CHHS Events: Opportunities for professional development!

Category: Alumni & Friends | Author:

The College of Health and Human Services is committed to providing professional development opportunities for students, faculty, and members of the community. CHHS programs take the lead on organizing these events. During the Fall 2017 semester, a number of lectures, seminars, and day-long events have been held.

This fall, the Aging Studies Program welcomed over 100 students, faculty, staff, and community members to its annual lecture entitled, “Older Adults and Driving:  Current Trends and Future Directions.” At this event, Dr. Anne Dickerson, Professor and Director of Research for the Older Adult Driver Initiative (ROADI) at East Carolina University, discussed current trends of older adults’ use of technologies, potential opportunities and barriers, and how professionals working with older adults can promote safe mobility as motor vehicles become more complex. The event also included a driving and aging resource fair where agencies such as AARP, AAA, the Area Agency on Aging 1-B, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, and the Michigan Department of State shared important information about supporting older drivers. Please look for information the 2018 lecture over the next few months—the event is always free and open to the public.

The Orthotics and Prosthetics program held its first Alumni Homecoming Event. This included two concurrent education seminars before the group gathered at Rynearson Stadium for a pre-homecoming game tailgate. Alumni from nine cohorts were represented. They along with current O&P students enjoyed the festivities and the game. Freedom Innovations sponsored the prosthetics seminars and the tailgate.


On Saturday, September 23rd Dr. Winnie Dunn came to EMU for the Lyla M. Spelbring Endowed Lectureship.  Over 150 alumni, faculty and students came together to hear Winnie’s presentation- “When we Emphasize Strengths the Possibilities are Endless”.  Her presentation recharged many practitioners and reinforced an inclusive perspective.  In addition, Katie MacDonald was awarded the Outstanding Alumni of the Year and April Kral received Outstanding Fieldwork Educator of the Year for Occupational Therapy.

On Friday, September 29, 2017, Kathryn Smolinski, MSW, JD chaired the keynote panel at the School’s Third Annual Day of Social Justice. This year’s theme was Health Care and Social Justice Across the Life Span and the audience consisted of faculty, students, field supervisors and practitioners in the School of Social Work.  Ms. Smolinkski is Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and directs the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic at Wayne Law in Detroit. She designed and currently manages this medical-legal partnership between Wayne State University Law School and Karmanos Cancer Center in which law students, working with the healthcare team, provide free legal education, representation and resources to low-income cancer patients under her supervision.

Four School of Social Work faculty members, Dr. Charles Graham, Dr. Jennifer Farley, Dr. Caren Putzu and Dr. Stephanie Wladkowksi responded to a case that Ms. Smolinksi presented, offering insights from diverse professional perspectives into how they might approach health care advocacy in a specific case example. Thanks to all for this wonderful learning opportunity, and to all members of the School’s field community who attended. In addition, faculty members and their professional colleagues presented workshops following the panel on topics related to health care advocacy, including:

End of Life and Health Care Advocacy, Dr. Stephanie Wladkowski and Tyne Kreiner.

Advocacy for Veterans and Their Families in the Community, Dr. Cassandra Barragan, Melissa Spauding, Caleb Willette and Deb Hinson

Mental Health Care Access and Advocacy Across the Lifespan, Dr. Jillian Graves and Dr. Christina Marsack

The New Poor People’s Campaign:  Health Care and the Struggle for Social Justice, Dr. Ann Rall

HeartRHYTHMS:  Group Empowerment, Drumming and Health, Dr. Angie Mann-Williams

The event was funded with support from the College of Health and Human Services and from the federally funded Health Resource and Services Administration Behavioral Health Education and Training Grant awarded to the School. Dr. Deborah Willis serves as PI of this three-year effort devoted to enhancing access to integrated health care services.

The 5th Annual International Teleconference on Healthcare took place on October 27th from 9:00 – 11:30 am in the Halle Auditorium. This event was coordinated with the National Medical Academy’s Institute of Gerontology in Kiev, Ukraine and was broadcast to over 5,000 healthcare providers in 13 locations in Ukraine, the Institute of Gerontology in Almaty, Kazakhstan and sites in Russia. There were four presenters from Ukraine and three from the CHHS at EMU who will discuss the topic of aging and disability. This annual teleconference was organized and moderated by David Thomas, Program Director of Therapeutic Recreation.

We strive to give students and faculty as many resources towards developing their professional experience and knowledge. We’ve had an incredible schedule of Fall 2017 events so far, and we still have time left in the semester for more! If you’re interested in attending an event check out the CHHS event calendar.

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