Sharon Medcalf, MEd

Sharon Medcalf, MEd

Sharon Medcalf, MEd

Faculty Highlight – Sharon Medcalf was instrumental in the establishment of the College of Public Health’s new programs in emergency preparedness. She developed four core courses for the professional certificate and master of science programs and directs two of the courses each semester. She is pleased to observe a growth in enrollment of students who recognize the importance of a basic understanding of this field, in preparation for their careers in the health care arena. Ms. Medcalf is currently in the process of converting all four courses into online versions, which she anticipates will attract national and international students to the programs. Ms. Medcalf serves on capstone committees, where she helps to guide students who seek to blend their public health expertise with a project in the emergency preparedness arena.

Ms. Medcalf’s research focus is in two distinct areas. She evaluates hospital preparedness and the evacuation plans that are developed by hospitals in the region. The Joplin tornado and Hurricane Sandy forced all hospitals to examine their evacuation plans. Her other area of interest is smallpox. She was heavily involved in the National Smallpox Vaccination program launched in 2003. In response to a credible threat, the US vaccinated almost 40,000 health care and public health workers across the nation. Her colleagues in the laboratories also established a network of sites to test for smallpox. Her current research project is looking at smallpox vaccination in laboratory workers at smallpox testing sites across the country.  She hopes her research will inform national guidelines on the frequency with which this vaccination should be administered to lab workers.

Ms. Medcalf is the associate director of the Center for Preparedness Education, a training center established in 2002 to provide educational programs for Nebraska’s response community, which refers to anyone who would be involved in responding to a disaster. The professionals trained range from first-responders to the health care workers who would care for the casualties in a hospital.

Ms. Medcalf is serving her second term on the Board of Directors of the Public Health Association of Nebraska and values being part of an organization that is bolstering the public health infrastructure in Nebraska. She recently served an extended term on the Board of Directors of the Mid-Continental Region of the National Libraries of Medicine. She was nominated to this position based on her expertise in emergency preparedness and was pleased to serve the organization as they prepared for their role as a vital resource in times of disasters.

Sharon Medcalf, MEd, is an instructor in the UNMC COPH Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health, and the associate director of the Center for Preparedness Education in the Center for Biopreparedness, Biosecurity, and Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Elizabeth Lyden, MS

Elizabeth Lyden, MS

Elizabeth Lyden, MS

Faculty Highlight – Ms. Elizabeth Lyden teaches Introduction to SAS Programming. This course introduces students to programming for statistical and epidemiologic analysis using the SAS Software System. It is an interactive course taught in the COPH computer lab that focuses on data management and data processing skills, as well as statistical analysis and graphical presentations, all of which are useful to public health professionals. Since 2007, Ms. Lyden has served on two-to-three student capstone committees each year, and in addition, provides SPSS and SAS consultation to students analyzing data for their capstone projects.

 

Ms. Lyden has been an assistant statistician for the Children’s Oncology Group since 2000 and works closely with Dr. Jim Anderson on the analysis of clinical trials related to pediatric Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). She has co-authored 15 articles on RMS. Ms. Lyden is a member of the Center for Collaboration on Research Design and Analysis, through which she provides statistical collaboration to researchers at UNMC. Specifically, she provides consultation, data analysis, and manuscript review for physicians and researchers in infectious disease, orthopedics, neonatology, diabetes, and solid organ transplant. Her particular interest is analyzing data related to solid organ transplant. She frequently looks at predictors of graft and patient survival using time to event analysis.

 

Ms. Lyden is a member of the COPH Communication Task Force, a strategic planning subcommittee. She has served on the Carruth J. Wagner, MD, Scholarship in Public Health Award Committee. She was a participant in panel discussions of careers in mathematics at Dana College. She also has worked as an instructor of statistics to middle school teachers as part of a National Science Foundation grant.

Elizabeth Lyden, MS, is a statistical coordinator and instructor in the UNMC COPH Department of Biostatistics.

Lorena Baccaglini, DDS, PhD

Lorena Baccaglini, DDS, PhD

Lorena Baccaglini, DDS, PhD

Faculty Highlight – Dr. Lorena Baccaglini received her PhD in epidemiology with a minor in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also trained in dentistry, prosthodontics, and clinical research and oral medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She joined the College of Public Health (COPH) faculty in May 2012 as an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology.

Dr. Baccaglini is the Epidemiology Graduate Program chair for the doctoral program (PhD) in epidemiology. The department has four active instructional programs: the PhD and Master of Public Health in Epidemiology, the Professional Certificate in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, and the Master of Science in Emergency Preparedness.

Dr. Baccaglini has developed and enjoys teaching a new four-credit course in Epidemiology Methods, Level II (EPI 845/CPH 628). The course covers advanced epidemiologic design and SAS analysis applications, including meta-analyses, clinical trials, stratified/matched analyses, logistic regression, survival analysis, and complex sampling. Additionally, she has developed guest lectures on study design and statistical pitfalls, and genetic epidemiology. Dr. Baccaglini is the academic advisor, research mentor, and dissertation and capstone committee member/chair for eight students in four departments. She plans to develop more epidemiology methods courses by next spring.

Dr. Baccaglini’s research focuses on systemic links, causes, and treatments of head and neck diseases. She is the principal investigator for the UNMC Wound Healing Bank, which links over 300 samples to 1,000 clinical and laboratory variables stored in REDCap. She recently completed an NIH-funded study of growth factors in wound healing using NHANES data. She has submitted new grant proposals in collaboration with UNMC and external co-investigators focusing on sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and cancer. She is currently developing a new patient-centered research proposal with co-investigators from UNMC, Creighton, and Ameritas.

Dr. Baccaglini’s interests also include clinical research/clinical trials, evidence–based medicine, systematic reviews, epidemiologic methods, genetic epidemiology, wound healing, and injuries.

Dr. Baccaglini is the Chair of the Epidemiology Graduate Program Committee and she is an active member of the UNMC Graduate Council, the COPH Doctoral Committee, the Epidemiology Doctoral Exam Committee, the Delta Omega Development Committee, the UNMC Graduate Studies Sub-committee on Mentor Pool, and the UNMC Graduate Studies Task Force. In March, she will begin her appointment as Chair of the 2013-2014 Ethics in Dental Research Committee for the American Association for Dental Research.

Dr. Baccaglini is currently the associate editor for Oral Diseases, the review editor for the Journal of Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Epidemiology, the statistical Editorial Board member for the Journal of Dental Research, and an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. Since May 2012, she has also served on two NIH grant review panels.

Lorena Baccaglini, DDS, PhD, is an associate professor in the UNMC COPH Department of Epidemiology.

Susanna Von Essen, MD, MPH

Susanna Von Essen, MD, MPH

Faculty Highlight – Dr. Susanna Von Essen has played a vital role in the growth of the College of Public Health (COPH). She was chair of the Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health committee responsible for establishing the blueprint for the department in 2007. She contributed to the development of courses and curriculum for the Master of Public Health concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH), serving as the department’s representative on the Graduate Program Committee, the precursor to the current COPH Curriculum Committee. She is currently the chair of the EOH concentration curriculum committee.

Dr. Von Essen considers teaching to be a very important part of her career as a faculty member. She currently teaches two courses, “Public Health, Environment, and Society,” and “Principles of Occupational and Environmental Health.” She also provides guest lectures on environmental, agricultural, and occupational health topics to other COPH courses. Over the years, Dr. Von Essen has served as an academic advisor to many students and been a member of numerous capstone and dissertation committees.

Dr. Susanna Von Essen grew up on a farm in northeast Nebraska, near the town of Pender. She attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a Regents Scholar. Her interest in public health developed during that time, when she took a human parasitology class. She went on to study parasitology for a year in Germany as a Fulbright scholar. She received her Doctor of Medicine from Washington University Medical School. She completed her Internal Medicine residency and her Pulmonary fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She received her Master of Public Health in Occupational Medicine from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Dr. Von Essen has helped to recruit a number of faculty who are now doing research in agricultural health. She continues to collaborate with colleagues in developing their research ideas. Dr. Von Essen is an established and respected researcher in her own right, having served as PI or co-investigator for over 20 research grants in her career. Funding agencies include the National Institutes of Health and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, among others. Her research focuses on agricultural lung disease and other aspects of occupational lung disease, collaborating within the University of Nebraska, with colleagues at other universities in the United States and in Europe, and with state and federal agencies. While she has reported her research findings at national and international meetings, she values the opportunity to share information gained from her research and that of others with the agricultural community and rural primary care providers for the prevention of lung disease. She has published nearly 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, close to 20 chapters in scientific textbooks, and was associate editor for both a book and a journal.

Dr. Von Essen was the winner of the 2009 Robert D. Sparks, MD, Award in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. The COPH gives this award on behalf of Dr. Sparks to recognize outstanding innovation and impact on preventing disease and promoting health through public health education, research, and practice, with particular attention to the needs of Nebraska and its citizens.

Susanna Von Essen, MD, MPH, is a professor in the UNMC COPH Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health, and a professor of Internal Medicine in the UNMC College of Medicine Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep, and Allergy.

Melissa Tibbits, PhD

Melissa Tibbits, PhD

Faculty Highlight – Dr. Melissa Tibbits received her PhD in human development and family studies from the Pennsylvania State University. She joined the College of Public Health (COPH) faculty in 2009 as an assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health.

Dr. Tibbits currently teaches Public Health Program Evaluation, a concentration course for the Health Promotion MPH track, and Child and Adolescent Growth and Development, a concentration course for the Maternal and Child Health MPH track. She also provides guest lectures on these topics to other courses and centers within the COPH. Additionally, she serves as academic advisor for half a dozen students and as committee chair and committee member for several MPH capstone and doctoral students.

Dr. Tibbits’ research focuses on understanding the reasons children and adolescents develop in healthy and unhealthy ways, and utilizing that information to inform the development of preventive interventions focused on outcomes such as substance abuse, sexual health, and obesity. Additionally, she enjoys collaborating with community partners to evaluate existing interventions. She currently works with colleagues in the Departments of Health Promotion, Health Services Research and Administration, and Epidemiology to evaluate projects for the Nebraska Office of Probation Administration (Nebraska Juvenile Service Delivery Project), Building Healthy Futures (School-Based Health Centers), and the Douglas County Health Department (Community Transformation Grant and Lead Education Program).

Dr. Tibbits currently serves as a member of the COPH’s Evaluation and Research and Development committees. Outside of the COPH, she is a Project Extra Mile board member and a TeamMates mentor. Through her work, Dr. Tibbits aims to improve the lives of children and adolescents so that they are able to achieve mental and physical health and to make positive contributions to society.

Melissa Tibbits, PhD, is an assistant professor in the UNMC COPH Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health.

Jungyoon Kim, PhD

Jungyoon Kim, PhD

Faculty Highlight – Dr. Kim teaches Health Care Organization Theory and Behavior. This course is about learning, understanding, and applying macro and micro theories that are relevant to explain and solve various problems in health care. Macro theory focuses on understanding how health care organizations behave and change their forms to adapt to the environment. Micro theory deals with human behavioral problems in health care, such as motivation, leadership, communication, and/or conflict.

Dr. Kim’s research focuses on organizational and behavioral problems in health care. She is especially interested in the turnover intent of direct care workers in long-term care settings, such as nursing homes, home health agencies, and adult day care. At an organizational level, Dr. Kim studies what structural forms in health care organizations look like and how these structures are associated with organizational/individual outcomes, such as change outcomes or worker satisfaction. Recently, Dr. Kim has broadened her interest in the public health sector. She is currently working on a community need assessment for mental health and long-term care in Douglas County.

Dr. Kim has been a participant in the Community Engagement Coordinating Council at the UNMC College of Public Health. In November 2012, she became a COPH representative on the UNMC Faculty Senate.

Jungyoon Kim, PhD, is an assistant professor in the UNMC COPH Department of Health Services Research and Administration.

Kendra Schmid, PhD

Kendra Schmid, PhD

Faculty Highlight – Dr. Kendra Schmid teaches BIOS 823/CPH 653, Categorical Data Analysis. While this course is an MPH biostatistics concentration course, students in other programs also enroll. Dr. Schmid is developing an online section of the MPH biostatistics core course, BIOS 806/CPH 506, to be offered in spring 2013.

Dr. Schmid’s methodological research focuses on statistical shape analysis, and more specifically, on methods of describing, mapping, and matching shapes using landmark coordinates. As a biostatistician, she serves as a statistician for research projects across the UNMC campus. Additionally, she is a statistician for the Core Center for Communication Disorders at Boys Town National Research Hospital, where she provides statistical support for several research project grants funded by the National Institutes of Health and assists with the submission of new proposals.

Dr. Schmid was appointed the director of master’s programs in the College of Public Health (COPH) in June 2012, and she very much enjoys this role. She also serves as chair of the COPH Curriculum Committee and is an active member of several other COPH committees. External to campus, she is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Biocomputing and is the chapter representative to the American Statistical Association for the state of Nebraska.

Kendra Schmid, PhD, is an assistant professor in the UNMC COPH Department of Biostatistics.