Issue 2013-06 (September 18, 2013)



Plans for Further Growth in Medical Education Announced

By Doug Nadvornick

WSU Spokane and the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) will jointly ask legislators to fund 40 new permanent medical education seats in Spokane over a four-year period.

WSU Spokane Chancellor Lisa Brown and UWSOM Dean Paul Ramsey announced that goal Wednesday at the Greater Spokane Incorporated annual meeting at the Spokane Convention Center. If the legislature allocates the money necessary to expand medical education, WSU Spokane could host as many as 80 first-year and 80 second-year medical students by the end of this decade. Brown says the university is ready to handle that growth.

Two medical students during a neurology lab
WWAMI medical students examine anatomical models
during a neurology lab (Photo by Cori Medeiros)

"With our new Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences building (scheduled to open in January), WSU Spokane is in good position to house those students," she said. The building is designed for medical classes as large as 80.

As of this fall, WSU teaches 20 first-year WWAMI medical students and 19 second-year students on its Spokane campus. New for this year, the addition of second-year students is part of a program that is testing a new model of delivering medical education. This is the first time WWAMI second-year students have been trained outside of Seattle.

Next fall, Spokane will welcome 40 first-year students—in addition to the group of up to 20 second-year students—as WSU merges its two WWAMI first-year programs and students previously trained in the WSU Pullman program will instead be trained at WSU Spokane.

Under the plan announced by Brown and Ramsey, 20 first-year medical student positions would be added to the WWAMI Spokane program in 2015 and an additional 20 positions would be added in 2017. This would result in a total of 80 first-year students per year at WWAMI Spokane.

The planned growth would not only mark a large increase in the number of medical students taught in Spokane, it would also enlarge the pool of potential new physicians who would be available to work in eastern and central Washington. That could help ease a physician shortage in Washington, particularly in rural areas.

"The Washington WWAMI program turns away many qualified students despite the large unmet need for medical care in many of our communities," Ramsey said. "The demand for physicians is growing quickly. We need more doctors."

Ramsey says WWAMI will also have to develop additional teaching relationships with Washington hospitals and clinics to create more clinical learning opportunities before the larger classes reach the clinical part of their training. 

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Gates Foundation Funds Expansion of Spokane School-Based Trauma Intervention to Seattle

By Judith Van Dongen

Children in two Seattle Public Schools elementary schools will soon have a better chance at academic success, thanks to a collaborative effort to expand a successful school-based trauma intervention program.

Public Health - Seattle & King County and the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of Eastern Washington, a unit of Washington State University Extension, were recently awarded a three-year $651,345 grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund a project to replicate and enhance an evidence-based model used in Spokane schools. The project will be implemented in partnership with Seattle Public Schools—specifically Beacon Hill International School and Olympic Hills Elementary School—the City of Seattle Office for Education, and Odessa Brown Children's Clinic.

Portrait photo of Chris Blodgett

The goal of the project is to maximize the potential for school success for all children by addressing the needs of children who have experienced multiple traumatic events, or complex trauma. Such events may include homelessness; parents' divorce or separation; being exposed to or witnessing domestic violence; or substance abuse by a family member.

"With about a quarter to a third of U.S. children affected, complex trauma is truly a national public health crisis,” said Christopher Blodgett, director of AHEC and the lead investigator for WSU. "It has been shown to directly compromise the success of schools, particularly those in high poverty areas. If schools are to improve academic outcomes, addressing complex trauma should be central to their educational mission."

Mitigating the effects of trauma

As part of this project, the partners will implement a model developed by Blodgett and his team that improves school practices and trains teachers and other school staff to help mitigate the effects of trauma. They will also explore how the model might enhance existing practice for school-based health clinics.

The project will be conducted as an integrated part of the established work plans of Seattle's Families and Education Levy, which supports programs and initiatives that help Seattle's children be safe, healthy, and ready to learn. Beacon Hill International School has a partnership with Odessa Brown Children's Clinic, which provides school-based health care funded by levy dollars.

AHEC assistant director Natalie Turner talks to teachers at a workshop at Spokane's Bemiss Elementary School
Natalie Turner, AHEC's assistant director, talks to teachers at
a trauma workshop at Spokane's Bemiss Elementary School.
(Photo by Jane Stevens, editor ACEs

"Many adult health problems—including chronic diseases, depression, suicide, being violent and being a victim of violence—can be traced to childhood trauma. If we can reduce the impacts of childhood trauma, we can improve not only success in school, but also lifelong health," said Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

The King County project builds on earlier work undertaken by Blodgett and his team. In 2010, AHEC received grants from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Gates Foundation to integrate trauma response and social emotional learning into Spokane-based early learning programs and eastern Washington elementary schools, respectively. Last year, a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provided funding to implement the program in more than 40 schools and small districts across Washington state.

"We want to thank the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for funding this important work," said Pegi McEvoy, assistant superintendent of operations for Seattle Public Schools. "We recognize that many students struggle with social, emotional and behavioral issues that make it difficult for them to achieve academically. This project helps further our mission to support the academic success of our students, and builds on our ongoing partnership with Public Health - Seattle & King County."

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New Building to Be Named for Medical, Pharmacy Research; Dedication Scheduled

By Terren Roloff

Computer rendering of the new Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences Building

The new building under construction on the WSU campus in Spokane has been named the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences building to reflect that it will be home to the College of Pharmacy and the Medical Sciences program.

"Although the building will house educational programs for both medicine and pharmacy, its primary value is as a research facility,” said Gary Pollack, dean of the College of Pharmacy. "The phrase 'pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences' best describes the nature of the work that will be conducted in this new building."
University fundraisers are continuing to search for a major donor interested in having the building named after him or herself.

A dedication ceremony for the building is planned for Friday, December 6, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. in the ground-floor lobby on the north side of the building. Please save the date and plan to join us in celebrating this campus milestone.

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SLIDESHOW: Student Orientation Provides Early Lesson in Team Care

Story by Doug Nadvornick; photos by Judith Van Dongen


The group of students congregated on one side of a table in a Health Sciences Building classroom looked like a crowd visiting a medical flea market. They were examining eight instruments, guessing the names and snapping photos of them with their smartphones.

David Williams was bent over, peering from different angles at a foot-long metal gadget that looked like a fancy set of tongs. He had a quizzical look on his face.

"What on Earth?" he asked no one in particular.

"I think you're a little young to know what that is," I said in an off-handed manner.

An older female student recognized it right away as a set of forceps, a tool once commonly used to help deliver babies. Other instruments on the table included a reflex hammer and an otoscope, a handheld device with a little light used to examine a patient’s ears, nose, and throat.

This classroom was one stop in the first annual Wild Goose Chase, an orientation event designed to help students on the WSU Spokane campus to meet and work together. In this task, the student teams earned 100 points for each instrument they correctly identified.

"The goal is to have a good time," said Barb Richardson, the director of Riverpoint Interprofessional Education and Research (RIPER), the campus organization sponsoring the event. "But it's also to get students to understand that there are lots of health professional programs on campus with a common purpose of helping students develop and practice the communication and team skills they'll need to be successful in the workplace."

At the start of the challenge, 70 teams of students (three to six per team) gathered with three immediate goals: create a team name; rip a piece of fabric they were given into items they could wear as team identifiers, such as belts or bandannas; and download a free mobile app from American Outback Adventures that listed the 80 tasks the teams could do to accumulate points. The teams that earned the most points won prizes.

Some of the tasks were generic: find a man with a mustache and take his picture; go meet the chancellor; or get a photo of a marmot or other campus wildlife. Other challenges were health related.

In a gerontology challenge, students learned what it was like to live with the effects of aging. One team member had to open a pill bottle with his dominant arm strapped to his side. One was required to insert ear plugs and then listen to a 'pharmacist' counsel her about a new medication. A third had to use a walker to visit a makeshift pharmacy and have a prescription refilled.

Elsewhere, on the second floor of the Nursing Building, teams congregated around a bed in the simulation suite. Their challenge was to dress a manikin, transport it in a wheelchair to a room with another manikin ('Granny'), have their photo taken with the two patients, then bring the manikin back, dress it in a hospital gown, and put it back in bed.

"The feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive," wrote Richardson in a follow-up e-mail. "They loved having an opportunity to meet students from other programs, make new friends, learn about resources on campus and begin their health professions careers by working with one another to provide collaborative care."

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New Student Leaders to Tackle Health Care Team Spirit, Cougar Pride

By Judith Van Dongen

While most of their peers have only recently returned to campus, medical student Scott Hippe and pharmacy student Shurrie Dugas spent much of the past summer here, meeting faculty and making plans for the upcoming year. Back in April, the two were elected as president and vice president of the Associated Students of WSU Spokane, respectively. They’re full of ideas on how to increase the sense of Cougar pride among WSU Spokane students and give them lots of opportunities to do interprofessional mixing and mingling.

Portrait photo of Scott Hippe Portrait photo of Shurrie Dugas
Scott Hippe  and Shurrie Dugas
(Photos by Cori Medeiros)

In addition to the usual repertoire of student outings and social events, Hippe and Dugas have taken on several initiatives to encourage students from different health disciplines to work and learn together. They’ve taken over the leadership of a program started last year that sends interprofessional teams of students to local schools to provide a variety of health screenings—such as blood pressure and glucose—at small health fairs. Originally staffed by pharmacy and nutrition and exercise physiology students, the project will be expanded to also include nursing, medical, and speech and hearing sciences students.

In addition, Hippe and Dugas are collaborating with the Riverpoint Campus Wellness Committee to provide health professions students with a more prominent role in organizing and staffing the Oct. 10 campus health fair. The health fair will be part of Wellness Week, which will include other activities sponsored by ASWSU Spokane, such as a 5K Cougar Dash on Oct. 5 and a wellness journal contest in which participants track and earn points for exercising and eating and sleeping well.

Hippe grew up in Snohomish, Washington, but isn’t new to Spokane. He earned a BS in Biology and a BA in Spanish from Gonzaga University before being accepted into medical school and landing—yet again—in Spokane. He enjoyed his first-year medical studies in Spokane so much that he elected to be part of the first group of second-year students to study here in Spokane, rather than in Seattle. Although he is still weighing his medical specialization options, he says he is attracted to the idea of becoming a family physician in a rural setting. 

A native of Spokane, Dugas earned a BS in Biology from WSU Pullman before completing the first two years of the doctor of pharmacy program there. Once she completes her pharmacy degree, she would like to do a residency in the Spokane area. Ultimately, she wants to become a clinical pharmacist and work face to face with patients on a daily basis.

Hippe and Dugas have gathered around them an all-new team of officers that will support ASWSU Spokane’s activities throughout this year. They include third-year pharmacy students Alla Aldughli (chief of staff), Mark Goff (director of technology and communication), and Alexa Carter (director of outreach and community engagement); and graduate speech and hearing sciences student Megan Lynch (director of events and planning).

Hippe and Dugas welcome tips and suggestions for making things better for WSU Spokane students. You may send them your ideas at and
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Graduate Students Form Research Organization in Spokane

By Lorraine Nelson, College of Pharmacy

Two graduate students have started a new student research organization, the Graduate Research Student Association (GRSA), at Washington State University Spokane.

Portrait photo of Emily Cox Portrait photo of Heidi Medford
Emily Cox and Heidi Medford

"We need a simple organization to advocate for research students and make graduate research more cohesive and collaborative,” said graduate student and co-founder Emily Cox. "I was working right down the hall from a group of students who know how to do a technique that I don't, and I would have gone to the WSU Pullman campus to learn how; but now I don't have to because I met them through the organization."

Cox and graduate student Heidi Medford started the GRSA as a registered student organization this year. It meets once a month and has received some funding from the Spokane campus services and activities budget, which is partially supported by student fees.

The group presented a spring workshop about writing curricula vitae—the equivalent of resumes but for higher education jobs. A mentoring program will give new grad students someone in addition to faculty advisors to help them.
Cox and Medford—both PhD-seeking students in the exercise physiology lab of assistant professor Susan Marsh—started talking in December after noticing student organizations in medicine, pharmacy, nursing and speech and hearing but nothing for research students.

"We didn't even know all these research students were on campus," Cox said.

The group has selected officers for the year but has no office space.

"We don't really have any resources for that,” Cox said. "We would love a space somewhere with a computer and filing cabinet.”

Cox is the GRSA's first president and Medford is vice president. Both are in the College of Pharmacy, as is Kara Vogel, the group's vice president of programs. Nico Patel, vice president of finances, is in the College of Education, and Amy Bender, vice president of records, is from the Sleep and Performance Research Center. Faculty advisor for the GRSA is Mike Gibson, professor in the College of Pharmacy.

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Campus Art Featured in New Mobile App

Light Reading, an art installation that is part of the campus art collection, is among selected artworks from the Washington State Art Collection to be featured on the mobile app “stQRy” (pronounced “story”). The app features objects, places, and stories of artistic or other cultural significance.

Photo of the Light Reading art installation

Light Reading, by artist Peter Requiam, was among just 30 pieces selected from more than 4,500 artworks in the State Art Collection by the Washington State Arts Commission. One of the other pieces to share in this distinction is the Technicolor Heart at WSU Pullman. Light Reading is located on the west side of the Academic Center and consists of polished granite chairs and lit bookcases that represent an outdoor reading room for conversation, reflection, and contemplation. The piece was installed and dedicated in 2006.

StQRy is an educational app that can be downloaded for free by anyone with a smart phone or other smart mobile device, such as a tablet. The app allows users to learn more about the artwork through text and photos; map the artwork’s location; and share favorites with other app users.

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Grant and Contract Award Summary - April 1 through June 30, 2013

PI / Co-PIs


Research Title/

Funding Source

Research Summary

Amy Bender/
Matthew Layton/
John Roll/
Hans Van Dongen

Sleep & Performance Research Center/
WWAMI Spokane/
College of Nursing

Objective markers of sleep disturbance as predictors of smoking relapse

WSU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program

This study will explore whether sleep disturbance affects relapse behavior in those trying to quit smoking. During the study, 32 subjects will spend three nights in the human sleep and cognition laboratory. Sleep variables will be examined as potential predictors of relapse which will provide preliminary data for future studies.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension - Area Health Education Center

A comparative effectiveness trial of school-based complex trauma interventions

Trauma Center Justice Resource Institute/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

This is renewal funding for a project funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. As part of the project, the researchers will evaluate an initiative to improve treatment and services for children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events and to increase access to these treatments and services throughout the nation.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension - Area Health Education Center

WA DEL: Maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting competitive grant program

Washington State Department of Early Learning/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Health Resources and Services Administration

This grant funds AHEC’s collaboration in a project to expand home visiting services to at-risk families in Washington State. AHEC’s role will be to conduct a randomized control trial of service outcomes. As part of their role in the program, AHEC will measure how well home visiting fits into the early learning system and evaluate the child and family outcomes of the program.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension - Area Health Education Center


A-TrACC behavioral/mental health of veterans/service members and families project

National Area Health Education Center Organization/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Health Resources and Services Administration

This is supplemental funding that allows AHEC work with the national AHEC organization to develop distance learning for civilian primary care, mental and behavioral health, and other health care providers who are serving veterans with post-deployment mental and behavioral health and substance abuse issues.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension -
Area Health Education Center

UCONN Evaluation Contract

University of Connecticut Health Center/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

This contract provides funding for AHEC to evaluate a University of Connecticut initiative to improve treatment and services for children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events and to increase access to these treatments and services.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension -
Area Health Education Center

CDC Community transformation grant trauma training

Inland Northwest Health Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

AHEC will provide trauma training, as well as assessment and evaluation for the CDC-funded “Start Healthy, Start Now” initiative developed by Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS). The project targets approximately 53,000 children from low-income and medically underserved communities in six rural eastern Washington counties. It aims to improve the availability and affordability of healthful foods in child care and early childhood education settings, as well as improving trauma-informed care.

Cynthia Corbett/ Kenn Daratha/
Joshua Neumiller/
Brian Gates

College of Nursing/
College of Pharmacy

Medication intervention in transitional care to improve outcomes in end-stage renal disease

Providence Medical Research Center/Health Sciences & Services Authority of Spokane County

Transitional care interventions reduce hospital readmissions and slow the progression of declining health in the general population of hospitalized patients. This pilot project specifically focuses on transitional care for patients with end stage renal disease treated by dialysis. It will test the effectiveness of a medication information transfer intervention to improve clinically relevant outcomes in these patients.

Dennis Dyck

Department of Psychology

YouthNAction - children and youth services

Washington Department of Social and Health Services -Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery

As part of this contract, WSU will provide staffing, infrastructure, and expertise for the development of statewide evidence-based peer support programs for mental health and substance abuse. The work under this contract includes the development of initiatives to increase youth and family engagement in behavioral health policy, planning, and service delivery; training and workforce development for providers and/or mental health consumers; identification, review, and development of peer support models and programs; and research and evaluation and development and implementation of evidence-based practice.


Dennis Dyck/ Celestina Barbosa-Leiker/
John Garofalo/
Donelle Howell/
Tracy Skaer

Department of Psychology/
College of Nursing/
College of Pharmacy

Multiple family groups, mindfulness and the management of chronic pain, and high risk opiate use

WSU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program

Increasing numbers of chronic pain patients are treated with long-term opioid therapy. These patients not only deal with chronic pain but also with the risk of developing an opioid addiction. Family members often suffer along with the pain patient, developing their own dysfunctional symptoms and coping strategies. Recognizing the impact of chronic pain on patients and their family members, this treatment development study will test the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of a multi-family group mindfulness intervention for chronic pain patients and their spousal caregivers. Results from this pilot study will be an important first step in advancing treatment options for individuals with chronic pain and preventing prescription opioid misuse.

Weihang Chai

WWAMI Spokane

Function of CST in telomere maintenance and cancer cell growth

Concern Foundation

This is renewal funding for a study aimed at determining the role of the Ctc1/Stn1/Ten1 (CST) protein complex in telomere maintenance, and to determine whether suppression of CST can be used as an approach for inducing cancer cell death. Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes that protect genome stability by preventing chromosomes from being damaged. Normal cells have limited lifespan due to progressive shortening of telomere DNA during each cell division. Tumor cells achieve their unlimited growth capability by maintaining the stability of their telomeres. Therefore, one way of stopping the growth of tumor cells is to disrupt the maintenance of their telomeres.

Joseph Coyne/
Gary Smith




Department of Health Policy & Administration

Feasibility study for the need of a five-bed on-site sub-acute rehabilitation facility at Shriners Hospitals for Children, Spokane hospital

Shriners Hospital for Children



This contract provides funding for the Department of Health and Policy Administration to conduct a feasibility study of the need for a five-bed, on-site, sub-acute rehabilitation facility at the Shriners Hospitals for Children – Spokane.

Devon Grant/
Hans Van Dongen/ John Hinson/
Matthew Layton/
Paul Whitney

Sleep & Performance Research Center/
Department of Psychology

ONR STTR phase 2 base period: validation study

U.S. Department of Defense - Office of Naval Research

This study will validate the use of a variety of different tests to measure alertness, decision-making, and physiological and psychological stress responses. Subjects will perform these tests during a 38-hour period of sleep deprivation.

Lois James/
Stephen James

Sleep & Performance Research Center/
Department of Criminal Justice

Using high fidelity video simulation to validate crisis intervention team (CIT) training

Spokane City Police Department

This project will bring together law enforcement and mental health professionals to identify key indicators for measuring the difficulty of crisis situations that involve mental illness and individual performance in these situations. Based on these indicators and additional data procured through a follow-up survey of law enforcement and mental health professionals, the researchers will develop objective metrics to validate crisis intervention team training and measure performance pre-, during, and post-training.

Janet Katz/
Carrie Holliday/ Donelle Howell/
Sterling McPherson/
Roberta Paul/
Jeffery Peterson

College of Nursing/
Murrow College of Communication

Substance abuse and mental health collaborative for rural American Indian adolescents

National Institutes of Health

This project involves the establishment of a community-based participatory research partnership to help reduce health disparities in American Indian communities, particularly in the areas of mental health and substance abuse disorders among adolescents.

James Kennedy/ Matthew Layton/
Sterling McPherson/
Sean Murphy

Department of Health Policy and Administration/
WWAMI Spokane/ College of Nursing

The antipsychotic atlas: Medicare usage of antipsychotic medications in Washington State

Washington Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division



The study will use data from Medicare Part D claims to provide a detailed portrait of antipsychotic medication use in Washington at the regional and county levels. The research team will assess whether patients are taking medications as prescribed, are taking multiple psychiatric drugs, or are using them for unapproved conditions. They will also look at the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other conditions that are known side effects for these types of drugs. Findings will be presented to state policymakers, mental healthcare providers, and consumers. 

James Krueger/ Christopher Davis/ Ping Taishi

Sleep & Performance Research Center/
WWAMI Spokane

Molecular mechanisms of sleep responses to viral infection

National Institutes of Health

This is continued funding for a project that looks at the effects of influenza on sleep. Influenza has been shown to cause an increase in the duration of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREMS). The molecular and brain anatomical pathways for this response remain under investigation. This study looks at the potential involvement of the olfactory bulb, the part of the brain that transmits smell information from the nose to the brain.

Mary Mamey/
G Burns/
Sterling McPherson

Department of Psychology/
College of Nursing

Assessing parallel development of co-morbid substance use in adolescents with ADHD

WSU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program

This study aims to increase the understanding of the longitudinal relationship between symptoms of substance use disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adolescents diagnosed with both disorders. The goal is to improve public health and inform the future design of a combined treatment approach for the two disorders.

Gail Oneal/
Tamara Odom-Maryon/
Julie Postma

College of Nursing

Environmental health instrument development: Further testing of the household risk perception and self-efficacy in environmental risk reduction

Association of Community Health Nursing Educators

Providing public health nurses and other professionals with reliable instruments that measure risk perception and self-efficacy regarding environmental health risks in homes can improve population health. The goal of this study is to further refine two such instruments: the Household Risk Perception and the Self-Efficacy in Environmental Risk Reduction. Outcomes from the instruments can be used to develop environmental health risk interventions.

John Roll/
Celestina Barbosa-Leiker/
Patricia Butterfield/ Joann Dotson/
Dennis Dyck/
Donelle Howell/
Janet Katz/
Sterling McPherson/
Roberta Paul

College of Nursing

Behavioral health collaborative for rural American Indian communities

National Institutes of Health

This grant provides continued funding for a center for excellence—in collaboration with the University of Washington—to establish a behavioral health collaborative in rural American Indian communities. The center aims to contribute to improved mental health and reduced substance abuse in rural American Indian communities through the development and dissemination of prevention and intervention strategies.

Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe/
Dennis Dyck/ Catherine Van Son



Department of Psychology/
College of Nursing

Improving awareness, access, interest and skill in the use of aging services technologies (ASTs) for individuals with dementia and their caregivers

WA State Attorney General -  Consumer Protection Division

A variety of technology-based tools known as aging service technologies (ASTs) enable older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia to live independently and reduce caregiver burden. This project will address the widespread underutilization of such technologies by distributing information about them among consumers, caregivers, and health care professionals throughout Washington state. In addition, the project will establish pilot programs to train individuals on the use of these technologies and to create a community lending library of ASTs.

Denise Smart/
Melody Rasmor

College of Nursing

Innovative strategies for health care organizations to increase participation in early return to work programs

Washington Department of Labor & Industries

As part of this project, the researchers will identify limitations to employer and employee use of the Early Return to Work (ERTW) program in health care settings. The ERTW program pays employers who temporarily reassign injured workers to easier job duties for up to half of that worker’s base wages. In addition to conducting a survey and analysis of the perceived barriers to using the ERTW program, the researchers will develop a new employee orientation training module on the ERTW program; and create an assessment kit to help employers determine health care tasks that are appropriate for employees recovering from injury.

Hans Van Dongen/ John Hinson/
Matthew Layton/ Bryan Vila/
Paul Whitney

Sleep and Performance Research Center

Enabling the identification of biomarkers for individual susceptibility to fatigue: Scaling up from attentional processes to operational performance

U.S. Department of Defense/ Office of Naval Research

This is continued funding for a three-year grant to study the effects of sleep deprivation on distinct attention systems that can be separated out. It is part of a continuing line of research looking at the effects of fatigue on cognitive function. The researchers will test participants’ performance on laboratory attention tasks as well as simulated deadly force decision scenarios. Data collected will be used to enhance an individualized fatigue prediction model to enable task-specific predictions of fatigue-related performance impairment. The researchers will also look for genetic markers that explain individual differences in how people respond to fatigue related to distinct attention systems. The study may lead to more efficient staffing of Navy ships and other around-the-clock or safety-sensitive work environments.

Jonathan Wisor

WWAMI Spokane

Optogenetic resource for studying cerebral cortex network function

National Institutes of Health

This grant provides funding to develop a new experimental system to study the function of a type of neuron in regulating the network oscillatory activity of the cerebral cortex in sleep and waking. The work may potentially benefit future research on sleep, cerebral blood flow, stroke, neural regulation of feeding, and brain reactions to psychological stressors.

Jonathan Wisor

WWAMI Spokane

Regulatory relationship of glucose metabolism and cerebral slow wave activity

National Institutes of Health

This is continued funding for a grant that funds a four-year project to explore the relationship between slow-wave sleep (also known as deep sleep) and glucose metabolism in the brain. The brain's use of glucose drops sharply during sleep, and preliminary data have shown that it is deep sleep that is responsible for this decrease. Using an animal model, the researcher will measure snapshot changes in glucose metabolism as well as electrical activity in the brain during wake and sleep to test the hypothesis that glucose utilization and slow-wave sleep are in a mutual regulatory relationship. The research could shed light on why we sleep and offer insight into medical conditions in which brain metabolism is compromised, such as stroke, diabetes, and complications of childbirth.

Lisa Woodard/
Celestina Barbosa-Leiker/
Judy Knuth



College of Pharmacy/ College of Nursing

Diabetes Prevention in Pharmacies

Community Pharmacy Foundation

As part of this project, faculty will develop and evaluate the delivery of the Group Lifestyle Balance program—a lifestyle intervention proven to prevent or delay the progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes—in community pharmacies using trained student pharmacists and nutrition and exercise physiology students.

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In the News

  • A novel device designed by associate professor of nursing Martin Schiavenato in collaboration with a team of engineers was the focus of a recent article on The invention has the ability to assess pain in premature infants and could lead to better pain management in newborns and nonverbal patients. Read the article.
  • Hans Van Dongen, a research professor in the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center, was quoted in ScienceNow article on a recent study that suggests extra sleep may help combat diabetes. Read the article.

For more news coverage of WSU Spokane, go to the WSU Spokane news coverage page.

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  • Janet Kusler, an adjunct faculty member in the College of Pharmacy and a 1980 graduate of the college, was named Preceptor of the Year by the National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation. Kusler is a practicing pharmacist and the owner of Kusler's Pharmacy in Snohomish, Washington. She received the honor in recognition for her work to mentor and train pharmacy students in a practice setting in their final year of school. Kusler has served as a preceptor for WSU for more than 20 years. She was nominated by 2013 Doctor of Pharmacy graduate Erik Nelson and Linda Garrelts MacLean, an associate dean and clinical professor for the college.
  • Lindsey Schaffer, a fourth-year pharmacy student and last year's student body president for WSU Spokane, has been appointed as a member of the WSU Board of Regents. Schaffer's appointment lasts through June 30, 2014.
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Community Connections

  • Sat., Oct. 5, KPBX Kids' Concert
    Come to the River Park Square Atrium from 1 to 2 p.m. for Baroque TubaFest, featuring music from Bach, Handel, Corelli, and Vivaldi. The event brings together four talented tuba players from S.P.A.R.C., music from the Baroque period, and a themed craft from Mobius Kids Children's Museum. So join the fun! For more information, see the Spokane Public Radio Events Web site.

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Personnel and Staffing Changes


  • Jordan Tampien, Extension Regional Specialist E-2, WSU Extension, effective May 1, 2013
  • Julie Foster, Secretary Senior, Dean’s Administration, Pharmacy, effective May 13, 2013
  • Garrett Ainslie, Associate in Research, Clinical Pharmacology, effective June 1, 2013
  • Jeffrey Clark, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacotherapy, effective June 1, 2013
  • Vanessa Gonzalez-Perez, Associate Research Professor, Clinical Pharmacology, effective June 1, 2013
  • David Liu, Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, effective June 1, 2013
  • Jasen Cong, Resident Research Associate, Pharmacotherapy, effective June 19, 2013
  • Steven Huang, Resident Research Associate, Pharmacotherapy, effective July 1, 2013
  • Mary Paine, Associate Professor, Clinical Pharmacology, effective July 1, 2013
  • Connie Remsberg, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, effective July 1, 2013
  • Yunsheng Yuan, Visiting Scientist, Pharmaceutical Sciences, effective July 1, 2013
  • Yidi Xu, Research Intern, Pharmaceutical Sciences, effective July 2, 2013
  • Joe Ashmore, Post-doctoral Research Scholar, Pharmaceutical Sciences, effective July 8, 2013
  • Megan Johnson, Research Study Assistant, Pharmacotherapy, effective July 8, 2013
  • Shannon Panther, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacotherapy, effective July 15, 2013
  • Julie Akers, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacotherapy, effective July 29, 2013
  • Ze Liu, Associate in Research, Pharmaceutical Sciences, effective August 1, 2013
  • Kyle Lundberg, Simulation Technician, College of Nursing, effective August 1, 2013
  • Kimberly McKeirnan, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacotherapy, effective August 1, 2013
  • Russell (Rusty) Pritchard, Facilities Project Manager, Capital Planning & Development, effective August 1, 2013
  • Kristin Souers, Assistant Director, AHEC, effective August 1, 2013
  • Sarah Simmons, Office Assistant 3 (Receptionist/Faculty Assistant), College of Nursing, effective August 7, 2013
  • Apryl Rash, Program Coordinator (Personnel Coordinator), Dean’s Administration, Pharmacy, effective August 9, 2013
  • Kevin Wilkinson, Media Maintenance Technician 2, Information Technology Services, effective August 12, 2013
  • Sophia Miller, Staff Assistant (Counseling Assistant), Student Affairs, effective August 16, 2013
  • Daniel "Skip" Pope, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2013
  • Cory Risse, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2013
  • Kyra Schmidt, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2013
  • Brenda Shanley-Savage, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2013
  • Yongjun Wang, Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Sciences, effective August 21, 2013
  • Danielle Dunsbrasky, Research Intern, Medical Sciences, effective August 26, 2013
  • Pilar Heredia-Middleton, Instruction/Classroom Support Technician, Pharmacotherapy, effective August 26, 2013
  • Bonnie Cooper, Coordinator, Information Technology Services, effective September 10, 2013


  • Benjamin Gier, from Custodian 1 to Custodian 2, Facilities Operations, effective June 16, 2013
  • Bethany Fruci, from Coordinator, College of Nursing, to Assistant to Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Research, effective July 1, 2013
  • John Roll, from Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Scholarship, Health Sciences & Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, College of Nursing, to Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Research, effective July 1, 2013
  • Julie Breshears, from Fiscal Specialist 2 to Personnel Coordinator, College of Nursing, effective July 1, 2013
  • Cindy Corbett, from Professor/Interim Associate Dean of Research to Associate Dean of Research, College of Nursing, effective July 1, 2013
  • Donelle Howell, from Assistant Research Professor to Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, effective July 1, 2013
  • John Grewell, Campus Security Officer to Campus Security Sergeant, Facilities Operations-Security, effective August 1, 2013
  • Bryan Valley, from Information Technology Specialist 3 to Information Systems Manager, Information Technology Services, effective July 1, 2013
  • Matthew Blythe, from Electronic Media Producer, College of Nursing to Information Technology Specialist 3, Information Technology Services, effective August 16, 2013
  • Tricia Carlton, from Graduate Teaching Assistant to Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2013
  • Lynn Jinishian, from Graduate Teaching Assistant to Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2013
  • Amanda Lamp, from Research Intern to Scientific Assistant, Sleep and Performance Research Center, effective August 16, 2013
  • Selina Ross, from Graduate Teaching Assistant to Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2013
  • Suzanna Smith, from Graduate Teaching Assistant to Instructor, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2013


  • Ryan Townsend, from Director, Professional Development to Director, BSN Programs, effective May 1, 2013
  • Brieann Satterfield, from Research Intern to Graduate Research Assistant, Sleep and Performance Research Center, effective August 16, 2013
  • Victoria Sattler, from Instructor to Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective August 16, 2013
  • Gary Smith, Clinical Associate Professor (50% to 100%), HPA, effective August 16, 2013
  • Amy Sparrow, from Research Intern to Graduate Research Assistant, Sleep and Performance Research Center, effective August 16, 2013
  • Jennifer Lane, from Manager (50%), College of Nursing, to Fiscal Specialist 2, Grants and Contracts, effective September 1, 2013


  • Lorie Cox, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective May 15, 2013
  • Kathy Girnus, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective May 15, 2013
  • Veneta Peterson, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective May 15, 2013
  • Terri Rothwell, Secretary Senior, Nutrition & Exercise Physiology, effective June 28, 2013
  • Kendra Demaris, Instructor, Pharmacotherapy, effective June 30, 2013
  • Jason Iltz, Clinical Associate Professor, Pharmacotherapy, effective June 30, 2013
  • Kristin Townsend, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective June 30, 2013
  • Joseph Vogel, Project Specialist, SBDC, effective June 30, 2013
  • Julia Zhang, Associate Research Professor, Nutrition & Exercise Physiology, effective June 30, 2013
  • Elizabeth Kurtz, Office Assistant 3 (Receptionist/Faculty Assistant), College of Nursing, effective July 1, 2013
  • Gay Lynn James, Project Associate, AHEC, effective July 23, 2013
  • Tracey Koch, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective July 31, 2013
  • Daniel Topping, Clinical Assistant Professor, Medical Sciences (WWAMI), effective August 16, 2013     


  • Linda Kunstmann, Pharmacy Research Assistant, effective June 18, 2013
  • Tina Bayne, Assistant Dean/Associate Professor, College of Nursing, effective September 3, 2013

Recruitments & Searches:

  • Assistant/Associate/Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, open until filled, apply at
  • Assistant or Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy, open until filled, apply at
  • Extension Regional Specialist, Horticulture Specialist, WSU Extension, open until filled, apply at
  • Extension Regional Specialist, Volunteer Development Specialist, Youth and Family Unit, WSU Extension, open until filled, apply at
  • Extension Regional Specialist, Community and Economic Development Program, WSU Extension, open until filled, apply at
  • Research Project Engineer, Shock Physics, open until filled, apply at
  • Office Assistant 3, Student Affairs, closes 9/23/2013, apply at
  • Animal Technician 2, Medical Sciences, closes 9/19/2013, apply at
  • Secretary Senior, College of Pharmacy, closed 9/15/2013, applications currently under review
  • Office Assistant 2, Pharmaceutical Sciences, closed 9/11/2013, applications currently under review
  • Data Architect/Database Administrator, College of Nursing, closed 9/09/2013, applications currently under review
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Sciences, closed 9/11/2013, applications currently under review
  • Library & Archives Paraprofessional 4, Reserves Specialist, Riverpoint Library, closed 9/9/13, applications currently under review
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Way to Go!

"Kudos to the FacOps team for always helping us with repairs and minor construction projects for our lab experiments and for doing such a great job at them!"
(from the sleep and simulation lab staff in the Sleep and Performance Research Center)

"A big shout out goes to Teresa Kruger and Norene Phillipson in Parking/Facilities Operations for their continued commitment to commute trip reduction on the campus. They've done an excellent job letting the campus know about alternate transportation options and making the commute trip reduction (CTR) program as successful as it can be. Their efforts are much appreciated!"
(from Chancellor Lisa Brown & all campus CTR participants)

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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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.

Regular stories 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