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16 November 2021

Dr Andrea (Andi) Parodi Ph.D., RN

COVID - 19 from the Wrong Side of the Bed


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 In 2020 Dr. Andrea (Andi) Parodi retired from her position as a Research Associate Professor and Lead for the medical/healthcare focus at Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC) within Old Dominion University. She has been recognized by VMASC for over one million dollars in research awards and her portfolio features medical/healthcare related work. Additionally, she has significant work in professional medical education. Dr. Parodi has twice presented her work and that of her team, at the National Academy of Medicine, (NAOM) one of the three Academies that comprise the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. Using modeling and simulation, as well as a game-based format, the educational submission’s approach was one of seven selected from academic and commercial teams. Additional work included creative approaches to teach patient management based on the use of clinical practice trauma guidelines, and the practice of TeamSTEPPS, a Department of Defense (DOD) developed program of communication and professional practice behaviors supporting patient safety and high-performance team function.

Dr. Parodi has been able to dovetail her research interests from VMASC with the expertise she gained doing from a twenty sixyear career as a US Navy Nurse Corps officer and researcher.  As an example, she was the Principal Investigator (PI) for a collaboration with Eastern Virginia Medical School for the State of Virginia that would support the decision process for simulation center training equipment and cost. While in the Navy, Dr. Parodi was called upon over a span of 15 years to investigate various infectious diseases and their impact on mission accomplishment as well as identify potential vulnerabilities aboard a particular class of Navy ship. While at VMASC, her former experience supported a project to develop a Concept of Operations for US Navy Ships about preventing and mitigating airborne infectious diseases.  Additionally, she served as PI and Project Manager for the construction, deployment and user training coordinator for the Shipboard Surgical System (SSS), a unique Role 2 sea-based surgical capability. During the early years of the Afghan war, she also served as PI with Dr. Mark Lovell of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Lovell was the inventor of IMPACT®. It is a dedicated computer-based neuro-cognitive assessment tool originally designed to assess an athlete, such as their Pittsburgh Steelers, for the presence of concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). The team created was able to establish the baseline neuro-cognitive scores of active duty military personnel enabling IMPACT’s use for accurate mTBI assessment in a military population (non-athletes). Dr. Parodi also published a monograph chapter related to the management of mTBI in Operative Techniques in Sports Medicine and Establishing Military Baseline Scores of Neurocognitive Functioning Using the ImPACT Assessment Tool in Military Medicine.

As the primary author of technical papers, one such paper assessed the capabilities for quarantine/isolation of persons aboard an aircraft carrier exposed to a highly virulent air borne disease. Later, she would be the principal author of the Navy’s developing doctrine for shipboard quarantine and isolation processes and responses at sea.

Finally, Dr. Parodi was able to contribute a book chapter on “The Digital Patient: Advancing Healthcare, Research, and Education” in a book about the human genome and the global research into creating a digital human patient. The book is a compilation of a group of scholars who discuss topic issues and the state of the science and its importance.  One such human benefit would be to enable modeling and simulation testing on a synthetic human model patient, identical to an actual patient in relation to physiologic responses thus preserving patient safety if human trials could then be omitted. This book title is The Digital Patient: Advancing Medical Research, Education, and Practice, (2015, Wiley publications). Most recently, Dr. Parodi continues to review medical and nursing research papers for funding and editorial review and consulted on design requirements for crew safety and medical procedural capability using a virtual reality design mode for the medical workstations & vehicle integration of DEEP SPACE GATEWAY, a Mars transit unit (much like Sky Lab) at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center, Systems Analysis Concepts Division.

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