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Phone: 419.530.2002
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Ryan White Program to share local mother’s story during forum

The Ryan White Program at The University of Toledo Medical Center is encouraging families to openly discuss HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

The program’s support group, Young, Gay and Empowered is sponsoring a speaker and forum entitled “A Mother’s Story” at 6 p.m. Monday, July 25 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 1201 Madison Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

According to the Lucas County Health Department the number of HIV/AIDS infections among young people ages 15-24 has significantly and consistently increased during the last eight years. This age group accounted for 42 percent of the HIV/AIDS cases in 2014.

“The largest growing demographic for new HIV infections is young African-American men and men of all races and ethnicities who have sex with other men,” said Richard Meeker, manager of fundraising and special projects. “We need to encourage these young men to talk to their families and seek the care they need to live healthier lives.”

Kennyetta White, minority outreach coordinator, agreed saying many young people face social stigmas that keep them from seeking help.

“It is our goal to reach beyond these stigmas to encourage young men to get tested and if they are diagnosed with HIV, link them to support and health services and retain them in the support program long term,” she said.

Toledoan Toni Epperson will serve as keynote speaker. She will share the story of her son, David, who kept his HIV diagnosis a secret until it was too late.

“We had a close relationship and I thought he would tell me anything,” she said. “What I later learned was he was too afraid to come forward. He thought he would be shamed for his diagnosis and wanted to protect me from that. My son’s secret killed him.”

Epperson said she wants to tell young men that their lives matter and they don’t need to die needlessly.

“There is help out there,” she said. “I want them to know they are not alone and that they do not have to go through what David went through. I want them to know I care.”


UT Human Donation Science program celebrates milestone

The only academic program in the country designed to prepare individuals to coordinate and oversee the organ and tissue donation and transplantation process will graduate its 100th student in August.

The graduation celebration and awards night will be 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 26 at Heatherdowns Country Club and earlier that day the senior capstone case studies will be presented 9 a.m. in Collier Building Room 1050 on UT’s Health Science Campus.

The University of Toledo’s Master of Science in Biomedical Science Human Donation Science program prepares individuals to facilitate the organ donation process from beginning to end. They serve as a liaison between the donor’s family, medical staff, organ procurement organization and transplant center.

“It’s the best job in the world,” said Rachel Baczewski, certified procurement transplant coordinator at Life Connection of Ohio and 2013 graduate of the program. “It’s so rewarding to know that I’m providing comfort to families who have lost a loved one and assisting in saving the lives of other patients. Each family gets a piece of my heart.”

Coordinators must pull together a team of medical professionals, facilitate medical testing and ensure all laws are followed while compassionately and diplomatically communicating with the donor’s family.

“It’s a tough job and organ procurement organizations were seeing a high level of turnover among their coordinating staff,” said Linda Miller, assistant professor and director of UT’s Human Donation Science Program. “We wanted to see better training programs and higher retention rates. We developed this program as a result.”

Students enrolled in the Human Donation Science Program receive a multidisciplinary education covering all components of organ donation and complete coursework in medical science, management, human resources and law. They also receive clinical training and complete two internships prior to graduation.

“I wanted the opportunity to advance in the field of organ donation, so I left my job in North Carolina to come to UT for this program. It was the best decision I ever made,” said Lori Rankin, a student in the program. “I feel I have an even better educational foundation and I have received excellent training for every aspect of the job.”

Ali Morgillo, senior coordinator at Life Connection of Ohio agreed. She said students who have graduated from UT’s program are better equipped to handle the challenges of the position.

“The program really prepares students for the realities of the job. They have critical clinical background and relationship-building skills and are flexible and driven to do well. They are more successful as a result,” she said.

Eighty percent of the graduates from the program, now in its 13th year, remain employed in the field. Many have been promoted to leadership and research positions. There are only 58 organ procurement organizations in the United States, resulting in a small network of coordinators who come to know each other well.

“When an employer sees that someone is a graduate of UT’s program, they take notice. It makes us very marketable,” said Rankin, who is already pursuing new employment leads.

“Half of our coordinators graduated from the Human Donation Science program,” said Kara Steele, director of community services for Life Connection of Ohio. “We are seeing a continual increase in the number of registered donors, which should translate into an increase in transplants, and that ups the demand for highly skilled coordinators to facilitate the donation process.”

Ohioans can make the decision to be an organ donor when obtaining or renewing their driver’s license.

“It’s the best way for someone to make their final wishes known,” Morgillo said. “It makes the donation process easier on families when they know it was part of their loved one’s plan to donate their organs.”

It makes it easier on the coordinators as well who see a lot of sadness as a part of consulting with donor families.

“Before I go to work my daughter tells me to make people happy and fix them,” said Samantha Muir, certified procurement transplant coordinator at Life Connection of Ohio and 2013 graduate. “Getting a letter of appreciation from a donor or recipient family, to hear how you have made an impact on their life, makes the long hours and emotional days worthwhile.”


UT receives $151,100 grant to study how cancer spreads

The migration of cancer cells away from the primary tumor and their subsequent metastasis to distant organs is the leading cause of mortality among breast cancer patients.

A University of Toledo biologist is the recipient of a two-year, $151,100 grant from The National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute to study how cancer cells spread in the body.

Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, assistant professor of biological sciences, will lead a UT Department of Biological Sciences research laboratory to conduct new cancer research entitled, “A Novel RhoG Protein Interaction Network in Invadopodia.”

Cancer cells gain the ability to invade other tissues and enter the bloodstream by forming actin-rich membrane protrusions called invadopodia that degrade the extracellular matrix (ECM).

Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata

Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata

“This study is one of three our lab is currently conducting to learn more about how triple negative breast cancer metastasizes in the body,” Garcia-Mata said. “It is our goal to learn more about how these protrusions form and to identify the upstream regulators and downstream effectors of the formations. Once we understand how these invadopodia form, we can begin to research treatments to prevent or slow their progress.”

“There is exciting medical research ongoing at The University of Toledo,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. “This new two-year award is a credit to UT’s high-quality basic research which is typically unheralded work requiring several years of diligence and persistence. But this research often results in powerful breakthroughs that benefit untold millions. It is important that federal funds continue to support such basic medical research.”

Kaptur is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, which has oversight over the National Cancer Institute.


Helicopter to complete steel delivery to University Hall tower Saturday morning

The helicopter delivering structural steel to reinforce the University Hall tower will complete its work Saturday morning.

Crews with UT and W.R. Meyers, Co., of Napoleon, Ohio, will return to campus at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, July 16 with the helicopter crane back in the air at 7 a.m. to deliver the final steel beams.

The helicopter delivered most of the steel Friday evening, but was not able to complete the project before sunset. The remaining work should take no more than one hour.

During the delivery of steel University Hall will again be vacant and the helicopter landing areas in front of the building and in the field south of the Memorial Field House also will need to remain clear. In addition, no traffic will be allowed on Centennial Mall.

Four tons of structural steel is being installed inside the 205-foot-tall tower of University Hall to reinforce the 85-year-old structure. Following the initial delivery, the steel will then be permanently installed to the inside tower throughout the month. The project is expected to be complete by Friday, Aug. 12.


Centennial Mall, University Hall to be closed Friday evening for UT construction project

The University of Toledo will close areas of campus, including Centennial Mall and University Hall, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. today in compliance with FAA regulations during a major construction project.

A helicopter will be delivering four tons of structural steel to reinforce the iconic tower at University Hall.

A Pokémon Go event from 6 to 8 p.m. organized by NextGen Climate Ohio will be moved away from Centennial Mall to a southern part of campus for the safety of the crowd. The group plans to update the alternate location today on its Facebook page.

Map of closed areaW.R. Meyers, Co., of Napoleon, Ohio, will use the helicopter crane to lift the steel beams from the sidewalk area in front of University Hall facing Bancroft Street above the building and then into the tower with the help of crews stationed inside.

The work will begin about 5 p.m. and continue until 8:30 p.m., with the best photo opportunity around 6 p.m. Members of the media and the public interested in watching are advised to do so from the field across campus located between Goddard and Drummond roads.

“The helicopter crane helps deliver materials to hard to reach places, making these types of projects faster and safer,” said Jason Toth, associate vice president for facilities and construction. “This structural steel framework being installed inside our iconic bell tower will support the structural concrete to ensure it will greet students for years to come.”

University Hall, which will be vacated prior to the delivery of the steel, was the first building constructed on the UT Main Campus in 1931 when it was built in 11 months by 400 men. The building was designed by the architectural firm Mills, Rhines, Bellman and Nordhoff in the collegiate gothic style that has been replicated in buildings across campus.

The tower reaches 205 feet tall and features four clock faces, each 11-feet in diameter, and the chimes that mark the half-hours and hours of the day.

The University worked with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to be sure that all the peregrine falcons that reside in the tower are able to fly and will be able to leave the area during the commotion.


UT to teach community about composting at Stranahan Arboretum

There’s another option for items like coffee grounds, fruit peels, grass clippings and dryer lint besides the landfill.

The community is invited to learn the basics of home composting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 16 at The University of Toledo Stranahan Arboretum, 4131 Tantara Road.

Children and adults are welcome to participate in the free educational event titled “Composting Cups.”

Participants will learn how to start a compost pile and create a starter kit to take home.

“Plants need nutritious food, just like people do,” said Pam Struffolino, event coordinator at the arboretum and research operations manager in the Department of Environmental Sciences. “Composting is an example of decomposition, the final stages of the food web. Decomposers, like worms, break down food scraps and grass clippings into new soil and return the nutrients locked inside back into the soil for plants to use. It’s a process that reduces the need to buy commercial fertilizers and creates a more sustainable environment.”


Helicopter to deliver steel to reinforce University Hall tower

With the help of a helicopter, four tons of structural steel will be installed inside the tower of University Hall on Friday, July 15 to reinforce the 85-year-old structure.

W.R. Meyers, Co., of Napoleon, Ohio, will use the helicopter crane to lift the steel beams from the sidewalk area in front of University Hall facing Bancroft Street above the building and then into the tower with the help of crews stationed inside.

The work will begin about 5 p.m. and continue until 8:30 p.m., with the best photo opportunity around 6 p.m. Members of the media and the public interested in watching are advised to do so from the field across campus located between Goddard and Drummond roads.

“The helicopter crane helps deliver materials to hard to reach places, making these types of projects faster and safer,” said Jason Toth, associate vice president for facilities and construction. “This structural steel framework being installed inside our iconic bell tower will support the structural concrete to ensure it will greet students for years to come.”

University Hall, which will be vacated prior to the delivery of the steel, was the first building constructed on the UT Main Campus in 1931 when it was built in 11 months by 400 men. The building was designed by the architectural firm Mills, Rhines, Bellman and Nordhoff in the collegiate gothic style that has been replicated in buildings across campus.

The tower reaches 205 feet tall and features four clock faces, each 11-feet in diameter, and the chimes that mark the half-hours and hours of the day.

The University worked with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to be sure that all the peregrine falcons that reside in the tower are able to fly and will be able to leave the area during the commotion.


U.S. Army to promote UT grad, former UT professor to rank of colonel

An Army ROTC Rocket Battalion alumnus and former military science professor at The University of Toledo will be promoted to the rank of colonel by the U.S. Army in a ceremony at his alma mater this weekend.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Beasley works at the Pentagon on the Joint Staff as director of current operations for the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency. The Joint Staff assists the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council.

“I chose to come back to UT for the ceremony because this is my home,” Beasley said. “My career started here in 1994, and I was promoted to lieutenant colonel here in 2007. It only seems fitting to have this promotion here.”

Beasley’s promotion ceremony will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 16 in the Student Union Room 2584 on Main Campus.

Photo of Lt. Col. Jonathan Beasley in 2009 when he was commander of the U.S. Army ROTC Rocket Battalion.

Photo of Lt. Col. Jonathan Beasley in 2009 when he was commander of the U.S. Army ROTC Rocket Battalion.

The Lambertville-native graduated from the UT Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and geography. He returned to UT from 2009 to 2012 as military commander of the U.S. Army ROTC Rocket Battalion and professor of military science. He earned a master’s degree this year from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at Fort McNair. Beasley graduated from Bedford High School in 1989.

Beasley’s tours of duty include Kosovo in 1999, Iraq in 2006 and Afghanistan in 2004 and 2008.

Beasley lives in Virginia with his wife Robin and their four children. This will mark his third promotion ceremony at UT.

“It is a privilege to be able to witness Lt. Col. Jonathan Beasley be promoted to colonel here at UT where he first earned his commission 22 years ago,” said Master Sgt. Johnnie Fields, UT senior military instructor. “We are honored to celebrate his achievement. It gives great credence to his leadership abilities and potential, as well as to everything that the UT ROTC program represents as a way to instill discipline and leadership skills. Our focus is education and commitment to serving our country.”

The highest ranking alumnus of the UT ROTC program is retired Major General David W. Foley from the commissioning class of 1970. More than 2,000 lieutenants have been commissioned through the program since 1947.


Mass casualty emergency preparedness expert to speak at UT

An international expert on emergency preparedness for mass casualty events will speak at The University of Toledo at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 14 in Collier Building Room 1000A on Health Science Campus.

Dr. Arie Eisenman, head of internal medicine at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, Israel, and co-chair of Partnership2Gether Medical Task Force, will discuss how countries and medical institutions have organized effective responses to large scale trauma events.

Eisenman will explain the best practices, procedures and checklists the Galilee Medical Center uses to triage and care for patients. The government hospital is located six miles from the Lebanese border and has provided medical care for more than 1,000 Syrian casualties over the last three years.

The lecture is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo.


July UT Board of Trustees Meetings

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Driscoll Alumni Center, Board Room

5:30 p.m. Board of Trustees Special Meeting

The Trustees will discuss and approve Medical Staff Bylaws.

 

 Monday, July 18, 2016

Driscoll Alumni Center, Schmakel Room

10:30 a.m. Clinical Affairs Committee Meeting

 

 Thursday, July 28, 2016

Radisson Hotel, 3100 Restaurant

8:00 a.m. Board of Trustees Social Breakfast

Any questions may be directed to the University Communications Office by calling (419) 530-2410 or via email at meghan.cunningham@utoledo.edu.