Monthly archives: September, 2015

Dr. Semprum-Clavier Receives Faculty Award

Dr. Adriana Semprum-Clavier, Co-Director of the DMD Advanced Standing program and Clinical Associate Professor, Restorative Dentistry, was honored with the Colgate Palmolive Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) National Outstanding Faculty Award at the HDA 25th Annual conference in San Antonio, TX.

The Colgate Palmolive award recognizes the top faculty member who has “made a significant contribution toward enhancing the overall quality of oral health for the Hispanic population by exceeding the scope of their position as faculty member and HSDA advisor,” said Dr. Vidal Balderas, National President of the HDA.

Dr. Semprum is advisor to the Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) chapter at the College. The HSDA nominated Dr. Semprum for the national award “based on our activities to promote and improve oral health in the Hispanic community,” she said.

With Hispanics in Chicago “almost a third of the population,” Dr. Semprum said, that provides a “great opportunity to work with the Hispanic community in need. Hispanic patients can feel more comfortable with a dental professional who shares his/her culture and language. I assist students on finding opportunities for service in the community.”

Dr. Semprum helped establish a partnership between the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Esperanza Health Centers and the HSDA to conduct monthly oral health education and application of fluoride varnish for an average of 15 families one Saturday a month. During these sessions students under her supervision provide oral hygiene instructions and diet counseling. The UIC team also provides referrals to other oral health providers.

“With this partnership we were able to significantly increase the percentage of children having a dental visit by the 24th month of life,” Dr. Semprum said.
Jacqueline Magallanes, president of the College’s HSDA, nominated Dr. Semprum whom, Magallanes said, “goes above and beyond by mentoring HSDA members in advocating for the oral and general health of underserved Hispanic communities in Chicago through volunteer work with Esperanza.

“Dr. Semprum is always willing to find an answer to a question or solution to a problem for students, and always has time to meet with you one on one,” Magallanes said. “She inspires the members of HSDA to reach back to our needy communities and be the voice of the underserved.”

“I promote advocacy for our students,” Dr. Semprum said. “I am always available. I am in contact with students every day and I think about myself as a role model for Hispanics and non-Hispanic students. I help them improve their performance with a good learning environment and help them overcome their challenges. I like to encourage them to invest in education since it is their best instrument for success.

“And, I am thankful to my students,” she concluded. “It is because of them I motivate myself every day.”

The Hispanic Dental Association is a non-profit organization composed of oral health professionals and students dedicated to promoting and improving the oral health of the Hispanic community and providing advocacy for Hispanic oral health professionals in the United States. Log on to for more information.

Federal Program for Disadvantaged Students Extended at UIC


The University of Illinois at Chicago was awarded a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education for its TRIO Student Support Services Program.

TRIO is a set of federally-funded outreach programs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It helps motivate them to complete high school and enter a post-secondary educational institution and supports them through graduation with a bachelor’s degree. Students from low-income families, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities — from sixth grade through college graduation — are served by more than 2,800 programs nationally.

“To know that students who are eligible to receive the services of the TRIO Student Support Services grant will have the opportunity to continue to receive support or to begin receiving support is extremely gratifying,” says UIC’s TRIO Programs director Lillye Hart, assistant to the vice chancellor for student affairs. The extension will begin when the current five-year funding cycle ends a year from now.

UIC will use the grant to provide academic tutoring, academic and personal advising, mentoring, financial guidance, and other services to 160 students each year to support academic development, retention and graduation. Last year, 17 TRIO program participants graduated UIC with bachelor’s degrees, Hart said, bringing the total to 85 since the beginning of the last cycle in 2011.

The TRIO programs, begun as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, were the first national college access and retention programs to address social and cultural barriers to education in America. The Educational Opportunity Act of 1964 established a program known as Upward Bound. In 1965, the Higher Education Act created Talent Search. The third program, Special Services for Disadvantaged Students — later known as Student Support Services — launched in 1968. Currently, seven TRIO programs serve eligible students from middle school through college and graduate school.

Supporting family caregivers for people with disabilities

Caregiver Support

Sandy Magaña, professor of disability and human development, and department head Tamar Heller, are studying the needs of families caring for people with disabilities. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

There are more than 65 million family caregivers in this country helping 12 million seniors and people with disabilities live at home, saving the federal government billions each year in long-term care services.

“These caregivers aren’t getting much support in return,” said Sandy Magaña, professor of disability and human development, adding that they often suffer health and stress-related problems from the demands of providing care.

Magaña is principal investigator for a new five-year, $4.3 million grant to establish a multi-institutional center at UIC to study the needs of families caring for people with disabilities.

“By gaining a better understanding of the experiences of family caregivers — the services they use, and the needs and challenges they face — we can help set policy and research agendas that will lead to improvements in the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities of all ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds and the family members that help support them,” she said.

Support services for caregivers of the elderly and caregivers of people with disabilities are isolated from each other, she said.

“There are lots of good interventions and ideas within the aging and disability ‘silos’ that can and should be exchanged,” which would help experts devise new, combined support programs, she said.

The new Research and Training Center on Family Support will bring together experts on aging and on disabilities to guide research and to develop a national resource center.

The center is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the Administration for Community Living. Co-principal investigators on the grant are Tamar Heller, professor and head of disability and human development at UIC, and Joe Caldwell, director of long-term services and support policy at the National Council on Aging.

The center will conduct several major research projects over the next five years and develop a strategic plan to prioritize research for federal funding. Interviews with family caregivers will guide the agenda the researchers set for policymakers, Magaña said.

Trends in caregiving — including self-directed care, where individuals decide the services and supports they need — will be one focus of the center. Researchers will also evaluate the experiences of families using managed care.

Collaborating institutions include the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University, National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services at Boston College, RTC on Community Living at the University of Minnesota, National Alliance for Caregiving and the National Council on Aging. Organizational partners include The Arc, Easter Seals and the Sibling Leadership Network.

Swimmer Nominated for NCAA Woman of Year Award


UIC swimmer Anne Jacobsen was honored by the Horizon League for her involvement on campus and in the community with a nomination for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

The Horizon League, which reviews nominees from its conference members, selected Jacobsen for her outstanding achievements at UIC. The winner will be announced at an awards dinner Oct. 18 in Indianapolis. Jacobsen, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, was president of UIC’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She was a board member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, Student Tuition Advisory Committee and Student Fees Advisory Committee.

Jacobsen was a captain of the swimming and diving program for the last two seasons. She volunteered at UI Hospital and Rush University Medical Center. Jacobsen and men’s tennis player Mitch Granger founded Students Performing Acts of Random Kindness (SPARK), which helps feed the city’s homeless population using money donated by friends, family and supporters of the cause.

With the help of several viral YouTube videos, SPARK‘s volunteer staff has more than quadrupled since November. The student group was featured on local news shows on FOX, WGN, WCIU and more. As of June, SPARK has fed more than 600 people and clothed more than 200, with help in part from donations collected on

“It has been an honor to represent UIC in the community as a student-athlete and giving back to the community has always been a top priority of mine,” Jacobsen said. “What SPARK does is very simple but it has had an enormous impact. We are changing the way the community views the homeless population.”

Jacobsen started a volunteer group of UIC student athletes who visit young patients at University of Illinois Children’s Hospital every month.

“I am passionate about working with kids,” she said.

UIC and Partners Launch HeartRescue India


Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek, head of emergency medicine in the UIC College of Medicine and investigator on the HeartRescue India grant; Dr. Timothy Erickson, head of the UIC Center for Global Health (second from right) and Dr. M. R. Jayaram, Chancellor, M. S. Ramaiah Medical College (far right) commemorate the launch of HeartRescue India at a ceremony in at the medical college in Bangalore.

The University of Illinois at Chicago, M.S. Ramaiah Medical College and Memorial Hospital of Bangalore, India, and Medtronic announced the launch of HeartRescue India. The first-of-its-kind, $4.4 million, five-year collaborative effort funded by Medtronic Philanthropy supports community-based projects in Bangalore designed to lower deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest. India has more cardiovascular disease than any country in the world. Heart attacks claim 4 to 5 million people annually. Up to 4 percent of Indians in rural areas and up to 10 percent in cities have coronary artery disease, one of the leading causes of sudden cardiac arrest.

Partner organizations of HeartRescue India, which also include Research Triangle Institute International and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, will work on community outreach efforts to teach the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest; how to perform life-saving CPR; and how to call for help in an emergency.

Dr. Timothy Erickson, head of the UIC Center for Global Health; Bellur Prabhakar, associate dean for technological innovation and training in the UIC College of Medicine; and Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek, head of emergency medicine in the UIC College of Medicine, will coordinate UIC’s partnership with M.S. Ramaiah Medical College to provide emergency care expertise. HeartRescue India will also work to improve ambulance services to people’s homes for acute cardiac events. HeartRescue India will also identify barriers to care and gaps in service and work with local leaders to draft policy and regulations to improve existing systems and guide the development of community-based programs. HeartRescue India will develop a standardized data registry to enable Bangalore health care workers, emergency responders and others to input information about sudden cardiac arrests.

“We believe we can radically boost the number of patients who receive timely, effective care, and ultimately save many more lives in the process,” said Dr. Aruna Ramesh, head of emergency medicine and trauma at MS Ramaiah Hospital, and the principal investigator on the HeartRescue India program. “Improving access to healthcare is at the core of what we do,” says Milind Shah, vice president of South Asia, managing director of Medtronic India, and a board member of Medtronic Philanthropy.  “Our global and local partnerships lead to a strengthened continuum of care for the patients we serve, which in turn leads to better outcomes, and healthier communities.”



UIC Helps Launch Puerto Rican Archive

“El Archivo,” a digital archive that will gather, preserve and exhibit photographs and oral histories documenting the Puerto Rican experience in the Midwest, has been launched through a partnership between the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance.

PRAA Achiveo

To donate materials or volunteer for the “El Archivo” project, contact the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance at or 773-342-8865, ext 104.

UIC’s Richard J. Daley Library will oversee the archival processing of the materials under advisor Sonia Yaco, head of special collections and an expert in documenting the lives of underrepresented groups. UIC has hired a graduate assistant in museum and exhibition studies to process the archive.

“UIC’s role will be to share our expertise in creating a sustainable community archive,” Yaco said. “Preserving the rich history of our region takes partnerships – cultural groups like the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance and UIC, which is particularly strong in collecting the social, cultural and political history of Chicago.”

The organizers hope to include materials dating from 1920 through 1990 that document:

* the Puerto Rican migration experience
* Puerto Rican home and family life
* the Puerto Rican labor force, professional life and military service
* Puerto Rican social and cultural life
* The Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, at 3000 N. Elbridge Ave., plans to host a series of events and a public exhibition this year and next.

To donate materials or volunteer for the “El Archivo” project, contact the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance at or 773-342-8865, ext 104.

Group Provides CPR Training Kits to All Illinois High Schools

High school teachers throughout Illinois will receive CPR training-toolkits from Illinois Heart Rescue – a nonprofit dedicated to increasing survival for cardiac arrest.

The kits include DVDs in more than six languages that provide simple instruction in how to perform CPR and use automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to restart a stopped heart. Mannequins to practice chest compressions on are also included. The kits, which will be sent to Illinois’ regional offices of education, will be shared among local schools to help train the state’s 700,000 high school students. Illinois Heart Rescue, which operates under a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the Medtronic Foundation, is a statewide volunteer effort of EMS professionals, physicians, nurses, community groups, hospitals and governmental agencies.

“Immediate CPR, performed by a bystander, is the best chance a person has at surviving a sudden cardiac event,” says the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek, professor and head of emergency medicine at UIC and project leader for Illinois Heart Rescue. Since the program launched two years ago, Illinois Heart Rescue has trained thousands of Illinoisans in CPR and the use of AEDs, and in that time the statewide survival rate for out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest doubled, from 4 percent to 8 percent.

But bystander knowledge of CPR still varies across the state. Last year, when then-Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Lauran Laman Bill into law, mandating that all high school students receive CPR training, Illinois Heart Rescue saw an opportunity to further increase statewide survival for cardiac arrest. Lauren Laman was a 17-year-old from St. Charles, Illinois, who collapsed during dance practice at school. CPR was not given before emergency medical responders arrived. A nearby AED was not used.

“We wanted to help support the implementation of the Lauren Laman Law, which is an unfunded mandate, by taking the financial and training burden off Illinois schools, and decided the best way to do this would be to provide training toolkits teachers can use to not only learn how to perform CPR and use AEDs, but how to train others in the use of these life-saving techniques,” said Teri Campbell, senior research specialist in the University of Illinois College of Medicine emergency medicine department and director of Illinois Heart Rescue.

“Because Illinois Heart Rescue firmly believes in a ‘pay-it-forward’ model, we include handouts in the training kits that students can use to train their families in CPR at home,” said Campbell. “We ask that every student we train, in turn, teaches five additional people how to perform CPR.”

For more information on Illinois Heart Rescue, and to learn how to perform compression-only CPR, visit