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Monday, October 16, 2017

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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.

UMD Athletic Director Kevin Anderson Announces Sabbatical, Damon Evans to Assume AD Duties

October 16, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- Today, University of Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson announced that he is taking a six-month professional development sabbatical. Damon Evans, the Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Athletics, will fulfill Anderson’s duties during the sabbatical.

Damon Evans joined the university in 2014. Since that time, he has overseen the day-to-day operations of the department, its finances and compliance functions along with other key areas. Evans will assume all of the leadership functions of UMD Athletics and report directly to President Wallace D. Loh.

The text of Anderson’s announcement is included below:

 

DATE: 10/16/17

FROM:          Kevin Anderson
TO:               Athletics senior staff and head coaches
SUBJECT:    Professional development sabbatical

Dear Colleagues,

During the past several weeks, I have received a tremendous response from across the nation to the Washington Post article that highlighted my work with our student-athletes through “Kicking it with Kevin.” This experience has led me to consider where I want to focus my energies at this point in my career.

To this end, the University of Maryland has granted me the opportunity to remain in my position of Athletic Director while I take a six-month professional development sabbatical to engage in various projects focusing on leadership development, including work with a broad coalition of groups focused on issues of equity, student athlete activism and inclusion in college athletics and working with the NACDA / John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation.

I will also continue my personal participation on certain NACDA and NCAA Committees. While on sabbatical, the regular duties of running the department will be performed by an administrator to be selected by President Loh.

Please share this news with staff members in your areas.   


Sincerely,

Kevin Anderson
Athletic Director

UMD Solar Decathlon Team Takes First Place Nationally, Second Place Globally In Competition to Design House of the Future

October 14, 2017
Contacts: 

Jessica Jennings, 301-405-4618

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The University of Maryland’s entry into a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses took second place overall and was the top design from the United States. UMD’s entry, Resilient Adaptive Climate Technology (reACT) seeks to improve sustainability in four ways, and includes a hydroponic garden, “living walls” within its courtyard, modular living elements, predictive automation, and design elements that simplify future upgrades to the house.

 

Photo of reACT teamA cross-university team with students from multiple colleges at UMD designed reACT. Team Maryland’s entry showcases how a sustainable future is more than just designing a better built home; it is a lifestyle system that incorporates a home with its surrounding environment, interacts with its occupants, and strives to give back more than it takes.

 

Supporters can still vote through today for the People’s Choice Award in the competition at https://go.umd.edu/sd-peoples-choice.

 

This year’s results build on the university’s impressive history in the competition. In 2011, the University of Maryland team took first place, and second place in 2007.

 

Photo of reACT Photo of reACT  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To take a look inside reACT to see some of the house's feature: https://youtu.be/Y4rrmhV3USs.

 

University of Maryland Statement on Athletic Director -- October 14, 2017

October 14, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

The University of Maryland released the following statement today:

Kevin Anderson is the University of Maryland Athletic Director. Media reports to the contrary are false. 

University of Maryland Recognized as a Top Public Institution in 2017 College Scorecard

October 13, 2017
Contacts: 

Jennifer Burroughs, 301-405-4621

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland was recognized as a top university for producing graduates and high incomes after attending in the new College Scorecard from the U.S. Department of Education. UMD students graduate at a rate of 86 percent, and earn over 80 percent more than the national average in salary.

The updated College Scorecard allows students, families, and their advisers to compare colleges and universities using accessible, and reliable national data on cost, graduation rate, debt, and post-college earnings.

Among institutions with more than 15,000 students, UMD received high marks for its overall value, with emphasis on a below average annual cost. The University of Maryland's College Scorecard profile also notes that:

  • UMD's graduation rate is 40 percent higher and retention rate is nearly 30 percent higher than the national average
  • 79% of UMD students earned, on average, more than those with only a high school diploma, and;
  • The percent of students who have repaid at least $1 of the principal balance on their federal loans within 3 years of leaving school is 34 percent higher than the national average

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the College Scorecard is designed to increase transparency, and allow students and families to compare how well individual postsecondary institutions are preparing their students to be successful.

 

University of Maryland Statement on a Hate-Bias Incident Regarding a Swastika on Campus

October 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

On October 5, UMPD served a criminal summons to an individual for one count of malicious destruction of property and one count related to disturbing the operations of a school. This person has been served with a denial of access to campus and is no longer an employee of the university.  

Diversity and inclusion are core values of our institution, and these values will and must be upheld. We are currently leading forward a campus-wide action plan to combat hate and create a safer campus for all. 

In addition to long-standing programs to increase dialogue and promote diversity, recent initiatives include a task force to review all policies and practices with the goal of shaping a culture that is more inclusive and respectful; developing a trained, rapid-response team for hate-bias incidents; and compiling and publishing an annual report on hate-bias incidents on campus. To support this work, we have increased funding for campus-wide diversity and inclusion efforts.

Statement on UMPD Reward Announcement

October 12, 2017
Contacts: 

Katie Lawson, 301-405-4622

UMPD recently announced a reward for information leading to the identification of individuals spreading hate on campus. Offering this reward is one of many ways our university community is demonstrating our deep commitment to combating hate and creating a safer campus. We encourage anyone with information about these reprehensible incidents to contact UMPD. 

We are currently leading forward a campus-wide action plan to reaffirm our core values of diversity, inclusion, respect and civil discourse, and we are proud that Congressman John Lewis is joining us on campus tonight as part of these efforts. In addition to long-standing programs to increase dialogue and promote diversity, recent initiatives include a task force to review all policies and practices with the goal of shaping a culture that is more inclusive and respectful; developing a trained, rapid-response team for hate-bias incidents; and compiling and publishing an annual report on hate-bias incidents on campus. To support this work, we have increased funding for campus-wide diversity and inclusion efforts.

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