Curtis T. Adams, Amy M. Hopkins, Daniel J. Ianno, H. Omer Ikizler, Kristi Kilpatrick, Jani M. Kim, Sargis Ohanyan, Sarah K. Russell, and Virginia Hood
Introduction: Despite expanded healthcare programs, the low income and elderly lack coverage of vision, hearing, and dental services. Community services are often asked to fill these gaps. To evaluate the situation in Burlington, VT, we surveyed staff and residents in Burlington Housing Authority (BHA) subsidized housing to (1) identify gaps in healthcare coverage and (2) assess barriers to accessing those services in this population.
Benjamin Albertson, Eric Bennett, Homer Chiang, Erin Keller, Katherine Lantz, Melanie Ma, Sharon Mallory, Rebecca Ryan, and David Kaminsky
Introduction: Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death among men and women in Vermont and the United States. Smoking increases the risk of lung cancer—nearly 90% of lung cancer is due to smoking. Frequently, lung cancers do not present clinically until they are advanced stage and therefore prognosis is poor. However, if detected early lung cancers are more operable and patients have better outcomes. In December 2013 the US Preventive Services Task Force released new guidelines for lung cancer screening among current and former smokers ages 55 to 80. It is recommended that current and former (within 15 years of quitting) smokers of 30 pack years receive an annual low-dose CT scan. The objective of this project was to assess the level of knowledge and attitudes towards lung cancer screening with low-dose CT scanning among Vermonters in the Burlington area.
Hillary Anderson, Kyle Concannon, Catherine LaPenta, Robin Leopold, Christina Litsakos, Imelda Muller, Asaad Traina, Tom Delaney, Burton Wilcke, and Jan K. Carney
Introduction: Smoking remains an important public health issue in U.S. Colleges. 17.3% of U.S. smokers are 18-24 years old. 28% of U.S. college students began smoking at age 19 or older. Currently 1,104 U.S. Colleges have adopted Tobacco-Free policies.
Muhrtaza Bharmal, Bryce Bludevich, Tracey DaFonte, Jonathan Hernandez, Jill Jemison, Sarah Kelso, Tristan McKnight, Ryan Nichols, Christopher Williams, Margaret Schwalbaum, and Luke Zitterkopf
Introduction: Committee On Temporary Shelter (COTS) is a community organization that provides gateway housing opportunities to fourteen previously homeless veterans through its Canal Street program in Winooski, VT. Many of the residents struggle with physical fitness, poor nutrition, and mental illness, including PTSD. Research has shown that there is an increasing prevalence of overweight or obese veterans returning from service, and these individuals present a particular challenge to primary care physicians as their mental health issues are closely related to their level of fitness. It has been demonstrated that veterans often suffer from ingrained food insecurity, which negatively influences post-service eating behavior, and readjustment solutions are needed to ease reentry into civilian life. While literature recommendations exist outlining the important role of initiating easy-to-use exercise programs and the beneficial impact of exercise in a natural environment on veterans, there has been little research into more holistic approaches to improve the diminished quality of life impacting many individuals with PTSD. Recent literature shows decreased PTSD symptoms after a life skills intervention and that short-term nutritional education interventions have the capacity to favorably change eating behaviors in a low income population. Therefore, we decided that a comprehensive, yet personalized intervention was needed.
Evaluating Communication Tools and Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Vermont Head Start Classrooms
Meghan Breen, Leah Cipri, Troy Larson, Laura Leonard, Andy Liu, Will Manning, Kai Ping Wang, Isobel Santos, Jennifer Fink, Missy Kuncz, and Andrea Green
We designed a program for four Head Start classrooms that aimed to: 1) Provide classrooms a tool that would facilitate communication with families about nutrition, 2) Educate families about the MyMeal tool, and 3) Increase fruit and vegetable consumption by providing families with fresh fruits and vegetables Fruit and vegetables are important components of a healthy diet, and sufficient consumption helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Eating behaviors during childhood are highly parentally influenced and function as the foundation for future eating patterns. Studies have shown that the extent to which fruits and vegetables are present and accessible in the home correlates with the amount of fruit and vegetables eaten by children.
Alexandra Brown, Justin Genziano, Julia Powers, Samy Ramadan, Amy Schumer, Matthew Shear, Katherine Wang, Peter Jacobsen, and Jerry Larrabee
Hepatitis C (HCV)
Viral infection of the liver spread primarily via blood-to-blood contact (e.g., intravenous drug use (IVDU))
United States: 3.2 million chronic HCV infections (2010)
Vermont: 1.63 cases per 1000 people (2012-2013)
Barriers to Care
Exclusion of current IV drug users from HCV treatment programs despite their high rates of infection
Lack of support, causing decreased treatment adherence
Poor access to treatment: cost, transportation, competing priorities of housing, addiction management, and food
HIV and HCV
Research has shown that the multidisciplinary and integrated HIV model is appropriate for HCV
Non-profit organization that provides comprehensive services to clients with HIV in Vermont
Lillian Chang, Eunice Fu, Erin Pichiotino, Sasha Taylor, Brian Till, Amy Triano, John Whittier, Donna Bister, Jenna Whitson, and Allison K. Howe
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a national program aimed at improving the nutrition and health of pregnant women and children.
Those eligible for Vermont WIC include anyone pregnant or with children under 5 that has an income below 185% of federal poverty level or is enrolled in Vermont Medicaid.
WIC has been shown to improve birth outcomes1, breast feeding rates2, infant growth and development, and consumption of important nutrients.
Those enrolled in WIC report high levels of satisfaction
Despite the benefits of WIC, retention rates of eligible families remain low.
Studies have shown that mandatory bi-annual recertification appointments pose logistical problems. Rescheduling missed appointments and long waiting times at the WIC offices were also barriers.
Other states have found that integration of WIC recertification appointments with the family’s primary care medical visits may improve retention.
A limited scale co-localization of WIC and the medical home in Vermont showed some promise.
The Role of Art in the Patient Experience: An Evaluation of Art from the Heart at UVM Medical Center
Doug Chieffe, Steven Coffin, Sarah King, Syed Shehab, Catherine Suppan, Gwen Warren, Rebecca Wieland, Rebecca Schwarz, and Mark Pasanen
Introduction: The World Health Organization defines health as a state of total physical, mental and social well-being, not just the absence of disease or fragility. Making art in medical settings reduces pain, tiredness, emotional distress and other feelings that negatively affect well-being, while enhancing positive emotions and communication. According to the 2009 “State of the Field Report” by the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, 43-45% of healthcare institutions reported having some form of an art program. Art from the Heart (AFTH) is a program of Burlington City Arts in collaboration with the University of Vermont Medical Center. With the aid of volunteers, AFTH offers pediatric patients and their families the opportunity for a more normalized experience by providing them with time and materials to experience the joys of creativity and imagination. Waiting areas, in-patient hospital rooms, exam rooms and chemotherapy infusion bays become temporary art studios. The purpose of our public health project was to evaluate the presence and impact of AFTH in three pediatric points of care at UVM Medical Center.
Elizabeth Cochrane, Nazey Gulec, Dylan Hershkowitz, Mary Ledoux, Dale Lee, Mohammad Mertaban, Carl Nunziato, Elena Siani, Bonnie Campono, and Jeanne Hutchins
•Bhutanese refugees have been living in Vermont since 2008. They constitute a vulnerable population due to lack of language skills, increased health care requirements and lack of access to transportation.
The Champlain Senior Center (CSC) provides services and a community space for Bhutanese refugee elders (older than 55 years).
We aimed to determine the necessity for the CSC in the elders’ wellbeing and to demonstrate that services are crucial to ensure this New American elderly population’s needs are being met.
Joshua Cohen, Reid Feller, Olivia Harris, Lohrasb Sayadi, Margaret Seybolt, Alejandro Velez, Amy Yu, Daty Davis, Naomi Fukagawa, and Jane Kolodinsky
This study investigated Vermont physicians’ awareness of - and engagement in – addressing food insecurity experienced by their elderly patients. This information is needed to better understand the role physicians play in solving this problem and to know how education and access to services could ensure that the needs of elders are met in a culturally sensitive manner.
Many elders must choose between paying bills, buying medication or buying food. Some elders are unaware that they qualify for food assistance, or would feel stigmatized using it.
Nationally, 56% of physicians reported that they were not knowledgeable about food insecurity.
Food insecurity can be screened for by using Hunger Free Vermont’s Two Question Screen.
Screening, followed by a multidisciplinary team approach with contributions from dietitians, geriatricians, social workers and psychologists may be the most effective way of assessing at-risk patients.
Kathryn Colelli, Alyssa Correll, Shannon Li, Jameson Loyal, Ryan Sofka, Jordan Taylor, Andrew Tranmer, Chris Frenette, and Mark Fung
Introduction: There is a need for a constant supply of blood and blood products (e.g. plasma and platelets) in the American health care system. Common recipients of blood include: patients at risk for major hemorrhage, patients with sickle cell anemia, patients undergoing surgery, and thrombocytopenia in neonatal patients. This demand is met through nationwide blood banks, such as the American Red Cross, and their blood donation programs. The American Red Cross relies solely on volunteer donors; thus, one of the most pressing issues facing this institution is getting donors in the door. Through our survey questions we hope to uncover more factors that guide individuals in their philanthropic ways. The overall goal of this research is focused on unveiling new information that will supply the American Red Cross with valuable insight into their donor population and possible opportunities for joint publicity. We investigated the similarities and difference between how and why individuals undertake certain charitable activities.
Dylan Devlin, Michael Grant, Trishul Kapoor, Marie Lemay, Sarah Manning, Meredith Sooy, Chris Finley, and Jan Carney
Mandatory immunization for school age children in the 20th Century led to a substantial decline in infectious disease.
All US states allow medical exemptions from immunizations with 49 permitting additional religious exemptions and 19 permitting additional philosophical exemptions.
Vaccine exemptions have lead to an increase in the incidence of disease outbreaks.
Healthcare providers play a critical role in educating parents about the benefits and risks of immunizations.
This project compares student attitudes and knowledge regarding vaccination at medical schools in two distinct states: one with no additional exemptions (West Virginia) and one with both additional exemptions (Vermont).
Jia Xin Huang, Michael Hudson, Johanna A. Kelley, Billy Kien, Christopher R. Mayhew, Kiyon Naser-Tavakolian, Jamie Elyse Richter, Alexander W. Thomas, Kelly McLemore, and Judith Christensen
Last year, Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf provided 1,260,517 pounds of food to over 11,000 people each month via groceries, hot meals and home delivery, supplying an average of almost 40% of food for families.
CEFS seeks to improve their services and offerings by better understanding the demographics, food preference, and needs of the clients they serve.
Our goal was to collect demographic and utilization data to identify areas where CEFS could enhance services and improve client access to healthful food.
Alyssa Kwok, Danielle Leahy, John McLaren, Christopher Meserve, Joseph Miller, Sierra Trejos, Jacqueline Wade, Mike Frisbie, Chris Langevin, and Stephen Contompasis
People with intellectual disability (ID) have higher rates of obesity.
Special Olympics Vermont (SOVT) athletes compete in sports events throughout the year.
Athletes may lose fitness between seasons.
Their nutrition habits remain unknown. •Barriers to exercise and nutrition remain unknown.
We were tasked with designing a successful exercise and nutrition program for SOVT athletes.