24 posts categorized "Fitness and Health Management"


Usciences Research Gains Traction in Men's Health

USciences’ motto is “proven everywhere.” One reason why the “proven everywhere” motto makes sense for USciences is because we teach students, and professors themselves use scientific research as the basis for teaching and scholarship. One such area is the Health Policy Program at Mayes College of Healthcare Business & Policy. Health policy is the investigation of problems in health (not just healthcare and its delivery) in its broadest sense using scientific methods of study to develop evidence-based recommendations for changes and innovations in policy. One challenge is that policymakers sometimes eschew data and evidence when making policy; rather, they are sometimes drawn to its opposite – anecdotes – heart wrenching stories from constituents.

When data and evidence alone fail to inform policy, another option that is available is to make the best possible case for particular policies using the force of ethical argumentation. In this regard, evidence and data receive bolstering through analysis of the very values that undergird health and provide exhortation for particular policy approaches. This is the case with some recent work undertaken by Health Policy Ph.D. candidate Janna Manjelievskaia, MPH and Visiting Assistant Professor, David Perlman, Ph.D.

Janna was working with colleagues on a paper examining the policy issues associated with the current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations against testicular cancer screening. She suggested to her colleagues that perhaps the paper could be enhanced with an ethical angle. She asked Dr. Perlman, one of her professors who focuses on ethics in health policy and public health, to join in writing the paper, which was recently published in the American Journal of Men’s Health and presented at their conference. The lead author of the paper, Michael Rovito, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida, was recently was interviewed by STAT about the importance of testicular self-examination. The paper, and the power of its ethical argument and coupled with careful, scientific examination of policy, are gaining traction with policymakers, which should hopefully result in a policy change by the USPSTF to change its current recommendation against testicular cancer screening. When that happens, it will be yet another instance of how USciences research and students are “proven everywhere.”

David Perlman, PhD

Janna Manjelievskaia, MPH


Student Physical Therapists Recognized at Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture

JDP-3271Coinciding with Physical Therapy Month in October, more than 150 physical therapists, faculty, and students attended the 15th annual Patricia Leahy Memorial Lecture at University of the Sciences on Thursday, Oct. 15.  This year’s topic, “New Advances in the Management of Persons with Balance and Vestibular Disorders,” featured Dr. Susan Whitney, a Philadelphia born and raised physical therapist who is now a world-renowned researcher and specialty clinician in the area of vestibular rehabilitation.

 “The Leahy seminar is always a highlight of the year for the Department of Physical Therapy, and this year, we had a record number of alumni return for the evening event,” said Gregory Thielman, MSPT, EdD, associate professor of physical therapy and director of the Patricia Leahy Research Lab at USciences.

Each year, this on-campus event recognizes former USciences physical therapy professor Patricia (Patti) Leahy, who passed away Oct. 9, 1995, after a hard-fought battle against breast cancer.  Her areas of specialization were in teaching rehabilitation and neuroscience, and she was an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Neurology Section.

Before her death, Leahy established a scholarship fund to financially assist USciences’ physical therapy students during clinical education, and proceeds from this lecture benefit this fund. She felt that it was important to enable students to expand their horizons by seeking clinical sites outside of the Philadelphia region.

JDP-3276Student physical therapists Tara Farnitano DPT’16 (above right) and Christine Kettle DPT’16 (left) were selected as the recipients of this year’s Patricia Leahy scholarships based off their impressive academic performance and passion for helping patients in neurological rehabilitation clinical settings.

“This evening consisted of two things that Patti enjoyed—learning and socializing, and we are honored to keep the memory of Professor Leahy alive on campus,” said Thielman.

Click here to see the 2015 Leahy Lecture photo gallery.


Lifestyle Factors Could Put College-Age Women at Higher Risk of Breast Cancer, Says USciences Prof

IMercier_250x350Breast cancer prevention needs to become a shared conversation among women of all ages because it can strike at any age and is generally more aggressive when diagnosed in women under the age of 50, said Isabelle Mercier, PhD, a pharmaceutical sciences professor at University of the Sciences. With hopes to spark that discussion, Dr. Mercier compiled some key prevention awareness tips for young women.

“Unfortunately, college-age women generally do not consider themselves at risk for breast cancer,” said Dr. Mercier. “However, there are several risk factors that contribute to the development of breast cancer that need to be understood early in life to prevent the development of breast cancer down the road.”

By the end of 2015, more than 231,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. Of those cases, approximately 40,000 individuals will not survive, said Dr. Mercier. Women in their early 20s need to become aware of some key risk factors associated with breast cancer:

  • Check your family tree. A family history of breast cancer, particularly in a mother or sister, can increase the chance for developing breast cancer. Genetic testing is recommended for young women with prevalence of breast cancer in their families.
  • Watch your weight. Obesity is responsible for up to 20 percent of cancer-associated deaths in women. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer by creating a cancer-friendly environment through fat cells.
  • Exercise regularly. Women who strive for at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity activity – like brisk walking – reduce their risk of breast cancer by 18 percent.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. According to research from Washington University School of Medicine, if a female averages a drink per day, her risk of breast cancer increases by 11 percent. Studies show that alcohol possesses estrogenic activity, thus promoting the growth of breast tumor cells.
  • Annual doc visits. Although mammograms are not recommended for women under the age of 40, young women should still see their primary care doctors each year for clinical breast exams. They are also encouraged to conduct self-examinations throughout the year.
  • Limit tobacco use. Women who smoke have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, especially if they become smokers early in life. Smokers have increased levels of both estrogen and testosterone that might disrupt the endocrine signaling in women and contribute to the development of these tumors.

An important part of Dr. Mercier's research focuses on cancer prevention. The role of vitamin C intake on breast cancer development, progression, recurrence and response to anti-cancer therapy remains unclear. That’s why Dr. Mercier and her research team at USciences are currently studying the role of dietary supplements on cancer risk, as well as evaluating new biomarkers for early detection of breast cancer. 

Media exposure:

KywOct. 8, 2015
Healthy College Lifestyles Can Help Women Prevent Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is rare among college-age women, but lifestyle choices made during those years can be life-saving years later.


Samson College Kicks Off 'Allied Health Week' on Nov. 3

Samson College of Health Sciences at University of the Sciences will kick off its Allied Health Week on Monday, Nov. 3, with "Mindful Meditation" at 12:15 p.m. in the IPEX, second floor.

Here's the agenda for the rest of the week:

Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. | IPEX, Room 139 | "FED UP"

Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. "Fed Up" is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see.

Wednesday, Nov. 5 at noon | IPEX Steps

“Walk with me Wednesday”

Thursday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. | IPEX, second floor

“Guiding Flame” Sculpture Dedication
(Dessert reception following dedication)

1 p.m. in ARC | IPE Volleyball Tournament

Anyone interested in signing up must sign up with a team of 6 in 4500 Woodland, Suite 100 by Wednesday, Nov. 5


Ladies: Don’t Slack on Your Preventative Health Care, Says USciences Prof

SeptAwarenessAs young women across the United States adapt to their busy college lifestyles, physician assistant studies professor Joan Ward, MS, PA-C, at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, urges them to stay on top of their preventative health screenings.

"Many students assume their young age makes them invincible to diseases and conditions, like cancer,” said Ward, chair of the Department of Physician Studies at USciences. “By staying proactive with your health, you’re more likely to avoid illness and maintain a healthier and enjoyable lifestyle for many years to come.”

In observation of National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month in September, Ward encourages young women to learn about the preventatives measures, risk factors, and symptoms associated with gynecologic cancers – such as cervical, ovarian, vulvar, and vaginal cancers.

Ward_Joan_250x350According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States, and at least half of every sexually active person will acquire HPV at some point in their lives. Strains of this virus are also closely linked with gynecological cancers; thus, highlighting the importance of receiving the HPV vaccination at an early age.

Ward said the following tips can help protect young women from developing serious health conditions down the road: 

  • Visit the doc. Young women ages 21 and older, and those who are sexually active, should adhere to routine visits to a gynecologist office each year for Pap smears. This test is the one of the most reliable and effective cancer screening tests available, according to the CDC.
  • Get vaccinated. HPV vaccines are safe and effective, and administered in three doses over six months. This vaccine is most effective when given at a young age, and helps protect men and women from developing gynecological cancers.
  • Kick the habit. According to the CDC, smoking puts women at a higher risk for developing gynecological cancers.
  • Stay alert. Pay attention to your body, and contact your doctor if you experience any types of symptoms that do not seem right.


Back-to-School Season Means Time for Moms and Dads to Make Exercise a Priority, Says USciences Prof

Richards_RunningAs parents prepare to send their children back to school over the next few weeks, kinesiology professor Karin Richards at University of the Sciences, says now is the perfect time for them to create an exercise plan that suits their new family schedules.

“Forget New Year's resolutions, the start of a child’s school year can also be the start of a new fitness and exercise program for parents,” said Richards. “In preparation of a brand new school year filled with countless extracurricular activities, it’s important for mom and dad to plan ahead to make sure that they are getting the necessary amount of exercise.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should strive for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity – such as brisk walking – each week. The agency also recommends incorporating muscle-strengthening activities into exercise routines at least two times per week.

Luckily, Richards said, these healthy guidelines can be easily achieved without blocking off a large chunk of the day or needing a gym membership.

  • Create a schedule: A weekly or monthly calendar of your work schedule, school functions, appointments, and other responsibilities is a tangible source of planning that will help you identify the best time each day to fit in exercise. 
  • Break it up: Even if you only have three 10-minute breaks throughout the day to squeeze in a workout, it’s better than doing nothing. An outdoor walk during a lunch break is also a great way to include exercise into a busy schedule.
  • Use your legs: Skip the elevator and take the stairs; be sure to lift your knees high during each step. Also, rather than drop off your children at the bus stop, take a family walk to the stop and add in calf raises off of the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive.
  • Use your body weight: Push-ups, bridges, planks, and squats are exercises that can be done in the privacy of your own home while watching television, listening to music, or helping children with their homework. These exercises can be modified for beginners and advanced fitness levels.
  • Stay active: Instead of sitting in the car or bleachers while your child is at sports practice or play dates, consider jogging around the field or park during practice. You can still pay attention, but you are also burning calories.

“The dog days of summer are slowly coming to an end, and parents will soon be faced with schedule overload and afterschool activities,” said Richards. “But don’t let that keep you from adapting a healthy lifestyle; planning, organizing, and even mixing in a quick work out here and there, will have moms and dads well on their way to becoming more active and prioritizing exercise in their lives.”

Related media exposure:


USciences Athletes Explore Common Shoulder Injuries in Pitchers


Shoulder injuries are common among baseball pitchers, but are they introduced by chronic overuse or predisposing factors? University of the Sciences athletes, Jay Andrews ESWM’14 and John McConville ESWM’16, teamed up off the field to investigate the link between flexibility imbalances and shoulder and back injuries among eight pitchers on the USciences baseball team.

“This study was designed to help establish the predisposing factors to injury,” said Andrews. “By identifying those factors, athletes will be able to enjoy participating in sports for as long as they wish, and minimize their risk for injury.”

As members of the USciences’ Devils baseball team, Andrews and McConville are not far removed from the devastating effects of sports-related injuries. In fact, in his first year at USciences, McConville experienced a severe tear in his shoulder joint, as well as partial tears in the surrounding muscles. His own sports injury experience, paired with his academic interests, inspired him and his teammate to closely explore shoulder injuries in ball players.

Using a goniometer – an instrument that measures an angle and allows an object to be rotated to a precise angular position – Andrews and McConville performed shoulder flexibility tests on each participant in early February, and continued to monitor the players’ shoulders throughout their season. This data provided insight on the rotation differences of the pitchers’ dominant and non-dominant arms, which helped pinpoint the cause of common injuries seen in other players.

Here’s how their study worked: Participants provided their personal backgrounds outlining past injuries and pitching experiences, and continued to update the statuses of their injuries and levels of soreness through frequent surveys. At the end of the season, participants were given a final flexibility test to provide a standard database for internal and external range of motion in baseball pitchers.


“Our goal was to find the physiological reason behind these types of sports-related shoulder injuries and use that information to help baseball pitchers at all levels avoid injury,” said McConville. “Our hope is that trainers use our evidence to put pitchers on programs designed to achieve similar flexibility in the non-dominant arm, and work to maintain that balance as a method of injury prevention.”

Combining health promotion, scientific research and business education, the University's Exercise Science and Wellness Management Program gives students the skills to help direct people toward healthier lifestyles and to contribute in an enormous variety of settings. Exercise Science is a fast-growing, dynamic discipline. Degree holders have a variety of promising career paths in front of them, as well as several advanced-degree options. 

Click here for more info regarding the University's Exercise Science and Wellness Management Program.


VIDEO: 6abc Highlights Students, Faculty at USciences Research Day

6abc showcased the diversity and growth of research pursuits at University of the Sciences during its 12th Annual Research Day and 27th Annual John C. Krantz, Jr., Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, April 10. Research Day recognizes and highlights the research efforts of faculty, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, to encourage and promote communication and collaboration among researchers.
USciences distinguishes itself by offering undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct research early in their academic careers. The diverse research activity that was on display spanned several aspects of the University’s scholarly pursuits, including:
  • Determining occupational therapists’ role in working with pediatric cancer patients
  • Discovering the personality traits that cause adolescents to kill
  • Using yoga to improve quality of life for patients with anorexia nervosa
  • Identifying predictors of successful post-secondary transitions for autistic students


Kinesiology Prof Talks 'Bod Pod' During 6ABC Interview

Karin1Karin Richards, acting chair of the Department of Kinesiology, will be featured on Philadelphia's 6abc regarding the University's BOD POD, an advanced technological body composition assessment tool used for training and educating students. Shaped in the mold of a space capsule, the BOD POD is the most accurate way to test a person’s body composition (body fat and muscle mass).

Meteorologist Adam Joseph's results from the BOD POD will also be featured during the segment, which is scheduled to air this Saturday (March 22) at 7 p.m. 


Pharmacy, Health Policy Experts to be Featured on NBC10 @ Issue on Sunday

At issueThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of the potent opioid painkiller Zohydro ER has been met with fierce criticism, both locally and across the nation. Tune into Philadelphia's NBC10  @ Issue on Sunday, March 16, at 11:30 a.m., as University of the Sciences' pharmacy and health policy experts discuss this drug in further detail.

Andrew Peterson PharmD, PhD, Dean of Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policy; and Dan Hussar, PhD, Remington Professor of Pharmacy, joined reporter Tracy Davidson for a discussion regarding the pros/cons of this drug, as well as its potential dangers and health implications.

NBC10 @ Issue is a weekly public affairs discussion program that takes an in-depth look at local, state and national issues and politics. Watch NBC10 @ Issue every Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on NBC10, or at 6:30 p.m., on NBC10.com

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