Six Projects Awarded RCHE Seed Grants

The Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering announced six winners of its second annual seed grant program.

Melissa Franks (Child Development and Family Studies), Jake Jensen (Communications), Laura Sands (Nursing), Joseph Thomas (Pharmacy), Lee Schwarz (Management), Ji Soo Yi (Industrial Engineering).

The seed grant program provides up to $40,000 per project for one year and is designed to help take meritorious research ideas to a level at which they can more readily get external funding. The request for proposals was issued in December, and faculty from all Purdue campuses were invited to submit projects. Each proposal was judged by at least three faculty members, with one being in the project’s research area.

About the Projects

Melissa Franks

Franks“Following Doctor’s Orders: Does Patient and Spouse Communication with Healthcare Providers Improve Dietary Adherence Among Patients with Diabetes?”

Franks, co-PI Cleveland G. Shields, both associate professors in the Department of Child Development and Family Studies, will partner with a local endocrinologist to see if coordinating information delivery to patients and their spouses increases treatment adherence.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects nearly 24 million Americans. Proper and consistent management of the disease has been shown to be essential in staving off diabetes-related complications.

Jake Jensen

Jensen“Using Narrative Persuasion to Increase Colon Cancer Detection in High-Risk Individuals: A Worksite Intervention”

Jensen and co-PIs Mary Anne Sloan and Susan E. Morgan will study a worksite campaign attempting to increase colorectal cancer screenings. Other studies have shown that worksite campaigns can be effective but this is the first study that will look at the narrative aspect as a means to achieving healthcare goals.

Laura Sands

Sands“The Impact of No-Show Behavior on Diabetes Management”

Sands and co-PI Mark Lawley will study the impact of missed appointments on diabetes management efforts. Their research will also look at why appointments are missed, including predictive factors, that could be integrated into predictive modeling for better patient scheduling.

Lee Schwarz

Schwarz“Modeling the Supply Chains for Healthcare Products”

Schwarz’s research project will focus on the consequences of healthcare product misidentification and the development of pharmaceutical distribution revenue models. Unlike consumer goods, healthcare products do not have a well-developed system of identification, distribution, or logistics. The impact begins with inefficiencies and extends into patient-safety issues.

Joseph Thomas

Thomas“Integrated Data and Trauma Care Outcomes”

Thomas will use four data sources — Indiana trauma registry, Indiana Emergency Medical Services registry, Indiana hospital discharge data, and Medicaid data for cases in the Indiana trauma registry — to examine variation in trauma care and the resulting outcomes. The larger data set will enable him to focus on outcomes other than mortality and to perform a more longitudinal analysis of the data.

Ji Soo Yi

Yi“Testing an Interactive Web-Based Nutrition Tool in Patients Enrolled in Cardiac Rehabilitation”

Yi will develop a pilot project to test “Food Magnet,” a web-based tool that can be used to help patients diagnosed with coronary heart disease manage their diet. The tool will be designed so that computer- and nutrition-literacy issues do not limit patients’ ability to use it. Yi also will look at the tool’s effectiveness in educating patients and in creating behavioral changes in food selections.

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National speakers headline spring conference

RCHE’s spring research solutions conference will feature seven speakers from national and regional health organizations to discuss priorities and goals in healthcare. Based on the November 2008 report from the National Priorities Partnership, conference speakers will discuss priorities from their point of view as well as how researchers can best contribute to achieving those priorities.

Conference speakers

  • Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP, Vice President, Practice Advocacy and Improvement, American College of Physicians
  • Virginia A. Caine, MD, Marion County Health Director
  • Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, President, Institute of Medicine
  • Cerry Klein, Program Director, National Science Foundation
  • Steven R. Mayfield, Dr.H.A., MBA, Senior Vice President, Director, American Hospital Association Quality Center
  • David Meyers, Director of the Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partners, Agency for Health Research and Quality

There is still time to register for the conference. Registration, agenda, and travel information are available at

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Mary Schultz is one of Discovery Park’s first Rising Star awardees

SchultzOne of the first two recipients of a new award was RCHE’s administrative assistant, Mary Schultz. The Rising Sun Award recognizes those who go above and beyond at demonstrating Discovery Park’s commitment to interdisciplinary work and launching new ideas.

Schultz coordinates and continues to improve the Brown Bag lunch seminar program and has secured speakers like Jared Fogle of Subway to speak about healthy eating. Within the first year of starting at the Regenstrief Center, she organized, promoted, and managed the Ambassador Program. She also coordinates RCHE’s participation in the Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship (DURI) program. Last fall, Schultz completed “Leadership Lafayette,” a community-based leadership development program.

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Pankaj Sharma named Fulbright Scholar

Pankaj Sharma, associate director of international operations at Purdue University’s Discovery Park, has been named a Fulbright New Century Scholar.

The appointment was given to 30 top academics and professionals from the U.S. and abroad. Sharma, a professor in Purdue’s College of Technology, will collaborate with the 2009–10 class of Fulbright scholars. He will participate in meetings with the other scholars in Maryland and Germany, focusing on higher education’s role in national and global economic development.

Sharma’s project, titled “Discovery with Delivery,” will focus on understanding challenges and opportunities in university-based economic development and innovation capacity in India.

The Fulbright New Century Scholar Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, was launched in March 2001 to support outstanding research scholars and professionals worldwide to engage in multidisciplinary collaboration.

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Pounds for Food collects 133 pounds of goods for Food Finders

Pounds for FoodPounds for Food, RCHE’s first community service project of 2009, generated 133 pounds of non-perishable goods for Food Finders Food Bank.

Fifteen people participated in the program, losing a total of 98 pounds over nine weeks.

“This program was a great way to encourage all of us to develop and maintain healthy behaviors but also to give to those who may be having a hard time right now because of the economy,” said program coordinator Mary Schultz.

Food Finders distributes more than 2.5 million pounds of food each year to Tippecanoe and 15 other Indiana counties. During difficult economic times, requests for food increase. To find out more, visit

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St. Vincent Indianapolis receives Distinguished Hospital designation

St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis was one of only four Indiana hospitals to be designated a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence by HealthGrades. The HealthGrades Seventh Annual Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study identifies hospitals in the top five percent nationally in terms of mortality and complication rates across 26 procedures and diagnoses. While many hospitals excel in certain service lines, HealthGrades says that the hospitals on its list excel in a broad range of procedures.

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“Entrepreneur’s Bootcamp” brings 50 attendees to learn, discuss assistive technology innovation

Assistive technologies — innovations that help those with various disabilities — are essential parts of life to more than half a million Hoosiers living with vision, auditory, ambulatory, or other disabilities. Yet the market is a nitch one, which makes connections harder to forge, and the state of the market harder to grasp. In a partnership with the Indiana Department of Family and Social Services, the Center for Assistive Technology was established at RCHE. Its first public event, the “Entrepreneur’s Bootcamp,” held on April 2, 2009, brought nearly 50 people to Purdue to discuss this market.

Bootcamp speakers focused on how assistive technology innovators can take their projects to market, including navigating the FDA approval process, something that sets these innovations apart from many other consumer products. Some advice from the speakers:

  • Start looking for investors and money long before you need it, and don’t necessarily ask for money when you first meet with a potential investor. Sell them on the product instead. — Steve Brown, Innovate4Growth Consulting
  • Present a great team of people to investors. Show a record of success. — Jeff Warren, esq.
  • Research the FDA approval requirements for your type of device before you need to apply for it. — Gretchen Bowker, Safis Solutions
  • If you are the innovator, get a good business partner, and vice versa. Make sure its one you can be honest with and who will challenge you to think through your ideas. — Tim Curtin, EITAC Solutions Group
  • Getting appropriate intellectual property valuation and protection is part art and part science, but they have a strong impact. Do your homework but don’t be greedy. — Mike Pelligrino, Pellegrino and Assoc., LLC
  • CAT is developing a new innovators resource, the catHUB, where innovators can network with each other but also with consumers and researchers to develop and refine their product. — Bart Collins, Purdue University

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The effect of shared medical visits on knowledge and self-care in patients with heart failure: A pilot study

Karen S. Yehle, PhD, MS, ACNS-BC, RN, Laura P. Sands, PhD, Patricia A. Rhynders, PhD, MPH, and Gail D. Newton, RPh, PhD. Heart & Lung 2009 38(1): 25-33.

Heart failure studyHeart failure affects approximately 5 million Americans. Along with its associated symptoms, it can reduce patients’ cognitive, emotional, social and daily functioning. And it’s becoming increasingly prevalent. It is the number one reason for hospitalization in those aged 65 and older, with a two-year mortality rate of 35 percent. In 2001, it cost Medicare more than $29.6 billion.

Patients with heart failure need education and support to improve knowledge and self-care. Shared medical groups that provide education and support have been successful in other patient populations. This study compares an advanced practice nurse-led shared medical appointment intervention in the office setting with standard care relative to self-care and knowledge among community- living adults with heart failure.

In this study, participants were randomized to shared-appointment and standard-care groups, and completed the Heart Failure Knowledge Test and Self-Care Heart Failure Index at baseline and eight weeks. During that time, Heart Failure Knowledge Test scores improved more for the intervention group than the control group. There was no difference in groups’ rates of change on the total Self-Care Heart Failure Index.

The findings reveal improved knowledge when education and support are provided in a shared medical appointment setting. The shared medical visit model may be feasible as a way to provide patients with heart failure and their families with ongoing education and a supportive environment.

Karen Yehle is an associate professor of nursing at Purdue’s School of Nursing.

Laura Sands is a professor of nursing, RCHE faculty affiliate, and co-director of the Center for Health Outcomes Research and Policy at Purdue.

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New federal e-prescribing measure will cut costs, help reduce medical errors in Indiana

Vincent Duffy, professor of industrial and agricultural and biological engineering
Excerpt of full op-ed published in
Inside Indiana, 2/26/09

The federal government is starting the year with an attractive incentive to help the health-care industry embrace the electronic age. And Indiana and the rest of the nation might be the real winners because of this new measure for getting your prescriptions filled.

e-PrescribingMedicare will award doctors a 2 percent bonus on top of their fee for e-prescribing beginning this year and again in 2010. The bonus will drop to 1 percent in 2011 and 2012. And in 2013, the bonus will fall again to 0.5 percent.

Federal officials think e-prescribing — where prescriptions are generated through an automated data-entry process utilizing special software and a network linked to pharmacies — could help save up to $156 million in fewer adverse drug events over the next five years. Unfortunately, less than 20 percent of physicians currently use e-prescribing, even though more than 70 percent of pharmacies are capable of receiving electronic prescriptions. This is partly because of the economics of buying the hardware and software for implementing such a system. Physicians also are reticent because of confidentiality issues.

Indiana ranked 33rd for its number of e-prescriptions in a 2007 Safe-Rx survey by pharmaceutical industry technology firm SureScripts-Rx Hub. In the same study, Michigan was sixth and Ohio ranked ninth.

While Indiana’s e-prescriptions boomed more than 800 percent in 2006 and another 274 percent to nearly 250,000 transactions the next year, those increases still trail other states. And while the number of e-prescribers in Indiana nearly tripled to 571 in 2007, that represents just 6 percent of the state’s total, SureScripts-Rx Hub reports.

Purdue researchers are applying human performance engineering to determine categories of critical technology, human factors and organizational characteristics that influence physicians’ willingness to adopt an e-prescribing system.

The trend is in Indiana’s favor. A study by the National Conference of State Legislatures shows that as recently as 2004, only about half of the states prohibited doctors and pharmacies from electronically transmitting through a third-party network. Today, all states permit e-prescribing through the use of approved electronic networks.

Change, as in any industry is hard, especially in an arena that constitutes one of the largest paper-based processes in the United States. But evidence is clear that the writing of prescriptions can be streamlined and made more efficient. This new federal financial incentive will help deliver safer and more efficient care to patients while also cutting costs.

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Discovery Park and RCHE launch improved web presence

The address is the same but the curb appeal is very different. On February 27, Discovery Park and its 11 centers launched newly designed webpages.

The new design includes updated features including an RSS news feed and integrated Discovery Park calendar. The RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed allows users to subscribe and automatically be sent any news updates for that particular topic. Through the calendar feature, viewers can see calendar entries specific to a center or all of Discovery Park.

The team also focused on revising the navigation to make it more user-friendly. Conference archive pages have been added to provide access to old presentations.

The site continues to evolve. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions for the site, please contact Amira Zamin at or (765) 494-7075.

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Print PDF


Six projects awarded RCHE Seed Grants

National speakers headline spring conference


Mary Schultz is one of Discovery Park’s first Rising Star awardees

Pankaj Sharma named Fulbright Scholar

Pounds for Food collects 133 pounds of goods for Food Finders


St. Vincent Indianapolis receives Distinguished Hospital designation

“Entrepreneur’s Bootcamp” brings 50 attendees to learn, discuss assistive technology innovation


The effect of shared medical visits on knowledge and self-care in patients with heart failure: A pilot study


New federal e-prescribing measure will cut costs, help reduce medical errors in Indiana

Discovery Park and RCHE launch improved web presence



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