Midwestern University Announces Diversity Research Grants Recipients

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November 03, 2020 | Midwestern University

Midwestern University is pleased to announce the recipients of the newly established research grant program “Improving Healthcare Delivery and Reducing Healthcare Disparities in Underserved Minority Communities.” Faculty researchers from both the Downers Grove, IL and Glendale, AZ campuses of Midwestern University were encouraged to develop grant proposals to improve healthcare delivery for underserved minorities, enhance representation of minorities in the healthcare provider community, and develop innovative research into the health of minority populations beyond current educational programs and screenings. Approved proposals were eligible for up to $10,000 in funding.

“Midwestern University has a long and proud history as a healthcare teaching institution, founded in respect, inclusion, and equity. Our commitment to research reflects our mission to serve others while advancing scientific knowledge and enhancing the healthcare profession for future generations,” said Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwestern University. “I am pleased to report that Midwestern University received several excellent research grant applications and based on the quality of the grants submitted and following a review by cross-campus faculty committees, we have increased the total number of grants awarded from two per campus to three per campus, with a total of $60,000 in grant funding provided to our outstanding researchers,” she added.

The funded grants from the Glendale Campus include:

  • The Effects of a Language Intervention for Bilingual Children with Hearing Loss: Clinical and Educational Outcomes. Researchers: Beatriz de Diego-Lázaro, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor, Speech Language-Pathology; Laura Wolford, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Assistant Professor, Speech Language-Pathology; Lúcia Smith, M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinical Assistant Professor, Speech Language-Pathology; George Wolford, Ph.D., M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinical Assistant Professor, Speech Language-Pathology.

  • Analysis of Factors Predicting Clinical Outcomes of COVID-19 Diagnosis among Rural Minority Populations. Researchers: Pamela Potter, Ph.D., Chair, Pharmacology; John Ashurst, D.O., M.Sc., Clinical Assistant Professor; Anthony Santarelli, Ph.D., Clinical Research Administrator, Graduate Medical Education, Kingman Regional Medical Center.

  • Disparities in Disease Risk on the Frontlines: Do N95 Respirator Masks Protect Our Diverse Healthcare Workforce and their Home Communities? Researchers: Gina Marie Agostini, Ph.D., Clinical Research Coordinator, College of Dental Medicine – Arizona; Alexandra Pierre-Bez, D.M.D., Assistant Professor, College of Dental Medicine – Arizona.

The funded grants from the Downers Grove Campus include:

  • Abnormal Visual Markers and Barriers in Eye Care Among African American Children. Researchers: Arijit Chakraborty, Ph.D., MPhil, Assistant Professor, Chicago College of Optometry; Melissa Suckow, O.D., FAAO, Dean, Chicago College of Optometry.

  • Nurturing Oral Health Awareness among Black Children Living in Food Deserts. Researcher: Marcela Rocha de Oliveira Carrilho, D.D.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor, College of Dental Medicine – Illinois.

  • Assessing the Relationship Between Health Literacy and Hospital Readmission in High Risk Patients. Researchers: Milena M. Murray, Pharm.D., M.S., Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice; Lourdes (Lulu) M. Vega, Pharm.D., PGY-2 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Resident, Northwestern Medicine Specialty Pharmacy; Spencer E. Harpe, Pharm.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor, Pharmacy Practice; Suraj Marwaha, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2023; Pooja Shah, Chicago College of Pharmacy, Class of 2021.

The research grants are part of a larger University mission designed to bring greater awareness and education about the impact of racial inequity within our society and in healthcare education. Additional information about the University’s Call to Action Program and Five Step Plan for Diversity and Inclusion can be found at https://www.midwestern.edu/about/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.xml.