Young Bo SimShort-term Project
This project was done to assess patients' barriers to mental health services in Newtown Primary Care. The project focused on identifying and developing questionnaires to assess if there were any perceived barriers and what those barriers were.
Aneesh SingalShort-term Project
Blood pressure measurements in the office are often falsely elevated and do not reflect a patients at-home measurements. This project explores the values of home blood pressure monitoring and includes a pamphlet for use at the Colchester Family Medicine office. It has information on how to check blood pressure, which cuffs to buy, and how to enter home measurements into Epic so the physician can easily view them.
Anya SrikurejaShort-term Project
Approximately one third of adults in the United States sleep less than the recommended 7 hours a night. Insufficient sleep is associated with increase risk of chronic diseases and all-cause mortality. While pharmacologic sleep aids are available, cognitive behavioral therapy is recommended as an effective, first line treatment for insomnia. This project aimed to create patient education materials on sleep hygiene techniques that could be easily distributed by providers through the electronic medical record in order to help improve sleep for the patient population in Vergennes, Vermont.
Implementation of the Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI) Model: Information for Patients
Amy StedmanShort-term Project
UVMMC Primary Care is transitioning to the Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI) model of care, in which behavioral health and/or psychiatric treatment is provided within a primary care setting via in-house consulting clinicians. There are currently no standardized informational materials to educate patients on the details of the PCMHI program, which is a new treatment model for most patients and clinicians involved. Development of educational materials, as well as broader public health implications of the PCMHI model of care, are addressed.
Evaluating Patient and Provider Knowledge of Safe Pharmaceutical Disposal Procedures in Vermont through a Public Health and Environmental Lens
Emily R. StraleyShort-term Project
Patient and provider knowledge of safe pharmaceutical disposal procedures is crucial from both a public health and environmental standpoint. Unfortunately, studies have shown that Vermont residents are largely unaware of safe drug disposal programs in their communities. This project evaluated patient knowledge of drug disposal practices and awareness of safe pharmaceutical disposal procedures at Hinesburg Family Medicine. A short phrase was created to better disseminate information about safe drug disposal in Hinesburg, which can be added to a patient’s after visit summary. Many patients report never discussing medication disposal with their physician. Therefore, increased provider communication regarding leftover and unused medications is critical to encouraging participation in safe drug disposal practices in Vermont.
Michael TabetShort-term Project
Mental health symptoms - especially those of depression and anxiety - have become more prevalent during the COVID pandemic. As seen in previous years, direct and indirect costs of depression can be staggering. Apps exist on smart devices that are based in evidence-based practices that can be therapeutic for mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia. A simple handout with some suggested popular mental health apps and accompanying descriptions was created to be used in the CVPH Family Medicine clinic to increase awareness of these apps among patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Zeynep Tek, Faith Wilson, and Claudia RussellShort-term Project
We gave patients a survey about if they were interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and if not why across three different sites in Vermont and Connecticut. We also made and handed out a pamphlet about commonly asked questions about the vaccine and what the state's distribution plan was. A majority of patients were interested in the getting the vaccine, and those who were unsure were worried about the long term side effects.
Cyrus Neal Thomas-Walker and Maegan Cabrera MDShort-term Project
COVID-19 continues to be a significant health threat and has caused significant disease and mortality in the fall 2021 wave largely driven by the Delta Variant and complicated by unvaccinated patients. In the state of NY, approximately 40 patients died per day (7 day moving average) from serious COVID-19 illness during this time period. During this time, approximately 35% of Clinton County’s population is not vaccinated for COVID-19 and is subsequently unprotected from serious COVID-19 illness. This work discusses reasons for non-vaccination and strategies to combat vaccine hesitancy. Additionally, it includes a pamphlet for local distribution as well as a dot phrase to be utilized for patients seen in the outpatient setting to serve as a personalized reminder on the importance of receiving vaccination against COVID-19 and to answer questions identified as concerns for vaccine hesitancy.
Nikkole TurgeonShort-term Project
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health problem throughout the United States. The aim of this project was to implement a validated IPV screening form into the work flow of the Newtown Primary Care office and increase awareness about IPV throughout the office. The Hits, Insults, Threatens, Screams (HITS) screening form was implemented and resources from local domestic violence agencies were obtained for the office. A system was set up for patients who screen positive to be referred to the in-house therapist and to local domestic violence agencies. Future steps could include further training and education for the office.
Peter K. TwiningShort-term Project
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many patients find it difficult to stay active. Staying active when gyms are closed and school sports are cancelled can make staying active especially difficult. The purpose of this project was to compile a list of resources for patients to use to stay active and healthy at home during the pandemic.
Kristina J. ValentineShort-term Project
For this project I went to two local hotels in Washington Co that were providing shelter for people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. I would survey them on their barriers to primary care and tried to connect them to local providers. I then tracked how many individuals were able to have an appointment with a provider.
Carly H. WatsonShort-term Project
Implementing outdoor walks into the daily routine of residents at long-term care facilities.
Benjamin WeaverShort-term Project
Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. One in seven homes in Vermont has elevated levels of radon, but most patients are unaware of radon as a risk factor for lung cancer or that radon testing and mitigation services are available to them. To promote increased testing and mitigation of radon we screened patients presenting to a Family Medicine practice in Vermont about whether they had had these services done in their home. We also developed a patient education resource for providers to give to patients who had more questions about radon exposure, how to get it tested, and what can be done to reduce the radon levels within their homes.
Jacob Okie Weiss, Javad Mashkuri MD, and Marissa Patrick APRNShort-term Project
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) represents a significant burden of disease in central Vermont, but receives little attention and resources compared to other drivers of morbidity and mortality. As part of a community health improvement project, primary care providers in central Vermont were surveyed regarding current practices and perceived barriers related to the effective treatment of AUD. 69% of respondents reported treating alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) and 83% reported treating AUD. Respondents indicated concern about the safety and efficacy of the medications they currently prescribe and expressed interest in learning about other evidence-based treatments for AWS and AUD. The most frequently cited barriers to the treatment of AUD were lack of time and resources for adequate follow-up; patient’s unwillingness to decrease use; and provider lack of knowledge and comfort in treating AWS and AUD. The authors make several recommendations to improve care for patients struggling with AUD, including incorporating peer recovery coaches into primary care settings; providing CME opportunities for clinician training in evidence-based treatments for AWS and AUD; and implementing a decision-making protocol to determine the appropriate setting for patients experiencing AWS.
Jenna Wells and Sara BrennanShort-term Project
Patients are frequently coming into clinics with misinformation and frequently asked questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The goal of this project was to address these frequently asked questions by educating patients and sparking conversation regarding the vaccine when patients came to their clinic appoints. This was accomplished via a handout that was given to patients on arrival.
Faith E. Wilson, Zeynep Tek, and Claudia RussellShort-term Project
As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available in Vermont, many patients have questions about the safety and efficacy, who it will be available for, when they can expect to get the vaccine, if their doctor would recommend it for them. These important questions are taking valuable time during already short patient visits, and as information is constantly evolving it is difficult to give a concise answer to many questions. This project outlined the basics of the vaccine and answered many FAQs.
Health Care Delivery to the Homeless Population in the Greater Danbury Community: A Needs Assessment
Ariella YazdaniShort-term Project
- The Greater Danbury Region has substantial health resources; two hospitals, community health centers and health clinics. Residents who lack health insurance struggle to access the full continuum of care, especially outpatient and preventative care. Although a vast majority of people in Danbury have health insurance, it is unclear if individuals living with homelessness are amongst this insured population and have equitable access to healthcare. Two transitional housing programs in Danbury were identified and interviewed directly. A qualitative assessment of healthcare delivery to members of these programs was then performed.
Hakeem YousefShort-term Project
The use of telemedicine as a tool to aid in seeing patients has increased dramatically since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Skin problems are one of the many medical issues seen via telemedicine, and many patients and providers may find some difficulty maneuvering through this new age of technology
Fay AbdullahShort-term Project
Cigarette smoking is associated with numerous adverse health effects. As such, USPSTF recommends clinicians provide smoking cessation interventions to patients. The aim of this project is to develop a consistent method for providing patients at the Newtown Primary Care facility in Newtown, Connecticut with a smoking cessation intervention during their annual physical exam.
Amelia AndersonShort-term Project
This handout serves to educate clinicians and other providers as to when anemia screening should be done. It contains a summary of the recommendations made by several national organizations as well as Connecticut-specific requirements.
Collin J. AndersonShort-term Project
Survey-based study of opioid prescribers and staff members at a community health center. Designed to assess current opioid prescribing practices, management of chronic pain patients, and readiness for future change.
Michael S. BarnumShort-term Project
Obesity has become a public health crisis in the United States. 68% of men and 64% of women in the United States are considered overweight or obese. Obesity is being addressed through a variety of strategies, the use of mobile apps is a relatively new development that could prove useful in helping people to develop healthy dietary habits. Tracking the consumption of certain foods and drinks may potentially help individuals achieve an improved understanding of their dietary patterns. The goal of this project was to develop and provide educational materials on the use of MyFitnessPal to patients seeking dietary advice.
Elizabeth BaumgartnerShort-term Project
Under-vaccination is a problem across the country, including influenza vaccination in Vergennes, VT. Members of the community at PMC - Primary Care Vergennes endorsed a few common reasons when declining the annual flu shot, noted by providers at the clinic. The project yielded two flyers for the office - one that addressed these common "myths" and another that addressed new considerations for influenza vaccination during the pandemic.
Isidora R. BeachShort-term Project
Telemedicine use has increased dramatically since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. However, not all patients and physicians were prepared for this rapid change, and little evaluation of these new mechanisms for delivery of healthcare has occurred thus far. This community project explores patient and physician perspectives on the use of telemedicine in place of in-person visits and makes recommendations for future improvements. Ultimately, telemedicine use will not likely diminish any time soon, making it increasingly important to triage patient visits to determine which would lend themselves well to the telemedicine format. As this project shows, not all visits do, which has lead to both physician and patient dissatisfaction since the change.
Abigail H. BelserShort-term Project
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, children and adolescents are engaging in less physical activity and are increasing their sedentary behavior. These changes can lead to long-lasting negative lifestyle behaviors, which increases risk of health complications.
To ensure safety during the pandemic, guidelines have created restrictions on physical education and sports, which are both primary physical activity outlets for children and adolescents. Children and adolescents have to find alternate ways and resources to meet the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
An informational pamphlet was created to educate parents and children of current physical activity recommendations, with resources and ideas on how to incorporate 60 minutes of physical activity into their daily life. These were distributed to patients at the Milton Family Medicine Practice in hopes of increasing physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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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