Barbara Ingrassia Presents Poster on Human Trafficking at NEGEA

July 13, 2017 at 11:15 am | Posted in Awards and Recognition, Professional Development | Leave a comment

Barbara Ingrassia was awarded a scholarship to attend the NEGEA Annual Meeting. Congratulations on winning a NAHSL Professional Development Award!


Thank you to the NAHSL Professional Development Committee for enabling me to attend the annual conference of the AAMC’s Northeast Group on Educational Affairs (NEGEA) on May 4, 2017 at the University of Rochester Medical Center. My intent was to display my accepted/approved poster HUMAN TRAFFICKING: HEALTH CARE PROVIDER PERSPECTIVES and receive feedback.

IngrassiaThe poster describes the one-week elective I developed for the Flexible Clinical Experiences program (FCE) for 3rd year medical students at UMMS.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) third year curriculum now requires students to participate in four weeklong electives of their choice. These Flexible Clinical Experiences allow exposure to evolving public health concerns and the development of skills pertinent to the practice of medicine outside of the core clinical experiences.

The FCE platform provided me the opportunity to offer an introduction to human trafficking– a public health epidemic that often goes unrecognized in busy health care settings.   A component of the course is research; I am able to promote EBM research skills.  Beyond that, I connect them with community resources; they meet with appropriate faculty and clinicians, law enforcement, the district attorney’s office, advocates and other service providers for a variety of perspectives.

In the pre-course questionnaire, students have indicated that they had very little or no knowledge about human trafficking and that it had not been mentioned in their formal course work. During the final debriefing session, students reported that these experiences have been “eye-opening.” I serve as the facilitator; I have no expertise in the topic, but I bring a passionate concern. I pull pieces together to enable an “experience” for the students; I learn so much from them and eagerly await the debriefing session.

The poster sessions provide an opportunity to learn about developments in a profession and share ideas. Several attendees stopped to review my poster and offer helpful suggestions. I had a good discussion with a physician from Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital whose poster described a curriculum on acute sexual assault on adolescents and adults for Residents.

I even met some others from UMass Med School!

Part 2

I was able to attend the opening plenary The learning Environment as the Context for and Target of Change presented by Larry Gruppen, PhD  (Professor of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School). He noted that interest in the medical learning environment (LE) moves in and out of the lime light, but is once again a “hot topic” since the inclusion of a question about “mistreatment” on the AAMC’s Graduation Questionnaire. [1]

The challenge is the lack of one generally accepted definition of LE (especially in medical education) and no underlying theory. Gruppen asserted that defining LE today is challenging because there are so many simultaneous and varying factors.[2] Learning takes place at many levels of scale: individual, group, organization, region, state, entire nation and beyond. It takes place continuously and everywhere, by various and multiple methods. Ever changing and evolving.

He called for better research to determine the impact of various factors: specific topic, content, context, official vs. hidden curriculum, intended vs. unintended learning, reality vs. perception vs. experience, physical facilities…

In this very interactive session, I suggested several LE issues/challenges faced by medical libraries over the years:

  • Providing group study space in traditionally-designed libraries—as well as quiet space– to accommodate various learning styles, evolving instructional techniques and electronic resources.
  • Housing computers and workstations, etc.
  • Permitting food in libraries (An issue faced by medical libraries a number of years ago –and more recently by other types of libraries)

… all of this while losing square footage.

It was a thought-provoking session.

My time at NEGEA was too brief, but it was a wonderful experience. I had the chance to wear “multiple hats.”

Again, thank you for making this opportunity possible.

(And YES—I did have the chance to catch up with our former NER colleague Donna Berryman. She is now Director of the Miner Libraries. Can you believe she has been there for TEN YEARS? How time flies!)

Barbara c. Ingrassia, MLS, AHIP, CCM

Certified Copyright Manager, Speaker and Trainer

[1] The 2017 survey is available at

(SEE especially pp. 39-49.) Accessed May 25, 2017.

For aggregate data 2012 – 2016:

AAMC. All Schools Summary Report of the 2016 Medical School Graduation Questionnaire.

(SEE espcecially pp. 35-40.)

Available at  Accessed May 25, 2017.

[2] Department of Learning Health Sciences, University of Michigan Medical School.

Available at    Accessed May 25, 2017.


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