CONTACT: DEBRA VENZKE
UI COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Release: Jan. 17, 2002
UI College Of Public Health Names New Award Recipients
Four University of Iowa College of Public Health faculty
members have been awarded College of Public Health-College of Medicine New
Investigator Research Awards. The awards assist newly appointed primary or
joint faculty in the College of Public Health or College of Medicine to advance
their research activities. Each recipient will receive up to $10,000 of funding
for independent research projects.
The recipients are: Brian Kaskie, Ph.D., assistant
professor of health management and policy; Faryle Nothwehr, Ph.D., assistant
professor of community and behavioral health; John Schneider, Ph.D., assistant
professor of health management and policy; and Holly Wardlow, Ph.D., assistant
professor of community and behavioral health and anthropology.
"These pilot grant awards recognize the tremendous
promise and potential of young investigators working in the College of Public
Health," said James Merchant, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the UI College of Public
Health. "The work conducted in these projects will expand the scientific basis
for the practice of public health and advance the very promising careers of
these awardees, as well."
The award recipients were chosen on the basis of their
proposed research projects' scientific merit, relevance to the UI College
of Public Health mission, strategic plan and goals, and probability of attracting
subsequent extramural research funding.
Following are descriptions of each of the winning
-- "Policy Factors Associated with Medicare Mental
Health Services" -- Brian Kaskie
One of every five Americans over the age of 65 experiences
a diagnosable form of mental illness each year, yet less than 25 percent of
older adults with a mental illness obtain any form of professional treatment
in a given year. One factor that may prevent older adults from seeking mental
health care is the lack of a comprehensive Medicare mental health service
policy. This study will compile specialty mental health service policies from
the 21 carriers contracted to provide Medicare services, analyze their content,
identify the factors most likely to influence specialty service use and establish
empirically how these local policies influence the use of specialty mental
-- "RIDE - The Rural Iowa Diet and Exercise Study"
-- Faryle Nothwehr
Each year an estimated 300,000 U.S. adults die of causes
attributable to obesity, and several predominantly rural states, including
Iowa, have consistently ranked among the top 10 states with regard to obesity
prevalence. Researchers from the Rural Iowa Diet and Exercise Study will conduct
focus groups and surveys with residents from Keokuk County, Iowa, to assess
community members' attitudes and beliefs regarding body weight and health,
diet and exercise habits, and barriers and supports for behavior change. This
preliminary data will be used for a future intervention study on weight management
and weight gain prevention among adults in a rural community.
-- "Economic Analysis of Health Plan-Provider Contract
Regulation in California, 1997-2001" -- John Schneider
State enactment of managed care regulations has spread
rapidly in the United States during the past five years. Nationwide, as a
growing number of health plans rely on relational contracts with provider
groups to supply health care services, health plan-provider contract regulation
has emerged as an important and increasingly prevalent form of regulation.
While the economic effects of regulation in general are well understood, plan-provider
regulation has not yet been closely examined. This study will statistically
explore the impact of plan-provider regulations on health plan costs and quality.
The one-year pilot study will provide the necessary background research to
support a larger project extended to other states, including Iowa.
-- "Smoking Practices and Knowledge About Smoking-Related
Health Risks Among Papua New Guinea Women" -- Holly Wardlow
In developed countries, per capita consumption of cigarettes
has fallen by approximately 10 percent since 1970, but in developing countries,
smoking has increased by approximately 67 percent over the same time period.
This research project will investigate three interrelated topics: Papua New
Guinea women's smoking practices and the ways in which these practices are
culturally and socially shaped; their knowledge about smoking-related health
risks; and their exposure to, and interpretation of, tobacco marketing campaigns.
This project will contribute to what is currently a small body of data on
cross-cultural, gender-specific smoking beliefs and practices.