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Faculty Recognized at 2019 Convocation

September 05, 2019
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The 2019-2020 academic year at MGH Institute of Health Professions began September 3 when the school hosted its annual Faculty Convocation.

Hosted by Dr. Alex Johnson, provost and vice president for academic affairs, the event was highlighted by the presentation of several faculty awards and recognitions, faculty research posters, and a general celebration of the MGH Institute’s academic excellence. 

Highest Faculty Teaching Award Presented

Rebecca Hill,  an assistant professor of nursing and interim program director for prelicensure in the School of Nursing, received the Nancy T. Watts Award for Excellence in Teaching, the MGH Institute’s highest faculty honor for teaching.

“Dr. Hill deserves recognition for her continued hard work and dedication to her craft and her students,” wrote Jonathan Morency, MS-Nursing ’19, one of several students in the Master of Science in Nursing’s Class of 2019 who submitted a testimonial letter of support. “She is an asset to her students’ success and provides a meaningful learning environment. I am inspired by her hard work, dedication, and passion, and know that I will be an excellent nurse practitioner because of her.” 

Hill is a family nurse practitioner in emergency medicine, an active member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society, and is a manuscript reviewer for the Journal for Nurse Practitioners. She currently sits on the board of directors for the Massachusetts/Rhode Island League for Nursing (MARILN). She has served as faculty representative at the National Student Nurses’ Association annual convention and as president of two chapters of Sigma Theta Tau International.

“Dr. Hill sets an example to follow and inspires others to do more and do better,” added Kaveri Roy, assistant professor of nursing. “She certainly has inspired nursing students at MGH IHP, as well as her fellow faculty members. I feel that she truly embodies the spirit of the IHP and furthers the goals of both the School of Nursing and the IHP as a whole.”

Hill is the 30th recipient of the Watts award, named after the nationally renowned physical therapist who was a pioneer at Massachusetts General Hospital, was instrumental in the creation of the MGH Institute, and was the school’s first leader of its physical therapy program.

The MGH Institute – Mass General Connection

James Gordon, the chief learning officer and director of the MGH Leaning Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, gave the keynote address. He called the relationship between the MGH Institute and the hospital as one that has the opportunity to continue a collaboration that began in 1977 when the hospital founded the graduate school. “We have to change the perception that health professions education is a cost center into something that creates value in a health care organization,” said Dr. Gordon, noting that errors by health care professionals is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. “Systems that prioritize education will be able to provide better patient care.”

Faculty Recognition

Regina Doherty, an associate professor of occupational therapy and the department’s interim chair, received the 2019 Award for Excellence in Advancing Interprofessional Education and Practice. Dr. Doherty was recognized for being a key contributor to the Institute’s IMPACT Practice initiative, a core collaborator on the HRSA-funded project on Interprofessional Collaboration for Chronic Care Management, and for encouraging the development of the Institute’s Common Reading program.

Two faculty members each received the 2019-2020 Faculty Research Fellowship Award. Dr. Shweta Gore, an assistant professor of physical therapy received the award for her project, “Impact of Physical Activity and Strength Training on Long-Term Health Outcomes in Community-dwelling Older Adults with Cardiovascular Multimorbidity.” Dr. Sara Knox, an assistant professor of physical therapy and the department’s associate chair, received the award for her project, “Factors Impacting Discharge to Community from Home Health Care for Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.”

Teresa Kimberley, a professor of physical therapy and director of the Brain Recovery Lab, received the fourth annual Faculty Award for Excellence in Research. Dr. Kimberley, who also has an appointment at Mass General Hospital as a research staff in the Department of Neurology and as a research faculty at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, was recognized for her being a pioneer in the use of neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation. Kimberley, who also directs the Brain Health & Recovery Research Cluster at the Institute, was awarded the MGH SPARC Award along with several of her hospital colleagues.

Sofia Vallila-Rohter, an assistant professor of speech-language pathology, received the New Investigator Award. Dr. Valilla, who also is a faculty member in the Speech Hearing & Biosciences and Technology program at Harvard University, a research associate at Spaulding Rehab, Boston University, and MIT, received the award for her efforts in using event-related potentials, neuroimaging, and behavioral methods to investigate learning in people with and without aphasia.

Other Faculty News

Diane Smith, a professor of occupational therapy, succeeded Dr. Lynn Foord, interim chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, as chair of the Faculty Senate for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Two faculty were recognized for completing their sabbaticals during the 2018-2019 academic year: Doherty, and Mary Evenson, professor of occupational therapy.

Three faculty were recognized for receiving promotions. Dr. Evenson is now a full professor, Keshrie Naidoo is now an assistant professor of physical therapy, and Emily Zeman is now an assistant professor of occupational therapy.

Several faculty presented posters of some of their most recent research following the event.

Slideshow of Faculty Accomplishments