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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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UMD Named a 2017 Best College by MONEY Magazine

July 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Jennifer Burroughs, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  The University of Maryland ranked No. 11 among public universities according to MONEY Magazine’s 2017 list of Best Colleges. UMD ranked No. 20 overall among U.S. institutions. 

To calculate rankings, MONEY assessed more than 700 colleges in the U.S. based on three equally-weighted categories, including educational quality, affordability and alumni success. MONEY measured 27 factors within these categories covering areas such as instructor quality, measuring the study-to-faculty ratio, affordability for low-income students and value-added earnings, which measures if the school is launching students to better paying jobs. 

Earlier this year, UMD was also ranked a Best Value College by ForbesPrinceton Review and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

UMD Capitol Hill Forum Addresses Health Disparities Research & Action for Equity

September 23, 2016
Contacts: 

Contacts: Elise Carbonaro, 301-405-6501

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland, in collaboration with Rep. John P. Sarbanes and the Big Ten Academic Alliance, recently convened more than 100 people for a Research on the Hill forum focused on strategies to achieve health equity at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Moderated by Stephen B. Thomas, Ph.D., professor and director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity in the UMD School of Public Health, the panel discussion engaged experts from academia, federal health agencies and the private business sector in a candid conversation about how to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities among vulnerable populations.

“Our exploratory research holds the solutions to many of the most challenging problems of our day,” said UMD Vice President and Chief Research Officer Patrick G. O’Shea, Ph.D. “As a university, it is our mission to create and understand knowledge to develop better ways to house and heal and fuel and feed our people in advanced societies that are just, secure, and free. Achieving health equity touches on the ‘heal’ aspect of that mission.”

The topics ranged from the progress that has been made in access to medical care as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to challenges that still remain in improving quality of care and in making the medical care system incorporate public health and address the social determinants of health that prevent people from acting health promotion and disease prevention recommendations. 

“The state of Maryland has embraced the ACA and there is clear evidence that the new incentives are indeed moving hospital systems away from a fee-for-service business model to one that rewards quality care and positive health outcomes over the volume of procedures,” said Thomas. “While the transition is not perfect, our state is a national leader for what the future of health care will look like.”

Panel members shared examples of effective and innovative community-based health interventions and public-private partnerships that are making a difference through culturally-tailored health promotion and disease prevention services, and highlighted the emergence of social determinants of health such as poverty, discrimination and residential segregation as factors that must be overcome.

 “I’m convinced that if you address racial and ethnic disparities with respect to the delivery of health care and health care coverage in this country, you will build the best health care system we can possibly have because diversity is our country’s hallmark,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who, as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been a tireless advocate for improving healthcare quality and addressing health disparities.
 
To achieve health equity, researchers, policymakers, and industry leaders must address broader issues beyond the traditional biomedical model and build trust between those who control health care delivery system and those who have lost hope in the system, said members of the panel. 

The panelists recommended that health equity be incorporated into all public policies, not just those related to health care, to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities. 

Panel members included:

  • Margo Edmunds, Ph.D., Vice President, Evidence Generation and Translation at Academy Health;
  • J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., M.S.C.E., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Julia Huggins, President of Cigna Mid-Atlantic;
  • Kolawole Okuyemi, M.D., MPH, Professor of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Director of the Program in Health Disparities Research and Inaugural Endowed Chair for Health Equity at the University of Minnesota; and
  • Eliseo Pérez-Stable, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health.

House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, who represents Maryland’s 5th Congressional District and is a distinguished UMD alumnus, also joined the event and emphasized that as an interconnected community, we should all care about health disparities.
 
“It is unacceptable that in the United States, where all are created equal in the words of our Declaration of Independence, that one’s access to healthcare may be higher or lower as a result of race, gender, or income,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Everybody being healthy is of concern to each and every one of us.”
 
He discussed how we must continue to defend the patient protections that Americans are benefiting from thanks to the ACA, such as the no-cost access to preventive services like mammograms and immunizations, as well as remind people of the dramatic increase in the number of people, particularly people of color, who now have health coverage as a result.

The event was held as part of the University of Maryland’s Research on the Hill series, which is aimed at raising awareness of research with great societal significance.

View the conversation at: https://youtu.be/HPedKr0jZLQ

UMD Study Finds Connecting Uninsured Patients to Primary Care Could Reduce ER Use

May 6, 2015
Contacts: 

Kelly Blake 301-405-9418
Hillery Tsumba 301-628-3425

Montgomery County, Md. Initiative Could Improve Health, Reduce Costs

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – An intervention to connect low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to a reliable source of primary health care shows promise for reducing avoidable use of hospital emergency departments in Maryland. A University of Maryland School of Public Health study evaluating the results of the intervention was published this week in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs

For twenty years, use of hospital emergency departments has been on the rise in the United States, particularly among low-income patients who face barriers to accessing health care outside of hospitals, including not having an identifiable primary health care provider. Almost half of emergency room visits are considered “avoidable.” The Emergency Department-Primary Care Connect Initiative of the Primary Care Coalition, which ran from 2009 through 2011, linked low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to safety-net health clinics. 

“Our study found that uninsured patients with chronic health issues – such as those suffering from hypertension, diabetes, asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure, depression or anxiety – relied less on the emergency department after they were linked to a local health clinic for ongoing care,” says Dr. Karoline Mortensen, assistant professor of health services administration at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and senior researcher. “Connecting patients to primary care and expanding the availability of these safety-net clinics could reduce emergency department visits and provide better continuity of care for vulnerable populations.”  

Funded by a grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the initiative engaged all five of the hospitals operating in Montgomery County, Maryland at the time, and four safety-net clinics serving low-income patients. Using “patient navigators,” individuals trained to help patients find the care they need and can afford, these hospitals referred more than 10,000 low-income, uninsured and Medicaid patients who visited emergency departments to four local primary care clinics, with the goal of encouraging them to establish an ongoing relationship with the clinic and reduce their reliance on costly emergency department care. 

Two hospitals in Montgomery County who participated in the intervention continued the program after the initial grant period concluded because of the benefits they saw for patients and for reducing emergency department visits and associated costs. These hospitals are currently testing a new version of the intervention specifically deigned to link emergency department patients with behavioral health conditions to appropriate community-based services. 

While hospital administrators and health policy experts throughout the country are recognizing that access to primary care improves continuity of care for patients and reduces avoidable use of emergency departments, the implications of this project are particularly important for hospitals in Maryland, which are now operating under a unique all-payer model for hospital payments. Within this new payment structure, Maryland hospitals will have to meet ambitious spending, quality of care, and population health goals. Reducing avoidable use of emergency departments can help in reaching these goals.

The project provides promise not only for hospitals in Maryland but throughout the nation to improve health care experiences and outcomes for their patients. Shared learning systems were an integral component of the project so participants were learning from each other and sharing best practices throughout the project and that learning has now been documented and can be replicated in other communities.

“This was an incredibly rewarding project to work on,” says Barbara H. Eldridge, Manager of Quality Improvement at the Primary Care Coalition. “We created a learning system that permits us to sustain improved communication between patients and their providers, between hospital discharge planners and community based clinics, and across five hospitals operating in Montgomery County.” The initiative has proven successful in Montgomery County, Maryland and is being replicated in communities in other parts of the country. 

“Linking Uninsured Patients Treated In The Emergency Department To Primary Care Shows Some Promise In Maryland” was written by Theresa Y. Kim, Karoline Mortensen, and Barbara Eldridge and published in the journal Health Affairs

University Launches Dynamic, Interactive Information Website UMD Right Now

December 4, 2012
Contacts: 

Crystal Brown 301-405-4618 crystalb@umd.edu

College Park, Md. – Today, the University of Maryland launched a brand-new multimedia news and information portal, UMD Right Now, which provides members of the media and the public with real-time information on the university and its extended community.

UMD Right Now replaces Newsdesk, which previously served as the university’s news hub and central resource for members of the media. The new site is aimed at reaching broader audiences and allows visitors to keep up with the latest Maryland news and events, view photos and videos and connect with the university across all of its social media platforms.

“We designed UMD Right Now to be a comprehensive, vibrant site where visitors can find new and exciting things happening at Maryland,” said Linda Martin, executive director, Web and New Media Strategies. “Through social media, video, photos and news information, we hope to engage visitors and compel the community to explore all that Maryland has to offer.”

The new website, umdrightnow.umd.edu, contains up-to-date news releases and announcements, facts and figures about the university, a searchable database of faculty and staff experts, information highlighting innovation and entrepreneurship at UMD, additional resources for news media and other campus and athletics news.

“UMD RightNow is the place to go to find out all the things happening on and around campus on any given day,” said Crystal Brown, chief communications officer. “This website brings real-time news, events and information right to your fingertips.”

For more information and contact information for the Office of University Communications, please visit umdrightnow.umd.edu.

UMD Appoints Joint President/Senate Inclusion & Respect Task Force Members

September 14, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh and the University Senate Chair Daniel Falvey have appointed 18 members of the university community to the newly formed Joint President/Senate Inclusion & Respect Task Force. The task force is comprised of faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students and alumni; and will be co-chaired by Warren Kelley, assistant vice president, Division of Student Affairs; Lucy Dalglish, dean, Philip Merrill College of Journalism; and Ja'Nya Banks, Student Government Association diversity and inclusion director.

As part of the university's action plan to combat hate and create a safer campus, President Loh and the Senate Executive Committee (SEC) have charged the task force to consider how to best nurture a climate that is respectful and inclusive of all members of our campus community, stands against hate and reaffirms the values that define us as a university.

“The work of this task force could not be more important. We need to be certain we are doing everything we can to build inclusion and mutual respect on our campus,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “The key word in the task force name is ‘joint.’ This is something we must do together as a community.”

“We have brought together a group of talented students, faculty, staff and alumni who are passionate and committed to advancing UMD’s efforts on diversity, inclusion and respect,” said Daniel Falvey, chair, University Senate. “Our partnership with the President’s Office on this initiative provides an opportunity for the various constituencies on our campus to be engaged in the process and ensures that the task force will have the support and authority to recommend measures that will chart a path towards a campus culture intolerant of hate.”

The task force will collect input from and engage the entire campus community on the current campus climate; difficult issues at the intersections of free speech, hate speech, and freedom of association; and experiences of members of the campus community. 

The task force has been charged with reviewing and assessing current UMD policies and procedures; responses to past reports of hate and bias incidents; current resources, programs and outreach efforts; cultural competency initiatives and trainings; relevant research; best practices at peer institutions; and higher education professional association guidance. 

President Loh and the SEC have also asked the task force to consider how to evaluate the needs of underrepresented groups and assess the efficacy of efforts to address those needs; how best to differentiate between free speech and hate speech in university policies and procedures; and how appropriate communication and public awareness efforts should be used to promote a more inclusive campus climate. 

In addition, the task force will develop strategies for fostering a campus environment that is intolerant of hate, bias, and racism; and a statement on the university’s core values and consider how those values are instilled in students, faculty and staff. 

The task force’s full charge can be viewed here

Members of the task force include:

  • Warren Kelley (co-chair), Assistant Vice President, Division of Student Affairs
  • Lucy Dalglish (co-chair), Dean, Philip Merrill College of Journalism
  • Ja'Nya Banks (co-chair), Undergraduate Student, College of Education, SGA Diversity & Inclusion Director
  • Ishaan Parikh, Undergraduate Student, College of Computer, Mathematics & Natural Sciences
  • Lillia Damalouji, Undergraduate Student, College of Behavioral & Social Sciences, University Senator & Senate Executive Committee Member
  • Ana Sanchez-Rivera, Graduate Student, College of Behavioral & Social Sciences
  • Melanie Pflucker, Graduate Student, College of Education, Graduate Student Government Diversity Officer 
  • Oscar Barbarin, Professor and Chair, African American Studies, College of Behavioral & Social Sciences, University Senator & Senate Executive Committee Member
  • Rashawn Ray, Associate Professor, Sociology, College of Behavioral & Social Sciences
  • Vincent Novara, Curator, Special Collections in Performing Arts, Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, Past University Senate Chair, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee Chair, Sexual Harassment Task Force Member
  • Zein El-Amin, Lecturer, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, College of Arts & Humanities 
  • Roz Moore, Assistant Director, Development & External Relations, Division of Student Affairs, University Senator
  • Luke Jensen, Director, LGBT Equity Center
  • Timea Webster, Executive Administrative Assistant, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, University Senator & Senate Executive Committee Member
  • Rosanne Hoaas, Public Information Officer, University of Maryland Police Department
  • Nicole Pollard, Alumnus, Trustee, University of Maryland College Park Foundation
  • Roger Worthington, Chief Diversity Officer and Interim Associate Provost
  • Diane Krejsa, Deputy General Counsel, Office of General Counsel

The task force will submit its report and recommendations to the Senate and the President no later than March 30, 2018. 

UMD Opens Outdoor Flight Laboratory to Advance Autonomy, Robotics

September 13, 2017
Contacts: 

Anjanette Riley, 301-405-2057 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –  Today the University of Maryland (UMD) A. James Clark School of Engineering opens the only university outdoor flight laboratory for testing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region. Located minutes from the main College Park campus in the UMD Discovery District, the netted Fearless Flight Facility (F3) will serve as a catalyst for innovation in the areas of flight control, sensing, autonomy, collaboration, and counter-UAS. 

Photo of unmanned aircraft“The University of Maryland continues to make incredible strides in autonomy and robotics. Facilities like this one provide the real-world testing conditions that enable innovative breakthroughs,” said Clark School Dean and Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering Darryll Pines. “F3 allows us to pursue an aggressive UAS research agenda that would not be possible without the protection of a netted enclosure.”

Student and faculty researchers who were confined to testing vehicles in a lab or not testing at all, will now have room to iterate on the fly. The 100-foot wide, 300-foot long, and 50-foot high facility also serves as a critical nexus between the Clark School of Engineering’s College Park labs and UMD’s UAS Test Site in Maryland’s St. Mary’s County.  

“With F3, we can conduct cohesive, comprehensive research and education programs in concept and development, testing and evaluation, and life-cycle testing,” said Norman M. Wereley, Department of Aerospace Engineering professor and chair.   

The airspace over the greater D.C. area is the most restricted in the country, with all UAS flights within a 15-mile radius of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport prohibited without authorization from the federal government. Because F3 is considered indoors, these and other restrictions on outdoor flights do not apply. 

At the same time, the open black polyester netting allows researchers to experiment in real world wind and weather conditions. 

Advances to equipment and algorithms made possible by the facility have a host of applications. New vehicle configurations can improve the efficacy of UAS in search-and-rescue operations, for example, while progress in the field of cooperation could lead to surveys of large swaths of farmland quickly and at low cost. 

To access additional F3 flight photos, visit go.umd.edu/F3images

UMD-Led Research Predicts Dangerous Blood Pressure Drops in ICU Patients

September 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Georgia Wood, 301-405-6440

Lee Tune, 301-405-4679

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- A research team, composed of engineers from the University of Maryland (UMD) and physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, has found that patients in intensive care often experience dangerous drops in blood pressure that are not quickly corrected by clinical staff; and the team has developed a predictive model that can warn of such “hypotensive’ incidents before these occur. 

It long has been known that patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) experience incidents of low blood pressure that can be harmful. During these occurrences blood supply to a patient’s brain and other organs is reduced. ICUs have protocols for regulating patient blood pressure which include alarms that alert ICU staff of the need to administer drugs known as vasopressors that raise the patient’s blood pressure.  

“[Our study] raises the possibility that many of the [low blood pressure] episodes were preventable via more vigilant clinical interventions, including vasopressor dose increases immediately upon the onset of the episodes, or dose increases before the onset (to prevent the episode of hypotension altogether),” wrote corresponding author Jin-Oh Hahn, Ph.D., an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UMD, and his colleagues from UMD and from Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Recently published in the journal Scientific Reports, of the Nature Publishing Group, their findings are the latest of a number of studies indicating that even with monitoring systems and treatment protocols in place, ICU patients experience more and longer episodes of low blood pressure (hypotension) than expected or desirable. 

“We were expecting that our study would show the problem is that clinical staff are not adequately following the treatment guidelines [for responding to patients’ hypotensive episodes]. However, we found that it is really a problem of staff not being able to give enough attention to the patients,” Hahn said.  

Their innovation was to focus on hypotension during ongoing vasopressor infusion. When analyzed, most of those hypotensive episodes appeared to be preventable. The episodes were also predictable, using a team-developed statistical model. When the model was run using historical patient blood pressure data, it gave advanced warning (12 minutes average) for 99.6 percent of occurring hypotensive events [blood pressures below 60 mean arterial pressure (MAP)]. In real time (prospective) testing, their model predicted 100 percent of 26 episodes with a median advance warning of 22 minutes before the episodes occurred.

“It is a challenge to provide consistent and optimal care for critically ill, unstable patients for hours or days at a time,” said Andrew Reisner, M.D. of the Massachusetts General Department of Emergency Medicine and associate professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Predictive models and other computerized intelligence can enable a new generation of healthcare with greater precision and consistency than ever before possible.” 

The collaborative team is now working to develop clinical trials for testing the clinical efficacy of their predictive model.

 

 

College Park Ready to Deliver Amazon HQ2

September 11, 2017
Contacts: 

Jessica Jennings, 301-405-4618

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland is prepared to partner with the State of Maryland, Prince George’s County, the City of College Park and neighboring jurisdictions to position College Park as a top location in Amazon’s national search for a second headquarters.  

College Park meets all of the requirements in the Request for Proposals issued last week, including direct access to mass transit and international airports, potential to attract and retain technical talent and a connection to world-class higher education. The RFP also requires the ability to deliver a campus environment with millions of square feet available for development.

“When you read through the entire Amazon H2Q RFP it screams the University of Maryland and College Park,” said Chief Strategy Officer Ken Ulman. “We hit the marks in every category – land availability, business friendly environment, labor force, logistics, cultural community fit and so much more. We are shovel ready and can handle the entire requirement in our thriving Discovery District. Our highly educated, diverse community welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s great companies.”

Located inside the Capital beltway with direct access to Metro and home to future Purple Line stations, the University of Maryland is one of the nation’s premier public research institutions. Its Greater College Park initiative is a $2 billion public-private investment to rapidly revitalize the Baltimore Avenue corridor, strengthen the academic core and create a dynamic Discovery District.

Within the next five years, the Discovery District, located across from the main entrance to campus and anchored by The Hotel at UMD, will include 2.7 million gross square feet of space in new or renovated facilities for research, startup and existing companies, housing, public space, an innovative arts and culinary venture and coworking.

Greater College Park partners, including the City of College Park and Town of Riverdale Park, expressed their support to pursue the Amazon RFP. "Our collaborative efforts to create one of the most desirable places to live, work and learn makes Greater College Park the perfect location for Amazon's second headquarters. With thousands of potential employees in our cities and beyond, a talented pipeline of students coming out of the university and a growing innovation ecosystem, we, as the mayors of College Park and Riverdale Park, know our community will keep Amazon competitive and future-focused in our global economy.”

College Park has already caught the eye of Amazon as home to Amazon@CollegePark, and as one of the first five locations of Amazon’s Instant Pickup service.

Statement from President Wallace D. Loh on Title IX

September 8, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

Attributed to University of Maryland President, Wallace D. Loh: 
 
The University of Maryland is steadfastly committed to a learning, living and working environment on campus that is free from sexual violence and misconduct.
 

We will continue to comply with the existing laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. We will submit comments during the notice and comment period for any rule-making, as invited yesterday by the U.S. Secretary of Education, advocating for changes that would result in more -- not less -- safety and fairness on campuses in Maryland and across the country.    

We are implementing the initiatives recommended last spring by the Joint President/University Senate Task Force on Sexual Assault Prevention. 

A reminder that confidential services for sexual assault survivors​ are available at CARE in the University Health Center and in the Counseling Center. A further reminder that all University employees (except for those working in confidential roles, such as counselors) ​should report any incidents of sexual assault or misconduct to the Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct or to ​the University of Maryland Police Department.  

UMD Named Top Producer of Minority Graduates

September 6, 2017
Contacts: 

Jennifer Burroughs, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The University of Maryland has been named a Top 100 Minority Degree Producer by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Based on totals from the previous year, UMD ranked No. 34 overall for conferring the most undergraduate degrees to minority students and No. 66 overall for graduate and professional degrees.

UMD ranked No. 9 for conferring bachelor degrees in agriculture & agriculture operations, No. 12 for bachelor degrees in social science, No. 13 for bachelor degrees in mathematics and statistics, No. 18 for bachelor degrees in engineering, and No. 19 for bachelor degrees in computer and information science.

Furthermore, among specific minority groups, UMD ranked No. 2 for graduating African American students with Bachelor degrees in social science, No. 4 for graduating African American students with Bachelor degrees in agriculture and foreign languages, and No. 4 for graduating Asian American students with Masters degrees in Interdisciplinary studies. UMD also holds the No. 1 ranking for total minority students with doctoral degrees in mathematics and statistics. 

Areas UMD ranked in the top 5 include:

•Total Minority students with Doctoral degrees in Mathematics and Statistics (1)

•African American students with Bachelor degrees in Social Sciences (2)

•Asian American students with Doctoral degrees in Mathematics and Statistics (2)

•Total Minority students with Masters degrees in Interdisciplinary studies (3)

•African American students with Bachelor degrees in Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics (4)

•African American students with Bachelor degrees in Agriculture and Agriculture Operations (4)

•African American students with Bachelor degrees in Foreign Languages, Literatures and Linguistics (4)

•African American students with Masters degrees in Engineering (4)

•Asian American students with Masters degrees in Interdisciplinary studies (4)

 

For more information and complete Diverse rankings, visit http://diverseeducation.com/top100/

 

Pages

Photo of March: Book Three Book Cover
September 20
No. 1 bestseller recounts Congressman’s life in the Civil Rights Movement. Read
September 14
Task force will consider how to nurture a campus climate that stands against hate and reaffirms the university’s values. Read
September 13
First university facility of its kind in D.C.-Maryland-Virginia region. Read
September 12
 A research team, composed of engineers from the University of Maryland (UMD) and physicians at Massachusetts... Read