Faculty Affairs News

Teaching Academy Announces 2022 Frymoyer Scholars Projects & Investigators

July 18, 2022 by Jennifer Nachbur

Three Larner College of Medicine faculty-led, interprofessional group projects have been selected to receive 2022 Frymoyer Scholars funding. The three projects focus on newborn resuscitation, building an interdisciplinary gender affirming care model, and fostering excellent clinical teachers, respectively.

(Front row, from left to right) Katherine Walsh, Katie Wells, Ashley McCormick, Louisa Smith, and K.C. Collier; (back row, left to right) Cate Nicholas and Kyle DeWitt.

Teaching Academy Director Kathryn Huggett, Ph.D., and the Frymoyer Scholars Program Review Committee have announced the names and respective investigators aligned with each of three Larner College of Medicine faculty group projects selected to receive 2022 Frymoyer Scholars funding.

Supported by a philanthropic fund – the John W. and Nan P. Frymoyer Fund for Medical Education – the Frymoyer Scholars Program aims to recognize outstanding medical education and promote teaching that emphasizes the art of patient care. This fund supports interprofessional education and practice and provides funding for physicians and nurses who are actively engaged in teaching UVM medical and nursing students and who embody the best qualities of the clinician-teacher.

Individuals selected as Frymoyer Scholars are awarded up to $25,000 a year for two years to develop innovative educational products or programs and/or to improve their teaching skills and in turn the relationship between clinician and patient. These funds should be used to complete a project or take courses in faculty development/bedside teaching that might not otherwise be done due to lack of funding.

The 2022 funded projects are:

  • “Improving newborn resuscitation in the community hospital setting with physician-nurse led distributed practice of simulation and structured debriefing,” led by Jennifer Covino, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics at UVM Health Network—Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH), and CVPH collaborators Nathaniel Meuser-Herr, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, Colleen Pennington, B.S.N., R.N., nurse educator, and Disa Seymour, M.S., R.N.C.-M.N.N., nurse manager.
  • "Fostering the Qualities of Excellent Clinical Teachers in Medicine: Interprofessional Collaboration for Feedback, Coaching, and Assessment in Medical Education," led by Emily Greenberger, M.D., assistant professor of medicine. Collaborators include Jamie Rowell, M.D., chief resident, medicine; Jess VanNostrand, M.D., chief resident, pediatrics; Karen Dearborn, R.N., staff nurse, clinical emergencies response; Katie Dezotelle, R.N., nurse educator, pediatrics; Teah Cardeilhac, R.N., nurse educator, pediatrics; and Deirdre O’Reilly, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics. “This project aims to evaluate and improve the Resident and Student as Teacher (RAST) course by including formative, longitudinal, and multidisciplinary coaching and teaching assessments for our trainees,” says Greenberger.
  • “Building an Interdisciplinary Gender Affirming Care Model in the Emergency Department,” led by Katie Wells M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of emergency medicine. Collaborators include Ashley McCormick, D.O., emergency medicine resident; Cate Nicholas, M.S., P.A., Ed.D., director of education & operations, Clinical Simulation Laboratory; Kathryn Collier, M.D., emergency medicine resident; Robert Althoff, M.D., associate professor and interim chair of psychiatry; Nat Mulkey, M.D., psychiatry resident; Kathy Walsh, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine; Eli Goldberg, M.D., family medicine resident; Laura Mulvey, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine; Emily Reed, M.S.W., case manager, UVM Medical Center; Kyle DeWitt, Pharm.D., pharmacist clinician, UVM Medical Center; Louisa Smith, B.S.N., R.N., staff nurse, emergency medicine; Christopher Doran, B.S.N., R.N., staff nurse, emergency medicine; Erica Carlson, B.S.N., R.N., nurse educator, emergency medicine; Raenetta Liberty, M.S.N., R.N., staff nurse, emergency medicine; Alison Segar, M.S.W., Vermont Language Justice Project; and Kell Arbor, M.A., Pride Center of Vermont.

2022 Frymoyer Scholars Project Aims

Due to the constraints of the pandemic, opportunities for skills trainings and debriefs have been greatly reduced. In the case of neonatal resuscitation, providing regular skills sessions can ensure a smoother, less stressful response from the rapid response team when this less-frequent event occurs. The goal of Covino’s group project is to improve the communication and care that takes place when newborns require resuscitation in the minutes following birth. Their proposal focuses on bringing together the nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists who provide this immediate and essential care for special training. “Through structured debriefing, simulation models, and peer-to-peer teaching, we will work to enhance our communication and hands-on clinical skills while demonstrating a cohesive team to parents during what can be a challenging time,” says Covino, who is a 2013 graduate of the Larner College of Medicine.

Recognized by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in its Core Competencies and Milestones, teaching and coaching skills among residents are often limited due to a lack of formal training. While trainings exist, Greenberger’s group says that are no evidence-based methods for assessing if these training sessions produce a longitudinal change in a residents’ teaching and communication skills as they progress through training. According to Greenberger, their project aims to evaluate and improve the Larner College of Medicine’s one- or two-week elective Resident and Student as Teacher (RAST) course by including formative, longitudinal, and multidisciplinary coaching and teaching assessments for trainees. "We are eager to design this novel and significant program for interdisciplinary teaching assessments within the RAST course. We will tailor the existing curriculum to meet the needs of our learners through formative feedback via simulation and longitudinal coaching," the group’s investigators stated in their proposal.

In their proposal, Wells and her colleagues state that their literature search found no evidence – locally or nationally – of interventions to provide a gender-affirming care training curriculum that focuses on providing transgender- and non-binary-affirming care training to Emergency Department (ED) staff. Their project’s overall goal is to optimize gender-affirming care for all patients and families in the ED at UVM Medical Center and across UVM Health Network EDs, and ultimately, to provide a model that can be successfully adapted for other patient care areas across the network and for Larner College of Medicine learners. "The inclusion of multidisciplinary groups, including community partners, only strengthens patient and family-centered care by gaining insight from collaborators with a lived experience as trans and non-binary, or those working in the dedicated space of LGBTQAI initiatives," said the group in their proposal.

Learn more about the Frymoyer Scholars Program.

About the Frymoyer Fund
The Frymoyer Fund pays tribute to the deep legacy of the late John Frymoyer, M.D., dean of UVM’s College of Medicine from 1991 to 1999, and his wife Nan, a community health nurse who had a strong interest in patient advocacy. The fund was established in 2000 through generous donations from J. Warren and Lois McClure, the Frymoyers, and many others who wanted to honor John and Nan, including the Larner College of Medicine Alumni Association.