CHEPS Pulse: The Value of Community, December 2019

In This Issue

The Value of Community

Events like INFORMS Healthcare, INFORMS Annual, the Engineering Research Symposium (ERS), and our annual Symposium on Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety have given us plenty of opportunities in recent months to share our work and connect with others doing similar work. They also gave us a chance to catch up with several CHEPS alums and friends of CHEPS. Building community both locally and beyond is integral to what we do at CHEPS.

“I would say the ERS was a great opportunity to share our work with the other members of the Michigan Engineering community. I was happy to see so many people engaged and interested in the work we do on the trauma call team,” said Hannah Strat, HEPS masters student. Her team presented a poster on using integer programming to schedule surgeons in an acute care surgery department. The ERS gave undergraduate and graduate students a chance to come together and showcase their research to each other and other University of Michigan community members.

The CHEPS crew at the Engineering Research Symposium (ERS)

Conferences and our symposium provide a valuable opportunity to learn from and connect with others. Junhong Guo, IOE Ph.D. student, was excited that the INFORMS Annual Conference gave him the chance to meet with people often cited in his research. He said, “I got the chance to meet a bunch of famous people in person whose names I am really familiar with, as they appear frequently in the papers I read in the literature.”

Amanda Moreno-Hernandez, an IOE masters student, had the opportunity to attend a talk at the INFORMS Annual Conference by Jenna Wiens, Morris Wellman Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at University of Michigan, and found it sparked some ideas about the project she’s leading at CHEPS which is looking at bottlenecks in ICU utilization. Amanda said, “Jenna presented on analyzing clinical data to predict outcomes such as how long will a patient live post-admission to the hospital or how long will they be needing resources. Her talk sparked so many ideas and questions related to how to use the data that we have in the AD ICU team to predict patient length of stay and possible bounce backs.”

Representing CHEPS at INFORMS Healthcare
Students, alums, and faculty enjoying dinner with Merrill Bonder after a long day at INFORMS Annual

Trevor Hoffman, HEPS Masters student, enjoyed the conversations he had at the CHEPS Symposium. “There’s a lot of people from different hospitals and other collaborators and whatnot that you get to talk to. And also seeing the past students from CHEPS. They come back and get to see the work that they helped work on and it’s still going and we just get to visit with them and chat and see what they’re up to,” he said.

Meeting up with members of the larger CHEPS family, including our alums, is part of what makes conferences and the symposium so special. For that reason, the Friday before our CHEPS Symposium, current CHEPS students, staff, and faculty meet up with alums and a few other friends-of-CHEPS for dinner and a chance to catch up with one another. And, alums like Bassel Salka and Donald Richardson, now with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, even took the time to hold office hours at CHEPS before the symposium so they could help students navigate career planning and job opportunities as they prepare to graduate.

Reuniting with CHEPS friends at the reunion dinner
The traditional pre-Symposium CHEPS reunion dinner

“The alumni have been very very good to us,” said Amanda Moreno-Hernandez. “They come, they talk to you, they ask about your projects. And they bring up opportunities within their companies. And that has been very helpful, especially for me. I’m about to graduate and I’m looking for a job so knowing that there are companies out there looking for people like me with my expertise brings me a little bit of peace.”

A crowd gathered for CHEPS Associate Director Amy Cohn’s remarks at the CHEPS Symposium

And it wasn’t just the alumni who turned out for our CHEPS Symposium. In addition to getting great feedback from one of the nurses from the unit where her CHEPS project was implemented, Victoria Glunt, IOE masters student, enjoyed some other familiar faces showing up to support her at the Symposium. “I got to see some of my friends who had never been to North Campus which is cool,” she said. “They came up specifically for this event.”

Left: Kate Burns and Victoria Glunt explaining their work on MSafety to friends who attended CHEPS Symposium
Right: Amanda Moreno-Hernandez explaining her work on AD ICU to a group of CHEPS alums

Many students invited family and friends to give them insight into the work done at CHEPS. Collaborators brought their kids. We even got to meet a few of our alums’ babies! We’re hoping we might see an influx of second-generation CHEPSters in eighteen years or so.

Posters from INFORMS Healthcare, INFORMS Annual, the Engineering Research Symposium, and the Symposium on Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety can be viewed on our website and a video is available below.

Recent News

Where in the World is CHEPS?

Alum Lauren Hirth is pictured in the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center Functional and Applied Biomechanics Lab where she now works.

See more Where in the World is CHEPS? at our webpage.

Center for Healthcare Engineering & Patient Safety | University of Michigan
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