Community Engaged Research: Exploring the Reach, Impact and Value

Friday, November 8, 2013
8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Albert Sherman Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Worcester, Mass.

The Community Engagement and Research Symposium is part of the five-campus clinical and translational science movement across the University of Massachusetts. It is sponsored by the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UMCCTS) Community Engagement and Research Section. This page features a collection of posters contributed by presenters at the symposium. The full agenda, the complete list of poster abstracts, and the full text of selected speaker presentations are also available.

Questions? Contact Phil Merriam or Amy Borg at

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Friday, November 8th
8:30 AM

Evaluation of a Patient Communication Program and Patient Appointment Reminder Calls in a Community Health Center Setting

Deborah Gurewich, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Heather Posner, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Parag Kunte, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Susan Levine, UHealthSolutions, Inc.
Leah Gallivan, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Community health centers across the country struggle with patients who frequently miss appointments. Missed and unused appointment slots represent lost revenue for health centers and disruption in care continuity. The medical home model recognizes these challenges and establishes patient access as a core element, key components of which include more efficient scheduling functions and capacity for same-day appointments. Identifying effective and feasible strategies to reduce the no-show rate is a critical component of these efforts.

The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center came together to launch a patient communications pilot program that involved outsourcing and centralizing patient communication functions. With grant funding, the collaborators were able to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program and the performance of the appointment reminder system. Secondary data sources - call reminder disposition data merged with data on patients and other characteristics - were analyzed to assess the performance of the call reminder system and the factors associated with a patient showing up for an appointment. The collaborators will present their innovative partnership approach and findings on patient demographics and other factors that can result in missed appointments.

Get the Word Out: Utilizing Traditional and Emerging Tools to Disseminate and Measure the Impact of Your Research

Sally A. Gore, University of Massachusetts Medical School

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Publishing articles and presenting at conferences are tried and true ways for promoting your research within academic and professional circles, but with changes to scholarly communications and the emergence of many new forms that allow individuals to disseminate information more freely, openly, and quickly, researchers have a host of opportunities to both promote their work to a larger audience and track the impact of their research in a more accurate manner. From article-level metrics (altmetrics) to open access publications to the use of social media, this poster gives an introduction to some of the vehicles available today, how to use them effectively, and where to find support (your librarians can help!) to make your scholarly footprint larger.

Heart Screenings in Young Athletes Identify Risk Factors for Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Karen Tougas, Worcester State University
Stephanie Chalupka, Worcester State University

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in the young is the leading cause of death in the U.S. afflicting over 300,000 individuals each year. SCA is also the leading cause of death in young athletes during sports participation, and typically the result of undiagnosed structural or electrical cardiovascular disease. Sport's physical exams that include cardiac screenings (EKG, cardiac ultrasound if warranted, and review of family heart history) will assist in identifying those young athletes most at risk for a sudden cardiac arrest.

Reaching the “Hard-to-Reach” with Mobile Health Applications in Perú

Maria Brunette, University of Massachusetts - Lowell
Benyuan Liu, University of Massachusetts - Lowell
Bhanu Kaushik, University of Massachusetts - Lowell

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Recent advances in mobile computing and body sensing technologies have enabled new ways to practice medicine and promote public health using mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. These applications include the use of mobile devices in collecting community and clinical health data, delivery of healthcare information, real-time monitoring of patient vital signs, and direct provision of care (via mobile telemedicine). In this poster we will describe a recent experience in partnering for community engaged research in Peru. The partnership seeks to promote maternal and child health via mobile health applications in two study sites. The first site is located in Carabayllo, a town located in the outskirts of the metropolitan area of Lima, the capital of Peru. The second site includes two rural communities in Huancavelica, a region located in the Central Andean region. On both sites, researchers at UMASS Lowell have established partnerships with local researchers and practitioners and are using Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) principles in the processes of establishing the partnership and defining the project goals, methodologies and implementation activities.

The poster places emphasis on the technological and human systems interactions that should be considered when developing mobile applications to address health disparities in general, and maternal and child health in particular. The challenge of this community-based effort lies in the integration of mobile technology into the current socio-technical system in both study sites. Our interdisciplinary research team includes faculty and students from Computer Science, Engineering, Medicine, Public Health, and Obstetrics (OB-GYN). The team is aware that in order to ensure populations can and will use our new technologies, we need to first understand the social and cultural barriers to technology adoption broadly, and to the health devices and applications specifically. Throughout the phases of the project we plan to incorporate a human factors engineering approach –focusing on the individual capabilities and limitations (e.g. health professional and patient)–together with a culturally relevant approach to technology design. The need to become knowledgeable and respectful of the communities’ cultural attributes, beliefs and practices is also discussed.

UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center: Partnering to Achieve Optimal Health among Worcester Residents

Stephenie C. Lemon, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Amy Borg, University of Massachusetts Medical School
UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

The UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center’s vision is to achieve optimal health among residents in Worcester. Based in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine of UMass Medical School, it uses a team approach to partner with community organizations to improve health. The Mission of the UMass Prevention Research Center is to establish community, public health, health care and academic capacity to engage in equitable research partnerships for conducting applied public health research targeting physical activity, healthy eating, obesity and associated chronic conditions among Worcester area residents.