If you know a respiratory therapist, dietitian, physician assistant, vascular technologist or one of the numerous allied health professionals who are integral partners in the modern healthcare team, chances are good that he or she was educated at UMDNJs School of Health Related Professions (SHRP).
This year, the school, faculty and its 4,800-plus alumni celebrate 25 years of providing New Jerseyans with a wide variety of career training and continuing education programs in the health sciences. While the school has changed a great deal over the years, its mission has remained the same: to educate competent and creative health professionals for careers in our dynamic healthcare environment. To fulfill this mission, SHRP provides students with diverse educational experiences; establishes and sustains multiple academic partnerships at all levels of the educational spectrum; pursues scholarship and conducts research; promotes continued professional development; and provides educational, consulting, health care and other services.What unifies SHRP is a dedication to allied health, a shared mission, and a belief in teaching good patient-client care skills while using technology to enhance learning.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
In November 1973, the Board of Trustees of the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (CMDNJ) began the development of a new school to educate allied health professionals. By 1976 the School of Allied Health Professions (CMDNJ-SAHP) opened by offering eleven certificate programs, ten of them on the Newark campus and one in Piscataway. The school was officially established as a separate entity within the University in October of that year. It was renamed the School of Health Related Professions in 1981 to reflect more accurately its broadened scope, which included a nursing program. In February 1988, SHRP attained undergraduate degree-granting authority and initiated the BS in Clinical Laboratory Sciences with nine collaborating public and independent colleges. By 1992 SHRP was awarding joint associate's and bachelor's degrees with colleges and universities throughout New Jersey. During the 1990s, many post-professional undergraduate and graduate programs were added to the program offerings of the school, including three PhD programs. In the 1990s, the school entered the distance learning arena. Currently, more than 1,000 full-and part-time students are enrolled in programs across the state, and nation.
SHAP's campuses in Newark (top), Scotch Plains (center) and Stratford (bottom)
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND PARTNERSHIPS
HRP offers educational programs on four of the Universitys campuses: Newark, Piscataway, Scotch Plains, and Stratford, as well as joint programs with 27 academic partners in New Jersey. The fifth campus the Web was launched in 1998. The partner schools provide geographic accessibility, flexible choices, quality general education, and many support services to assist students in having an excellent undergraduate educational experience and completing their programs with a very marketable profession. The school now has about 700 graduate and undergraduate courses with 37 degree programs and more than 200 clinical affiliations. SHRP provides educational options for different needs and interests, from entry-level courses to PhD programs. It offers health professions degree and non-degree programs at all levels, including college courses taught in high schools, post-high school certificate programs, associate's degree, bachelor's and masters degree and PhD programs. All are designed to launch new careers or expand existing ones. The following is a listing of SHRPs offerings, from entry level to most advanced.
High school programs: "What do I want to be when I grow up?" is a question most high school students have asked themselves at one time or another. SHRPs Health Science Careers Program was designed to introduce students to one possibility they may not have considered: a career in the health professions. Students at 34 high schools across New Jersey may take college-level science courses not normally available at the high school level, including a required course on healthcare in society plus anatomy and physiology, basic CPR and others. A total of 14 college credits can be earned during the junior or senior year of high school. The program educates about 1,000 students annually.
Undergraduate certificate programs: High school graduates may choose from nine programs, including dental assisting, respiratory care, toxicology, cytotechnology, medical technology, diagnostic medical sonography, nuclear medicine, vascular and diagnostic imaging technology.
Associate's degree (AS/AA) programs: Students can choose from four programs: psychosocial rehabilitation and treatment, two respiratory therapy programs, and dental hygiene.
Baccalaureate degree (BS) programs: SHRP offers three programs, one in clinical laboratory sciences with concentrations in toxicology, cytotechnology and medical technology; one in allied health technologies with concentrations in respiratory care, diagnostic medical sonography, nuclear medicine and vascular technology; and a BS in health sciences for those who have earned a certificate or associate degree listed above, plus any other AS credentialed health professional.
Graduate level certificate programs: The schools three programs are: health care informatics, dietetic internship and nurse-midwifery. These programs are directly transferrable into several of the MS degrees listed below.
MS degree programs: SHRPs nine programs include: physician assistant, physical therapy, clinical nutrition, biomedical informatics, health professions education, psychiatric rehabilitation, health sciences, health systems, and rehabilitation counseling.
Doctoral programs: The school offers a clinical doctorate (DPT) in physical therapy for physical therapists entering the field, and a post-professional DPT for practicing physical therapists. The three PhD programs are in biomedical informatics, psychosocial rehabilitation, and health sciences. The PhD is developed for an interdisciplinary. group of health professionals including dietitians, physical therapists and respiratory therapists.
To learn more about the programs at SHRP, call 973-972-5454 or visit the Web site at http://shrp.umdnj.edu. Undergraduates may apply to the partner schools or UMDNJ depending on the program. Most graduate students apply to UMDNJ directly.
A LEADER IN EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY/ DISTANCE LEARNING
Time is exceptionally precious in a world that moves so quickly; and lack of sufficient time is often the reason why adults dont go back to school, even when they know it may mean a promotion, pay raise or a chance at a new position. For adults learners, particularly those with family and work responsibilities, convenience and flexibility may be crucial to their success in school. Distance learning a specialization of UMDNJs School of Health Related Professions (SHRP) was born from this need. New technology is what made it possible. In fact, SHRP has more courses available on CD ROM, the Web, and audiotape than any other school of health professions, according to its dean, David M. Gibson, EdD. In addition, the school is wired for V-tel, which means that teachers can simultaneously lecture, and interact with students, in classrooms on various campuses throughout the state via a television monitor. Making courses in health sciences available to the widest range of students has been a primary mission of the school since the mid-1990s.
The benefits of distance learning are considerable and there really is no downside. Forget the train, bus, car, or hike. The student completes course work in the comfort of his or her home. Like traditional students, distance learners gain knowledge and skills; learn to apply them to their work; and develop competence in communicating, critical thinking, collaboration and using information by studying with the schools highly-respected faculty and a "community of scholars." In the case of Web-based courses, many fellow students live across the country or across the world.Students also learn to use technology to communicate, gain access to educational resources, initiate and conduct research, and collaborate with others in their "virtual classroom." SHRP launched its distance learning program in 1995 via V-tel, and since 1998 has offered numerous online, Web-based graduate, undergraduate and continuing education health sciences courses. A sampling of the Web-based courses offered in the Spring and/or Summer of 2002 are: Health Care Information Systems, Personnel Management and Supervision, Womens Health, Cultural Issues Influencing Health, Human Resources Management, Strategic Planning for Management, Health Systems, Applications of Computers in Health Care, Health Care Organizations: Legal and Ethical Dimensions, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Emerging Topics in Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Research Methods in the Health Sciences, Information Management and Computer Technology, the ABCs of Managed Care, and Critical Literature Review and Science Writing.
There are also a variety of courses that are "Web-enhanced," meaning that traditional classroom attendance is sometimes required, but some of the course work is completed via the Internet. Among these offerings are Applied Clinical Research, Advanced Clinical Nutrition Seminar, and Seminar in Principles and Practices of Psychosocial Rehabilitation.
For those unsure if Web-based learning is for them, SHRP offers a peek inside the "virtual classroom." You can try a sample course module and the self assessment survey by entering the following Web address and following the prompts: http://shrp.umdnj.edu/online/samples/index.htm.
RESEARCH IS ON THE RISE
Building a vibrant, broad and solid research program is another major initiative of SHRP. There are 20 active projects currently ongoing in three major areas developmental and rehabilitative sciences, clinical laboratory sciences, and clinical nutrition/dietetics with many other research programs planned.
Projects funded within the last year are: the Online Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education/Teaching; a five-year rehabilitation counseling program; a health informatics project entitled "Determination of Molecular Characteristics of Effective Photosensitizers in Photo-Dynamic Therapy;" and a Web-based high school health careers program.
A broad array of novel grant proposals to launch new initiatives were recently submitted. SHRP will focus future research endeavors in areas that reflect the schools strengths, including health promotion, environmental, nutrition and fitness issues, outcomes of care and service for the individual and the community, including quality of life, behavioral changes and health impacts, and educational research.
Areas in which the school has ongoing research initiatives are:
areas of bioavailability of chemicals from soil
pharmacologic and chemical intervention in inflammation and immune response Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition
nutrition services for infectious disease patients
nutrition education in health professions programs
effectiveness of dysphagia screening to determine dysphagia risk
clinical research in diet and oral health
use of computer technology to teach geriatrics,
lactation and complementary and alternative medicine Psychosocial Rehabilitation
interrelationship of psychiatric symptoms and rehabilitation outcomes
biases in the measurement of consumer satisfaction with psychiatric rehabilitation
psychiatric rehabilitation skills, beliefs and practices
evolution of psychosocial rehabilitation Medical Technology
clinical trial of blood collection safety device
longitudinal study of medical technologists' career plans
cloning and characterization of microsporidian polar tube protein genes Interdisciplinary Studies and Developmental Rehabilitation
physical therapy students learning styles and their teaching method and instructional activity preference
Summer is warm and beautiful in New Jersey and the call of the ocean is ever-present. However much those at SHRP might appreciate the outdoors, many faculty members and students turn their focus inside to the Summer Research Program. Conducted by the School since 1998, the program has included 17 projects in all five in physical therapy, four in biomedical informatics, three from the Deans Office on research attributes of allied health faculty, two in clinical dietetics, one in psychiatric rehabilitation, one in clinical laboratory sciences and one in interdisciplinary studies.
Riva Touger-Decker, PhD, RD, associate professor and program director of the MS in Clinical Nutrition program.
In the summers of 2000 and 2001, examples of the range of topics investigated include: motor imagery ability in individuals after stroke; pattern analysis and prediction in relation to perinatal and infant mortality in the U.S.; effect of mental practice on motor performance; the interrelationship of clinical psychiatric symptomatology and employment outcomes; and methods for diagnostic monitoring of evoked potentials.
AN INTEGRAL PART OF ITS COMMUNITIES
SHRP prides itself on being an integral part of the communities in which its campuses are located and playing a vital role in the welfare of the residents of those communities. The school holds the service contracts for physical and occupational therapy services for the City of Newark, as well as providing physical therapy services for migrant workers in southern New Jersey. It services a dental clinic in Scotch Plains and provides nutrition care for the UMDNJ-University Hospital infectious diseases clinic. Listed below are just a few of its recent projects to make life better for New Jerseyans:
Camp Hemostat This four-day program introduces high school students to operating room careers, such as surgical technology and perioperative nursing. Students learn basic OR skills and hear lectures from OR employees.
Food Safety Research Dietetic interns assess food safety and sanitation at child care centers that are members of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, then develop educational materials on areas of food safety in need of improvement.
Truancy Alternative Project This program, continued established with the Mayors office, the municipal court, the Newark public schools, and other area and community groups, aims to reduce truancy in Newark through health education, mentoring, tutoring and intervening with family.
Special Olympics Faculty and students from Dental Hygiene, Dietetics, Physical Therapy, Medical Technology and Physician Assisting dedicate two days to providing health services to participants in this annual event.
Urban Scholars Program This six-week summer program gives high school students interested in pursuing careers in medicine, dentistry, biomedical research, nursing and allied health a head start offering them courses in biology, chemistry, pre-calculus/calculus, technical writing and academic survival. Students are assigned a faculty mentor with whom they conduct research.
Allied Dental Education Dental health education for elementary schools, day care centers, churches and high schools in central and northern New Jersey with thousands of contacts each year.
Continuing Education for Chubb Insurance Company SHRP faculty created and teach a course for underwriters to bring them up to speed on medical terminology and health care diagnoses and procedures, so that the insurance company employees will better understand their work.
Integrated Employment Institute The goal of this project is to promote employment among persons with severe and persistent mental illness and adults with mental illness and addictions. The Institute serves 11 counties in the State and includes individualized job development, placement and follow-along support.
Greystone This is a joint program with UMDNJs School of Nursing, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical Schools Department of Psychiatry and University Behavioral HealthCare to improve the quality of patient services at the state hospital by upgrading the competencies of the staff. The project is funded by the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services.
David M. Gibson, EdD, SHRP Dean, with Associate Dean Julie O'Sullivan Maillet, PhD, RD.
The faculty of SHRP has a commitment to serve in leadership roles at the University, as well as in state and national organizations. Julie OSullivan Maillet, PhD, associate dean, is president of the American Dietetic Association whose membership of 70,000 makes the organization the largest group of food and nutrition professionals in the country. David M. Gibson, EdD, SHRP dean, has recently been elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, the national organization recognized as the representative body for allied health education schools throughout the U.S. Craig Scanlon, EdD, RRT, professor and director of the MS and PhD Programs in Health Sciences, was elected a charter member of UMDNJs Master Educators Guild, which was formed to recognize, support and encourage exceptional faculty at the University. He currently serves as the Guilds technology guru in the development of an Online Center for Teaching Excellence. Forty-four faculty members have served on state committees/associations over the last five years and 21 on national committees/associations.
SHRP faculty members find the school an innovative and forward-thinking institution, where they can develop professionally and feel a part of a vibrant and student-centered academic community. Many of them choose to teach at the school for decades. Thirty-three faculty members hired in the 1970s and 80s, and 76 hired in the 90s, are still on the faculty of SHRP today.
Several SHRP faculty practice programs were initiated to provide comprehensive services to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Faculty involved in these initiatives are highly skilled practitioners whose expertise is rewarded through a financial arrangement with the facility. Faculty can use these funds for discretionary purposes. Programs exist in nurse midwifery, physical therapy, psychosocial rehabilitation, physician assistant, biomedical informatics, cardiopulmonary sciences, allied dental education, and dietetics and nutrition.
CENTERS AND INSTITUTES
SHRP plays a leadership role at the University, and in the academic community, in the creation and development of centers and institutes that promote faculty development, as well as interdepartmental collaboration in enhancing the educational experience for students. Chief among its current projects are:
the Master Educators' Guild and the Online Center for Teaching Excellence to promote faculty development efforts and serve as a resource center for the health sciences teaching community; and
Center for the Study of Alternative and Complementary Medicine serving as a resource to the University and consumer communities, as well as industry and federal, state and local agencies in research, education, and practice.
Top row, left to right: Julie O'Sullivan Maillet, PhD, RD, Associate Dean, with UMDNJ President Stuart D. Cook, MD; students learn via V-tel in a recently-constructed classroom. Middle row: Three members of the Master Educators' Guild-William F. Clark, PhD, RRT (left); Elaine K. Diegmann, ND, CNM (center); Craig Scanlon, EdD, RRT (right). Bottom row: A view of the Piscataway campus (left); a student studies in the library on the Piscataway campus.
The magazine of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey