Fresno State & Valley Children’s Hospital collaborate on Interprofessional Education Workshop

The first signs of fall are evident in the hues of orange and red trees that line the pathway of Valley Children’s Place Drive, leading up to Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera. Inside a large conference room, at the bottom level of the premier pediatric medical center, students from the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) at Fresno State have gathered on a midday afternoon for the first in a series of Interprofessional Education Workshops, organized by CHHS and Valley Children’s.

A glance around the room shows a mix of disciplines, both at the professional and student level. At a large round table sits speech-language pathology senior Melissa Arseneau and just across from her are students specializing in the fields of social work and physical therapy. To either side of them are health care professionals from Valley Children’s, ranging from registered nurses to physicians. At each of the 16 tables, the intermixed groups are engaged in thorough conversation. The room is abuzz with excitement.


A total of 97 students, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, majoring in nursing, physical therapy, social work, therapeutic recreation and speech-language pathology participated in the November 12th workshop. Together, they collaborated on a case study with the 63 pediatric health care professionals on hand, including physicians, registered nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, pharmacists and medical doctors, to name a few.

The workshop has been a year in the making, said Dr. Marie Gilbert, a lecturer in the School of Nursing at Fresno State, and one of the lead faculty coordinating the workshop. Bringing the two groups together was essential, as it allowed for the implementation of innovative interprofessional best practices that will positively impact the health of the Central Valley community.

“Our students had the opportunity to work with other students from similar professions, as well as work with licensed providers, physicians, and pharmacists on working through a case study about a patient and some ethical concerns that were had,” said Gilbert. “The students not only had the opportunity to learn more about their profession, but also learn about professions they will be working with when they graduate from Fresno State. The opportunity to discuss the case with real physicians was exciting.”

Just on the floor above the workshop, healthcare professionals from Valley Children’s are tending to their young patients, making this the perfect setting for the workshop. In fact, Valley Children’s is a familiar place for many of students in attendance, who are currently interning or have completed their internships or externships at the hospital.


The workshop, and overall collaboration, ultimately allows students to optimize current use of pediatric interprofessional stimulation between Fresno State and Valley Children’s to maximize learning opportunities at the hospital, which is one of the largest of its kind in the U.S.

“The workshop was a very rich and inviting experience for us Fresno State students,” said Arseneau. “During our studies at Fresno state, many of us students don’t get the opportunity to branch out and work with students outside of our majors. However, this workshop gave us just that. It gave us the opportunity to intermingle between the different majors and professions within the health fields.”

A primary element of the workshop was the infusion of Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice – a learning process that prepares all health profession students to work together with the common goal of building a safer and better patient-centered and community/population oriented U.S. health care system.


The 90-minute workshop began with a description of a case study that touched on the first competency: values and ethics for interprofessional practice. In this case, it focused on Hmong culture and the idea of western medicine versus cultural beliefs of medical care.

First, the groups worked together within their shared disciplines to discuss the case from their individual perspectives based on their own knowledge and expertise. For the second half of the workshop, the groups were separated so that each table had different disciplines represented. From there, discussions took on a collaborative approach.


The validity of ethics is something third-year Doctor of Physical Therapy student, David Quenzer, came away with.

“As a physical therapist, we’re always in relationship with family, the M.D. and all the health professionals, so today was a great experience, in knowing whose realm it is as far as ethics in concerned,” said Quenzer.

The other elements that form the framework for the development of interprofessional education values and core competencies found their way into each discussion, as would naturally happen.

Nursing students with Beverly Hayden-Pugh, Valley Children’s chief nursing officer. Photo Credit: Valley Children’s

The second core competency, which uses the knowledge of one’s own role and the roles of other professionals to appropriately assess and address the healthcare needs of the patients and populations served, was a heavily discussed topic.

“I think students are coming from an aspect of new learning and new techniques, and they’re coming out with a perspective from their school – and the people with experience have another perspective,” said Patricia Lindsey, manager of Clinical Education at Valley Children’s. “When you bring that in with the perspective of every discipline and the lens of looking at it from every type of healthcare provider, the information you can obtain is really powerful.”

Kevin Russell, a junior majoring in Therapeutic Recreation, said the workshop was very informative for him going into the field, especially to learn about the third core competency – communication with patients, families, communities and other health professionals.


“This workshop helped us understand why communication is so key in our emphasis,” said Russell. “Anywhere you work, it’s very key to communicate with your team and it helps no matter what situations you’re dealing with. Whether in ethical situations or moral backgrounds – it’s best to communicate with your team and family that you’re working with.”

The last core competency, the application of relationship-building values and principles of team-based care to perform effectively in different team roles, was an important learning tool.

“It is critical that we open our minds to other viewpoints from nearby disciplines to deliver the highest quality of care to patients,” said Suzanne Mechekoff, a senior majoring in Speech-Language Pathology. “We must take into account a patient’s cultural background and beliefs, and work together as a team to create an ongoing partnership of respect and trust to enhance health outcomes and satisfaction.  We gain valuable insight and knowledge by sharing each other’s experiences and educational backgrounds, which builds a stronger team through collaboration.”

Although students were given the vital opportunity to learn from professionals, the chance to acquire information was reciprocated on both sides.


“Fresno State students bring a new aspect to the care that we provide as well,” said Dr. Jolie Limon, chief of Pediatrics and executive director of Medical Education at Valley Children’s. “They’re much more tech savvy and much more collaborative and are used to working in teams, so by bringing students and experienced professionals together, as well as across disciplines, we’re able to increase our bandwidth.”

Limon, along with Lindsey, have been among the many professionals that have been working on this workshop for the past year. Other players include Fresno State CHHS faculty, led by Gilbert, and faculty/staff representatives, including: Scott Sailor, chair in the Department of Kinesiology; Peggy Trueblood, chair in the Department of Physical Therapy; Monica Rivera, assistant professor of Physical Therapy; Vicki Krenz, chair in the Department of Public Health; Nancy Nisbett, professor of Therapeutic Recreation; Fran Pomaville, assistant professor of Speech-Language Pathology; Stephen Roberts, associate professor of Audiology; Andrea Carlin, representative for Social Work Education and Gerontology; Dana Lucka, director of development; Pilar De La Cruz-Reyes, director of the Central California Center for Excellence in Nursing at Fresno State; and Dean Jody Hironaka-Juteau and Associate Dean Mitzi Lowe.

The team at Valley Children’s also includes Tony Yamamoto, director of Social Services and Interpreter Services, and Beverly Hayden-Pugh, senior vice president of Clinical Operations and chief nursing officer.


These series of interactive workshops will continue into the spring semester, with additional workshops that will take a close look at each of the core competencies. Arseneau said these workshops will help her prepare for her future career, knowing she will be working with professionals within all fields of health care.

“Our ultimate goal is to always reach the best outcome for our patients or clients,” said Arseneau. “Whether you are a registered nurse, speech-language pathologist, physical therapist, or an occupational therapist, just to name a few, we all strive for this. There is no better way to accomplish this than through team work and dedication to our patients and clients. I believe this workshop prepared me for my future career as a speech-language pathologist, because it opened my eyes to things that some people don’t even learn until the later years of their careers. For this, I feel very blessed.”

For more information on the Valley Children’s Interprofessional Education Workshop, contact Dr. Marie Gilbert at


CHHS students educate peers in health & wellness

Some of our fantastic students from public health, physical therapy, kinesiology and nursing participated in the Fresno State Wellness Fair earlier this week, coordinated by the Student Health and Counseling Center. Each of them provided health education to their peers – and seniors from Public Health 133: Health Education Methods were able to share their semester-long research, with topics ranging from domestic abuse, heat stroke, food insecurity, alcohol abuse and much more.

Great work to these BOLD bulldogs for helping their peers to become healthier bulldogs one day at a time! And thank you to the Student Health Center for putting on another wonderful wellness fair for the campus community.

Check out the video above for the sights and sounds of this awesome event and view more photos on our CHHS facebook page.


Fresno State commemorates World Prematurity Day

Photo Credit: jr.mata (via instagram)

Fresno County is home to one of the highest preterm birth rates in California with over 1,500 babies born premature every year. To raise awareness of this local (and global) epidemic, the Larry C. Shehadey Clock Tower at the Save Mart Center was lit up in purple to commemorate World Prematurity Day, held annually on November 17th.

In May, it was announced that Fresno County would be one of six sites nationwide to participate in the UC San Francisco Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi), a $100 million 10-year global initiative that will address the problem of premature birth, which is the leading cause of death for newborns and the second leading cause of death for children under five years of age. The PTBi is jointly funded by the Marc and Lynn Benioff Foundation in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 15 million babies are born premature, defined as being born before 37 weeks of gestation. This number will continue to rise without current, cost-effective interventions in place. The Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State has been researching the issue of preterm birth for the past 10 years and will be part of the wider team of health and education leaders working to gather data on the biological, behavioral and social factors that drive prematurity.

Read more about the PTBi at The Fresno Bee or UCSF link.


Join the Talk Nov. 18!

ShopTalkFlyer_11.18.15Join the College of Health and Human Service faculty and Centers/Institutes staff as we talk shop, connect, learn and inspire collaboration for present and future research opportunities! The next CHHS Shop Talk is happening this Wednesday, Nov. 18. Shop Talk will happen several times a semester, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m at Henry Madden Library in Room 3212. Each session will highlight the research and work of faculty within the college.

First up this semester is Dr. Luke Pryor, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology. He will discuss his research in the area of heat and hydration and how those two factors can effect endurance performance and thermoregulation of the human body, particularly in athletes.

In addition to teaching, Pryor is a Board Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Please note: Shop Talk is currently open only to CHHS faculty and staff. Light refreshments will be provided for this event.

To learn more or for questions regarding accessibility, please contact Diahann Gutierrez at or 228.2150.

Nursing alumnae among the honorees at Veterans Day Parade

Fresno State nursing alumnae will be among the thousands of veterans participating in the historic Fresno Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11. The Central California Center for Excellence in Nursing at Fresno State is proud to honor Marie Hoemke (left, 1962) and Pam Loewen (right, 1966), both of whom served in the military respectively. The parade is hailed as the largest Veteran’s Day parade on the West Coast, with over 9,000 participants. It will be televised locally and by the Armed Forces Network worldwide to all military bases and posts.

Each of the Fresno State alums have led a decorated and honorable nursing career in the military that spans multiple decades.


Marie1Marie Hoemke has served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, as a staff nurse, since 1961. Her journey began in Fresno, Calif., as the eldest of three children and the daughter of two proud college graduates. She followed in her parents footsteps and went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Fresno State in 1962, and two master’s degrees: one in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco in 1987 and another in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University in 1991. It was in her junior year of college at Fresno State that she joined the Nurse Corps, to alleviate financial burdens. It was a decision that proved to be fruitful.

“In the Army, the mission for nurses for our soldiers was fascinating—quite different from civilian nursing. Military discipline and training were a challenge,” said Hoemke. “I so enjoyed working with the army nurses, doctors and medical specialists who came from different states with varied specialties. Together we formed an effective medical team for the benefit of the military and U. S. Army forces.”

Marie3Aside from the Nurse Corps, Hoemke has also worked as a staff nurse at Moffett Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital, both located in San Francisco. For nearly 10 years, she worked as a public health nurse for the City of San Francisco’s Department of Public Health. She served almost three decades as a school registered nurse and program administrator until her retirement with San Francisco Unified School District in 2001.

Hoemke, who resides in Napa Valley with her husband Dale, remains active on the local board of directors for the California School Nurse Organization and the Napa Valley Retired Teachers Organization. She currently works as a retired substitute teacher in Napa County, and also enjoys singing in her church choir.


Pam4Pam Loewen was a pioneer among her family and in the nursing profession, having been the first child in her family to go to college and become a nurse and the first senior public health nurse from the Fresno County Department of Public Health. Several cousins and family members would follow suit and also join the nursing field. Loewen grew up in Reedley and attended city college there, before transferring to Fresno State where she received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1966. Her first job out of college was in the maternity ward at Fresno County Hospital.

Loewen later entered the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps and was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in In New Mexico from 1975 to 1977, where she was a charge nurse for the pediatric clinic and later OB-GYN clinic, as well as consultant for the public health clinic. Once again proving to be a pioneer, Loewen was among the first nurses to receive flight nurse training, flying patients stateside. In 1977, she became a flight nurse instructor, earning her the Air Force Commendation medal and the Meritorious Service medal.

“I had 20 years of inactive reserve service with the Air Force, of reporting in yearly, and in case of war, if they needed nurses they could call you back in,” said Loewen.  “I enjoyed the challenge of being an Air Force nurse, as everyday was different, and I love to fly and travel.”

Pam3Soon after, while in inactive reserve, Loewen attended graduate school at the University of Hawaii and received two master’s degree: one as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and the other in Community Health. Her career transitioned to the Monterey County Health Department where she worked from 1984 until her retirement in 2004, first as senior public health nurse and later, supervising public health nurse. She coordinated their High Risk Infant Follow-Up program for 16 years and then became the supervisor of the Tuberculosis Unit. Her hard work earned her several outstanding employee and team awards, as well as a proclamation from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors for 20 years of service.

Loewen is now retired and actively volunteers with the School of Nursing at Fresno State as its Historian and Alumni Liaison on the Nursing Legacy Project at the Center for Excellence in Nursing Education and Leadership. One of her first projects, in 2007, was putting together the nursing legacy website.

Pam2“I thought it would be great to have a website for alumni, instead of a museum, so anyone could access it,” said Loewen.  “I told the nursing chair at that time that I would try to locate their alumni, which I did, and it turned out that they had about 5,000 alumni at the time. We collected their stories and photos. I’m currently trying to collect not only Fresno State nurse alumni stories, but several other local schools on nursing, from 1895 to 1958.”

In 2008, Loewen received the College of Health and Human Services’ Outstanding Top Dog award at the Fresno State Alumni Association’s Top Dog Awards Gala.

To learn more about the Nursing Legacy Project, visit their website.

Hoemke (middle) and Loewen (right), seen here with Pilar De La Cruz-Reyes (left), director of the Central California Center for Excellence in Nursing at the 2015 Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2105.  Photo Credit: The Fresno Bee

California State University Health Deans visit Fresno State

Health deans from around the CSU system at Fresno State.

On Nov. 5 and 6, Dean Jody Hironaka-Juteau and Associate Dean Mitzi Lowe hosted 14 other health deans from around the California State University (CSU) system for the annual Health Deans Fall Meeting. This group of health leaders came together to collaborate and discuss vital topics, such as student success, leadership development, research support and more.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Lynnette Zelezny, welcomed the deans at the Smittcamp Alumni House, where the next two days of discussion and planning took place. During the first day of the visit, the deans had the opportunity to visit the Fresno State Student Cupboard and learn about ways the University is addressing food security on campus. Many of the deans expressed interest in having a similar program at their university or expanding on their already existing programs. Afterwards, they discussed proposed funding for CalSWEC Title IV-E, led by Dr. Beatrice Yorker of CSU Los Angeles.

On Friday, our Advising and Career Development Center gave a presentation about the services they offer to students on campus. Other topics discussed at the annual meeting, included accreditation, palliative care, cost and sustainability of graduate programs and engagement of emeriti/retired faculty and staff. It was great having fellow health leaders from around the CSU system come together for bold and impactful collaboration!

Those in attendance included:

  • CSU Bakersfield: Dr. Steven Bacon, associate dean – School of Social Sciences & Education
  • CSU Chico: Dr. Steven Robinow, associate dean – College of Natural Sciences
  • CSU Dominguez Hills: Dr. Gary Sayed, dean – College of Health, Human Services and Nursing
  • Humboldt State University: Dr. John Lee, dean – College of Professional Studies
  • CSU Long Beach: Dr. James Koval, dean and Dr. Terry Robertson, assiociate dean  – College of Health and Human Services
  • CSU Los Angeles: Dr. Beatrice Yorker, dean and Dr. Farrell Webb, associate dean – College of Health and Human Services
  • CSU Monterey Bay: Dr. Britt Rios-Ellis, dean – College of Health and Human Services
  • CSU Sacramento: Dr. Fred Baldini, dean and Dr. Robin Carter, associate dean – College of Health and Human Services
  • San Diego State University: Dr. Guadalupe Ayala, associate dean – Graduate School of Public Health
  • San Jose State University: Dr. Pamela Richardson, associate dean – College of Applied Sciences and Arts
  • Sonoma State University: Dr. Lynn Stauffer, dean – School of Science and Technology

Alumnus establishes scholarship endowment in memory of public health student

Los Angeles-based law firm Panish Shea & Boyle LLP donated $100,000 to the California State University, Fresno Foundation to establish the Ana G. Tapia Memorial Endowment Fund. Ms. Tapia was in her first year of the Master of Public Health program at Fresno State when she died from a car accident on Nov. 7, 2014.

Law firm partner Brian Panish, a Fresno State alumnus (1980), and attorney Dan Dunbar represented Ms. Tapia’s family in a wrongful death case arising from the accident.

“Ana Tapia was a remarkable young woman whose life was taken far too soon,” said Mr. Panish. “We are proud to honor her through the creation of this scholarship fund that will provide others with an opportunity to serve the community in the same way that Ana did.”

Ana Tapia in May 2014. Photo Credit: Tapia Family
Ana Tapia in May 2014. Photo Credit: Tapia Family

To memorialize Ms. Tapia’s legacy and commitment to education and her community, the endowment will support Fresno State public health students from the Central Valley. Undergraduate and graduate scholars with a demonstrated interest in, and a passion for, health issues and challenges in the Latino community, particularly Latina health issues, will be considered. Those from Fowler High School, Ms. Tapia’s alma mater, and those with a demonstrated financial need, will have priority.

“The Ana G. Tapia Memorial Scholarship will create opportunities and provide inspiration to students who want to make a difference in our region through health research and policy analysis,” said Dr. John Capitman, executive director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, where Ms. Tapia interned. “This scholarship is a great starting point for Hispanic students in the Valley who have a passion for higher education in general, and especially for someone like Ana who not only had the passion for learning, but also for applying the learning to advance life chances for her community.”

Ms. Tapia graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in public health, with an option in community health, in May 2014. Actively involved on campus with many honor societies, clubs and internships, she was nominated for Fresno State’s Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist award for the Division of Student Affairs. She entered the graduate program later that fall with a desire to enhance her studies in health education.

“Ana embodied all the core values we strive for in our students,” said Dr. Vicki Krenz, chair of the Department of Public Health and Ms. Tapia’s undergraduate adviser. “She had a strong commitment to providing research on women’s issues, teen pregnancy and access to health care for all. She was so dedicated and fully invested to her education and always wanted to grasp on to everything.”

Ana presenting her CVPHI project.
Ana presenting her CVPHI project.

Ms. Tapia had a passion for helping the underserved. While at Fresno State, she was an ambassador for the Education and Leadership Foundation and a peer mentor in the Educational Opportunity Program, providing mentoring services to first-generation, low-income and educationally disadvantaged students on campus.

She transitioned this passion into her studies, where she displayed a strong commitment to educating the community in health issues impacting the region. Ms. Tapia was hired at the Central Valley Health Policy Institute after completing her undergraduate work, and was involved in projects that catered to the underserved population, particularly Latinos. As a first-generation college student and daughter of immigrant farmworkers, these were causes close to Ms. Tapia’s heart, said Krenz.

The Tapia Family in May 2014. Photo Credit: Tapia Family.
The Tapia Family in May 2014. Photo Credit: Tapia Family.

“We feel happy that something like this is being done in memory of our daughter,” said Artemio and Irma Tapia, Ana’s parents. “We know there are many students who, like Ana, want to continue their education and make a difference in other people’s lives. We hope that a gift like this will make it easier for those students who want to continue their education and give back to their people and communities, just like our daughter did.”

The first recipient of the Ana G. Tapia Memorial Scholarship will be awarded in fall 2016.

For more information, contact Angela Bailey, director of public relations at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, at 909.286.4040 or Dana Lucka, director of development for Fresno State’s College of Health and Human Services, at 559.278.5590 or


Related links:

Our College empowers students to take a whole body approach to improving the quality of life. Our faculty and students are dedicated to helping Central California live well. Click through the slideshow to the right to learn about each of our seven departments within our college: Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies, Kinesiology, Physical Therapy, Public Health, Recreation Administration, School of Nursing and Social Work Education and Gerontology.


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