connection

Clinical Connections: Let's Connect

December 18, 2019

It is hard to work and teach interprofessionally if we don’t know what the people around us are doing and how we interconnect. That’s why I think messaging is so important. And I love that no matter what I throw out there, people respond.

The feedback you send is fascinating. I hear about incredible work people are doing, about opportunities for collaboration, and sometimes that people think I’m an idiot. And that’s okay. Your feedback is always respected and heard. It starts conversations at all levels.

We don’t have a top-down organization, we have an administration supporting a bottom-up organization. Everything we do is driven by you. So, please keep sending feedback. Send your ideas, updates, thoughts, and experiences. And don’t be afraid to let me know when you see something that could be done better, to point out an opportunity missed, or to have a differing opinion. This is how I learn.

I read and respond to all of your feedback, but today we wanted to use this newsletter to share some of the amazing things we’ve recently learned about and ensure you know about them too.

We listen to your feedback and are dedicated to fostering two-way conversation: here are opportunities for collaboration from across the University.

In Response to the “Wicked Problem” of Opioids:

Collaborative Efforts Against the Opioid Epidemic

Colleagues from the College of Pharmacy, Duluth reached out to health care and social service partners earlier this year to help address treatment options for substance abuse disorders and mental health issues. Through an affiliation with the Center for Alcohol & Drug Treatment and their Opioid Treatment Program, they offer comprehensive medication management (CMM) services for patients on site to serve as a bridge between treatment, primary care, and psychiatry. They collaborate with interprofessional medical and social care teams to provide compassionate and respectful care, helping patients make informed decisions on their treatments.

Read more on the CMM services here.



Collaborative Efforts Against the Opioid Epidemic

At M Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Clinic in north Minneapolis, the clinic team is making an impact against the opioid epidemic. Physicians are prescribing buprenorphine or naltrexone (two of the three FDA approved medications for treating opioid use disorder) to hundreds of patients identified with opioid use disorder. Patients also receive care from psychologists, care coordinators, and an alcohol and drug counselor in the clinic. Family medicine resident physicians are learning how to care for patients with substance use disorder and upon graduation, many of them take this expertise to Minnesota communities that have had limited access to treatment.

Any interested research teams looking for a primary care clinic that has a strong buprenorphine training program, please contact Kacey Justenseen, MD, to explore possible collaborations.


The University of Minnesota is part of the Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Worker Training Program.

Through the School of Public Health, the University of Minnesota provides interactive, hands-on training to workers and community residents to increase their ability to recognize and protect themselves and others from hazardous materials and waste. Programs are available for open enrollment or on a contract basis; topics include emergency response, hospital decontamination, incident management system awareness, mold remediation, waste site worker training, and many others.

Detailed hazmat and hazwoper training information is available here.


In Response to "Thoughts on Aging"

Helping Older Populations Drive Safely

As Americans live longer and continue to rely on individual automobiles for community mobility, driving safety issues have become increasingly problematic. Erica Stern, PhD, associate professor in occupational therapy, has been researching ways to help older persons continue to drive safely, and make reasonably timed decisions about their driving.

She uses two online workbooks to help facilitate meaningful conversations: "We need to talk" (PDF) for conversations with typically aging adults; and "At the crossroads" (PDF) to help family members address dementia and driving. Dr. Stern also leads CarFit a free national program that helps drivers adjust their car's safety devices to the optimal position, and affords the opportunity to try adaptive equipment to assist their safe driving. CarFit is a free international program, available in the Midwest region from spring to autumn.

To find a CarFit event planned for 2020, visit their website.


2019 Highlights from OACA Centers & Institutes: Prioritizing Patients

PRISM APP Empowers Patients to Make Choices About Their Health

The PRISM app - which stands for PROMIS Reporting Insight System from Minnesota - earned second place out of 18 teams in the HL7/FHIR Applications Showcase during the American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C.

The app gives patients a more interactive role when making decisions about their care and enables data to be used to provide insights into a person’s health status, function, and quality of life as well as evaluate the physical, mental, and social health in adults and children. It can show patients how their data compares to the overall population and provide personalized recommendations on how to improve their health.

PRISM was developed by a multidisciplinary team of experts from the Institute for Health Informatics, Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Medical Industry Leadership Institute, the Medical School, Minnesota Innovation Corps, HealthEast Kidney Stone Institute with Fairview Health Services, EMF Consulting, and Perk Motivation.


Improving Transgender Patient Care

M Simulation partnered with the School of Nursing and Family Tree Clinic to help students learn how to better care for transgender patients. M Simulation’s Standardized Patient (SP) Program engages individuals from the community to authentically integrate the patient perspective in health care education and promote safe, effective care and patient empowerment. In this project, learners practiced taking sexual and reproductive health histories from patient teachers who identify as transgender or non-binary. This innovative curriculum brought an interprofessional lens to a patient partnership aimed at decreasing stigmatization in health care. Feedback from the patient teachers provided key insights into how the learners’ communication strategies impacted their experience.

M Simulation’s Standardized Patient (SP) Program engages patients and communities in health sciences education to improve health care.


Yonder App Helps Reduce Dental Anxiety in Children

CTSI’s Office of Discovery and Translation (ODAT) helps advance promising ideas and discoveries along the translational path. Since 2011, eight ODAT-supported projects have been launched as University start-up companies. Through a collaboration with Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center, University of Minnesota Alumni Innovation Fellows Adam Choe, MS, and Courtney Hill, MD, were engaged by the Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium to identify a possible solution to the challenge of dental fear and anxiety in children.

Earlier this year, the Yonder company launched an app which features an animated hippo named Mimi giving a guided tour of the dentist's office where the child will receive dental care.

Learn more about how CTSI’s ODAT can help your project.

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