Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. William A. Hazel to keynote RU WCHHS Interprofessional Gerontology Symposium


Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. William A. Hazel

Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. William A. Hazel, Jr. will keynote the inaugural Interprofessional Gerontology Symposium, sponsored by Radford University's Waldron College of Health and Human Services (WCHHS) School of Nursing.

The symposium will take place Friday, April 10, at noon in room 340 of Radford University's College of Business and Economics building. The event, which will feature President Penelope W. Kyle and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Sam Minner, will also commemorate the announcement of the Post-Baccalaureate Interprofessional Graduate Certificate (PBIGC) in Gerontology program.

Secretary Hazel's keynote address is titled: "Aging in the Commonwealth." Hazel practiced orthopedic surgery in Northern Virginia until becoming Secretary of Health and Human Resources (HHR) for the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2010. As HHR Secretary, Dr. Hazel oversees 11 state agencies with over 16,000 employees including such diverse programs as Medicaid, behavioral health, social services, as well as aging and rehabilitation. During his first term as Secretary, he led the Virginia Health Reform Initiative and helped establish the Virginia Center for Health Innovation. He served as the Founding Chair of ConnectVirginia, Virginia's health information exchange.

As a founding member of Commonwealth Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, Dr. Hazel gained extensive experience working in the contemporary health care system while leading a large group practice. Dr. Hazel has served as a Trustee of the American Medical Association, Speaker and President of the Medical Society of Virginia, President of the INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital Medical Staff and Chair of the Medical Affairs council of the INOVA Health System. He earned his Medical Degree at Duke University School of Medicine in 1983 and completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency at the Mayo Clinic in 1988.

Set to begin enrolling graduate students and non-degree students from the community in 2016, the Radford University PBIGC program will prepare them for collaborative care of geriatric patients or clients, a fast-growing segment of the American population. According to the United States Census, this part of the population made up 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2010. By 2050, it will increase to 21 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.The Commonwealth of Virginia's Plan for Aging Services projects  older adults in Virginia will number 1.8 million in 2030.

Radford University's 15-credit hour certificate will employ an interprofessional framework and courses will reflect biological, psychological, sociocultural and therapeutic aspects related to the functional challenges faced by individuals as they age.

The program was developed by the 10-person Interprofessional Gerontology Consortium (IGC,) chaired by Radford University School of Nursing Graduate Program Director Virginia Burggraf. The IGC included faculty from RU's Colleges of Business and Economics, Education and Human Development, Visual and Performing Arts and Humanities and Behavioral Sciences as well as Waldron College. Among the disciplines engaged were business, occupational therapy, music therapy, physical therapy, counselor education, social work, psychology and nursing.

"Health care is experiencing massive changes due to the demographics of the aging population," said Burggraf, the Marcella J. Griggs Distinguished Professor in Gerontological Nursing, "This program and this event are two more steps by which Radford University is setting the tone and facilitating dialogue about interprofessional, collaborative care."

Interprofessional collaboration is a focus of the WCHHS curriculum and the PGIBC is but one initiative. On April 13-14, the WCHHS will host its second annual Interprofessional Symposium and Expo to showcase the college's diverse research initiatives.

"RU and the members of the IGC have addressed a challenge that will confront society for the foreseeable future ­ - care and support of an increasingly vulnerable population - our parents, friends, families and neighbors," said WCHHS Dean Kenneth Cox. "We don't work in isolation anymore; we work in teams. This program is an exciting reflection of how we can step out of our silos and foster true interprofessional practice and service."

The following research posters from RU graduate and undergraduate students will also be featured at the event.

  • "The Reminiscence Bump Effect in published autobiographies" by Grace Flood, Courtney Hurley and Thomas W. Pierce, professor of psychology.
  • "Perceptions of OCBs and CWBs in the Workplace: The influence of age and gender stereotypes
," by Boglarka Vizy and Jenessa Steele, associate professor of psychology.
  • "Pilot Study to determine if there is a correlation between the perception of falls using the Center For Disease Control and Prevention's Stopping Elderly, Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries  (STEADI) Check Your Risk for Falling Questionnaire and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test Scores in the community-dwelling older adult population in Southwestern Virginia," by Maryalicia Kohut,  Ashley Maness, Sarah Zeisler and Julia Castleberry, professor of physical therapy.
  • The use of Music Therapy to promote quality of life for older adults in Nursing Homes" by Shey Dillon, graduate student in music therapy.
  • Music Therapy for the care of those with Alzheimer's and Dementia," by Patricia  Winter, assistant professor of music.

Mar 31, 2015