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University of Maryland Statement Against Hate and Bias

November 5, 2017
Contacts: 

 Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

 
Statement Against Hate and Bias 
Joel Seligman, AVP for Communications and Marketing - November 5, 2017
 

UMD sincerely regrets the overwhelming misunderstanding resulting in the #UMDNotAHome social media conversation. The statements on social media connected to this hashtag do not reflect the positions of the university or our leaders' mutual commitment to diversity and inclusion on campus and across our nation.

To put it plainly, the UMD administration stands against hate and bias in all of its forms and wants every Terp to feel welcome, safe and at home at the University of Maryland. 

In recent months, there have been instances of intentional provocation by hateful, far-right groups spreading targeted messages that the administration finds despicable. These outside agitators want to divide our campus community into factions that are in conflict with one another from within UMD, rather than see our campus stand together in opposition to the broader forces of hate, white supremacy, anti-immigrant xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and anti-semitism. 

It is understandable that some members of our community are also disturbed by remarks by university officials, even when the comments are quoted entirely out of context and in a manner that misrepresents the meaning. UMD has seen an example of one of our longtime colleagues unfairly criticized for her efforts to provide legal advice to the University Senate Campus Affairs Committee literally at the same time she is working to advance the cause of inclusion.

The administration encourages all members of our community to work together—students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni—to increase respect, inclusiveness, and cohesiveness on our campus. A comprehensive list of efforts underway by UMD administration is available at umd.edu/umdreflects 

 

 

UMD Named a 2017 Best College by MONEY Magazine

July 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Jennifer Burroughs, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  The University of Maryland ranked No. 11 among public universities according to MONEY Magazine’s 2017 list of Best Colleges. UMD ranked No. 20 overall among U.S. institutions. 

To calculate rankings, MONEY assessed more than 700 colleges in the U.S. based on three equally-weighted categories, including educational quality, affordability and alumni success. MONEY measured 27 factors within these categories covering areas such as instructor quality, measuring the study-to-faculty ratio, affordability for low-income students and value-added earnings, which measures if the school is launching students to better paying jobs. 

Earlier this year, UMD was also ranked a Best Value College by ForbesPrinceton Review and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

UMD Capitol Hill Forum Addresses Health Disparities Research & Action for Equity

September 23, 2016
Contacts: 

Contacts: Elise Carbonaro, 301-405-6501

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland, in collaboration with Rep. John P. Sarbanes and the Big Ten Academic Alliance, recently convened more than 100 people for a Research on the Hill forum focused on strategies to achieve health equity at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Moderated by Stephen B. Thomas, Ph.D., professor and director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity in the UMD School of Public Health, the panel discussion engaged experts from academia, federal health agencies and the private business sector in a candid conversation about how to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities among vulnerable populations.

“Our exploratory research holds the solutions to many of the most challenging problems of our day,” said UMD Vice President and Chief Research Officer Patrick G. O’Shea, Ph.D. “As a university, it is our mission to create and understand knowledge to develop better ways to house and heal and fuel and feed our people in advanced societies that are just, secure, and free. Achieving health equity touches on the ‘heal’ aspect of that mission.”

The topics ranged from the progress that has been made in access to medical care as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to challenges that still remain in improving quality of care and in making the medical care system incorporate public health and address the social determinants of health that prevent people from acting health promotion and disease prevention recommendations. 

“The state of Maryland has embraced the ACA and there is clear evidence that the new incentives are indeed moving hospital systems away from a fee-for-service business model to one that rewards quality care and positive health outcomes over the volume of procedures,” said Thomas. “While the transition is not perfect, our state is a national leader for what the future of health care will look like.”

Panel members shared examples of effective and innovative community-based health interventions and public-private partnerships that are making a difference through culturally-tailored health promotion and disease prevention services, and highlighted the emergence of social determinants of health such as poverty, discrimination and residential segregation as factors that must be overcome.

 “I’m convinced that if you address racial and ethnic disparities with respect to the delivery of health care and health care coverage in this country, you will build the best health care system we can possibly have because diversity is our country’s hallmark,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who, as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been a tireless advocate for improving healthcare quality and addressing health disparities.
 
To achieve health equity, researchers, policymakers, and industry leaders must address broader issues beyond the traditional biomedical model and build trust between those who control health care delivery system and those who have lost hope in the system, said members of the panel. 

The panelists recommended that health equity be incorporated into all public policies, not just those related to health care, to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities. 

Panel members included:

  • Margo Edmunds, Ph.D., Vice President, Evidence Generation and Translation at Academy Health;
  • J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., M.S.C.E., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  • Julia Huggins, President of Cigna Mid-Atlantic;
  • Kolawole Okuyemi, M.D., MPH, Professor of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Director of the Program in Health Disparities Research and Inaugural Endowed Chair for Health Equity at the University of Minnesota; and
  • Eliseo Pérez-Stable, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health.

House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, who represents Maryland’s 5th Congressional District and is a distinguished UMD alumnus, also joined the event and emphasized that as an interconnected community, we should all care about health disparities.
 
“It is unacceptable that in the United States, where all are created equal in the words of our Declaration of Independence, that one’s access to healthcare may be higher or lower as a result of race, gender, or income,” said Congressman Hoyer. “Everybody being healthy is of concern to each and every one of us.”
 
He discussed how we must continue to defend the patient protections that Americans are benefiting from thanks to the ACA, such as the no-cost access to preventive services like mammograms and immunizations, as well as remind people of the dramatic increase in the number of people, particularly people of color, who now have health coverage as a result.

The event was held as part of the University of Maryland’s Research on the Hill series, which is aimed at raising awareness of research with great societal significance.

View the conversation at: https://youtu.be/HPedKr0jZLQ

UMD Study Finds Connecting Uninsured Patients to Primary Care Could Reduce ER Use

May 6, 2015
Contacts: 

Kelly Blake 301-405-9418
Hillery Tsumba 301-628-3425

Montgomery County, Md. Initiative Could Improve Health, Reduce Costs

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – An intervention to connect low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to a reliable source of primary health care shows promise for reducing avoidable use of hospital emergency departments in Maryland. A University of Maryland School of Public Health study evaluating the results of the intervention was published this week in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs

For twenty years, use of hospital emergency departments has been on the rise in the United States, particularly among low-income patients who face barriers to accessing health care outside of hospitals, including not having an identifiable primary health care provider. Almost half of emergency room visits are considered “avoidable.” The Emergency Department-Primary Care Connect Initiative of the Primary Care Coalition, which ran from 2009 through 2011, linked low-income uninsured and Medicaid patients to safety-net health clinics. 

“Our study found that uninsured patients with chronic health issues – such as those suffering from hypertension, diabetes, asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure, depression or anxiety – relied less on the emergency department after they were linked to a local health clinic for ongoing care,” says Dr. Karoline Mortensen, assistant professor of health services administration at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and senior researcher. “Connecting patients to primary care and expanding the availability of these safety-net clinics could reduce emergency department visits and provide better continuity of care for vulnerable populations.”  

Funded by a grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the initiative engaged all five of the hospitals operating in Montgomery County, Maryland at the time, and four safety-net clinics serving low-income patients. Using “patient navigators,” individuals trained to help patients find the care they need and can afford, these hospitals referred more than 10,000 low-income, uninsured and Medicaid patients who visited emergency departments to four local primary care clinics, with the goal of encouraging them to establish an ongoing relationship with the clinic and reduce their reliance on costly emergency department care. 

Two hospitals in Montgomery County who participated in the intervention continued the program after the initial grant period concluded because of the benefits they saw for patients and for reducing emergency department visits and associated costs. These hospitals are currently testing a new version of the intervention specifically deigned to link emergency department patients with behavioral health conditions to appropriate community-based services. 

While hospital administrators and health policy experts throughout the country are recognizing that access to primary care improves continuity of care for patients and reduces avoidable use of emergency departments, the implications of this project are particularly important for hospitals in Maryland, which are now operating under a unique all-payer model for hospital payments. Within this new payment structure, Maryland hospitals will have to meet ambitious spending, quality of care, and population health goals. Reducing avoidable use of emergency departments can help in reaching these goals.

The project provides promise not only for hospitals in Maryland but throughout the nation to improve health care experiences and outcomes for their patients. Shared learning systems were an integral component of the project so participants were learning from each other and sharing best practices throughout the project and that learning has now been documented and can be replicated in other communities.

“This was an incredibly rewarding project to work on,” says Barbara H. Eldridge, Manager of Quality Improvement at the Primary Care Coalition. “We created a learning system that permits us to sustain improved communication between patients and their providers, between hospital discharge planners and community based clinics, and across five hospitals operating in Montgomery County.” The initiative has proven successful in Montgomery County, Maryland and is being replicated in communities in other parts of the country. 

“Linking Uninsured Patients Treated In The Emergency Department To Primary Care Shows Some Promise In Maryland” was written by Theresa Y. Kim, Karoline Mortensen, and Barbara Eldridge and published in the journal Health Affairs

University Launches Dynamic, Interactive Information Website UMD Right Now

December 4, 2012
Contacts: 

Crystal Brown 301-405-4618 crystalb@umd.edu

College Park, Md. – Today, the University of Maryland launched a brand-new multimedia news and information portal, UMD Right Now, which provides members of the media and the public with real-time information on the university and its extended community.

UMD Right Now replaces Newsdesk, which previously served as the university’s news hub and central resource for members of the media. The new site is aimed at reaching broader audiences and allows visitors to keep up with the latest Maryland news and events, view photos and videos and connect with the university across all of its social media platforms.

“We designed UMD Right Now to be a comprehensive, vibrant site where visitors can find new and exciting things happening at Maryland,” said Linda Martin, executive director, Web and New Media Strategies. “Through social media, video, photos and news information, we hope to engage visitors and compel the community to explore all that Maryland has to offer.”

The new website, umdrightnow.umd.edu, contains up-to-date news releases and announcements, facts and figures about the university, a searchable database of faculty and staff experts, information highlighting innovation and entrepreneurship at UMD, additional resources for news media and other campus and athletics news.

“UMD RightNow is the place to go to find out all the things happening on and around campus on any given day,” said Crystal Brown, chief communications officer. “This website brings real-time news, events and information right to your fingertips.”

For more information and contact information for the Office of University Communications, please visit umdrightnow.umd.edu.

NAE President C.D. Mote, Jr., a Regents’ Professor and Past-President of UMD Is Named a Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors

January 12, 2018
Contacts: 

Lee Tune, 301-405-4679 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – C.D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., President of the National Academy of Engineering and a Regents’ Professor, and former president of the University of Maryland has been named a Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). 

Headshot of CD (Dan) Mote Jr.The National Academy of Inventors recognizes  “academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.” 

Colleagues say that throughout his career, Dr. Mote has indeed made tangible, positive impacts on the quality of people’s lives, and advanced economic development and the welfare of society through his work as a researcher, inventor, educator and mentor, and as a leader who has  advanced higher education, research and innovation, and the profession of engineering.

“The mission of the National Academy of Inventors is enhancing the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encouraging the disclosure of intellectual property, educating and mentoring innovative students, and informing the public about how invention and innovation benefit society. I enthusiastically share these goals and am honored to be named an NAI Fellow,” said Mote.

Mote’s other recognitions include the NAE Founders Award, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Medal, and the Humboldt Prize of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is an honorary fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, honorary member of the American Society for Engineering Education, and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Academy of Mechanics, Acoustical Society of America, and American As­sociation for the Advancement of Science. He holds four honorary doctorates and three honor­ary professorships. The NAE elected him to membership in 1988 and to the positions of Councillor (2002–2008), Treasurer (2009–2013), and President for a six–year term beginning July 1, 2013. Mote was elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2015 and as an honorary academician of the Academia Sinica, Taiwan in 2016. 

“Dan's many patents and innovations have earned this great honor," said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. "The entire campus community sends its congratulations, good wishes, and thanks for his many contributions to the University." 

As president of the NAE Mote is committed to ensuring highly competitive talent in the US engineering workforce, facilitating public understanding of engineering, demonstrating how engineering creates a better quality of life and engaging the academy in global engineering issues in support of national interests.  A highlight of global engineering engagement is the promotion of the NAE’s fourteen Grand Challenges for Engineering from 2008 whose solutions are needed to achieve the global vision “Continuation of life on the planet, making our world more sustainable, safe, healthy and joyful.”

As President of the University of Maryland, College Park, from 1998 to 2010, Mote’s goal for the university was to elevate its self-expectation of achievement and its national and global positions through proactive initiatives. During his tenure the number of Academy members on the fac­ulty tripled, three Nobel laureates were recognized, and an accredited school of public health and a new department of bioengineering were created. He also founded a 130-acre research park next to the campus, faculty research funds increased by 150 percent, partnerships with surrounding federal agencies and with international organizations expanded greatly, and the number of students studying abroad tripled. Mote created “Maryland Day” an annual UMD open house day that attracts over 100,000 visitors, founded a charitable foundation for the campus whose board of trustees launched and led a successful $1 billion capital campaign, and took to lunch every student that wanted to go. 

"Dan is a model of engineering excellence, through his advancement of our field and his contributions to the greater good," said University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering Dean Darryll J. Pines. "We are proud of his deep connection to our school." 

A native Californian, Mote earned his BS, MS, and PhD degrees at the University of California, Berkeley in mechanical engineering between 1959 and 1963.After a postdoctoral year in England and three years as an assistant professor at the Carnegie Institute of Technol­ogy in Pittsburgh, he returned to Berkeley to join the faculty in mechanical engineering for the next 31 years. He and his students investigated the dynamics, stability, and control of high-speed rotating and translating continua (e.g., disks, webs, tapes, and cables) as well as biomechanical problems associated with snow skiing. He coined the area called “dynamics of axially moving materials” encompassing these systems. Fifty-eight PhD students earned their degrees under his mentorship.

He held an endowed chair in mechanical systems at Berkeley and chaired the Mechanical En­gineering Department from 1987 to 1991, when the National Research Council (NRC) ranked its graduate program effectiveness highest nationally. Because of his success at raising funds for mechanical engineering, in 1991 he was appointed vice chancellor expressly to create and lead a $1 billion capital campaign, which raised $1.4 billion.

North American Waterways are Becoming Saltier and More Alkaline

January 10, 2018
Contacts: 

 Matthew Wright, 301-405-9267

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Across North America, streams and rivers are becoming saltier, thanks to road deicers, fertilizers and other salty compounds that humans indirectly release into waterways. At the same time, freshwater supplies are also becoming more alkaline.

Salty, alkaline freshwater can create big problems for drinking water supplies, urban infrastructure and natural ecosystems. For example, when Flint, Michigan, switched its primary water source to the Flint River in 2014, the river’s high salt load caused lead to leach from water pipes, creating the city’s well-documented water crisis.

A new study led by University of Maryland researchers is the first to assess long-term changes in freshwater salinity and pH at the continental scale. Drawn from data recorded at 232 U.S. Geological Survey monitoring sites across the country over the past 50 years, the analysis shows significant increases in both salinization and alkalinization. The study results also suggest a close link between the two properties, with different salt compounds combining to do more damage than any one salt on its own.

The analysis, which has implications for freshwater management and salt regulation strategies in the United States, Canada and beyond, was published in the January 8, 2018 Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The multi-institutional study also included researchers from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the University of Connecticut, the University of Virginia and Chatham University.

Photo of map that shows changes in salt content in fresh water in rivers and streams across the US over the past century

Map shows changes in the salt content of fresh water in rivers and streams across the United States in the past half century. Warmer colors indicate increasing salinity while cooler colors indicate decreasing salinty. The black dots represent the 232 U.S. Geological Survey monitoring sites that provided the data for the study. Photo credit: Ryan Utz/Chatham University.

“We created the name ‘Freshwater Salinization Syndrome’ because we realized it’s a suite of effects on water quality, with many different salt ions linked together. We didn’t know that before,” said Sujay Kaushal, a professor of geology at UMD and lead author of the study. “Many people assume that when you apply salt to the landscape it just gets washed away and disappears. But salt accumulates in soils and groundwater and takes decades to get flushed out.”

The researchers documented sharp chemical changes in many of the country’s major rivers, including the Mississippi, Hudson, Potomac, Neuse, Canadian and Chattahoochee Rivers. Many of these rivers supply drinking water for nearby cities and towns, including some of the most densely populated urban centers along the Eastern Seaboard.

According to Kaushal, most freshwater salinization research has focused on sodium chloride, better known as table salt, which is also the dominant chemical in road deicers. But in terms of chemistry, salt has a much broader definition, encompassing any combination of positively and negatively charged ions that dissociate in water. Some of the most common positive ions found in salts—including sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium—can have damaging effects on freshwater at higher concentrations.

“These ‘cocktails’ of salts can be more toxic than just one salt, as some ions can displace and release other ions from soils and rocks, compounding the problem,” said Kaushal, who also has an appointment in UMD’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center. “Ecotoxicologists are now beginning to understand this.”

The current study is the first to simultaneously account for multiple salt ions in freshwater across the United States and southern Canada. The results suggest that salt ions, damaging in their own right, are driving up the pH of freshwater as well, making it more alkaline. Over the time period covered by the study, the researchers concluded that 37 percent of the drainage area of the contiguous United States experienced a significant increase in salinity. Alkalinization, which is influenced by a number of different factors in addition to salinity, increased by 90 percent.

“Our study is the first to document a link between increased salinization and alkalinization at the continental scale. Until now, we didn’t fully appreciate the role that different salts play in altering the pH of streams and rivers of our country,” said study co-author Gene Likens, president emeritus of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and a distinguished research professor at the University of Connecticut. “Salt content and pH are fundamental aspects of water chemistry, so these are major changes to the properties of freshwater.”

Graphic of the many different human activities can increase salt pollution in drinking water

The root causes of increased salt in waterways vary from region to region, Kaushal said. In the snowy Mid-Atlantic and New England, road salt applied to maintain roadways in winter is a primary culprit. In the heavily agricultural Midwest, fertilizers—particularly those with high potassium content—also make major contributions. In other regions, mining waste and weathering of concrete, rocks and soils releases salts into adjacent waterways.

“We found that the pH of some rivers started increasing in the 1950s and ’60s—decades before the implementation of acid rain regulations,” said Michael Pace, a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and a co-author of the study. “We also observed increased salt concentrations in the Southeast, where they don’t apply road salts. These surprising trends presented a puzzle that our team worked together to solve.”

Many different humans activities can increase salt pollution in drinking water. Photo credit: Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

In the water-starved desert Southwest, where salt concentrations have historically been very high, Kaushal and his colleagues documented an overall decrease in salinity over time. The researchers attribute this decrease to a variety of factors, including changes in land and water use, coupled with an effort on the part of Western state and local governments to reduce salt inputs and improve water resource management strategies. For example, in 1973, the seven Western states included in the Colorado River Basin created the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum to support salinity control efforts.

Kaushal noted that many strategies for managing salt pollution already exist. Evidence suggests that brines can be more efficient than granulated salt for deicing roads, yielding the same effect with less overall salt input. Pre-salting before a major snow event can also improve results. Kaushal also said that many Mid-Atlantic and northeastern cities and states have outdated and inefficient salt-spreading equipment that is long overdue for an upgrade.

“Also, not all salts are created equally in terms of their ability to melt ice at certain temperatures,” Kaushal added. “Choosing the right salt compounds for the right conditions can help melt snow and ice more efficiently with less salt input, which would go a long way toward solving the problem.”

Kaushal and his colleagues note similar issues with the application of fertilizers in agricultural settings. In many cases, applying the right amount of fertilizer at the right time of the season can help reduce the overall output of salts into nearby streams and rivers. The researchers also note that more careful urban development strategies—primarily building further from waterways and designing more effective stormwater drainage systems—can help reduce the amount of salt washed away from weathered concrete.

“As a society, we’re addressing the water quality issues of sewage, wastewater and nutrient loading,” said Tom Torgersen, director of the National Science Foundation’s Water Sustainability and Climate program, which funded the research. “But our impact on water quality remains significant as a result of our increasing population, the size of our built infrastructure and other factors. Management of water quality impacts remains a challenge.”

The researchers also note the need to monitor and replace aging water pipes throughout the country that have been impacted by corrosion and scaling, or the buildup of mineral deposits and microbial films. Such pipes are particularly vulnerable to saltier, more alkaline water, which can exacerbate the release of toxic metals and other contaminants.

“The trends we are seeing in the data all suggest that we need to consider the issue of salt pollution and begin to take it seriously,” Kaushal said. “The Environmental Protection Agency does not regulate salts as primary contaminants in drinking water at the federal level, and there is inconsistency in managing salt pollution at the local level. These factors are something communities need to address to provide safe water now and for future generations.”

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (Award Nos. EAR-1521224, DEB-1027188, DEB-1119739 and CBET-105850), the U.S. Geological Survey, the Hudson River Foundation, the Chesapeake Bay Program and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views of these organizations.

 

As U.S. Maternal Deaths Rise, UMD Research Underscores Impact of Flawed Data

January 9, 2018
Contacts: 

Sara Gavin, 301-405-1733

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—New research from the University of Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC), published in Birth, investigates the rapidly increasing rate of maternal mortality—the death of a woman during or soon after pregnancy—in Texas in recent years. Researchers discovered an 87 percent increase in maternal deaths in Texas when comparing data from 2011-2015 with 2006-2010, but say some of the spike is attributable to overreporting and a flawed data collection system.

Marian MacDorman, a research professor at the MPRC and the study’s lead author, said the situation in Texas represents parallel public health emergencies: (1) a sharp increase in the maternal mortality rate in recent years; and (2) a lack of reliable data to better characterize and further understand the increase.

“Both the increasing maternal mortality rates in Texas and the substantial data problems identified in our study constitute an urgent call for action,” MacDorman said. “While the dramatic increase in maternal deaths in Texas is most concerning, this is a problem that needs to be addressed nationwide.”

According to MacDorman's latest study, "The problems in reporting of pregnancy status are compounded by United States coding rules that code every death with the pregnancy or postpartum checkbox checked to maternal causes, regardless of what is written in the cause-of-death."

MacDorman and colleagues previously published research in April of 2016 showing the U.S. maternal death rate increased 27% overall between 2000 and 2014, while rates declined internationally. 

Researchers analyzed data collected in states that include a pregnancy question on the U.S. standard death certificate filled out by physicians, medical examiners and coroners. In a commentary accompanying the Birth article, MacDorman and colleagues urge for a “systemic evaluation” of current reporting methods for maternal deaths, and the implementation of validation studies, data quality checks and enhanced education and training at state and national levels.

“Without accurate data to measure the magnitude of the problem and to identify at-risk populations, the efficacy of maternal mortality prevention efforts are severely compromised,” MacDorman said. “Simply put, if accurate maternal mortality data is not available, prevention efforts are scattered and unfocused and more women die.”

Maternal mortality has long been seen as a primary indicator of the quality of health care both in the United States and internationally. In 1990, the United Nations named maternal mortality reduction as a Millennium Development Goal, leading to an unprecedented effort to reduce maternal mortality worldwide. Maternal mortality decreased by 44% worldwide from 1990 to 2015, including a 48% decline among developed regions. However, the U.S. maternal mortality rate has shown consistent increases, in contrast to international trends.

MacDorman’s co-authors include Marie Thoma from the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, as well as Eugene Declercq from the School of Public Health at Boston University.

The University of Maryland, College Park will open late at 10 am, Tuesday, January 9, 2018, due to inclement weather.

January 9, 2018

The University of Maryland, College Park will open late at 10 am, Tuesday, January 9, 2018, due to inclement weather.

University of Maryland Announces Appointment of New Director for the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute

January 2, 2018
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The University of Maryland announced today the appointment of Michael E. Cox, Jr., as the new Director of the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI) after a nationwide search.  Cox replaces Steven T. Edwards whose retirement begins January 5, 2018.

Headshot of Michael Cox Jr. Headquartered at the University of Maryland, MFRI is the state’s comprehensive training and education system for emergency services. The institute plans, researches and delivers high quality, state of the art programs that enhance the ability of emergency service providers to protect, life, property and the environment. MFRI employs 65 full-time faculty and staff positions supported by more than 700 state-certified instructors who deliver programs at six statewide regional training facilities, as well as site specific locations.

“I commend Steve Edwards on his quarter century of excellence in guiding and preparing Maryland first responders to be among the best in the country and around the world,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “In our search for a new Director, we determined that Michael Cox was the right emergency services leader to continue the level of quality training and continue to move MFRI forward.”

Cox has been a MFRI employee and management team member since January of 2015.

“I want to thank President Loh for this tremendous opportunity, and I look forward to working in an innovative and collaborative fashion with the MFRI faculty and staff to continue to provide world class programs and customer service that the agency is known for nationally, and internationally,” said Cox. “Director Edwards has been a mentor to many people over the years and has contributed greatly to our profession.  I am honored to serve in this role and look forward to building on his accomplishments.”    

At age 16, Cox began his career in the fire service at the Woodland Beach Volunteer Fire Department in Edgewater, Maryland where he remains a life member. At age 20, Cox accepted a career position within the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.  Throughout his 27-year career, Cox worked in virtually every bureau and division in the Department. Cox ultimately advanced through the ranks to become the Department’s tenth Fire Chief where he led a combination force of more than 1,400 career and volunteer personnel serving a population of more than 550,000.

During his time as Anne Arundel County Fire Chief, Cox worked on numerous new initiatives to address critical issues facing the department, including the enhancement of responder and citizen safety, the correction of substandard insurance service office ratings in multiple areas of Anne Arundel County, the improvement of 911 call processing times and work flows, the development of a diversity recruitment plan, and the enhancement of communications with volunteer and career associations and groups within the department. 

Cox earned an associate’s degree in emergency medical services from Anne Arundel Community College; a bachelor’s degree in fire science from the University of Maryland University College, and a master’s degree in executive fire service leadership from Grand Canyon University. Cox also is a graduate of the United States Fire Administration’s Executive Fire Officer Program and has been designated as a Chief Fire Officer from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. Additionally, Cox holds national and state certifications as a fire officer, an emergency medical technician paramedic and an emergency services instructor.  Cox is also a graduate of Leadership Anne Arundel’s 2015 Flagship Program and Leadership Maryland Class of 2017.

Cox has been a resident of Anne Arundel County for the last 36 years and currently resides in Edgewater with his daughter Megan and his son Michael. 

Pages

January 11
Funding will provide scholarships for students in UMD’s Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students program Read
January 12
The National Academy of Inventors recognizes  “academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of... Read
January 10
New UMD-led research highlights the need for better regulation of road salt, fertilizers and other salty compounds. Read
January 9
Researchers urge for improved data collection to reduce maternal mortality. Read