Higher Education Matters: SIUE grant to help seniors transition from hospital to home

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy has received a two-year grant designed to help seniors make the transition from the hospital to home.

The total amount of the grant, which is a collaboration between Pfiser and Bristol-Meyers Squibb, is $329,862.

“Medication-related problems occur commonly when older adults leave the hospital,” Mark Ruscin, SIUE professor of pharmacy practice and primary investigator for the grant, said. “Finding and fixing those problems early after discharge can improve medication safety for seniors and may help reduce the need for additional hospital or emergency room visits.”

The SIUE School of Pharmacy and Senior Services Plus, which is based in Alton, will work closely to improve the safety and effectiveness of medication use during care transitions from hospital to home for older adults treated for venous thromboembolism.

“Senior Services Plus has been operating the Healthy Connections hospital-to-home program since January 2014,” Jonathan Becker, Senior Services Plus executive director, said. “Being on the leading front of creating a better transitional care program shows the importance of Senior Services Plus in the community and local hospitals.”

Senior Services Plus will provide three Healthy Connections Coaches at separate hospitals across Madison and St. Clair Counties. During site visits, the coaches will address five primary elements: follow-up appointments, medication management, health safety plans, transportation and linkage to community resources.

“We believe having a pharmacist working with the Healthy Connections Coaches will enhance patient safety,” Ruscin said.

Kathleen Kennedy-Townshend to speak at McKendree Wednesday

The former lieutenant governor of Maryland, author, and philanthropist Kathleen Kennedy Townsend will speak Wednesday at McKendree University.

The event is free and will be presented at The Hett at 7:30 p.m.

Growing up in a large Irish Catholic family, the eldest child of the late Robert and Ethel Kennedy saw her parents make the connection between faith, justice, civil rights, and the common good. In the early 1980s, Townsend wrote a number of articles connecting faith to the fight for a fairer society.

She founded the Maryland Student Service Alliance to make Maryland the first, and still only, state that requires young people to engage in community service as a condition of graduation. As its first female lieutenant governor, she instituted the Office of Character Education to teach responsibility and respect to the next generation.

The former U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, chairs the Institute for Human Virology at the University of Maryland and serves on the board of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Points of Light Foundation, National Catholic Reporter, and the Character Education Partnership, among others. She helped design and launch the nationally acclaimed Police Corps, which gives college scholarships to young people who pledge to work as police officers for four years after graduating.

LUB saluted as top school for military members

Lindenwood University Belleville has been named a top school in the 2016 Millitary Advanced Education and Transition Guide to Colleges and Universities, according to campus president Brett Barger.

The publication uses extensive surveys from active and retired military members to determine which institutions are most helpful and accommodating when it comes to serving the needs of veterans.

2016 is the seventh-consecutive year that the guide has named Lindenwood-Belleville a top Military Friendly School.

Get your holiday party on at SWIC

The Southwestern Illinois College Belleville Campus will host a Trunk or Treat party for area children.

Kids can enjoy trick-or-treating and fun activities in a safe environment Oct. 30 starting at 6 p.m. in the Belleville Campus M5 Parking Lot, 2500 Carlyle Ave.

There will be plenty of treats, pumpkin painting and hayrides.

“We wanted to host an event where kids can come and have fun, and parents don’t have to worry about their safety,” Coordinator of College Activities Jeff Blue said. “This is also a great option for children who may not have a place to trick or treat. Families and kids of all ages are welcome.”

This event, presented by the Student Veterans Association and the College Activities Board, is free and open to the public. Concessions will be available for purchase.

For more information, call 618-235-2700, ext. 5561.