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PURCH Students' Capstone Presentations: Culmination of 4-Year Projects

March 17, 2021
Outstanding Performance for Capstone Award Certificates

Yesterday, fourth-year PURCH medical students joined their UMass Medical School-Worcester classmates via Zoom for their Capstone presentations—a culmination of their work over four years in medical school on a project about which they are passionate.

The Capstone Scholarship and Discovery course is a mentored, student-driven, four-year-long scholarly experience on a topic each student chooses based on interest, as long as it is related to medicine and meets at least one of the six core competencies—Physician as Professional, Scientist, Communicator, Clinical Problem Solver, Patient and Community Advocate, and Person.

Wendy Ma and Betsy McGovern Recognized for Outstanding Performance

Each of the six UMMS Learning Community Houses selected two students for Outstanding Performance in Capstone Scholarship and Discovery course awards.

Wendy Ma and Elisabeth McGovern won the award from PURCH's Brightwood House for their Capstone projects.

Wendy Ma

MLKFS Food Pantry Health Fair: Analysis of a Potential New Legacy Project

Abstract (edited)
Students in the Population Urban and Rural Health Program (UMMS PURCH) program partnered with Martin Luther King Junior Family Services (MLKFS) to analyze health and social needs of families who visit the food pantry. PURCH students created a community health fair to address the unmet needs of food, health, transportation, and safety. This paper focuses on the sustainability of the health fair and the possibility of creating a PURCH legacy project. Results showed overwhelming support of this idea from food pantry consumers and student volunteers.This study emphasizes the importance of community and medical system collaboration in creating a sustainable health care intervention to address health disparities.

Elisabeth McGovern

Caregiver Experience with Trauma Educator Pilot: A Qualitative Analysis of Participant Feedback

Abstract (edited)
A trauma educator (TE), modeled from the “diabetes educator” role, was integrated into a child abuse clinic to provide families impacted by child sexual abuse with referrals to evidence-based therapy services, educational materials about trauma and its impact, mental health resources for the caregiver, and telephone coaching of parents to respond to trauma symptoms. At six-months after initial screening, feedback was collected by phone from 45 of 55 enrolled caregivers and analyzed using an online qualitative data analysis program. Feedback was coded and salient themes were identified and organized under three overarching categories: content of trauma education, experience with TE, and services accessed.Caregivers expressed a predominantly positive experience working with the TE and identified counseling and support groups as most helpful.

PURCH Student Capstone Projects

Students initially consult with their Learning Community mentor about project ideas, then work with a Capstone advisor who provides the expertise and support needed to complete their project. Although students can work on projects with advisors from either campus, the majority of students in the Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health track focused their projects on the health needs of the Springfield/western Massachusetts community.

Colton Conrad

Program Evaluation of the Hampden County Medical Reserve Corps Hands-Only CPR Training

Project Advisor: Goshea, Christopher | Learning Community Mentor: Churchill, Eric

Juliana Dixon

Implementing Universal Screening for Social Determinants of Health in Adult Well Visits

Project Advisor: Gnazzo, Melanie MD | Learning Community Mentor: Wu, Jacqueline

Kirstin Lee

Development of Culturally Competent Visual Educational Materials to Enhance Women's Health Literacy in Rural Areas of Honduras

Project Advisor: Cavalari, Jennifer | Learning Community Mentor: Borden, Samuel

Wendy Ma

MLKFS Food Pantry Health Fair: Analysis of a Potential New Legacy Project

Project Advisor: Robinson, Frank PhD | Learning Community Mentor: Churchill, Eric

Poornima Manikantan and Prithwijit Roychowdury

Exploring Physical Education Teachers Perceptions About Facilitators and Barriers to Student Engagement; Before and After a Global Pandemic

Project Advisor: Senn-McNally, Molly MD | Learning Community Mentor: Eagleson, Elizabeth

Elisabeth McGovern

Caregiver Experience with Trauma Educator Pilot: A Qualitative Analysis of Participant Feedback

Project Advisor: Forkey, Heather MD | Learning Community Mentor: Eagleson, Elizabeth

Caleb Noone

Foot Care Clinic for the Homeless

Project Advisor: Bossie, Jessica MD | Learning Community Mentor: Borden, Samuel

Kathryn Norman

Assessing the American College of Gastroenterology Screening Guidelines for Barrett Esophagus: How Effective Are They?

Project Advisor: Nason, Katie MD MPH | Learning Community Mentor: Churchill, Eric

Afua Nti

The Role of Initial Public Health Responses on the Infection and Case Fatality Rates during the initial waves of the COVID-19 Pandemic – A longitudinal Comparative Study of Germany, Ghana, and the United States

Project Advisor: Korboe, Akosua MD | Learning Community Mentor: Borden, Samuel

Tatiana Petrovick

Peripartum Depression and Delayed Child Development Outcomes within a Home Visiting Program in Springfield, MA

Project Advisor: Peacock-Chambers, Elizabeth MD MSc | Learning Community Mentor: Churchill, Eric

Laura Schwartz

QMass West: Bringing the UMass LGBT Student Group to PURCH Students at Baystate Medical Center

Project Advisor: Meade, Lauren MD | Learning Community Mentor: Wu, Jacqueline

Alay Shah

Improving Outcomes in Patients With diabetes through Integrated Care Management

Project Advisor: Nakrani, Preeti MPH | Learning Community Mentor: Churchill, Eric

Daniel Wenzel

A Retrospective Chart Review of Spindle Cell Tumors Diagnosed and Treated at an Academic Multidisciplinary Institution for the Past 20 Years

Project Advisor: Mclean, Riley MD | Learning Community Mentor: Eagleson, Elizabeth

Kevin White

Public Health Education and Social Capital’s Role in Making an Impact for Change

Project Advisor: Szegda, Kathleen PhD MPH MS | Learning Community Mentor: Borden, Samuel

Amanda Whitehouse

Qualitative Study of Strategies and Barriers to Accessing a Career in Academic Medicine

Project Advisor: Philbin, Mary EDM | Learning Community Mentor: Borden, Samuel

> Read PURCH student Capstone abstracts