Beth McManis and Frank von Hippel, two Northern Arizona researchers, were selected to receive support funding of $5,000 each for one year through the Community-Campus Partnership Support (CCPS) program.
CCPS, through the Southwest Health Equity Research Collaborative’s (SHERC) Community Engagement Core, is a program dedicated to developing community-university relationships. The program supports partners meet several times over the course of one year to explore mutual areas of interest and learn how collaborative research could potentially advance health equity. Since July 2018, CCPS has funded 12 partnerships through four bi-annual competitive application rounds totaling approximately $50,000.
The SHERC CEC is accepting applications for Round 5 of CCPS funding from NAU investigators until May 15. Full faculty, junior faculty, and post-doctoral scholars are all eligible to apply and must apply with a community partner.
In this current CCPS funding cycle, McManis, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, is partnering with Joyce Garcia-Gonzalez, a certified nurse and midwife from North Country HealthCare (NCHC) Obstetric Clinic. The purpose of their project is to develop a plan, with an emphasis on rural and underserved women, for ongoing postpartum period care at NCHC that concludes with a smooth transition from maternity care back to primary care.
NCHC is a primary organization that provides care to underserved women in Flagstaff; a large percentage of NCHC patients enter pregnancy with a chronic condition or develop one during pregnancy (e.g., gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia), which puts them at risk for cardiovascular disease. More than 50% of NCHC patients are either Hispanic or Native American.
“Most importantly, the funding provides an opportunity to improve the postpartum care for the patients seen at North Country HealthCare,” McManis said. “It allows Joyce, the other certified nurse-midwives in the practice and me to work together to develop the best postpartum program for NCHC based on evidence, information from stakeholders and other practices in the United States that have postpartum protocols that address cardiovascular risks associated with pregnancy and chronic conditions.”
Frank von Hippel, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Jani Ingram, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention, and Jonathan Credo, collaborative research associate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, are partnering with the Cocopah Tribe in Yuma County. All three have extensive experience working on environmental health projects with Native Nations at the community level.
Their project develops a collaboration in environmental health between the Cocopah Tribe and NAU scientists that will lead to external funding to promote positive environmental health outcomes for the Tribe.
According to the NAU researchers, Yuma County residents face a high risk of exposure to pesticides, but due to the economic conditions and high unemployment, the rural county has poor access to resources and information to attend to this risk–– a situation that worsens for Native Nations that are frequently under-represented in environmental decision-making.
The NAU researchers plan to use the CCPS resources to develop a “a strong collaborative research relationship between NAU and the Cocopah Tribe,” and collaboratively pursue external funding for research efforts to promote beneficial environmental health outcomes for the Cocopah tribe, with potential focus on assessing exposures to pesticide, toxic metals and/or neurotoxic contaminants.
SHERC is a five-year NIH-funded cooperative agreement focused on increasing the health research capacity at NAU through basic biomedical, clinical, and behavioral research to address health disparities among diverse populations of the Southwestern United States (NIH #U54MD012388).
SHERC is funded through the Research Centers in Minority Institutions Program through the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and is administered by the NAU Center for Health Equity Research.
The CCPS Round 5 applications are open and available until May 15 at 5 p.m, MST. For more information or to apply, visit the CCPS announcement.