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Community Based Research Faculty Fellowship

Community Based Research Faculty Fellowship

The Community Based Research Faculty Fellowship aims to broaden community-based research opportunities for students at each of PCOM's locations.

This fellowship was created by the Office of Diversity and Community Relations in concert with the Division of Research and the PCOM Library. Funding from the PCOM Alumni Association supported the launch of this program.

About the Community-Based Research Faculty Fellowship

Funding is awarded annually for up to three full-time faculty members who are interested in engaging community-based organizations and PCOM students in collaborative research studies. Preference is given to proposals that include inter-professional initiatives and engage multiple students.

”Impact of Implementing Medication Therapy Management Service for Underserved Populations: Children with Disabilities”

Yujin Kim, PharmD, PhD, PCOM Georgia; Xinyu (Eric) Wang, PhD, PCOM Georgia

Medication therapy management (MTM) is a unique service provided by health care providers, including pharmacists and physicians, to ensure the best therapeutic outcomes for patients. The targeted beneficiary of MTM is confined to the Medicaid and Medicare recipients, and it is difficult to extend this service to other patient populations who can benefit from this service. Although some evidence exists that MTM can achieve positive outcomes among minority and special populations, the extent of this service is limited and inconsistent. The purpose of this community-based study is to explore the need of MTM service to a special population, pediatric patients with disabilities. This research project has the potential to bring attention to this small population as well as close the gap in health equity. The study explores how medication therapy management improves health outcomes among pediatric patients with disabilities. In partnership with Wheat Mission in Atlanta, the study engages pharmacy and medical students in hands-on research experiences that exposes them to special need populations and the implications of medication therapy management in improving health outcomes. The second phase of this study will examine qualitative and quantitative survey data and develop an implementation strategy for the delivery of healthcare for children with disabilities.

“PCOM Partners: Evaluating the Association Between Soil Contamination Lead Levels and Blood Lead Levels in the Georgia Community”

Brian Matayoshi, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Physiology

With advent of the pandemic, food scarcity is pervasive. The trend of urban community gardens poses a new challenge regarding health due to the potential risks from exposure to lead contaminated soils and produce. In metropolitan areas throughout the United States, the historic use of lead-based paint, leaded gasoline, and the presence of former lead smelters have left a legacy of lead contaminated soil. People, particularly children, are vulnerable to lead toxicity, leading to poor health, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. The CDC estimates that over one half a million US children between ages 1 and 5 have blood lead levels high enough to damage their health. In collaboration with Saikawa lab and Live Healthy Gwinnett, this study aims to perform lead contamination analysis of soil sample collections and blood lead level analysis in metropolitan Atlanta.

“The Effectiveness of a School-Based Coping Skills for Anxious Latino Youth & Acculturation as a Predictor of Child Anxiety and Family Relationships”

Susan M. Panichelli Mindel, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Research, Clinical Psychology

Anxiety is a common problem among children, with prevalence rates averaging between 10-20% (Costello, Mustillo, Keeler & Angold, 2004). Children with difficulties managing stress and worry (precursors to anxiety disorders), have been shown to have difficulties with academic achievement (Van Ameringen, Mancini & Farvolden, 2003), peer relationships (Greco & Morris, 2005), and later emotional adjustment in adolescence and adulthood (Feehan, McGee, & Williams, 1993). Furthermore, level of acculturation has been associated with child anxiety and psychological functioning, parenting practices, and family connection (Gonzalez & Weersing, 2014), while acculturative stress significantly predicts more withdrawn, somatic, and anxious/depressed symptoms (Sirin, Ryce, Gupta, & Rogers-Sirin, 2013). School-based group treatments for children struggling with anxiety and stress can be a cost effective and efficient way of intervening to prevent the development of future maladjustment. While some treatments have been effective in treating anxiety, limited research has evaluated the effects of a prevention program in a school setting. Moreover, the majority of research has heavily focused on Caucasian youths and adults. There is a clear lack of equally comprehensive research among the largest ethnic minority group, Hispanics and Latinos (Pina & Silverman, 2004). The purpose of this study is twofold: 1. to determine if a school-based intervention is effective in helping Latino youth manage their stress and worry; and 2. to investigate the role acculturation may play in caregiver and child relationships and child psychological functioning.

“Neuroepidemiology: Using Data for Characterizing Neurological Disorders, and Multidimensional Impacts on Life Qualities in Colquitt Council, Georgia”

Joshua Owolabi, PhD, Associate Professor, Anatomy, Neuroscience, & Histology; Rasheed Agboola, MD, Associate Professor of Pathology; Jennifer Shaw, PhD, Chair, Department of Bio-Medical Sciences, Associate Professor of Physiology

Mental health is of significant importance all through life stages. Nevertheless, the patterns of incidence as well as prevalence and distribution of mental-health related challenges such as neurological disorders could significantly vary on the basis of age and other demographic attributes. There is an annual presentation on the burden of neurological diseases by countries, which is considered of vital importance to national health stakeholders. Nevertheless, there is a need to study local contexts and neuroepidemiology attributes towards better allocating resources and effectively addressing neurological disorders. This should be a matter of health equity. While neurological conditions can develop at any life stage, aging plays a key role in onset, hence prevalence. The Colquitt council has a significant proportion of the aging population, it should be a matter of health equity that data be considered in determining allocation of resources for the welfare of such a population. This research will use statistical methods by obtaining quantitative clinical data and demographic data. Quantitative data will be analyzed using the SPSS software for incidence, prevalence and distribution of neurological disorders. Qualitative data of lived experiences of affected individuals and caregivers, if obtainable, will be analyzed using Dedoose software. Research outcomes will help characterize the top disorders that constitute the burden of Neurological disorders in Colquitt county towards formulating improved approaches to care, resource allocation and enhancement of lived experiences of affected populations.

”Educating Older Adults with Low-Income About Mediterranean Diet”

Farzaneh Daghigh, PhD, PCOM

In partnership with Beacon Residential communities, this study aims to improve community resident’s nutrition knowledge to mitigate mortality risk and lower incidences of chronic diseases through the assessment of eating behaviors and food literacy. Community residents will be introduced to the MedDiet principles to improve their overall health through the delivery of culturally specific nutrition education.

“Incidence of Gout in a Population of Underrepresented Type 2 Diabetic Patients”

Farzaneh Daghigh, PhD, PCOM; Arturo Bravo Nuevo, PhD, PCOM

The objective of this multi-site study is to assess the prevalence of hyperuricemia and gout in type 2 diabetes among low-income racial minorities in partnership with Beacon Residential communities. Findings from the study will be used to create a more targeted approach to disease prevention and personalized dietary recommendations for the community.

“Impact of Implementing Medication Therapy Management Service for Underserved Populations: Children with Disabilities”

Yujin Kim, PharmD, PhD, PCOM Georgia; Xinyu (Eric) Wang, PhD, PCOM Georgia

This study explores how medication therapy management improves health outcomes among pediatric patients with disabilities. In partnership with Wheat Mission in Atlanta, the study engages pharmacy and medical students in hands-on research experiences that exposes them to special need populations and the implications of medication therapy management in improving health outcomes.

“Inter-Professional Education and Skills Acquisition in Post-Acute/Long-Term Care (PALTC): Analysis of Osteopathic Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes”

Nicol Joseph, DO, CMD, PCOM

The purpose of the study is to analyze the effect of an educational intervention that immerses osteopathic medical students within a post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) setting with exposure to and interactions with an interdisciplinary team. The study will analyze the medical student’s knowledge and attitudes regarding PALTC during rotations with vulnerable populations at Monumental Post Acute Care at Woodsite Park using pre and post surveys and 360 reviews. Data will potentially improve health care delivery for diverse patient populations and address issues related to social determinants of health.

“Investigating Barriers to Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine for Adolescents in Rural Communities”

Shari Allen, PharmD, BCPP, PCOM Georgia

The study involves a partnership with rural pediatric offices to survey an adolescent population about their barriers to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 40% of the adolescent population are not vaccinated against COVID-19. Current research studies limit vaccine hesitancy to adult populations. This study aims to gather data that will contribute to the absence of research on adolescents and vaccine hesitancy. The research will include students from PCOM, PCOM Georgia and South Georgia who will use the data gathered to create age-appropriate resources to educate adolescents with accurate COVID-19 information.

“Keep the Spark”

Lori Redmond, PhD, PCOM Georgia

In partnership with Georgia FirstGen, this multi-year study examines the academic and systemic barriers that impede underrepresented students’ interest and/or access to careers in medicine. Data will be gathered to develop an intervention strategy to expose and increase minority students' preparation for post-secondary education in health sciences.

Two of our new community based research studies involve interdisciplinary experiences for PCOM students.

  • Faculty members representing the PCOM School of Pharmacy and the PCOM School of Professional and Applied Psychology proposed “Exploring Barriers to Receiving Medical and Mental Health Services in Rural Communities” which will engage eight students from each discipline in this study in the South Georgia community.
  • Another study led by faculty from the School of Pharmacy and Department of Bio-Medical Sciences will guide eight pharmacy, biomedical sciences and osteopathic medicine students in research that will examine “The Increase in COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Within the Minority Population Through Direct Grassroots Engagement With Local Churches in Georgia.“
  • A third study will engage ten graduate and medical students in examining vaccine hesitancy in Suwanee, Georgia: “PCOM Partners: Empowering Community Members to Reduce COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy.“
Current fellows recently presented their findings to PCOM faculty.

Faculty members Valerie Cadet, PhD, and Edo-Abasi McGee, PharmD, as well as PCOM Georgia students, participated in grassroots engagement to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake within Black and minority populations.

Learn More

PCOM Georgia Faculty Educate Gwinnett Citizens on COVID Vaccines portrait

Research at PCOM

PCOM aims to develop innovative approaches to promoting health through basic, translational, clinical, behavioral, education and community research projects.