Annual symposium features WCHHS interprofessional scholarship and service
The Waldron College of Health and Human Services (WCHHS) community hosted its fourth annual Interprofessional Symposium and Expo (IPS&E) on April 11 in Heth Hall.
Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill keynoted the daylong celebration of original research and service by the WCHHS faculty and students.
“This is the best of Radford University. You are harnessing the power of inquiry and collaboration,” said President Hemphill. “Waldron College students, faculty and the health care industry are working together to tackle vexing issues that impact our neighbors down the street and across the world.”
Themed “Celebrating interprofessional scholarship and service,” the IPS&E brought together the Schools of Nursing and Social Work, the Communication Sciences and Disorders and Occupational Therapy departments and the Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Nursing Practice and RN-to-BSN programs.
The IPS&E included 100 podium and poster presentations by 142 WCHHS graduate and undergraduate students and faculty.
Laken Hibbets, a Master of Social Work candidate, presented her research, titled “Post-partum depression and women of low socioeconomic status,” that was based on her review and thematic coding of more than 50 writings by those who suffered from the disorienting changes felt by mothers after giving birth.
“I had certain assumptions that I thought I would find, but the research showed me so many different factors,” Hibbets said. “I am now better prepared to empathize, give voice to those affected and help.”
Elizabeth Lanter, professor of communication sciences and disorders (COSD), proudly looked on as four first-year graduate COSD students – Megan Bell, Jordan Compton, Nicole Flood and Stephanie Leirer – gave their first professional presentation, a study on the use of metrics to showing growth of children’s writing.
“This type of analysis is part of their clinical work and presenting it professionally is an important part of their development as well,” Lanter said. “They represented our profession well.”
The data for the team’s presentation was developed during the team’s 13-week semester of twice-weekly clinical consultations with school-age clients who are working to overcome literacy and communication challenges.
“It is nice to feel comfortable in this professional setting and it is encouraging to articulate and share our clinical and consultative work,” said Flood.
Whitney Hill, a second year Occupational Therapy student, presented her synthesis of evidence on the sensory integration treatment for children with autism that was based on her review of 31 journal articles and research studies. Hill also presented her research at the recent Virginia Occupational Therapy Association conference in Richmond.
“I was nervous at first about the research process, but thanks to my faculty mentor, Dr. Krajnik, and a lot of time in the library, I felt confident and proud to talk with my colleagues about my work and get their thoughts about it,” Hill said.
More than 30 organizations representing regional health care and community service in the public and private sectors were also featured at the Expo.
“We always look forward to this showcase of the research, scholarly work and service performed by the college’s dynamic faculty and students in its programs,” said WCHHS Dean Kenneth Cox, who announced the formation of a Center for Interprofessional Education and Practice within the WCHHS. “It is vital to understand and learn from one another so we can work in teams to improve patient outcomes.”