The Duke Center for Research to Advance HealthCare Equity (REACH Equity) recently selected Tolu Oyesanya, PhD, RN, assistant professor; to join the second cohort of Career Development Awardees – REACH Equity Scholars.
Oyesanya will pursue the project “Reducing Disparities in the Transition from Hospital to Home for Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Their Families.” Her overall research aim is to improve functional status, health and well-being of patients with TBI discharged home from acute care and their family members for optimal recovery. Her project will develop and refine a TBI transitional care intervention that addresses racial/ethnic needs and preferences for Black, Latino and White patients.
“It’s truly an honor to be selected as a 2019 REACH Equity Career Development Award program scholar,” says Oyesanya. “With support from the Duke Center for REACH Equity, I will have an opportunity to develop and test an intervention that aims to reduce disparities that negatively influence the transition from hospital to home for patients with traumatic brain injury and their family members.”
The REACH equity scholars program targets junior faculty with awards that support mentored research projects focusing on the REACH Equity theme “addressing racial and ethnic disparities in health by developing and testing interventions that improve the quality of patient-centered care in the clinical encounter,” a setting that racial and ethnic disparities are well-documented.
“This opportunity will allow me to make progress towards my career goal of improving the functional status, overall health and well-being of traumatic brain injury patients and their family members,” Oyesanya says. “I will also have the esteemed pleasure of obtaining additional knowledge and skills related to health disparities research, community engagement and implementation-effectiveness research, which will help me advance my career as an independent researcher. I look forward to collaborating with the Duke Center for REACH Equity to work towards reducing disparities for patients and families during this two-year award and beyond.”
Oyesanya joins three scholars—Larry Jackson II, MD, assistant professor, Department of Medicine; Melissa Kay, PhD, research scholar, Duke Global Health Institute; and Tiarney Ritchwood, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; to create the 2019 cohort. In the two-year program, scholars will engage in mentored research and a career development program provided by the REACH Equity Center that includes a core curriculum, a works-in-progress seminar series and an annual disparities research colloquium. Prior to the end of the program, each scholar is expected to submit a grant application for next-stage funding.
“I’m extremely excited to welcome this outstanding second cohort of scholars who were selected from an impressively competitive pool of applicants,” says Kimberly S. Johnson, MD, director of the REACH Equity Center. “Their proposals provide creative solutions to developing and testing interventions that address health disparities in the clinical encounter across disciplines, diseases and age groups.”
The REACH Equity Center is one of 12 specialized centers of excellence, funded by the NIH through the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities NIHMD.