Externally Funded Projects

Training Program in HIV Prevention Research Ethics

Dr. Tania Basta, ARHI Associate Director, is currently focused on HIV prevention research. She is an HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute Fellow with the Center for Research Ethics Education at Fordham University in New York. Attached to the fellowship, she received funding to conduct an HIV research ethics pilot study with Tri-County Mental Health. The purpose of the study is to enhance the consent processes among rural economically disadvantaged individuals in mental or substance abuse treatment services in order to increase the likelihood they will consent to participate in an HIV testing study.  During Phase One, Dr. Basta tested two educational interventions designed to increase knowledge about HIV and HIV testing.  During Phase Two, she invited participant to participate in an HIV testing study, in which individuals were given the option of getting a free HIV test; either using the newly marketed self—test HIV kit or via a referral to standard of care testing.  Following HIV testing Dr. Basta assessed satisfaction with the process and their likelihood of getting tested again in the future.  Dr. Basta is hopeful that these pilot data will substantiate larger NIH funding in the future.

MEDTAPP Healthcare Access Initiative

The MEDTAPP Healthcare Access Initiative funded by Ohio State University is to support the development and retention of additional healthcare practitioners with skills and competencies to serve the Medicaid population using emerging healthcare delivery models and evidence-based practices, such as health homes and integrated behavioral and physical health service delivery. This funding opportunity provides up to $3 million in additional funds over a 9 month project period (October 1, 2012-June 30, 2013) to achieve the goals of this initiative. There are four initiatives:

  • Initiative # 1 – Interprofessional Health Teams Project – Co-PIs: Dr. John Brose, Provost’s Office, and Dr. Jeff DiGiovanni, Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences
  • Initiative # 2 – FNP + DNP = 1+1 year Residency Program – Co-PIs:  Dr. Teresa Julian, Nursing-Athens, and Dr. John Brose, Provost’s Office. 
  • Initiative #3 – Primary Care Scholarships – Co-PIs: Dr. John Brose, Provost’s Office, and Sharon Zimmerman, Development Office.
  • Initiative #4 – Integrated Mind-Body Medicine Program – Co-PIs:  John Brose, Provost’s Office,  Dr. Joseph Bianco, COM Social Medicine, and Dr. Tracy Marx, COM Family Medicine.

Integrating Professionals for Appalachian Children (IPAC)

The university-community rural health network, Integrating Professionals for Appalachian Children (IPAC), illustrates the potential of collaborative partnerships to promote change. IPAC; is a rural health network designed to ensure the healthy development of all children in the region. Incorporated in 2006 and governed by an independent board of directors, this university-community partnership promotes participatory research. IPAC has received nearly $5 million in federal, state, and local funding to improve health care services to young children in southeast Ohio, the majority of which has been awarded to Ohio University.  The network’s success at obtaining grants, led by ARHI Director, Dr. Jane Hamel-Lambert, substantiates the effectiveness of a focused collaborative to compete or federal and state funding.

IPAC leverages the resources and expertise in our community to improve and promote the wellness of Appalachian children and their families. This partnership has launched and/or expanded five health programs: (1) the Family Care Navigator Program, (2) the Southeastern Ohio Interdisciplinary Assessment Team, (3) Integration of Behavioral Health in Primary Care, (4) an Early Identification Program using standardized screening tools for behavior and development in primary care, and (5) an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program serving public preschools and early childhood settings. Each is dependent upon integrating resources across partnering agencies, and each leverages local resources to strengthen our system of care. The five programs collectively serve more than 2,500 families in southeastern Ohio each year. For more information about IPAC, contact Ms. Jordan Giuliani, MEd, Executive Director at

Strengthening Communities to Prevent Diabetes in Rural Appalachia’s Vulnerable Populations

Dr. Sharon Denham, the Immediate Past Director of ARHI, is the PI on a CDC-funded project, Strengthening Communities to Prevent Diabetes in Rural Appalachia’s Vulnerable Populations.  The Strengthening Communities project is working with community coalitions in the Appalachian region to prevent diabetes. During the past two years, 29 coalition members and 208 individuals (representing 50 churches) attended trainings on how to prevent diabetes and 10% of the churches agreed to participate in the intervention. Overall, the project appears to have a strong model in its regional approach to preventing type 2 diabetes and its complications. The program shows early signs of engagement by the church health teams. Moreover, the project began moving toward an outcomes-based evaluation, with preliminary data on knowledge and healthy behaviors being collected on members of the coalitions and church health teams.

HUB Family Navigator

Sue Meeks, R.N., COM Community Health Programs at Ohio University, is the PI for HUB Family Navigator.   A community HUB and accompanying pathways represent effective vehicles for achieving the goals of recently enacted health care reform legislation, creating greater financial accountability for the delivery of high-value health care and social services, and improving health outcomes.  Through communication, collaboration, and built-in incentives, the HUB increases the efficiency and effectiveness of care coordination services.  Rather than allow providers of health and social services to continue functioning in isolated silos, the community HUB requires them to work collaboratively, reaching out to those at greatest risk and connecting them to evidence-based interventions, with a focus on prevention and early treatment.

To ensure quality and accountability across all providers of care coordination services, the HUB acts as a central clearinghouse that “registers: and tracks at-risk individuals, making sure that their biological, psychological, and social needs are met.  The HUB provides ongoing quality assurance that result in less waste and duplication, lower costs, improved health statue, and fewer health disparities.  In short, the HUB ensures a connection to community resources and holds providers, practitioners, employers, families, and individuals accountable for desired outcomes.

Vision 2020: Leading the Transformation of Primary Care in Ohio – Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Consortium for Appalachian Rural Research

Dr. Jane Hamel-Lambert, Director of Appalachian Rural Health Institute, is the PI for the research consortium proposed in the Vision 2020 proposal to develop the Central Appalachian Consortium of Osteopathic Medical Schools. The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, at the behest of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, has developed a long range plan that is designed to address the impending primary care physician shortage in Ohio, increase the number of graduates who will select primary care as their area of practice, improve the quality of medical education, enhance medical research in diabetes and in the areas of musculoskeletal and neurological science, provide for the training of additional physician scientists, lead to improvements in serving the health needs in Appalachia Ohio and result in a research and patient care regional consortium composed of a number of osteopathic colleges of medicine.

The Project includes three major sections resulting in nine (9) individual goals as follows: (1) Developing an OU-HCOM Central Ohio Extension Campus (COEC) (2) Re-engineering medical education providing a Patient-Centered Care Curriculum (3) Providing additional student scholarships and scholar awards (4) Developing a Diabetes/Endocrine Clinical Care and Research Center (5) Providing additional free and reduced cost Community Health Programs in and around the Athens and COEC campus sites (6) Supporting basic and translational diabetes research (7) Developing an Ohio Musculoskeletal & Neurological Institute and Patient Care Center (8) Training additional physician-scientists through enhanced dual degree programs (9) Developing a Research Consortium composed of Osteopathic Institutions geographically located in Appalachia.

The Central Appalachian Consortium of Osteopathic Medical Schools strives to become a national leader in advancing the health status of the Appalachian region through research, education and service. The consortium will be developed by the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine at Ohio University, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, VA; the Lincoln Memorial University-Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, TN; University of Pikeville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pikeville, KY and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, WV.

State Rural Health Association Technical Assistance Program

Dr. Jane Hamel-Lambert, Director of Appalachian Rural Health Institute, is the PI for this program.  Funded by National Rural Health Association, the primary thrust of Ohio’s work in the 2012-13 year will be organizational development focused on a membership drive, which will include the development of professional and student members. Working with an executive leadership team, the part-time executive director and Dr. Hamel- Lambert will select a membership structure and conduct a membership drive. Current consideration is being given to Charter memberships and Sponsoring membership in addition to individual membership to ensure sufficient funding is secured to sustain a part time executive director entering 2013 -14. The executive director will also be able to submit a 501c3 application, possibly during this year, pending our growth and sustainability potential. The goal is to establish an Ohio Rural Health Association (ORHA) dedicated to serving the rural needs of Ohio by advocating for rural health, promoting interprofessional networking, and supporting workforce development. The ORHA hopes to serve as a unified voice advocating for rural health and to provide a forum for the exchange of information among rural stakeholders.

Chronic Disease Management in Rural Appalachia

Dr. Deborah Meyer, COM Geriatrics, is the PI for Chronic Disease Management in Rural Appalachia.  The Ohio State University (OSU) Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) Community Engagement Program and the Ohio University (OU) Appalachian Rural Health Institute (ARHI) are jointly sponsoring a pilot research award designed to stimulate collaboration between the respective campuses as well as increase community engaged research in Appalachia. Specifically, this joint award aims to catalyze the development or enhance the maturation of multi- institutional research teams capable of performing highly innovative, extramurally fundable research that will continue to contribute to the health and well-being of Appalachian citizens.

Project Launch

Dr. Dawn Graham, COM Family Medicine, is the primary PI for the “Project LAUNCH for Appalachian Ohio” is a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). This grant is for up to $850,000 / year for up to five years, beginning in October 2009. It is administered by ODH and implemented in collaboration with our local and state partners.

ODH’s sub-grantee is Ohio University, which administers this grant locally and contracts with a number of community organizations to develop local infrastructure and serve young children and their families in Athens, Hocking, Vinton and Meigs Counties. Our local partners include Ohio University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and Integrating Professionals for Appalachian Children (IPAC). IPAC is a community-consumer-university rural health network and non-profit organization and is the Local Council for Project LAUNCH. Its members are parents, university administrators, and professionals from many disciplines and many community organizations that serve young children and their families in Southeastern Ohio.