AUSTIN, Texas – Seton Healthcare Family and The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs have announced the funding of seven new health care research studies aimed at resolving critical health and health care services delivery problems in Central Texas. Seton has granted approximately $300,000 for studies involving physicians, faculty members and other researchers in this first round of a new partnership with the LBJ School and CHASP.
A range of university-based organizations are involved in this first phase of funding, including the UT Departments of Educational Psychology, Organizational Communication & Technology, Computer Science, Economics and Kinesiology & Health Education; the UT Schools of Information, Social Work, Nursing and Public Affairs and the College of Pharmacy; and the Center for Health Communication and the Center for Identity. Also included are the Texas Child Study Center at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas and University Medical Center Brackenridge.
Other partners in the studies include Central Health, Travis County’s health care district, and the Community Care Collaborative, a unique and ambitious integrated delivery system for Travis County residents living at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
“This new research partnership recognizes that our most critical health and health care services delivery problems will only be resolved by bringing together medical and social scientists, along with those based in the community who grapple with these challenges on a daily basis,” said Carolyn J. Heinrich, the Sid Richardson Professor of Public Affairs, affiliated professor of economics and CHASP director at the LBJ School. “We expect that the proposals selected for funding in this first round will make substantial contributions to the health of the community and help us to significantly improve the delivery and effectiveness of health care services.”
“Construction of UT’s new Dell Medical School finishes next year, but we’re already fostering high-quality research involving UT faculty and our medical professionals,” said Ryan Leslie, Seton’s vice president for academics and research. “Ultimately, these studies can lead to better care that is sensitive to each patient’s expectations — what we at Seton call Humancare — and further build a long-term, medical research partnership between UT and Seton.”
The new studies are as follows:
- Improving Youth Behavioral Health Outcomes: A Feasibility Trial of Electronic Measurement Feedback and Flexible, Evidence-Based Training. Principal investigator (PI) is Sarah Kate Bearman, assistant professor with UT’s Department of Educational Psychology. Co-PIs are David Heckler, psychologist with the Texas Child Study Center at Dell Children’s, a Seton hospital; and Jane Gray, director of psychology training at the Texas Child Study Center.
- Understanding How Human, Communication and Technology Factors Influence Effective and Efficient Electronic Heath Records (EHRs) Use. The PI is Dr. Brenda L. Berkelaar, assistant professor in organizational communication and technology and affiliated faculty with UT’s Center for Health Communication and Center for Identity. Co-PI is Dr. Jay M. Bernhardt, founding director of the Center for Health Communication and a professor of communication studies at UT.
- Impacting Acute Trauma: Does a Brief Preventive Intervention Affect PTSD Outcomes? PIs are Dr. Ben Coopwood, director of surgical critical care at UMC Brackenridge; and Stacey Stevens Manser, associate director of the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health in the UT School of Social Work.
- Manual and Automatic Analysis of Patients’ Values and Preferences Using Seton Hospital Consumer Assessment for Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Surveys. PIs are Drs. Kenneth R. Fleischmann, associate professor with UT’s School of Information; Bo Xie, associate professor with UT’s School of Nursing and School of Information; and Byron C. Wallace, assistant professor with UT’s School of Information and Department of Computer Science.
- Incorporating Resilience-Based Diabetes Self-Management Education into the Group Medical Appointment for Adults with Type 2 Diabetes. The community partner is Dr. Deborah Morris-Harris, CommUnityCare’s chief medical officer. The PI is Professor Mary Steinhardt with Health Behavior & Health Education, Department of Kinesiology & Health Education in UT’s College of Education. Co-PIs are Dr. Susan K. Dubois, medical director with the Family Wellness Center in UT’s School of Nursing; Sharon A. Brown, the Joseph H. Blades Centennial Memorial Professor of Nursing in UT’s School of Nursing; and Hiro Tanaka, exercise physiology professor in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Education in UT’s College of Education.
- Evaluation of Seton Healthcare Family’s “High Alert Program” (HAP Program). PIs are Todd Olmstead, associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs; and Brendan Kline, assistant professor in the UT Department of Economics.
- Transforming Pediatric Healthcare Delivery: Analysis of Texas Medicaid Claims Data to Support an Ongoing Randomized Controlled Trial. PI is Dr. Karen Rascati, Eckerd/Turley Endowed Professor in the College of Pharmacy.
The research partnership between Seton Healthcare Family and the LBJ School was established in August 2014 to provide $500,000 in funding support, enabling Seton and UT Austin to conduct various non-clinical health and social policy research studies that will seed innovative, cross-disciplinary research collaborations and help to improve health policy, health care services delivery, and health outcomes for patients.