The MUSC 2022-23 Education Innovation Fund Awardees!

September 14, 2022
Dr. Katherine Chike-Harris, Dr. Fabio Rizzante, and Dr. Chris Stem, 2022-23 Education Innovation Fund Award winners

The MUSC Education Innovation Cabinet is excited to announce the selection of three awardees for the 2022-23 Education Innovation Fund. The Education Innovation fund seeks out innovative educational approaches, techniques, and programs to provide one time funding to pilot or further evaluate.

The three awardees are Dr. Katherine Chike-Harris, Assistant Professor with the College of Nursing, Dr. Fabio Rizzante, Associate Professor and Director of Research with the College of Dental Medicine and Dr. Chris Stem, Assistant Professor with the College of Medicine.

Dr. Katherine Chike-Harris, one of three 2022-23 Education Innovation Fund Award winners

Preparing College of Nursing Students for Telehealth Encounters

Dr. Katherine Chike-Harris has always embraced the importance of preparing College of Nursing students for the variety of situations that they will encounter during practice, with telehealth being at the forefront of her work. Recently, there has been a rapid acceleration in the need for students to be proficient in the requirements for success in this area.

Her plan? Provide a scope, curriculum, and actionable ways for embedding the work of telehealth into the College of Nursing’s courses centered around scenarios and experiential learning. Dr. Chike Harris explained the need for undergraduate students to these interactions. -

“I wanted to develop a simulated visit where the undergraduate students will have that experience working with the (telehealth) cart, troubleshooting the cart, and then presenting patients to the DNP students.”

Exposing students to these scenarios is key in making sure that they are prepared for practice and to take on any situation that they encounter. She explains –

“Being exposed to this education will prepare students to help practices integrate. And then with the undergraduate students, it's like having that experience already as a student will translate to postgraduation, because you know telehealth is here to stay.”

Creating a deep, embedded curriculum on telehealth provides a lot of opportunities for the project to evolve. When asked what this project looks like moving forward, Dr. Chike-Harris provided this insight -

“I'm using this as a pilot study, so I'm just to develop the cases, the scenarios, the workflow and I'm hoping that once I get that solidified then I can open it up to more colleges on campus. So interprofessional education. I know MUSC offers interprofessional education…once I do this and get it working, hopefully within the next year, then I'm going to try to involve the whole campus.”

Equitable access to healthcare has always been a passion for Dr. Chike Harris. Her excitement is palpable when explaining why this project is necessary and exciting –

“I love telehealth. You know telehealth is my end game. I think it's super important that everybody be exposed to it, especially learners, right? Because if they're exposed to it, they get comfortable with it, then they'll adopt it after graduation. And my main love with telehealth is that we're reaching populations that we typically, you know, can't reach, you know, due to number of healthcare barriers.

My mother was a first-generation immigrant to the United States and even though my father was military and American, my mother still had language barriers, and at that time a lot of discrimination. Then, also navigating the complex healthcare network of the United States. So, growing up with that, it gave me a better appreciation of those underserved populations that need help.”

This exciting project expands the possibilities of telehealth education not only for the College of Nursing, but for an impact on the entirety of MUSC.

Dr. Fabio Rizzante, one of three 2022-23 Education Innovation Fund Award winners

Embracing the Future Through Digital Dentistry

Dr. Fabio Rizzante’s passion for digital dentistry is evident. He carefully articulates that digital technologies in dentistry, including preclinical, clinical and research have become increasingly popular. His idea? Focus on creating an elective course in digital dentistry that bridges the gap between students’ knowledge in dentistry and the resources already available in a clinic. He explains -

“Talking to the students and to other colleagues right in the department, one of the common things that came from those conversations were we could probably take more advantage of all those technologies and all the equipment that we have available. What I heard from faculty members was these students don't have any instruction about how to use those machines. So, when they come to the clinic a lot of times they simply don't know.”

With this information, he has developed an idea for a solution that addresses apparent needs within the College of Dental Medicine and further extends into practice. The course he plans to create will expose dental students to the use of digital technology for more predictable treatment plans and to improve their clinical workflow. One of the most exciting developments to be integrated into the course is a design lab.

“My idea is to try to expand that and try to create a design lab with computers and students having access to the software at the same time.”

As the project launches and evolves, Dr. Rizzante sees an opportunity to further embed digital dentistry as part of the regular curriculum. This provides a way for both faculty and students to develop solutions and work at the college, rather than using an outside lab. He emphasizes that the opportunity for students to interact with this type of technology is more important now than ever.

At the end of the day, Dr. Rizzante says the project is about providing a better service for patients and exposing students to innovative solutions only enhances that possibility. The College of Dental Medicine continues their track record of innovation with Dr. Rizzante leading the way through this exciting project.

Dr. Chris Stem, one of three 2022-23 Education Innovation Fund Award winners

Enhancing Standards of Care – Ultrasound Guided IV Placements

The life of a medical student includes learning many different, yet complex, medical procedures. One of these is IV placement. Dr. Chris Stem observed an opportunity to help his learners gain more experience and mastery in this skill through the use of ultrasound guided IV placement.

“The motivation behind the project is that IV placement is one of the most common medical procedures, and although it is a relatively routine procedure, it can still be difficult to place IVs….and ultrasound can fortunately help us identify some veins deeper under the skin that we can't see directly with the naked eye.”

His idea? Develop a video game app that provides learners with the opportunity to learn and practice ultrasound guided IV placement in a virtual practice environment. He believes that through this method, students will be confident in their practice.

“They may even have a better grasp on this concept, and they may take fewer attempts when they when they actually try to place a real one. The learning process with this game, is that it will lead to both more effective and potentially even more durable learning.”

Through a partnership with Clemson, they have identified elements of learning that they feel will provide an engaging, interactive experience.

“The game really combines two major concepts in education. First, it will include a gamified tutorial that introduces the concepts for safe and effective ultrasound guided IV placement. Second, learners receive real-time feedback on their movements of the ultrasound and needle in a virtual practice environment.”

This project also has the potential to evolve into something bigger. After studying the effectiveness of his pilot project, he sees the opportunity to expand it even further into the College of Medicine curriculum.

“Ideally, we plan to study the effectiveness within our FLEX ultrasound curriculum for the first-year medical students. Beyond that we think we could make that available across the College of Medicine, and anyone who teaches ultrasound guided IV placement at any of the MUSC.”

Understanding how to create effective and engaging learning is the overall goal and of upmost importance for this project. Dr. Stem is clearly excited about its potential.

“I think it's exciting to create a new or innovative learning tool that hopefully engages students, and also produces effective learning.”

Dr. Stem’s project is on track to produce great results through an innovative gamification strategy, and continue the amazing work in education at the College of Medicine.

Congratulations to Dr. Katherine Chike-Harris, Dr. Fabio Rizzante and Dr. Chris Stem on being named 2022-23 Education Innovation Fund Awardees!