Archive for October, 2018

Dr. Perman with early voters

Community Engagement Center Early Voting Site ‘Gets Out The Vote’

The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) is making good on its campaign to “Get Out The Vote” by hosting an early voting site for the 2018 general election. Baltimore City residents can vote and register to vote at the center through Nov. 1.

Since Oct. 25, the polls have be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, including Saturday and Sunday. The CEC, located in the Poppleton neighborhood, adjacent to the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campus, is one of seven voting sites operated by the Baltimore City Board of Elections and the only site in the downtown Baltimore area.

“I consider it a privilege that UMB is able to host a polling place for our neighbors, that I get to join them in exercising my right to vote, and that together we can show Baltimore’s children the importance of this civic responsibility,” says UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD. “Every single election is vital. And by coming together in this way, we’re recommitting to our shared community and standing up for the people we think will strengthen us and advocate for us and uphold the values we believe are non-negotiable.”

Perman joined community members at the polls on Oct. 25, when he cast his ballot at the CEC. He also spoke with members of several organizations that spent weeks canvassing the neighborhoods to boost voter registration and maximize early voting participation.


“We see voting as one way for our neighbors to build political power, and we are very happy to assist in that effort,” says Kelly Quinn, PhD, the CEC coordinator.

Leading up to the polls’ opening, Quinn worked in tandem with the Southwest Partnership, a coalition of seven Baltimore neighborhood associations and six institutions including UMB, as well as #BaltimoreVotes, an organization committed to engaging Baltimoreans, without prejudice or bias, in every election. Together, they organized several events to help raise civic awareness in the West Baltimore community and encourage residents to engage in early voting.

“Voting is our superpower,” explains Curtis Eaddy, manager of events and marketing for the Southwest Partnership. “Voting gives us the power to change laws that impact our daily living.”

Back in September, the CEC along with #BaltimoreVotes and the Baltimore People’s Climate Movement hosted a “Get Out the Vote” pep rally. The goal of the pep rally was to help Baltimore residents learn more about what will be on the ballot while also emphasizing the importance of community building and participation in the Maryland General Election.

Several other community-based organizations also attended the pep rally in support of the efforts to push Baltimore City residents to vote and register to vote, including: the Southwest Partnership, No Boundaries Coalition, Black Girls Vote, Baltimore Women United, Be the Change, Communities United, and former first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign, When We All Vote.

Their support for voter participation did not stop at the pep rally. When the polls opened for early voting Oct. 25, Communities United, an organization that empowers low-income Marylanders to achieve transformative change on racial, economic, and social justice issues, was out in front of the voting station with a van full of people eager to cast their ballots. Members of the organization volunteered to provide transportation to and from the CEC during early voting to make it more accessible to people who would not make it to the polls otherwise.

“People have the right to vote, they work hard to be able to vote,” explained Nabeehah Azeez, organizer for Communities United. “We want to make sure that every person has access to a polling site to exercise their right.”

Meanwhile, Black Girls Vote, a local nonpartisan organization designed to represent the concerns and interests of black women, focused on getting first-time voters to participate. Members of the organization transported vans of voting-age students from Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts to the CEC to cast their ballots for the first time.

“I feel grown up,” exclaimed 18-year-old Denise Johnson as she exited the polling station. “It feels great to know that I am doing my part as a member of the community”

The push for civic engagement even stretched to individual members of the community. Heather Kangas, LCSW-C ’14, is a resident of the Pigtown neighborhood in West Baltimore and an employee assistant social worker for housekeepers and food staff at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). To motivate her colleagues, she hosted a registration event at UMMC during shift change and informed them about the early voting site just a short walk away from the hospital at the CEC.

“An early voting site at the CEC creates more time for working people who have these precarious schedules to actually participate,” Kangas explains. “It’s great that it’s in such a central location for people to come and vote before or after work or even on their lunch break.” With help from Quinn, Kangas managed to get about a dozen hospital employees registered to vote ahead of early voting.

The contributions and support from all parties seemed to make a lasting impression on the community. In the first two hours of the polls’ opening Oct. 25 more than 200 people flooded the CEC to vote, and a steady stream of voters continued in the days to follow.

In an effort to continue this momentum, the CEC will host a “Party at the Polls” on Thursday, Nov. 1, outside the center for their West Baltimore neighbors. On that same day, the CEC also will be partnering with Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy, located a few blocks away from the center in the Franklin Square neighborhood, to host a second “Party at the Polls” in the hopes of turning high school students into first-time voters.

Thanks to a generous donation from Mile 22 and #BaltimoreVotes, the CEC will provide food, games, and music at the polling parties as well as shuttle service to and from the voting station. Members of the Southwest Partnership along with students from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Master of Public Health students at the University of Maryland School of Medicine will be on hand to volunteer at these polling parties, which create yet another avenue to make voting fun and accessible for the community.

The CEC will resume its regularly scheduled activities with neighborhood residents, including the Police Athletic/Activities League, exercise classes, and food markets on Nov 2. Call the CEC at 410-706-8260 for details.

— Jena Frick

View an early voting photo gallery and a pep rally photo gallery.

Jena FrickCollaboration, Community Service, For B'more, UMB News, University Life, USGAOctober 31, 20180 comments
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eUMB forms screenshot

Coming Nov. 12: eUMB User Authorization Forms Online

UMB’s Center for Information Technology Services (CITS)  is excited to announce that eUMB security forms will be available Nov. 12 to submit online, utilizing electronic signatures by users and approvers in workflow. The current paper/PDF forms will be eliminated. (Users will be required to log in using multi-factor authentication to access the forms.)

The following eUMB security forms will be available:

  • eForms User Authorization Form and System Access (eTravel and ePAF)
  • RAVEN Access Request Form
  • eUMB HRMS User Authorization Form
  • eUMB Financials User Authorization Form

For more information, please visit this eUMB webpage.

Sarah SteinbergTechnologyOctober 30, 20180 comments
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Nursing students

Check Out School of Nursing’s Fall 2018 Career Fair on Nov. 5

Join the School of Nursing for out Fall 2018 Career Fair on Nov. 5 and explore your possibilities.

This career fair is geared toward students and/or alumni who are early in their career (0-3 years) and are seeking employment, internships, or graduate school opportunities.

Alumni looking for RN positions are welcome to attend. Take advantage of this FREE opportunity to meet representatives from national and regional health care institutions and from other schools of nursing.

  • Date: Monday, Nov. 5
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Where: School of Nursing Lobby
  • More information: Go to this webpage.
Dardanelles EstesClinical Care, People, UMB News, University LifeOctober 29, 20180 comments
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Flow Cytometry Graphic

Next UMGCCC Flow Cytometry Lecture Moved to Nov. 12

The next Flow Cytometry Monthly Lecture will be held Monday, Nov. 12, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Bressler Research Building, Room 7-035. This is a one-week delay and new time from the original schedule.

This course — led by Xiaoxuan Fan, PhD, director, Flow Cytometry Shared Service — is needed  to become a trained user at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) Flow Cytometry Shared Services. However, all are welcome to attend.

This lecture will cover:

  • How flow cytometry works
  • Multi-color design and compensation
  • Instruments and services
  • New technology and tools.

To RSVP, go to this link.

Karen UnderwoodBulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Education, ResearchOctober 29, 20180 comments
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UMB Police Force badge

Security Tips from the UMB Police Force

With the arrival of autumn and the upcoming return to standard time, it is dark later in the morning and earlier in the evening. Here are a few things to keep in mind to stay safe, particularly as you travel to and from the University. For a flyer of these tips, please click here.

General Safety

  • Walk in pairs or groups whenever possible, particularly in the evening.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If a path or area seems unsafe, avoid it; take the long way around.
  • Safe Walk/Safe Ride services from the University Police Force are available; call 410-706-6882 (ext. 6-6882 from a campus phone).
  • If you are in danger or see any dangerous activity call 911.
  • Walk in well-lit places.
  • Do not wear earbuds/headphones or use your phone while walking.
  • If you don’t need it; don’t bring it.
  • If you feel you are being followed, walk into any UMB building or garage and see the security officer/attendant
    upon entry.
  • Do not leave personal property unattended.

Cellphone Security

Cellphones have a great deal of street value to thieves. Don’t make it easy for them to steal your phone or any personal information you have stored on it.

Stay off your cellphone in public places. Cellphones distract you from your surroundings. If you’re in a public place and preoccupied with talking or texting, somebody can easily grab the phone and run. Try to make calls before you go into public areas. If you receive an important call while you’re out, make it quick. Better yet, call back when you’re in a more secure location.

Password-protect your phone. Lock your phone using the security lock code or PIN feature, usually found in Settings. Make it more difficult for others to access your personal information in your stolen phone.

Save your cellphone’s serial number, as well as model and make. Keep the information in a place where you can find it. Your serial number proves it’s yours. The serial number is usually found by opening the battery compartment on your phone. It will start with one of these codes: IMEI, MEID, or ESN.

Don’t store secrets in your phone. If it’s stolen, it’s not that difficult for the thief to pull out your private information before clearing the memory and reselling the device. If the information isn’t in the phone, the thief can’t use it for identity theft.

Activate the phone’s tracking device. Activate the Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking system on your phone and other electronic devices. This will make it possible to locate it electronically. If the device does not have a GPS tracking system, you can buy software that does the same thing. Check with your provider.

If Your Phone Is Stolen

First, find another phone and call 911 as soon as possible. Remember, emergency blue light phones are available in designated areas on campus.

Contact your cellphone service provider immediately. Suspend your wireless service. This will prevent others from using your phone and racking up unauthorized charges. The carrier’s main service number should be available on its website; you can also visit one of the company’s stores to report the theft. If you have an online cellphone account, you should be able to suspend your service online.

Further Information

The University Police Force is available to meet with anyone needing additional information. We care about your safety and security. If your team or unit wants a crime prevention session, contact Police Chief Alice Cary, MS, at 410-706-6882.

Dana RampollaUMB News, University Life, USGAOctober 26, 20180 comments
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Diwali: The Festival of Lights flyer

Join UMB’s Indian Association in Celebrating Diwali 2018

The UMB Indian Association proudly presents “Diwali: The Festival of Lights” on Nov. 13.

There will be music and dance performances and other exciting surprises. Come to the event with your friends and family and enjoy delicious Indian cuisine.

  • Date: Tuesday, Nov. 13
  • Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Where: SMC Campus Center, Elm Ballroom A (Room 208)
  • Tickets: Students, $4; non-students, $6; at the door, $10.
  • Free admission: To children below the age of 5 and volunteers.

Consult members of Indian Association for tickets or look out for flyers of the event with the QR code.

Anmol KumarPeople, University Life, USGAOctober 25, 20180 comments
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Do Good with Burritos

UMB Police to Support Special Olympics with Chipotle Fundraiser

The UMB Police Force is teaming up with Chipotle to help raise funds for this year’s Polar Bear Plunge.

On Oct. 30, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., head over to Chipotle at 300 W. Pratt St., and tell the cashier you are supporting the cause to make sure that 33 percent of the proceeds from your purchase will be donated to the UMB Police to benefit Special Olympics Maryland.

Jennie RiveraCommunity Service, University LifeOctober 25, 20180 comments
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Hillary Edwards and Dr. Perman

Putting PATIENTS first, Edwards Wins UMB Employee of the Month Award

Hillary Edwards, MPH ’14, says bringing people together to advance patient-centered outcomes research is among the favorite parts of her job with the PATIENTS Program at the School of Pharmacy.

On Oct. 23 in a conference room at the Saratoga Building, Edwards brought together a large group of her colleagues from the program — except she actually had no part in planning this gathering.

Edwards, the associate director of program management and evaluation, was engaged in a weekly strategy meeting with senior members of the PATIENTS Program when University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, MD, interrupted with some good news: Edwards was UMB’s Employee of the Month of October, and the 10 people who accompanied him were there to celebrate her achievement.

“Plain and simple, we’re here to honor you because you do such a good job,” said Perman, who delivered a plaque, a letter of commendation, and news that an extra $250 would be in Edwards’ next paycheck. “You have done a great deal for the PATIENTS Program and you put together the PATIENTS Day event this summer that was very successful. But more globally, people say you always go out of your way to do a great job. And that’s appreciated by your colleagues and the University.”

Back-to-Back Events

The PATIENTS Day event was the second one hosted by the program, whose acronym is short for Patient-Centered Involvement in Evaluating the Effectiveness of Treatments. The PATIENTS Program was launched in 2013 with a $5 million grant from the Agency on Healthcare Research and Equality and is headed by C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, professor and chair of the school’s Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research. The July event was touted as an interactive, educational health and wellness fair where community members, health care providers, researchers, and community organizers could learn from one another about what is needed to create and sustain healthy individuals, families, and communities.

“Hillary worked tirelessly to ensure that PATIENTS Day had activities that would engage attendees in a meaningful way,” Michelle Medeiros, MS, MA, CCRP, the program’s director of research, said in her nomination. “In addition to the multi-vendor fair, the event featured three informative panels that focused on research from the community’s perspective, gun violence as a social determinant of health, and Baltimore authors on holistic health: physically, spiritually, financially, and beyond.

“With leadership and enthusiasm, Hillary has served as a role model for the PATIENTS Program’s peers and colleagues, inspiring them to initiate sincere and genuine interactions with the community. The feedback we received from the community about PATIENTS Day demonstrated the positive impact it had.”

Mullins was equally effusive in his praise of Edwards, who has worked with the program for three years and been at UMB since 2010.

“Her outstanding ability to balance accountability and civility resulted in an amazing PATIENTS Day event,” Mullins said. “I’m proud to have her as a leader within the PATIENTS Program. Hillary embodies the spirit of UMB’s core values. She is 100 percent accountable and reliable, and she knows how to get the job done. At the same time, she embraces civility and inclusiveness and allows every voice to be heard before she implements a plan.”

Making her plan implementation more difficult this year, Edwards also had to coordinate a site visit the day before PATIENTS Day that involved hosting the program’s steering committee and external advisory board members. The visit had been scheduled in January or March in previous years, she said, but had been affected by winter weather issues.

“By doing the events back-to-back, we not only had our advisors in town to really talk about our program infrastructure, but they also were able to celebrate the community partnerships that we’ve built with our West Baltimore neighbors,” Edwards said.

Making an Impact at UMB

She has worked at UMB for eight years, first with Campus Life Services, where she helped launch the Wellness Hub, then at the School of Medicine helping to coordinate a research certificate program, then at the School of Pharmacy with the PATIENTS Program, starting in 2015. In addition to her role there, she has been president of the UMB Staff Senate for two years.

“The Staff Senate provides a really amazing opportunity to be able to understand the priorities that our staff have across campus,” Edwards said. “I’ve also worked closely with Human Resource Services to think about ways we can provide professional development for our staff.  In my time at UMB, I’ve been able to grow professionally thanks to having incredible supervisors and being under senior leadership who really care about the growth of our employees and staff.”

With the PATIENTS Program, she says she loves the interdisciplinary nature of its team of 15-plus colleagues and the fact that she can reach into the realms of research and community partnership at the same time.

“I also get to have a hand in the community partnerships and building those continued networks,” Edwards said. “I love to think of the PATIENTS Program as a resource center, not a research center, so I enjoy being able to serve as a matchmaker for our faculty’s brilliant ideas, and then to hear our community’s priorities when it comes to health and health services research. Being able to bridge the two together is really innovative, and it gives me something new and exciting to work on every day.”

The Employee of the Month gathering was the second celebration this month for Edwards, who got married Oct. 13, and she thanked her colleagues and supervisors for their support during her busy year.

“It’s a great joy to work with this amazing team that spans not only scientific expertise but also community development and community partnership,” Edwards said. “And I’d like to thank my bosses — Dr. Mullins and Michelle Medeiros — for acknowledging my work and helping me through challenging times. It’s not easy to pull off those two back-to-back, high-profile PATIENTS events, so their guidance through that process was really meaningful to me.”

— Lou Cortina


Lou CortinaPeople, UMB News, University LifeOctober 24, 20180 comments
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Women in Bio logo

Next Women In Bio Baltimore Meetup: Nov. 13

Chitra EdwinChitra Edwin PhD, senior vice president of regulatory affairs and compliance at Spotlight Innovation, Inc., will give a talk titled “Innovative Career Strategies — How to Maximize Opportunities with Current Life Sciences Trends” at the next Women In Bio (WIB) Baltimore Meetup.

Here are the details:

  • When: Tuesday, Nov. 13
  • Time: 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Where: Johns Hopkins Tech Ventures, 1812 Ashland Ave., Baltimore, MD  21205
  • Tickets: Free to WIB members and students; $5 for non-WIB members.
  • Registration: Go to this link.


Karen UnderwoodCollaboration, Community Service, EducationOctober 24, 20180 comments
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Hazel Lewis serving food at Hope Lodge

UMB Police Serve Hot Meal to Cancer Patients at Hope Lodge

To “protect and serve” is the creed followed by police officers on the job every day. On Oct. 17, officers from the University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Force (UMBPF) took the latter part of that creed literally. Armed with aprons and hair nets, half a dozen officers along with police Chief Alice Cary, MS, spent the evening serving dinner to residents at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge of Baltimore.

“It is amazing that the UMBPF officers are coming in to embrace our family,” said Karen Seaberry, manager of the Hope Lodge facility in Baltimore. “They’ve always made us a part of the community. They protect us, they serve us, and now it’s great to see them come in and interact with some of our guests.”

Hope Lodge provides a home away from home for patients battling cancer from all around the world. There are 31 Hope Lodge facilities across the United States — including Puerto Rico and Hawaii — and the mid-Atlantic facility is located on the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s campus on West Lexington Street. Hope Lodge provides housing and hospital transportation for its residents free of charge but does not always have the means to provide meals.

Cpl. Hazel Lewis discovered this after meeting a cancer patient who was staying at Hope Lodge. Lewis was providing her with a police escort from her treatment at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center.

“Out of curiosity I asked her what she was eating tonight,” Lewis explained. “She said she didn’t know because Hope Lodge doesn’t necessarily provide dinner every night. Meals usually come from volunteers or through donations, and I said, ‘Wow I never knew that.’ ”

That was all it took for Lewis to begin looking for ways to help. She rallied UMBPF officers to donate money, so they could cater and serve a hot meal to the Hope Lodge residents. Her fellow officers were more than happy to pitch in and volunteer.

“I was all for giving support,” Pfc. Ronald Nicholson said. “I think it’s a great idea and a good way to give back to the community and show our love and support as police officers.”

Lewis, Nicholson, and Cary along with Deputy Chief Thomas Leone, Assistant Chief Dameon Carter, Detective William Epperson and security guard Evelyn Greenhill served up a dinner of baked chicken, mac and cheese, rice, and greens with a bundt cake for dessert. They also prepared and delivered plates of food to patients who were too sick to come out of their rooms for dinner.

Chief Cary expressed her excitement to see her officers engaging the community in such a heartfelt way, and she commended Lewis for taking the initiative to coordinate this act of service.

“Hazel has a great heart. She’s full of compassion, not just at Hope Lodge but everywhere else on campus,” Cary said. “I’m hoping this will be the start of a new tradition, and it’s all because of Hazel Lewis and her outreach.”

This dinner is only the first course of a new relationship between the UMBPF and Hope Lodge of Baltimore. Lewis says she hopes to make Hope Lodge dinners a monthly event for her department.

“I think this is just the beginning!” Lewis exclaimed. “Hope Lodge is right on our campus. It’s right next door to us, so why not give back?”

Lewis’ act of selflessness will be crucial for residents of the facility as the holiday season approaches, as many guests will not be able to spend time with their families. Seaberry is encouraging people to follow Lewis’ lead and donate their time by putting on events or activities at Hope Lodge to create a jovial atmosphere throughout the holiday season. She’s also asking the community to check out Hope Lodge of Baltimore’s Amazon Wishlist, which has a list of suggested gifts and supplies people can donate through

For more information on how you can volunteer or donate to Hope Lodge of Baltimore, visit the American Cancer Society website or call the facility directly at 410-547-2522.

— Jena Frick

(View a photo gallery and watch a video about the event.)


Jena FrickCollaboration, Community Service, For B'more, People, UMB NewsOctober 24, 20180 comments
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Information Security collage

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Helping Others Secure Themselves

Many of us feel comfortable with technology, including how to use it safely and securely. However, other friends or family members may not feel so comfortable. In fact, they may be confused, intimidated, or even scared by it. This makes them very vulnerable to today’s cyber attackers. Cybersecurity does not have to be scary; it’s actually quite simple once you understand the basics. They most likely just need a guide like you to help them understand the basics.

Five Simple Steps

Here are five simple steps you can take to help others overcome those fears and securely make the most of today’s technology. For more information on each of these points, refer to the references section at the end of this newsletter.

Help others securely make the most of technology by sharing these five simple steps with them.

  1. Social engineering: Social engineering is a common technique used by cyber attackers to trick or fool people into doing something they should not do, such as sharing their password, infecting their computer, or sharing sensitive information. This is nothing new. Scams and con artists have existed for thousands of years. The only difference now is bad guys are applying these concepts to the internet. You can help others by explaining to them the most common clues of a social engineering attack, such as when someone creates a tremendous sense of urgency, when something is too good to be true, or when a cyber attacker pretends to be someone you know but their messages don’t sound like them. Share examples of common social engineering attacks, such as phishing emails or the infamous Microsoft tech support phone calls. If nothing else, make sure family members understand they should never give their password to anyone or allow remote access to their computer.
  2. Passwords: Strong passwords are key to protecting devices and any online accounts. Walk your family members through how to create strong passwords. We recommend passphrases, as they are the easiest to type and remember. Passphrases are nothing more than passwords made up of multiple words. In addition, help them to install and use a password manager. It is important to have a unique password for each of your devices and accounts. If a password manager is overwhelming, perhaps teach them to write down their passwords, then store those passwords in a secure location. Finally, help them enable two-step verification (often called two-factor or multi-factor authentication) for important accounts. Two-step verification is one of the most effective steps you can take to secure any account.
  3. Patching: Keeping systems current and fully up-to-date is a key step anyone can take to secure their devices. This is not only true for your computers and mobile devices, but also anything connected to the internet, such as gaming consoles, thermometers, or even lights or speakers. The simplest way to ensure all devices are current is to enable automatic updating whenever possible.
  4. Anti-virus: People make mistakes. We sometimes click on or install things we probably should not, which could infect our systems. Anti-virus is designed to protect us from those mistakes. While anti-virus cannot stop all malware, it does help detect and stop the more common attacks. As such, make sure any home computers have anti-virus installed and that it is current and active. In addition, many of today’s anti-virus solutions include other security technology, such as firewalls and browser protection.
  5. Backups: When all else fails, backups are often the only way you can recover from mistakes (like deleting the wrong files) or cyber attacks (like ransomware). Make sure family and friends have an automated file backup system in place. Often, the simplest solutions are cloud-based. They back up your devices hourly or whenever you make a change to a file. These solutions make it easy not only to back up data, but also to recover it.

Securing Kids When Visiting Others

If you are comfortable with technology, you most likely not only have secured yourself, but also helped to secure your kids. However, when kids visit a relative who is not comfortable with technology, such as grandparents, these relatives may not be aware of how to best protect kids online or your expectations. Here are steps you can take to help protect kids when they visit others, especially family:

  • Rules: Be sure that if there are any rules or expectations you have for your kids’ security, others know about them. For example, are there any rules on how long kids can be online, whom they can talk to, or what games they can or cannot play? Trust us, don’t plan on kids explaining the rules to other family members. One idea is to create a “rules sheet” and share that with any relatives your kids frequently visit.
  • Control: If a child understands technology better than their guardians, they may take advantage of that. For example, kids may ask for or gain administrative rights to a grandparent’s computer and then do whatever they want, such as installing that game you may not want them playing. Make sure relatives understand they should not give the kids any additional access beyond what has been established.
Fred SmithTechnologyOctober 24, 20180 comments
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Woman smiling

Oct. 30 Free Lunch & Learn Seminar on Breast Cancer Prevention and Screening

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to learn about breast health. The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center offers an all-women-physician comprehensive care team, including nationally recognized breast cancer specialists in surgery, reconstruction, genetics, and breast imaging.

On Oct. 30, Gauri Khorjekar, MD, and Suliat Nurudeen, MD, MPH, will present a free Lunch & Learn seminar titled “Deciphering Lumps: Breast Evaluation 101” in the Gladhill Board Room at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL).

Drs. Khorjekar and Nurudeen will answer questions and provide information.

Registration is required and lunch will be served.

  • Date: Tuesday, Oct. 30
  • Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Where: HS/HSL Gladhill Board Room, Room 505, fifth floor
  • Registration: Go to this link.
Jessie PulsipherBulletin Board, Clinical Care, People, University LifeOctober 22, 20180 comments
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UMB leaders, sculpter and First Lady Hogan stand in front of the public art

UMB’s First Public Art Inspires Leaders, Onlookers

The day was brisk, the winds were moderate, and the invited crowd and numerous passers-by were appreciative as the first piece of public art on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) was dedicated on Oct. 16.

(View a photo gallery on Facebook.)

The 30-foot-tall piece by artist Eric Peltzer is a kinetic sculpture that had been temporarily immobilized by a red sash. He and the participating dignitaries, including Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, had no scissors to cut that ribbon as is typical during a dedication. Instead they loosened the sash and let the wind take hold.

In introducing the artist, UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, had set the stage for the resulting movement. He observed that Peltzer had chosen a fitting title, “Stochastic Interactions,” and that stochastic describes the random processes of genetics and molecular biology.

“The random nature of the wind interacting with the sculpture is meant to suggest the randomness at work on our genetics. It’s a gorgeous piece,” Perman said.

Perman also called attention to the way the piece “suggests the human form through the shape of the DNA double helix.” He called the design “a wonderful nod” to the cutting-edge genomic research that takes place in Health Sciences Research Facility III. The new building is a soaring backdrop for the sculpture and home to the Institute for Genome Sciences of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), among other offices and labs.

As required by legislation passed in 2013, Maryland must include public art in new or renovated state buildings. The Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI) sets aside a percentage of capital construction costs for the integration of public art and enables its creators to become involved early in the planning and construction phases.

Peltzer is a Southern California artist who has been making sculptures for more than three decades. He visited the site over a two-year period after being selected in an open-call jury process overseen by the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency of the state Department of Commerce.

It is the Maryland Commission on Public Art that directs the strategic vision of Maryland’s statewide public art program. Leaders of both participated in the ceremony.

“Public art is free. No admission price. A museum without walls,” said the council’s executive director, Ken Skrzesz, who also noted that an outdoor sculpture such as Peltzer’s work “allows us moments of reflection.” As for the dynamics of the still-fettered “Stochastic Interactions,” Skrzesz observed, “It’s dying to take off!”

Commission Chair Catherine Leggett called the sculpture magnificent, adding that the piece  “lifts us up” and connects the health-care aspects of its surroundings on the UMB campus and the nearby University of Maryland Medical Center. “Well done,” she said.

The sculpture stands at the corner of Pine and Baltimore streets. The latter is a busy bus-route corridor. Meanwhile, city and campus pedestrians include patients arriving and departing the clinics of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry at 650 W. Baltimore St. Only moments after the unveiling, a dental patient emerged and admired the work.

It is that sort of public access that Maryland First Lady Hogan finds laudatory. Speaking from her perspective as an artist and in her role as honorary chair of the UMB Council for the Arts & Culture, she described the sculpture as beautiful, like a bird, and observed that it’s in the perfect spot to inspire “people of all ages, including students.”

Hogan, a faculty member at Maryland Institute College of Art, called “Stochastic Interactions” an example of “artists connecting our lives.”

Peltzer said he drew his inspiration for “Stochastic Interactions” on the history of the university and especially on that of its medical school, relying greatly on author Larry Pitrof, executive director of the UMSOM Alumni Association. The legs have twists, symbolic of the challenges of the first 100 years. Also, the legs have little incisions that reflect “an inquisitive nature,” Peltzer said.

As for the genomics aspect, he said, “People walk by and know what’s going on in the building.”

Peltzer also shared one of his biggest difficulties, literally: “To get something this big and heavy to move in the wind.”

Dignitaries in attendance included Maryland Higher Education Secretary James Fielder Jr., PhD, and Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts at the Maryland Commerce Department, which oversees the arts council.

Peltzer’s parents, sisters, and other family members were present. So were several members of the selection committee, whose members spent months poring over nearly 200 artist applications. The committee was led by UMB Assistant Vice President Angela Fowler-Young, director of the Office of Real Estate, Planning, and Space Management. It included Anthony Consoli, AIA, LEED AP,  campus architect at UMB; Robert Cook, executive director of facilities and operations at UMSOM, and Pitrof, among others.

Perman thanked the committee and everyone at UMB and in Maryland government who saw the project through, such as Mark Behrens, a senior design and construction project manager at UMB, and the Maryland State Arts Council’s Liesel Fenner, ASLA, program director of public art.

“There are a million moving parts to something like this,” the president said.

But the only moving parts that mattered were the arms of the sculpture. And Peltzer’s “Stochastic Interactions” responded to the wind, on cue, at its dedication.

— Patricia Fanning

Patricia FanningPeople, UMB News, University LifeOctober 19, 20180 comments
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Dr. Thomas Scalea delivering his presentation

Scalea Recalls the Journey to MARS in Entrepreneurs of the Year Presentation

Like a preschool teacher gathering his young students around him, Thomas Scalea had his own form of “story time.” But instead of Thomas the Tank Engine, Scalea’s topic was “Supporting Failing Organs” at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Entrepreneurs of the Year Presentation on Oct. 15.

His “very cool story” took place not in a cozy classroom but in the auditorium of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, which is regarded as the world’s most advanced trauma center under physician-in-chief Scalea, MD, FACS, FCCM, and his colleagues.

Scalea mixed history, humor, and humility into a riveting hourlong presentation enjoyed by over 100 people.

“Anyone who has heard me knows I tell stories. It’s the only thing I’m good at,” said Scalea, the Francis X. Kelly Distinguished Professor in Trauma Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “And this is a pretty good story. It’s a story not only about MARS. It’s about the development of support for failing organs. It’s a story about a whole bunch of entrepreneurs and their spirit that allowed us to accumulate the knowledge that has brought us to this point.

“It starts with the advent of critical care: When I finished my residency back in the Middle Ages, say around 1983, there was a single fellowship program in critical care for surgeons — one. My surgical critical care certificate number is 069. There weren’t that many,” said Scalea, who arrived at Shock Trauma in 1997. “So it’s a story of critical care that traces its maturation, it’s a story of innovation and determination. It’s a story that covers a long time, it’s not just about MARS, so indulge me.”

Later called a “Pied Piper” by 2017 UMB Entrepreneur of the Year Bartley Griffith, MD, Scalea led the crowd on a journey of organ failure through the ages. Heart failure in World War I. Kidney failure in World War II and the Korean War “because helicopters and blood banking made injured soldiers live who used to die from heart failure.” Lung failure in Vietnam.

Scalea dropped many names of pioneers in the fight against organ failure up to modern days. Florence Nightingale. Peter Safar. Tom Petty “without the Heartbreakers.” Dave Ashbaugh. Bruce Jarrell. Rolf Barth. Art Baue. Berry Fowler. And his mentor, Louis Del Guercio. “I had no right to that fellowship, but he took pity on me, so I dedicate this to his memory,” Scalea said.

Among the historical tidbits was that Safar in 1958 set up the first ICU in the United States. “Where?” Scalea asked the assembled physicians, researchers, students, and staff. “Eight miles from here, Baltimore City Hospital, now known as Bayview. The home of critical care in trauma in the United States is Baltimore.”

Next Stop: MARS

Eventually Scalea got around to his greatest story of the day, the one that garnered him, Deborah Stein, MD, MPH, FACS, FCCM, chief of trauma at Shock Trauma, and Steven Hanish, MD, FACS, a former liver surgeon at Shock Trauma who is now director of liver transplants at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the UMB Entrepreneurs of the Year award.

Their innovative application of the Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System (MARS) led to a study that found this “dialysis machine for the liver” can remove toxins, improve clotting, and reduce brain swelling — allowing acute liver failure sufferers time for spontaneous recovery or transplantation.

“Usually as the senior member of the team I would have assigned this talk to Deb or Steve,” Scalea said early in his presentation. “But he is in Dallas [at his new job] and she is in England [on vacation], so you’ll just have to put up with me.”

How the MARS machine came to Shock Trauma combined knowledge, quick thinking, a tight-knit team, and good old-fashioned luck.

“This guy comes in with a devastating liver injury from a gunshot wound,” Scalea recalls. “Deb calls me, we get him through the first operation, but he goes into liver failure. Deb says, ‘What about this MARS machine?’ We’ve heard about it, we don’t own one, few did. She says, ‘Hey, Dad, you think we could get one?’ ” Scalea recalled to the audience’s amusement.

“I say ‘Sure!’ I don’t know where the hell we are going to get one. So I call the company. They say, ‘You’re not going to believe this. Somebody bought it. They decided they didn’t want it. It’s on the truck, in Maryland, coming back to the factory. Do you want it?’

“I said, ‘Absolutely, turn the truck around and bring it down,’ ” Scalea recalled. “Then I hung up and I asked myself, ‘I wonder how much this thing costs?’ [more laughter] So I called Karen [Doyle, senior vice president at Shock Trauma] and said, ‘Hey, Mom, can we have a dialysis machine?’ God love her, she said. ‘I don’t care what it costs, if you need it, you’ve got it.’ They deliver it and just like Petty [the pioneering lung specialist], we sit on the floor. We open the instructions. We say, ‘How hard can it be? It’s just a machine.’ The patient gets well.”

And so did more and more patients. After 27 patients, Scalea, Stein, and Hanish reported their findings to the American Surgical Association. Now the nearly 14,000 Americans on the liver transplant waiting list have renewed hope. And as James L. Hughes, MBA, chief enterprise and economic development officer and vice president at UMB, who hosted the event, said, “Through persistence and meticulous research, the MARS team is on the path to turn inspiration to save one life into a new standard of care for thousands of patients.”

Scalea sees it more as being in the right place at the right time. “We had modern technology next to the patients,” he said. “We controlled the technology ourselves. We noticed what was different, we weren’t bound by conventional thinking. We challenged dogma, we flew by the seat of our pants, and as physicians and surgeons we were together. This story is far from told. There are a zillion careers for those who want to take this on. But it’s a cool story. A very cool story.”

Record-Breaking Research

After Scalea took questions from the audience, Hughes, UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, and Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, assistant vice president of research and development, presented plaques to some of the 99 UMB researchers who had U.S. and international patents approved in the past year.

“We’ve had an incredible year in extramural funding,” Hughes said. “We had big growth two years ago and this year we grew the biggest we have ever had and the biggest of any University System of Maryland institution with $667.4 million. There is a lot of great research being done here, and that’s the foundation of much of the great entrepreneur work we are seeing.”

— Chris Zang

Read more about Scalea and the MARS Team.

Chris ZangClinical Care, Collaboration, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeOctober 19, 20180 comments
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