Bizzell PD Co-Authors Manuscript in NTR

Jenny Twesten, MPH, Project Director of the National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch contract, co-authored a manuscript in the November issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research (NTR) that was selected as an Editor’s Choice submission. The manuscript details the challenges of measuring cigarette smoking risk perceptions among adult smokers and non-smokers on questionnaires and opportunities for improved measurement based on current scientific evidence. The co-authors provide ten suggestions for researchers and survey developers to consider when assessing cigarette risk perceptions to improve how smoking risk perceptions may influence cigarette smoking behaviors.

Jenny is a public health communicator with more than seven years of experience providing clients with innovative solutions to disseminating research, synthesizing the state-of-the-science, and improving self-report assessments. She contributed to the production of two monographs, managed an extramural research portfolio, and led the early adoption of podcasts to disseminate research. As a Project Director at Bizzell, she provides research and communications guidance on a portfolio of tobacco and cancer-related projects, including co-authoring three tobacco control manuscripts and overseeing the implementation of two digital media campaigns. Her research interests are cancer prevention, early detection and survivorship, modifiable health behaviors such as tobacco use, and risk perception. She holds a Master of Public Health from George Washington University.

Nicotine & Tobacco Research (NTR) is one of the world’s few peer-reviewed journals devoted exclusively to the study of nicotine and tobacco. It aims to provide a forum for empirical findings, critical reviews, and conceptual papers on the many aspects of nicotine and tobacco, including research from the biobehavioral, neurobiological, molecular biologic, epidemiological, prevention, and treatment arenas.

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Bizzell Senior Associate Featured in JAMDA Article

Mark Stewart, MPH, Senior Associate of Health Systems and Services, is an author on an in-press manuscript in The Journal of the Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (JAMDA). The article details a consensus-based definition for omissions of care in nursing homes that lead to increased risk for harm or adverse outcomes, decreased quality of life for residents, and increased healthcare expenditures. This definition is clear, meaningful, and actionable for nursing homes. Providers and researchers applying this definition can improve harm prevention and increase consistency in research methods.

Mark has more than 20 years of experience leading health innovation projects focused on ensuring the quality of care and improving outcomes. At Bizzell, he provides critical support to the organization managing, advising, and operationalizing projects advancing health systems and services improvements in areas such including person and family-centered care, shared decision making, patient-reported outcomes, healthcare disparities, and quality improvement. In addition, Mark serves as the Program Manager for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Data Validation and Administrative (DVA) contract.

JAMDA is the leading peer-reviewed publication for practical information and research directly applicable to healthcare professionals providing post-acute and long-term care (PA/LTC), as well as policymakers, organizational leaders, educators, and advocates.

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People First: Personifying Bizzell’s Core Values Abroad

Lanham, MD— October 1, 2019— This month, The Bizzell Group is highlighting a team member who brings our values to life inside and outside of the workplace. Bryant Senghor, a graphic designer and photographer based at Bizzell HQ (Lanham, MD), supports various corporate and client projects by creating infographics, brochures, animations, posters, web banners, and more.

Not only does Bryant go above and beyond with his creative work, he’s also dedicated to making an impact on the world around him. Recently, Bryant spent his summer vacation volunteering on a mission trip to La Hacienda, Mexico where he helped provide health services and other necessities to community members. Q & A:

Tell us about your trip to La Hacienda. Who did you go with? What were all the ways that you and your team served the community?

My trip to La Hacienda was absolutely amazing!

I went with a group of 17 people from my church in Baltimore, MD through a service partnership with the local church in Mexico. We assisted during their youth spiritual summer camp program, where we taught classes, arts and crafts, and dancing. We served the children meals, donated school supplies, painted bathrooms, and shared in fellowship every day. Outside of the classroom, we tended to the grapefruit fields and dug trenches. We also delivered supplies, toiletries, and clothes to a newly constructed convenience store that one of our team members helped build on a previous mission trip.

One of the most impactful efforts was the health fair coordinated by our team, where we provided blood pressure readings, glucose level monitoring, eyesight testing, donated supplies to the community’s doctor, and more.

Let’s just say, we put a lot of sweat equity into all of the projects there… it was so much fun!

What sparked your interest in participating in a mission trip?

I decided to take part in a 10-day opportunity, alongside my wife and fellow church members, because I wanted to expand my cultural and social understanding of communities other than my own. This trip showed me that there is much more to other cultures than what’s portrayed in the media or what I’ve experienced at home. I’ve gained an entirely new perspective for the cultural differences.

I wanted to provide my service, as well as to build long-lasting connections with people outside my usual day-to-day life. The people of La Hacienda gave us unconditional love, warm embraces, and a bond that we will cherish forever.

What were some other health-related challenges affecting the community of La Hacienda?

We found that there are not enough vegetables in their diet and large amounts of salt and sugar are consumed, which contributes to health problems. Test results from the health fair showed high rates of diabetes and hypertension among adults and children as young as infancy to 5 years old. The local doctor said they went three months without hypertension medicine due to changes in the laws. Among social issues, there’s alcohol and drug abuse among teens because of the lack of constructive, safe outlets and activities. There seemed to be mild depression in some of the adults, which became evident during some of the spiritual sessions.

In what ways did the services you provided align with Bizzell’s mission/core values?

For me, adaptability was the first step to ensuring successful collaboration between our two groups. Once on their land, we became acclimated to the culture, everyday life, and their needs, beyond what meets the eye. The goal is for our service to be participatory and engaging, while purely reflecting the wants and needs of the community; putting the people first. My group is committed to introducing and ways to promote heritage, spirituality, health, education, and more.

How would you like to see Bizzell continue to drive its vision of healthy, secure and sustainable communities in our nation and around the world?

Bizzell does a great job at making sure the staff is well-rounded and abreast of trends and global issues through the work we do. I’m very thankful to work for an organization with shared values–allowing me to spend time pursuing my passions. I even received donations from Bizzell team members that I was able to take to La Hacienda. Hopefully, next year I can bring some colleagues along to volunteer with me or at other clinics in need across the globe. That’s what we’re all about… ensuring access to resources and quality of service for all.

People First: Bringing Bizzell’s Values To Life

Lanham, MD—June 27, 2019 Dr. Nicole Crase is based out of the Lanham office but works remotely in Ohio, conducting 340B Program Audits. She is responsible for bridging resources between pharmacy practice and 340B Program integrity under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) contract. Dr. Crase’s responsibilities include leading all auditor training and education. This includes providing technical assistance to auditors and HRSA’s Office of Pharmacy Affairs. In addition, she provides pharmacy practice expertise in quality assurance review. She is a pharmacist by trade.

Q & A:

Bizzell tackles projects that impact public health issues locally/globally. How does your project/role align with this mission/strategy?

My responsibilities at Bizzell are focused on 340B Program Audits. The intent of the 340B Program is “to stretch scarce Federal resources as far as possible, reaching more patients and providing more comprehensive services.” This program is so important to the underserved population. Prior to coming to Bizzell in 2017, I focused 13 years helping to oversee the 340B Program, providing direct patient care for my underserved patients on a community health center level, opening an In-House Pharmacy and serving as a HRSA 340B Peer Mentor for 2 Leading Practice Sites. I gave 24 national presentations, 1 state presentation, and 3 collegiate presentations on topics of the 340B Program. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to continue my work with this program on the auditing side on behalf of HRSA. My role allows me the opportunity to not only see how the 340B Program is positively impacting the people in my own community but also around the country.

How do you demonstrate Bizzell’s core values inside/outside of the organizations? Within your respective community? Core Values: Excellence; Integrity; Innovation; People First/Professional Development/Diversity; Collaboration; Service?

I always try to exemplify Bizzell’s core values in everything that I do by striving for excellence and being a kind human. I think each day presents a new opportunity to strive to become a better person. My passion for healthcare has been exemplified in my medical mission work in Jamaica and Colombia as well as my medical contributions at the Ironman World Championships. At the Ironman World Championships this past October, I had the opportunity, along with another medical staffer, to take one of the top pro finishers from the medical tent out to the finish line to see his wife finish (who is also a pro athlete). Having once completed an Ironman 70.3 myself, being able to assist athletes and stand on that finish line on the world championship stage was an amazing moment for me as a pharmacist.

Another passion on mine is working with individuals with special needs. They bring so much joy to my life. I especially enjoy volunteering at an event each year called Night to Shine which is a prom night experience for these individuals. I also serve as a running guide at races for a wheelchair bound friend with muscular dystrophy. I’ve raced competitively since 2008 but racing to get another person to the finish line is so much more rewarding.

What do you enjoy most about working at Bizzell?

The work is interesting and challenging. Each day presents new opportunities for learning and I truly enjoy working with my team. I also appreciate the opportunity to work for a company that truly cares about making a difference.

Profound Quote from Dr. Crase:

“Each day is new and different, but you focus on your passion to serve your community and leave space for the unknown which allows for a great work/life blend.”