Health Beat March 2024

Health Beat

College of Health newsletter

March 2024

All the news that's fit to print

We encourage you to scroll through the whole page, but if you want to skip ahead to a particular section, select from the following.


In the news

These stories are predominately made up from the college's alumni magazine, press releases from OSU News and Research Communications, and media mentions.

Students and Alumni

Class of 2024 spotlights

These College of Health graduates are ready to make a difference, improving the future of health and well-being for all.

View all Class of 2024 spotlights.

Internship spotlights

See how COH students are applying classroom knowledge, building professional networks, and testing out fulfilling careers in health and well-being.

Meet all the internship spotlight students.

  • Kinesiology - Pre-therapy and allied health, BS

    Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and Old Mill Center for Children and Families

  • Human development and family sciences, BS

    Grace Center for Adult Day Services

  • Athletic training, MATRN

    Seattle Seahawks

Dean's Health Heroes

Health Heroes stand out among their fellow students and alumni.

They are doing incredible and impactful work in our community, exemplifying our vision to bring health and well-being within reach for all.

Meet all of the Dean's Health Heroes.


Good News for March 2024

Our faculty and staff do amazing things! They receive national, university and college honors; publish books and articles; serve on editorial boards and much more!

  • Doris Cancel-Tirado, PhD, MPH, MA is the college’s new associate dean for student services and well-being. She begins her new role April 1, 2024. 
    Doris is a two-time alumna from our college—she earned both an MPH and a PhD in human development and family sciences.

  • Huge congratulations to Biostatistics Professor Adam Branscum for his new milestone! He has been published in 100 different journals. Way to go, Adam!

  • Professor Chunhuei Chi is featured in a WalletHub article on the benefits and differences between MedPay and Personal Injury Protection.

  • Lila Hepner, PAC Instructor and Artistic and Social Dance Area Activity Leader, led an outstanding PAC Dance Showcase on March 14th. The room was buzzing, and the performances were outstanding. We have so much gratitude for all that Lila does for the college and university. Nice work, Lila!

  • Senior Instructor Dee Gillen competed in Dancing with the Professors on March 12, 2024. She danced the salsa with Dance Sport (and College of Engineering) student Basil Stein. Congrats on an amazing dance, Dee!

  • Professor Chunheui Chi recently spoke with Agence France-Presse (AFP) about the dangers of misinformation surrounding a hypothetical future pandemic, coined "Disease X" by the World Health Organization. Chunheui specifically addressed how false information can hinder public health efforts, particularly when it comes to preparing for and controlling pandemics and epidemics.

    His interview has garnered significant attention, with 24 US and international media outlets picking up the story. This marks Chunheui's most media coverage since his first interview in January 2020. Read the story.

  • The College of Health has been selected for a second round of funding through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Transforming Academia for Equity initiative!

    This round of funding provides 12 months of support to begin implementing the Action Plan for Equity and Justice developed during the first round of RWJF funding. Associate Professors Jonathan Garcia and Kate MacTavish will continue as co-project directors and are joined by Jey Blodgett as project coordinator.


Healthy Discoveries

The Healthy Discoveries program gives undergraduates the support they need to start conducting research projects early in their college careers. This valuable program is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Patricia Valian Reser Fund for Experiential Learning. Let's meet some of our 2024 undergraduate student researchers! We'll be highlighting a few of them each month.

Publications for the month of March

Check out the recent publications from researchers across the college over the past month. See if you can guess the researcher(s) based solely on publication titles:

This review highlights the exciting potential of prebiotics and microbiome-targeted dietary interventions to help the large proportion of people worldwide struggling with lactose intolerance. It provides a helpful synthesis of the current evidence while identifying areas for further research to enable real-world applications of this approach.

This study offers a promising avenue for addressing the physical activity needs of children with developmental disabilities through a family-dog-assisted intervention. Its findings have significant implications for public health initiatives aimed at reducing health disparities and improving the overall well-being of this vulnerable population group. The research underscores the value of incorporating animals, particularly family pets, into interventions designed to enhance physical activity, suggesting a novel and accessible approach to tackling the global issue of physical inactivity among children with developmental disabilities.

The study underscores the importance of monitoring and treating behavioral health needs, particularly opioid use disorder (OUD), throughout the perinatal period to mitigate maternal morbidity and mortality risks. This has implications for perinatal care practices and policies.

This study examines the outcomes of prolonged pushing (≥3 hours) among nulliparous individuals in midwifery care, specifically looking at the role of epidural analgesia and passive descent. Results show that prolonged pushing occurred in 17% of births and was associated with higher rates of cesarean and obstetric anal sphincter injury. However, passive descent did not increase the risk of postpartum hemorrhage or poor neonatal outcomes.

This study demonstrates the potential of arm-support exoskeletons to reduce shoulder strain in overhead agricultural work, which could help address the high rate of musculoskeletal disorders in this industry.

The findings provide valuable guidance for developing targeted exoskeleton interventions to improve agricultural worker health and safety.

This study examined the relationship between coping and mortality risk in aging men. Results showed that total coping effort was associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality, while specific coping strategies and coping efficiency were not significant predictors. This suggests that total coping effort may be an important factor in longevity for aging men.

This study compared the biomechanics of runners wearing advanced footwear technology (AFT) shoes to those wearing minimalist shoes.

AFT shoes were found to have greater eversion excursion, which may increase the risk of navicular stress fracture, but also showed improvements in performance-related metrics such as peak dorsiflexion and plantar flexion.

However, AFT shoes also had a higher peak knee extensor moment, which may offset some of the performance benefits seen at the ankle.

The Be Well Home Health Navigator Program is a 4-year study in Oregon that aims to reduce contaminants in private drinking water wells through a community health navigator program. The program will involve individualized feedback, positive reinforcement, and navigation to resources, and will be compared to usual care which only provides information. The results will demonstrate the effectiveness of the program and can be used by other organizations.

This study examines the impact of living near a roadway during and after construction on infant health. Results show an increase in term low birth weight during construction, but no consistent improvements after construction. Further research is needed to inform policy decisions regarding traffic congestion programs.

The significance of this study lies in its contribution to the growing body of evidence on the long-term consequences of COVID-19, highlighting the importance of considering both direct and indirect effects of the pandemic on individuals' health and daily lives.

It underscores the need for comprehensive approaches to support and rehabilitation for those affected by COVID-19, taking into account the multifaceted nature of its impact on everyday functioning.

This research is particularly relevant for healthcare providers, policymakers, and researchers aiming to address the long-term health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and improve the quality of life for survivors.

This study underscores the potential of whey protein and glycomacropeptide (GMP) as natural components that can benefit gut health through their prebiotic and antimicrobial properties. Their application in dietary supplements and functional foods could offer a natural approach to enhancing gut microbiota composition and addressing gastrointestinal health issues.

This research study explores the concept of "unlinking" in the context of social networks and life course research. Unlinking refers to the process by which individuals experience a disconnection or separation from various aspects of their lives, such as relationships, roles, statuses, and places. These unlinkings can occur due to life transitions, changes in personal circumstances, or broader societal shifts.

Research seminar videos

Weren't able to attend or watch a College of Health Friday research seminar? Here's your chance to get caught up with the recordings from March. Not every seminar is recorded, so make sure to attend in-person you can.

Be sure to check out the full lineup for Spring term.


Join us in extending a warm welcome to the newest members of our college community.

Hilary Roman

Hilary Roman MS, NCC, CCC

Assistant Director of Career Development

Hilary Roman leverages a successful track record in higher education to guide students in their professional development journeys, empowering them to translate their education into fulfilling careers. Her passion for student success is evident in her work, which draws upon her Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health and honed skills to provide personalized support.