News to Use

  • Volunteers sought for the 20th annual Spring House Calls

    IU students, faculty, staff and non-IU School of Medicine friends and families, are invited to join the 20th annual Spring House Calls from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28.

    Spring House Calls is the largest and longest-running service-learning project of the IU School of Medicine. The event is dedicated to providing home and lawn maintenance for elderly and disabled minority homeowners in two inner-city neighborhoods near the IUPUI campus.

    Volunteers will meet at Christamore House, 502 N. Tremont St., Indianapolis, after which they will head to houses in the area to plant flowers, remove weeds, wash windows and perform minor maintenance as needed by the homeowners.

    After the event, volunteers and homeowners will come together for a lunch provided by Judge's BBQ.

    For more information or to volunteer, visit the Office of Medical-Service Learning's Spring House Calls Web page or email

    This event is sponsored by the Office of Medical-Service Learning. For this and other volunteer opportunities, contact Lisa Christy at

    Back to Top ▲

  • Get your tickets -- seventh annual Hunger Banquet

    The IU School of Medicine Global Health Student Interest Group will present the seventh annual Hunger Banquet from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, in the IUPUI University Tower Ballroom.

    Tickets are $10 for students, $15 general admission. Hunger Banquet t-shirts will also be on sale at the event for $12.

    Hunger Banquet is a fundraiser that raises awareness about global hunger issues that includes dinner, entertainment, a keynote speaker and a silent auction. This year's keynote speaker is Gary Burniske, managing director at the Purdue University Center for Global Food Security, who will discuss his international experiences with food security.

    Auction items at this year's event include an autographed copy of "The Fault in Our Stars" by Indianapolis author John Green, a basketball signed by Larry Bird and a year's supply of Panera bagels.

    All IUSM students, family and friends are encouraged to attend. All proceeds from the seventh annual Hunger Banquet will support the Tumaini Children's Drop-In Center in Eldoret, Kenya, and the AMPATH Orphan and Vulnerable Children's Fund.

    Donors and sponsors are still being sought for this year's event. For tickets, or for more information on becoming a donor or sponsor, visit the IUSM Hunger Banquet website.

    Questions to

    Back to Top ▲

Research News

  • IU researchers put forth 'call to action' on end-of-life care in nursing homes

    End-of-life care for nursing home residents has long been associated with poor symptom control and low family satisfaction. With more than one in four older Americans dying in a nursing home -- including 70 percent of Americans with advanced dementia -- an editorial published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association calls for bold action to improve the care and support provided to dying nursing home patients and their families.

    The editorial by Kathleen Unroe, M.D., assistance professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine, and co-authors, appears in the February issue of the  journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

    "With this editorial, I, a physician, and my colleagues, Mary Ersek, a Ph.D. nurse; and John Cagle, a Ph.D. social worker, are calling to the attention of the nursing home community -- those who own, manage, run and work at nursing homes and have a commitment to this population -- how the [Institute of Medicine] report applies to nursing homes," Dr. Unroe said. "It’s imperative that nursing home providers be experts in high-quality palliative and end-of-life care. The overwhelming focus of nursing homes on curative and rehab care can't preclude providing high-quality care appropriate to those who are dying; and the IOM report provides a springboard outlining how to deliver this care.

    "The IOM Report on Dying in America: A Call to Action for Nursing Homes" focuses on applying Institute of Medicine recommendations to nursing home residents, many in the last phase of their lives. The report was published in the 2014 “Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life."

    Dr. Unroe is also an investigator with the Regenstrief Institute and IU Center for Aging Research. 

    For more information, visit the IUSM Newsroom

    Back to Top ▲

Faculty and Staff News

  • Snyder to be honored at IUPUI women's basketball game

    Kurt Snyder, JD, director of Continuing Medical Education at the IU School of Medicine, will be honored as a Favorite Professor during the IUPUI women's basketball game versus North Dakota State starting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 in The Jungle at the IUPUI Natatorium. He was also honored as a Favorite Professor during the IUPUI men's basketball game on Feb. 11.

    In addition to his staff leadership role at the IU School of Medicine, Synder has served the past 17 years as an adjunct professor at the IU Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis, where he instructs on topics ranging from basic computer concepts to small business ownership, contracts, torts, criminal law and estate planning. He has also facilitated and managed capstone projects on topics such as hand held device programming and internet portal implementation for the Kelley School of Business Graduate Masters of Science in Information Science Program.

    In 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, he received special letter of recognition from the school for receiving outstanding student evaluations.

    Synder will be recognized at the game, along with other Favorite Professor honorees, during the halftime session.

    Tickets for the game are available at the door up to an hour before tip-off. IUPUI women’s games are free for IUPUI students, $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 3 to 12.

    Back to Top ▲

Student Showcase

  • Volunteers sought for elder care advocates program

    Volunteers are sought for the Center for At-Risk Elders Volunteer Advocates Program, a program providing volunteer guardian services to adults and seniors who are incapacitated, ill and un-befriended. 

    Appointed by the Marion County Probate Court, volunteer advocates investigate and assess an at-risk person’s life situation, facilitate healthcare and social services, plan appropriate residential placement, and prepare court reports regarding their findings and recommendations. 

    Volunteer Advocates are asked to commit to a one year term and can anticipate spending about 10 to 20 hours per month on advocacy responsibilities. Volunteer Advocates must be at least 21 years of age, pass a criminal background and reference check and complete required training. Some prior experience in caring for or advocating for vulnerable populations is helpful. 

    The next training session will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at the CARE offices located at 120 E. Market St., Suite 1190, Indianapolis.

    For more information, visit Questions to Robin Bandy at

    Back to Top ▲


  • RESPECT Center conference registration extended to Feb. 27

    Registration for the 2015 Research in Palliative and End-of-Life Communication and Training Center Conference has been extended to Friday, Feb. 27.

    This conference will bring together health care clinicians and researchers to discuss best practices in palliative and end-of-life care from 8 a.m. to 4:05 p.m. Friday, March 6, at the Ritz Charles in Carmel, Ind. Topics covered will include best practices in palliative and hospice care for improving care of patients with serious illness; strategies to improve continuity of care for patients with serious illness of all ages; key elements to improving communication and decision-making.

    The featured speaker will be William Brietbart, M.D., chair of psychiatry science and acting chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY.  Speakers from the IU School of Medicine include Ella Bowman, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine; Shelley Johns, Psy.D., assistant professor of medicine; and Greg Sachs, M.D. professor of medicine and co-director of the RESPECT Center. A complete list of speakers is online.

    Registration is $150 for physicians or nurse practitioners and $100 for healthcare professionals, which includes conference materials, sessions, continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon break service and a certificate.

    Questions to Laura Holtz at 317-274-9114 or

    Back to Top ▲

  • Accent modification course for international professionals starts March 25

    The next 10-session series in "Accent Modification: Effective Intercultural Communication for Healthcare Professionals," or AEI, will begin March 25 at the IU Health Methodist Hospital Candlelight Room (3050-A).

    AEI offers medical professionals the opportunity to improve their communication skills in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere. The program aims to provide participants the confidence and determination to pursue more conversations -- professional and personal -- in American English. International faculty, fellows, residents, postdoctoral students, medical students and nurses are welcome to attend.

    The mission of AEI is to help international medical professionals empower themselves with effective communication skills in the context of the American language and cultural norms. Participants will learn to minimize their non-native accents and cultivate good conversational skills in order to bring focus back to their exceptional academic abilities and increases their opportunities for professional advancement. The program also seeks to increase awareness in American health care providers about cultural differences in communication to facilitate intercultural understanding and tolerance.

    The course will be presented over 10 Wednesdays from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. March 25 to May 27. Courses are taught by certified instructors who teach English as a second language.

    This event is presented by IU School of Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development and Office of Diversity Affairs Programs for International Faculty. Poonam Khurana, M.D., assistance professor of clinical pediatrics, serves as program director.

    For more information, visit the AEI website or contact Dr. Khurana at or 317-962-2275.

    Back to Top ▲

  • IU Health Values Grand Challenges Grant -- letters of intent due March 27

    Applications are sought for the IU Health Values Grand Challenge Grant, a new component of the IU Health Values Fund for Research and Education grant program.

    The IU Health Values Grand Challenges Grant will support the conduct of clinically relevant population health research and education that is scientifically meritorious, medically sound and has a clear benefit to IU Health and the population it serves. The project should lead to one of the following:

    • Discovery of new knowledge and the development of new population health research and education models to improve outcomes.
    • Promotion of health in the population and the provision of health care of the highest quality to the patients and are cost-effective, efficient, leaner and effective in serving its customers.

    Proposals should be limited to $250,000 per year and up to a maximum of $500,000 for two years.  Letters of intent are due Friday, March 27. Complete proposals are due 5 p.m. Monday, April 27.

    For additional application instructions or to apply, visit the Indiana CTSI grants portal and log in using your institutional username and password. Applications instructions are located under " Indiana University Health Values Fund: Pilot and Feasibility Research Program - 2015.04."

    Submission questions to Anne Nguyen at Questions on financial issues, eligibility and budgeting to Peter M. Michael at or Rob Clark at

    Back to Top ▲


  • Health Professions Programs students named to dean's list

    One hundred and eighty students pursuing certificates or bachelor's or associate's degrees from the IU School of Medicine Health Professions Programs have been named to the Fall 2014 dean's list.

    A complete list of the academically achieving students is online.

    Back to Top ▲

  • Mackie receives distinguished faculty award

    Kenneth Mackie, M.D., adjunct professor of anesthesia at the IU School of Medicine, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Faculty Award presented by the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

    Dr. Mackie is an authority on the body's cannabinoid receptors, which are responsible for the psychoactive and therapeutic actions of cannabis. His current work centers on the endocannabinoid compounds produced by the body, and may well lead to new therapies for treating pain, obesity, seizure disorders, and the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. He also is professor of psychological and brain sciences at IU Bloomington and the director of the Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science and Program in Neuroscience at IU.

    Dr. Mackie will be honored on Friday, Feb. 27, at the 39th College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award dinner in Bloomington, which is typically attended by about 200 alumni, faculty, students and friends of the college. The dinner is open to the public; cost is $50 per person.

    Reservations are required and must be made by Feb. 25.

    Back to Top ▲

Around Town

  • Alzheimer's disease private movie screening and social media forum

    IU Health and Methodist Health Foundation will host a private screening of "Still Alice," an Oscar-nominated drama starring Julianne Moore, on Sunday, Feb. 22, at Landmark Keystone Arts Cinema.

    To enter to win tickets to the screening, follow IU Health on Twitter at @IU_Health or Facebook and like or re-post any status update or tweet from IU Health featuring the hashtag #FightALZ.

    "Still Alice" tells the story of a brilliant Ivy League professor’s battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease -- the world’s No. 1 most common neurodegenerative disorder.

    In addition to the private film screening, IU Health will aim to raise public understanding about the condition through a live "Ask the Doc" Q&A on social media beginning at 3 p.m. The hourlong session, hosted on the IU Health Twitter and Facebook channels, will feature a panel of experts from the IU Health Neuroscience Center and the Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Center who will answer questions about Alzheimer’s disease -- warning signs, treatments, research and resources for support and more.

    For more information, visit IU Health's website.

    Back to Top ▲