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University of Dayton and Miami Valley Hospital Healthcare Symposium

History of the Symposium


Wellbeing in the Wake of a Pandemic, the 12th annual symposium, was held virtually on April 9, 2022.  This year's theme was planned in response to the incredible stress that the pandemic has driven for healthcare workers.  The goal was to provide an opportunity to acknowledge and contextualize the challenges of the past two years, and to highlight strategies to reduce burnout and promote wellbeing.

Dr. Lisa Rotenstein, Associate Medical Director of Population Health at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, opened the symposium with her keynote address, Wellbeing in the Healthcare Workforce: Progress Made and the Road Ahead.  She provided an overview of the issues and trends in wellbeing for healthcare professionals, including how gender, racial, and ethnic dimensions impact wellbeing.  Additionally, Dr. Rotenstein discussed organizational and systems-level approaches to enhancing wellbeing in healthcare professionals.

We next heard from three speakers in our Local Voices session.  First, Dr. Christina Waite, Medical Director Psychiatry for Inpatient Psychiatric Unit and Consultation Liaison Services, Premier Health, provided a local perspective of the impact of the pandemic on healthcare professionals in her presentation Stress, Compassion Fatigue, and Burnout During the Pandemic.  Brian LaDuca, Executive Director of the Institute of Applied Creativity for Transformation at the University of Dayton, gave a session titled We Have Entered the Era of Resiliency...But How?.  Finally, Dr. Jennifer Dalton, Director of Dietetics and Nutrition and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Health and Sport Science at the University of Dayton, presented Finding Meaning and Purpose Through Difficult Times.

The final session of the symposium was a panel discussion featuring three leaders in the Dayton community.  Lessons from Law Enforcement: Wellbeing in a Challenging Profession brought together Chiefs Richard Biehl, Savalas Kidd, and David Wolford to discuss stress and strategies to promote wellbeing in law enforcement officers and first responders.  Richard Biehl served as Chief of Police for Dayton Police Department for 13 years before retiring in 2021.  Savalas Kidd is Assistant Vice President of Public Safety and Chief of Police at the University of Dayton.  David Wolford is System Chief of Police and Security at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.


The 11th annual symposium, Breaking Down Racism to Build Cultural Intelligence and Understand Health Disparities, was held virtually on April 17, 2021.  This year we reflected on lessons extracted from the difficult year of 2020.  What can we learn from both the #BLM movement and our response to the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of health equity?  How do we develop skills and competencies to serve patients as antiracist providers?  These were some of the questions addressed in the 2021 symposium.

The symposium began with COVID-Talks: Fostering Health Equity in Our Local Crisis Response, a panel discussion including Dr. Gary LeRoy, Fabrice Juin, and Paula Thompson.  This conversational presentation included local data related to the pandemic and initiatives to combat racial disparities in the Dayton area and Montgomery County, as well as a discussion of the major take-aways that Covid has revealed and what individual community members can do to help with our community response.

Following the panel discussion, Robin Shabazz, Esq. facilitated a workshop, Culturally Intelligent Solutions for Becoming an Antiracist.  This workshop addressed how healthcare professionals can take intentional actions to combat racism in healthcare.  Robin Shabazz is a diversity, equity, and inclusion expert who founded the Eastledge Group, LLC consulting firm in 2018 in order to assist organizations in building culturally intelligent teams.  Through engagement in activities and discussions, workshop participants developed skills to practice antiracist behaviors.


The 2020 symposium, Innovations in Health Engagement, was cancelled due to the pandemic.


In 2019, we celebrated our 10th annual symposium by focusing on “integrative approaches to health and healing”. Dr. Wayne Jonas discussed his book titled, “How Healing Works: Get Well and Stay Well Using Your Hidden Power to Heal”. Dr. Michael Fine presented a session titled “How to build a healthcare system 101” and Dr. Joseph Scherger discussed approaches to reversing chronic disease through nutrition and healthy lifestyle.

Two local Spotlight presentations highlighted innovative approaches to health and healing.  First, Dr. Karen Wonders, Founder and Director of the Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, presented on their work to improve the quality of life of cancer patients through programs fostering physical, mental, and emotional health and wellness.  Second, Dr. Jennifer Dalton and Dr. Josie Elrod talked about their work to create the Culinary Medicine Collaborative, which brings together primary care residents from Grandview Hospital and undergraduate dietetic students from the University of Dayton to learn about healthy food choices and the impact this will have on their future patients.  Culinary medicine uses food in addition to traditional medicine to treat and prevent disease.


The ninth annual University of Dayton and Miami Valley Hospital Healthcare Symposium was titled, “Re-Think Addiction,” and featured presentations on innovative approaches to understanding and treatment of addiction as a chronic disease. Following opening remarks by Dr. Joseph Scherger, Dr. Nicole Labor spoke about the neuroscience of addiction. Dr. Michael Dohn and Ms. Haley Riegel, MPH from Public Health-Dayton and Montgomery County then spoke about perspectives on addiction. This presentation was followed by Dr. Scherger’s discussion of addiction from the perspective of a primary care provider.

After the different perspectives of addiction were introduced, a providers’ panel featuring panelists from Premier Health (Dr. Jennifer Hauler), the Kettering Health Network (Dr. Nancy Pook), Dayton’s Children’s Hospital (Dr. Tahira Adelekan), and the Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center (Dr. Randall James) spoke about their health systems’ programs for treating addiction.

The symposium wrapped up with presentations featuring innovative practices in dealing with addiction. Presenters included Caleb Tang (Cedarville University PharmD student) discussing effective disposal of excess prescription opioids, Kelly Cashion (UDRI researcher) discussing research into biofeedback mechanisms to treat addiction, and Vernique Coleman-Stokes (UD CADRE) presenting on promoting a recovery friendly language and culture.

The symposium also included an optional Naloxone training and distribution hosted by Project DAWN (Death Avoided by Naloxone), a community-based overdose education and naloxone distribution program. Project DAWN is sponsored by the Ohio Dept. of Health. Because Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an opioid drug overdose, communities are arming citizens with Naloxone kits in an effort to provide an accessible way to save lives. Program participants, which included healthcare professionals, UD students, and Dayton community members received training in recognizing the signs of an overdose, contacting emergency personnel, and administering life-saving narcan.

The 2018 student symposium sessions provided University of Dayton students opportunities to attend health professional student and career discussion panels and a professional development workshop on interviewing skills.


The eighth annual University of Dayton and Miami Valley Hospital Healthcare Symposium was titled, Building a healthy Dayton:  next steps.”  It continued to focus and expand on the themes explored in the seventh symposium in order to improve the health of communities.  The keynote speaker was Nick Buettner, the Community and Corporate Program Director for the Blue Zones Project.  His talk was titled, “The Blue Zones Project:  Building Healthier Communities” and focused on common factors identified in communities or “Blue Zones” throughout the world where people routinely live longer, healthier, and happier lives.  Following the keynote address, current Dayton and Montgomery County Health Commissioner, Jeff Cooper, MS, presented an overview of the public health assessment for the Dayton region. 

Additional presentations highlighted programs and initiatives in the Dayton area that are working to improve the health and wellness of local communities.  The other presenters featured were:  Jessica Saunders, MPA; Dr. Joseph Scherger; Dr. Sara Paton; Terra Williams, MPH; Dr. Marietta Orlowski; Jodi Long, LISE-S, LICDC-CS; Dr. Katherine Cauley.  The symposium also featured a poster session were University of Dayton premedical and predental undergraduate students presented on a range of biomedical/healthcare topics.  The afternoon student symposium featured discussion panels on the following topics: life in dental school, life in medical school, the gap year experience, advanced care practitioners, careers in public health, medical specialties.


The seventh annual University of Dayton and Miami Valley Hospital Healthcare Symposium was titled, “Building a healthy Dayton one connection at a time.” It focused on ways to expand our vision of healthcare to better meet the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families in order to build healthy communities. The keynote speaker was Dr. Rishi Manchanda whose presentation was titled “the upstream effect - what makes us get sick?” In his 2013 TEDbook, The Upstream Doctors, Dr. Manchanda introduced a new model of the healthcare workforce that includes “upstreamists” who improve social determinants of health. Other presenters featured were: Jessica Saunders, MPA; Joseph Scherger, MD, MPH; Jim Gross, MPH; Jeffrey Lycan, RN, BS, MS; and Theresa Thompson, PhD. The symposium also featured a poster session where students presented on a variety of healthcare/research topics and an afternoon student symposium on the following topics:

  • Doctors, PAs, and NPs Working Together
  • Global Medicine
  • Life in Dental School
  • Gap Year Experiences
  • Practicing Medicine in Specialty Fields
  • Life in Medical School
  • Medical school and the application process
  • Pediatric residents panel


The Sixth Annual University of Dayton & Miami Valley Hospital Healthcare Symposium was “The Best Care Possible: Improving the Patient Experience through a Community Approach to Advance Care Planning.”  The symposium highlighted the need for a more person-centered, family-oriented care model, which focuses on patient-physician communication and advance care planning. University of Dayton alumnus Dr. Joseph Scherger, Vice President for Primary Care and Marie E. Pinizzotto, MD, Chair of Academic Affairs at Eisenhower Medicine Center in Rancho Mirage, California,  served as host for the program. Speakers included Dr. Bernard Hammes, director of medical humanities and Respecting Choices for Gundersen Health System, and Karen Peterson, director of program operations for Honoring Choices Minnesota, both of whom spoke about their organizations’ efforts to coordinate community-wide advance care planning initiatives. They were followed by a panel of local community leaders including Sen. Peggy Lehner speaking about related legislation in Ohio.


The focus of the Fifth Annual University of Dayton/Miami Valley Hospital Healthcare Symposium was “Innovations in Healthcare Delivery” and highlighted several organizations and individuals who are making great strides in changing the ways healthcare is delivered so as to improve outcomes and lower costs. Dr. Marjorie Bowman, Dean of Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, returned as our moderator. The symposium featured T. R. Reid, foreign correspondent, who discussed “The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Healthcare.” Additional speakers were David Moen, MD, and Ken Coburn, MD, MPH.


The Fourth Annual Healthcare held on Saturday, March 23, 2013 featured a panel of local healthcare specialists discussing various controversies in preventive medicine.  Dr. Marjorie Bowman, Dean of Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine moderated a series of presentations focusing on areas such as breast cancer and prostate cancer screenings, coronary artery disease screenings, immunizations and the role of genetic testing in preventive medicine. Presenters include Sherman Alter; M.D., Mukul Chandra;  M.D., Margaret Dunn, M.D., MBA; Marvin Miller, M.D.; Joseph Scherger, M.D., MPH.


In 2012, the timely topic of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) was again explored through presentations related to the national, state and local perspectives on PCHM.  A second track was titled “Meaning in Medicine: Exploring connections between medicine and spirituality”.  The keynote speaker this year was Dr. Harold Koenig, Director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University.  Dr. Koenig’s address was titled “Religion, Spirituality and Medicine: Research and Clinical Applications”.


The 2011 Symposium provided two tracks of break-out sessions.  One track was titled “Incorporating global health into your career” and the second track focused on the Patient Centered Medical Home.  The keynote speaker was author Tracy Kidder who spoke of global health initiatives explored in his book Mountains Beyond Mountains.


In 2010, Dr. Scott Morris, Director of Church Health Center was the keynote speaker.  Church Health Center, located in Memphis, TN is the nation’s largest healthcare clinic for uninsured individuals.  Dr. Morris’ address was titled “The future of healthcare for the poor in America”.  In addition to the keynote address, panels of local physicians spoke of their agencies’ efforts to provide services to local underserved populations.


Premedical Programs

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