October 29, 2014

Dining with Dysphagia.

Dysdine is a website maintained by students from the MGH Institute of Health Professions designed to provide recipes, encouragement, and community to those living with dysphagia . On the webpage, a visitor can find a recipe database separated by diet-texture and category, a list of reviewed restaurants with diet based menu suggestions, and stories of inspiration from others who also have swallowing difficulties. The website was originally started by Shaina Sawyer (CSD class ’13), and has been gaining viewership and slowly building its territory in the online healthcare network. Currently,...
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October 10, 2014

Happy PA Week!

Happy PA Week from your newly accredited MGH Institute PA program! The PA profession was "born" in the mid-1960s thanks to the vision of Dr. Eugene Stead and the skills and commitment of the veterans, corpsmen and medics, who took a leap of faith in joining the very first class of PAs. In the 20 years since I graduated from my PA program, I have had the distinct pleasure of watching my beloved profession grow in scope, numbers, and recognition. When I took my first job as a PA educator, there were approximately 90 accredited programs in the country. Today, there are 190 accredited PA programs...
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October 1, 2014

Need a Lift?

I’m not talking about plastic surgery here. I am talking about a different type of lift, a lift in spirit. One that “lifts your face” by encouraging a spontaneous smile. And one that lifts your heart because there is so much good happening around you. My first lift occurred on Friday, September 21. I had the opportunity to observe over 300 students coming together to provide community service all over the city of Boston, with support from more than 50 faculty members and staff of the IHP for the school’s third annual Community Day. The logistics for this enterprise are staggering. Kudos (is...
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September 12, 2014

Dementia With Dignity

This year's Schwartz Center Educational Rounds will focus on caring for patients with dementia. The theme sprung from a common reading assignment given to all incoming entry-level graduate students as an introduction to the IMPACT Practice curriculum. Still Alice is a novel by Lisa Genova that recounts a first-person perspective of the diagnosis and treatment for early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. In discussing the book, students debated whether Alice lost her identity or became her true self when stripped of her memories and professional abilities. One student remarked, "I loved reading Still...
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September 8, 2014

Welcome to the 2014-2015 Academic Year

Once again, summer is drawing to a close as we prepare for the 2014-2015 academic year and the first day of classes on September 8. This week, 242 new students arrived to begin their respective programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders ( Speech-Language Pathology ), Direct-Entry Nursing (Nurse Practitioner), post-professional Nursing (MS and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs), MS in Physical Therapy for international physical therapists, MS in Health Professions Education for licensed health professionals, and the PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program. In May and June, we welcomed...
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April 14, 2014

Add Medical Interpreters to the Health Care Team

* This article originally appeared on AAPA's PAs Connect blog. We need to expand our definition of healthcare team when it comes to patients with limited English proficiency. I was reminded of this after reading a March 17 article on, “ Multilingual healthcare providers for a multilingual nation. ” Author Jon Jilani makes a convincing and important argument for the use of competent, trained medical interpreters when providing care to non-English-speaking patients. The article spoke to the likelihood of poor health outcomes when using ad hoc interpreters, such as family members...
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April 9, 2014

Caring for a High-Profile Patient

During this year's Interprofessional Rounds, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor described how the media requested an interview during her stay at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Not all the survivors wanted to share their stories so publicly, but our speaker did. So, to accommodate both the media's interest and the patient's recovery, her occupational therapist decided to tailor that day's session about the activities necessary to prepare for an interview. It's unusual for a health professional to work with patients and clients who attract attention from beyond their circle of families and...
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April 8, 2014

Yet Another Reason to Freeze

Just as our bodies have begun to thaw out, and the thought of removing our mittens to send texts while waiting for the T no longer seems like cruel and unusual punishment, our friends at Ben and Jerry’s have taken it upon themselves to make sure the reminder of winter lingers a little longer. Today, April 8, from noon-8 p.m. Ben & Jerry’s will host their annual #FreeConeDay to celebrate their 35th anniversary. The tasty tradition originally started in Burlington, VT in 1979 and has since grown to be a nationwide celebration. So whether you are dipping out of work or are in need of a break...
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April 2, 2014

For Good……

pro bo•no pu•bli•co [proh boh-noh poo-bli-koh; English proh boh-noh puhb-li-koh] Show IPA Latin. for the public good or welfare. The term “pro bono” has been used over time to refer to “free” services. Interestingly, from the Latin it means “for good”. Some interpret this to mean “free” rather than the true meaning. However, take a few minutes to talk to one of the 300 or so folks who visit the clinics each week and they will tell you that the literal meaning is the correct one in this case. Children and adults with speech, language, or reading problems and a variety of people with problems...
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March 10, 2014

A Prognosis for mHealth

The Epocrates 2013 Mobile Trends report was published a few months ago and its results support the burgeoning notion that, in the not too distant future, mobile devices will be ubiquitous in healthcare practices around the world. It's no wonder that Epocrates predicts that 9 in 10 healthcare providers will be using smartphones by 2014. After all, smartphones and tablets make it incredibly easy to access information at the point of care and to communicate with colleagues, employees, or patients. An even more interesting conclusion gleaned from the survey of 1,063 healthcare practitioners (...
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