Issue 2008-12 (December 17, 2008)




WSU Scientist Wins Life Sciences Discovery Fund Grant for Work
on Addiction and Mental Illness

By Cherie Winner

A Washington State University scientist has been awarded more than $4 million from the state's Life Sciences Discovery Fund, for efforts to develop programs for treatment of substance abuse and mental illness in Washington's rural areas.

John Roll, associate dean of research at the WSU College of Nursing in Spokane, was awarded $4,048,617 for his project, “Program of Excellence in Rural Mental Health and Substance Abuse,” which aims to develop treatment protocols tailored to the state's rural residents.

The winning proposal was among four selected from 29 proposals submitted by researchers across the state. All proposals were evaluated and ranked by a panel of scientific experts convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The awards were announced Tuesday.

“My main hope is that this will improve the quality of life for our rural citizens,” said Roll. “We want all the people of Washington to have access to good treatment options.”

Many established treatments for addiction and mental illness were developed for use in urban areas and may not transfer well to a rural setting, said Roll.

“Some treatment programs require three visits a week. If you live 100 miles from the treatment center, that's just not tenable,” he said. It's also harder to remain anonymous in a small-town or rural setting, which may discourage some people from seeking treatment.

Roll will work with colleagues from Group Health Center for Health Studies, Swedish Medical Center, the University of Washington, and the Washington Department of Social and Health Services to adapt treatments that have been successful in urban areas and to develop new programs specifically for use in rural areas.

The Life Sciences Discovery Fund, a Washington State agency established in May 2005, makes grant investments in innovative life sciences research to benefit Washington and its citizens. Funding for the program comes from Washington's share of bonus payments under the Master Tobacco Settlement, with revenues derived from multi-state litigation with tobacco product manufacturers. For more about the Life Sciences Discovery Fund, go to

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Harborview to Expand Partnership with WSU College of Nursing

By Teresa Koeppel, WSU Foundation

Juniors in the nursing program at the Washington State University College of Nursing are anticipating the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at Washington's only Level I adult and pediatric trauma center.

Beginning in spring 2009, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and the WSU College of Nursing will extend the opportunity for 10 juniors to participate in practical clinical study at Harborview, with the potential to return the following year to complete their required senior practicum. This represents an expansion of the existing arrangement between Harborview and the WSU College of Nursing that currently provides senior practicum opportunities to approximately 20 students each year.

“Due to the quality of these seniors and their level of preparation from the program at WSU, we saw value in strengthening the partnership and extending the offer of clinical experience to juniors,” said Kathy Hare, nurse manager of neurology at medical center.

Harborview initiated and will fund the newly extended partnership by providing instructors, paving a direct path between the medical center and the future graduates they may someday hope to hire.

“Students are excited at the prospect of training at this remarkable hospital,” said Freddi Van Gemert, clinical placement coordinator and instructor at the WSU College of Nursing. “Washington has so many outstanding hospitals throughout the state. By expanding the Harborview partnership we will be providing our students with access to the broadest array of clinical opportunities available.”

Hoping to apply their expertise at Harborview's new medical-surgical unit, more than 40 attended an informational forum and 18 students applied for the first 10 spots. Those selected will begin intensive, five-week clinical work that will fulfill their junior medical-surgical requirements.

“This will absolutely make these students stronger nursing candidates with competitive skills,” said Darla Fagan, nursing recruitment and retention specialist at Harborview.

Since 2002, WSU has sent approximately 70 senior nursing students to complete practicum work at Harborview, and many receive offers to work for Harborview upon graduation.

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WSU Pharmacy Professors Author Book on Diabetes Medications

By Lorraine Nelson, College of Pharmacy

College of Pharmacy Professors R. Keith Campbell (below left) and John R. White (below right) are co-authors of a new book for the American Diabetes Association titled, “Medications for the Treatment of Diabetes.”

The ADA calls the 548-page book “the most authoritative guide to diabetes therapeutics available.” It was printed by the publishers of the Physicians' Desk Reference – Thomson Reuters of Montvale, New Jersey.

It is an updated edition of a book Campbell and White wrote that was released in 2000 and is part of the ADA's Medical Management Series for health care professionals. Eight other WSU pharmacy faculty members contributed to this edition, along with a faculty member from the College of Nursing and Campbell's son, Lance K. Campbell, a pharmacist in Snohomish, Wash.

Campbell has been at the College for 40 years and has dedicated his professional life to diabetes education. He has lectured extensively on the subject, made public and media appearances all around the country, and published more than 680 articles on the subject.

His work on diabetes has been honored with top awards from the ADA, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the National Association of Retail Druggists, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists and the Washington State Pharmacy Association.

Campbell also serves on numerous editorial boards and reviews and edits more than 30 papers each year, and he served as a consultant for a federal Food & Drug Administration project and on an advisory board for a project of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. He has lived with Type 1 diabetes for more than 59 years.

White has been involved in the field of diabetes since 1987 and has published and lectured extensively on the subject. This is his third book on medications. He has been a pharmacy faculty member since 1989 and holds a doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from Mercer University in Atlanta. White completed a residency and a fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco, and also completed physician assistant training at the University of Washington College of Medicine in 1998.

Pharmacy faculty who contributed to chapters of the new book were Danial Baker, Linda MacLean, Brian Gates, Terri Levien, Josh Neumiller, Steve Setter, Travis Sonnett and Megan Undeberg. Cynthia Corbett of the College of Nursing also contributed.

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The Health of Nations—One Spokane Man is Working to Make
Us All Healthy and Cared for

By Nicholas Deshais, InHealthNW Magazine 

When Ralph DeCristoforo was a graduate student at Washington State University, he wrote a report for a one-credit class. The report detailed the creation of a health care access project, a program to help the most vulnerable and uninsured get health care.

A dozen years later, with a master's degree in Health Policy and Administration, DeCristoforo is still running that project, Health For All.

Photo by Young Kwak

“The whole goal was to get out in the community and find people before they're destitute or in need, before they're almost bankrupt because of medical causes — I mean, 52 percent of our bankruptcies are because of a medical situation — and to help them out. We're not part of the safety net. We stand in front of the safety net and try to bat people,” he starts swinging his arm as if he is playing badminton, “into programs before they have to free-fall into the tattered safety net.”

Health For All, which is coordinated by Community-Minded Enterprises, is mainly aimed at uninsured children and pregnant women, two groups that constitute more than 10,000 people in Eastern Washington. The project focuses on heavily populated Spokane County, where 4,000 uninsured children and pregnant women reside, but also serves the surrounding 10 counties.

The program, run out of the Saranac Building in downtown Spokane, doesn't provide health care or insurance. Instead, it educates and connects citizens with programs best suited to their needs and eligibility. For instance, DeCristoforo will help people enroll in Washington's Basic Health Plan or connect them with the Department of Social and Health Services. DeCristoforo even gives training sessions to small businesses if the owner can't afford to provide insurance to his employees. Since 1998, DeCristoforo and his two full-time staff members have lifted 20,000 uninsured Eastern Washingtonians to the ranks of the insured.

“Health and wellness is a personal and a societal responsibility. It's a partnership,” he says. “You have to go all the way back. Where did health care come from? Three cavemen could take down a wooly mammoth, and the whole cave ate. If Thor was sick, two cavemen couldn't take down the mammoth and the cave starved. So what'd we do? We kept Thor healthy. What'd we establish? Ta-da! Health care.”

DeCristoforo, an excitable man with a graying beard, draws a thick line between health insurance and health care. “Insurance is what we use to finance health care,” he says. “Insurance is for anomalies. Health care is a standard.” He points to a broken system where insurance covers what happens after the heart attacks, but doesn't help to prevent them.

In DeCristoforo's perfect world, society is buttressed by early childhood learning, education and health care. He defines health care as the “appropriate care at the appropriate time in an affordable manner,” where people are taught health and wellness education throughout their lifetime. “The country has to decide what is health and wellness with the realization that health care is not a commodity,” he says. “You can't pick your own health plan because you're using a ouija board or you're using a crystal ball to pick for the future. We have to establish some type of level of care for everyone.”

Two years ago, he went to the doctor after experiencing chest pain. The doctor found an aneurysm that the military, where DeCristoforo spent 23 years of his life, had overlooked. Now he's watching his own health, too. “Nobody ever found that in the military, and I was doing some heavy work. I was a weight lifter. I was a distance runner, a bicyclist. So you just don't know. How can you purchase something specific to what you don't know is going to happen?”

Editor's notes: DeCristoforo is a 2000 graduate of the Master of Health Policy in Administration program based at WSU Spokane. This article was republished with permission from InHealthNW Magazine. It first appeared in the November-December 2008 issue of the magazine.

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Floyd, Bayly to Co-Chair University Budget Committee

By James Tinney

Washington State University president Elson S. Floyd and provost and executive vice president Warwick M. Bayly have formed a university budget committee to assist in the fact-finding and decision-making regarding the budget reductions facing the university for this fiscal year and the upcoming biennium.

“This committee is representative of our university community while remaining adequately small and nimble to quickly and decisively respond to the budget opportunities and challenges that await us in the coming months,” Bayly said.

He said the committee will be asked to:

  • review and assess all potential action plans related to the institution's budget;
  • help provide clear communication and feedback to the university community regarding the budget actions being considered; and
  • encourage the university community to share ideas on how to cut costs, operate more efficiently, increase revenue and more effectively fulfill the university's mission.

The president and provost will co-chair the committee. They have asked 13 administrators, faculty and staff members to serve.

The committee members are:

  • Howard Grimes, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School;
  • Linda Fox, associate vice president and dean of WSU Extension;
  • Mike Griswold, dean of the College of Sciences;
  • Ron Mittelhammer, director of the School of Economic Sciences;
  • Carol Bauman, finance officer, College of Business;
  • Dawn Barnard, director of administrative and financial services, Information Technology Services;
  • Bill Cofer, chair of the Faculty Senate;
  • Hal Dengerink, chancellor of WSU Vancouver;
  • Bryan Slinker, interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine;
  • John Roll, associate dean for research, WSU College of Nursing;
  • Mary Roe, associate professor, Department of Teaching and Learning;
  • Vicki Burnham, assistant to the dean, College of Pharmacy; and
  • Paul Whitney, interim dean, College of Liberal Arts.
Submit your Suggestions for Cost Savings and Efficiencies

The University Budget Committee invites the university community to share ideas on how we can cut costs, operate more efficiently, increase revenue, and more effectively fulfill our mission. Click here to submit a suggestion.

Positive and constructive suggestions provided via the online form will aid the committee in reviewing and assessing the structure and budget of our institution. We look forward to receiving your suggestions.

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Meet the Faculty @ WWAMI: Jonathan Wisor

By Holly George

Jonathan Wisor joined the research faculty of the WWAMI Medical Education Program at Washington State University Spokane on December 1. His appointment, as an assistant professor, is part of the growing focus on health sciences at the Spokane campus. He also holds an appointment with the Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Physiology in the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Wisor brings to WSU Spokane a strong research background in sleep, including work to increase the understanding of the neurobiological basis for sleep, biological rhythms, and sleep disorders therapeutics. His expertise provides a natural connection between WWAMI Spokane and the Sleep and Performance Research Center at WSU Spokane.

Wisor previously served as a staff scientist at the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory of SRI International in Menlo Park, Cal., and as the laboratory manager of the Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology Laboratory at the Stanford University Medical School. He is currently the principal investigator in two studies that consider the effects of pharmaceuticals on sleep disorders.

Wisor holds a doctoral degree from the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the recipient of predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships from the National Multi-Site Training Program for Basic Sleep Research.

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A Nursing Welcome and Farewell

By Judith Van Dongen

At left: Kathy Thistle. At right: Carol Johns. Photos by Cori Vaughn

Years of planning and preparation reached a climax last month when the College of Nursing faculty and staff moved into the new Nursing Building on the Riverpoint Campus. With the able support of the facilities operations and IT crews, about 200 nursing employees were installed in their new work spaces on a tight schedule that had everyone back up and running within a minimal amount of time.

As we welcome the College of Nursing to the Riverpoint Campus, we also say farewell to the person who played such a vital role in making it all happen: transition consultant Karen Lege facilitated all aspects of the move, including the difficult task of working with a variety of college and campus offices to integrate their operations. Karen's work has come to a successful conclusion, and she is now preparing for a move of her own—to her mountain home near Colorado Springs, where she'll be joining husband Fred for some well-deserved down time. Enjoy, Karen!

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WSU Pharmacy Student Honored for Volunteer Work

By Lorraine Nelson, College of Pharmacy

A pharmacy student at Washington State University has earned national recognition for her volunteer work with people with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease in Spokane.

Lindy Wood, who will graduate from the WSU College of Pharmacy in May, is one of a handful of pharmacy students from across the nation selected for a Wal-Mart/Pharmacy Times award for service in pharmacy, which includes a $1,000 scholarship and her profile published in the February 2009 issue of the national magazine Pharmacy Times.

While in school last year, Wood spent four to five hours per week working with the College of Pharmacy's Geriatrics Team and volunteering for a movement disorder neurologist in Spokane, where she worked directly with people with Parkinson's Disease and those with other movement disorders and various forms of dementia.

She has since become a volunteer for the nonprofit Parkinson's Resource Center and for the Inland Northwest chapter of the Alzheimer's Association—both based in Spokane—helping them to educate patients, patients' families, and other healthcare practitioners.

In her last year of school now, Wood spends 40 hours each week in on-the-job education as required by the WSU pharmacy program. On top of that, she devotes time to answering questions for the Alzheimer's Association and serves on the board of directors of the Parkinson's Resource Center.

The three WSU pharmacy professors who nominated Wood for the award noted that she was president of the pharmacy student honor society and is active in the student chapters of several national pharmacy organizations. She also has volunteered at the Second Harvest food bank, as well as on various committees at WSU. Wood's hometown is Kent, Wash.

Known as the RESPy Award for Respect, Excellence and Service in Pharmacy, the Wal-Mart/Pharmacy Times award was first given out in May 2006 to a University of Louisiana student who worked at Wal-Mart and helped the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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  • Ruth Bindler, professor of nursing, is the recipient of the first Cougar Gold Scholar Award given at Washington State University. She was selected by the Office of the Provost following a competitive review process and is the only recipient this year. The award will allow her additional time to focus on her research on obesity in children and adolescents, which she has been working on with other WSU collaborators. For more on her research, read a past bulletin article or see an interview Ruth gave to Comcast Local Edition (requires RealPlayer software).
  • Stacey Locke, a 2007 graduate of WSU's superintendent certification program and a current student in the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program, has been named as Washington State's 2008 Principal of the Year. A principal at Eisenhower High School in Yakima, Locke was one of three finalists in the 2009 National Principal of the Year competition sponsored by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Her accomplishments include a successful initiative to identify and support incoming freshmen at the greatest risk of failure, which helped boost on-time graduation rates from 68 to 88 percent. Read more on the College of Education alumni news site.
  • Josh Neumiller, assistant professor of pharmacotherapy, has passed the Certification Examination for Diabetes Educators and is now a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).
  • Bob Quist, a student in the Master of Health Policy and Administration program and the CEO of Spokane's Valley Hospital and Medical Center, was elected secretary-treasurer of the Northeast Washington Hospital Council. In two years, he will advance to being president of the council and become a member of the Board of Trustees of the Washington State Hospital Association.
  • Bob Scarfo, associate professor of landscape architecture, has been elected to the third class of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) Academy of Fellows. This honor is awarded to senior academic members for their lifetime accomplishments in teaching, scholarship/creative activity, and service. Nominees must have been a fulltime faculty member at a member school for a minimum of fifteen years.
  • Stephen Setter, associate professor with the College of Pharmacy, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Washington State Pharmacy Association.
  • Brandy Singer, clinical assistant professor of pharmacotherapy, has passed the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties Psychiatric Pharmacy exam. 
  • Colleen Terriff, clinical associate professor of pharmacotherapy, has received the Washington State Pharmacy Association's Bill Mueller Outstanding Mentor Award. The award recognizes a a pharmacist or pharmacy technician who actively engages in practice, has at least 10 years of pharmacy practice experience, and has been—and continues to be—an outstanding mentor in the pharmacy field. Among her accomplishments as a mentor is a residency teaching certificate program she developed and implemented, which helps WSU-affiliated pharmacy residents develop teaching skills as a component of their residency experience.

If you or one of your colleagues or students has received a special honor or award, or reached another professional milestone, please e-mail the information to Judith Van Dongen at

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Community Connections

  • KPBX Kids' Concert, "A Bavarian Holiday"
    Put on your lederhosen or dirndl and come down to the Bing Crosby Theater, Saturday, December 20 at 1 p.m. for the FREE December KPBX Kids' Concert: A Bavarian Holiday, featuring Spokane's very own tuba-euphonium quartet, SPARC. Sure to be an international treat, the foursome will be ooompa-ing music from Bavaria, Germany, and central Europe, as well as traditional and modern holiday favorites. They will be joined by international youth folk dance troupe the Silver Spurs. Santa Claus will also make an appearance, so bring your camera to have your photo taken with the guy that kids in Bavaria call Sankt Nikolaus.

    This season marks the 15th Anniversary of KPBX Kids' Concerts, which introduce children and families to music and the arts. With the support of its underwriters, KPBX makes sure the concerts are always free and open to everyone. Located at 901 W Sprague Ave, the Bing Crosby Theater is ADA accessible.


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Personnel and Staffing Changes

  • Comings:
    • Jeanette Barnes, Social and Health Program Consultant 1, WIMHRT-Olympia, effective 11/16/08
    • Jill San Jule, Social and Health Program Consultant 2, WIMHRT-Olympia, effective 11/16/08
    • Kevin Hoult, Business Advisor, SBDC-Renton, WA, effective 12/8/08
  • Goings:
    • Andrew Bierig, Parking Guide, FacOps, effective 11/26/08
    • Janis Burke, Preceptor, College of Nursing, effective 12/19/08
    • Paul Schrag, Preceptor, College of Nursing, effective 12/19/08
    • Linda Jones, Office Assistant 3, College of Nursing, effective 12/31/08
    • Karen Lege, Coordinator, College of Nursing, effective 12/31/08
    • Lisa Shaffer, Professor, Office of Research, effective 12/31/08
    • Brandy Singer, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacotherapy, effective 12/31/08
  • Recruitment & Searches:
    • Assistant/Associate Professor, two positions, WWAMI Basic Medical Education Program, review of applications began 10/01/07—one position has been offered.
    • Campus Security Officer, Facilities Operations, on hold.
    • Director of Development, College of Nursing, review of applications began 7/1/08.
    • Information Technology Specialist 1, Information Technology - Academic & Research Technologies, on hold.
    • Mail Processing Driver, Facilities Operations, cancelled
    • Office Assistant 3, Student Affairs, closed 10/28/08—cancelled
    • Research Assistant (Post Doctoral Fellow), WWAMI Basic Medical Education Program, position has been offered.
  • WSU Service Milestones:

    30 years

    • Tammy Kelley, College of Nursing

    25 years

    • Danial Baker, College of Pharmacy
    • Jacquelyn Banasik, College of Nursing
    • Marguerite Clinton, College of Nursing
    • Kim Calamia-McKee, Office of Research

    15 years

    • Mike Bergam, Information Technology Services
    • Bart Brazier, Information Technology Services
    • Jeanne Wagner, College of Nursing
    • Diane Wick, Human Resource Services

    10 years

    • Frank Ambrosi, Security
    • Barb Chamberlain, Communications
    • Michael Eisensmith, Information Technology Services
    • Larry Hoffman, Information Technology Services
    • Brady Ratsch, Information Technology Services
    • Mike Reitemeier, Security
    • Jaime Rice, Interdisciplinary Design Institute
    • Jon Schad, Facilities Operations
    • Lavada Smith, Library

    5 years

    • Barb King, Parking Operations
    • Kelly LaGrutta, College of Education
    • Karen Lege, College of Nursing
    • Joel Lohr, Facilities Operations
    • Becki Meehan, Communications
    • Nancy Oberst, College of Nursing
    • Patti Petersen, Office of Research
    • Al Pignataro, Security
    • Luke Rice, College of Pharmacy
    • Pat Rossini, Chancellor's Office
    • Eileen Swalling, College of Nursing
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Way to Go!

Here's where you make someone's day a little brighter by extending your thanks for a job well done. Send your “Way to Go!” comments to Judith Van Dongen and watch for your thanks to be published in an upcoming issue of the Campus Bulletin!

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A Warm Welcome to...

  • Keerthisinghe Senevirathne, postdoctoral fellow and research associate with the Applied Sciences Laboratory. Before coming to WSU Spokane, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Wayne State University. He holds a PhD in Chemistry from Wayne State University and a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka.
  • ...Melody Wright, custodian I with Facilities Operations. She will be taking on a variety of janitorial duties, making sure that buildings are clean, light bulbs keep burning, and walkways are cleared of snow, among others. Melody previously worked as a housekeeper for the Riverview Retirement Community.
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The Bulletin is a monthly publication that is usually published on the second Wednesday of each month. The exact publication date may shift due to holidays. If you have an item that you'd like us to include, send it to us by Friday in the week before publication.

The Bulletin covers news of interest to the faculty, staff, and friends of Washington State University Spokane, and associates on other WSU campuses and on the Riverpoint Campus.

Regular columns cover professional accomplishments, opportunities for involvement in the campus community and the Spokane community, notices of new developments on campus, upcoming events, personnel changes, and other news.

The Bulletin also serves as a source of information for external communications directed to alumni, future and current students, and friends of Washington State University Spokane. You'll read it here first!

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Editorial staff