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School briefs

Clinical assistant professor Tauchiana Williams welcomed the birth of her son Jeremiah David Williams on Oct. 26, weighing 6 lbs. 9 oz. Williams and family are all doing well.

Clinical professor Anne Jones was among the presenters invited to participate in the Durham VA Health Care System Interprofessional Grand Rounds on Dec. 2. Jones’ presentation was titled, “Interprofessional Grand Rounds:  Maximizing Clinician and Student Partnership.” Jones discussed her work as the social work faculty coordinator of the Student Hotspotting project, which was started in 2015 by Dr. Amy Weil, professor of medicine at UNC Medical Center. The project teaches students from different health professions how to work in interprofessional teams, while working with patients who are high users of care and have multiple complex health conditions. The program trains student participants to assess and intervene with the individual and the environmental factors that are impacting their health. The goal is to improve patient quality of care as well as to lower health care costs.

Clinical associate professor Lisa Zerden and Ph.D. student Brianna Lombardi attended the National Academy of Science (NAS) forum on workforce development to enhance the cognitive, active and behavioral health of youth and children in Washington D.C., Nov. 29-30. Zerden represented the social work profession and discussed workforce expansion efforts within the field.

Chris Burner, a foundation year student completing his field placement with the UNC Smoking Cessation program, recently helped spearhead an event at UNC Cancer Hospital for the Great American Smokeout, an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society. An estimated 40 million American adults still smoke, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the country. The event challenges people to quit on that day or use the day to make a plan to quit. Burner, who is an intern on the Nicotine Dependence Project, helped design an educational table, which included samples of nicotine replacement products and product coupons. “At the end of the day, we were quite pleased with the success of the event and hope we made small dent in supporting nicotine independent communities,” Burner said.