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Seminar Series on Contemporary Social Issues Announced for 2011

Medical errors and patient safety. Gays in the military. Teen driving. Educating students with disabilities. These are the issues the Contemporary Social Issues series will review the state of in its spring 2011 seminars.

The 2011 Contemporary Social Issues Seminar Series presents the opportunity for social scientists and researchers at the forefront of their study areas to present fact-driven, research-based findings on topics affecting the public.

Practitioners in the field bring the findings to life, with examples from real-world local settings. The seminars are sponsored by the Rockville Institute and the Universities at Shady Grove.

Each seminar, which is free and open to the public, is held in the Camille Kendall Academic Center, Building III, Room 3241, 9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Maryland, 20850.

Seminar dates, topics, and speakers include the following:

Medical Errors and Patient Safety
Monday, March 14, 2011, 4:00 p.m.

Medication errors, surgical complications, infections, and patient falls continue to endanger lives and undermine the quality of health care. Learn about initiatives led by Federal agencies and innovative health care organizations to track and reduce medical errors, improve patient safety, and ensure quality of care.

Russ Mardon, Ph.D., Westat
Joann Sorra, Ph.D., Westat
David C. Stockwell, M.D., M.B.A. Executive Director, Improvement Science; Medical Director, Patient Safety and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Children's National Medical Center

Comprehensive Review of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) Policy
Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 4:30 p.m.

Under contract to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), Westat administered a comprehensive review of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy prior to its repeal. The review obtained the views of nearly half a million military personnel. Hear the results of the review, the challenges in studying a highly political topic, and the role that the findings had in informing DOD.

Shelley Perry, Ph.D., Westat
Susan Berkowitz, Ph.D., Westat
Sunil Dasgupta, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Teen Driving Safety Issues
Monday, April 11, 2011, 4:00 p.m.

To combat the high crash risk of teen drivers, most states have implemented Graduated Drivers License (GDL) programs to place limits on the conditions in which novice teen drivers are permitted to operate vehicles. Presenters will discuss the underlying factors associated with teen driving behavior and the effectiveness of GDL-related countermeasure programs.

Mark Freedman, Westat
Neil Lerner, Westat
Captain Tom Didone, Director, Traffic Division, Montgomery County Police Department

Educating Students with Disabilities
Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 4:30 p.m.

Learn how children with disabilities have received special education since 1975, where they are receiving services, the services they receive, their outcomes, and new instructional approaches in use today to assure that all students with disabilities are receiving a free appropriate public education.

Marsha Brauen, Ph.D., Westat
Elaine Carlson, Ph.D., Westat
Louis Danielson, Ph.D., American Institutes for Research