Public & Community Health Research
Prepare for Your Career in Public Health Through Research
Dr. Linnaya Graf
The prevalence of health professionals and social service workers who experience stress and burnout resulting from their professions has been well documented in select health professions as contributing to work-related mental health impairment, and challenges with retention in the field. Recent literature has established this phenomenon as posing a significant challenge to the field; however, appropriate core interventions and tools remain unavailable or untested. Further, little is understood about the patterns and trends across healthcare professionals related to stress and burnout as a field. The proposed Participatory Action Project includes a multiple phased, multi-year approach designed to improve understanding of the phenomena of stress and burnout among the health care professions, as well as develop pathways for addressing this significant public health problem through the following stages:
(a) Synthesis of the current evidence on stress and burnout for health professionals, synthesis of the literature for acute versus chronic stress for health professionals, and identification of current best practices for tools and resources which have been identified as evidenced based for addressing areas of stress and burnout,
(b) Mixed method data collection of an expansive sample of health care professionals representing a multitude of various field across professions of healthcare and social service to explore perceptions and experiences of the frontline.
(c) Force Field Analysis of the ranked factors and development of an action plan for change of those factors identified as both most important, and most amenable.
(d) Suggestions for and creation of strategies, services, and approaches into a tool kit for academic and workplace curriculum for individuals and agencies serving health care professionals to improve resilience, decrease stress, and reduce burnout
(d) Evaluation of tools to determine impact after implementation.
Dr. Oswald Attin
Dr. Robyn Anderson
Dr. Robyn Anderson is currently studying the effects of BMI on heart rate in children ages 11 to 12 through a six-minute step test.
Dr. Thomas Shahady (PI) of The University of Lynchburg (UL) propose to educate and train three student cohorts totaling 12 undergraduate and 6 graduate students through a three-year project involving research experiences on water quality in rural Costa Rica. The PI will prepare four undergraduate students and two graduate students, for each of the project’s three summer terms, to conduct ecological research under the mentorship of scientists at the Monteverde Institute (MVI) in Monteverde and Sustainability Demonstration Center (SDC), Costa Rica. Both entities are established, not-for-profit organizations dedicated to education, applied research, and engagement with Costa Rican communities. Students will reside and complete laboratory analyses at the SDC. The PI serves as the manager for the water quality laboratory and facilities at this well-equipped campus. The PI of this proposal will be present as the students transition into their international experience and will remain in Costa Rica for the summer to conduct his own independent work. This collaboration among MVI, UL, and SDC will result in mentorship for every aspect of the students’ work and will ensure continuous professional development during their time abroad. Each student will spend 10 weeks at the IRES site during their summer abroad and will complete their own investigation in support of the project’s overarching theme—”investigating interactions between surface waters and groundwaters to improve the safety of drinking water supplies.”