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NIH Funding to Support Hopkins Doctoral Researchers


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Posted: 6/30/2010

Four PhD students at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) have received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will offset tuition and research costs, and provide a stipend for up to three years. Sara Rosenthal, Tam Nguyen, Laura Samuel, and Rachel Klimmek all received this highly competitive grant based on their individual dissertations.

Rosenthal’s research focuses on parental decision-making for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). She will specifically focus on the interaction between parents and healthcare workers, and how that interaction affects the trust that parents have in healthcare workers to provide care to their hospitalized infant. In addition to the financial assistance the grant provided, Rosenthal also added that drafting the grant itself was a learning experience.

For Nguyen, the funding will support her work improving health literacy measurement tools and increasing systematic research on the impact of health literacy on Vietnamese Americans with hypertension. Despite great improvement in cardiovascular health in the U.S. over the last decade, many minority populations still experience significant health disparity gaps, including Vietnamese Americans.

Socioeconomic disparities in cardiovascular (CV) disease is the focus of Samuel’s research. Well-documented awareness shows that social environments can influence CV disease risk, however, Samuel’s hypotheses asserts, there is little knowledge of the underlying social pathways that contribute to socioeconomic disparities. Her study will examine association, interaction, and contribution of social support, loneliness, and neighborhood social cohesion and its effect on CV risk behaviors.

Klimmek will explore early cancer survivorship among rural African American elders in central Virginia.  She will study the tasks performed by rural African Americans as part of their cancer management, including those of their caregivers and support groups, with the goal of eliminating health disparities among rural and minority populations and improving the outcomes for cancer survivors and their caregivers.

“Research is an invaluable component of the PhD program,” said PhD program director Haera Han, PhD, RN. “Funding from sources like NIH help our students thoroughly explore and test their hypotheses and theories.  Experiences such as these allow them to get a head start on their research careers.”