The Institute’s 2019-2020 Media Highlights

During the 2019-2020 academic year and the following summer, SMU Institute for Leadership Impact projects, researchers, and students were featured many times in local and national media reporting.

Though it was punctuated by a pandemic that pushed the Institute for Leadership Impact to reorient much of its programming, the 2019-2020 academic year and the following summer offered the Institute’s projects, researchers, and students many opportunities for media exposure, particularly in the area of health leadership development research. Highlights included…

Leading on COVID-19

With the rise of COVID-19, Institute Director Eric G. Bing – a trained physician and epidemiologist – was called upon to participate in several media interviews about the spread of the virus and about mitigation strategies. Over the spring, Bing made several national appearances on CBS News, in which he recommended wearing face coverings and ramping up testing. He was later interviewed by the Dallas Observer for articles on the importance of face coverings and taking a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

Additional information and guidance on COVID-19 is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Innovating for Medical Leadership Development

As the Institute’s research in virtual reality surgery simulation expanded, many local and regional publications took interest in the project. Before the end of 2019, publications including D Magazine, KERA News, WFAA ABC 8, Park Cities People, and The Dallas Morning News had published stories that focused on or mentioned the Institute’s virtual reality work. Project team members anticipate continued media attention as the project enters a new phase focused on postpartum hemorrhage treatment.

Training Future Public Health Leaders

When COVID-19 forced SMU to make classes virtual in March, Bing restructured his Creating Impact in Global & Public Health course to use the developing pandemic as a real-time example. The course traditionally culminates in the Battle to Save Lives case competition, which was reoriented to focus on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on college campuses. Two student teams from the class applied for RevTech Ventures grants to implement their solutions, and NTX Inno reported that both teams won grants.

Selected Student and Alumni Spotlights

Khris Beeson ‘20, who took Creating Impact in Global & Public Health in 2020 and became a Global Health Intern at the Center for Global Health Impact after graduating, was featured in a July 2020 Dallas Morning News piece about her collaboration with Bing.

Kaitlyn Contreras-Castro ‘20, who has served as a research assistant at the Institute since 2018 and has taken Creating Impact in Global & Public Health, was featured by SMU in Fall 2019.

Dominique Earland ‘17, who took Creating Impact in Global & Public Health during her time at SMU, is now pursuing a medical degree at the University of Minnesota. In March 2020, Earland was interviewed by Phi Beta Kappa about her path to medical school.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

SMU Researchers Create Low-cost Virtual Reality Training to Improve Care during Labor and Delivery

SMU researchers receive funding from Wellcome Trust to develop low cost virtual reality training to help improve skills to surgically manage postpartum hemorrhage.  Such training may not only reduce time and cost to train providers but reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission by reducing face-to-face interactions during surgical training.

 

COVID-19 has created complex challenges and opportunities in teaching and learning, including how medical providers are trained to perform complex medical procedures.  An international team of researchers from King’s College London, Southern Methodist University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of Zambia is developing techniques to train surgeons using low cost eLearning tools and Virtual Reality which can help improve the acquisition of knowledge and skills without patient contact.1,2

The multidisciplinary team has been awarded a Wellcome Trust research grant to build and field test a virtual reality training platform for the surgical management of postpartum hemorrhage.  The team at SMU is led by Dr. Eric G. Bing, Professor of Global Health in the Departments of Applied Physiology & Wellness and Anthropology and Dr. Anthony Cuevas, Assistant Dean for Technology & Innovation and Clinical Professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning.

Researchers from SMU and UNC Chapel Hill developing a VR simulation.
Researchers from SMU and UNC Chapel Hill developing a VR simulation.

Surgery is one of the most crucial domains of global medicine, yet most low- and middle-income countries have stark deficits in both the absolute numbers of surgeons and their level of expertise to perform complex surgical procedures. Of the many types of emergency surgical interventions, some of the most crucial and complex are those required to manage obstetrical hemorrhage, the world’s most common cause of maternal death. Funding from the Wellcome Trust will enable researchers to build and field test the first general affordable obstetrical virtual reality simulator training platform for the surgical management of obstetrical hemorrhage. The innovative training platform, once built, will integrate the latest advances in virtual reality technology with traditional hands-on training and can be easily and affordably delivered within low and middle-income contexts. The application of an enhanced learning platform will rapidly build surgical capacity and capability for complex surgical procedures, some of which are life-saving, and increase access to a level of care that is very difficult for most women residing in these environments to obtain.

This research will build upon a low-cost Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator developed by many members of the current team.

Create Impact in Your Organization

The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual, and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.

  1. Bing, E. G. et al. Using Low-Cost Virtual Reality Simulation to Build Surgical Capacity for Cervical Cancer Treatment. J. Glob. Oncol. 1–7 (2019) doi:10.1200/JGO.18.00263.
  2. Parham, G. et al. Creating a low-cost virtual reality surgical simulation to increase surgical oncology capacity and capability. ecancermedicalscience 13, (2019).

 

One Year Ago – High School Leadership Challenge at Institute for Leadership Impact

One year ago, the Institute for Leadership Impact hosted a half-day seminar for over 120 rural Texas high school students in the Upward Bound program.

ORS Upward Bound students at SMU
Students experience a virtual reality surgical simulation designed by Simmons and Guildhall faculty.

In April 2019, students from rural schools in Johnson County visited SMU as part of a federally-funded, college access program called Upward Bound.  Students from Venus, Alvarado, Rio Vista, and Keene were divided into teams and given the chance to brainstorm solutions for a real-world social challenge by pooling their knowledge and strengths.  We were excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm with which they approached the challenge and the ways that they supported one another’s efforts.

While on campus, students also participated in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality simulations led by Simons faculty Dr. Tony Cuevas and learned about the diverse career opportunities in these fields.

ORS Upward Bound students visit SMU
A student engages with the Virtual Reality simulation.

Upward Bound is a federally-funded program that serves high school students from low-income families and families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree.  SMU has supported underrepresented, first-generation college students through Upward Bound and college access programs for over 50 years, and is proud to welcome fellow Upward Bound students to campus.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at leadershipimpact@smu.edu, and engage with us on Twitter.