Favorite Pulse Stories of 2019

Here’s what the metrics tell us about the most popular Pulse items from 2019:

Jan. 10 (1,284 clicks)

Look Familiar?

Building on the success of our recent “Power of Possible” television campaign, in the coming days—on a TV near you—will debut “The Power of Possible II.” While still heralding our teaching and research, the sequel begins to focus on our patient care and the advantage that is academic medicine.

Watch the preview, and look carefully—this was shot 100 percent on the Farmington campus and everyone in it works for UConn Health (except that dog!).

Over the coming weeks, it will be joined by additional new billboard, radio and other promotions as we tell our story and invite the community to join us in harnessing the power of possible.

Sept. 19 (968)

Lauren Brennan APRN

‘I’m a Nurse; I Can’t Let You Do This’   

President Katsouleas mentioned it in his message to the UConn Health community earlier this month. Now, during suicide prevention month, the nurse practitioner who intervened and likely stopped a man from jumping from an elevated area on campus, Lauren Brennan agreed to share her account of that day.


March 22 (826)

Virtual gift shop depicted in the proposed locationCan We Move the Gift Shop? 

The UConn Foundation is launching a campaign to relocate the gift shop to a prime location.

Learn how you can help, and why this is a cause worth keeping in mind when UConn Gives next week.


Feb. 7 (819)

Wearing Red Institution-Wide

Groups from throughout UConn Health, both in Farmington and other clinical offices, got their red on and gathered together for photos to celebrate National Wear Red Day to kick off American Heart Month. View larger photos.

UConn Health Goes Red

Jan. 3 (780)

New Year’s Babies: Not 1, Not 2…

It sure was a busy New Year’s Day in our maternity unit, where a record six babies were born! The first to arrive was little Matthew, born at 1:17 a.m. to Heather and Joe Coss of Burlington.

Welcome to Matthew and all the New Year’s newborns: Beatrice (5:42 a.m.), Owen (9:32 a.m.), Muhammad (10:55 a.m.), Sofie (11:41 a.m.), and Caleb (4:49 p.m.). Find more information and photos.

UPDATE: In case you missed it, the babies are back!
Five of them returned for a one-year-later photo!

2019 newborns 1 year later
Five of the six babies born at UConn Health on New Year’s Day 2019 came back for a one-year reunion. Happy Birthday to Caleb, Sophie, Mohammed, Matthew, Owen, and Beatrice! (Beatrice wasn’t able to attend.) December 27, 2019. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health)

July 25 (738)

Linda Nadeau, 70, is a proponent of the Lifestyle Medicine Program at UConn Health.


Lowering Cholesterol Without Drugs

Our Lifestyle Medicine Program continues to help people make healthy choices to naturally improve their health.

There’s no shortage of success stories among physician assistant Brad Biskup’s patients — a recent one being that of Linda Nadeau, who reduced her LDL cholesterol by more than 100 points!

May 30 (701)

Connecticut magazine cover with Dr. IbrahimConnecticut’s Best Docs

Connecticut Magazine is out with its 2019 “Best Doctors” issue. There are 48 familiar faces this year, including a cover story on Dr. Omar Ibrahim and the advanced robotic tool he uses to get a head start on diagnosing/ruling out lung cancer.

See who else made the list.


Oct. 31 (700)

costumed group portraitUConn Health Halloween  

Many of our clinical staff are in costume today. Recognize anyone?

Plus, Drs. Gary Schulman and Bina Katechia from our dental faculty share a guest column that sheds some spooky light on what’s happening in our mouth when we eat candy. Second thought, maybe don’t read this until next week!

Oct. 10 (642)

Fall Fun Fest and Pumpkin-palooza   

Congratulations to the Department of Quality, whose “Proud as a Peacock” pumpkin took first place in the Pumpkin-palooza contest at this year’s Fall Fun Fest! Thanks to an army of volunteers, our courtyard became a festive setting for employees to take a break and enjoy the season, some snacks, and some fellowship. See the photos and count the smiles, plus read a first-hand account from one of the Project SEARCH interns who volunteered at the event and helped create the second-place pumpkin!

Pumpkin winning team Dept of Quality-pulse

Jan. 24 (642)

Spotlighting Our Faculty 

Improving immigrant health, advancing infection prevention programs, and researching novel cancer therapies are just a few of the accomplishments featured in the winter edition of Faculty Spotlight.

The School of Medicine’s Office of Faculty Affairs’ video series celebrates our researchers, clinicians, and educators, and also includes an On-Point update from CEO Dr. Andy Agwunobi and medical school dean Dr. Bruce Liang.

Watch the Winter 2019 edition of Faculty Spotlight.

Employee Recognition Ceremony 2019

Dr. Peter Deckers introduces the award and its meaning.Nominees for the Peter J. Deckers AwardPaige Dunion reads her nomination of Jim Behme, clinical simulation coordinator.Anne Horbatuck reads her nomination of Michelle Thomas, administrative officer for UMG.Kim Metcalf reads her nomination of Jessica Underwood, administrative director of the clinical laboratory and pathology.Jim Behme (center) winner of this year's Peter J. Deckers Award.Dr. Bruce Liang, Dr. Andy Agwunobi, Alyssa Cunningham, Jessica Underwood , Jim Behme, Scott Wetstone, Michelle Thomas, Laura Didden, Dr. Sharon Gordon, and Dr. Peter Deckers.

(Photos by Tina Encarnacion)

Congratulations to this year’s recipient of the Dr. Peter J. Deckers Employee Appreciation Award: Jim Behme, simulation center coordinator! Jim was chosen among six worthy finalists who were celebrated for their exemplary contributions to UConn Health.

We also honored 508 colleagues who celebrated service milestones of 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. The ceremony was attended by a standing room of friends and colleagues. If you missed the ceremony, you can still catch it on MediaSite. UConn Health encourages employee recognition at all levels and provides and offers various ways you can recognize a colleague.

Campus Safety Corner: Run, Hide, Fight

Deputy Police Chief Maggie Silver
UConn Deputy Police Chief Maggie Silver (Photo by Kristin Wallace)

Active threat incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. In the midst of the chaos, anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active threat incident. The Division of Public Safety aims to enhance preparedness through a “whole community” approach by providing resources.

If there is an active threat in your vicinity, you should do the following:


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Keep your hands visible.
  • Get as far away from the threat as you can.
  • If you can’t run, hide.


  • Hide in an area out of the suspect’s view. (Preferably behind large objects)
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.
  • Ensure the lights are off.
  • Silence your cellphone or other electronic devices and remain quiet.
  • If you can, have options for moving or escaping.
  • As a last resort, if you can’t run or hide, be ready to fight.


  • As a last resort and only when your life is in danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the active threat.
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the suspect. When it is safe to do so, call 911 and give the location, number and physical description of the suspect(s), and the number of potential victims if possible.

We offer free training programs on active threat, de-escalation, workplace safety, and workplace violence: recognition and prevention. These courses can be requested via https://publicsafety.uconn.edu/police/education-and-programs/public-education/.

—UConn Deputy Police Chief Maggie Silver

UConn Medical Trainees Shine at Family Medicine Research Day

Katherine Spiegel presenting poster
UConn medical student Katherine Spiegel discusses her poster presentation, “Biomarker for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: A prospective study of otolin-1 in serum,” at the Connecticut Academy of Family Physicians research day Oct. 17, 2019. (Photo provided by Monty Douglas)

Congratulations to the UConn medical students and residents who were recognized for their poster presentations at the Connecticut Academy of Family Physicians research day earlier this month:

Dr. Kristine Faulknham, family medicine resident: “Increasing influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates in the outpatient setting”

Dr. Jessica Perez, family medicine resident: “Increasing performance and reporting of diabetic foot and eye exams”

Elisa Gonzalez Cuevas, medical student: “Anxiety, neuroticism and late-life depression”

Christian Schaufler, medical student: “The effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy on apnea of prematurity”

Katherine Spiegel, medical student: “Biomarker for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: A prospective study of otolin-1 in serum”

Amisha Dave, medical student: “Automated extraction of pain symptoms: A natural language approach using electronic health records”

Fall Fun Festival 2019

Fall Fun Festival at UConn Health

UConn Health staff and students enjoy the annual Fall Fun Fest featuring the ever-popular Pumpkin Palooza decorating contest, a candy corn guessing game, and a new photo booth, along with delicious donuts, apples, popcorn, and cider. (Photos by Tina Encarnacion)

Shaute Taylor portrait
Shaunte Taylor is an intern with Project SEARCH, a partnership with Favarh, at UConn Health. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health photo)

Pumpkin Palooza

Following is a first-person account participating in and volunteering at the Fall Fun Fest by Project SEARCH intern Shaunte Taylor:

I enjoyed the process of making Boogie and painting the pumpkin. Getting ready for the contest was a fun experience with my co-workers. I’m glad we got to make our own individual pumpkins like Jack Skellington, Sally, Mayor and Zero. We put a lot of work into getting prepared for the event. The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite movies, I watch it all the time. I feel we did each character justice and brought each one to life. I loved seeing what each department did with their pumpkins and what they did had a lot of detail, so the competition was stiff. I also enjoyed giving out the tickets so everyone could vote on which pumpkins they liked the best. We were really hoping to win first place, but we are still very happy that we placed second! I would congratulate the team who won.

At the event there were so many treats, from popcorn to caramel apples. The donuts were really good and the cider was delicious, it was like a festival at work. It was a little chilly outside which added to the fall festival experience. I am glad that we got to participate and do this together as a team. Everyone worked well, we did it and got it done. All our hard work paid off. I would love to participate again next year!

Faculty Appointments, Promotions Fall 2019

The Academic Affairs Subcommittee of the Board of Directors has approved the following new faculty promotions and appointments for the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine:

School of Dental Medicine Promotions

(Photo by Jeanine Gelineau)

Professor In-Residence

  • Dr. Steven Lepowsky – General Dentistry

Associate Professor with Tenure

  • Dr. Aditya Tadinada – Oral and Maxillofacial Diagnostic Sciences

Associate Professor In-Residence

  • Dr. Takanori Sobue Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences

School of Medicine Appointments

Professor – In Residence

  • Dr. Kwame S. Amankwah – Surgery
  • Dr. Raymond A. Dionne – Cell Biology

Associate Professor – Affiliated Institution

  • Dr. Mark Marieb – (Hartford Hospital) – Medicine

School of Medicine Promotions

Professor – In Residence

  • Anton M. Alerte – Pediatrics
  • Steven V. Angus – Medicine
  • Raymond J. Foley – Medicine

Professor – Tenure Track

  • Kimberly L. Dodge-Kafka – Cell Biology

Professor – Affiliated Institution

  • Christine M. Finck – (Connecticut Children’s Medical Center) – Surgery

Clinical Professor – Community Faculty

  • Charles L. Castiglione – Surgery
  • Joseph H. McIsaac, III – Anesthesiology
  • Thomas C. Mort – Anesthesiology

Associate Professor w/award of Academic Tenure

  • Lisa C. Barry – Psychiatry

Associate Professor – In Residence

  • Laurie C. Caines – Medicine
  • Justin J. Finch – Dermatology
  • Jennifer M.P. Kanaan – Medicine
  • Jun Lu – Dermatology
  • Pooja Luthra – Medicine
  • Kenia Mansilla-Rivera – Family Medicine
  • Wendy A. Miller – Medicine
  • Michael J. Payette – Dermatology
  • Christine Thatcher – Family Medicine
  • Kristina F. Zdanys – Psychiatry

Associate Professor – Affiliated Institution

  • Elizabeth A. Deckers – (Hartford Hospital) – Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Lawrence Engmann – (Center for Advanced Reproductive Services) – Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Annmarie Golioto – (Connecticut Children’s Medical Center) – Pediatrics
  • Louisa Kalsner – (Connecticut Children’s Medical Center) – Pediatrics
  • Lisa B. Namerow – (Hartford Hospital) – Psychiatry
  • Avinash Prasad – (Hartford Hospital) – Neurology
  • Stephanie E. Rosener – (Middlesex Hospital) – Family Medicine
  • Melissa Santos – (Connecticut Children’s Medical Center) – Pediatrics
  • Erica A. Schuyler – (Hartford Hospital) – Neurology
  • Shailendra Upadhyay – (Connecticut Children’s Medical Center) – Pediatrics

Associate Clinical Professor – Community Faculty

  • Sivasenthil Arumugam – Anesthesiology
  • Melanie S. Collins – Pediatrics
  • Thomas J. Martin – Anesthesiology
  • Dhamodaran Palaniappan – Anesthesiology

In Memoriam: Richard G. Stevens, PhD

Richard G. Stevens in 2008 (Photo by Barbara Case)

It is with deep sadness that we share news of the passing of beloved colleague, researcher, and teacher Richard G. Stevens, Ph.D.

Dr. Stevens served UConn School of Medicine as a longtime faculty member since 1999. He was a professor and researcher in the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care and additionally contributed greatly to teaching UConn graduate students in the public health program, the masters in clinical and translational research program, and medical school students.

Dr. Stevens was a highly renowned cancer epidemiologist. For more than three decades he studied the effects of body iron levels associated with cancer and the role artificial lighting has on human health. He was steadfast in advancing our available scientific knowledge and the general public’s awareness about how artificial light, including light emitted from our electronic devices, is affecting our biology including disrupting our circadian rhythms.

He authored more than 150 academic publications including many with high impact in top scientific journals. As an avid communicator he authored high-profile media pieces that achieved large readership, spreading awareness and the UConn name far and wide.

In addition to his successful professional career, Dr. Stevens enjoyed the outdoors and was a great friend to many at UConn.

Dr. Stevens was a graduate of the University of California and completed his Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of Washington.

A memorial service celebrating Richard’s life will be held on Friday, August 23, at 3 p.m. at the Carmon Funeral Home Family Center, 301 Country Club Road, Avon.

Our sympathy is with his wife, Ann, and family.



Dr. Bruce T. Liang
Dean, UConn School of Medicine

Dr. Douglas Brugge
Chair, Community Medicine and Health Care