SIU researcher aims to maximize efficiency, minimize risks for canine first responders

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CARBONDALE — In times of disaster, search and rescue (SAR) dogs are some of the first responders on the ground. But while other rescue members are surrounded by protocols to ensure their safety, canines are left vulnerable to a host of environmental dangers. For canine specialist and assistant professor Erin Perry, that is not acceptable.

From uncovering explosives to finding missing children, SAR dogs are being used more than ever to guide humans in their work. With the ability to run faster than the fittest human and their keen senses of smell, no technology or invention has been able to compare to the work of these canines.

Because of their incredible usefulness for military and domestic purposes, researchers are working to understand how the dogs perform when in the field, while also learning how to maximize those efforts to generate the most success.

Erin Perry, a canine specialist on the Missouri Task Force 1 Team and assistant professor in animal science food and nutrition at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, believes that while these dogs are impressive, more can be done to increase their efficiency.

“When the dogs deploy into the field, there are a lot of issues regarding deployment and management conditions in the field, things you just can’t fix,” Perry said. “The area they work in is dangerous; it’s unpredictable; it’s scary; it’s stressful; it’s dirty and it’s contaminated.

“While we can’t make the environment any better for them, maybe we can help protect them or help prepare them better to work in this type of dangerous environment.”

For Perry, this issue is deeply personal. When serving with the FEMA Missouri Task Force 1 team during the 2011 Joplin tornado, Perry almost lost her canine partner due to environmental hazards.

The team was working near a destroyed Home Depot for 26 hours straight, wading through a variety of chemicals and biohazards. When Perry and her canine finally had time for a break, they followed normal decontamination procedures. But for Perry’s canine partner, Pickles, the protocols were not enough to keep her from developing severe liver failure that was nearly fatal.

“She (the dog) had horrible exposure, and we didn’t know,” Perry stated. “We had decontaminated her and gave her a bath, and we thought we had her clean. But the cleansers weren’t effective and our procedures weren’t effective.”

Perry’s research is actively looking to find what cleaners are both effective in decontaminating, yet still safe for the dogs. She is testing a variety of cleansers and is hoping to implement stronger protocols in future deployment situations.

Perry is also examining other areas of risk and efficiency for these canine responders. SAR teams must be ready to deploy within a moment’s notice, and the dogs must be ready as well. But Perry found that this level of urgency can put a certain amount of stress on the canines.

“These dogs get woken up in the middle of the night and get thrown on an airplane, helicopter or a bus with 70 other people, and then travel half-way across the country. Their whole world is turned upside down. But then they have to walk off the helicopter, walk off the airplane, walk off the bus and go to work,” Perry said. “That is incredibly stressful for them.”

Motivated by this situation, Perry and her team of researchers are looking at how this stress affects the dogs and how it can be managed. She is examining a variety of nutritional elements, along with conditioning and training techniques, to build a strong solution for these valuable first responders.

The other part of Perry’s research is finding a solution to the heat stress that is placed on these dogs.

“When the dogs are working, there is an incredible amount of physical exertion put on them,” Perry explained. “When this is happening, the dog’s core temperature goes up. Dogs pant to reduce their temperature, but when they are panting, they are not sniffing.”

This heat stress can quickly reduce the efficiency of the dog’s work, hindering the canine from smelling at the highest capacity. To overcome this, Perry is working to find solutions such as cooling techniques and conditioning exercises.

Perry and her current canine partner, Zorro, are still members of the Missouri Task Force 1 team. They were recently deployed to assist after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Perry was also on the ground after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Matthew, the Joplin Tornado and during severe Colorado flooding. She and Zorro, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, continue to train and remain ready to serve whenever they receive their next call.





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July 11, 2018 at 06:19AM

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SIU researcher aims to maximize efficiency, minimize risks for canine first responders

SIU School of Dental Medicine students honored as Dean’s Scholars

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SIU SDM Dean’s Scholars (L-R) Jordan Ha, Tanner Brown, Brandon Cesario and Kelsie Vandergriff

ALTON – The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM) has honored four distinguished students with its annual Dean’s Scholarship.

Recipients include Tanner Brown, of Bethalto, Brandon Cesario, of Naperville, Jordan Ha, of Bloomington, and Kelsie Vandergriff, of Granite City. Each has been awarded $5,000 for the 2018-19 academic year.

The Dean’s Scholarship was created with the goal of rewarding academic merit, assisting with financial need and increasing student diversity at the SIU SDM.

“I am certain these outstanding students will make significant contributions to the field of dentistry and the communities they serve upon completion of their doctor of dental medicine degrees,” said SIU SDM Dean Bruce Rotter, DMD.

“Our alumni, faculty and friends have contributed to secure funding for this scholarship,” he added. “We appreciate their continued belief in our high-quality dental students who strive to make a tremendous impact in dentistry.”

The Dean’s Scholars noted their humble appreciation of the award. Each says it has further motivated them as they work toward degree completion.

“It is an honor to be recognized among my outstanding colleagues,” said Vandergriff. “I appreciate the time and effort that the School of Dental Medicine puts into recognizing and supporting its students, as well as the generous contributors who make these scholarships possible.”

Upon graduation, Vandergriff plans to work as an associate in general dentistry and some day open her own practice.

“The funding provided by this scholarship allows me to participate more fully in continuing my education, which will provide knowledge in new technology and advances in dental medicine,” she said.

In addition to continuing his education, Ha is interested and involved in dental mission efforts.

“This scholarship has already helped with my professional growth and served to benefit hundreds of people in need,” he explained. “After my schooling, I am open to any opportunity to use my education in a meaningful manner to satisfy my pursuit of happiness.”

The scholarship monies have inspired Cesario to continue to go the extra mile in everything he does.

“After completing my degree, I would initially like to participate in dental outreach events such as Mission of Mercy or the clinic onsite at Willow Creek Church,” Cesario said. “While at the SIU School of Dental Medicine, I have learned the immense need for dental care in communities no matter their size or income level. There always seems to be someone in greater need.”

Brown intends to pay it forward by supporting others through scholarships, as donors have done for him.

“This reminds me how impactful giving a scholarship can be,” he said. “Some day, when I am in the position to give back, I will.

He plans to provide dental care close to home upon completing his degree.

“My family has been through a lot, and we have had a great deal of help from people in and around my hometown,” he explained. “There are countless families that have supported ours, and I would like to be in a position to help others in return.”

The Dean’s Scholarship Award is largely supported through the SIU SDM’s annual Dean’s Scholarship Gala. The 2018 gala will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch.

The SIU School of Dental Medicine students manage approximately 35,000 patient visits each year at its patient clinics in Alton and East St. Louis. In addition, students offer oral health treatment, screenings and education to more than 10,000 people annually through a wide variety of off-campus community outreach events. These opportunities provide students the training they need to graduate and become highly skilled dentists. The School of Dental Medicine is a vital oral health care provider for residents of southern and central Illinois, and the St. Louis metropolitan region.












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July 2, 2018 at 10:27AM

SIU School of Dental Medicine students honored as Dean’s Scholars

New U of Illinois medical school to open its doors Monday

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URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois’ new medical school is set to open its doors with its first class of 32 students.

The News-Gazette reports the Carle Illinois College of Medicine will kick off a weeklong orientation for students on Monday. There will be a welcome from Dean King Li, campus tours and a barbeque before studies begin.

Andrea Jake is director of student affairs. She says “It’s getting real.”

Opening a brand new medical school has required attention to countless details. Officials have had to consider everything from curriculum to cadavers, recruiting campaigns and designing patches for students’ lab coats.

The school will fuse medicine with engineering in hopes of training a new type of “physician scientist.” Li says it’s a “first-in-the-world” curriculum that other medical schools will copy.






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July 1, 2018 at 03:19PM

New U of Illinois medical school to open its doors Monday

SIU Carbondale Chancellor reveals he’s being treated for cancer

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Southern Illinois University Chancellor Carlo Montemagno has revealed he’s being treated for cancer.

As many of you know, I have recently curtailed my public schedule in order to address significant back and hip pain. The pain was originally thought to be cysts that have now been treated, thanks to the great team at SIH. With their help, I am feeling much better.

However, as often happens in these cases, I have more treatments ahead to address the cause of the cysts, which has now been identified as cancer.  I won’t go into more detail here other than to say we are treating it aggressively and I am confident that I will be around for a long time.

While I may not be as visible in the weeks ahead, I will remain fully engaged as your chancellor and will remain focused on advancing our institution.  We are on the right track.  During the past year, we have built a strong management team who will step up when called upon during this time.

I assure you that all of our work revitalizing the university continues. Earlier this year, Provost Meera Komarraju and her office assumed full responsibility for facilitating academic reorganization. I am grateful for her leadership and for the work of our faculty.

Health is an intensely personal matter for all of us, and I felt it was important to be transparent with you, our new extended family, regarding this matter.  My family and I appreciate the support of our many friends and colleagues here in Carbondale, and around the world.

Thank you for your support and for all you do for this great university.  I look forward to celebrating our many future successes with you.

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June 27, 2018 at 06:07PM

SIU Carbondale Chancellor reveals he’s being treated for cancer

Bristow and Manar join University of Illinois at Chicago and Lewis and Clark Community College in announcing new opportunities for nursing students | RiverBender.com

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SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, and state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, have been working with the University of Illinois at Chicago and Lewis and Clark Community College to provide nursing students in the Metro East and Central Illinois with more opportunities to receive their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. Through their efforts, nursing students will be able to work towards their degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing while attending classes at Lewis and Clark Community College.

“Building a more vibrant Metro East economy means providing options for our young people to pursue an affordable, world-class education here in our community,” said Bristow. “This collaborative effort by UIC and Lewis and Clark Community College will bring more good-paying nursing jobs to our community, help more of our students achieve their academic goals here at home, and deliver more effective, compassionate care for all. I’m grateful that these institutions have come together to both provide our young people with more career opportunities and also create a partnership that will benefit our entire region.”

Bristow and Manar are committed to developing different approaches that make good-paying jobs more accessible to residents in the Metro East and Central Illinois. Timothy Killeen, President of the University of Illinois, and Dale Chapman, President of Lewis and Clark Community College, worked with Bristow and Manar to develop the agreement that will include partnerships in the area of nursing degrees, collaboration and funding of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, innovation partnerships through the L&C St. Louis Confluence Fab Lab and University of Illinois Tech Hub, and through work being done at the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities.

“We appreciate the leadership of our local elected leaders, Senator Manar and Representative Bristow, and the vision of President Killeen for helping us reach this historic partnership,” said Chapman. “The program development between the University of Illinois and Lewis and Clark will continue the growth and expansion of students’ learning and research.”

Lewis and Clark has a long history of graduating successful associate degree nurses who are well prepared for clinical practice and ready to continue their education. UIC has offered RN-BSN completion education for over 35 years. With a US News & World Report ranking the institution as one of the top 10 nationally, it is uniquely positioned to join with Lewis and Clark to expand BSN education in the region. A partnership between these two reputable programs builds on the strengths of each allowing for real innovation while maintaining efficiency in program delivery for Metro East RNs seeking BSNs.

“I want to commend the leadership of these two institutions of higher education for coming together to create a groundbreaking new program that solves a pressing problem in my Senate district,” said Manar. “Because of their willingness to work together and think outside of the box, prospective students will have access to affordable bachelor’s degrees; rural hospitals and clinics will have access to an expanded pool of nursing applicants to address growing workforce needs, and working families will take on less debt and earn better wages. I am beyond thrilled about this partnership, and I look forward to being there when the first BSN class graduates from Lewis and Clark and UIC through this program.”

Utilizing novel approaches, UIC College of Nursing’s RN-BSN program will enable Lewis and Clark associate degree nursing (ADN) students to begin taking classes toward their BSN degree while students at Lewis and Clark with UIC BSN degree after ADN graduation. This partnership creates options for a convenient and affordable pathway to a BSN degree for students in the Metro East region. Nursing leadership from both institutions will work together over the coming weeks to develop effective strategies to efficiently further access to RN-BSN education for nurses in the region.

“The University of Illinois System is gratified to be able to collaborate in important work with our counterparts at Lewis and Clark and community colleges across the state,” said Killeen.

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Bristow and Manar join University of Illinois at Chicago and Lewis and Clark Community College in announcing new opportunities for nursing students | RiverBender.com

Bristow and Manar join University of Illinois at Chicago and Lewis and Clark Community College in announcing new opportunities for nursing students | RiverBender.com

https://ift.tt/2M6eqMc

SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, and state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, have been working with the University of Illinois at Chicago and Lewis and Clark Community College to provide nursing students in the Metro East and Central Illinois with more opportunities to receive their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. Through their efforts, nursing students will be able to work towards their degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing while attending classes at Lewis and Clark Community College.

“Building a more vibrant Metro East economy means providing options for our young people to pursue an affordable, world-class education here in our community,” said Bristow. “This collaborative effort by UIC and Lewis and Clark Community College will bring more good-paying nursing jobs to our community, help more of our students achieve their academic goals here at home, and deliver more effective, compassionate care for all. I’m grateful that these institutions have come together to both provide our young people with more career opportunities and also create a partnership that will benefit our entire region.”

Bristow and Manar are committed to developing different approaches that make good-paying jobs more accessible to residents in the Metro East and Central Illinois. Timothy Killeen, President of the University of Illinois, and Dale Chapman, President of Lewis and Clark Community College, worked with Bristow and Manar to develop the agreement that will include partnerships in the area of nursing degrees, collaboration and funding of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, innovation partnerships through the L&C St. Louis Confluence Fab Lab and University of Illinois Tech Hub, and through work being done at the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities.

“We appreciate the leadership of our local elected leaders, Senator Manar and Representative Bristow, and the vision of President Killeen for helping us reach this historic partnership,” said Chapman. “The program development between the University of Illinois and Lewis and Clark will continue the growth and expansion of students’ learning and research.”

Lewis and Clark has a long history of graduating successful associate degree nurses who are well prepared for clinical practice and ready to continue their education. UIC has offered RN-BSN completion education for over 35 years. With a US News & World Report ranking the institution as one of the top 10 nationally, it is uniquely positioned to join with Lewis and Clark to expand BSN education in the region. A partnership between these two reputable programs builds on the strengths of each allowing for real innovation while maintaining efficiency in program delivery for Metro East RNs seeking BSNs.

“I want to commend the leadership of these two institutions of higher education for coming together to create a groundbreaking new program that solves a pressing problem in my Senate district,” said Manar. “Because of their willingness to work together and think outside of the box, prospective students will have access to affordable bachelor’s degrees; rural hospitals and clinics will have access to an expanded pool of nursing applicants to address growing workforce needs, and working families will take on less debt and earn better wages. I am beyond thrilled about this partnership, and I look forward to being there when the first BSN class graduates from Lewis and Clark and UIC through this program.”

Utilizing novel approaches, UIC College of Nursing’s RN-BSN program will enable Lewis and Clark associate degree nursing (ADN) students to begin taking classes toward their BSN degree while students at Lewis and Clark with UIC BSN degree after ADN graduation. This partnership creates options for a convenient and affordable pathway to a BSN degree for students in the Metro East region. Nursing leadership from both institutions will work together over the coming weeks to develop effective strategies to efficiently further access to RN-BSN education for nurses in the region.

“The University of Illinois System is gratified to be able to collaborate in important work with our counterparts at Lewis and Clark and community colleges across the state,” said Killeen.

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Bristow and Manar join University of Illinois at Chicago and Lewis and Clark Community College in announcing new opportunities for nursing students | RiverBender.com

Bristow and Manar join University of Illinois at Chicago and Lewis and Clark Community College in announcing new opportunities for nursing students | RiverBender.com

https://ift.tt/2M6eqMc

SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, and state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, have been working with the University of Illinois at Chicago and Lewis and Clark Community College to provide nursing students in the Metro East and Central Illinois with more opportunities to receive their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees. Through their efforts, nursing students will be able to work towards their degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Nursing while attending classes at Lewis and Clark Community College.

“Building a more vibrant Metro East economy means providing options for our young people to pursue an affordable, world-class education here in our community,” said Bristow. “This collaborative effort by UIC and Lewis and Clark Community College will bring more good-paying nursing jobs to our community, help more of our students achieve their academic goals here at home, and deliver more effective, compassionate care for all. I’m grateful that these institutions have come together to both provide our young people with more career opportunities and also create a partnership that will benefit our entire region.”

Bristow and Manar are committed to developing different approaches that make good-paying jobs more accessible to residents in the Metro East and Central Illinois. Timothy Killeen, President of the University of Illinois, and Dale Chapman, President of Lewis and Clark Community College, worked with Bristow and Manar to develop the agreement that will include partnerships in the area of nursing degrees, collaboration and funding of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, innovation partnerships through the L&C St. Louis Confluence Fab Lab and University of Illinois Tech Hub, and through work being done at the Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities.

“We appreciate the leadership of our local elected leaders, Senator Manar and Representative Bristow, and the vision of President Killeen for helping us reach this historic partnership,” said Chapman. “The program development between the University of Illinois and Lewis and Clark will continue the growth and expansion of students’ learning and research.”

Lewis and Clark has a long history of graduating successful associate degree nurses who are well prepared for clinical practice and ready to continue their education. UIC has offered RN-BSN completion education for over 35 years. With a US News & World Report ranking the institution as one of the top 10 nationally, it is uniquely positioned to join with Lewis and Clark to expand BSN education in the region. A partnership between these two reputable programs builds on the strengths of each allowing for real innovation while maintaining efficiency in program delivery for Metro East RNs seeking BSNs.

“I want to commend the leadership of these two institutions of higher education for coming together to create a groundbreaking new program that solves a pressing problem in my Senate district,” said Manar. “Because of their willingness to work together and think outside of the box, prospective students will have access to affordable bachelor’s degrees; rural hospitals and clinics will have access to an expanded pool of nursing applicants to address growing workforce needs, and working families will take on less debt and earn better wages. I am beyond thrilled about this partnership, and I look forward to being there when the first BSN class graduates from Lewis and Clark and UIC through this program.”

Utilizing novel approaches, UIC College of Nursing’s RN-BSN program will enable Lewis and Clark associate degree nursing (ADN) students to begin taking classes toward their BSN degree while students at Lewis and Clark with UIC BSN degree after ADN graduation. This partnership creates options for a convenient and affordable pathway to a BSN degree for students in the Metro East region. Nursing leadership from both institutions will work together over the coming weeks to develop effective strategies to efficiently further access to RN-BSN education for nurses in the region.

“The University of Illinois System is gratified to be able to collaborate in important work with our counterparts at Lewis and Clark and community colleges across the state,” said Killeen.

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Bristow and Manar join University of Illinois at Chicago and Lewis and Clark Community College in announcing new opportunities for nursing students | RiverBender.com