Keira L. GoodellShort-term Project
At Milton Family Practice in Milton, VT, individuals diagnosed with pre-diabetes are referred to a clinical nutritionist and sent home with patient instructions about blood sugar and carbohydrates. For those who decline a meeting with the clinical nutritionist, the patient instructions are not an adequate substitute. This project focused on the creation of a SmartPhrase to be added to patient instructions outlining common high-carbohydrate foods and options for lower-carb alternatives.
Kalin Jean Gregory-DavisShort-term Project
The purpose of this study is to describe the design and impact of a rural community supported doula program. The Washington County Mental Health Doula Project is a unique collaboration between the Central Vermont Medical Center and Washington County Mental Health Services, whereby doula support services are offered for at risk patients during their pregnancy, through the birth process and the post partum period, and up to one year post delivery. Many more typical doula programs are of significant cost to the patient, making this support inaccessible to those that may need it the most. This program is unique in that not only are the doula services free for patients in need, but also the program is funded by a collaboration between a hospital and a community organization. What further sets this program apart is the case management background of the doulas and the significant logistical support offered to these clients who have a host of needs that go beyond just birth support. The WCMHS Doula Project has been a crucial element of women’s healthcare services in this rural community over the years, but no formal research has been conducted to evaluate the impact of the program. Through a qualitative analysis, this project seeks to give voice to the clients receiving the services in order to demonstrate the unique design and impact that such services have in the lives of patients facing numerous hardships during their pregnancy and early parenting period in rural Vermont.
Lizzi HahnShort-term Project
In addition to its important role in the maintenance of physical health, exercise has been shown to have numerous benefits for mental health. Recent studies indicate that even brief engagement in physical activity can make a positive impact on the treatment of pre-existing anxiety and depression - as well as the prevention of future symptoms. Despite this relationship between exercise and emotional wellness, regular activity in the United States is still exceedingly low, and exercise remains an underused tool by healthcare providers in the treatment of their patients’ anxiety and depression. The goal of this project was to assess patient engagement in and barriers to exercise, as well as their understanding of its benefits for mental health as perceived by providers at CVPH Family Medicine Center, and to create a patient-centered resource emphasizing the significance of physical activity in reducing the burden of anxiety and depression.
Emma HallShort-term Project
The Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) at Glens Falls Hospital provides a separate, safe space within the Emergency Department for adults and children struggling with mental health crises to stabilize before discharge or admission to an inpatient psychiatric unit. An increase in mental health crises over the past 10+ years plus a shortage of nearby inpatient beds, especially for adolescents and children, has led to longer stays in the CSU. Longer stays in a place not built for therapeutic intervention but rather for crisis stabilization may lead to increased agitation, prolonged stays or prolonged time to stabilize a patient, and potentially increased need for de-escalation or restraint. This project aimed to improve the therapeutic environment to help counter those effects of longer stays in this space, utilizing evidence-based methods and community involvement.
Luke HallgarthShort-term Project
Dietary recall by patients is time consuming & inefficient. This project aims to develop a screening tool to accurately and efficiently track patient's diets over the course of multiple healthcare visits.
Evaluation of growth in clinical genetics competency among PCPs participating in the UVMHN Genomic DNA Testing Program
Christina HansenShort-term Project
Recently UVM Health Network Family Medicine practices have implemented “The Genomic DNA Test” pilot program to begin a concerted effort toward offering genetically informed primary care to all patients. The program aims to increase the number of participating primary care providers stepwise over time. However, some providers may find integration of genomic testing and discussion of clinical genetics issues with patients to be challenging given the relatively recent change toward emphasis on these topics in medical training curricula. The aim of this project was to develop a pilot survey to gather information from current participating providers about how participation in the genomic testing program has influenced their personal knowledge of and comfort with clinical genetics topics and patient counseling.
Increasing Patient Access to LGBTQ+ Healthcare through Expanding the Vermont Diversity Health Project
Rachel HarrisonShort-term Project
Numerous studies have documented various disparities in health outcomes and barriers to healthcare access for LGBTQ+ individuals. One major way to combat this is to increase access to healthcare for LGBTQ+ patients and increase provider knowledge of how to best care for them. Through expanding the Vermont Diversity Health Project database of providers and having providers participate in LGBTQ+ Best Practices trainings (both hosted by Pride Center of Vermont), we may reduce LGBTQ+ health disparities in our local community.
obhijit d. hazarikaShort-term Project
Tess HickeyShort-term Project
In Lewiston, Maine the opioid epidemic is a public health crisis resulting in overdose-related deaths, infectious disease transmission, and public health costs. Harm reduction through resources such as syringe service centers, peer counseling, and Narcan distribution can help negate the negative health impact of substance use disorder. This project focused on creating a list of local harm reduction resources for providers so they can educate patients on how to be as safe as possible when using substances.
Tailored Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Education: Assessing Network Needs Through a Survey of Knowledge and Attitudes
Luke M. HigginsShort-term Project
William HoldenShort-term Project
There are many current barriers to participating in exercise and physical therapy in the elderly. Using reputable online resources, we created a handout containing a list of exercises that can be completed safely at home without equipment. It was designed for elderly individuals, as inactivity tends to increase with age and this population is particularly vulnerable to the deleterious effects of inactivity. The strength and flexibility exercises primarily target the back, hips and core, common problem areas in the elderly. The handout will contain links to further resources for more in-depth physical therapy exercises and will be tailored for administration in a primary care setting.
Catrina Hood and Jacob Shaw M.D.Short-term Project
The Reach Out and Read (ROR) program is an evidence-based model of literacy promotion used to deliver anticipatory literacy guidance and books to parents and caregivers of children, ages 6 months through 5 years, at well child visits with Primary Care Providers (PCP's). The objective of this project was to assess provider familiarity with and utilization of ROR at the Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB) via anonymous survey.
Smoking Cessation Associated Weight Gain: The Role of Diet and Exercise Counseling in Quitting Smoking
Benjamin D. KaganShort-term Project
Weight gain is a common unintended consequence of quitting smoking due to a combination of physiologic and behavioral factors. Counseling focused on diet and exercise reduces weight gain associated with smoking cessation. Reduction of weight gain related to smoking cessation maximizes the health benefit of quitting tobacco.
Assessing perspectives and targeting education about the COVID-19 Vaccine within the Hudson Headwaters Health Network
Malla K. KeefeShort-term Project
Sarah KendrickShort-term Project
This project explored the challenges of remaining active during Vermont winter for patients with chronic disease. It further complies resources in the community for maintaining activity levels over the winter months.
Prasanna KumarShort-term Project
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a cyclical pattern of depression-like symptoms that occur during the winter months. In Vermont, SAD is estimated to affect up to 10% of individuals. An informational flyer was developed that explained the symptoms of SAD, what the treatment options are, and then linked individuals with local resources for wellness activities in Chittenden County using QR codes in order to prevent SAD. The flyer was distributed at the Community Health Care Centers of Burlington South End office. The flyer was met with enthusiasm and will be given out to patients at the end of this season and into the fall.
Elizabeth P. LanataShort-term Project
Tiffany L. LaoShort-term Project
Peripartum mood disorders affect a large proportion of new mothers as well as their families, partners, and support systems. This project aims to provide patients with information about peripartum mood disorders as part of their initial prenatal packet. Also included are a list of local community resources specifically addressing peripartum mood disorders for patients seeking additional support outside of their primary care office.
Emma C. Levine and Taylor D. MarquisShort-term Project
The goal of this study was to look at health care providers perspectives on what the nutritional barriers patients with diabetes faced and compare that with the patient's perspectives. We also assessed patients knowledge on certain foods and if they have carbohydrates. We used this information to create a Notecard that could be given to patients.
Vinh H. LeShort-term Project
Due to multiple factors, patients at ambulatory settings tend to experience long appointment wait times, negatively impacting patient satisfaction and overall well-being. One proposed solution is to use pre-visit data collection to simplify check-in and screening processes at the office. This project surveyed patients at Brookfield Primary Care & Pediatrics regarding quantitative wait time data and qualitative perceptions on the proposed solution. It was found that a majority of patients are open to using pre-visit online forms to reduce wait times.
Jeanie LinShort-term Project
Transgender individuals face disproportionate levels of discrimination in healthcare settings and have worse health than their cisgender peers. One major barrier to healthcare reported by transgender individuals is a lack of providers who are sufficiently knowledgeable on the topic. The 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that half of respondents reported having to teach their providers about their own healthcare. To address this problem in Vermont, transgender healthcare resources were compiled into a single document to be distributed to primary care practices around Vermont.
Tierra LynchShort-term Project
Oral health is a key component of overall systemic health. However, dental care remains a severely under met need in healthcare today, especially in rural settings. Thus, the primary care physician may find herself presented with a variety dental pathology and may feel underprepared for this challenge.
The purpose of this project is to develop concise, evidence based resources regarding the identification, stabilization, and management of common dental pathologies for the primary care physician. Additionally, a database of local resources for patients including basic oral care and local dental clinics for those without insurance will be compiled. This project will seek collaboration with local dental offices to provide expertise and feedback, and to foster an inter-professional dialogue. Preliminary responses from clinic staff has been overwhelmingly positive.
Keara M. LynnShort-term Project
At this time in Vermont, there are not enough resources to care for children with autism spectrum disorder. This problem has been exacerbated by the COVID19 pandemic and children are waiting months to years to access needed services. The goal of this project was to create a brochure for patients and families that has information about autism resources in the Northern Vermont community.
COVID-19 Vaccination: Educating Patients on Vaccine Availability and Distribution Plans in Lewiston, ME
Erick MacLeanShort-term Project
In December 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorizations for two COVID-19 vaccines. Many patients at the Central Maine Medical Center Family Medicine Residency clinic had questions related to the vaccines and the plans for vaccine distribution in Maine. With the prevalence of misinformation related to the COVID-19 vaccines on the internet, there existed a need for accurate, easily understandable information to assist with patient education about the vaccines.
Liana K. MathiasShort-term Project
Food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Litchfield county, home to New Milford, CT, suffered severe economic changes over the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of food insecure households, represented by those requesting food from local food pantries, skyrocketed. This study demonstrates the importance of screening for food insecurity in primary care. A 3-part screen is implemented in a primary care setting to better assess those at risk and connect them to resources and local food services.
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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