News and Announcements

Ohio University Health Scholars Research Symposium recognizes medical and health student researchers

Students attending the second annual Ohio University Health Scholars Research Symposium gained a deeper understanding of Medicaid and how they, as medical and health professions students, can make a difference in the lives of those who rely on Medicaid to insure their health care.

Keynote speaker Gilbert Liu, M.D. told attendees he would like to attract as many medical and health professions students as he can into the Medicaid space. Liu contrasted the goals of Medicaid when it was established and how it operates today. He told attendees that the program was developed to meet a national need and was supposed to be based on well-tried insurance principles, but for many reasons has not been realized as it was originally intended.

“I hope you feel uncomfortable. I do not want you to be numb,” said Liu, who has more than 20 years of experience as a pediatrician and educator and serves as the medical director of the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center. “We need you to help us make Medicaid what it was meant to be.”

Posters on display at 2024 Health Scholars Research Symposium

He gave students attending three actionable items to follow: Get to know every patient and treat them, even the ones who are publicly insured, well; join professional organizations and ask tough questions; and get involved with the GRC.

“We all have an opportunity here and I would argue a responsibility to take steps forward to do what we can in our own areas of research and our own areas of professionalism to positively impact the health status of Ohioans or those who are in our communities wherever we ultimately end up in practice,” said Tracy Plouck, M.P.A., dean of the Voinovich School. “Today’s an opportunity to celebrate all your successes as well as network, but also think about what you hear today and what might be next on the horizon in terms of what we could do individually or collectively to make further steps to impact the health of Ohio.” 

The symposium, held Feb. 2, included a poster session, showcasing the research of 57 Ohio University students and postdoctoral fellows. Awards were given in three categories to the following individuals for their research:

  • Social/Behavioral:  Jalen Warren, OMS III, Racial disparity in failure to rescue following pediatric postoperative pneumonia
  • Clinical:
    • Olivia Kuns, OMS II, Assessing post-transplant outcomes in hematopoietic stem cell recipients from rural, Appalachian, and medically underserved regions: Insights from a single-center investigation
    • Rachel Brogee, OMS II, Molecular characteristics and outcomes of endometrial cancer patients at OhioHealth Physician Group Gynecologic Oncology Practice
  • Basic/Biomedical:  Rabia Basri, Identifying the molecular action of muscle-specific FSP27 in muscle performance
A closer look at a research poster at the 2024 Health Scholars Research Symposium

“The work that you’re doing really gives all of those people not just comfort, but hope as well, so I really appreciate that,” said Dr. Elizabeth Sayrs, OHIO executive vice president and provost. “It’s through your innovative research and collaborations that we are the state’s leading educator of health professionals.”

The symposium was hosted by the Ohio University Health Collaborative which comprises the College of Health Sciences and Professions, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service. 

“The health collaborative is a true partnership of health, medicine and the Voinovich School. The idea again is that if we come together with a focus on our communities, regardless of where we sit at the university, we will have the opportunity for a greater level of impact,” said Ken Johnson, D.O., executive dean of the Heritage College and OHIO’s chief medical affairs officer. 

February 19, 2024
Staff reports