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Penn State National Science Foundation Center for Health Organization Transformation
(Penn State CHOT) - An Industry-University Cooperative Research Center
March 2019

Penn State CHOT Director, Conrad Tucker, Accepts a Faculty Position at Carnegie Mellon University

Conrad Tucker, associate professor of engineering design and industrial and manufacturing engineering at Penn State, has accepted a faculty position in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, with a courtesy appointment in the School of Computer Science's Machine Learning Department. His official start date will be August 15, 2019. "I want to thank each and every one of you for the part that you have played (and continue to play) in making Penn State  CHOT  what it is today," said Tucker. A transition plan for Penn State CHOT is already in the works and will be finalized after discussions with CHOT industry members, collaborators, and funding agencies. 
Penn State CHOT Research Highlights     
Penn State CHOT Scholars are conducting research to find advancements in public health. Here are some highlights on their projects:  
Delirium 

College of Nursing Assistant Professor Andrea Yevchak Sillner and grad student Dillon Madrigal are researching delirium with qualitative data in assessing dementia. Their project also includes app design assistance from undergraduate Zhao Chen.

The research team is investigating the acceptability of integrating informal, family caregiver assessments of delirium superimposed on dementia in the acute setting. Sillner and Madrigal have met with Chris DeFlitch from Hershey Medical Center (HMC) to interview him and provide him with updates on the state of the project. A focus group with 14 nurses from the sixth floor of HMC was conducted to ascertain their thoughts and opinions on this subject. Their interest in this subject sparked after finding that, often times, when a person with dementia presents to the hospital, the health care providers have a hard time knowing whether or not their presenting cognitive status is true to who they are, or was a product of an acute change, such as delirium. The use of family members, who may know the baseline cognitive status of the patient, will be used to help fill the gaps in knowledge that providers may have, and to hopefully identify delirium sooner, as delirium itself increases length of stay and risk for mortality. 

Their project has been selected to represent the College of Nursing and CHOT at the 2019 Eastern Nursing Research Society Annual Scientific Sessions, April 3-5 in Providence, Rhode Island. 


CHOT Scholar's Project Paper Abstract 
Modeling and Analysis of Breast Cancer Recurrences - A Random Survival Forest Approach

Graduate student Farhad Imani has submitted he  and his research team's project paper to the IEEE International Conference of Automation Science and Engineering 2019.  

The recurrence of breast cancer is a prevailing pro blem which creates concerns, leads to the high expenditure in post-treatment screening, and decreases the quality of life. Advancements in data driven modeling provide a unique opportunity to provide an effective diagnosis and treatment plan in a variety of health care domains. However, few, if any, of previous works have investigated on big data analytics for breast cancer recurrence. There is a dire need to leverage big data to find important factors in the recurrence of breast cancer. We develop the random survival forest as an ensemble tree method for analyzing more than 1.5 million entries with more than 130 variables. The results show that age, the number and size of tumors, and histological grade have the most significant impact on the chance of breast cancer recurrences.

Upcoming Event
Spring 2019 IAB Meeting
Hosted by Penn State & Siemens Healthineers

Date: Wed., April 3, 2019 and Thurs., April 4, 2019
Location: Penn State Great Valley Campus, Auditorium
30 Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA 19355

More information about the event can be found here.

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