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Message from Interim President Mittemeyer:  Charge to our Graduates

Texas Tech Parkway scheduled to open

Students, faculty and staff remember Virginia Tech students with cards

Lubbock and Midland aphasia therapy groups tour wind center

Amarillo School of Medicine professor selected for national FDA committee

Permian Basin Department of Family Medicine accredited for geriatric fellowship program

Researchers for study on aging host event in Cochran County

Third annual banquet held to honor diversity

TTUHSC at El Paso and UTEP collaborate at recent research day

Spanish for Nurses offered to students

TTUHSC groups support the March of Dimes through special events

Have a plan: notes from the Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness

Texas Tech Board of Regents elect new officers

Awards & Recognition

Student News

News Roundup


Message from Interim President Mittemeyer: Charge to our Graduates


I write this month’s message with such pride and enthusiasm for each of you, our graduates, who spent your recent years with us on one of our campuses.  Please take a moment with me to reflect upon your time here as a student.    

Remember your first step on campus?  I would not be surprised if at first you were somewhat overwhelmed.  Remember your first class?  Were you as terrified of that professor as I was in my first class?  I know you studied, survived faculty lectures and worked hard to accomplish what many Texas Tech HSC graduates have done before you.  I have watched you all grow into self-confident professionals. 

After you receive your diploma, I ask that you look closely at the meaning of the words written upon the sheet of paper and realize the honors, rights and privileges your degree now brings.  Begin to appreciate what it means to be a Texas Tech HSC graduate.  You can be extremely proud of being a graduate of this institution.   

That diploma means that you are now prepared to join a force of compassionate health care professionals who worldwide make changes in health care and research.  You are prepared! You now have the ability to touch lives, whether it is at a birth or to help the transition into death.  As a health care professional you have the true power to make a difference.

My hope for you is that each and every one of you can cherish the legacy that previous graduates have left before you, and realize your responsibility as you venture out to heal and comfort those in need.  Take the challenge of continuing to learn all you can about your profession and pass that knowledge on to others, whether in community service, preventive health care or as a faculty member returning here one day.  Each of you will always be a part of the Texas Tech family, continuing to offer your support and dedication.  Whatever your next challenge holds, be sure and leave your legacy.  Each of you in your professional responsibilities, as well as your personal life, will serve as a Texas Tech Ambassador.  Thank you for being an ambassador and in doing so, remember your school, your faculty and those who will follow in your footsteps appreciate that and are counting on you. 

As we all continue to fulfill the vision of the late Gov. Preston Smith in providing practitioners to meet the health care needs of West Texas and beyond, on behalf of the faculty and staff, we congratulate you in your great accomplishment.   As you will see, from here, it is possible.

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Texas Tech Parkway scheduled to open

LUBBOCK-The new Texas Tech Parkway is scheduled to open the week of May 21 with the opening of the new bridge over the Brownfield Highway/Marsha Sharp Freeway at the same time, Indiana at Brownfield Highway is scheduled to close. 

parkway map

Campus and community traffic will have continuous access on Texas Tech Parkway from 19th Street north to Loop 289.  Please be aware that there are several intersections with traffic signals along the route.   Additionally, in coordination with this opening, Indiana Avenue from Main Street to 10th Street will be permanently closed to facilitate the continued construction of the Marsha Sharp Freeway. 

Also, the existing entries into the HSC parking lots will not change immediately.  With the opening of the Texas Tech Parkway, new access and egress routes are now available.  Please incorporate these new routes into your daily commute.  For more information, please contact Theresa Drewell, associate vice chancellor, Facilities Planning and Construction at (806) 742-2116 or e-mail your questions to

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Students, faculty and staff remember Virginia Tech with cards

virginia tech

LUBBOCK-Students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to show concern for Virginia Tech on May 15.  Many came by the cafeteria to take a moment to write a few lines of sympathy and support to Virginia Tech in memory of the victims of the April shooting. The cards were mailed and donations were accepted for the any of the several scholarship funds listed at

Shown in photo:  Belinda Hughes, executive assistant, Office of Academic Affairs. 

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Lubbock and Midland aphasia therapy groups tour wind center

Aphasia Group

LUBBOCK - As an opportunity to meet other individuals with aphasia, exchange information and offer support with one another, members of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Aphasia Group Therapy Program in Lubbock and the West Texas Aphasia Center in Midland toured the American Wind Power Center Museum in Lubbock on April 17, 2007. 

Aphasia is a language impairment resulting from brain damage most commonly caused by stroke.  Those with aphasia may have problems speaking, reading, writing and/or understanding the meaning of spoken or written words.  The goal of group therapy sessions is to maximize speech and language abilities while also reducing the effects of aphasia on communication. 

The TTUHSC Aphasia Group Therapy Program provides communication therapy and psychosocial support to persons with aphasia.  It also provides educational and social support for family members and caregivers through a caregivers network.  School of Health Professions faculty members Melinda Corwin and Jim Dembowski, Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, serve as the clinical educators for the program that currently serves approximately 30 persons with aphasia and 22 caregivers. 

The West Texas Aphasia Center in Midland is one of eight centers in the nation that provides classes for individuals and their families following onset of aphasia as well as daily programming, including computer classes and a gardening group. 

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Amarillo School of Medicine professor selected for national FDA committee


AMARILLO-Tom Hale, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics, assistant dean of research and director of the clinical research unit in the School of Medicine in Amarillo, has accepted a position as a voting member of the Advisory Committee on the Maternal Health Team of the Office of New Drugs at the Food and Drug Administration in Washington, DC. 

This FDA team was organized to provide guidance to pharmaceutical manufacturers in the design of clinical lactation studies, which will ultimately improve the care of breastfeeding women.  He will present a lecture concerning the pharmacokinetic design of studies to determine the transfer of drugs into breast milk November 2007. 

Dr. Hale is an internationally known researcher and expert on the effect of medications on breast milk.  He is a widely published author and has written several journal articles on the topic, in addition to speaking at many conferences worldwide. 

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Permian Basin Department of Family Medicine accredited for geriatric fellowship program

PERMIAN BASIN – Current statistics from the US Department of Health Agency on Aging reveal that by the year 2010 there will be 40 million people 65+ in the United States, and by 2020 an increase to 55 million in that age group.

"Geriatric Medicine is not just merely another subspecialty in healthcare.  It is a philosophy of care for the elderly," said Chau Le, M.D., assistant professor. 

Beginning July 1, the Department of Family Medicine will offer graduate training in Geriatric Medicine through a one-year ACGME accredited clinical fellowship. 

According to Le, the fellowship of Geriatric Medicine is one of the beginning steps to contribute to the philosophy of care and its application to all other subspecialties by all other physicians and healthcare providers.

At completion of training, the fellow may sit for the Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in Geriatrics and will be prepared for either a clinical or academic practice-oriented career.   

The fellowship is supported by Chau Le, M.D., fellowship program director and Rosa Vizcara, M.D., associate program director, who are both fellowship-trained geriatricians with certificates in geriatrics in the Department of Family Medicine.  They are committed to enhancing the lives of older adults through an individualized multidisciplinary approach to the patient, which emphasizes function and quality of life through programs of wellness.

John C. Jennings, M.D., regional dean, School of Medicine said, "The presence of the geriatric fellowship in the Permian Basin will serve as an emphasis on the importance of specialized care for our older population.  This educational program will be of great benefit to this growing proportion of elderly patients and to the physicians in our communities who provide their medical care,"

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Researchers for study on aging host event in Cochran County

LUBBOCK – Cochran County Aging Study organizers hosted a “Bingo Night” event in Morton recently. Featuring hot dogs, popcorn, bingo and prizes, the event drew more than 80 participants. The long-term study, focused on aging in rural America, is a collaborative project of the Department of Neuropsychiatry, the School of Nursing and the Garrison Institute on Aging.

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Third annual awards banquet held to honor diversity

ODMA Awards

LUBBOCK-The Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center celebrated the Third Annual ODMA Diversity Awards Banquet on April 20.

The evening was dedicated to celebrating and recognizing individuals, who demonstrate their commitment, appreciation, dedication, and support for the advancement of diversity and cultural awareness, not only at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, but in their communities.

The banquet offered an opportunity to showcase HSC student talent and provide scholarship funds to each of the respected disciplines through the generous support of AIG VALIC financial advisors group.

Those recognized for their contributions in diversity include the Distinguished Student Leadership Award: Sophia Tcheung, MSII-Lubbock; Alan Coleman, MSII-Lubbock; and Kartheek Reddy, MSIII-El Paso.

Shown in photo from left:  Sphia Tcheung, Alan Coleman, Germán R. Nuñez G., Ph.D., vice president, Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and Kartheek Reddy. 

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TTUHSC at El Paso and UTEP collaborate at recent research day

EL PASO – Research topics of major health care issues concerning the border area were brought to the forefront of discussion by the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso and the University of Texas at El Paso researchers during their joint inaugural Research Day, April 27.

Faculty members from UTEP joined faculty and residents from TTUHSC to discuss six major research areas:  cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, genetics, infectious disease and community-based research/CHWs.    

Additionally, residents gave research presentations that afternoon and the top three resident presentations were selected and awarded at the Faculty Recognition Banquet later that evening. 

Research Day Oral presentation winners are:

  • First Place:  Alan Orellana, M.D., Internal Medicine for Routine Use of Direct Nucleic Acid Amplification in the Diagnosis of Pulmonary Tuberculosis.
  • Second Place:  David Mokhtee, M.D., for Low-Dose FK-506 Enhances Neural Regeneration and Regulates Muscle Recovery in Rat Undergoing Repair After Sciatic Nerve Injury.
  • Third Place:  Khalid Afzal, M.D., Neuropsychiatry, for Burnout Questionnaire Survey at TTUHSC at El Paso for Identification of Different Stages of Burnout Syndrome in the Resident Physician.


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Spanish for Nurses offered

LUBBOCK – For the first time this spring semester Spanish for Nurses, an elective course, was offered as an independent study for nursing students.  The students learned the essentials of communication, medical terminology and cultural considerations of the Spanish-speaking countries in proximity to the United States. 

Many Spanish-speaking guests attended the class to help simulate interactive experiences in the health care setting.  The class concluded with a fiesta full of traditional Spanish foods and party activities. 

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TTUHSC groups support the March of Dimes through special events

LUBBOCK-Both the School of Nursing and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology took part in two distinctive events for the March of Dimes in April.

mod logo

The School of Nursing students hosted a community-wide baby shower at the Health Sciences Center to raise funds for Stork’s Nest, a program designed to increase the number of women receiving early and regular prenatal care.  The Stork’s Nest provides incentives to help pregnant women make and keep prenatal care appointments, as well as teaches expectant parents about healthy prenatal and infant care practices. 

“This project is extremely  important to the women who visit the Stork’s Nest, many of whom are teenagers, as well as the nursing students who have a chance to see the importance of community health needs and have the opportunity to give back to their community,” said Linda Brice, R.N., Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Nursing.

The students helped raise more than $29,000 in baby items and monetary donations.  More than $85,000 has been raised over the past five years from this student hosted event. 

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine contributed to the March of Dimes by being part of WalkAmerica, the organizations largest fundraiser to save babies from premature birth and other serious threats to infant health. 

With support from WalkAmerica, the March of Dimes conducts top-level research into causes and preventions of premature birth and birth defects.  Such research takes place at the TTUHSC through various grants awarded to the School of Medicine. 

Click here to view photos from the event

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Have a plan: Items of note from the Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness

What’s the difference between efficiency and effectiveness?  According to Dr. Ephraim Schechter, former director of assessment at North Carolina State University and a nationally recognized expert on institutional improvement, organizations often fail to draw sharp enough distinctions between the two terms when trying to decide if their objectives are being met. 

Efficiency should be understood as the effort or cost required to accomplish a goal, Schechter explained, but effectiveness must be evaluated in terms of whether achieving the goal does in fact produce the intended result. 

Coming in under budget and on time for increasing the number of computer-equipped classrooms on a campus may be highly efficient, for example, but Schechter says that efficiency is a hollow victory if faculty and students are not satisfied with the ongoing support for all of those shiny new PC’s.

Schechter was on the Lubbock campus of TTUHSC for two days earlier this month to present workshops on efficient and effective assessment and planning to administrative leaders and faculty from throughout the system. 

His key point was that asking “What are we trying to do?” and “How are we doing?” are relatively unproductive inquiries for organizations unless they are complemented by a third vital query, “How do we use the knowledge gained from the first two questions?”

Schechter’s appearance was sponsored by the Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness (OIPE), which offers guidance and support to all TTUHSC departments in making assessment workable and worthwhile.  If you would like additional information on how assessment can pay dividends for your unit , please visit our Web site at or give us a call at (806) 743-2918.

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Texas Tech Board of Regents elect new officers

LUBBOCK- The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents elected J. Frank Miller III and F. Scott Dueser, chair and vice chair, respectively on May 11. The two will serve two-year terms, beginning immediately after the elections.

Miller, who just completed a term as vice chair of the board, replaces L. Frederick “Rick” Francis as chair of the board.

Miller, of Dallas, was appointed to the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System on November 18, 2003. He is a 1974 graduate of Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Miller is chairman and chief executive officer and founding managing partner of JPI Companies, a national apartment development company.

Dueser, of Abilene, was appointed to the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System on January 26, 2004. He is a 1975 graduate of Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting. He is chairman of the board of First National Bank of Abilene and president and chief executive officer of First Financial Bankshares, Inc.

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Awards & Recognition


West Texas AHEC honored for cardiovascular health promotion

In March, the West Texas AHEC was honored by the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke (TCCDS) as an Outstanding Program for the 2007 Texas Cardiovascular Health Promotion Awards.  The award is for commitment to the prevention of cardiovascular disease in Texas through implementation of an innovative and effective program.

The award recognized West Texas AHEC’s work to assist 64 rural school districts with implementing a coordinated health curriculum, (CATCH),  in 95 elementary schools. CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is multi-faceted, with components for the classroom designed to educate children about good nutrition and exercise, as well as avoiding tobacco; the cafeteria to help students make good choices about “GO, Slow, and Whoa” foods; and the family to extend what is learned at school to the home.

“We recognized an opportunity to directly impact the health of young people across the region,” said Tommy Sweat, center director for the Panhandle AHEC, a regional center of the West Texas AHEC Program.  “We approached rural schools across the region and offered to partner with them to provide the curriculum and staff training.”

Through AHEC’s efforts, more than 26,000 elementary-age children and their families are benefiting from CATCH.  “The beauty of this program is that cardiovascular health is being promoted at such an early age,” said Dr. Thomas Tenner, member of the Council.  “It is more effective to teach good health habits early, rather than to undo bad habits later in life in an effort to repair or slow the health consequences of poor choices.”

The Council, which is based at the Texas Department of State Health Services, gives awards in the community, worksite and school settings.  West Texas AHEC received the award for Outstanding Program in a School Setting.  For information about other award recipients and their innovative programs visit the Council website at

Shown in photo:  From left-Ronnie Laurance (Big Country AHEC); Shannon Kirland and Pam Danner (West Texas AHEC Program Office); Dr. Thomas Tenner (TCCDS); Dr. Patti Patterson (TTUHSC); Tommy Sweat (Panhandle AHEC); Elisa Williford (Permian Basin AHEC); and Cindy Burleson (AHEC of the Plains).

Special Olympics honors School of Nursing for outstanding service

LUBBOCK-The School of Nursing was honored as the 2007 recipient of the Outstanding Service from a Civic or Service Organization Award by the Special Olympics of Texas, Area 17 on Friday, April 27 at the Opening Ceremonies of the Spring Special Olympic Games.  The School of Nursing was selected for their dedication to Special Olympics and to the athletes that participate in the games.

Nursing students receive scholarships


LUBBOCK-Two nursing students were honored at the Hispanic Association of Women Hispana of the year and Scholarship Awards Banquet on May 10.  Miranda Garcia and Nedia De Lua-Ruiz were presented each with a $500 scholarship at the banquet.  Garcia is a senior nursing student from Odessa and the 2007-2008 President of the TTUHSC Texas Nurses Student Association.  De Lua-Ruiz is a senior nursing student from Corpus Christi and the 2007-2008 Treasurer of the TTUHSC Texas Nurses Student Association. 

Shown in photo:  On left, Miranda Garcia and Nedia DeLua-Ruiz, right. 

Chapter recognizes SOP alumnus

raiders rojos

The Raiders Rojos National Alumni Chapter of the Texas Tech Alumni Association has named RoxAnn Dominguez, Pharm.D., BCPP, as its 2007 Distinguished Alumni Honoree. She was honored at the 2007 Hispanic Graduation Convocation on May 10 in Lubbock.

Dominguez received her Pharm.D. from TTUHSC – SOP in 2003. After completing a psychiatric pharmacy residency at Austin State Hospital, she accepted a position as a clinical pharmacist for ValueOptions in Phoenix and was the company’s only clinical pharmacist for the area’s Medicaid and seriously mentally ill population. She is presently director of pharmacy for ValueOptions New Mexico in Albuquerque.

SOM faculty physician chosen as chairman for AFMR section


LUBBOCK- Sharma Prabhakar, M.D., vice chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, was recently named the chairman of the American Federation of Medical Research, Southern Section, at the national meeting in Washington, DC.  He was also elected as the councilor of the National AFMR organization. 

Dr. Prabhakar was an invited speaker at a conference titled Advances in Nitric Oxide Research sponsored by the University of Oxford and held at Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom in March.

Student Senate sponsors Outstanding Teacher of the Year awards

Faculty members were selected by students in each school to receive the annual Outstanding Teacher of the Year award.  Sponsored by the TTUHSC Student Senate, the awards serve as a way for students from each TTUHSC program to recognize faculty members.  Each student senator is responsible for their class nominations and selecting the winners.  This award is designed to honor those faculty members considered to possess the following characteristics:

  • Knowledge of the material
  • Enthusiasm for subject matter
  • Demonstrated interest in learning
  • Flexible teaching methods to accommodate different learning styles
  • Patience and empathy with students
  • Demonstrated belief that teaching is an active process

The awards are presented at the annual Student Senate Awards and Installation Banquet held April 28 at the Lubbock Club.  Teachers chosen receive a personal plaque and their names are added to a larger plaque housed in the Preston Smith Library. 

For a list of the 2006 winners please click here.

SON Faculty member selected to hold Robert's Practiceship

dr cookman

LUBBOCK-Craig Cookman, R.N., Ph.D., assistant professor, was selected to hold the Robert's Practiceship in Geriatric Nursing.  In this role, he will be assuming leadership as the SON representative to the Garrison Geriatric Education Training Academy and other activities related to Glenna Robert's vision for improvement of care for long term care.  Cookman will officially assume this position Sept. 1.

"I am very excited to have Dr. Cookman in this position.  He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of geriatrics," said Alexia Green, Ph.D., dean, School of Nursing. 

Quality Service Awards

Congratulations to the Quality Service Award recipients in Amarillo, El Paso and Lubbock who held their recognition ceremonies earlier this month.  The Permian Basin is scheduled for their ceremony on May 30.  Check back in the June edition of Statline for a wrap up of all the winners. 

School of Medicine Dean's award information

Recipients of the School of Medicine Dean's awards were announced in Amarillo and Lubbock.  Ceremonies in the Permian Basin will take place May 31 and in El Paso later in the year.   Winners from the spring awards will be acknowledged together in the June edition of Statline.

Nurse of the Year announced during Nurses Week

amy moore

LUBBOCK-Amy Moore, R.N., MSN, FNP-C, received the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Nurse of the Year award from Texas Nursing Association and was honored during Nurses Week at the TNA Nurse of the Year Banquet.

According to her nomination, Moore is well respected by her nursing colleagues and students consistently verbalize appreciation for the numerous hours she spends helping them to grasp the difficult concepts of pathophysiology.  Additionally, her teaching practices are aligned with the School of Nursing values statement emphasizing integration of innovation in education, as she was one of the first faculty members to utilize pod casting as a teaching methodology. Moore demonstrates commitment to the profession of nursing and dedication to the health and well-being of the school and the community. 

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Student News

School of Nursing students raise awareness through community service


LUBBOCK-Nursing students not only hit the books during the semester, but stayed busy volunteering their time in the community--including staying up all night for a good cause.  The Relay for Life was held April 21-22, an overnight event held at the Frenship football stadium in Wolfforth.  The students and faculty raised money before and during the event totaling more than $500 to help in the fight against cancer. 


Many students also participated in the Tour de Nine-Zero Bike Race on May 4-5 to help raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  Some rode seven miles, some 51 miles and others biked 101 miles.  They raised over $300 in support of the Parenting Cottage of Lubbock. 

Shown in photo:  Top, students at the Relay for Life event benefiting the American Cancer Society.  Below, student bicyclists riding in the Tour de Nine-Zero Bike Race.   

Groups award grant, scholarships to SOP students

AMARILLO –Four TTUHSC pharmacy students were recently awarded grants and scholarships from various sources.  Kaci Bohn, a graduate student in the department of pharmaceutical sciences, received a $1,000 Chi Omega Alumnae Grant.  First-year pharmacy student Madelyn Cearley and Julie Perez, a second-year pharmacy student, were each awarded a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholarship for the 2007 – 2008 school year.  Cearley and Perez competed with graduate students across the nation to receive this honor.

Minh Dung Nguyen, a second-year pharmacy student, was awarded the Dallas Area Pharmacy Association scholarship. The DAPA awards this scholarship to each pharmacy school in Texas on a rotating basis.  Nguyen was selected because he is from the Dallas area and is a student member of the Texas Pharmacy Association who has demonstrated academic excellence and commitment to pharmacy. 

Pediatric resident wins at Texas Pediatric Society Poster Competition

EL PASO – Yuezhen Lin, M.D., a Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso second-year pediatric resident, is one of the winners named at the 2007 Texas Pediatric Society Poster Competition. Her poster Perspective on Infancy Obesity Prevention received an Honorable Mention in the category Critical Appraisal of Literature. Dr. Lin receives an award and complimentary registration to the Texas Pediatric Society Meeting in San Antonio in June.

Students to participate in Summer Research Program in Aging Sciences

LUBBOCK – Beginning in June, four TTUHSC students will have the opportunity to work side by side with faculty research scientists thanks to a grant from the Reynolds Foundation and the Garrison Institute on Aging.

Those selected to participate in the Summer Research Program in Aging Sciences include School of Medicine students Manuel Ruiz, Suchin Wadhwani and Libby Zacharia, and Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences student Leah Maenius.  A scholarship stipend of $3,000 will be provided to students who successfully complete the 10-week internship.

The program will take place in science laboratories, clinics or community settings and will provide new opportunities in research and hands-on activities. The program also will provide TTUHSC faculty in Amarillo and Lubbock with increased lab resources for aging science-related activities.

Student Scholars in Geriatrics participant earns award

A Boles and L. Tomlinson

LUBBOCK – Lubbock pharmacy student Latisha Tomlinson recently was awarded the United Supermarkets Scholarship, as well as the Garrison Institute on Aging Interdisciplinary Student Scholars in Geriatrics Scholarship during the School of Pharmacy awards dinner.

A program of the Garrison Institute on Aging, the Student Scholars in Geriatrics Program joins students in allied health sciences, medicine, nursing and pharmacy who have a long-term commitment to advancing health care for older adults. The group of 13 is actively engaged in projects including “lunch and learn” events for fellow students; interdisciplinary health assessments in which students perform assessments relevant to their discipline then meet as a group to compare findings and make recommendations; and has formed a student chapter of the American Geriatrics Society.

Shown in photo: Annette Boles, assistant director, Garrison Institute on Aging, and Latisha Tomlinson.

SOP students receive Double-T Scholarships

AMARILLO – Seven students from the TTUHSC School of Pharmacy were recently awarded Star Spangled Double T Scholarships. The group includes second-year pharmacy students Ryan Burke and Michele King; third-year students Lulu Ofoh, Joanna Smith, Brandon Trollinger and Rafael Veasy; and fourth-year student Daniel Silva.

Burke and King attend the main SOP campus in Amarillo. Ofoh, Silva, Smith and Veasy attend the SOP satellite campus in Dallas-Fort Worth. Trollinger attends the SOP’s Lubbock regional campus.

The TTUHSC Student Senate raised funds for each of these $100 scholarships. (Written by Mark Hendricks)

Alpha Eta members help with Special Olympics

alpha eta

LUBBOCK – On April 28, 2007 members of the School of Health Professions honor society, Alpha Eta, volunteered at the South Plains Special Olympics Spring Games in Wolfforth.  Fifteen members served as timers, cheerleaders and award presenters to the participating athletes. 

The South Plains Special Olympics Spring Games is comprised of more than 25 different events and includes several hundred athletes.  Ashley Varnell and Lindsay Morrow, community service vice presidents, coordinated the volunteer opportunity for the Alpha Eta members and the event served as their spring community service project. 

Shown in photo:  Alpha Eta membes volunteering at the Special Olympics Spring Games

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News Roundup

Pediatric faculty, resident present at SGEA Conference

EL PASO – Faculty and residents from the TTUHSC at El Paso Department of Pediatrics presented recently in Louisville, Ky., at the Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA), a prestigious forum on medical education.   

Ralitsa Akins, M.D., Ph.D., residency program associate director, Gilbert Handal, M.D., department chairman and residency program director, and Mary Lillian Tocyap, M.D., a third-year resident and a pediatric chief resident, presented an hour-and-a-half workshop Teaching Quality Improvement Techniques to Residents and Implementing Resident Quality Improvement Programs.

The workshop introduced medical educators and professionals in the implementation steps of quality improvement initiatives and taught them about QI tools and pathways.   Implementing QI techniques has become a mandated approach in improvement of education and patient care. The author team of the workshop included another resident, Art Munoz, M.D.

Dr. Akins and Joanna Wojciechowska, M.D.,  assistant pediatric clerkship director, gave an oral presentation on New Evaluation Process for MS III Students Based on ACGME Competencies.  The introduction of self-evaluation at the student level helps the medical students reflect on the skills and knowledge needed in their learning progress.

In addition, the department presented two posters on resident evaluations, outcomes and development of competency-based residency curriculums.  The posters were authored by Dr. Akins, Dr. Handal and Ms. Liz Corral with the IT department.

Leading pediatrician asked to present at international conference

LUBBOCK – Surendra K. Varma, M.D., University Distinguished Professor and vice-chair of Pediatrics, is invited to present during the 25th International Congress of Pediatrics in Athens, Greece.  His abstract, Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis:  Successful Management Experience of Over 32 Years was selected for presentation out of hundreds submitted worldwide. 

Nursing faculty accepted into executive program

Linda McMurry

LUBBOCK – Linda McMurry, MSN, R.N., CHPN, CHCE, HCS-D, director of operations at the Larry Combest Community Health and Wellness Center was accepted to the Johnson & Johnson/UCLA Health Care Executive Program.  Comprised of concepts relevant to community-based health care organizations, the curriculum focuses on institutional finance, leadership and management.  The program is exclusively for executive directors and leaders of community-based health care organizations. 

Permian Basin announces Associate Program Director

dr. chemitiganti

PERMIAN BASIN-John C. Jennings, MD, regional dean, School of Medicine, announced that Rama Chemitiganti, M.D., was elevated to the position of full Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine residency program in Midland/Odessa.  Dr. Chemitiganti became a faculty member in 2006 serving as Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine. 

"Dr. Chemitiganti possesses all of the characteristics necessary for success as a resident educator," said Dr. Jennings.  "He is uniformly respected by the faculty and resident staff of our internal medicine department and is a recognized teacher with exceptional organizational skills.  Dr. Chemitiganti will be a tremendous asset to the residency program in this new role." 

Regents approve School of Pharmacy tenure, promotion requests  

AMARILLO-The Board of Regents approved the tenure and promotions for several School of Pharmacy faculty at their March meeting.  Tenure was granted to Dr. Jon Weidanz, Dr. Ming-Hai Wang and Dr. Kalkunte Srivenugopal effective April 2.  In addtion to Dr. Weidanz, Dr. Sara Brouse, Dr. Craig Cox, Dr. Sachin Shah and Dr. Anthony Busti were each promoted to associate professor, effective Sept. 1. 

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Saturday, May 19

TTUHSC Graduation

10 a.m.

United Spirit Arena, 1701 Indiana Ave., Lubbock

For information please call (806) 743-2300

Monday, May 21

Diversity Day

An event to highlight the diversity found at all our campuses and develop awareness of the many faces of diversity

Kick Off at 9 a.m.

ACB Foyer, TTUHSC, Lubbock

For more information please call the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at (806) 743-1522 or check out Diversity Day at TTUHSC

Wednesday, May 23

Hearing Loss in Aging:  What's Normal & What Can We Do About It?

Presented by Tori Gustafson, Au.D., CCC-A, TTUHSC Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

4 p.m.

ACB Room 110, TTUHSC, Lubbock

Part of the Garrison Lecture Series on Healthy Aging

For more information please call (806) 743-7821

Wednesday, May 30

Permian Basin Quality Service Awards & Service Pin Presentation

2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

TTUHSC-Auditorium, Odessa

For more information please call (432) 335-5245

Monday, June 4

Texas Tech Physicians Open House

Grand Opening and Reception for the Texas Tech Physicians of Abilene, Family Medicine

4:30 p.m.

1857 Pine, Abilene

For more information please call Jo Vaughan at (806) 743-2143.

Saturday, June 9

Healthy Lubbock Day

Featuring dementia screenings, exercise demonstrations, child immunizations, climbing wall, health screenings for all ages, information on Alzheimer's and much more.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Maxey Park (30th Street and Oxford Avenue), Lubbock

For more information please call (806) 743-7821 or visit

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