The Gift of Sight

Physicians at the UTHSC Hamilton Eye Institute donated their services to restore sight to two dozen people during the fifth annual Ivan Marais Cataract-A-Thon.

The all-day outreach offered free cataract surgeries and follow-up care to individuals who otherwise could not afford the procedure. Since the first Cataract-A-Thon in 2017, more than 130 people have had their sight restored.

The Cataract-a-Thon honors ophthalmologist and cataract surgery innovator Ivan Marais, who died in 2017. Marais was a longtime ophthalmology instructor at the institute.

Grant Helps with Rural Health Care

The UTHSC College of Nursing received a $3.9 million, four-year grant that will enable the college to provide health care to two rural counties using a mobile health unit. The grant also will allow the college to integrate rural health education into its undergraduate and graduate programs.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant is called Student Training and Education through Partnerships with Underserved Populations for Health Equity and Lifestyle Promotion (STEP UP and HELP). It focuses on outreach to Lake and Lauderdale counties in West Tennessee, which are designated by HRSA as underserved.

A primary goal of the grant is to establish the mobile health unit to provide care to vulnerable populations that do not have health-care access. Another major goal is to expand the nursing workforce and to increase the cultural competency of nurses serving patients in rural areas.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing program students will have the opportunity to learn about selected concepts that prepare nurse graduates to improve health equity, access and outcomes for vulnerable populations. A Rural Scholars Program will be implemented in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program for the family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and nurse-midwifery concentrations.

You are What You Eat

A chef demonstrates the correct way to hold a knife during a culinary medicine class.
A chef demonstrates the correct way to hold a knife during a culinary medicine class.

In an effort to spread the message that healthful eating is a key to overall good health, the UT Health Science Center College of Medicine, in collaboration with UT Knoxville, hosted a culinary medicine continuing education class for health-care professionals in Knoxville.

The Introduction to Culinary Medicine class, the first of its kind in Knoxville, was held at UT’s Culinary Institute.

The class uses the same Health Meets Food curriculum that is used in the UTHSC College of Medicine to train students and residents. The program was developed to change the narrative between health-care professionals and their patients about food.

The curriculum includes instruction in basic nutrition principles and culinary skills, as well as in how fresh food prepared healthfully can be used to prevent, improve or reverse chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. It merges medical science, evidence-based nutrition and culinary skills to encourage healthy lifestyles for both health-care professionals and their patients and clients.