The Latest from the Blogs

PEBT

Oct 1, 2011
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dictionary.com provides 19 (yes nineteen) definitions of the word "core."  One of them is particularly relevant to the Institute:   Definition no. 2 (noun) is "the innermost, essential, or central part of anything.  Our core values were developed during last year's strategic planning process as statements about our essential and central character as a community.  I try to use these values as a roadmap for myself and for the Institute.  I find them to be particularly useful during times of conflict or confusion.  The core values are fairly lofty and are somewhat non specific.  They provide general direction, but allow for plenty of  interpretation.  They don't tell us "how" we should get things done or "how" we should make things work well.  They provide essential guidance on matters of importance and when things go wrong, they provide important points for reflection and change.   I would advise that in our interactions with students,...Read more

Feb 23, 2011
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

Just over a month ago, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head during a mass shooting in her home city of Tucson.   In this incomprehensible event, numerous others were killed or injured.   The nation’s hearts have been wracked with grief for this terrible tragedy.  As is always true with such events, the news media pounced on the story.     The public (myself included) looked forward to learning of what happened as the story progressed.  We all wanted to know that Giffords had survived.

For several weeks following Gifford’s tragic shooting, the media was filled with images of heroic “scrub clad” surgeons describing the specific details of the brain surgery, and her immediate post-operative recovery.   Descriptions of her early cognitive and motor responses (eye contact, hand squeezing) and removal of her ventilator filled newspapers and TV shows.  Discussions of her inability to communicate (attributed inappropriately to her tracheostomy) were...Read more

Oct 15, 2010
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

This weekend, the Department of Physical Therapy is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of PT at the Institute. Alumni, faculty, and friends will come together for social and educational events. PT Chair (and Interim Dean of SHRS) Leslie Portney has produced a publication that reports the history of the program. Congratulations to our PT faculty, students, and alumni!This birthday celebration of PT, which coincides with National PT Month, is a reminder of the important contribution that our PT programs make to the life of the Institute. From an educational standpoint, our program is recognized for cutting edge curricula, and is ranked 7th in the nation and first in the northeast by US News and World Report. Faculty in PT contribute as Institute leaders, and many have high profiles in the American Physical Therapy Association. Our remarkable and talented Physical Therapy students participate in wellness projects that impact many aspects of the...Read more

Oct 10, 2010
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

I returned late last evening from a week long trip to Israel. This was the fourth "People to People" trip that I have led in the past three years. I was able to lead 30 Speech-Language Pathologists to Israel for professional exchange with each other via Continuing Education, with colleagues in universities, hospitals, and clinics in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem, and also to tour important historical and religious sites. What a trip! Exhausting and exhilarating and filled with surprises and learning! The trip was not affiliated with the Institute and was not sponsored by the Institute (just in case you were wondering!). What a great way to use some of my annual vacation leave. Some thoughts that I will spend time (alone, not on here) thinking about over the coming months-- +speech-language pathologists from the US and Israel have much in common and services are similar in many ways,...Read more

Sep 20, 2010
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

Last week I distributed two documents. The first, a summary of the "academic" progress of the Institute tells the story of all that you and your students and colleagues have done to make the Institute better in teaching, service, and research over the past year. The second, The Role of the IHP in Health Care Education of the Future, provided a series of questions and reflections for the faculty to consider as we engage in strategic planning over this fall term. As I thought about "Vision 2020", our strategic planning process, I found it very helpful to use the accomplishments and challenges of the past year to serve as the foundation for thoughts about the future. We have accomplished so much! Rather than listening to those random voices of frustration about the volume of work that remains to be done, looking backward helps me see that we can be confident...Read more

Sep 3, 2010
Alex
Johnson
PhD, CCC-SLP
Photo of Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP

Welcome and Welcome Back....First of all, I am thrilled to welcome 10 new faculty members who have joined us since last spring. In my next blog, I will focus on introducing them. Representing the Department of CSD, the School of Nursing, and the Department of Physical Therapy, these outstanding individuals come to us with fantastic clinical and academic experience, wonderful aspirations, and a commitment to working with our students and faculty members. Please join me in welcoming them, including them in every way that will help them get started, and pointing them toward resources and ideas that might be helpful in getting started!Hearty welcome to 28 new students in our International PT program, and all 392 students who have joined the Institute community since last May. Each of you brings talent, intellect, and energy that we welcome and honor. One of you was THE student who helped us cross the...Read more

Jul 23, 2010

The Institute's academic and administrative leaders have just completed their annual retreat for purposes of planning, thinking about our future, discussing emerging trends and issues. To my knowledge, almost every organization engages in similar planning and "big thinking" activities. While you will be hearing more about the future from President Bellack, I want you to know that we are looking ahead, thinking about the year 2020, considering what the profile of our school will be, and what the necessary "culture" will be to support the future. I would ask that in the coming weeks each member of the Institute community begin to think about how he or she deals with change, why change is viewed as positive or negative, and how we can all be more comfortable in dealing with changes. Your leadership is in agreement that change is are required for the vitality of the Institute, the fulfillment of...Read more

Jul 2, 2010

In the coming academic year we will be giving lots of attention to our new academic organizational structure. For the first time in the Institute's History, we have two schools. We have two Deans in place. Our new Dean of Nursing and the Interim Dean of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences have been appointed and have begun to work together. A Dean's Council including the two new Deans and the Dean of Students will begin meeting with me after July 1. Our system is moving into place!Many faculty members have asked what it means to be a school. Some have asked, "what's the big deal? What is different since we have moved to schools? I acknowledge that for the typical faculty member or student, there is probably minimal notable difference to date. I hope that next year at this time we will all see the benefits of the new organizational structure...Read more

Jun 29, 2010

Last week, the Institute celebrated our partnerships with preceptors from two of our major "partners within Partners." These events, held at Spaulding Boston, Spaulding Cambridge, Spaulding's Shaunnesy-Kaplan, and at Mass General were attended by over 100 preceptors, administrators and guests. The events represented a deliberate gesture by the Institute to express our thanks to those friends and colleagues who do so much for us. Over the past year, in partnership with our Clinical Affairs Coordinating Committee, I have had the remarkable opportunity to consider the impact of our clinical partners. Ours is a unique situation, as we are housed within a major health system. Almost all of our students will spend a significant portion of their clinical education with PHS programs. How fortunate they are to learn from these remarkable clinicians, many who are alumni of the Institute. How fortunate we are to have these dedicated, loyal, and trusted friends...Read more

Jun 27, 2010

Greetings and First Blog:Welcome to my new blog. I want to use this to keep friends, colleagues, and students up to date on academic life at the Institute. Occasionally (hopefully about one time per week), I plan to use this blog for posting some thoughts, announcements, reflections, and new ideas. I will be anxious to hear what you think. My hope is that occasionally, this blog will stimulate some useful conversation among the academic community.

Yesterday, June 25, was a special day for me. Along with some other faculty members and Dean Clabo, I was lucky enough to attend the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Chelsea High School Student Health Center. This event, attended by a number of local political dignitaries, Dr. Peter Slavin (MGH President), and other leaders from the community and the MGH honored one of our current faculty members, Gail Gall, MSN (SON) for her leadership...Read more