Health Sciences faculty present research to global audiences

Tracey Thurnes, Antoinette Polito and Crystal Ramsey traveled internationally in recent months to share their scholarship on topics that included the use of design thinking when approaching difficult conversations, destigmatizing patients with obesity, and treatments for traumatic brain injuries.

Faculty members in the School of Health Sciences presented their research to international audiences over the spring semester at conferences held in Mexico, Argentina, and Ireland.

Associate Professor Tracey Thurnes and Associate Professor Antoinette Polito represented Elon University at the International Association of Medical Science Educators conference in Mexico where they presented two posters: “Developing Fluency for Difficult Conversations through Design Thinking,” which included contributions from Dianne Person, director of Elon’s anatomical gift program, as well as “Beyond ABCDE: How to Write and Analyze Multiple Choice Exam Items.”

Polito also presented “Drop the Stigma: Reevaluating Care of Patients with Obesity” during a poster presentation at the conference.

Thurnes was part of a team from Elon University with research shared at the Service Design and Innovation Conference (ServDes) in Argentina. She co-authored “Community-Based Design Thinking: A Moment or a Movement?,” a peer-reviewed conference proceeding.

Assistant Professor Crystal Ramsey G’09 joined a research team whose scholarship was part of March poster presentations in Ireland at the International Brain Injury Association’s 14th World Congress on Brain Injury. The titles of her co-authored posters:

  • “Older Adults with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Demographics, Fracture, and Mechanism of Injury”
  • “Changes in Patterns of Dual-Task Interference in Active Duty Service Members Following Rehabilitation”
  • “Cognitive Dual-Task Effects are More Common in Service Members with mTBI and Healthy Controls”

Thurnes teaches in the Physician Assistant Studies Program while directing Elon’s Accelerated Pathways Program. Prior to joining the Elon faculty in 2012, she practiced clinically in cardiology where she provided care as a certified physician assistant. Thurnes has taught courses in professional issues, clinical medicine, surgery and clinical reasoning.

Polito also teaches in the Physician Assistant Studies Program. She joined the Elon University faculty in 2019 with experience in rural primary care and academic oncology with research interests that include the physician assistant admissions process and LGBTQ healthcare, as well as the intersections of the humanities and medicine.

Ramsey, a faculty member in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, is a graduate of Elon’s DPT program with more than a decade of clinical experience evaluating and treating neuromuscular injuries or disorders, has research interests that include concussion in service members and brain injuries in older adults.