CWUNews FeedNews Feed Health news, 09 Sep 2022 09:54:31<p><a href="">Public Health and Edmonds College Partnership</a></p> CWU Researchers Study Effects of COVID-19, Air Quality on Yakima County Residents, 17 Aug 2021 12:54:20<p>Central Washington University public health professors and graduate students are studying the combined impacts of COVID-19 and poor air quality on the physical well-being of Yakima County residents.</p> <p>The groundbreaking research project, made possible by a $200,000, two-year grant from the American Lung Association (ALA), is utilizing survey data collected over the past year to examine the effectiveness of COVID-19 prevention strategies, such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and gathering outdoors versus indoors.</p> <p>The CWU team, led by associate professors Tishra Beeson and Casey Mace-Firebaugh, also hopes to understand how adverse air quality caused by wildfire smoke intersects with the presence of COVID-19 to complicate the community spread of disease.</p> <p>&ldquo;Record-high temperatures this summer have been leading more people to stay indoors, and if crowded, they can be riskier settings for transmitting the virus,&rdquo; Beeson said. &ldquo;Some of the best prevention strategies are to get outside, open windows, and not gather indoors with multiple households. But this summer, those strategies have been harder to implement.&rdquo;</p> <p>As if the heat weren&rsquo;t enough of an impediment, the Yakima Valley has been coping with a steady dose of hazardous air quality in July and August due to a spate of West Coast wildfires. The extreme heat and poor air quality inevitably have forced people indoors, presenting more complex risk factors for contracting COVID-19.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have to examine what prevention strategies are reasonable, and even feasible, in this current environment, and consider how to support certain individuals in the community who are less able to implement them,&rdquo; Beeson said. &ldquo;We are particularly interested in hearing how people are navigating these environmental events as the Yakima Valley is exposed to hazardous air quality for a longer period of time than in a typical year.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>The connection between poor air quality and adverse outcomes for other respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD is well-established. Early research findings from the past year suggest that chronic exposure to air pollutants may be linked with more severe COVID-19 outcomes, including mortality.&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="American Lung Association logo" src="/health-science/sites/" style="float: left; margin: 0px 30px 30px 0px; width: 250px; height: 81px;" />The survey findings from 2020 provided researchers with a valuable snapshot, but having a second year of funding will allow them to better understand how air quality and COVID-19 are affecting people who live in rural communities like Sunnyside, Toppenish, and Granger.</p> <p>Beeson said the ALA is &ldquo;very interested&rdquo; in understanding the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 as a novel respiratory virus, adding that the second installment of the grant &mdash; which took effect July 1 &mdash; will allow the research team to develop a more &ldquo;longitudinal view&rdquo; of what is happening in a number of Yakima County communities. The area was ranked as the fifth-worst in the U.S. for short-term particle pollution in 2021.</p> <p>&ldquo;The extended funding will give us more of a broad brush stroke and help us understand what&rsquo;s going on over time as the pandemic has evolved, instead of just one moment in time,&rdquo; Beeson said. &ldquo;We hope to learn from a diverse pool of study participants. It&rsquo;s important that we have representation from anyone who&rsquo;s been affected by these two dueling issues: air quality and COVID-19 disease.&rdquo;</p> <p>The research team has posted a&nbsp;new bilingual survey&nbsp;online, and will be gathering data over the next couple of months about the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on Yakima County residents, as well as the strategies used to help slow the spread of the virus. The survey on will be open to Yakima County residents through the end of August.</p> <p>One of the primary goals over the next year, Beeson said, is to better understand the human behavior aspect of COVID-19, which may play a significant role in curbing the pandemic.</p> <p>&ldquo;A year is a long time for people to keep up with COVID-19 prevention behaviors, especially if they were a major deviation from their lifestyles before the pandemic,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;We have already learned a lot, but the situation continues to evolve &mdash; and so do people&rsquo;s inclinations to participate in certain behaviors.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="/health-science/sites/" style="float: right; margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px; width: 200px; height: 200px;" />Beeson noted that the most pressing challenge right now is to convince residents to participate in the survey. Since COVID-19 has become such a polarizing topic, it can be difficult to find people willing to talk to researchers. The team hopes the anonymous online survey route will help more people feel comfortable sharing their experiences.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are hoping this new approach will encourage more people to participate this time,&rdquo; Beeson said.</p> <p>Media contact:&nbsp;David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,&nbsp;, 509-963-1518.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> The US News and World Report’s 100 best jobs of 2021., 15 Jan 2021 12:30:43<p style="margin:0cm 0cm 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">The US News and World Report&rsquo;s 100 best jobs of 2021 has recently been announced. Many of the careers (i.e., physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, medicine) for which the Clinical Physiology program at CWU prepares students are listed as top best &ldquo;jobs&rdquo; and best &ldquo;healthcare jobs&rdquo;. </span></span></p> <p style="margin:0cm 0cm 0.0001pt">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin:0cm 0cm 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><a href="" style="color:#0563c1; text-decoration:underline"></a></span></span></p> </p style="margin:0cm 0cm 0.0001pt"></span style="font-size:11pt"></span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"></p style="margin:0cm 0cm 0.0001pt"></p style="margin:0cm 0cm 0.0001pt"></span style="font-size:11pt"></span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">CWU Public Health Students, Alumni Help Combat COVID-19, 13 Apr 2020 08:25:22<p><img alt="2020 Best Online Colleges for Value, Bachelor's - Public Health seal, Guide to Online Schools" src="/health-science/sites/" style="margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px; float: right; width: 35%;" />CWU students studying public health are finding their skills are more in-demand than ever before as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>&ldquo;Our current students are now being hired by public health departments,&rdquo; said <a href="" target="_blank">Casey Mace Firebaugh</a>, CWU&rsquo;s public health program online coordinator. &ldquo;So, they&rsquo;re finishing their classes online while they&rsquo;re working on the front lines.&rdquo;</p> <p>CWU&rsquo;s online Bachelor of Science in Public Health program was launched in 2016, with its first graduates receiving their degrees just last June. Only 90 students are admitted each year into the CWU undergraduate public health program, which was recently ranked No. 4 in the nation for value in 2020 by the e-publication <em><a href="" target="_blank">Guide to Online Schools.</a></em></p> <p>&ldquo;Virtually every person is seeing how critical public health must be if we want to have functioning communities; this is a very real opportunity to elevate the role of public health in society,&rdquo; noted <a href="" target="_blank">Tishra Beeson</a>, program coordinator for CWU&#39;s Master of Public Health program. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s also an extraordinary time to be studying public health and applying the principles that we know improve the health of populations.&rdquo;</p> <p>Generally speaking, public health involves safeguarding and improving overall community health through education, public policy development, and research into injury or disease prevention.</p> <p>The current public health students and recent alumni are involved in tasks such as data gathering and analysis, communications, health promotion, infectious disease contact tracing and surveillance, nutrition distribution, policy development, and other essential functions.</p> <p>They&rsquo;re prepared for the field after taking courses on subjects from public health communication to epidemiology, and from cross-cultural public health practices to the history of pandemics, among many others.</p> <p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Robert Lowery, Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> CWU Helps Fill Critical Paramedic Need in Western and Eastern Washington, 06 Apr 2020 15:41:56<p><img alt="CWU EMS Paramedicine Program students training in Ellensburg" src="" style="margin: 0px 0px 30px 30px; float: right; width: 40%;" />Through 2028, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 7-percent job growth in emergency medical services (EMS) and paramedicine, which is above the average for all occupations. In Washington alone, the need for paramedics is becoming critical.</p> <p>&ldquo;There is a huge shortage of paramedics in Washington State and departments are having less applicants than positions available,&rdquo; said <a href="" target="_blank">Dr. Doug Presta</a>, Central Washington University&rsquo;s <a href="" target="_blank">EMS Paramedicine Program</a> director.&rdquo;</p> <p>Since 1973, CWU has trained leading industry professionals in Ellensburg. To help address the burgeoning need, this quarter the university began doing likewise for students at <a href="" target="_blank">CWU-Lynnwood</a> and Spokane Community College. The 14 students in Lynnwood and 17 in Spokane take online lectures and then participate in required labs hosted on the Edmonds Community College or Spokane Community College campus. It is the only program of its kind in Washington and there are just two comparable ones offered across the country.</p> <p>&ldquo;It meets the needs of our working EMTs who can&rsquo;t attend a traditional paramedicine program while allowing them to still become a great street medic,&rdquo; Presta stated. The certificate program takes three quarters to complete. Graduates will be qualified to take the rigorous exam for the National Registry&rsquo;s National EMS Certification at the Paramedic level. Better than 95 percent of CWU alumni earn certification. Nearly nine out of 10 pass the test on his or her first attempt.</p> <p>The CWU program has an established history of requiring students to meet high academic standards and skill requirements that often exceed established state and national benchmarks. It is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and boasts a nearly a 100-percent job placement rate.</p> <p>Presta has served previously as a paramedic and firefighter, director of both Vocational Education at Inland Northwest Health Services, and the Paramedic Program at St Luke&rsquo;s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane; and a sports medicine physician and surgeon in Renton.</p> <p><strong>Photo:</strong> CWU EMS Paramedicine Program students training in Ellensburg.</p> <p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Robert Lowery, Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,</p> New CWU Master of Public Health Enhances Opportunities for Health Professionals, 10 Oct 2018 15:18:27<p>Central Washington University is now offering a new Master of Public Health (MPH) degree to help health professionals advance their careers</p><p>“The Master of Public Health is one of the most sought-after practical degrees in the health sector,” said Tishra Beeson, assistant professor, CWU Department of Health Sciences and graduate program director for public health. “Our program is unique because it focuses on helping students be a part of improving the health of the communities we serve right here in rural Washington. We focus on engaging students in meaningful collaboration with and among community members, in an effort to advance health equity and social justice wherever students choose to work.”</p><p>The two-year, 56-credit program is designed to serve place-and time-bound students with flexible course offerings including distance education, online, intensive, and hybrid classes. The curriculum offers students the opportunity to select from a variety of elective courses, allowing each student to customize their specialized area of interest – from maternal and child health, to environmental justice, to grant seeking and administration.</p><p>“This degree will open doors for students in a variety of settings, including local, state, and federal agencies, health care delivery systems, and private corporations,” Beeson continued. “Public health has connections to every person, place, and population.”</p><p>For more information about the Master of Public Health, visit</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,<br>&nbsp;</p></br></br>Public Health Faculty Offices Move, 15 Aug 2018 14:05:26<p>Ellensburg-- Faculty in Public Health have made a move to central campus. With offices now located in Black Hall, Public Health faculty acipate greater contact with students and greater ability to interact and collaborate with other programs.</p><p>"Our program is growing. With new offices located more central to campus, we really anticipate greater ability to interact with students." said Dr. Melody Madlem, Public Health Professor. "Feel free to stop in or to make an appointment to see the new spaces."</p><p>The new offices for Public Health faculty can be found at:</p><p>Dr. Tishra Beeson-- Black 208-8</p><p>Dr. Jill Hoxmeier-- Black 208-10</p><p>Dr. Casey Mace-Firebaugh--Black 208-7</p><p>Dr. Melody Madlem-- Black 208-14</p><p>Dr. Rebecca Pearson-- Black 208-5</p>CWU professor featured in "Women's Health" article on healthy eating for specific workout plans, 02 Nov 2017 11:34:57<p><img alt="" src="/health-science/sites/" style="width: 800px; height: 531px;"></p><p>When it comes to weight loss, a healthy diet reigns supreme. That said, adding in a regular dose of exercise can help nudge the scale closer toward your goal—as long as you’re fueling right.</p><p>Experts, including CWU's professor of nutrition and exercise science, Kelly Pritchett, outline exactly what (and how much) you should be eating according to your weight-loss workout of choice.</p><p><em><strong><a href="">See the full article here.</a></strong></em></p>Student Highlight: A Road Less Traveled, 20 Sep 2017 09:58:02<p><img alt="" src="/health-science/sites/" style="width: 800px; height: 513px;"></p><p>Recently Clinical Physiology student Gabriel “Gabe” Dominguez completed his 10-week extensive clinical field experience at Casa Horizonte Orphanage near Ensenada, Mexico.&nbsp; Casa Horizonte serves as a home for abandoned and severely ill special needs children.&nbsp; Gabe spent the winter quarter working in the orphanage alongside a nurse and a small staff—all volunteers.</p><p><a href="/health-science/sites/" target="_blank">Read more</a> of this story.</p>CWU community garden puts down roots, 16 Jun 2017 07:55:21<p><img alt="" src="/health-science/sites/" style="width: 475px; height: 267px;"></p><p>Central Washington University’s community garden is putting down roots.</p><p>After starting with limited resources in 2013, the garden now has steady funding and is offered as a for-credit class, said Central Washington University professor Rebecca Pearson. The project had received small grants and contributions in the past, but this year received word it would receive $12,000 a year in student services and activities funding for the next few years.</p><p>“We’re going to do some really cool stuff in the coming year,” she said.</p><p>Read more of this story in the <a href="" target="_blank">Daily Record</a>.</p>