Friday, December 22, 2017

And now, for some Orwellian holiday cheer, Vermont-style

I received this merry message from one of the VT Department of Health Blueprint Facilitators, just to cheer me up:

Happy holidays, everyone!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Graduation Day!

Many congratulations to Ross Colgate, PhD, Peter Durda, PhD, and Emily Tarleton, PhD upon being awarded the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and Translational Science. Thank you for your excellent work, We are so very proud of you! 

Thanks to Alan Rubin for the photo.

- Ben Littenberg

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

LaMantia to head UVM Center on Aging

Here is the announcement from Provost Rosowsky and Dean Morin:
Dear Colleagues,
In 2008, the University of Vermont established the Center on Aging with the support of a $5 million endowment from Vermont philanthropist Lois McClure. William Pendlebury, M.D., now Professor Emeritus of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, was named as the Center’s inaugural director. Over the past more than nine years, the Center on Aging has carried out a number of initiatives aligned with its core focus areas of education, research, social science, policy and collaboration, with an overall goal to improve the health and wellbeing of Vermont’s seniors, as well as support research and training in the field of gerontology and geriatrics.
We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Pendlebury for his leadership in helping to ensure that aging Vermonters enjoy the highest quality of life possible and that our faculty and students have the opportunity to contribute to that goal.
In January 2018, Dr. Pendlebury will step down from his position and we are pleased to announce that Michael LaMantia, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Medicine and Neurological Sciences and section head of Geriatric Medicine at the Larner College of Medicine and UVM Medical Center, will take on the role as the new Director of the Center on Aging at UVM. Following this transition, Dr. Pendlebury, who is also Professor Emeritus of Neurological Sciences, will continue in his roles as Medical Director of the Memory Program and Director of Neuropathology at UVM Medical Center
Dr. LaMantia came to UVM in June 2016 to head the new Section of Geriatric Medicine  within the Division of General Internal and Geriatrics of the Department of Medicine and to care for patients at the UVM Medical Center’s Memory Center on the Fanny Allen campus in Colchester, Vt. Prior to joining UVM, he worked for five years as an assistant professor of medicine and a research scientist at the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Indiana University Center for Aging Research, and the Regenstrief Institute, and served as medical director of the Eskenazi Health Aging Brain Care Medical Home. Board certified in both internal medicine and geriatrics, Dr. LaMantia received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and completed an internal medicine residency at University of North Carolina Hospitals and received a master’s degree in public health from UNC Chapel Hill. He then completed a fellowship in geriatrics at University of North Carolina Hospitals and a postdoctoral fellowship in aging at the UNC Institute on Aging. A specialist in the care of older adults, particularly those with cognitive impairment including memory and thinking skills, Dr. LaMantia conducts research on the coordination of care for older, vulnerable patients as they transition across sites of health care delivery. He has a particular interest in the care of seniors in the emergency department and especially the care provided to seniors with delirium and dementia.
We hope you will join us in thanking Dr. Pendlebury for his leadership and welcoming Dr. LaMantia to this new role. We look forward to seeing the Center on Aging thrive and grow in the years to come and anticipate exciting news for UVM’s work in the field of aging in the near future.
David Rosowsky, Ph.D., Provost and Senior Vice President
University of Vermont
Frederick Morin, M.D., Dean
Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont
Congratulations, Mike!
- Ben Littenberg

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Fwd: Webinar: Patient-Reported Outcomes Research: Strategies, Tools, and New Directions.

Hello all,

You are invited to participate in a 1-hour ECOG-ACRIN Webinar entitled Patient-Reported Outcomes Research: Strategies, Tools, and New Directions.  This webinar, presented by Dave Cella, PhD of Northwestern University, will begin with a brief introduction to PROMIS, FACIT, and other patient-reported outcomes (PRO) measurement systems used in research. Dr. Cella will also explain how to evaluate if a trial is a good fit for PROs and will also describe strategies and online tools to help select measures for a study. The presentation will also cover new directions in PRO research.  The details of this webinar are included below:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET (11:00 am - 12:00 pm CT)
Presented by Dave Cella, PhD (Northwestern University)

If you plan to attend this free webinar, please complete the following registration form. A link and access instructions will be sent to you in a separate email prior to the webinar.

If you have any questions that you would like addressed during this webinar, please send them to Julianne Human (<>) prior to this webinar.  

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Julie Kay


Fwd: Call for Abstracts: BRFSS 2018 Training Workshop

Call for Abstracts: BRFSS 2018 Training Workshop



The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Conference Committee invites you to submit an abstract for a presentation or poster for the BRFSS Training Workshop, April 9–13, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia. The submission deadline is Friday, January 12, 2018. Notifications of accepted presentations will be sent by Friday, February 16, 2018.

How to Submit an Abstract for Consideration:


*To be considered, all abstracts must meet the abstract criteria listed below.


*Submit your abstract or poster proposal to BRFSS Submissions (CDC) to
with the subject line "BRFSS 2018 Abstract Submission."


Submission Guidelines

Abstracts related to BRFSS topics in survey research, epidemiology, evaluation, policy and public health are welcome for consideration. See the chart below for more information on subject categories.


1.  Innovations in survey methodology and analytical methods.

2.  Psychosocial determinants of health.

3.  Chronic diseases or conditions.

4.  Health disparities.

5.  Emerging health issues.

6.  Environmental determinants of health.

7.  Health care access and preventive services.

8.  Health risk behaviors.

9.  Health policy decisions.

10. Economic determinants of health.

11. Other (suggest category).




Writing Guidelines for Abstracts


The abstract(s) must be: 


  • Written in English, describing original work.
  • Saved in MS Word (.doc or .docx).
  • Complete; incomplete abstracts will not be accepted.
  • Showing the submitter's information, even if you are submitting an abstract for someone else.
  • Left-justified and single-spaced. Leave one line of space between the title, headers, and subheadings. Double-space between paragraphs, but do not indent. Do not use bold, italics, underline, tabs, hard returns, or all-capital letters in the abstract text.


The abstracts should be divided into the following sections:


  • Author(s) — List the primary author first. All names should begin with first name first; include author's degrees without punctuation (e.g., MD, MPH). Underline the presenting author's name.
  • Background — Describe the problem or situation addressed in the abstract.
  • Objective(s) — State the goal(s) of the project.
  • Method(s) — Describe the interventions, activities, programs etc., used to address the problem.
  • Result(s) — Present key findings related to implementation of the methods.
  • Conclusion(s) — Summarize lessons learned, future plans/directions, and implications for research and practice.
  • Key Words(s) — list 5 key words.
  • Learning Objective(s) — State one or two findings participants should know after attending the presentation.




Additional Information regarding submission of the abstracts:


  • Length limit: 250 words, not counting title, author name list, headings, key words, objectives, and presenter information.

  • No images, charts, or tables are permitted in the abstract.

  • Please provide name, position, mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, and fax number for each presenter AND indicate the topic in the chart above that best corresponds to your abstract.

  • Final acceptance is contingent upon self-arranged registration of all presenters.

  • Please designate your preference to share your work as a poster, oral presentation, or both.


Oral presentations will be no more than 15 minutes in length, with 5 additional minutes allowed for discussion. Several presentations addressing the same issue or theme will be grouped together to form a session. Presenters should report recently completed or ongoing work.


Poster presentations are exhibited with the author in attendance for an assigned period of time (1–2 hours). The contents of the poster presentation should follow the guidelines listed for abstracts. Results may be summarized in the form of graphs, tables, pictures, etc. Graphic displays should be appropriately labeled and legible. Copies of a written report or handout may be distributed.


Please submit the above items as separate files; you may attach them to the same e-mail. If you are submitting multiple abstracts, please submit each abstract as a separate file. Please save the file as presenter's last name_abstract. If more than one abstract is submitted, add a number after the author's name for each additional abstract. For example, if the presenter is Jane Smith, the file should be saved as Smith_abstract. If she has multiple abstracts, the second and third ones would be saved as Smith2_abstract and Smith3_abstract.


For questions concerning abstracts submission, please send an email to:

BRFSS Submissions (CDC):

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Tortoise and Hare Timed Trial

For the Aesop-Fable-Doubters: 

Best YouTube pick of the night...  Connie

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mike LaMantia on the radio

Vermont Edition on Vermont Public Radio (VPR) featured Michael LaMantia, MD, Associate Professor  of Medicine this week, discussing "What Does 'Aging Well' Look Like In Vermont?"  The full story by Emily Alfin Johnson & Bob Kinzel is available at here.

Nicely done, Mike!

- Ben Littenberg

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Clinical Research Oriented Workshop (CROW) Meeting: November 15, 2017

Present:   Levi Bonnell, Justine Dee, Nancy Gell, Kairn Kelley, Ben Littenberg, Gail Rose, Connie van Eeghen

Start Up: NYT Article on When the Revolution Came for Amy Cuddy (2017) and the reality of using P values
1.                   P-Curve: A Key to the File Drawer, Simonsohn, 2014
a.       A P value has 3 parts: n, variance, effect size
b.       If effect is 0, then p will vary from about 0 to almost 1, evenly distributed, across all possible values of p
c.       If effect is strong, then p will vary in a right skewed curve across all possible values of p
d.       Remember: the p value is not about the hypothesis, it is about the data underlying the hypothesis.  It tells you if the data are convincing but it does not tell you if the hypothesis is convincing.
2.                   What are the assumptions that allow us to use a p value
a.       The assumptions of the test selected for analysis were met
b.       Representative selection of subjects
c.       Independent results
d.       Focused on the hypothesis
e.       Methods were conducted with integrity
f.        Asks one question, and one question only
                                                   i.      Alternatively, avoid the garden of forking paths to get one through the garden to a gate you like
                                                 ii.      i.e. do not explore the data before testing the data
3.                   Will Bayesian statistics fix this?
a.       Not necessarily.  It may help, in getting rid of the confidence interval process. It does not test how good the hypothesis is.
b.       What it does: given what I know before the study, and what I learned from the study, here’s the next estimate of the interval around the correct answer to the hypothesis about the effect of interest.

4.                   Next Workshop Meeting(s): Wednesdays, 11:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m., at Given Courtyard South Level 4.
a.       Nov 22: cancelled
b.       Nov 29: Kairn Kelley – application for Pathways Mentorship Program
c.       Dec 6: Field trip to Research Tapas on “Research and Reproducibility”
d.       Future topics:
a.       Juvena: protocol development
b.       LaMantia: predictors of successful R01 applications:

Recorder: Connie van Eeghen