The “Forget-Me-Nots,” a 10-member team of students from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), the University of Houston and Texas Woman’s University, won first place at the 2013 Geriatric Interprofessional Student Competition Monday night.
Their mentor was UT School of Dentistry Professor Donna Warren-Morris, RDH, MEd, of the Department of Periodontics and Dental Hygiene. The annual event is sponsored by the Houston Geriatric Education Center at UTHealth, with support from UTHealth Vice President Charles Figari of Auxiliary Enterprises.
The winning team included UTHealth students Gwendolyn Brobbey, MD, MPH, (biomedical informatics), Deep Pujara (public health) and Erika Wood, MPH, (medicine); as well as TWU students Gregory Brusola (physical therapy), Leslie Melton and Julia Rhodes (occupational therapy); and UH students Antonia Caliboso, Sarah Grudier and Kathleen Lanini (social work) and Solange Inzillo, (communication science and disorders).
This year, 55 students competing in five teams took on the challenge of performing a needs assessment in assigned communities in Houston to evaluate potential success of establishing a “Memory Café” in those areas. The Forget-Me-Nots evaluated Houston’s Third Ward and identified Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church as a potential site for a Memory Café.
A Memory Café is a variation on a traditional support group, offering people with early to moderate dementia, Alzheimer’s or other memory problems a place to gather — along with their caregivers — to meet others in similar situations. The concept was pioneered by a psychiatrist, Dr. Bere Meisen, in The Netherlands in 1997.
The judges included H-GEC Director Carmel Dyer, MD; June Sadowsky, DDS, MPH, of UTHealth School of Dentistry; Lynn Maher, PhD, of UH; and Carolyn Kelley, PT, DSc, of TWU. Additional judges came from H-GEC’s community partners: Ann Marie McDonald, Mallory Freitag and Daniel Heathcock of the Alzheimer’s Association; Susie Howard of Amazing Place; Katie Scott, MPH, of Sheltering Arms; and Kelly Lou, MSW, and Denise Truong, MPH, of the Chinese Community Center.
H-GEC faculty who served as mentors to the teams included Warren-Morris of the School of Dentistry;Vaunette Fay, PhD, RN, of UTHealth School of Nursing, Dr. David Flores of UTHealth Medical School; Nancy Ordonez, PharmD, of UH, and Dr. Gayle Hersch, PhD, OTR, of TWU.
Two students from the School of Biomedical Informatics served on teams in the competition, including above mentioned Gwendolyn Brobbey and Anna Xu, PhD student.
About the Houston Geriatric Education Center:
About the competition: