WSU Spokane Health Sciences campus
WSU Spokane Health Sciences campus. Photo by Cori Kogan. 

Among the research grants awarded to WSU College of Nursing faculty in recent months are:

Lois James, Ph.D.: Two hundred patrol officers in the Cleveland police department will undergo training to recognize their subconscious biases using a simulator developed by James and her colleague Stephen James, Ph.D., under a $750,000 research grant from the National Institute of Justice. Implicit-bias training has become common in law enforcement agencies, but so far there’s no evidence on whether simulation-based training, traditional classroom lectures, or a combination of the two is most effective in changing police behavior.

Jae Kennedy, Ph.D.: A five-year, $750,000 award from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research will provide funding for WSU to hire three post-doctoral students with disabilities as academic researchers. Research scientists with disabilities are underrepresented in the health sciences, yet such scholars bring needed perspective to understanding and improving health policies and services for people with disabilities.

Marian Wilson, Ph.D.: Wilson is a co-investigator on the $2.5 million EMPOWER study to investigate whether an online pain-management program can help patients with chronic pain reduce or eliminate the amount of prescription opioids they take. A web-based pain management tool, called Goalistics Chronic Pain Management Program, has been found in small previous trials to decrease patients’ pain and reduce opioid use. The EMPOWER study will expand the sample size and researchers will have access to patients’ clinical records to accurately measure opioid use.

Roschelle “Shelly” Fritz, Ph.D.: An interprofessional team of scientists from Washington State University landed a $1.77 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research to study how “smart home” technology can monitor the health and safety of senior citizens from afar. Besides Fritz, the study includes Diane Cook, the Huie-Rogers chair professor in the School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, and Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, the Herbert L. Eastlick professor in the Department of Psychology.

Janet Purath, Ph.D.: A two-year, $1.3 million WSU-ANEW grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration will help train nurse practitioners to address a critical shortage of primary-care providers in rural areas across Eastern Washington. The grant creates a formal partnership between the WSU College of Nursing and CHAS Health, the Community Health Association of Spokane; provides traineeships to 15 to 30 nurse practitioner students; and creates a marketing program to connect nurse practitioners to jobs in primary care in rural and underserved areas.