Lab Updates!

December 17, 2020

Final Gerontology Lab Team Meeting of Fall 2020

The Gerontology Lab Undergraduate Research Assistants had their final team meeting of the semester on Thursday afternoon. It was a great way to finish off the semester through all of these changes in our online format of Zoom meetings. We discussed everything we accomplished over the semester in our research and our lives.  Each student presented a slideshow discussing their major findings in research and their plans for the winter break. These slideshows will be posted as an update on a later date. The Gerontology Lab is excited to have all our undergrads return for the spring semester before many of them graduate in the Spring! 

December 17, 2020

Final Gerontology Lab Team Meeting of Fall 2020

The Gerontology Lab Undergraduate Research Assistants had their final team meeting of the semester on Thursday afternoon. It was a great way to finish off the semester through all of these changes in our online format of Zoom meetings. We discussed everything we accomplished over the semester in our research and our lives.  Each student presented a slideshow discussing their major findings in research and their plans for the winter break. These slideshows will be posted as an update on a later date. The Gerontology Lab is excited to have all our undergrads return for the spring semester before many of them graduate in the Spring! 

NOvember 11, 2020

Learn About Advance CAre Planning Through Video Series - Available Now

This past semester, the Gerontology Lab has been working on a series of three videos focused on Advance Care Planning for adults in a collaboration with Rev. Remington Johnson and Dr. Vishal Malpani of the WellMed Medical Group. These videos breakdown what Advance Care Planning is, how to discover your values, and express your wishes with your loved ones and healthcare team. The importance of Advance Care Planning has become difficult to ignore, especially with these changing times. You can find these videos on our website and youtube page, linked below. We strongly encourage that you and your loved ones watch these videos. It is never too early to get started on the conversations in Advance Care Planning.

NOvember 11, 2020

Katherine Britt Publishes Op-ed on Importance of Advance Care Planning

The Gerontology Lab is pleased to congratulate Kat Britt on her op-ed entitled, “Commentary: End-of-life talks more urgent now”.  In her piece, Kat Britt expresses the importance of engaging in Advance Care Planning conversations, especially in the current phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NOvember 3, 2020

Gerontology Lab will present at the 72nd Annual Gerontological Society of America Conference

The Gerontology Lab has been invited to present at the 72nd Annual Gerontological Society of America (GSA) conference online November 4th- 7th, 2020. GSA 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting Online brings together researchers, educators, scientists, health care professionals, influential thought leaders, and industry experts to address today’s most pressing issues in the field of aging. 

Dr. Jung Kwak will have two presentations this weekend. The first presentation will be on Friday, November 6th, from 2:45pm – 3:15 pm on the “Statewide Implementation of the Music & Memory Program: Facilitators, Barriers, and Lessons Learned” and the second will be on Saturday, November 7th from 1:45pm – 2:15pm

September 16, 2020

the Gerontology Lab Welcomes Neha and shilpa

The Gerontology Lab has enjoyed the addition of two new undergraduate students this Fall semester: Neha Dromaraju and Shilpa Rajagopal. The two students have been focused on primarily on the Advance Care Planning with Chaplains project as well as their own individual projects.

Neha Dronamraju is a 3rd year public health major, and she is currently working on the Advance Care Planning with Chaplains project. She joined the gerontology lab to learn more about the roles of spirituality and hope in end-of-life care. She is pursuing a career in healthcare, and she hopes to involve palliative care and community-based medicine in her future practice.

Shilpa is working on her honors thesis this year and reached out to Dr. Kwak due to a shared interest in palliative care. She has been volunteering as a patient support volunteer with a local hospice over the past year, which has broadened her understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of palliative care. Additionally, she conducts research on health disparities, exploring the impact of psychosocial factors, including racial discrimination and stress, on physiological health outcomes. This passion for community health has inspired her work in addressing existing inequities and expanding the accessibility and inclusivity of care for all communities. Her thesis topic is a compilation of all these interests and is currently centered on the role of chaplains in facilitating Advance Care Planning and how these responsibilities have changed in light of COVID-19. She is excited to be part of the Gerontology Lab and is grateful to have the support of Dr. Kwak as her thesis advisor! 

September 11, 2020

the Gerontology Lab's First Meeting of Fall 2020

The Gerontology Lab Undergraduate students and Dr. Kwak had their first team meeting of the Fall 2020 semester via Zoom today! We introduced new students, Shilpa, Neha, (to be introduced in another update soon) Camelia, and Moon, to our continuing undergraduate students, Aleena, Alison, and Michelle, this Friday. Through Zoom, we were able to share new updates and we have exciting progress to share in the new future in regards to our Advance Care Planning Videos, Chaplains Project, and future manuscripts! Stay tuned!

September 1, 2020

Advance Care Planning Video Collaboration with WellMed Medical Group & Reverend Remington Johnson

Over the course of the summer, the Gerontology Lab has been collaborating on creating a video series education patients on the process Advance Care Planning with WellMed Medical Group. These videos are really important, especially in the times of the current pandemic, where we have learned just how valuable telehealth interventions are.

This video series is made of three short videos, the first of which provides a short introduction to the process of Advance Care Planning. The second video aims to address the importance of establishing one’s Goals of Care. The third and final video address documentation as a final step to Advance Care Planning. Overall, these videos will educate patients on exactly what Advance Care Planning is and how they can get involved in the process of Advance Care Planning – a crucial part of healthcare in the aging process of patients.

In these videos, you will hear and see voices from Dr. Vishal Malpani, practicing physician and medical director at WellMed Medical Group, and Reverend Remington Johnson, chaplain, ordained Presbyterian minister, and healthcare research consultant located in Austin, TX. We would like to take this time and thank them for their time, professionalism, and hard work. We would like to especially thank Rev. Johnson on her work with creating the scripts we are using in these videos. 

Please stay tuned for more updates on the progress of these videos!

May 6, 2020

the Gerontology Lab Welcomes Camelia Esmaili and Moon Lee!

The Gerontology Lab would like to give a warm welcome to our new lab members, Camelia Esmaili and Moon Lee. Moon graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Biochemistry in the Spring of 2019 and will be working on with the lab on two projects: a new Telemedicine Literature Review and our Advance Care Planning with Chaplains for the Summer and the Fall! Camelia is a senior attending classes at the University of Texas and aspires to become a nurse after graduating from UT. Camelia will also be working with Moon on the Telemedicine Literature Review as well as working on the Advance Care Planning with Persons with Dementia project. 

We are super excited and grateful for their help this summer and we cannot wait to see what kind of things we will accomplish with the new member of our team!

May 6, 2020

Aleena Jamal and Team awarded "Best Interprofessional Project" and 2nd place for "people's choice award" at Interprofessional Health Showcase

May 1st – May 4th, the Gerontology Lab had the honor of presenting two posters in the virtual 2nd Annual Interprofessional Health Showcase hosted by the University of Texas at Austin Center for Health Interprofessional Practice and Education. Both under the direction of Dr. Kwak, Lisa Geshell and her team presented on the existing knowledge, skills, and attitudes about Advance Care Planning, while Aleena Jamal and her team presented on the identification of  a standard set of essential competencies for members in interprofessional healthcare teams.

We would like to congratulate both teams on their presentations in this showcase featuring students all over the 40 acres! And we would like to especially congratulate Aleena Jamal, Andrew Kim, Michelle Kim, Albert Luu, Alison Tang, and Dr. Kwak, on receiving the award for overall “Best Interprofessional Project” among 88 projects, and was voted 2nd Place by attendees of the showcase for “People’s Choice Award” . This was a tremendous award and honor for the Gerontology Lab!

If you are interested in seeing the posters and award winners of the 2nd annual Interprofessional Health Showcase, visit the following links:

IPE Health Showcase Award Recipients

An Integrative Literature Review on Advance Care Planning Across Health Professions: Knowledge, Skills, & Attitude, led by Lisa Geshell

Essential Components of Advance Care Planning for Interprofessional Health Care Teams, led by Aleena 

May 1, 2020

Katherine Britt Accepts Scholarships and Vice President Position of ANGS

We would love to give a warm congratulations to our very own, Katherine Britt, on her accomplishments this past month!

Kat received a scholarship from the Ambassadors for Community Health – Auxiliary at St. David’s Medical Center. This scholarship is an academic scholarship funding students in healthcare related studies for the 2020 – 2021 school year. Kat also received a scholarship from the Texas Exes Longhorn Village Chapter, which serves as an academic scholarship for nursing funding focused on gerontology.

In addition to her scholarship awards, Kat has also received the honor of the position of Vice President of the Association of Nurses in Graduate School at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.

Earning all of these awards was no small feat and just goes to show the extraordinary exemplary show of excellence and commitment that Kat shows to her work. We are so very proud of Kat for her tremendous accomplishments. Congratulations Kat!

April 28, 2020

Undergraduate Students, Aleena Jamal and Albert Luu, Presented Posters in UT Austin's Bridging Disciplines Program Poster Session

The Gerontology Lab would like to congratulate Aleena Jamal and Albert Luu on their successful poster presentation in the University of Texas at Austin Bridging Disciplines Program Virtual Poster Session on April 27th and 28th. Both students presented under the category of Ethics & Leadership in Health Care, with much 

Both presentations centered around Advance Care Planning. Aleena’s presentation, entitled, “Applying an Interprofessional Approach to Advance Care Planning”,  aims to develop a standard set of competencies for interprofessional healthcare teams to collaboratively engage in Advance Care Planning. Albert’s presentation on “The Role of Healthcare Chaplains in Facilitating Advance Care Planning”,  is centered around measuring the extent to which chaplains in various healthcare settings engage in advance care planning discussions.

 

April 4, 2020

Two Gerontology Lab Projects accepted to Interprofessional Health Showcase

Our research team has been accepted as participants in the 2nd annual Interprofessional Health Showcase hosted by the University of Texas at Austin Center for Health Interprofessional Practice and Education! You will be able to our two projects, led by Lisa Geshell and Aleena Jamal, on display in the virtual showcase on May 1, 2020The Interprofessional Health Showcase is composed of projects from students and residents at UT Austin, centered on community engagement, research, or quality improvement.

Our first project, led by Lisa Geshell investigates the existing knowledge, skills, and attitudes about advance care planning across various health professionals. Because healthcare professionals play a critical role in facilitating and meaningful conversations with patients and families, it is important to understand their current knowledge and identify where gaps in knowledge lie in order to prepare healthcare professionals to effectively engage in advance care planning. The goal of the second project, led by Aleena Jamal, is to identify a standard set of essential competencies for members in the interprofessional healthcare teams in order to engage in advance care planning collaboratively. This is done via identification and comparison of competency frameworks across literature and health professional organizations.

If you would like a special invitation to view our posters and others, as well as the opportunity to vote in the People’s Choice category, please e-mail: healthipe@austin.utexas.edu or visit https://healthipe.utexas.edu/2nd-annual-interprofessional-health-showcase for more information!!

April 1, 2020

Gerontology Lab MOving to remote work in light in COVID 19

On March 17, University of Texas President, Gregory Fenves, announced that the university will be transitioning online for the duration of the Spring 2020 semester. Since then, the Gerontology Lab has taken measures to transition online in the interest of public health and the safety of our own lab members in light of the current COVID 19 pandemic. While the transition to remote working has presented some challenges in lab tasks, all students in our lab are doing well and have been actively continuing to work remotely from home.

The Gerontology Lab would also like to take this time to remind everyone to please make smart choices! Stay home as much as possible, keep distances from others, wash your hands frequently, clean and disinfect your frequently touched surfaces daily, and maintain good, cleanly habits. Based on current findings, older adults above the age of 65 and those who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID 19. However, it is important to note that while you may not necessarily be in these at risk populations, others around you are. By breaking social distancing barriers and not following cleanly habits, you could risk spreading contaminants to yourself and loved ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have informed the public that the virus spreads very easily and sustainably between people via person-to-person spread and contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. It is our responsibility to keep away from contributing to the spread of the pandemic as best we can. Please protect yourself and your loved ones and stay safe. Below are some more resources on COVID 19 – how to protect yourselves, your loved ones, and the elderly, from the virus as well as coping with the stress imposed during this time.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html