Health, News

Guardrails interns track patients’ health progress

A hot and muggy July did not stop people from streaming through the University Center breezeway for free wellness assessments, or guardrails, in graduate student Craig Flanagan’s words.

“The literal definition of a guardrail is a system of prevention to protect people,” he said. “That’s exactly what we’re doing. We put up guardrails instead of having an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.”

The Guardrails Prevention Initiative is an internship program that the School of Education runs and is looking to expand its reach. In collaboration with UHealth, undergraduate and graduate students in the program conduct 10-minute health screenings for adults, said Wesley Smith, a kinesiology professor at the School of Education.

At the end of the patient’s visit, he or she is given a 10-page report on his or her cardiovascular health, muscle health and metabolic health in comparison to their age, Smith said.

“We basically give them a snapshot of the results of their assessment,” said graduate student Emily White, who works with Smith and Flanagan. “The assessment asks patients to perform several simple movements while we test their heart rate.”

This report also includes a list of healthy foods, when they can be consumed and an explanation of the nutritional value of certain foods, according to Smith.

“We give you an eight-week program specific to you with a daily checklist and an aerobic exercise video,” he said. “We tell patients what to change based on their behaviors and provide them with a target weight.”

The program began by assessing nurses. In July, it tackled a bigger group of employees and students by holding screenings on the University of Miami’s three main campuses. Smith, White and Flanagan hope to expand the program’s reach to medical offices and clinics throughout Miami.

The Guardrails want to track a specific group of people five times a year in order to measure their progress and prove to insurance companies that this program works, according to Chelsea Verduin, a kinesiology student.

“Our biggest belief is if we educate people, we can redirect their behavior,” Flanagan said. “That’s what this whole thing is about and that’s what we’re trying to prove.”

Guardrails ultimately has a goal beyond helping adults to be more healthy.

“By making patients healthier, we could potentially save money for health care providers and their patients,” Smith said.

Any student can participate in this internship as long as he or she has an interest in health. For more information, visit guardrailsprevention.com or email Wesley Smith at wes@miami.edu.

October 13, 2013

Reporters

Alexandra Klumpp


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst sat on a stage poolside at the ...

Daniela Deu was drawn to both architecture and urbanism, believes architecture can change communitie ...

Canes Basketball player development assistant will graduate with MSED in Sport Administation. ...

UOnline graduate will earn his M.S. in Health Informatics ...

Seeking a college experience within a diverse community, this graduate found her home away from home ...

Graduating with Comedic Timing ...

Hurricanes earn highest ranking since March 2013. ...

Walker IV recorded a career-high 26 points, seven rebounds in the win over Boston U. ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team earned an impressive 65-54 win over No. 20/23 K ...

Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios, a double major in finance and entrepreneurship, was name ...

After its longest break of the season thus far, the University of Miami women's basketball team ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.