Summer camp for kids helps build engaged citizens

June 10, 2010

Parents who would like to help their children develop interpersonal and leadership skills while learning how to be engaged in their local communities have a new opportunity this summer. Arizona State University’s Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership (CCEL) has launched a Civic Engagement Summer Camp that will bring civic involvement alive for children entering grades three through eight.

The weeklong camp, to be held at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, will be offered June 21-25. Hours are 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Download Full Image

The camp that starts June 21 is the second offering this summer; the first camp is now under way. “Campers in the current group are actively engaged and parents have been highly supportive,” said Sherman Elliott, CCEL’s director. “While most participants are from metropolitan Phoenix, we also have campers from the Navajo Nation and Casa Grande.”

Student participants learn how they can make a positive impact in the community. Activities include field trips to civic locations including courts, the Arizona Legislature and Phoenix City Hall. Campers will actively engage in age-appropriate collaborative projects, simulations and conversations with local leaders. The experience culminates with a town hall meeting, led by the students, to which family and community members will be invited.

“Children of all ages need to discover not only who they are but how they are able to participate in their local, state and national communities,” Elliott said.

Through partnerships with university, community, and civic organizations throughout the region and world, CCEL aspires to increase civic engagement through research and education. CCEL was created to address the need for inquiry and action to increase the quantity and quality of participation in a civil society.

“Schools and families typically don’t have the time and resources needed to enable all children to develop these essential life skills,” Elliott said. “We are confident that CCEL’s summer camp will help students discover their leadership skills and unearth their own desire to strengthen their communities.”

Camp counselors are pre-service teachers enrolled in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, which houses CCEL. The ASU students possess experience working with groups of children in classroom settings. They also have completed the fingerprint clearance process required for Arizona teacher certification.

The cost of the Civic Engagement Summer Camp is $225 per student, which includes a $25 non-refundable registration fee. Sponsorships are available for students from families meeting income requirements.

The camp will be held in Building C of the Mercado at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, 641 E. Van Buren St. Fifteen minutes of free parking will be provided at the Heritage Square Parking Garage for student drop-off and pick-up.

The registration process may be completed online at" target="_blank"> For more information, contact Daisy Talavera at (602) 496-0117 or" target="_blank">

Health Care savings pioneer wins major award

June 10, 2010

Decades before health care reform became a household phrase, Professor Eugene Schneller was pioneering fields that would play a key role in reducing the costs of health care. Schneller, who teaches at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, just received a major prize for leadership in education. Since his career started in the 1970s, he has helped to improve quality and access to care, and he recently helped bring the concept of health care supply chain management – choosing the most cost-effective products – to the forefront.

“When you used to go see the doctor, you would depend on one person behind the desk, the physician, to make decisions on your care based on clinical knowledge,” Schneller said. “Now, you have to consider different machines, technology, medical devices and other options when making choices about your care. Health care supply chain management helps bring the best products to the site of your care and helps providers make good selections about what to offer you at a cost-effective price.” Download Full Image

Schneller also is co-director of the Health Sector Supply Chain Research Consortium, an innovative membership group of health care organizations researching how to improve the performance of hospitals and streamline health care costs. The group includes distributors, health information technology companies, group purchasing organizations and others involved throughout the health care industry, working to solve problems for the common good.

Among the research funded by the group are projects focusing on how to save money on hip and knee replacement surgeries, and how to structure incentives for doctors and hospitals to focus on efficiency. For the future, work will focus on standardizing ways to bar-code medical products so they can be easily traced in the event of a recall and helping find out how to eliminate the disparities in prices charged for specific medical treatments in the United States. Many other countries have greater transparency to ensure more similar costs for similar procedures.

Schneller said supply chain management techniques have made various other industries, such as information technology and retail, profitable and efficient. He says the same principles will work to save money in the health care arena.

“Less than half of hospital transactions are totally paperless, as opposed to 100 percent of what a store like Walmart does,” Schneller said. “We need to improve on that, so that we can better track patients, care and medical devices.”

He added: “The recession is a supply chain manager’s best friend because people really look at how to cut costs. We need to look at payment for the whole patient admission and understand how to work better with suppliers to manage the supply chain strategically to affect the bottom line. For example, we need to analyze whether people are utilizing the materials they should. Are you giving a 90-year-old woman the type of hip replacement that’s appropriate for a highly active young person?”

This month, Schneller received the Gary L. Filerman Prize for Educational Leadership, awarded to one person per year by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), a nonprofit organization. The prize recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the field of health administration education, exhibited leadership in the field, and enriched their institutions and students through their work.

“I’ve been affiliated with health care management education since 1979, when I founded a program at Union College in New York,” Schneller said. “This prize makes you reflect back on how health management has changed over the years and how I’ve been able to contribute. Health management education combines important concepts from public health, social sciences and business. Since I’ve taught in medical schools, schools of public health, liberal arts departments and schools of business, it’s great to see how nicely different disciplines have come together to train people to lead organizations and make a difference to patients.”

Schneller has been involved in the accreditation process of about 20 schools over the years, pointing out ways they can improve. He has a Ph.D. from New York University and an honorary physician assistant degree from Duke University. He has won numerous teaching awards and serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Supply Chain Management, Healthcare Briefings and Electronic Highway. He was named a “Healthcare Thought Leader” by Future Healthcare, and he spent time in the former Soviet Union, helping to modernize the health care system in the 1980s.

“I’ve watched supply chain management go from a basement-level job at hospitals to a vice president position in progressive hospital systems across the United States; this reflects people realizing how much of a difference could be made,” Schneller said. “To be singled out in this field is very moving.”

One of Schneller’s colleagues, W. P. Carey School of Business Assistant Professor Jonathan Ketcham, was also honored by AUPHA this month. He received the John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators for his impressive research in the health care management sector.