LSU Dental School Recognized for Disaster Efforts
The School of Dentistry at LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) New Orleans will be recognized at the 85th annual American Dental Education Association (ADEA) meeting for its innovation in rebuilding dental education in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. Despite losing its New Orleans facilities due to flooding from the levee failures, the school managed to resume operations in Baton Rouge in just five weeks, allowing students and residents to graduate on schedule.

LSUHSC's dentistry school is the only one in the state and is responsible for educating approximately 75 percent of dental professionals who practice in Louisiana, making it critical that the school resume operations as quickly as possible. With aid from the national dental community — which donated nearly $3 million worth of equipment — dental faculty, staff and students built state-of-the-art teaching clinics, an oral surgery suite, lecture rooms and laboratories in former research buildings on the Baton Rouge campus.

The school will receive the inaugural William J. Gies Award for Outstanding Innovation. The award is named for William J. Gies, a pioneer in dental education. The ceremony will take place March 29 in Dallas. — Winkler-Schmit

Tulane Researcher Wins NSF Award
Hank Ashbaugh, a professor of chemical and bimolecular engineering at Tulane University, has won a National Science Foundation (NSF) award that will enable him to continue his research of unstructured proteins in complex cell organisms. The prize, the Faculty Early Career Development Award, is considered one of NSF's most prestigious.

Ashbaugh will receive a total of $431,000 over five years to explore the function of "unfolded" proteins. Unlike three-dimensional folded proteins such as insulin and hemoglobin, unfolded proteins resemble a jumble of spaghetti. Researchers recently recognized that they make up a large percentage of the human genome and Ashbaugh, along with a team of researchers, hopes to determine the proteins' cellular purpose. — Winkler-Schmit

Making the Grade
It's one thing to work in the trenches of New Orleans' health-care system, and many do it well, but it's another job entirely to teach others how to navigate the field. To teach and train not only takes patience and expertise, but also the funds to pay instructors. In addition to the current shortage of nurses throughout Louisiana, there's also a shortage of nurses qualified to supervise and evaluate nursing students.

To address this shortage and get more nurses to work in the metro area, the School of Nursing at LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) New Orleans has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Louisiana Nurses Foundation and Johnson & Johnson to add adjunct clinical faculty for both the undergraduate and advanced-practice LSUHSC nursing programs. That will in turn allow the school to accept a higher number of students into its programs.

Those trained in the program will learn how to evaluate a student's preparedness, knowledge and clinical skills in an objective manner and determine the student's performance and the portion of the scholar's grade in his or her dealing with patients. The school hopes to continue the program past the grant period and increase the teaching capacity by approximately 25 adjunct faculty members in the next five years. This would allow for a 10 percent increase in students — or roughly 90 additional students — per year. More information will be mailed to Louisiana nurses when workshop dates are confirmed. For further details call 568-4174.

Louisiana Technical College (LTC) Region 1 and Delgado Community College also are taking measures to meet the demand for nurses and students in the New Orleans area. On Jan., 31 the two schools celebrated the opening of the 5,000-square-foot Practical Nursing and Allied Health Center of Excellence at the LTC Jefferson campus. The center — which includes classroom space, laboratory space, and top-notch technology and equipment — will be used by Delgado's Charity School of Nursing and LTC Region 1's allied health programs, including certified nurse assistant, patient care technician and phlebotomy programs.

Delgado's practical nursing program will graduate 42 students this summer and will expand its enrollment to 80 students in June. For more information about the center, visit — Andert

Where's Momma?
Caring for aging parents is becoming a reality for more and more people. The needs of the elderly can be complicated, especially when Alzheimer's Disease is present. Local author Jo Huey's books, Alzheimer's Disease: Help and Hope and Don't Leave Momma Home with the Dog, educate caregivers and give them the comfort of knowing they're not alone.

On Feb.21 at 6 p.m., Alzheimer's Services of the Crescent City will host a seminar led by Huey, who will discuss her professional and personal experiences dealing with the disease. Huey, a certified Alzheimer's educator and advocate for families living with Alzheimer's, will discuss the "Dementia Journey" she shared with her mother, as well as her experiences working with Alzheimer's patients for more than 20 years.

The event will be held at the John J. Hainkel Jr. Adult Day Health Center (612 Henry Clay Ave.). For more information, contact Mary Anne Mushatt at 340-8565 or — Andert


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