Thomas L. ArnellShort-term Project
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year. The prevalence of tobacco use among substance abuse treatment program enrollees is substantially higher than that of the general population, with recent estimates ranging between 75-97%. The aim of this project was to identify specific barriers to smoking cessation in patients enrolled in suboxone treatment programs in Franklin County, VT. The most commonly cited barriers among survey responders were related to fear of the effects of tobacco withdrawl, while the most important barrier was related to fear of increased desire to use drugs following smoking cessation.
Ramin BadiyanShort-term Project
Shedding light on childhood vaccinations
An exploration of the benefits and challenges associated with introducing point-of-care ultrasound to a rural primary care setting
Daniel BakShort-term Project
Castleton Family Health Center serves the western portion of Rutland County, which is designated as both rural and medically underserved. The regional Community Health Needs Assessment set goals to increase primary care visits, decrease inappropriate utilization of the emergency department, and work towards seamless care transitions without loss of information or gaps in care. Additionally, the Vermont Department of Health (Rutland region) identified both transportation limitations and a shortage of medical specialists as significant barriers to accessing care in the region. Point-of-care ultrasound may serve to address these community needs by improving the quality and continuity of care provided by primary care physicians.
Nicole BecherShort-term Project
The death rate from stroke in Washington County, VT was nearly twice that of the state in 2015. Risk of death from stroke can be decreased by timely intervention, however many patients are unaware as to signs and symptoms of stroke, and when to seek medical attention. A brochure was developed and distributed, aiming to shorten the time between experiencing TIA symptoms and point of contact with medical professionals.
Jonathan H. BordenShort-term Project
The prevalence of Osteoporosis is increasing with the growing elderly population in our nation. Studies show that the incorporation of osteoporosis risk screening into primary care intake protocols significantly decreases the rate of osteoporotic fractures in patients. This project aimed to increase osteoporotic screening within a primary care office in St. Albans VT via the development and distribution of an “Osteoporosis: What to be aware of as a patient” brochure to patients that met the criteria for being at risk of being osteoporotic (women ages 65+, women who are post-menopausal but younger than 65, men ages 70+).
Pirapon Leo ChaidarunShort-term Project
Depression and anxiety are two highly prevalent mental health conditions and can often occur together. Research shows that sustained low-intensity exercise releases chemicals that promote nerve cell growth in the brain, which helps regulate mood and relieve symptoms. Exercise may seem like a logical solution for mental health to those with a medical background, but may be a new idea to many patients who are unaware of the added benefits of staying active.
Alexandra E. ChurchillShort-term Project
The high prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) has led to recommended screening for all women of child-bearing age. Implementing validated screening tools within routine wellness visits at primary care offices facilitates awareness and patient support through identification and resource referral.
C. Wesley CubberleyShort-term Project
Access to medical treatment for opioid use disorder plays a significant role in the ability of a community to support a person's recovery. In Springfield, VT, community workers and providers are attempting to organize a Suboxone (buprenorphine + naloxone) clinic in order to bridge the significant geographic and socioeconomic gaps implicit to this rural community's location. In order to garner interest and increase awareness of this forthcoming project, a short, accessible educational flyer was developed with the input of the health center's staff for future use.
Jenna Rose DafgekShort-term Project
More than 90% of unintentional injuries in children aged 5 years or younger occur in and around the home. Recommended infant care practices are below national target goals. Adherence to these recommendations increases when parents receive appropriate advice from multiple sources, including physicians. The goal of this project was to identify major newborn health and safety concerns. These concerns included car safety, safe sleep practices, and lead exposure. Educational handouts specific for age ranges spanning from first week of life to 1 year old were created for parents to address these issues.
Improving patient knowledge of antimicrobial resistance and appropriate antibiotic use in a Rutland county acute care center
Stephen D. DanielsShort-term Project
Antimicrobial resistant infections are one of the most prevalent global health concerns of our time. It is paramount that action be taken to do all we can to reduce the burden that these “superbug” infections bring in the form of both serious illness and financial strain on healthcare systems. As healthcare professionals, the onus falls on us to educate the public on basic knowledge regarding bacterial/viral illness, as well as proper antibiotic utilization, so that we can all work in coercion with one another to combat this global health concern. The here-in project describes an educational piece with this goal in mind, and provides a projected financial advantage for a successful intervention.
Hillary E. DanisShort-term Project
Cognitive impairment screening is important for early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cognitive impairment and dementia. Additionally, screening is mandated as part of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. Colchester Family Medicine providers were surveyed about their current screening behaviors and then provided a training session on cognitive impairment screening and the Vermont Mini-Cog screening tool. Post-training, providers were surveyed about their likely future screening practices.
Alexis Dela CruzShort-term Project
LGBTQ youths report less satisfaction with their sex education curriculum than their heterosexual counterparts. The discrepancy between heterosexual sex education and that of LGBTQ is alarming. Currently, as it is reported within the Unites States, students feel as though LGBTQ sex education and resources are not readily available. A brief handout of LGBTQ inclusive practices was created for educators to reference when creating future lesson plans. The aim of this presentation was to create a more open and inclusive dialogue surrounding LGBTQ+ health.
Falling Through The Digital Cracks: An EHR-Focused Approach to Promote Social History and Mental Health in the Outpatient Setting
Daniel De Los SantosShort-term Project
Although they may not call prevention centers, people considering suicide usually do seek help; for example, 64% of people who attempt suicide visit a doctor in the month before their attempt, and 38% in the week before. Given the recent suicide of a father in Newtown, CT whose daughter was killed in the Sandy Hook Massacre, it needs to be asked if his suicide could have been prevented by having his physician discuss his mental health with him at his most recent check-up. Of equal importance, it must be asked if there are flaws within the EHR platform that make it more difficult for physicians to access or document a recent major life event while reviewing a patient’s chart. This project's goal was to remind providers about a recent stressful life event for a patient by implementing a specific problem list entry on the EHR titled “History of Recent Stressful Life Event".
Maeve Lauren DonnellyShort-term Project
This project was created to increase advance directive use at the Hardwick Area Health Center in Hardwick, VT. The project was aimed at creating awareness of the lack of advance directive use both to the providers and patients, so persuasive educational flyers were made to hang around the office. This project helped increase the attitude and awareness of the importance of advance directive planning.
Nathan T. DreyfusShort-term Project
While precipitants and outcomes of wilderness medical emergencies are numerous and diverse, wilderness rescues in Vermont are most often called for individuals or groups inadequately prepared for conditions or contingencies. In many cases, failure to bring one of a few key items such as equipment for navigation or illumination after dark can create a preventable emergency with subsequent requirement for rescue or retrieval.
Jack DubuqueShort-term Project
Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a safe and rapidly evolving diagnostic tool that has changed the practice of many hospital based specialties and has been introduced into Family Medicine residencies over the last few years.
While the UVMMC Family Medicine residency has introduced POCUS into the curriculum, many practicing physicians have limited knowledge about the technology. This study aims to document the views and concerns of primary care providers about use and implementation of POCUS.
Lauren GaffaneyShort-term Project
There is a growing body of evidence that art therapy for seniors has been shown to improve sociability and mood, reduce the risk of dementia, decrease agitation, depression, isolation, and improve the overall quality of life. Recent research conducted in Burlington with the UVM LCOM Public Health Program suggested that art appreciation and history sessions can have similarly beneficial effects while requiring less volunteer/caregiver time, equipment, and with a lower cost. I surveyed the art interventions available in New Milford, CT and found there were limited active art classes available and no art appreciation sessions. I presented an art appreciation session at the New Milford Senior Center for seniors and staff, with the aim of teaching staff so they could continue the sessions once my clerkship was done.
Jinal GandhiShort-term Project
Insomnia is a disorder of hyperarousal that affects up to 30% of adults. Insomnia is based on cognitive dysfunction that causes us to worry and neuroendocrine factors that upregulate our autonomic nervous system. Studies have shown that just 10 minutes of daily mindfulness practice can improve sleep. Mindfulness is able to work at the root of both causes of insomnia. It improves our ability to relax through increasing attentional factors that impart control over stress hormones and helps reduce ruminative thoughts.
Dylon K. GookinShort-term Project
Nearly 8 out of every 100,000 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. However, powerful screening tools exist that enable us to detect and manage cervical changes before they develop into cervical cancer. In spite of this, cervical cancer screening rates remain low for many providers. This public health project sought to identify and address a cause for low cervical cancer screening rates within the Hudson Headwaters Health Network. A literature review determined that education and mailed invitation letters were proven methods for improving cervical cancer screening rates. Following a review of the local population demographics, West Mountain Health Center within the Hudson Headwaters Health Network was targeted for a mailing campaign. The letter provided education about cervical cancer and an invitation for screening. This letter was mailed to 1075 eligible patients, with intent to compare the screening rates among patients who received this letter with screening rates among patients from previous years.
Julia E. HanniganShort-term Project
Hormonal contraceptive agents are widely used by women during their reproductive years. In recent years, research has been released linking hormonal contraception with the initiation of antidepressant medication and a first diagnosis of depression. More research is still warranted in order to further elucidate the relationship between hormonal contraception and depression, but current evidence prompts the necessity for shared decision making between clinicians and women considering treatment with hormonal contraceptive agents. The goal of this project is to give providers easily accessible patient educational materials in the form of epic smart phrases to aid in informed decision making.
Jennifer E. HollandShort-term Project
The 2019 Rutland Regional Medical Center Community Health Needs Assessment reported that 16% of adolescents and 30% of adults in Rutland County, Vermont are obese. This exceeds the average numbers for the state. Primary care practitioners in Rutland have struggled to find evidence-based, efficient programs to help address this issue. The 5-2-1-0 Program is an evidence-driven, low cost, and easy to remember intervention that assesses, prevents, and manages childhood obesity by promoting healthy habits and active living for children and their families. Using Brandon Medical Center, a Community Health Center of the Rutland Region, as the pilot site, this project aimed to implement the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Habits Questionnaire at all well-child visits and to propose a strategy for further integration of the 5-2-1-0 message into surrounding community health centers.
Wendy HouShort-term Project
A handout listing contact information for opioid use disorder resources in Vermont.
Wilson HuangShort-term Project
Domestic Violence (DV) is an understated yet significant source of morbidity and mortality for victims. Healthcare providers have a unique opportunity and responsibility to identify patients who may be victims of DV. A formal screening method for DV should be developed and routinely employed in local practices to address this issue.
Cyrus Maxim JalaiShort-term Project
Female patients seeing primary care in rural settings often do not seek out specialized care from a practicing OB/GYN, favoring instead to utilize their family practitioner to respond to their complaints. As such, it would be effective to work to educate these patients at their well-women examinations on routine screenings, immunizations, and health maintenance methods they should expect based on their presenting age. A handout simplifying and synthesizing the main screening and general health guidelines for annual well-women examinations may be helpful for female patients using primary care practitioners as their source for obstetric and gynecologic care.
Nicole JedrzynskiShort-term Project
Conjunctivitis or “pink eye” is a common affliction encountered frequently in family medicine. Most cases are viral and do not require antibiotics, and more accurate information for patients and their caregivers is needed to minimize unnecessary visits to urgent care and the emergency room. This will facilitate better patient care and fewer healthcare costs.
These projects were completed by students in the University of Vermont Family Medicine Clerkship. Block Clerkship Projects were completed during a five-week period, while Longitudinal Clerkship Projects were completed over the course of a 12-month longitudinal clerkship.
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