase in trust has enabled patients to seek treatment or enabled them to seek treatment earlier.
Max Blumberg's project aims to change the Jacobs school grading system in the preclinical curriculum to Pass/Fail. The plan is to consult the literature, hold a community forum, survey the community, and assuming majority support, propose a motion to the Jacobs school administration that would enact the change. Following approval, a study will be designed and implemented to measure the impact of the change. Students will be surveyed periodically during the year prior to the change and the following two years after the change. The ultimate goal is to not only change the system, but also measure the impact of the change, and publish the results of the study for use by other schools.
The nature of a Medical Scientist Training Program’s (MSTP) curriculum removes the students from the clinical environment for extensive periods of time during the graduate school years of training. Leaving Medical School after the first 2 didactic years to begin Graduate school training in the lab environment gives these students a unique out look into the translational research that many work on for these years, but it also has the consequence of removing them from the actual clinic. When the graduate years are finished and these students are returned to the 3d year of Medical school’s clinical rotations, the gap of current knowledge and clinical competency can be large. Matthew McGuire's goal is to develop a through curriculum that can be integrated into the MSTP Program that will keep MSTP Students more actively involved in clinical activities throughout the Graduate School years so that the transition back to Medical School will no longer be viewed as such a monumental hurdle.