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Wednesday, November 11th

 

Disabilities

I.The Impact of COVID-19 on the Lives of CT Families of Children with Disabilities Across the Lifespan (panel discussion)

Innovative Approaches

I. Simulation as a Public Health Teaching Tool: Use for On Ground and Virtual Teaching

II. “My BOSS Network”—A Conceptual Framework for Developing Social Capital as a Key Approach to Achieving Health Equity 

Disabilities


I. The Impact of COVID-19 on the Lives of CT Families of Children with Disabilities Across the Lifespan (panel discussion)

Abstract: Data from a COVID-19 survey of families of children with disabilities conducted by the CT UCEDD will provide the framework for this panel discussion. Families of children with disabilities are uniquely impacted by COVID-19. Families reported that among their highest needs and concerns during this time are special education, money, childcare/respite, mental health and physical health. Formal and informal supports and services for these families have been changed, reduced, or stopped, largely due to social distancing requirements and distance-education. Many families are not receiving the birth-to-3, special education, or adult services in the ways in which they were prior to the virus or are not receiving these services to the same extent or quality as before the virus. The CT University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDD) serves the entire state of CT as a knowledge broker between academia and the community. The CT UCEDD disseminates knowledge and skills to ensure that CT citizens with disabilities have opportunities and supports that allow them to be valued, fully included, independent, productive, and contributing members of society. This panel will discuss the experiences of families during this time, resources available to serve families, tools and materials for families, and data from CT families of children with disabilities across the lifespan. 

Presenters: Tara Lutz, PhD, MPH, MCHES, CT UCEDD, UConn School of Medicine, Molly Cole, CT UCEDD, and Darla Gundler, Early Childhood Personnel Center 

Presenters’ Biographies: Tara Lutz is the Training Director at the University of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at UConn School of Medicine. Tara earned her PhD in public health and MPH from UConn. She is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist. She coordinates the Certificate of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies in Public Health for UConn’s Applied Program in Public Health Sciences and teaches in the medical school. She has presented on disability and public health topics at the state and national level and has been published in peer-reviewed journals on disability and public health topics. 

Molly Cole is the Associate Director at the University of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She has over 40 years of experience in the field of developmental disabilities with a focus on family support and advocacy. Molly recently retired as the Director of the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities and she is the past president of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities. She is a founding member of Family Voices, a national grassroots organization, and past president of the National Family Voices Board of Directors. She has published articles on family leadership and family support and written and directed numerous grant funded projects. She is the former Executive Director of FAVOR Inc., a statewide family advocacy organization, and directed the Family Center at CT Children’s Medical Center for nine years. She is the parent of three children, and she has had personal experience with an array of services and programs in the state. Her middle child, Mariyama, had significant disabilities and complex medical needs, and passed away at the age of 18.

Innovative Approaches


I. Simulation as a Public Health Teaching Tool: Use for On Ground and Virtual Teaching

Abstract: Within the nursing curriculum at the Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies at Fairfield University where the Public Health Program is located, simulation is a core learning component. Incorporating simulation-based learning approaches into public health pedagogy offers a more 
applied learning model. In order to apply simulation to public health teaching, this model had to be appropriately adapted to population-based health questions.  A review of the literature of potential public health applications to simulation largely included infectious disease, disaster and hospital-based staffing simulations.  A broader, community-based collaborative simulation for undergraduate introductory public health courses was developed. This simulation uses the community-care team approach to address several possible scenarios that examine the impact of social determinants on health outcomes. Topics covered include homelessness, addiction, new immigrant needs, social justice and health inequity. Students research and then act the roles of various providers and services working together to solve complex, multi-level public health issues. Once course went to online learning in Spring 2020, this simulation had to be adapted to a virtual format. Utilizing the Zoom video conferencing platform, the intent and structure of the simulation was maintained in a virtual setting. Additionally, the debrief was pivoted to discussions on COVID-19 to allow students to see the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable communities. This type of simulation has potential for teaching social determinants in on-ground classroom settings and being adapted for synchronous virtual learning and can be focused to incorporate timely 
public health topics.

Presenters: 
Deborah G. List, MA, MPH, PhD, Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, Fairfield University 

Presenter’s Biography: Deborah List PhD, MPH is public health faculty at Fairfield University, where she teaches on public health and social justice. She works on student accessibility across campus and has a collaborative grant with a nursing colleague to look a holistic care in food pantries funded by AACN/CDC. 

II. “My BOSS Network”—A Conceptual Framework for Developing Social Capital as a Key Approach to Achieving Health Equity 

Abstract: Despite a strong imperative amongst health policy makers, communities, health systems and thought leaders to achieve health equity, the increasing health disparities suggests a gap yet to be effectively addressed. Who has a seat at the table? Achieving health equity requires the development and sustenance of a diverse healthcare workforce. There is a critical need to clearly define upward mobility pathways for marginalized individuals who often feel excluded from influential informal networks. The ability to effectively network outside one’s social bond may directly influence their perceived capacity to professionally and economically advance in society. Regardless of socio-economic status, empowering individuals to connect with the community creates linkages and inclusion in systems that influence health outcomes. This presentation will discuss a model approach to increase capacity-building skills of individuals from underserved communities to strategically create strong social bridges and linkages; and purposefully build an effective network. Lessons drawn from a 10-months AmeriCorps service experience about the value of the intersectionality of social capital, civic engagement and health equity inform the development of a conceptual framework-- “My BOSS Network” and will drive the design of interventions that evaluate individuals perceived capabilities to leverage their social capital to gain a seat at the table and contribute to policy decisions that impact the health outcomes of their communities. 

Presenters: 
Selina A. Osei, MD, MPH, MBA, Founder, ThinkTank Unit / Medicaid ACO Project Coordinator, Massachusetts General Hospital (Population Health Mgmt. Department) / Chair, Membership & Communication Committee, NAHSE CT / AmeriCorps Alumni, Health360, Inc. 

Presenter’s Biography: Selina A. Osei is a Public Health Practitioner who works with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)’s Population Health Management department on Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO) programs. Selina aspires to work within the space of global health systems delivery design targeting resource-poor communities. With a purpose driven goal to achieve health equity so that everyone can have the opportunity to live up to their full potential, Selina also serves as the incumbent Communications & Membership Committee Chair for the Connecticut Chapter of the National Association for Health Service Executives (NAHSE). As a community organizer, AmeriCorps Alumni, and past student Ambassador for UNESCO, Selina is passionate about serving her community through volunteerism in her spare time. Selina graduated from University of Connecticut with a B.S in Chemistry, University at Albany School of Public Health with an MPH, earned her MD as an international medical graduate and pursued an MBA in business management from Davenport University to best achieve her purpose driven goals. 

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