A Bright Future

Original article posted by Show Me Mizzou Here 

Justina Serwaa Yevu Johnson
Doctor of philosophy, nursing science
Hometown: Bompata, Ashante Region, Ghana

In 2017, Justina Serwaa Yevu Johnson traveled nearly 7,000 miles from her home country, Ghana, to study at Mizzou. The Fulbright Scholar had served as a nurse and nursing instructor for nearly 20 years but wanted to devote herself to palliative care research.

“My experience as a medical-surgical nurse over the years and seeing the sufferings and pains of patients at the end of life in Ghana was overwhelming,” she said. “And I made a promise to myself and to these patients to advocate for the provision of palliative and end-of-life care services.”

Although it was her first time in the United States, Yevu Johnson adjusted to life on a new continent and quickly integrated herself into the Mizzou community. “I fell in love with Mizzou,” she said. “The School of Nursing has been home to me, and I like the fact that the faculty treat students as colleagues. They are concerned about you and want to see you do well and succeed. I’m going to take that with me and share it with my future students.”

On campus, Yevu Johnson got involved in multiple programs including the MU Graduate Professional Council and the Griffiths Leadership Society for Women. She also became a Deaton Scholar.

Yevu Johnson said her favorite place on campus is the MU Student Center. She even has a specific table that she returns to each day. “It served as my office for the past three years,” she said. “It’s where I did all my class assignments and wrote my dissertation. I was surprised when I got all emotional on my last day there — a day before my dissertation defense. I will always hold the memories of my time there close to my heart.”

After graduation, Yevu Johnson will complete post-degree academic training at the Sinclair School of Nursing — teaching and working with a research team. She is also waiting to hear back whether she was accepted into a postdoctoral program.

Mizzou Alumni Association names 2021 Faculty Alumni Award winners

Top row: Lowell Mohler, Mary Beth Marrs, William Baker, Mary Sue Beck, Botswana Toney Blackburn and John Walter 

Bottom row: D Cornelison, Cooper Drury, Alexander Garza, Sandra Whayne Gautt, Noah Heringman and Yong Volz

Nov. 15, 2021
Contact: Stephanie Fleming, 573-882-8353, sfleming@missouri.edu
Original article posted here at Showme.missouri.edu

The Mizzou Alumni Association honored 12 distinguished faculty and alumni in the 53rd annual Faculty Alumni Awards on Nov. 12.

Celebrated since 1968, the Faculty-Alumni Awards highlight the contributions of exceptional individuals to the university’s growth and core mission through their professional accomplishments, teaching and research excellence or service to the institution. At the University of Missouri, scholarship and teaching are driven by a responsibility to public service — the obligation to produce and disseminate knowledge that will improve the quality of life in Missouri and beyond.

Here are the 2021 Faculty Alumni Award recipients:

66th Annual Distinguished Service Award
  • Lowell Mohler, BS AG ’58, retired chief administrative officer for the Missouri Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies, former director of Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Mohler has influenced the field of agriculture in Missouri with his leadership and service requested by governors, legislators and conservation agencies, as well as his alma mater, MU’s College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources. His dedication to the state and its resources — its land, animals and waters — have made him “the voice” of agriculture in Missouri, and his service has made considerable impacts on the relationships between the university and the agricultural community as a whole.

62nd Annual Distinguished Faculty Award
  • Mary Beth Marrs, BS IE’87, MBA’95, PhD ’99, associate teaching professor, director of Enrichment Programs, Cornell Leadership Program and Heartland Scholars Academy at the Trulaske College of Business.

Marrs joined the Trulaske College of Business as a faculty member in 2000, after completing the third of her MU degrees. She has developed numerous student enrichment programs, including the Heartland Scholars Academy, which is dedicated to supporting rural, first-generation students like herself. To her students, Marrs is a “mom away from home,” and her care and concern for students extends far beyond the four years they spend in her tutelage. Her expansive alumni network is used to help connect new graduates to opportunities around the world, with many of those graduates remaining active as volunteers, donors or further mentors to her pupils.

2021 Faculty Alumni Award Recipients
  • William Baker, BS CIE ‘75, structural engineering consulting partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • Mary Sue Beck, MSN ‘84, retired chief nursing officer, University of Missouri Health Care
  • Botswana Toney Blackburn, BJ ‘95, M Ed ‘97, associate chair, Health Sciences; and teaching professor, MU School of Health Professions
  • John Walter Clark, BS ME ‘62, MBA ‘75, retired water engineer, City of Columbia; retired commander 231 Civil Engineering Flight, Missouri Air National Guard
  • D Cornelison, professor of Biological Sciences and Microbiology & Immunology – investigator, Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center
  • Cooper Drury, professor of Government and Public Affairs, and interim dean, MU College of Arts & Science
  • Alexander Garza, MD ‘96, chief community health officer, SSM Health; colonel, U.S. Army Reserve
  • Sandra Whayne Gautt, BS Ed ‘65, M Ed ‘66, PhD ‘77, retired vice provost & professor emerita of Special Education, University of Kansas
  • Noah Heringman, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of English, MU College of Arts & Science
  • Yong Volz, associate professor, Roger Gafke Faculty Fellow; faculty group chair for Journalism Studies, Missouri School of Journalism

Read more about this year’s recipients at the Mizzou Alumni Association

MU study examines benefits, challenges of telehealth in nursing homes during pandemic

Findings highlight telehealth’s ability to reduce patient stress, increase access.

Nov. 3, 2021
Story contact: Brian Consiglio, 573-882-9144, consigliob@missouri.edu
Original article posted here at Showme.missouri.edu

The COVID-19 pandemic caused nursing homes to rapidly change their policies overnight. Telehealth was instantly adopted widely in an effort to reduce stress on the health care system by keeping residents safe and avoiding unnecessary transfers to already-overwhelmed hospitals.

A new study at the University of Missouri found that the use of telehealth not only reduced stress for nursing home residents, but also increased access to convenient care. Kimberly Powell, an assistant professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, interviewed nursing home clinicians and administrators from a sample of 700 nursing homes across the country to better understand the benefits and challenges of widespread telehealth adoption.

“Transporting a resident to the hospital can be a very traumatic and stressful experience,” Powell said. “Whether it’s a fall in the middle of the night or a sudden change in vitals, if a nurse can quickly hop on a Zoom call with a resident and make an assessment, perhaps an intervention plan can be developed that allows the resident to be treated in the nursing home, which saves time, money and an unnecessary transfer to the hospital.”

Still, there are other impacts to consider. While telehealth offers unprecedented convenience, it can also remove much needed socialization opportunities for older adults, and even create confusion for nursing home residents with cognitive difficulties.

“For some nursing home residents, going to a doctor’s office for a consultation or follow-up appointment can be a fun social event, as it may be their only chance each month to get fresh air and go out in the community, so taking that opportunity away can be difficult for some,” Powell said. “Or for those with cognitive impairments, they might not understand on a telehealth call why or how their doctor is talking to them through a computer screen. While telehealth can be very convenient and beneficial, it should not be viewed as a one-size-fits-all solution, and this study helped us see various nuances involved.”

Powell added the adoption of telehealth during the pandemic was quicker and smoother for nursing homes that already had experience using it before.

“The pandemic highlighted the need for more technical training toward nursing homes that up until now had never used it before,” Powell said. “Going forward, there is also the need for better data integration so that when clinicians are on a Zoom call with nursing home residents, they can quickly and easily access medical records such as blood tests or lab results.”

Powell’s interest in using information technology to improve nursing stems from her years as a doctoral student, when online patient portals were first being invented, allowing clinicians and patients unprecedented access to individualized medical data.

“As a nurse, I have always been fascinated with how information technology can be used to improve patient health outcomes,” Powell said. “Telehealth opens up so many opportunities for early interventions and allows clinicians to also take into account personal preferences and shared decision making.”

“Consequences of rapid telehealth expansion in nursing homes: Promise and pitfalls” was recently published in the Journal of Applied Clinical Informatics. Funding for the study was provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Anne Njoku Receives National Award

Each year the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship program awards scholarships to students pursuing health profession training. This past year, there was more than 1,800 applications from across the country, and of those, only 10% receive the award. We are so excited to announce that SSON DNP student Anne Njoku is one of the 2021 recipients.

“I feel honored to be a scholar in this program and represent Mizzou’s Sinclair School of Nursing. Following in the footsteps of my amazing SSON professors, I hope to provide thorough, compassionate care and education to my future patients and nursing students.”

Anne first earned her Associate Degree in Natural Sciences and Mathematics in 2016. Following this, she earned her BSN at Truman State University, Kirksville, MO. in 2018, with minors in psychology and biology and graduated summa cum laude.

As a student nurse, she worked as a peer assistant in the simulation lab and then as a pediatric nurse extern before beginning work in the Pediatric ICU at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Columbia, MO. Anne is a Certified Pediatric Nurse and currently pursuing the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with a minor in nursing education. She has presented her work both as a student and for nurse residency, served as a community event coordinator, and a volunteer in several community organizations over the past five to ten years.

In the few short years since graduating with her BSN Degree, Anne has blossomed in the nursing profession. She has demonstrated enthusiasm and dedication with plans to complete her terminal degree by 2023.