ISU Meridian Health Science Center

News Archive 2003

ISU/Albertson College Partner to Offer Nursing Program

Boise - Albertson College of Idaho students will soon have the opportunity to earn a liberal arts degree while pursuing a career in nursing through ISU Boise Center's Fast Track nursing program. ACI President Bob Hoover and ISU President Richard Bowen signed an agreement Dec. 18 that moves both institutions closer to offering a cooperative nursing program.

Richard Bowen, ISU President;  Robin Dodson, ISU Boise Center chief academic officer; and Robert Hoover, Albertson College President.

"This is the first of many programs we hope to offer cooperatively," said Robin Dodson, ISU Boise Center chief academic officer.

The program will help fill the growing nursing shortage in the U.S. and the Treasure Valley. By 2020, Idaho's nursing shortage is expected to be twice that of the national rate, according to the Idaho Commission on Nursing and Nursing Education. Demand for nurses in the Treasure Valley is expected to exceed supply sometime between 2005 and 2007.

The Idaho State Board of Education approved a cooperative agreement between the two schools on Dec. 5, 2003. Final approval for the program by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is anticipated in early 2004 and, once approved, would be offered beginning Fall 2004.

Students who complete the joint program would simultaneously earn two Bachelor's degrees: a Bachelor's degree form ACI and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing through the ISU Boise Center Fast Track nursing program. The entire program would be completed in the Treasure Valley, and take approximately four and a half years.

ISU Boise Center conferred degrees on the first Fast Track nursing class -- two men and eight women-- Dec. 9 in Boise. The program began in January 2002 as a two-year offering. In an effort to attract more students to the Fast Track program it has been compressed to a 16 month, or four-semester schedule. - Dec. 19, 2003

Written by: Belinda Isley

ISU Boise Center Will Graduate First Fast Track Nursing Class

Boise - Idaho State University Boise Center will confer degrees on 10 Fast Track nursing graduates during a graduation and pinning ceremony starting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at Hillcrest Country Club in Boise.

This is the first graduating class for the Fast Track Nursing program started in January 2002.

"ISU had a vision that we could prepare individuals that already had bachelor's degrees in another field to become nurses," said Dr. Sharon Job, program coordinator. "This journey started almost two years ago and I'm pleased our effort to bring this opportunity to the Treasure Valley has culminated in this first graduating class."

Ceremonies will include remarks by Robin Dodson, chief academic officer, ISU Boise Center, Dr. Linda Hatzenbuehler, dean, Kasiska College of Health Professions, Dr. Ron Mitchell, chair, department of nursing, Kasiska College of Health Professions, and Dr. Jonathan Lawson, vice president for academic affairs.

Graduates will be pinned by Judy Nagel and Rita Miller, faculty members for the nursing Fast Track Program in Boise. Graduates are Annette Allen, Teri Barker, LeAnna Fischer, Jennifer Howard, Timothy McKeon, Teresa Neiwert, Emily Patterson, Rachel Schaffner, Ronald Sandow, and Alysha Van Hooser. A reception will follow the ceremonies.

"Most of the students are already employed by area hospitals, and the others are in the interview process," said Job. "These individuals are high achievers and will be an asset to any staff."

ISU Boise Center's Fast Track program attracted students from area colleges and universities as well as various institutions from around the country, including: BYU- Hawaii; Boise State University; Northampton County Area Community College-Bethlehem, PA,; Chapman University-Orange, California,; Oregon State University; Quinsigamond Community College-Worcester, MA,; South Florida Community College Community College of the Air Force; Carroll College-Helena, Montana; and the University of Idaho.

Over the next 20 years the nursing shortage in Idaho is expected to increase rapidly as the population ages and more people move in. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, by 2020 Idaho will have the second-most acute shortage in the nation.

"We are trying to attract the attention of people who would like to go into nursing but don't want to spend an additional four years to get the degree," said Job. "The 14-month Fast Track program is perfect for individuals who already have a degree and perhaps want to change careers or like the job security that nursing offers."

The profession is also attracting more and more men into a career field traditionally dominated by females. "We will be graduating two men and eight women this month, but our next class is 40% men," said Job. - Dec. 2, 2003

Written by: Belinda Isley
Contact: Dr. Sharon Job, 685-6752

'Choices' Opportunity for Treasure Valley High School Seniors To Visit ISU Is October 4

Pocatello - "Choices," an opportunity for Treasure Valley high school seniors to visit and explore Idaho State University, is Saturday, Oct. 4. The "Choices" experience includes campus tours, an information fair, the ISU-Eastern Washington University football game, a campus-wide post-game dance, and the opportunity to stay overnight in Reed Gym on the ISU campus.

"More than 300 students attend 'Choices' every year and love it," says Chantel Wilde, admissions specialist for the ISU Office of Enrollment Planning and Academic Services. "'Choices' is our opportunity to showcase ISU and is a chance to help prospective students experience what makes our campus great. Faculty and staff enjoy the benefit of getting to know these students and developing relationships with them and students are impressed by the personal attention they receive."

The information fair, in the Pond Student Union Building (PSUB) Ballroom, offers students the opportunity to meet with representatives from academic departments and student organizations and learn about the technology available at ISU.

Free time in the afternoon offers a variety of activities at Reed Gym, PSUB, and Hutchinson Quadrangle in the center of campus. The $15 registration fee, payable in advance or on arrival, includes a T-shirt, all-you-can-eat meals including lunch and dinner Saturday and breakfast Sunday at an ISU dining hall, and all activities including the football game.

A "Choices" bus will pick up and return Treasure Valley students in Nampa and Boise. Call 685-6771 for bus information. Visit or call 208-282-3277 for additional information or to make a reservation. - Sept. 23, 2003

Written by: Glenn Alford
Contact: Chantel Wilde, 208-282-5384

ISU Boise Center Paramedic Program Expands to Pocatello

Pocatello - The Idaho State University College of Technology will begin offering its paramedic program in Pocatello this fall semester after beginning the program two years ago in Boise. The first class of paramedics in the Boise program will graduate this December.

The paramedic program is a 4-1/2-semester course. The curriculum consists of a pre-professional year during which students complete general education and prerequisite science courses, followed by two semesters of lecture, laboratory, clinical field experience and a summer field internship.

Students entering the paramedic program are required to have EMT certificates. However, if they do not have EMT certificates, they are offered the option of declaring a pre-paramedic status and will be allowed to take their EMT courses along with other prerequisite courses. Students who earn the associate of science degree are qualified to take the EMT-P examinations through the national Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.

Paramedics primarily provide care to patients in and out of the hospital setting. Through patient assessment and provision of medical care, their goal is to prevent and reduce mortality and morbidity due to illness and injury.

Emerging roles and responsibilities of the paramedic include public education, health promotion, and participation in injury and illness prevention programs. As the scope of service continues to expand, the paramedic will function as a facilitator of access to care, as well as an initial treatment provider. - 7 August 2003

Released by: University Relations
Contact: Carla Dando, Idaho State University College of Technology, or 208-282-4169

ISU Boise Center Will Provide Homeland Security Training

Boise -- A $1.3 million grant has been awarded to the Idaho State University Boise Center to help Idaho's first responders -- firefighters, police officers, public health officials, and medical personnel -- acquire the specialized training necessary to safely respond to and manage terrorist incidents.

Federal dollars for the Homeland Security Grant came through the Idaho Bureau of Hazardous Materials and will establish the ISU Institute of Emergency Management, which will train responders for events involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive weapons.

The institute will be up and running before the end of the year, said Robin Dodson, chief academic officer at the ISU Boise Center. Training programs are expected to begin this fall. According to Jeff Rylee, operations officer at the Idaho Bureau of Hazardous Materials, "Every state is getting these grants -- it's a method of getting the country prepared for possible terrorist response. We are doing everything we can to make sure administrative costs are low. The majority [of the funds] will be used for training and equipment. The Department of Justice had several requirements who could be chosen and ISU fit those requirements."

Along with the ability to deliver the necessary infrastructure to make it happen, ISU had "the sources to get the training out to the locals," said Rylee. Recent reports indicate the U.S. remains unprepared to prevent terrorism. The two deficiencies most noted are the lack of inspection for the thousands of containers that are unloaded in U.S. ports each day from ships arriving from all over the world, and the failure to effectively train and coordinate local first responders.

The search for a program coordinator has begun. The first task for the coordinator will be to create a Statewide Homeland Security Training Advisory Committee to oversee policy development and training programs.

"We have a few challenges - namely, delivering the programs to first responders who live in rural areas, and many of these folks are volunteers so we need to schedule evening and weekend training," Dodson said.

The training will include curriculum from federal organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Office of Domestic Preparedness, and other state curriculum models. "Once the participants are finished with the training, they will have rigorous role-playing and testing before they will be able to move to the next level of the program," said Dodson. Because of Idaho's rural population, several delivery methods will be used, including videoconferencing, Internet, workshop seminars, correspondence, and evening and weekend opportunities. ISU has an extensive statewide distance learning network already in place. The State of Idaho Communication Command Center (State Police and EMS) will play a role as well. "The SICC has great resources and communication lines to all 44 counties," Dodson said.

Through the Southeast Idaho Rural Vocational Distance Learning Network ISU provides courses and training to seven southeastern Idaho sites. ISU also has a statewide network of 29 compressed video classrooms with access to more than 90 other classrooms. Dialup video capabilities enable ISU to connect to classrooms worldwide, providing full two way video and audio interaction. The Instructional Technology Resource Center provides training and assistance to ISU faculty designing courses using multi-media methods. All of these resources will be used in the program. Where possible, the university will use local sites, adjunct faculty at those sites, and regional partners to deliver the essential course and program needs. "Our future goal is to offer academic credit for the workshops and training - credit that will ultimately lead to an associate degree," said Dodson. - August 6, 2003

Written by: Belinda Isley, 334-2257
Contact:Contact Robin Dodson, CAO 685-6750

The " Language of Love" Coming to a Computer Near You

Boise--1.9 million Americans speak French at home. If you're not one of them -- and would like to be -- then take heart. Idaho State University Boise Center will begin offering French 201, fall 2003 with an on-site instructor. "The course will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 2:15," said Dr. Kim Carter-Cram.

In addition, some ISU French courses will be offered for the first time via distance learning. One upper-division course will be offered entirely via the Internet for both undergraduate and graduate students anywhere in the world.

Two women's studies courses will also be added to distance learning choices: Anglo Feminisms, fall 2003, and French Feminisms, spring 2004. The ISU Boise Center is located at 12301 W. Explorer Drive. For information on the French courses, call Foreign Language Department at (208) 282-3630. - 13 June, 2003

Written by: Belinda Isley, 334-2257
Contact: Dr. Kim Carter-Cram, 888-2829

ISU Boise Center Counseling Program To Add Faculty, Admit Students Yearly

Boise - Beginning this fall, the counseling program at the Idaho State University Boise Center will begin admitting three-year cohorts each year. Previously, students were admitted only every three years for the three-year program. The counseling program includes classroom and clinical training, and the entire program is based in Boise. "Without advertising, the yearly cohort has had 50 inquiries from people all over the Treasure Valley and as far away as Sun Valley," said Judith Crews, assistant professor at the Boise Center. "The ongoing need for counselors is clear."

Students may elect to study one of two disciplines in the counseling program: marriage and family or mental health. Marriage and family is one of the fastest growing mental health disciplines, according to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Prospective students are required to have bachelor's degrees and at least a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average, and will need to have taken the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Previous social work or psychology is advantageous but not necessary.

"The commitment is two or three evenings a week during the regular semester and a few days during the summer months," said Crews. "This is a good opportunity for people who would like to change careers," she continued. "Students in our current cohort include a farmer, a former social worker, a massage therapist, and two women who just had children and are still able to participate in the program. In addition, all the students are able to continue their full-time employment." For ISU to meet the increased need for the counseling program, an additional faculty member will be hired for the Boise Center.

"The search is in progress and we hope to have someone in place by fall," said Crews. For more information about the Boise Center program, call Crews at 685-6754 or the department office in Pocatello, (800) 477-4781. The deadline for applications for the Fall 2003 cohort is July 15. - June 13, 2003

Written by: Belinda Isley, 334-2257
Contact: Dr. Judith Crews, 685-6754

ISU Boise Center To Honor Graduates May 9

Boise - Fifty-five graduates will be honored during the Idaho State University Boise Center commencement ceremony scheduled to begin 3 p.m. May 9 at Hillcrest Country Club. The ISU Boise Center enrolls about 240 students in upper division and graduate programs in fast track nursing, clinical laboratory science, paramedic, mental health, marriage and family counseling, athletic administration, public health, speech-language pathology, educational interpreting, geology, and dietetics. The College of Pharmacy operates a program in Boise for fourth-year students. The ceremony marks the first graduating class for three programs - paramedic will graduate six students; clinical laboratory science, eight, and dietetics, two. Commencement speaker will be Dr. Jonathan Lawson, ISU vice president for academic affairs.

The ISU Boise Center was created in 1988 in response to the unique educational needs of working professionals in the Treasure Valley. Today the Boise Center, located at 12301 W. Explorer Drive, covers more than 21,000 square feet that house classrooms, six distance learning rooms, a computer lab, clinical lab science, and therapy clinics for speech-language pathology and counseling. - May 5, 2003

Written by: Belinda Isley, 334-2257
Contact: Belinda Isley, 334-2257

Medical Laboratory Week Salutes Professionals in Idaho

Boise--Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has declared April 20-26 to be Medical Laboratory Week in Idaho, announced the Idaho State Society for Clinical Lab Science (IDSCLS). "It's important that clinical lab scientists are recognized for the incredible contributions they make to quality healthcare," said Stephanie Combs, president of the IDSCLS. Clinical laboratory professionals are the behind-the-scenes medical investigators in the health care industry. Using the latest biomedical methods and instruments, they accurately and precisely perform laboratory procedures used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and management of health.

The majority of medical decisions made by physicians are based on the information clinical laboratory professionals provide. In addition to the performance and interpretation of laboratory procedures, clinical laboratory professionals are involved in research and development, teaching, and supervision.

Idaho State University Boise Center began offering Bachelor and Master of Science in clinical laboratory science curriculum last fall. The program started with nine students in Boise. Using distance-learning technology, ISU is able to reach throughout the state to train an additional 16 students, including three in remote areas.

"Distant learning technology has exceeded our expectations," said Sonja Nehr-Kanet, program coordinator. "We are truly able to meet the needs of our students whether in Boise, Pocatello or remote locations - and with a shortage of qualified professionals, the labs in the state are very happy to see more students trained in this profession."

Nehr-Kanet said there are already 12 candidates for the fall program in Boise; however, she has room for only six to eight students. "They realize the train is here, the train is moving, and they all want to get on - the problem is funding, faculty and classroom space." - 17 April 2003

Written by: Belinda Isley, 334-2257
Contact: Sonja Nehr-Kanet, 685-6756

Several Slots Available For ISU Boise Golf Tourney May 17

Boise - Idaho State University's annual Boise Bengal Foundation Golf Scramble will be Saturday, May 17, at the Quail Hollow Golf Club. "There are still a few slots available for players," said Donna Hays, tournament director. "But hurry - we're filling up fast."

The scramble will have six-person teams playing in two flights. The entry fee will cover greens fees, golf cart, golf shirt, tee package, range practice, beverages, and lunch. This year's guest will be Arizona State University head football coach Dirk Koetter. Koetter graduated from ISU in 1981 after a football career that included playing on the 1981 National Championship team. He was the head football coach at Boise State University from 1998 to 2000.

Also attending will be Larry Lewis, ISU head football coach who led the Bengals to the 2002 Big Sky Championship. Gordon Henderson, ISU women's soccer coach, and Jon Newlee, ISU women's basketball coach will also attend.

"The prizes this year are the best we've ever had," said Hays. "Thanks to the hard work of our committee, the generosity of businesses and the coaches." Prizes include:

  • ASU football package donated by Dirk and Kim Koetter includes airfare for two, tickets to the ASU vs. Utah State game, sideline passes and lodging.
  • McCall golf weekend includes a round of golf, cart and weekend lodging at Hobbit Haven for four.
  • ISU Homecoming package for two includes sidelines passes, one night's lodging, and dinner at Buddy's, donated by Larry Lewis and the Bengal Foundation.

Other prizes include a weekend in Sun Valley, a membership to Terrace Lakes Golf Club, and Seattle Mariners tickets. Tournament proceeds help fund ISU student-athlete scholarships. Since the tournament began in 1992, it has raised more than $67,000 for scholarships. To sign up or for more information, contact Donna Hays, (208) 282-5773 in Pocatello. - 16 April, 2003

Written by: Belinda Isley, 334-2257
Contact: Donna Hays, 208-282-5773

Student Faces Challenges

Boise -- Kate Harding is a student who faces truly extraordinary challenges. A graduate student in speech language pathology at Idaho State University's Boise Center, she has reached the halfway mark and graduation is in sight. That's the good news.

The unfortunate news is her husband, Cory, was diagnosed with a grade four cancerous brain tumor. "Statistically, the prognosis isn't that good," Kate said. "But we're not focusing on statistics." Cory has undergone a number of treatments, including a second surgery last month. His condition and the medical treatments make it impossible for him to work. "Right now he's doing well and involved in physical therapy," said Kate.

She has been remarkably resilient, continuing to meet the academic and clinical demands of a very rigorous program, and is determined to complete her graduate program on schedule. By enrolling in a full-time externship this summer, she will graduate in August. However, she recently discovered she is pregnant.

"We were planning on trying to expand our family even before the diagnosis," she said. "We were thrilled when we got the news, and we are determined not to let cancer change our life's decisions." Now in her fifth month, Kate feels great and regards her pregnancy as a blessing. Yet the situation also demands additional responsibility. "Everyone has been so supportive," said Harding. "Friends, family, the students in my program and the doctors in Boise have been amazing."

The Hardings have already spent their savings on costs associated with medical care, and Kate fully expects to be the main earner in the family when she is finished with her program. To help Harding and her family, log on to, a web site developed by Wirestone, Cory's former employer or deposit gifts to the Kate Harding Benefit account at any KeyBank. - April 9, 2003

Written by: Belinda Isley, 334-2257
Contact: Belinda Isley, 334-2257

Idaho's Higher Education Institutions Host Information Session

Boise- Idaho's higher education institutions will present the annual "Idaho Higher Education Night" for high school juniors and their parents March 4, at Capital High School. The program was designed for Boise and Meridian school district students. The general session will include information about all Idaho colleges and universities, the quality of programs, diversity, and affordability. Each school will then host break out sessions where representatives will be available to answer specific questions.

"This is a great opportunity for Boise and Meridian students to gather a great deal of information about all the colleges and universities in Idaho in one convenient location," said Ali Crane, Assistant Director for Recruitment for Idaho State University.

The program will be held Tuesday, March 4, at 7:00 PM in the Capital High School auditorium. For more information, contact Crane at 685-6771. - February 27, 2003

Released by: University Relations
Contact: Ali Crane, 685-6755

Rural Health Institute Will Conduct Statewide Phone Survey

Pocatello - During late February and March, the Idaho State University Institute of Rural Health will conduct telephone interviews with Idahoans throughout the state to learn public views about disability issues.

"Input from the survey will help guide a multi-media ad campaign designed to help people see the benefits to communities of welcoming people of varying abilities into the mainstream of community life," said Dr. Beth Hudnall Stamm, principal investigator for the research project. "You may be getting a call, and if you do, answering it can help people across the state of Idaho." The Institute is working under the Real Choices Systems Change project, a federal grant from the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to conduct research about issues of concern to people of all ages with disabilities and long-term illnesses. Cosponsor of the project is the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The project's purpose is to determine what types of services and supports will best help people with disabilities lead productive lives in their own communities. The public opinion telephone survey, which will last about 10-15 minutes, will ask Idahoans for their views on a variety of disability issues, including community values about integrating people with disabilities into everyday life.

The telephone survey is only one part of the Real Choices Systems Change research project. Other parts of the project include: an assessment of current services for people with disabilities; a community development project aimed at helping residents build support systems for people with disabilities; an economic analysis of current services; and an effectiveness study, which will involve helping a small group of people with disabilities attain community integration.

For more information about the research project, view the Web site at or contact the Institute of Rural Health at (208) 282-4436. - 24 February 2003

Released by: University Relations
Contact: Real Choices Systems Change, (208) 282-4436

ISU Institute of Rural Health to Deliver Traumatic Brain Injury Education Sessions

Boise -The Idaho State University Institute of Rural Health will co-sponsor a live interactive "Traumatic Brain Injury Education" series to be video-cast Thursdays starting Feb. 6 and continuing until March 13. The sessions will be held at the ISU Boise Center, 12301 W. Explorer Dr., suite 102, Room 141. Video-cast time is 2-3 p.m. each session for a total of six weeks. The series will cover topics on traumatic brain injury research, education and prevention and will be of interest to family members, private providers, state agency personnel and the general public who work with or have an interest in traumatic brain injuries.

Traumatic brain injury has become a major public health problem affecting millions of Americans. A traumatic brain injury results from acceleration or deceleration of the brain, including tearing of nerve fibers, bruising of brain tissue against the skull, brain stem injuries, and swelling of brain tissues. Some major causes of a traumatic brain injury include motor vehicle crashes, falls, and firearms. An estimated 2 million people receive traumatic brain injuries each year.

Speakers include: Allan Bergman, president and CEO, Brain Injury Association of America; Ginger Floerchinger-Franks, injury prevention specialist, Bureau of Health Promotion, Division of Health; Mary Hunter, grant officer/seat belt specialist, Office of Highway Safety, Idaho Transportation Department; Russell C. Spearman, senior research associate, ISU Institute of Rural Health, ISU Boise Center; Corinna Wolf, advocacy director, Comprehensive Advocacy Inc.; Michelle Featherston, vice president, Brain Injury Association of Idaho; Arla Farmer, alternative care coordinator, Division of Medicaid, Department of Health and Welfare; and Dr. Pennie Seibert, director of research, Idaho Neurological Institute, St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Boise. The sessions are free and seating is limited. For more information or to pre-register, contact Donna Parker, ISU Institute of Rural Health, 208-685-6768 or - 23 January 2003

Released by: University Relations
Contact: Donna Parker, (208) 685-6768 or

ISU Day at the Capitol Is Jan. 23

Boise - Idaho State University will celebrate "ISU Day at the Capitol" from 7:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, Jan. 23. More than 33 departments representing all colleges will be present with displays, and interactive programs.

"Pharmacy students will take blood pressure readings of legislators," said Pauline Thiros, ISU Alumni Relations and Centennial Campaign director. "The Kasiska College of Health Professions will have a virtual patient where students will perform operating simulations, paramedic students will demonstrate lifesaving skills on a torso, and physical therapy students will give massages."

This is the sixth year of the program in which all four of Idaho's four-year public institutions bring displays to the State Capitol Building in Boise to celebrate Higher Education Week, traditionally held the fourth week of January when the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee holds hearings on higher education funding.

"'ISU Day at the Capitol' is coordinated by the Office of Alumni Relations through its alumni legislative network," said Thiros. "We have more than 30 displays that the faculty and staff have created -- some interactive exhibits that not only inform but they're great fun."

Thiros said ISU hosts a continental breakfast for legislators and presents displays around the rotunda that legislators can visit before the day's session begins and before and between committee meetings.

The day will conclude with a reception at 5 p.m. in the lobby of the Grove Hotel. All legislators, alumni, and friends of ISU are invited and asked to contact the Alumni Office at 800-933-4781 or if they plan to attend. - January 16, 2003

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