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COH Faculty Receive 1U4U Innovation Funding

The College of Health prides itself on cross-campus collaboration, and seven faculty members have received 1U4U Innovation Funding for projects that span departments and disciplines.

1U4U seeks innovative projects aimed at campus, education, engagement, research and scholarship that are not subject to traditional peer review. Qualifying projects must have the potential of receiving external funding, have societal impact, and be a collaboration between health sciences and main campus.

Campus View

The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President for Health Sciences committed a total of $400,000 in seed funding to nearly 30 teams comprised of members of different Colleges. Large awards totaled $30,000 in funding, and small awards received $15,000.  

COH faculty will work on five projects that are funded for $30,000 and one project that is funded for $15,000. The projects are:

·      Fostering Retention, Growth, and Belonging: A Case for Underrepresented Faculty and Students. Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Julie Lucero is the project owner and will collaborate with Uchenna Ossai, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, and two faculty from the College of Humanities. This project aims to address biopsychosocial factors among the university’s underrepresented faculty and students and develop learning communities to act on their findings. The learning communities will be a sustainable faculty group and two new undergraduate courses in the College of Humanities.

·      Implementation Strategies to Improve the Availability and Prophylactic Use of Oxytocin by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers for Pre-Hospital Births. Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training clinical and simulation manager Josh Larson is the project owner, working with colleagues from the College of Social Work and School of Medicine. This project will use surveys, stakeholder interviews, and focus groups to determine EMS knowledge around using oxytocin to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. The three faculty members plan to create a templated protocol for Utah EMS authority to consider adopting and apply for NIH funds for additional research.

·      Paso a Paso: Building a culturally tailored diabetes prevention intervention with, and for, the Latinx Community. Associate Dean for Community Engagement Paul Estabrooks is the project owner and will collaborate with faculty from the School of Medicine and College of Social Work. The project seeks to develop a better model for diabetes prevention among the Hispanic/Latino community in Salt Lake City. It will involve a shared leadership approach with members from this community and partner with the Alliance Community Services, the Mexican Consulate in Utah, the Wellness Bus, and University Neighborhood Partners.

·      Testing of an indoor climbing program to promote physical, mental and social well-being for college students. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism assistant professor Jeff Rose is one of four collaborators on this project, which spans four colleges. The project will examine how an indoor climbing program at the University of Utah enhances social network and social capital, socialization, and social norms and as a result promotes health. It seeks to determine the effectiveness of indoor climbing and social behavioral change among college students.

·      Using Virtual-Reality to Assess Sensory Integration for Navigation and Balance Control in People with Chronic Symptoms after Concussion. Department of Health & Kinesiology assistant professor Peter Fino is the project owner, working with faculty from the School of Medicine and the College of Social and Behavioral Science. This project wants to improve rehab for people with persisting balance problems after a concussion. It will use state-of-the-art VR technology and tests to determine the effects of concussion on navigation and balance control and target rehabilitation strategies.

·      Utah’s Medicaid Expansion and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training associate professor Jaewhan Kim is one of six faculty involved in this project. The project’s goal is to generate evidence for Utah legislators and healthcare officials regarding health insurance enrollment and characteristics of people who are insured in Medicaid, and those who are not. It will assess the clinical value of care received by newly enrolled Medicaid patients.