All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Education’

AGEC Partners with the Arkansas Chronic Illness Collaborative

The Arkansas Department of Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and the Diabetes Prevention and Control Sections, the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program, and the Arkansas Geriatric Education Center (AGEC) have have joined in a partnership to present the 10th Arkansas Chronic Illness Collaborative.

The Arkansas Chronic Illness Collaborative (ACIC) is dedicated to partnering with health care professionals in order to find ways to improve the management of chronic disease. The target audience for this collaborative includes family physicians, pharmacist, nursing specialties, physician assistants, other healthcare professionals and administrative staff. Approximately $100,000 in scholarship funding is available to fund 8 to 10 clinics. To participate, clinics need a diabetes (DM) or cardiovascular (CVD) patient registry of 100 patients or more and are required to report on certain key measures.

The Collaborative’s systems change approach addresses quality of care challenges for all segments of the population, including disparate and aging persons, and supports the Essential Public Health Services framework. The long-range goal of this collaborative is to maximize the length and quality of life for patients with Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and/or Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), to satisfy patient and caregiver needs and maintain or decrease the cost of care.

The ACIC provides a forum where clinic health care teams learn about the delivery of patient care using the National Health Disparities Collaborative Planned Care Model for people with DM and/or CVD. The Collaborative aims to attain this goal by:

  • Sharing ideas and knowledge
  • Learning and applying new methodologies for organizational change
  • Implementing the Planned Care Model in an effort to align medical practices with evidence-based clinical guidelines
  • Utilizing evidence based practice

To meet these goals within a 13-month time frame, the Collaborative offers three, two-day Learning Sessions and a one-day Congress to conclude the program, by sharing and celebrating the success of each team. Clinics receive education on the implementation of the Planned Care Model, learn and practice PDSA Cycles (Plan Do Study Act), and share successes and challenges faced during implementation. Teams also receive professional education as it relates to tobacco cessation, aging, diabetes and heart disease. Participating clinic team members earn a minimum of twenty-five hours of CME.

AGEC will provide speakers to address geriatrics issues in treatment of DM and DVD. Through this partnership, the ACIC clinics will focus on diabetic for the geriatric population, and will monitor and report data about such measures as eye exams, foot exams, maintaining Average HbA1c and blood pressure control. At the end of the Collaborative sessions, the desired outcome is for clinic teams to utilize with the entire patient population the evidence based practice interventions taught to them.

Arkansas Department of Health
Chronic Disease Division Staff

Impact of Stroke Instruction Assessed

UCA students in the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) have been spending more time this year learning about stroke prevention and treatment. Stroke awareness has been incorporated into many courses within the CHBS. In addition, in November, 2010 students were able to attend a 50-minute in-service seminar about stroke that was held on the UCA campus. Topics covered were myths (i.e. stroke only strikes the elderly and is not preventable or treatable), types of stroke, brain structures affected by it, warning signs and risk factors for stroke or Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs), prevention and recovery, and the health care team involved in stroke rehabilitation. To assess the impact on student knowledge from exposure to the stroke materials and student perception of its educational value, professors at UCA carried out a short term study.

To recruit subjects for the study, instructors teaching courses within the CHBS were asked to invite students to participate. Some instructors provided extra credit to students for attending the seminar. Although 92 students were recruited, only 73 were tracked because they completed the three components of the study: pre- and post-test and attendance at the stroke seminar. These were students majoring in such disciplines as occupational therapy, psychology, and nursing. Among the 73 were 58 (79.5%) females and 15 (20.5%) males, 18 to 40 years of age and an average age of 21.9 years (SD = 4.2). Their educational classification was 20 freshmen and sophomores (27.4%) 20 juniors (27.4%), 23 seniors (31.5%), and 10 (13.7%) graduate students.

A week before the seminar, these 73 students accessed an Internet link to complete a 20-item test developed by CHBS faculty to measure their knowledge of stroke. Questions in the test identified knowledge of proper response to a suspected stroke; risk factors, symptoms and causes of stroke; as well as the long-term consequences of stroke. Answers to this pre-test were collected through Survey Monkey as were those to the post-test, which was accessible after attendance to the stroke seminar. Results from the paired-samples test (t) show statistically significant improvement in students’ knowledge test scores from pre-test (M = 16.20, SD = 2.20) to post-test (M = 18.00, SD = 2.07), t (72) = -7.02, p < .0001 (two-tailed). The mean difference in pre and post- test scores was -1.8 with a 95% confidence interval ranging from -2.12 to -1.23. The eta squared statistic (0.49) indicated a large effect size.

The main areas of knowledge improvement were in defining a stroke and names given to it. At post-test, about 79% of responders, as compared to 60% at pretest, identified stroke as the interruption of blood flow to the brain or bursting of a blood vessel in it. At pretest, only 27% associated a stroke with the term brain attack, but the percentage increased significantly to 90% at post-test. At post-test 92% of the students were able to correctly identify the risk factors and potential causes of stroke. Additional areas of improvement were in the identification of TIAs, whose warning signs may last as long as 24 hours.

With regard to student perception of the educational value of the information provided, the answers from participants show the seminar: 1) increased their knowledge about stroke(91%); 2) fulfilled their need for stroke information (83%); 3) met their expectations (92%). The information received was regarded as an asset for their chosen careers by 81% of participants. In conclusion, students expressed a high degree of satisfaction with their increased knowledge about stroke and the interdisciplinary approach to stroke treatment that the seminar promoted.

Dong Xie, PhD
Jacquie Rainey, DrPH, CHES
McCullough, PhD

From the Director’s Desk – Volume XI, No. 3

In April, we anticipate launching our “Geriatrics in the 21st Century” program. This initiative is aimed at health professionals interested in increasing or updating their knowledge of Geriatrics. The 160-hrs program, is made up of three distinct components which must be completed within a 12 month period. The various components  include participant attendance at educational events, online self-study course work, and mentored clinical experiences at geriatric practice sites. Some of the self-study materials carry continuing education credits, thus participants may earn up to 40 hours of nursing credits depending on their individual choices. An application is available at

Both our AR-GEMS program for health practitioners and the Summer Institute (SI) for faculty in the health professions are accepting applicants. SI will be held May 9-13. To apply, please contactjasinsoledadhd [at] uams [dot] edu or

This June 8-9, in conjunction with the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, VISN 16 Palliative Care, the UAMS Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute, and the Arkansas Cancer Coalition, AGEC will be sponsoring the First Annual Hospice and Palliative Care Conference. Up to 8.25 hours of continuing medical education will be available for a variety of health disciplines. Online Registration for this educational event is available at

Educating Educators to Improve Stroke-related Health Literacy in Older Arkansans

Understanding the signs and symptoms of stroke, as well as the importance of timely intervention, is critical for our aging population. It is even more critical for health educators in Arkansas because the stroke rate in our state is among the top three in the country. Most readers of this newsletter probably know that every year in the United States about 700,000 people suffer a stroke and every three minutes someone dies from a stroke. Early detection can improve outcomes significantly. For example, in cases of thrombo-embolic stroke, use of the drug Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA) within 3 hours of stroke onset has been shown to reduce or eliminate some of its most devastating effects.

Finding new ways to disseminate this type of information is, arguably, important for improving quality of life and reducing the personal and financial costs of stroke. We at the University of Central Arkansas hope to increase the number of people reached by providing stroke education to students who can, in turn, provide stroke education to others.

To that end, an interdisciplinary team of healthcare educators and researchers led by Drs. Jacquie Rainey and Kim McCullough developed a project to infuse stroke education into the existing curricula. Part of this project is to determine the utility of providing one session of stroke education to undergraduate students in the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. The project will target 175 undergraduate students majoring in health-related professions. Students who participate will take a pre-test (20 multiple choice and true/false questions) assessing their knowledge about stroke. The survey will be provided through Survey Monkey. Students will then attend a 50-minute presentation providing information on types of strokes, signs and symptoms, and methods and benefits of early intervention. Following the presentation, students will log back onto Survey Monkey and complete a post-test that will reassess their knowledge.

It is the hope of these educators that this type of brief, one session educational platform will provide positive results in students in health-related professions. If it does, it can be adapted for students to, in turn, present to older Arkansans. Data will also be gathered on age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status to determine whether these factors influence knowledge students currently possess and/or how students receive and retain information in this educational platform. Should data indicate a need, the specific elements and format can be adjusted for different populations.

With an overriding goal of increasing health literacy, and, specifically, knowledge regarding stroke throughout Arkansas, educating students who can then educate others could improve the speed and scope of dissemination.

By Gary H. McCullough, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Central Arkansas

Geriatrics in the 21st Century: A New AGEC Training Program

In order to qualify for the grant funding preference offer in our GEC grant renewal application, we developed a 160-hour program designed to provide or update geriatric education and skills to practicing health professionals or to those teaching in institutions of higher education.

Two grant prescriptions for the program appeared daunting to us. First was the time commitment required of normally busy and overextended health professionals and second was the one year required completion time. In an effort to overcome what seemed to be barriers to success, we created Geriatrics in the 21st Century, a program that utilizes some of our existing resources and requires participation in activities that most health professionals already incorporate into their routines.

Participants in the Geriatrics in the 21st Century program will complete a minimum of 80 hours of didactic geriatric education and 80 hours of clinical experience in a variety of geriatric settings. The program requirements fall under three categories: 1) event attendance, 2) self-study and 3) clinical experiences.

Events that participants will need to attend are: 1) an introductory lecture (Gerontology 101) presented by a staff geriatrician; 2) three webinars on geriatric topics; 3) three scheduled geriatric grand rounds; 4) one CE conference jointly sponsored by the GRECC and the AGEC; and/or a grief symposium held by Arkansas State University. For the self-study portion of the program, participants will receive access to a web based course. The components of the course will consist of topics including foundations of aging, health promotion, communication with older adults and health literacy.

Finally, the clinical experiences category requires that participants spend a set number of hours in specific geriatric clinical settings such as Home Based Primary Care, House Calls, Geri-Pharmacy, Adult Protection Services, Fitness/Aquatics, Falls Prevention, Audiology, Palliative Care, Hospice, Cancer Clinic, and Nursing Home Dietetics. Clinical activities will be scheduled to fit the needs of individual participants. Before engaging in a specific clinical activity, participants will view an AGEC produced DVD pertinent to the clinical activity and will reinforce what has been learned by completing a post-test.

Four weeks of a health professional’s work time is an inordinate amount of time to require without awarding college credits or 160 hours of CEs. Due to time constraints and the mixed nature of the program we can offer to 40 hours of CE because some of the required activities already have CE credits assigned. We hope that the strong motivation of Arkansas’ health professionals to continue learning, the 40 hour CE incentive and the flexibility of the program will aid in the success of the Geriatrics in the 21st Century program.