7 501h ANNIVERSARY
Courage under fire
Treating the next generation of vets
Researchers study rehabilitation interventions
for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan
By Jill Pease
hen the mortar hit, Pete Herrick had a feeling
of flying through the air, and a tingle went
through his body like an electrical shock. Six
days later he woke up halfway around the
world in Bethesda, Md.
"My initial thought was I was happy I was
home alive," Herrick said.
Later Herrick learned the extent of his injuries: shrapnel had
struck every part of his body except for his head and stomach. His left
leg had to be amputated and a hit to his neck fractured the tips of his
third and fourth cervical vertebrae, causing quadriplegia.
A self-employed custom carpenter and father of two, Pete
Herrick joined the Navy Reserves in July 2001 at age 34 and was
deployed to Ramadi, Iraq in the spring of 2004 as a member of the
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 14. During inspections, his
battalion came under mortar attack, killing five service members and
Herrick spent 11 months at the James A. Haley Veterans'
Hospital in Tampa, one of four VA centers specializing in care for
soldiers with polytrauma severe injury to several parts of the body.
There, he began the long process of rehabilitation.
To advance rehabilitation approaches for returning
military personnel, the College of Public Health and Health
Professions founded the Florida Institute on Disability and Rehabili-
tation. Within this institute, scientists are conducting research and
training professionals in rehabilitation, psychology, public health
and health care administration under the newly-established Florida
Trauma Rehabilitation Center for Returning Military Personnel. The
center will address the rehabilitation and long-term health needs of
soldiers, from improving mobility to treating post traumatic stress
"As large numbers of men and women who served our country
in Iraq and Afghanistan return home, we recognize that many have
suffered injuries that could result in lifelong disability," said William
Mann, Ph.D., O.T.R., the center's director and chair of the department
of occupational therapy.
The complexity and severity of injuries sustained by U.S. mili-
tary personnel presents a new and complicated set of challenges
for the nation's health providers. Fortunately, the current quality of
battlefield medicine and acute care is such that wounded military
personnel are surviving injuries that would have been fatal in previ-
ous wars. During the Vietnam War, for example, five out of every
eight seriously injured service members survived. Today, seven out of
Tens of thousands of soldiers are coming home with conditions
such as spinal cord injury, amputations, traumatic brain injury,
SPHHPNEWS I SPRING 2009
severe bums, and hearing and vision loss, with many returning mili-
tary personnel experiencing more than one of these injuries.
The so-called "invisible wounds" of traumatic brain injury are
another hallmark of these wars, in which explosive devices are one
of the most common causes of injury. One-third of returning person-
nel report cognitive symptoms or mental health disorder, according to
a study by the RAND Corporation. Yet only half of those who need
treatment for these health issues seek it.
The center's goal is to eliminate or minimize disability through
the advancement of rehabilitation science, Mann said.
"We also want to make sure our research results make their way
to treatment facilities," Mann added. "We are collaborating with the
Veterans Health Administration, rehabilitation professional associa-
tions, consumer organizations and other UF programs to transfer new
rehabilitation approaches from the lab to the clinic."
Meeting the rehabilitation needs of the nation's service members
is the first priority of the Florida Trauma Rehabilitation Center for
Returning Military Personnel, but the work will also be applied to the
care of a growing population of older adults and others who will ben-
efit from the latest rehabilitation interventions, such as individuals with
neuromuscular disorders, brain injury and spinal cord injury, Mann said.
"We recognize, or it is our hope, that the wars America is now
fighting will end," Mann said. "But the need for rehabilitation research
and education will remain."
Rehabilitation played an important role in improving Herrick's
health and quality of life.
"The first thing a therapist did for me was to get me to breathe on
my own so I wouldn't be dependent on a ventilator," Herrick said.
Next came physical therapy to correct the tilt in his neck that had
developed after his injury. Rehabilitation specialists also equipped
Herrick with a special system so he can use a computer. It features an
infrared camera atop the monitor that interacts with a reflective sticker
on the end of Herrick's nose. By moving his head he can maneuver
the cursor around the screen, and a pause in his movements acts like a
Herrick continues to receive occupational and physical therapy
several times a week in his Fort White, Fla. home.
"I'm a big advocate for continued therapy," said Herrick, adding
that regular therapy prevents joint stiffness and has given him more
movement in his shoulders.
"I credit the therapy with keeping me healthy," Herrick said. "It's
exercise and it's hard work. I get a cardiovascular workout from the
occupational therapy and that has helped me keep muscle tone."
Special adaptations in Herrick's home, such as a ceiling lift on
a track system for transfers from his wheelchair to bed or shower,
also maximize his health and safety. But the most important factor
in Herrick's recovery and move home has been his wife and primary
"Without her I'd be institutionalized Herrick said.
To address a growing population of service members with
complex and severe injuries, researchers in the College of
Public Health and Health Professions are turning their attention
to veterans' special needs. Major projects include:
Improving muscle function UF researchers are
studying the use of gene transfer, exercise training and
hormonal supplements to enhance muscle function, as well
as noninvasive techniques such as MRI scans to
measure muscle strength.
Technology for independence A UF research team has
been developing several "smart home" technologies such as
a detection system that knows where the occupants are and
whether they are having difficulties and can alert distant care
providers to residents' needs.
Traumatic brain injury measurement College
psychologists are developing a battery of tests to determine
the scope of problems caused by traumatic brain injury and
the impact on soldiers' everyday lives.
Financing and delivery of care Ongoing studies on the
costs, quality, accessibility, delivery, organization and out-
comes of health care services provide important information
for policymakers and government and industry officials.
Swallowing disorders treatment College scientists are
investigating a new treatment for swallowing disorders that
uses electrical current across the skin to stimulate nerve or
muscle tissue involved in swallowing.
Hearing protection Clinical trials are underway to test the
use of vitamin supplements for hearing loss prevention in
soldiers who are exposed to explosions or other loud noises.
For more information, see page 6.
Walking recovery Scientists are examining the use of
extensive treadmill training to improve walking in military
personnel who have lost motor function because of a brain
or spinal cord injury.
Safe driving Researchers are using a driving simulator and
other technology to examine the driving performance issues
of returning service members with traumatic brain injury.
Back pain prevention Physical therapy researchers are
testing whether specific exercises and educational programs
can prevent chronic lower back pain in soldiers.
PHHPNEWS I SPRING 20091
ast year was a very special year
for the College of Public Health
and Health Professions. We
celebrated the college's 50th an-
niversary with a series of events
that brought together current and
retired faculty and staff, alumni, students, and
friends to recognize the college's achievements.
Dr. Michael G. Perri, Over the years the college has developed
Interim Dean strong programs including an undergraduate
health science degree with more than 900 stu-
dents, six master's degrees, five Ph.D. programs, and two professional
doctoral programs. Our educational activities are complemented by our
highly productive research program that brought in over $15 million in
external awards last year and clinical services that generated more than
$8 million in revenue.
While we expect some contraction this year due to the economic
challenges facing the state and the nation, we anticipate continued
growth. For example, we are developing several new programs: a de-
partment of environmental and global health; an online master's degree
in public health; an online psychometrist training program; and a Ph.D.
degree in public health with concentrations in behavioral science and
community health, as well as environmental and global health.
So where do we see the college going in the next 50 years? We
will continue our mission to preserve, promote and improve the health
and well being of populations, communities and individuals through
collaborations among the public health and health professions disci-
plines. While we maintain a diversified portfolio of educational, research
and service programs, we will seek to strengthen those activities that are
central to our role as one of only 17 public, land-grant universities that
belong to the Association of American Universities, which is composed
of the 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.
This means that the special contributions we can make as a
college will be centered on further growth and expansion of our re-
search enterprise and our graduate and professional degree programs.
We will continue to promote cutting-edge, collaborative research within
the college and the university. At the same time, we will maintain and
enhance the excellence of our academic programs so that our students
may go on to take leadership positions in university, public health,
health practice and health service communities.
The past 50 years have witnessed the emergence of our college as
a prototype for health education. Today we are planting the seeds for the
next great step in our college's development. As the roots of our efforts
take hold, we expect our novel approach of joining public health and the
health professions will again serve as an educational role model that will
impact the health of individuals and communities for decades to come. 0
UF to play key role in national children's health study
By Sarah Carey
wo scientists with the College of Public Health and
Health Professions and the College of Veterinary
Medicine will help monitor environmental testing and
exposure assessments for Florida's component in an
unprecedented national study aimed at improving the
health of America's children.
UF's component of the $54 million Florida contract amounts to
approximately $10 million, administrators said.
Natalie Freeman, Ph.D., an associate professor and interim director
of the College of Public Health and Health Professions' environmental
health program, and Nancy Szabo, Ph.D., director of the Analytical
Toxicology Corps Laboratory and a research assistant professor with
the College of Veterinary Medicine, will partner with lead investigator
Mark Hudak, M.D., a UF pediatrician at Shands-Jacksonville, on UF's
piece of the project known as the National Children's Health Study.
One of the largest collaborative efforts in health-related research
ever, the National Children's Health Study will involve a consortium
of federal partners including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection
The National Children's Health Study's goal is to ultimately enroll
100,000 children nationally. To that end, the NIH has selected 105
counties in the country, including four in Florida, to participate.
In Florida, the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine
will be taking the lead role as the Florida coordinating center. UF's
efforts will focus on 600 children from Baker County, although
Freeman and Szabo will also participate in the Orange and
Hillsborough county sites.
Freeman said the National Children's Health Study is essentially
an observational exposure assessment study as well as a longitudinal
epidemiology study. Environmental assessments will include house-
hold, air, water and soil around the household. Specific contaminants to
be tested will vary by region.
"We will gather information about lifestyle activities and collect
environmental samples for analysis of a wide range of agents,"
Freeman said. "Hopefully the data will provide information about what
children are exposed to and how it impacts their health." *
SPHHPNEWS I SPRING 2009
student NE W
Manuela Corti and Milap Sandhu, students in the rehabilitation
science doctoral program, received 2008 International Student
Academic Awards from UF's International Center.
Rehabilitation science doctoral students Elisa Gonzalez-Rothi,
P.T., D.P.T., and Virginia Little, P.T., M.S., N.C.S., are among
six national recipients of Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholar-
ships from the Foundation for Physical Therapy Board of
Ida Kellison and Ania Mikos, doctoral students in the depart-
ment of clinical and health psychology, received Benton-Meier
Neuropsychology Scholarships from the American Psychological
Foundation. Only two of these scholarships are awarded nation-
ally each year with UF students claiming both 2008 awards.
Annesha Lovett, Pharm.D., a student in the health services
research doctoral program, received a fellowship in health
outcomes research from the Pharmaceutical Research and
Manufacturers of America Foundation.
Shannon Sisco, a student in the clinical and health psychology
doctoral program, was awarded a National Institute on Aging
Predoctoral Fellowship in Aging.
Laura Zahodne, a student in the clinical and health psychology
doctoral program, received a scholarship from the National
Parkinson Study Group to present her paper at the 2008
Parkinson Study Group and Movement Disorders Society's
annual symposium. 0
fat N T E S
Alba Amaya-Burns, M.D., a clinical associate professor in the
department of behavioral science and community health, received an
International Educator Award from UF's International Center.
Andrea Behrman, Ph.D., PT., an associate professor in the depart-
ment of physical therapy, received the first Alumni Excellence in
Clinical Practice Award from Duke University. She was also elected
a Catherine Worthingham Fellow by the American Physical Therapy
Lilliana Bell, project coordinator in the department of health services
research, management and policy, and Jason Rogers, coordinator
of computer applications in the department of occupational therapy,
received Superior Accomplishment awards from the university.
Rehabilitation counseling faculty member Dale Roberts
explains counseling techniques to graduate student Loretta
Shalik in this 1979 photo.
Terese Chmielewski, Ph.D., P.T., an assistant professor in the depart-
ment of physical therapy, received the James A. Gould Excellence in
Teaching Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Award.
Bruce Crosson, Ph.D., a professor in the department of clinical and
health psychology, received a Senior Research Career Scientist award
from the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and
R. Paul Duncan, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of
health services research, management and policy, was named a UF
Research Foundation Professor.
Steven George, Ph.D. P.T., assistant professor in the department of
physical therapy, received the John C. Liebeskind Early Career Scholar
Award from the American Pain Society.
Donna Stilwell, the office manager for the department of health ser-
vices research, management and policy, was named the college's 2008
Employee of the Year at the 50th anniversary celebration dinner. 0
PHHPNEWS I SPRING 20090
PHHP studies address weight-loss
barriers for adults and children in rural areas
n the battle against obesity, rural people face unique
challenges, such as geographical barriers that limit
access to medical care, healthy foods and facilities for
Two recent University of Florida studies, geared to
the needs of people in rural areas, have been successful
in helping adults and children lose weight.
"Serious health disparities exist in rural areas where there
are higher rates of poverty, more residents without health insur-
ance, a greater percentage of people with chronic disease and
fewer health professionals to treat them," said Michael G. Perri,
Ph.D., a professor and interim dean of the College of Public
Health and Health Professions.
Results of the first UF study, led by Perri, show that tele-
phone counseling may be just as successful as face-to-face
counseling in helping people maintain weight loss. It is the first
study to demonstrate the effectiveness of telephone counseling
for long-term management of obesity in rural communities. The
findings appeared in a November issue of Archives ofInternal
"We found that the participants who received extended care
were able to maintain their weight loss at higher levels than those
participants who only received printed health education materials
as a follow-up," Perri said. "The success of telephone counseling
gives us a cost-effective alternative to face-to-face visits that is
more convenient for rural residents who may need to travel long
distances for care."
Study participants included 234 women who were obese,
ages 50 to 75, who live in rural communities in northern Florida.
After completing a six-month weight-loss program offered at
county Cooperative Extension Offices, women in the study lost
an average of 22 pounds. One year later, participants who had
received phone or face-to-face counseling after treatment had re-
gained less weight on average, 2.5 pounds than those in the
education control group, who regained an average of 8 pounds.
Long-term care is an important component in weight-loss
maintenance, said Perri, who has argued for the acceptance of
obesity as a chronic condition that requires continuous care.
Previous studies have shown that in the year following treatment,
participants regain one-third to one-half of the weight lost.
In the second weight-loss study, researchers found that
group-based treatment programs may effectively combat
childhood obesity in rural communities.
Children who participated in one of two group programs
- family-based or parent-only were less overweight com-
pared with children in a control group. The findings appeared
in the December issue of Archives ofPediatric andAdolescent
"Given the scope and seriousness of obesity in America and
the limited access to services for children in rural settings, there
PHHPNEWS I SPRING 2009
is a pressing need for programs that help rural fami-
lies adopt healthy dietary habits and increase physical
activity," said David Janicke, Ph.D., the study's lead
investigator and an assistant professor in the college's
department of clinical and health psychology.
The study involved 93 children and their parents
from four rural counties in Florida. The children were
between the ages of 8 and 14 and had a body mass
index, or BMI, above the 85th percentile for age and
sex, based on growth charts from the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. Families were
randomly assigned to one of three four-month
treatment groups: family-based, parent-only or a
control group made up of families on the treatment
The weight control programs were conducted at
Cooperative Extension Service offices. On average,
children in the weight-management programs
experienced greater decreases in BMI scores com-
pared with children in the control group six months
after treatment. Compared with their pre-treatment
levels, children in weight-management groups were
4 percent less overweight, and children in the control
group were about 3 percent more overweight at the
end of the six-month period.
Although the weight changes may appear
modest, they are in line with the researchers' goal of
helping children make gradual changes in their diet
and lifestyles. In addition, the children's weight loss
approached the amount necessary for improvements
in lipid and blood sugar levels, according to previous
"When working with children it's important to
introduce lifestyle changes slowly and make it fun,
otherwise they may become resistant," Janicke said.
"Making big changes in their diets could lead to
unhealthy habits like skipping meals, eating disorders
or weight gain."
Both weight-loss studies have implications for
the delivery of community-based treatment programs
for children, particularly the use of Cooperative
Extension Service offices, which exist in nearly every
county in the United States, Janicke said.
"The Cooperative Extension Service network
offers a unique setting in that it provides the infra-
structure and stature within rural communities to
support preventive services for families," he said. *
Hearing protection in a pill
Vitamins could offer daily
dose of hearing-loss prevention
itamin supplements can prevent hearing loss in laboratory
animals, according to two new studies, bringing investigators
one step closer to the development of a pill that could stave off
noise-induced and perhaps age-related hearing loss in humans.
Senior author Colleen Le Prell, Ph.D., reported the
findings at the Association for Research in Otolaryngology's
The supplements used in the research studies are composed of antioxidants
- beta carotene and vitamins C and E and the mineral magnesium. When
administered prior to exposure to loud noise, the supplements prevented both
temporary and permanent hearing loss in test animals.
"What is appealing about this vitamin 'cocktail' is that previous studies in
humans have shown that supplements of these particular vitamins are safe for
long-term use," said Le Prell, an associate professor in the College of Public
Health and Health Professions' department of communicative disorders.
In the first study, UF, University of Michigan and OtoMedicine scientists
gave guinea pigs the vitamin supplements prior to a four-hour exposure to noise
at 110 decibels, similar to levels reached at a loud concert. Researchers assessed
the animals' hearing by measuring sound-evoked neural activity and found that
the treatment successfully prevented temporary hearing loss in the animals.
In humans, temporary noise-induced hearing loss, often accompanied by
ringing in the ears, typically goes away after a few hours or days as the cells in
the inner ear heal. Because repeated temporary hearing loss can lead to perma-
nent hearing loss, the scientists speculate that prevention of temporary changes
may ultimately prevent permanent changes.
In the second, related study in mice, UF, Washington University in St.
Louis and OtoMedicine researchers showed that the supplements prevented cell
loss in an inner ear structure called the lateral wall, which is linked to age-
related hearing loss, leading the scientists to believe these micronutrients may
protect the ear against age-related changes in hearing.
The researchers are collaborating on National Institutes of Health-funded
clinical trials of the vitamin supplements in college students at UF who wear
MP3 music players, and noise-exposed military troops and factory workers in
Sweden and Spain.
If the trials show that the vitamins are as effective in preventing noise-
induced hearing loss in humans as they have been in animals, researchers
envision developing an easy-to-use supplement that could come in the form of a
pill for people headed to a rock concert, a daily supplement for factory workers
or a nutritional bar included in soldiers' rations.
"Ear protection, such as ear plugs, is always the best practice for the
prevention of noise-induced hearing loss, but in those populations who don't
or can't wear hearing protection, for people in which mechanical devices just
aren't enough, and for people who may experience unexpected noise insult,
these supplements could provide an opportunity for additional protection,"
Le Prell said. *
PHHPNEWS I SPRING 2009 f
College of Public Health
and Health Professions
50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend
November 21-22, 2008
TOP ROW: Alan Jette, recipient of the college's Darrel J. Mase Leadership Award; The dinner brought together
all of the college's living deans: Howard Suzuki (dean 1971-1979), Richard Gutekunst (dean 1980-1995),
Robert Frank (dean 1995-2007), and Michael Perri (current interim dean); Martha Wroe, physical therapy faculty
member 1959-1987, with Donna Rodriguez Goldstein, a 1972 physical therapy graduate.
MIDDLE ROW: Retired clinical and health psychology faculty member Hugh Davis with Mack Hicks, a 1964
graduate of the program; Former medical technology department chair Mary Britt and retired faculty member
Janet Rodeheaver; Marcia Butler, daughter of PHHP founding dean Darrel Mase, with her husband Al.
BOTTOM ROW: Dean Emeritus Richard Gutekunst spoke on the contributions of Darrel Mase (dean 1958-
1971); Hugh and Peggy (occupational therapy class of 1964) Perry and Pearl Nastvogel (occupational therapy
class of 1964) at the PHHP alumni reunion; a young Gator fan shares a photo op with Albert and Alberta.
For more photos, visit 50th.phhp.ufl.edu/photos
PHHPNEWS I SPRING 2009
ernard Okech, Ph.D., a Kenya native, contracted malaria
three times as a child at ages 5, 8 and 12.
"I was lucky," Okech said. "My dad could afford to
drive me to the hospital to get me treatment. But what about
the guy who doesn't have a car and has to walk 20 miles or
more to a clinic that doesn't have the medication he needs?
Malaria, as is the case with many other tropical diseases, is closely associ-
ated with poverty."
A mosquito transmitted disease, malaria is highly prevalent in sub-
Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization estimates that there were 247
million cases of malaria worldwide in 2006 and 881,000 deaths. Ninety-one
percent of malaria deaths were in Africa, and 85 percent of the victims were
children under 5 years old.
As a research assistant scientist in the College of Public Health and
Health Professions' environmental health program, Okech is looking for
methods to kill mosquitoes when they are in the larval stage, before they
mature and become malaria carriers. Okech studies mosquito larva nutri-
ent absorption and how the nutrients affect the ability of adult mosquitos to
transmit Plasmodium, the parasite that causes malaria.
"By understanding the basic biology of the mosquitoes, it will be
possible to develop insecticides that kill mosquitoes without harming the
environment," said Okech, a researcher at UF's Emerging Pathogens
Institute and the Whitney Laboratory. "With every new discovery we are
getting closer and closer to the silver bullet."
Okech's work became deeply personal a few years ago when his
teenage brother in Kenya died of malaria after a broken pipe outside his
brother's school remained unfixed and created standing water, a breeding
ground for mosquitoes.
"I feel that malaria is one of those diseases that we shouldn't even be
talking about anymore," Okech said. "We have all the tools to control it and
it has been done in developed countries for years. It is sad that people can die
from a disease that we can control." *
get scholarship boost
s instructors in the master's in health adminis-
tration program, Michael Bice and Lou
Gapenski have seen it happen more than once:
a top-notch prospective student lured away
from UF by an attractive scholarship opportu-
nity at another university.
Bice and Gapenski, who along with their wives Barbara
Bice and Jane Gapenski, have previously established endowed
professorships in health administration at UF, decided the time
was right to focus on student support. Their gifts launched the
Health Leaders Scholarship Fund last year, which will pro-
vide two-year scholarships to master's in
health administration students, based on
"We recognize that the top M.H.A.
programs in the country are basically
three-legged stools made up of really
top faculty, a sound program format and
excellent students," said Gapenski, a
Michael Bice professor in the department of health ser-
vices research, management and policy.
KI i. .' "We believe that here at UF we have two
i of those legs in place and fixed for the
Future. Where we needed shoring up was
the ability to attract the very best students."
With rising in-state tuition rates and
out-of-state tuition costs beyond reach
for many students, scholarships are more
Lou Gapenski valuable than ever, Bice said.
"We know from the top 10 M.H.A. programs that one of
their characteristics is the ability to recruit from a national
audience," said Bice, an adjunct faculty member since 1994
and a former acting chair of the department. "These scholar-
ships will also give Florida students who are the cream of the
crop the students most likely to have other schools compet-
ing for them the chance to stay in state and not be led to
Bice and Gapenski hope their donations to the scholarship
fund are viewed as seed money that might motivate others to give.
"We want people to be aware that we would be happy
to have them join us as donors to the fund," Bice said. "We
would hate to see it end with our contributions."
To support the Health Leaders Scholarship Fund, please
make checks payable to the UF Foundation, P.O. Box 103565,
Gainesville FL 32610 and reference fund number 014307. Or
make a gift online at www.floridatomorrow.ufl.edu/PHHP 0
PHHPNEWS | SPRING 2009
How a childhood tragedy
led a student to her calling
By Laura Mize
upriya Dass knows what it's like to be burned.
A native of India, Dass was riding in a van in her
hometown with her classmates when a fire broke out.
When she and the other girls managed to escape the
vehicle, bystanders hit them with coats to put out the
fire. There were no fire extinguishers, fire trucks or
ambulances to come to their rescue.
Dass suffered third-degree bums, and 15 of her classmates were
"My hair was burned off completely," Dass said. "My face was
burned to the side. I had my legs burned and my hands."
She was 11 years old.
Dass spent two months recovering in the hospital, undergo-
ing multiple skin grafts and enduring an infection. She had to wear
tight pressure garments for about eight months to minimize scarring.
She also required surgery to recover some motion in her right pinky
Today, Dass is a junior in the college's health science bachelor's
degree program. She credits the work of her two physical therapists,
one of whom worked with her for eight months at her parents' home
in India to help her regain motion and strength, for her astonishing
"I was able to go back to school and play sports and run and
play basketball," Dass explained. "That's stuff ... that I was afraid I
wouldn't be able to do after my accident."
Spurred by her accident and recovery and inspired by the help
she received in therapy, she decided to pursue a career in health care.
Dass moved with her family from India to Chicago as a junior in
high school four years ago, then soon moved to Ocala. That's where
she learned about UF and decided she wanted to be a Gator. She
began her college career planning to be a physical therapist.
But when Dass learned about occupational therapy in one of her
introductory classes, she loved the emphasis the field places on help-
ing patients become as autonomous as possible.
"Physical therapy's cool. You get back your range of motion
and stuff like that, but OT is more specific to living on your own and
adapting and learning and being independent. And I guess that aspect
of it really connected with me."
Dass sometimes observes occupational therapists working with
children at ACG Therapy Center.
Jill McCarthy, a therapist who works there, said Dass' own
experiences as a patient will be helpful in her future career.
"Supriya has shown great qualities of a health care professional,
as she is inquisitive, enthusiastic and caring toward all staff members
and clients," McCarthy said. "Supriya has openly shared her experi-
ence of being involved in an accident in which she received bums to
her body. In my opinion, Supriya's personal experience of the reha-
bilitation process will be inspiring and comforting to many of her
future co-workers, clients and families."
This summer, Dass is hoping to land an internship at the
Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa.
Ultimately, she wants to help people overcome the same
challenges she did.
"Working with bum patients is definitely where my heart's
at," she said. "Patients will connect with you when you know what
they're going through. When you understand, there's that comfort
After she finishes her bachelor's degree she wants to earn a
master's degree in occupational therapy. Dass plans to apply to the
program at UF.
Dass has set other goals for herself: to work in the United States
for a few years as an occupational therapist and then go back to work
in India where she wants to open a nonprofit occupational therapy
clinic. Eventually, she wants to participate in a travel program for
occupational therapists, spending a bit of time working in many
different countries. 0
PHHPNEWS I SPRING 2009
UF Audiology, Pickle Foundation give the gift of hearing
Leslie Merian (from left) with her children Leah, Nick and Brooke Stanfield, who
received cochlear implant upgrades through a gift from the James W. Pickle
By Jessica Metzger
before receiving a cochlear implant at the age of 3, Leah
Stanfield would not talk, remembers her mother, Leslie
Leah, now 14, her sister Brooke, 16, and brother
Nick, 12, all have cochlear implants and can commu-
nicate with friends and family and hear noises most
people take for granted, like police sirens wailing and toilets flushing.
But thanks to cochlear implant upgrades the siblings received through
a donation by the James W Pickle Charitable Foundation to the col-
lege's audiology program, they can also now listen to iPods, talk on the
telephone and hear video games, too. Nick now attends a mainstream
school with an interpreter instead of a specialized school for children
who are deaf.
The foundation donated $69,650 in 2007 to the UF audiology
program, providing cochlear implant upgrades for 14 children and
adults, said Larry Sacks, the foundation's executive director. The
foundation's $45,000 donation in 2008 allowed for more new hearing
"Our mission is to give grants for
life-altering medical devices," Sacks
said. "We've found that the hearing
department, and working with Dr.
Holmes, has been very responsive to
finding us candidates who can benefit
from our foundation."
A cochlear implant is a small
device surgically implanted in the inner
ear, said Alice Holmes, Ph.D., a
professor in PHHP's department of
communicative disorders. A microcom-
puter processor worn outside the body
picks up sound and converts it into
an electrical signal. That signal is sent
through the skin into a receiver and then
to the brain, effectively creating sound.
and children with severe to profound hear-
ing loss," Holmes said. "Cochlear implants
can be a tool to allow a child who is born
deaf to acquire speech and language so that
they can attend public school."
Cochlear implants open a new world
of knowledge to children, said Lori Laza-
rus, a speech-language pathologist at C.W Norton Elementary who
works with some of the children who benefited from the donation.
Upgrades are almost as important as the device itself, allowing
the wearer to hear more channels and levels of noise. Recent upgrades
include a better signal for perceiving sound and cosmetic changes such
as a smaller external pack and losing the cord that runs from the ear to
However, upgrades are costly, about $6,000 for one individual, an
expense many families cannot afford, Holmes said.
"We chatted with the audiology department and found out about
the Pickle Foundation," Lazarus said. "They were touched by how
much the kids wanted sound."
Merian said her children are doing great both at home and in the
classroom since they received the upgrades.
"It's made their social lives and their self-esteem better," she said.
"They're more comfortable wearing it. They're not standing out in pub-
lic like they did before (with the cords). For the girls, that's a big thing. If
it wasn't for UF Audiology and the foundation, (my children) wouldn't
have the upgrades. I could never have done it without them." 0
PHHPNEWS I SPRING 2009
PHHP Outstanding Alumni 2008
Physical Therapy '71
Couse has worked in a
variety of settings
during her 37-year
home health, general
hospitals and excep-
tional child education,
prior to establishing her own practice with a
partner in 1988. Physical Therapy Dynamic
Inc. initially served Clewiston, Fla., before
expanding to the neighboring community of
Labell. Couse is also chair of the Dolly Hand
Cultural Arts Center at Palm Beach Commu-
nity College, which honored her as "A Woman
of Accomplishment" in health care in 2002.
MY FAVORITE UF MEMORY: Fall Satur-
days at football games on campus. I have had
season tickets since 1974.
BEST LESSON LEARNED AT UF: Be open
when confronted with a desire to change
majors/study. I stumbled into the career of
physical therapy by chance and it was a good fit.
FACULTY MEMBER WHO INFLUENCED
ME THE MOST: Norma Fisher a great
sense of humor and an enthusiastic Gator fan.
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Be
prepared and willing to give yourself to a
cause greater than yourself. Have an attitude
of service in all you do.
PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO
KNOW: I thoroughly enjoy my poodle, which
I call my "empty nest" dog. Never had time
for a pet when working full time and raising
IN THE FUTURE I HOPE TO: Retire in
a few years and serve as a volunteer in the
community and/or Christian organizations. To
give back what I have been blessed to receive.
Robert "Hap" Davidge
Health Administration '67
Davidge was appointed
president/CEO of Our
Lady of the Lake Regional
Medical Center in Baton
Rouge, La. in 1979. Our
Lady of the Lake grew
to become the largest
hospital in the state with
more than 800 acute beds; 4,200 employees; two
subsidiary hospitals; a network of rural hospitals;
and its own college with more than 2,000
students. Davidge retired in April 2008. He
received the Louisiana Hospital Association's
Lifetime Honorary Membership award.
MY FAVORITE UF MEMORY: There are many
but the first to come to mind is watching Steve
Spurrier kick the game winning field goal against
Auburn in the Swamp.
FACULTY MEMBER WHO INFLUENCED
ME THE MOST: I had a number of wonderful
professors, but to choose one I'd have to go with
our Program Director, Dr. John Champion. He
had a tough job with a struggling new, unfunded
program, but he hung in there and made it hap-
pen. He was no pushover but a truly good person
and had a big heart. His research course was
challenging yet exceedingly useful over the years.
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: You are
the beneficiaries of a legacy at UF. It is a GREAT
university. Enjoy it, exploit it and when you are
finished, go out, do good things and give back to it.
PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO
KNOW: I was a New Year's Baby born one
minute after midnight. The nurses named me
"Happy." As you can see, it stuck.
IN THE FUTURE I HOPE TO: My wife and I
are fortunate, we have our health and have been
able to give back. We are doing that and expect
Gold began her career
as the director and
founder of the
department at Miami
tal. She went on to
establish a multidis-
ciplinary private practice with two other
therapists that continues to be successful
20 years later. Gold has also served on the
Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental
and Learning Disorders' advisory board and
as a program faculty member. Through this
affiliation, she has become a developmental
specialist and a specialist in infant mental
MY FAVORITE UF MEMORY: Being a part
of "The Back Table" in OT school.
BEST LESSON LEARNED AT UF: If you
don't like statistics, don't let that stop you
from doing research.
FACULTY MEMBER WHO INFLUENCED
ME THE MOST: Kay Walker, Ph.D.,
influenced me by her passion for neurosci-
ence and pediatrics.
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS:
Find your passion and follow through on
PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO
KNOW: I started the OT department at
Miami Children's Hospital at the young age
of 22 years old.
IN THE FUTURE I HOPE TO: Write a
pediatric textbook about the understanding of
motor science and social/emotional
* PHHPNEWS I SPRING 2009
Mack Hicks, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology '64
Mack Hicks is chair
of the board of LLL
Inc., which operates
14 Center Academy
Schools in Florida
and Georgia, serving
children with learning
disabilities. He started
the Center Academy Schools in 1970, and in
1974, opened the first school in the United
Kingdom for children with dyslexia, earning
him a fellowship in the Royal Society for the
Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and
Commerce. Hicks created the Developmental
Assessment Technique and the Developmental
Checklist, served as a senior scientist for
National Institute of Mental Health research,
and co-authored a popular child rearing book.
MY FAVORITE UF MEMORY: First
summer with hardly any students around.
Bobby Dodd Jr. helping defeat Bobby Dodd
Sr.'s Ga. Tech Yellow Jackets. Go Gators.
BEST LESSON LEARNED AT UF: Be open
to differing philosophies.
FACULTY MEMBER WHO INFLUENCED
ME THE MOST: Audrey Schumacher: patience.
Hugh Davis: assertiveness, bottom line.
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Stay
open to philosophy and religion. Don't get too
narrow or arrogant about science-behaviorism.
Remember, the first text message was a kiss.
PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO
KNOW: Undergrad in business advertising
IN THE FUTURE I HOPE TO: Open more
centers, write more books, paint, help in the
community. Have a beer or two.
Julie Manche, Au.D.
Manche is a pediatric
audiologist and assistant
clinical professor at the
University of Louisville
Medical School. In
2006, she was awarded
the audiology program's
Educator Award for
exceptional contributions to student education.
Her primary interests are electrophysiology,
pediatric diagnostics and auditory process-
ing disorders. Manche previously worked at a
public hospital and hearing aid clinic in New
Zealand where she implemented new protocols
for the evaluation of auditory processing
disorders in children.
MY FAVORITE UF MEMORY: Attending the
Sugar Bowl and watching the Gators beat the
Seminoles for our first National Championship!
FACULTY MEMBER WHO INFLUENCED
ME THE MOST: Dr. Jay Hall. His passion
for audiology and for teaching inspired me.
The depth and breadth of his knowledge were
impressive, yet also readily accessible. No mat-
ter how busy, he always had time to answer my
questions (and still does!). His down to earth,
practical style helped bridge the gap between
many theoretical concepts and the associated
clinical techniques. To this day, I consider Dr.
Hall a mentor and a friend. I am grateful for the
time and effort that he has invested in me.
PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO
KNOW: I was a UF cheerleader my first two
years of undergrad (1993-1995).
IN THE FUTURE I HOPE TO: Spend more
of my time on humanitarian efforts. I have a
passion for international missions, and I hope
to be able to utilize my training to participate in
bringing hearing health care to underdeveloped
parts of the world.
Kenneth Nanni, Ph.D.
Rehabilitation Counseling '94
Nanni is the direc-
tor of the training
aging and allied
health at the
Florida Division of
cation. He is also a licensed health care
risk manager in the State of Florida, and
a certified elder care manager through the
International Commission on Health Care
Certification. He has worked in a variety of
settings within the health care field includ-
ing acute care, managed care and long term
care. Nanni currently serves as an affili-
ate clinical associate professor teaching
courses in both geriatric care management
and health care risk management.
MY FAVORITE UF MEMORY:
BEST LESSON LEARNED AT UF:
Always be consistent.
FACULTY MEMBER WHO
INFLUENCED ME THE MOST: Horace
Sawyer, Ph.D., for his clinical innovation
in Life Care Planning and for keeping me
on track and focused on the big picture.
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS:
Focus both on academic performance and
PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO
KNOW: I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.
IN THE FUTURE I HOPE TO: Lead a
national trade association.
PHHPNEWS I SPRI NG 2009
The College of Public
Health and Health
Professions is grateful to
the following supporters
who made gifts to the
college in 2008.
The Blue Foundation for a Healthy Florida
Craig H. Neilsen Foundation
Muscular Dystrophy Assn. of America
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Kaiser Foundation Research Institute
Michael O. & Barbara A. Bice
Robert C. & Margie G. Davidge
Jane & Louis C. Gapenski
Robert K. & Carol H. Gwin
Health First, Inc.
Health Foundation of South Florida
I. Heermann Anesthesia Foundation
Samuel N. & F. Connie Holloway
James W. Pickle Charitable Foundation
Living Independently Group, Inc.
National Parkinson Foundation
Southwest Florida Community Foundation
Thomas S. & Trudy R. (d) Summerill
ADT Security Services, Inc.
Ronald R. & Mary L. Aldrich
Amar Infinity Foundation
American Psychological Foundation
Center for Special Needs Trust Admin.
The Children's Trust
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
The Community Foundation, Inc.
Eileen B. Fennell, Ph.D.
Martha C. Finley
Jeffrey R. Fitzsimmons
Florida Assn. of Health Planning Agencies
Florida Assn. of Health Plans, Inc.
Florida Health Professions Assn., Inc.
Florida Medical Assn., Inc.
Florida Hospital Assn., Inc.
Larry B. & Rebecca T. Hayes
Robert C. & Barbara B. Hudson
IOS PRESS B.V.
Suzanne Bennett Johnson
Ralph M. Kingsley
Rolf M. & Anne T. Kuhns
William C. & Gwendolyn P. Mann
Angela C. & Pedro A. Marcucci
Martin Memorial Health Systems, Inc.
Dyer T. & Pamela W. Michell
Oak Hammock at the University of Florida
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Michael G. & Kathleen D. Perri
Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.
John C. Rosenbek & Debra A. Shimon
Nicholas E. Ryan, Jr. & Mary Ann Clark
SantaFe HealthCare, Inc.
Shands at the University of Florida
Lori A. Shutter & Mike Abney
Ronald J. & Connie T. Spitznagel
Sponsored Research-Misc. Donors
Student Physical Therapy Assn.
Walt Disney Co. Foundation
Active Network, Inc.
Mark A. & Daryl-Joy L. Adkins
American Physical Therapy Assn.
Cynthia D. Belar & Jean-Louis B. Monfraix
Nancy J. Curlin
Fort White Community Thrift Shop, Inc.
Stephanie L. Hanson
Richard L. Haydon
Carolyn G. Henderson
HFSF Grants Management, Inc.
Louis A. & Mary G. Kapicak
Mary Murray-Harding & David R. Harding
Perry Roofing, Inc.
Erika M. Perry
Warren J. & Sara H. Rice
Mark E. Robitaille & Kimberly A. Rupp
Judith W. & Thomas B. Thames
Jalie A. Tucker
Mrs. Karol H. Tutton
University Medical Guild
Well Florida Council, Inc.
David A. & Mrs. Dorsey E. Whalen
William H. &Andrea P. Anderson
Ann M. & Cmdr. Andrew M. Ashe
Tina W. & Garry L. August
Barbara B. & Joseph R. Bancroft
Glen M. Baquet
Linas A. Bieliauskas
Big Ron's Yoga College
Rebecca B. & Clarence J. Bodie, Jr.
Stephen R. Boggs
Luise D. Bonner
Arthur H. & Ana Kelton-Brand
Risa B. & Keith D. Brand
Sheila J. Brooks
Jennifer L. Brown
Jason L. Burns
Drew S. Butler
J. Tim & Diana M. Carter
Joseph M. & Judy L. Catania
Alice M. Chan
Duncan A. Christie, Jr.
David D. Clark
Frederick L. & Patricia Germer-Coolidge
Nancy P. & Ken Courtney
Jeff & Donna Z. Davis
Kimberly A. Dean
Mitzi J. Dearborn & Ernest E. May
Martha F. DeCoster
Teryl N. & Cheryl F. Delagrange
Sarah F. & Joseph M. DiNicolantonio
The Dow Chemical Co.
Ruth E. Dyster & E. Allen Moore
Kathryn W. & Peter A. Enchelmayer
Cathleen M. Engel
Erickson Retirement Communities
Kristin M. & Enrico J. Fiano
Anne H. & Kenneth D. Finlon
Jack M. Fletcher & Patricia A. McEnery
William G. & Sue Gasparrini
Paula J. & Mark A. Gaudio
Melanie J. & David R. Gauthier
Heidi J. Gearhart
Sally T. & Edward J. Gleeson
Kathleen D. & Lawrence E. Goodin, Jr.
Stephen S. & Irene R. Grolnic
Linda S. Grong
Mr. & Mrs. Gregg L. Haddad
David C. & Mrs. Karam A. Hammer
Robert E. & Martha C. Hanyak
Dennis C. & Denise B. Harmon
Carole V. Harris & Andrew S. Bradlyn
Marsha R. & Mark R. Harris
Darlene E. & Bradley S. Harvell
Heavenly Ham Market Cafe
Rene L. & Edwin R. Hendrickson
David A. Holmes
Kathy Perry & James C. Hope
Sara E. Horning
Huron Valley Physicians Association
Barbara Ingham Interiors
Johnson & Johnson
Carl E. Johnson
Barbara C. Jordan
Kimberly K. Kazimour
Linda S. & J. Steve King
Kathleen M. Klerk
Ruth L. Lax
Celia M. Lescano & Josh B. Bickford
Karen B. Lidsky
Ruth V. & Chris E. Loyd
Frances G. MacAllister
Robin E. & Mark T. Marunick
Charles W. & Deborah H. McBurney
Mary D. McGuigan
Niccie L. McKay
Linda S. & George E. McKeithen
Clyde S. & Yalonda L. Meckstroth
George D. & Nancy F. Murphree
Thomas C. & Cathy M. Nasby
Margaret P. Nattress
Michael L. Norris
Gretchen M. Paige
Papa Johns Pizza
Patricia A. Pasch & Kevin D. Fitzpatrick
Andrea M. Peragine
Paul T. & Angela J. Phillips
Gilbert L. Phon, Au.D., FAAA
Elizabeth L. Poulsen
Audrey L. Powers
Emily S. Pugh
Lynn A. Reynolds & Alan C. Homans
Dora Rodriguez-Duran & Heriberto A. Duran
Joy S. Rohan
Karen B. Rose Deigl
Suzanne G. & Elliott J. Rothberg
Ronald H. & Patti L. Rozensky
Sonia L. Rubio-Yates & Jiro Yates
Donna L. & Lawrence E. Scheitler
John D. & Elizabeth B. Shafer
Pamela K. & Bruce G. Shaffner
Marsha D. & Jim H. Shuford
Alice M. & Kenneth J. Simmons
Scott Y. Sittler
Natalie A. Smith
Marika E. & Abraham A. Spevack
Karen R. & Bruce H. Sprintz
Linda W. & Louis O. Stallings
Shawn M. Staneff
Melissa W. & James D. Steed, Jr.
Eric W. & Sandy Stevenson
Lori & Timothy Sullivan
Lucille W. & James R. Swanson, Sr.
Carmen & William Tango
Kenneth P. Tercyak & Randi M. Streisand
Randolph P. Thames
Carlee M. & Jeremiah J. Thomas
Renee C. Thompson
W. Stuart & Helen R. Towns
Priscilla A. & Charles D. Tucker
Valerie W. & David V. Uhr
Ann M. Usitalo, PhD
Lisa A. & Jeff S. Wheeler
Brenda A. Wiens
Kathleen J. & Edward J. Wilkinson
Michelle B. & Lee Yates
* PHHPNEWS I SPRI
Steven Anton, Ph.D., doctorate in clinical
psychology '03, and Otto Pedraza, Ph.D.,
doctorate in clinical psychology '04, received
UF's Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
They were honored at a recognition break-
fast and invited to sit in the President's Box
at the Orange and Blue football game. Anton
is an assistant professor at UF and Pedraza
is an assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic.
Ann Moodey Ashe, bachelor's in occu-
pational therapy '82, was appointed to a
three-year term as the practice representa-
tive to the American Occupational Therapy
Association's Ethics Commission. She works
in an outpatient setting with adults and is the
OT fieldwork coordinator for Bon Secours
Hampton Roads Health System. Ann lives in
Jennifer Devine, bachelor's in health
science '03, married Shaun Kass of
Philadelphia on Oct. 25, 2008. They live in
Breanne Hart, bachelor's in health science
'01, married John Johnsen, bachelor's in
mechanical engineering '03 and master's in
engineering '05, on November 8, 2008.
They live in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Jeanette Hrubes, bachelor's in physical
therapy '94, opened a successful physical
therapy clinic in Boulder, Colo. in 2002. She
added a second clinic in Brighton in 2007.
She is a member of the American Physi-
cal Therapy Association with specialization
in the Sports Physical Therapy and Hand
Rehabilitation sections. Jeanette is also the
proud parent to a little athlete in training.
Jennifer Lewin, bachelor's in occupational
therapy '00, announces the grand opening
of her private therapy practice, Gold Coast
Pediatric Therapy LLC, in Boca Raton.
Shelley (Brouillard) Murphy, bachelor's
in health science '07, is a first-year medical
student at Florida State University College of
Medicine in the class of 2012. She plans to
enter the field of pediatrics.
Susan Stallings-Sahler, Ph.D., bachelor's
in occupational therapy '76, is the owner
and director of Sensational Kids! Pediatric
Rehabilitation and Counseling Center Inc. in
Augusta, Ga. Her husband, Hunter, is a
Share your news with classmates!
Submissions will be published in the Alumni Updates section of a future issue of PHHP News.
NAME (INCLUDING MAIDEN)
HOME ADDRESS (CITY, STATE, ZIP)
NEWS TO SHARE
Mailto PHHP News, Dean's Office, P.O. Box 100185, Gainesville, FL 32610; fax 352.273.6199; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or post your news online at www.phhp.ufl.edu/alumni
clinical social worker at Fort Gordon Army
Base and daughter Ashley is a sophomore at
the Savannah College of Art and Design.
William Walders, master's in health admin-
istration '07, accepted a position as the chief
information officer for Naval Hospital Rota in
Ronald Aldrich, an
4 adviser, instructor and
iJl friend to UF and PHHP,
has announced his
retirement from his UF
A member of the first
graduating class of the master's in health
administration program in 1966, Aldrich
was also the first PHHP graduate elected
to serve on the UF Foundation Board of
Directors when he assumed the role in
2005. Aldrich has been a member of the
PHHP Advisory Board since 2004 and
he and his wife, Mary Lynne, have been
generous donors to the college through
gifts to support faculty and graduate
education. Aldrich has also served as an
executive in residence in the department
of health services research, management
and policy. He received the college's
alumnus of the year award in 2007.
"One of the highlights of my service to
UF has been working with M.H.A. stu-
dents and giving them advice about their
careers," Aldrich said.
Now it's time to step down from his UF
positions and focus on contributing to
his local community Santa Fe, N.M.,
said Aldrich, whose 40-plus year career
includes top leadership roles at national
and regional health care systems.
"We have been fortunate to have Ron
share with us his expertise and experi-
ence," said Interim Dean Michael G.
Perri. "He has been a great friend to the
college, giving much of his time and
talents. We are very grateful to him and
wish him and Mary Lynne the very best
in the coming years." I
PHHPNEWS I SPRING 2009