Moss Named Interim Chair for Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences

Kathy Moss, PhD, RRT, Clinical Associate Professor in Respiratory Therapy, has accepted the role of Interim Chair in the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, effective May 2, 2016. Moss has been a member of SHP faculty for nearly 30 years, and her career is marked by excellence in teaching, research and service activities. Dean Kristofer Hagglund said,  “Dr. Moss has a history of successful collaborations within SHP and across campus, and her commitment to excellence and service in all academic areas make her well-suited to this leadership role.”

Moss is Associate Editor for the American Association for Respiratory Care’s Respiratory Care Education Annual, and an item writer for the National Board of Respiratory Care. She serves on the Chancellor’s Standing Committee on Ranked Non Tenure Track Faculty, and has active teaching and research collaborations with the School of Medicine, Sinclair School of Nursing, Pharmacy and Health Medicine and Informatics. A recent collaboration with Physical Therapy resulted in an innovative simulation to teach PT and RT students about the importance of early mobilization of critically ill patients.

The Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences is home to Clinical Laboratory Science, Respiratory Therapy, Radiologic Science, Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound and Nuclear Medicine. Moss said, “I look forward to working with this department’s diverse and talented clinician teachers, supporting the progressive work of the five program directors, and promoting the growing research interests of the faculty.”

The current department chair, Dr. Glenn Heggie, announced his intent to retire in 2015, and will officially end his term on May 31, 2016. “Dr. Heggie’s contributions to Nuclear Medicine and the School of Health Professions will leave a lasting legacy,” Hagglund said.

Wai Sze Chan Attends National Research Forum


Wai Sze Chan, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Health Psychology, recently attended the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s Young Investigators Research Forum (YIRF) in Bethesda, MD. Designed to boost the career development of early-career researchers in clinical and translational sleep medicine, only about 30 investigators across the country were selected to attend.

Chan and other members of her YIRF cohort had the opportunity to practice networking skills, hear presentations from senior investigators and NIH project officers, participate in a mock grant review session and talk about their own specific research projects to get feedback from senior investigators and fellows.

Chan said the YIRF was one of the best professional opportunities she’s had. “I was at a pretty early stage of developing a grant proposal, not sure where to begin,” she said. “After talking about my Specific Aims with an NIH PO and connecting with other researchers, I had a clearer idea of how to proceed with my research ideas – even which institute and funding mechanisms would be a good fit.”

Maybe most important to Chan was the encouragement she received, both from the people and the process. “Although this field is very competitive, I learned that there are many funding and career opportunities for young investigators like me.”




HIV Agencies Yield Insights on Improving Services

Story by Sheena Rice, MU News Bureau

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Agencies that serve people with HIV in the U.S. are at the forefront of delivering medical care, shelter, psycho-social counseling and other services to their vulnerable clients. These services are offered through a mix of different types of agencies, including local health departments, state government agencies, non-profits and faith-based organizations. Collaboration among these various entities is essential for holistically serving the needs of their clients. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has published two studies after studying collaboration among these types of agencies in Baltimore, a severely HIV-affected city. Her research offers suggestions for improving HIV prevention, treatment and care and provides an innovation in measuring collaboration among agencies.

“HIV remains a major health care concern in the U.S.,” said Nidhi Khosla, assistant professor of health sciences in the School of Health Professions. “The diversity in types of agencies can create problems in coordinating services, either in duplicating services or inadvertently ignoring a need or a population.”

Khosla’s research found that HIV agencies believed efforts to address HIV should go beyond prevention, treatment and care, and should include efforts to improve public safety and civic amenities, such as education and trust. In the study, Khosla identified six areas from HIV agencies’ perspectives that could lead to improvements in the delivery of HIV prevention, treatment and care:

  • Focusing on HIV prevention
  • Establishing common entry points for services
  • Improving information availability
  • Streamlining funding sources
  • Removing competiveness
  • Building trust

The study, “Perspectives of HIV agencies on improving HIV prevention, treatment and care services in the USA,” was published in AIDS Care and was co-authored by Iris Zachary, assistant research professor of health informatics at MU.

Khosla’s other study combined two distinct methods to measure inter-agency collaboration — social network theory and relational coordination — in an effort to capture the depth and breadth of relationships among HIV agencies. This innovation allowed the researchers to capture different aspects of collaboration among agencies that cannot be explained by one method alone.

“Understanding the breadth and depth of the relationships allows us to better understand inter-agency collaboration.” Jill Anne Marsteller, co-author of the study, said. This allowed for a better understanding of the strong and weak points of inter-agency collaboration and identifying policies to further enhance collaboration. For example, lower scores for frequency of communication can be addressed through virtual meetings and problem-solving sessions at regular meetings that are convened by the local health department.

David Elliott, doctoral student in the department of sociology at MU, along with Marsteller and Yea Jen Hsu with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, co-authored the study, “Analyzing collaborating among HIV agencies through combining network theory and relational coordination.” It was published in Social Science and Medicine.

Both studies are drawn from research supported by the Distinguished Doctoral Research award received by Khosla, from the department of health, behavior and society of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The MU School of Health Professions is the University of Missouri system’s only school of health professions and the state’s only such program located on a health sciences campus and part of an academic health system. Health professions account for more than 60 percent of the total U.S. health care workforce and represent more than half of the fastest growing occupations in the country according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics. With programs in rehabilitation, diagnostic and imaging sciences, graduates of the School of Health Professions fill critical roles in health care.


View this news release on the Web at:

Over 350 students attend 2016 SHP Career Fair


Over 380 SHP students and employers from 62 different organizations attended the 2016 SHP Career Fair.

Undergraduate students were recruited by various corporations, volunteer organizations, and agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Navy, for full-time and internship roles across a wide variety of SHP majors. Graduate and professional programs also spoke with students about their respective programs.

Many recruiters remark that “this is one of the best run career fairs” they attend.

To view photos from the fair, click here.

Athletic Training Program Receives Initial Accreditation


The Mizzou SHP Athletic Training Program received notification today from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) of initial accreditation! Since the program began accepting students three years ago, director David Colt and faculty and staff have been working toward this milestone.

Completion of an accredited Athletic Training program is required for graduates to sit for the Board of Certification Examination for Athletic Training. “The seniors who are graduating next month put their faith in us when they started this program and next month they’ll graduate from an officially accredited program,” said Colt. “I couldn’t be happier for them!”

For more information about the Athletic Training program, check out

Galen Rejoins SHP Nuc Med as Program Director

Jeff Galen is the new program director for the nuclear medicine (nuc med) department. He rejoined SHP on March 15, having formerly served as program director and faculty in nuc med for nine years.

Galen holds bachelor degrees in both science education and nuclear medicine, as well as a master’s in information science. His research interests are new technologies in imaging and how they’re used in different populations.

Galen says he’s looking forward to bringing a broader scope of knowledge from his experience managing a hospital radiology department.

New Technology for Diagnosing Voice Disorders

Dietrich release

What if your voice hurt your career without you knowing?

Unhealthy vocal patterns – such as using too little air or a vocal fry – may be inconsequential for someone who doesn’t speak constantly. But for a teacher who relies on their voice, the damage can end their career.

SHP researcher Maria Dietrich, PhD, studies how problematic vocal patterns can lead to vocal fatigue – or worse, lesions and muscle tension dysphonia. Last February, she received a federal R15 grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders in order to research the early detection of vocal fatigue in student teachers.

For researchers like Dietrich, receiving federal grants of this nature is the goal. However, the National Institute of Health awards up to three R15 grants once every cycle, or three times a year – so this funding is competitive. Even more rare, this branch of the National Institute of Health funded Dietrich’s grant the first time she applied for it.

Before she received the NIDCD grant, Dietrich was awarded two internal grants, a Dr. Richard Wallace Faculty Incentive grant and one from MU’s Research Council. According to Dietrich, these helped her to be competitive for external funding.

“It’s a stepping stone toward even larger grants,” Dietrich said. “It gives me the money and support and infrastructure to continue this kind of research.”

With her pilot data, Dietrich was able to follow her path and research student teachers specifically. While 60 percent of teachers in the U.S. will suffer from voice disorders in their lifetimes, signs of vocal fatigue can be elusive during assessments like voice screenings and full voice diagnostic exams. This becomes dangerous for student teachers, whose frequent use of voice makes them more susceptible to developing the unhealthy vocal patterns that may lead to muscle tension dysphonia. It’s important to catch these patterns early, which is where Dietrich comes in.

Along with students and professors from MU’s College of Engineering and a professor in MU’s School of Medicine, Dietrich created a diagnostic tool that will aid experts in detecting potential voice disorders before they start to cause damage. Her collaborator from the MU Vision-Guided and Intelligent Robotics Lab has developed a new algorithm that recognizes healthy and unhealthy vocal patterns by collecting surface EMG (or sEMG) data and measuring muscle activity around the larynx.

“That’s very novel and innovative,” Dietrich said. “Having the opportunity to apply this to speech pathology, I’m very grateful for that and excited because I think it’s going to be very powerful.”

In addition to conducting research in her Vocal Control and Well-Being Lab, Dietrich will use ambulatory devices to measure sEMG data while student teachers are in the classroom. Using wireless technology allows Dietrich to collect information during the peak period of student teaching. As her algorithm interprets more data, it begins to detect those unhealthy, career-ruining vocal patterns that an expert’s assessment sometimes can’t.

According to Janet Farmer, Associate Dean for Research, research like Dietrich’s requires funding for components as small as travel expenses or equipment like iPads. Researchers like Dietrich rely on funding – large and small – in order to pursue their work.

“If funding is there to get initial data, then they can apply for more funding based on that work, and truly move their research forward,” Farmer said.

Athletic Training Month Wrap-Up



Story by Emily Pagano

In honor of National Athletic Training Month (March), students Danielle Hargate and Matt Pretet, juniors, created a promotional video to promote awareness of what athletic trainers do.

According to Hargate, a professional video is a big step for the program, which is in the process of becoming accredited. Initially, Pretet reached out to Stan Silvey, who oversees SEC Network Digital productions for MU’s Athletic Department. Silvey then put the students in contact with journalism student Madison Brophy, who guided them through the video production process.

In addition to the video, the students fundraised through a profit share with Shakespeare’s Pizza. The proceeds will help send athletic training students to district and national conventions.

The students also promoted athletic training by setting up Gatorade cooler “hydration stations” in Speakers Circle on campus. According to Hargate, this allows them to educate other students about heat illness prevention, provide information about the athletic training program and to help change the misconception that athletic trainers are only “water girls.”

“We’re trying to let people know that we actually do a lot more than just hydrate our athletes,” Pretet said.

Across the country, athletic training programs like MU’s are growing – in students and career opportunities (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

“This program is building to me into what I want to be,” Hargate said. “It’s helping me learn to do what I want to do.”

For more information about the athletic training program in the School of Health Professions, visit:


Collaborative, global research project to address social and health needs of older South Africans living with HIV

Enid Schatz, Ph.D., an associate professor in health sciences at the School of Health Professions, received a $10,000 grant award from the University of Missouri South African Education Program (UMSAEP), an educational initiative and exchange program between the University of Missouri (UM) and the University of Western Cape (UWC). The funding will support her research project that seeks to improve the well-being of South Africans over the age of 60 who are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Dr. Enid Schatz’s collaborative study is in partnership with Dr. Lucia Knight, senior lecturer at the School of Public Health (UWC).

Over the next two years, the researchers will collect background information on a potential population with which to work in Langa, an established, yet poverty-stricken township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa.

South Africa has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. HIV prevalence rates among older Africans are steadily increasing and they are an understudied population in regards to HIV, health and social support. As a result, older South Africans are at great risk for poor mental and physical health outcomes, due to being marginalized and/or overburdened with care responsibilities.

Through the research project, Dr. Enid Schatz will combine her expertise in older people’s health and well-being with Dr. Lucia Knight’s expert knowledge in the role of government supported social grants for families and children, as well as general access to treatment and care.

“We discovered that access to social support and care is lacking because most HIV-focused interventions do not target older persons,” Schatz said. “We’re first aiming to understand whether social grants received by older persons, or their family members, diminish what seems to be barriers to access and adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART), which is a drug for patients with HIV.”

Also, the researchers want to develop an intervention to help older people access and adherence to ART. One idea is a mobile health worker position dedicated to bringing ART to older persons where they live, such as Langa, instead of the older person having to travel to a clinic. The mobile health worker will check-in with patients, providing social support, as well as supplying them with prescribed medication, as needed.

During Schatz’s visit to South Africa in December 2015, the two researchers began working on the preliminary stages of the project by touring the area in Langa, to note what resources will be available to them during their studies. Throughout spring 2016, they will conduct focus group discussions and collect data on the study population. Interviews with community leaders and public, private, or lay health care staff working in the Langa community are slated for the near future, as well. Schatz and Knight hope the interviews help gauge the perceived view on older persons’ financial, physical, and mental well-being, and the services needed to improve an older persons’ condition.

Data from the final study will be used in a National Institute Health (NIH) R21 grant proposal that would develop and test a social intervention designed to improve ART access and adherence among the study population.

Schatz and Knight hope research results will improve older persons’ health and well-being through ART access and adherence, as well as peer support among the older populations of South Africans by fostering more conversation about and encouragement to seek assistance with social and health needs of those living with HIV.

Link Between Sleep and Social Participation May Be Key to Healthy Aging

March 01, 2016

Story Contact(s):
Sheena Rice,, 573-882-8353

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Sleep may be one of the most important factors for well-being; yet, according to the CDC, one in three adults does not get enough. Lack of sleep can lead to potential cognitive declines, chronic diseases and death. Now, research from the University of Missourifinds that older adults who have trouble sleeping, could benefit from participating in social activities, in particular attending religious events.

“Social connectedness is a key component for health and well-being for older adults,” said Jen-Hao Chen, assistant professor of health sciencesat the MU School of Health Professions and the Truman School of Public Affairs. “Close connections to, and participation in, social groups provides a sense of belonging and can be essential for healthy aging.”

Yet despite past attention to the link between social participation and many different health outcomes, little research has been dedicated to linking social participation and another critical health outcome for older adults—sleep.

To study the relationship between sleep and social participation for older adults, Chen analyzed two waves of data collected over a five year period from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project. He looked at three aspects of social participation; volunteering, attending religious services and being part of organized group activities. He then compared the data to sleep outcomes measured by actigraphy—wearable wrist sleep trackers. Results showed that older adults with greater levels of social participation were getting better sleep.

However, Chen says despite the strong associations between social participation and sleep, social participation does not necessarily lead to better sleep. The strong associations he found could also be due to those already sleeping well may feel well enough to be more active socially. His future research on sleep will continue to use innovative sleep measurements to understand the role various social relationships have on sleep behaviors and outcomes.

“When it comes to the discussion of healthy lifestyle, being socially connected and sleeping well are not often mentioned together,” Chen said. “Yet sleep, just like physical activity and diet, can have significant impacts on our health outcomes, and is profoundly affected by our everyday social life. To promote sleep health we must consider a comprehensive approach that emphasizes the role of engaging in our communities, as well as getting enough and better sleep.”

The study “Social Participation and Older Adults’ Sleep” was published in the Journal of Social Science and Medicine. Chen collaborated with Diane Lauderdale and Linda Waite at the University of Chicago on the study. The research was supported by the National Institute of Aging (R01AG042164 and R37AG030481) and the Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Opportunity Network National Institutes of Health.


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