Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

UCF’s Ph.D. Program in Public Affairs: An Update

Filed under: Health and Social Policy — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:04

Dr. Robyne Stevenson, the Interim Director for UCF’s Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program in Public Affairs (of which, I am a proud Alum), released a program update last week. Take a look at the changes, happenings, and updates to the program:


Begun in 1998, the Doctoral Program in Public Affairs is entering a significant new phase. While we celebrated graduating over 15 new doctoral students during the previous academic year, we are also refocusing our mission and refreshing our curriculum. Complementing the college’s mission of Strengthening Communities. Changing Lives., PAF has adopted a community problem-solving focus. While this can mean building knowledge in our local area communities, it also means building research for communities of the world.

New partnerships are being established with local organizations such as the Florida Hospital Institute for Translational Research and the Orlando VA hospital. These partnerships will enable our doctoral students to have a presence in the community to conduct meaningful research. Also, students will now complete a community practicum beginning in fall 2016. Through this practicum, our students will apply their research skills to real-time issues in the field to address community needs while honing their skills. Alumni are invited to host practicum students for a semester to take on an issue in an organization, agency or community. Alumni involvement will be instrumental in the success of this part of the PAF program.

Additionally, new faculty will complete the implementation of an updated and refocused curriculum begun in 2014. The following four new joint faculty will begin this fall and each bring a diverse background to the program:

  • Thomas Bryer from the UCF School of Public Administration will focus on nonprofits, volunteerism and social media aspects of community problem solving.
  • Kim Anderson from University of Missouri will bring her social work expertise in working with resilience and family violence.
  • Su-I Hou from the University of Georgia will bring a public and community health perspective with expertise in HIV and cancer patient behaviors in communities in the U.S. and Taiwan.
  • Matt Nobles from Sam Houston State University in Texas brings a GIS perspective to understanding violence and interpersonal crimes in communities.

This fall, we will welcome 15 new students! Learn more about one of our newest students, Atalie Ashley West.

We invite you to come meet the new students and faculty at our PAF Welcome Back Knight on Thursday, Aug. 20. More details on this complimentary, evening event are forthcoming.

We look forward to staying connected and hope you are enjoying your summer!

Best Regards,


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Article Examining Vaccination Guidelines in Gay/Bi Men Published

Filed under: Health and Social Policy,Nursing Science — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 03:11



Great news! My original article “Vaccination Guidelines for Gay and Bisexual Men” has been published in this month’s issue of The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Healthcare. The article explores current vaccination recommendations for gay and bisexual men and provides strategies to reduce barriers to vaccination in this population. Access the article by clicking on the link below:

Blackwell, C.W. (2014). Vaccination guidelines in gay and bisexual men. The Nurse Practitioner; The American Journal of Primary Healthcare 39 (2), 34-39. DOI: 10.1097/01.NPR0000441910.01654.2b.

Monday, March 22, 2010

History Made! House PASSES Healthcare Reform Bill!

Filed under: Health and Social Policy,Politics — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:43

The Urgent Need for Health Reform

In a historic night, the United States House of Representatives has PASSED the Healthcare Reform Bill! The vote was 219-212 with the vast majority of Democrats voting “Yes” while the Republicans voted “No.” Republicans also failed to stall the Bill by attempting to argue language in the Bill related to abortions (which will NOT be eligible for federal funding). The Bill has been largely edited since its original inception. In its original form, the Bill included a comprehensive public healthcare option which would’ve provided coverage of the uninsured through a government-subsidized insurance plan. The new plan has some provisions for subsidization of the uninsured and underinsured through a sliding scale and provides financial incentives, mostly through pooling of money (particularly among small business owners), to augment insurance coverage to those who usually fail to obtain health insurance because their employer cannot afford to help provide it or the employee cannot afford to pay for the coverage themselves. Perhaps more importantly, however, are the strong provisions placed in the Bill to protect consumers from tactics used by insurance companies to deny coverage, escalate copays and deductibles, and limit the affordability and portability of health insurance policies.

The Bill was largely supported by healthcare’s professional organizations; the American Nurses Association, American College of Nurse Practitioners, American Medical Association, America Hospital Association, American Association of Retired Persons, and National Association of Social Workers all strongly endorsed the Bill and issued supportive proposal statement encouraging members to support the Bill. Personally, as a Nurse Practitioner who has worked in the acute care arena for almost a decade, I applaud this Bill greatly! Our practice has seen the number of uninsured patients rise dramatically over the past several years. While I personally am reimbursed for my services through our practice, our practice never receives a dime of payment for the services we provide to these patients. Sometimes, the number of uninsured have approached 30% of our patient population. Ultimately, the hospital obtains tax breaks and other financial incentives for caring for these patients through tax-payer funded mechanisms; but rarely are the actual total costs ever covered and the lack of insurance leads to a perpetuation of broken care and rapid re-entrance into the healthcare system to continue to rely on tax-payer funded care that has no choice but to be substandard. The US Department of Health and Human Services provides an analysis of how the BIll will effect each state. You can access Florida here:


This is the change we need! If your Representative voted “Yes” on Healthcare Reform (Suzanne Kosmas–the representative for the UCF Area voted “Yes”), take a moment to send him or her a “Thank-You” E-Mail or letter. If your Representative did not vote in-favor for the Bill, show him or her your appreciation at the voting booth and vote him or her OUT OF OFFICE!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Representative Tim Ryan Denouces “Teabaggers”

Filed under: Health and Social Policy,Politics — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 17:34

While normally I would be determined to ignore such rhetoric for fear of giving it any kind of attention, today on the House Floor, Representative Tim Ryan denounced the disgusting and moronic “teabaggers” who spewed racist and homophobic slurs to Congressmen Barney Frank and John Lewis (also spitting on Lewis) yesterday. Some Republicans have attempted to distance themselves from the behavior while others, like Devin Nunes (R-CA), have actually defended it! Take a look at Ryan’s response below, where he slams the Republicans for endorsing the moron “teabaggers” who continue to demonstrate their complete lack of intelligence and inability to understand how vital this reform bill is for the nation’s healthcare system (despite its endorsement from every major reputable nursing, medical, and hospital profesional organization). Regardless, the Bill now looks like it has the necessary 216 votes to pass, making their attempts not only laughable, but futile as well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Obama Pushing for Medical Malpractice Reform

Filed under: Health and Social Policy,Politics — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 23:21

View Image  Against strong opposition from the American Trial Lawyer’s Association, President Barack Obama announced today a plan to overhaul the way in which medical malpractice cases are decided in court. President Obama supports the appointment of neutral experts to sift malpractice facts from allegations through the creation of “health courts” that would be headed by medical professionals and experts rather than juries, judges, and attorneys. The American Hospital Association (AHA) has expressed a great deal of support for the measure, says  AHA President Richard Umbdenstock: “We are trying to offer this as a constructive approach, to see if we can generate some interest,” he said. Under this type of plan, patients who claim injury at the hands of medical professionals or institutions would take their case to a local panel of experts appointed by state authorities. The patient wouldn’t have to prove negligence, only that the provider failed to follow established guidelines for clinical practice. To put some evidence behind the idea, Obama has dedicated $25 million to test a range of alternatives to malpractice litigation. This is another great example of the strong leadership and intelligence of President Obama, who is doing what is right to make our healthcare system stronger for our patients as well as the backbone of the system–its nurses and physicians!

Powered by WordPress