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UT Austin nurse scientist awarded Hogg Foundation grant

A research grant from The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health has been awarded to Dr. Melanie Percy, assistant professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, for a collaborative Touchpoints project.

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AUSTIN, Texas—A research grant from The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health has been awarded to Dr. Melanie Percy, assistant professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, for a collaborative Touchpoints project.

The grant will provide funding for the next step in Percy’s research examining the impact of this developmental/relational model on the supportive behaviors of healthcare providers.

Percy has spent three years determining changes in verbal and non-verbal support given by health care providers before and after training in the Touchpoints model. The School of Nursing became a Touchpoints site in 1997 as part of research collaboration with The Women’s Hospital of Texas, in Houston and the Brazelton Touchpoints Project, Children’s Hospital, Boston, Mass.

In an increasingly fragmented health care system, changes in the healthcare setting are needed that will improve support to parents and ultimately strengthening parenting skills. Percy’s research project, “Changing language, changing relationships,” uses the interactive training model, Touchpoints, to build these supportive relationships between healthcare providers and families.

The Hogg Foundation grant will allow Percy to analyze the differences that take place in a patient exam before and after Touchpoints training and how well providers learn to use the program. Results will be used to develop a tool to better analyze training effectiveness.

Percy has been a member of the UT Austin School of Nursing faculty since earning her Ph.D. in nursing science from the University of South Carolina in 1994. She has earned several fellowships and teaching awards, including the Luci Baines Johnson Fellowship in Nursing and the Texas Excellence Teaching Award, in addition to serving for four years as project director for the Children’s Wellness Center.

For further information, contact Mary McLendon, (512) 471-8036.