Student, Family, Faculty, and Alumni News

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Monthly Parent Resources: March Enews 2019

Gina Pola-Money (URLEND Family Faculty Member) is a very busy woman. We love her! See below for the article that was posted in the Monthly Parent Resources: March Enews 2019.

Meet Gina Pola-Money: UPC's Associate Director

Gina Pola-Money Gina Pola-Money has been with the UPC for 30 years. She is currently the Associate Director of the Utah Parent Center and has served as the Director of Utah Family Voices, Family-to-Family Health Information Center at the UPC. Gina collaborates closely with various partners including the Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Children with Special Health Care Needs, University of Utah – Department of Pediatrics, and Utah State University - Center for Persons with Disabilities to expand family centered care, parent/professional partnerships, medical home and family leadership for children and youth with special healthcare needs. Gina is the proud mom of five children, two of which had a genetic rare disorder and have since passed away, which has led to her passion of giving back in this field due to the expertise and experiences acquired throughout the last 32 years. On a personal level, Gina can be found spending time with her family, specifically boating. This way, nobody can escape! She also has a passion for caring for and rescuing abused animals. Her fur babies at home are two yorkies, Addie and Luci and a Calico cat named Maya.


National Conferences

URLEND Trainees attended 2 National Conferences this past week. One, Early Hearing & Detection (EHDI) in Chicago, IL and the other, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) in San Antonio, TX.




URLEND project takes on taboo topics among refugees in Salt Lake City

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March 17, 2017 by JoLynne Lyon

Some of the refugees the researchers encountered experienced traumatic things, opening up new questions about mental health. “Particularly those coming from war zones, they perceived their mental health as disabling,” said one of the researchers.

For more info go to:


The Association of Maternal & Child Helth Programs Board Corner

Gina Pola-Money, was been elected in 2016 to serve on the AMCHP Board of Directors.

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Gina Pola-Money, A.S., Social Sciences, has been an active AMCHP member since 2001. She joined the Board of Directors this year as a family representative.

Gina has over 29 years of experience navigating the health care system for her children with special health care needs, including dealing with medically complex, hospice and mental health issues. She is director of Utah Family Voices Family to Family Health Information Center, which provides supports for family needs as well as information to families and professionals about resources and health care financing. Gina is also a member of the family faculty of the Utah Regional LEND program, helping to bring the family voice to leadership education for professionals and gaining the perspective of her professional partners.

"It is my greatest hope that I can give some of my passion and commitment to the organization that has done so much to help families of children and youth with special health care needs, like mine,” Gina says.

Gina has also been actively involved with medical home and quality improvement initiatives, which include coordinating parent partner activities, family centered care and parent professional partnerships. She shares that she has been fortunate to benefit from the ongoing mentorship, collaboration and technical assistance of Family Voices and Title V.

For more info go to:

CMV: Interprofessional and Interagency Collaboration in Utah

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus affecting individuals of all ages, but most healthy children and adults don’t realize they have it, noticing little or no symptoms. However, if a pregnant woman has CMV during pregnancy, there can be devastating consequences to her baby. Despite this, many are not aware of the virus, its transmission or how to prevent it. It is estimated that congenital CMV is the cause of hearing loss in nearly 1 of 3 of deaf/hard of hearing children.

group photo from CMV: Interprofessional and Interagency Collaboration in Utah

In 2013 legislation was passed in Utah to create public education programs to inform women and medical providers about the risk of CMV during pregnancy. From 2013-2016, the Utah Regional LEND (URLEND) program worked closely with individuals from the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) Children with Special Health Care Needs bureau, to produce CMV awareness materials, from a mini-documentary to public service announcements in both English and Spanish (

group photo from CMV: Interprofessional and Interagency Collaboration in Utah

Assisting with these projects were URLEND trainees from many different disciplines, including audiology, public health, dentistry, physical therapy, genetic counseling, psychology and medicine. These trainees conducted various surveys and held focus groups at community health centers and with families affected by congenital CMV. This information guided the creation of the CMV awareness materials currently in use by UDOH. URLEND trainees have also presented on CMV at the National Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) Conferences in 2015 and 2016 (see attached photos), and at the National CMV Public Health & Policy Conference in 2014.

URLEND is proud to work with UDOH and our community partners to share this important information with pregnant women and medical providers as an outstanding model of interdisciplinary work for the URLEND trainees.

MCHB Grantee Spotlight and Digital Stories

Trainee Of The Year Reaches Out To Give Back

Ana Caballero already had an impressive resume before being named Trainee of the Year by Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities—medical doctor, researcher, Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (URLEND) trainee. But she plans to add even more to it.

Caballero, a native of El Salvador and a research assistant at the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) at USU, is beginning the third year of a five-year, dual-track Aud.D and Ph.D program in Audiology.

“I feel very good about it,” Caballero said during an interview squeezed into a busy schedule that juggles work at three clinical sites. “It’s very gratifying, being able to combine it all.”

Full Featured Story by Sue Reeves

Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the most common viral cause of developmental disabilities in children, affecting 1 out of every 150 births in the United States. However, most pregnant women do not know about this mostly silent yet very common virus and how they can help prevent it during pregnancy.

A group of 2014-15 URLEND trainees produced three public service announcements to increase awareness of the risks of CMV while pregnant.

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URLEND 2013/2014 Self Advocate Faculty and Trainee

Self Advocates are key to the URLEND program

2014 EHDI Conference Posters

Steffi Rusk

Makanda Anderson Smith

Monica Weston

Haleigh White

CPD clinic offers interdisciplinary evaluation of autism

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

Office of the Press Secretary

November 30, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Bob J. Archuleta - Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy

Travis Morrison - Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy

Admiral Ronne Froman, USN (Ret) - Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy

Sachin Dev Pavithran - Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board

President Obama said, “These dedicated individuals bring a wealth of experience and talent to their new roles and I am proud to have them serve in this Administration. I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Bob J. Archuleta, Appointee for Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy

Bob J. Archuleta is a Los Angeles County Commissioner of Military Veterans Affairs, a post he has held since 1989. Mr. Archuleta was elected to the City Council of Pico Rivera, California in 2007, and also serves as Mayor. He has been a member of the United States Army Advisory Board for Military Recruitment in Los Angeles County since 1989. He was the Chairman of the Small Business Administration Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs from 2003 to 2004, and was a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans from 2002 to 2003. Mr. Archuleta was a reserve police officer and reserve detective with the Montebello Police Department from 1988 to 1998. He served in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1966. Mr. Archuleta graduated from Rio Hondo College Police Academy.

Travis Morrison, Appointee for Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Military Academy

Travis Morrison is an entrepreneur who has owned several construction materials businesses in southern Missouri since 1990. From 1980 to 1986, he served in the Missouri General Assembly. During that time, he worked in private practice as a certified public accountant. Mr. Morrison served on active duty as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army from 1971 to 1976, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve in 2008. He has served on the boards of the Missouri State Employees Retirement System, the Ozarks Medical Center, and West Plains Bank and Trust. Mr. Morrison received a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.A. from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Admiral Ronne Froman, USN (Ret), Appointee for Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy

Admiral Ronne Froman is the Chairman and CEO of REBOOT, a non-profit organization that provides behavioral training and employment assistance to veterans transitioning to civilian life. In addition, Admiral Froman is the President of the Board of the Monarch School Project, a K-12 school for the homeless in San Diego. She served as the City of San Diego’s Chief Operating Officer from 2005 to 2007, and was the Chief of Business Operations for the San Diego Unified School District from 2001 to 2003. Admiral Froman served 31 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as Director of Ashore Readiness for the Chief of Naval Operations. Admiral Froman received a B.A. from Seton Hill College.

Sachin Dev Pavithran, Appointee for Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board

Sachin Dev Pavithran is Program Director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities, a position he has held since 2011. Before serving as Program Director, he served in a variety of other roles at the Center, including Program Coordinator and Disability Policy Analyst, since joining in 2002. Mr. Pavithran has more than 12 years of experience as a consultant on disability police and developing and training users of assistive technology and accessible websites. He serves on the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs National Board, the Utah State Rehabilitation Council, the Research and Development Committee of the National Federation of the Blind, and the National Multicultural Council of the Association of University Centers for Disabilities. In 2007, the National Federation of the Blind awarded him the Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship. Mr. Pavithran received a B.A., B.S., and an M.S. from Utah State University.

National Forum on Disability Issues

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are invited to the National Forum on Disability Issues 2012 by URLEND Trainees, Faculty, Family Members and Others.
View on YouTube

National Forum on Disability Issues
13th Chronic Illness and Disability Conference: Transition from Pediatric to Adult-based Care

URLEND trainees have been invited to participate in this broadcast on October 18th and 19th.

If you are interested please contact LaDawn Neilson.

Congratulations to Paul Carbone for the publication of his new book.
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