Wednesday, August 3, 2016

New Internship Agreement with Physicians Group Makes Offering and Finding that Important Internship Easier

The Department of Community Health, led by Chair Dr. Tyler Smith, announced an important initiative to make it easier for students in the department to find and land that all important internship in their public health and health care administration programs.  Scripps Mercy Physicians Partners have hundreds of physicians under their umbrella that will participate.   The plan is to develop an online portal for internship positions to be posted and applied to in a one stop shopping approach.  Stay tuned for upcoming details.  The story has been widely covered in the media. Click on the links below for the whole story.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


In May our Vets2BSN Project students, faculty and staff were treated to a wonderful tour of the USNS Mercy by our gracious hosts, LTJGs Leland Comer and Anthony Waite.  These U.S. Navy Nurse Corps officers are both mentors for our Military Student Nurse Mentoring Organization (MSNMO) which matches currently enrolled Vets2BSN Project BSN students with an active duty or civilian nurse mentor throughout his or her program.  Mentors serve as a resource to the student checking in on a weekly basis on classes, provide additional content knowledge, identify areas for improvement and growth, and help with networking and career development.

The USNS Mercy is essentially the U.S. Navy’s floating hospital ship.  It was originally built as an oil tanker in 1976 and was later converted to a hospital ship in 1984. Its primary mission is to provide rapid, flexible, and mobile acute medical and surgical services to support Marine Corps Air/Ground Task Forces deployed ashore, Army and Air Force units deployed ashore, and naval amphibious task forces and battle forces afloat. Its secondary mission is to provide mobile surgical hospital service for use by appropriate U.S. Government agencies in Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA), disaster or humanitarian relief or limited humanitarian care incident to these missions or peacetime military operations.

 Students were treated to a full tour of the ship which included:
    • Intensive care wards: 80 beds
    • Recovery wards: 20 beds
    • Intermediate care wards: 280 beds
    • Light care wards: 120 beds
    • Limited care wards: 500 beds
    • Operating Rooms: 12
    • Casualty reception
    • Radiological services including CT
    • Main laboratory plus satellite lab
    • Central sterile receiving
    • Medical supply/pharmacy
    • Physical therapy and burn care
    • Intensive Care Unit
    • Dental services
    • Optometry/lens lab
    • Morgue
    • Laundry
    • Burn Treatment
    • Angiography
    • Blood Bank
    • Oxygen producing plants

The USNS Mercy went underway in May to participate in Pacific Partnership 2016, an ongoing series of Disaster Preparedness missions. Focusing on local Subject Matter Expert Exchanges, Pacific Partnership 16 continues to "Prepare in Calm to Respond in Crisis". Countries that have invited Mercy include Timor Leste, Malaysia, Indonesia, Republic of the Philippines and Vietnam.

Thank you again to LTJGs Comer and Waite for this wonderful opportunity to support our Vets2BSN Project students.  Click on the photos below to enlarge the photos for viewing.

View of the flight deck

Operating room

Dockside view 

Tour sign

(story submitted by Dr. Paul Tontz, Academic Counselor, Vets2BSN Project)

Monday, June 27, 2016

National University Virtual Clinic Opens its First Location in Watts

U.S. Representative Maxine Waters and Dean McNeal (center) and other local leaders cut the ribbon.
“This is such an exciting day for us,” said Dr. Gloria McNeal, Dean of National University’s (NU) School of Health and Human Services (SHHS) last month at the grand opening of the National University Nurse-Managed Clinic.  The clinic will be community based in the Los Angeles area and is the result of a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to the SHHS.  The effort is based out of NU’s LA campus and is connected through telehealth technologies to five community sites in the area.  The public launch event was held at one of the sites, the Tree of Life Missionary Baptist Church in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.
NU faculty, staff, and administrators were on hand to tour the site along with local, state, and federal leaders.  The grant allows funding for nurse practitioners from NU and other healthcare organizations to meet and treat patients in the community where they live.  You can view a video of the launch event highlighted by opening remarks by NU Provost Gangaram Singh here.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

2nd Annual SHHS Celebration of National Public Health Week is a Community Success!

“Bridge the Gap in Health, No Matter What the Wealth”
SHHS Students help run the Health Fair open to the public [Photo credit to Phil Oels]
For the second year in a row, National University (NU) School of Health and Human Services (SHHS) recognized and celebrated National Public Health Week (NPHW). To assist in reaching the NPHW goal of “Healthiest Nation 2030”, the SHHS Center of Excellence Community Engagement Core launched a multicultural health and career fair. Understanding that bridging the gap in health will require efforts and collaboration from many sectors, NU faculties partnered with community health students, nursing students, the NU library, NU student services, NU career services, and key members from the community in order to deliver an event, which celebrated both diversity and health. The event included health promotion activities such as integrated health, focusing on equine therapy, providing instruction on “Hands Only CPR”, career services, kids zone providing education on “farm to table”, emotional wellness and mental health information. The event also featured distinguished guest speakers from the San Diego County Medical Association. Dr. Solomon Finkelstein and Dr. Sally Rafie, Dr. Joon Hwang, and Dr. Vick Kuo presented on Healthy Eating Habits and Immunization. This event was a success as it involved interprofessional, interdepartmental, and interagency collaboration. The event engaged NU students in service-learning activities through the development, planning, and implementation of the fair. This event would have not been possible if it was not for our community partners.  NU and the Community Engagement Core acknowledges The County of San Diego Department of Health and Human Services, The Family Justice Center, Nile Sisters Initiative Development, Health Education Advocacy Leadership (HEAL), San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, and Dr. Gherke and The Rolling Horse Ranch, San Marcos Vet Center, Save A Life Foundation, San Diego Food Bank and Feeding America, San Diego, and last but not least our student volunteers, staffs and faculty members.

The event was organized by Nursing faculty member Dr. Darling Richiez and Community Health faculty member Dr. Ritika Bhawal.  Both are members of the SHHS Center of Excellence Community Engagement Core. They wish to especially thank Mr. Oels and his team's incredible photography and camera work, as well as the Library Team!

Below are video and still shots of the public event held in the parking lot of the NU Library in San Diego, CA.  Video shot and produced by National University staff member Phil Oels:

Dr.Darling Richiez (at left) chats with vendors at the Health Fair [Photo credit to Phil Oels]

Dr.Ellen Kaye Gehrke poses with students (and Shilo) [Photo credit to Phil Oels]

[Photo credit to Phil Oels]

Community Health Department Chair Dr. Tyler Smith (top left) looks on at the entrance to the Health Fair [Photo credit to Phil Oels]

Dr. Ritika Bhawal and Dr. Tyler Smith are all smiles at the Health Fair [Photo credit to Phil Oels]

Rusty the horse gets some student attention at the Health Fair [Photo credit to Phil Oels]

Dr. Ritika Bhawal and Dr.Darling Richiez at the Health Fair [Photo credit to Phil Oels]

The day ended with a Health Themed Flash Mob! [Video credit to Phil Oels]

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Community Health Associate Faculty Professor Publishes a New Book!

SHHS Faculty member Dr. David Lemberg's newest book is out!  The 96 page book, Entitled Taking Care at the End of Life: Five Steps to Writing a Meaningful and Practical Advance Directive is a guide through the process of designing and creating an important health document.  As the U.S. and world population continues to age well, the issue of how to properly prepare you and your loved ones for a time when you can no longer make decisions for yourself is critically important.  Each chapter of the book ends with a personal reflection and action steps to help the reader properly prepare an advance directive.  Dr. Lemberg has been an Associate Faculty Member for over 8 years in the Department of Community Health.  He has taught numerous courses in the SHHS including Statistics, Healthcare Law & Ethics, and Legal/Ethical Issues & Health Promotion.  Dr. Lemberg is the founding editor of Bioethics Today and has given numerous speeches and interviews to scientific magazines and various TV news shows.  He maintains an active website at and his book is available for a nominal cost here.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Oprah Winfrey Speaks to National University Students

On an unusual rainy day in San Diego, talk show host, actor, producer, and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey gave an address to the National University Community.  Students were front and center for the address given at the Sanford Center on April 7th. The talk was streamed live to our California campuses and to the web.  Born into poverty to a single mother in rural Mississippi, Winfrey later moved to Milwaukee and then to Tennessee.  There she was offered an on-air job at a local radio station.  Winfrey later moved to Baltimore to co-anchor the news and start a talk show which was soon renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show and broadcast nationally. Her show remains to this day the highest-rated talk show in American television history.  Ms. Winfrey remains a powerhouse in the media, maintaining an intimate talk show format and an active website and magazine.  Oprah took questions from students after an hour talk on living your best life for the greater.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Faculty Begin the Journey of Earning the First Ever Planetree Designation for a University

SHHS faculty came together at their annual school retreat in March to begin the work of becoming the first Planetree designated University.  The faculty were joined by administration, staff and students in talks and workshops facilitated by Health Sciences Professor Ellen Kaye Gehrke with members of the Planetree executive team (Randy Carter, Senior Vice-President and Tracy Walsh,  Experience Advisor).  Preliminary reports of a gap analysis completed in February were presented and several successful team building exercises were given.  The media has picked up the story here.  Stay tuned for more announcements and updates on this important project as National University's School of Health and Human Services works to transform how we train health care professionals!