CSU Voices and Views

Posts tagged with Health

Knowing the Signs

By Marny Fern
Director, Patient Care Services
Doctors Medical Center, Modesto
Alumna of CSU Stanislaus (BSN and MSN)

Marny Fern (right) helped create a simple checklist to more quickly recognize sepsis

Marny Fern (right) helped create a simple checklist to more quickly recognize sepsis

As with many people who go into health professions, my inspiration to become a nurse came from witnessing the care that others provided a loved one. I saw good things and bad things in my grandmother’s care when she was hospitalized. I learned by watching the nurses and putting those early lessons into practice as a portion of my grandmother’s home care became my responsibility.

Years later, a 42-year-old woman came into the emergency room during my shift as a staff nurse. Her vague and obscure symptoms were not immediately identified as sepsis – a serious condition resulting from the body’s immune response to a bloodstream infection. This patient is among the condition’s casualties. More …


This Way for a Healthier Planet

By Erik Fallis
CSU Public Affairs

Chico State students are thinking through the consequences of collective human actions. Much of the evidence is that our species is making poor decisions, utilizing record levels of the earth’s productive capacity while choking that productive pipeline for future generations.

A coalition of students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and activists are striving for a better path, a healthier path. This Way to Sustainability is an enormous undertaking – a student-run conference that hosts more than 100 speakers and 1,400 participants. This conference brings together those who dare to question the decisions we make today. In so doing, they find many answers about how we might move toward a sustainable future.

Decked out in an elaborate dress of plastic bags, Health Education major Alexandria Gipson (center) quizzes and informs students with trivia about the impact of plastics in the environment. More …

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Transforming Lives through Education

Speech by Marilyn Thomas, San Francisco State student
and Maija Glasier-Lawson, Chico State student

The 2012 William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement recipients

The 2012 William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement recipients

Before an audience of alumni, faculty, administrators, CSU trustees, CSU Foundation governors, peers, friends and family, two students present themselves and their fellow recipients of the Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Award

As the 2012 Razi Scholar, Marilyn Thomas best exemplifies the principles of the award — financial need, personal hardships, and attributes of merit, including superior academic performance, exemplary community service, and significant personal achievements.  As the 2012 Galinson Scholar, Maija Glasier-Lawson best exemplifies extraordinary public service to her home, university or global community.

These remarks are as prepared prior to delivery on Sept. 18. More …

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Building the Door

By Marilyn Thomas
2012 Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholar
SFSU Alumna, Master’s Student

Marilyn Thomas and her son at graduation.

Marilyn Thomas and her son at graduation

Milton Berle, of TV’s golden age, said “if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” 

It was hard to hear opportunity knocking as I grew up in San Francisco’s most marginalized neighborhoods, dealt with the fall out of my parents’ substance abuse and became homeless at 15.  The closest thing to a golden age for my childhood came in the brief time my mother, brother and I lived in the middle–class suburb of Millbrae.  It was a struggle to meet the academic challenges of Mills High, but I discovered the joy of learning in my freshman and sophomore years of high school — that was until my family fell apart. More …

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Role Models

By Kenneth Millar
Dean of the College of Health and Human Services
CSU Long Beach

Kenneth Millar in his office

Kenneth Millar

The path of my career – from social worker, to professor, to director and now dean – started with the first class I took with my college mentor, Professor Richard McDonald.  He was a role model that exemplified the principles I believe in: social justice, democratic social change, public service, equity and empathy.  Professor McDonald had his master’s in Social Work, so it seemed fitting that I would also go for an MSW when I completed my undergraduate degree.  It was a start for what would be a lifelong journey in higher education.

Positive role models are critical throughout life.  Too often, adults entrusted to be parents, guardians and role models are instead the source of pain, abuse and upheaval in a young person’s life.  Perhaps the most difficult part of social work involving families is facing how truly vulnerable children are, and how cruel some people can be.  More …


A Promise Kept

By Una L. Morris-Chong
Radiologist at Women’s Diagnostic Imaging Medical Group
Olympian – 1964, 1968, 1972
Alumna of Cal Poly Pomona

Dr. Morris-Chong reviewing x-ray images

Dr. Morris-Chong reviewing x-ray images

My early life in Kingston, Jamaica was poor in money but richly blessed in the support and love of family, especially my mother. 

At only ten years old, I lost my mother to illness.  It was the most tragic and defining moment of my life.  My mother knew the life-changing power of that moment because she asked me to promise I would pursue education to the fullest.  I have kept that promise with a bachelor’s degree, a medical degree and a diagnostic radiology specialization.  I’m not done learning yet, and have committed to pursuing a law degree.

The ability to focus, once acquired, is an amazing asset in life.  My focus was sadly borne of loss, yet many people find focus in their own way – often through pursuing a passion and exercising personal discipline.

At a young age, I learned that I had skill and a passion for two things: learning and running.  A sharp focus on learning brought me to Cal Poly Pomona to start my higher education.  A sharp focus on running brought me to three Summer Olympic Games – in 1964, 1968 and 1972 – as an athlete representing Jamaica.
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Looking Beyond the Cure

By Elisabeth Freeman
President at International Center for Professional Development
Executive Director at Legacy Direct
Alumna of CSU Channel Islands

Elisabeth Freeman meets with students in Matetsi

Freeman meets with students in Zimbabwe

People in Africa are dying alarmingly early in life, primarily from preventable or treatable diseases.  AIDS continues to be a prolific killer, but so are diseases tied to starvation, poor infrastructure and lack of sanitation.

I have already outlived 80 percent of my childhood classmates in Zimbabwe.  This realization drives home just how fortunate I have been to access the medical treatment and quality of life in the United States, but it also underscores the tragedy of the health disparities that exist in this world.

After coming to California, my education at CSU Channel Islands started with optimism of finding a cure for AIDS and relieving the suffering for millions in Africa.  As I went through the biology program, I learned that the problem was more complex – not just from a medical standpoint but also in terms of education, infrastructure and resources.
More …

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