Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

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Picture of: Judy Tupper, DHEd, Muskie School, and Theresa Bishop, USM Office of Sponsored Programs, meeting with OSHA officials at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC.
Cutler Institute staff meet with the Department of Labor in Washington, DC on November 5, 2014. Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy staff have received their second Susan Harwood Training Grant from OSHA, Department of Labor. The cross-program Cutler team led by Judy Tupper and Sue Ebersten are designing and piloting online courses for EMS personnel on the topics of bloodborne pathogens, respiratory hazards, and ergonomics. Judy Tupper and Theresa Bishop, Office of Sponsored Programs, recently traveled to Washington, DC to meet with Department of Labor officials and other grantees from around the United States. Picture: Judy Tupper, DHEd, Muskie School, and Theresa Bishop, USM Office of Sponsored Programs, meeting with OSHA officials at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC.
Picture: Penthea Burns, YLAT Director and Beth Yvonne, Director of Maine Youth Action Network
Maine Youth Action Network's (MYAN) Organization ImpACT Awards The Youth & Community Engagement Programs at USM's Muskie School of Public Service, Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy was chosen as the recipient of the Maine Youth Action Network's (MYAN) Organization ImpACT Award. Pentha Burns accepted the award at the MYAN annual conference in Augusta on October 28th. Through the ImpACT Awards, MYAN recognizes and celebrates youth leadership and the support systems that empower youth. These awards showcase youth and adults who are making a positive impact on each other, their communities, and their worlds. Picture: Penthea Burns, YLAT Director and Beth Yvonne, Director of Maine Youth Action Network
Judy Tupper, DHEd, CPPS, CHES
Judy Tupper, director of the Patient Safety Academy and faculty in the graduate program of public health at the USM Muskie School, writes an op-ed in the Portland Press Herald on September 22 about the new initiative announced at the 5th Annual Patient Safety Academy to “crowd source” a patient safety improvement idea – the promotion of a “No News is No News” campaign to educate and inform consumers about the importance of following up on test results.
John Gale
John Gale, Research Associate at the Maine Rural Health Research Center, USM Muskie School, discusses the potential for rural safety net providers to become a patient-centered medical home (PCMH). In the August 20th edition of the Rural Monitor, Gale provides information on the challenges and opportunities rural health clinics face in meeting standards for PCMH recognition. According to Gale’s research, rural safety net providers face greater challenges than urban counterparts, including staffing shortages and limited resources, and patient populations that are low-income, often uninsured and less likely to become engaged in their personal care. Findings from his research will be published in a forthcoming report from the Maine Rural Health Research Center.
Aspen youth 2014
We are excited to announce that in July, the Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund (OYIF) awarded a second grant to the Muskie School of Public Service and its partners who make up The Southern Maine Youth Transition Network (SMYTN). The Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund is managed by the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions and is dedicated to connecting “Opportunity Youth” to education and employment.
The 5th annual Patient Safety Academy will be held on Friday, September 5th, in the Abromson Center on the USM Portland campus. All persons interested in or engaged in patient safety are invited to attend. Workshops will address topics related to pharmacy, patient engagement, infection prevention, health information technology, and more! Nationally recognized speakers Kathleen Galt and Tejal Gandhi will provide the opening and closing plenary, to which USM faculty and staff are invited. Local and regional experts will be leading a full slate of workshops during the day-long event. To register for the workshops or for more information, please visit the Patient Safety Academy website at: http://usm.maine.edu/muskie/psa
Erika Ziller, PhD, Deputy Director, Maine Rural Health Research Center
As part of WXXI's "Healthy Friday" broadcast on August 15th, Dr. Ziller of the Maine Rural Health Research Center discusses how the Affordable Care Act affects those living in rural areas. She was joined by Dr. Daniel Mendelson, Associate Professor of Medicine at Highland Hospital in Rochester, NY, and James Kennedy, CEO of Finger Lakes (NY) Community Health.
Several research staff in the Maine Rural Health Research Center presented findings from their research at the 37th Annual National Rural Health Association conference held in Las Vegas, April 22-25, 2014.
Kris Sahonchik
Kris Sahonchik, Director of the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy, recently returned from several weeks in Russia on the 2014 US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) program to enhance child protection, foster care, and adoption.
Three students in the Muskie School’s Master of Public Health program have been chosen to provide health education services for the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program of the Maine Center for Disease Control.

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Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

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