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MAC Faculty and Affiliate Faculty Receive New Research Grants

July 22, 2020 1:45 PM

MAC Director Dr. Kat Theall and affiliate faculty, Dr. Gretchen Clum, were awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund research focused on improving the health and well-being of people living with HIV who have experienced violence. This innovative study will engage participants via smartphones by coupling GPS location technology with a mobile daily diary app to provide insight on how daily neighborhood experiences and psychosocial factors impact HIV medication adherence and viral suppression, and sex differences in these factors. The study builds on an existing evidence-based trauma intervention, Living in the Face of Trauma (LIFT), adapting it to a mobile platform and adding the geographical location-based “in-the-moment” intervention strategies that are vitally needed to reach people, quite literally, where they are.

“This is an exciting step forward to incorporate not only experiences of violence as they relate to health behaviors and outcomes in this group, but also to address their daily experiences such as place-based exposures, stigma, and discrimination,” says Dr. Theall. “If successful, we hope to provide a tool that can be implemented in clinical and non-clinical settings.”

The long-term goal of this work is to contribute to the delivery of evidence-based accessible interventions informed by the daily experiences that affect health for PLWH. The study team looks forward to launching in August 2020. 

Dr. Theall is also involved as a co-investigator on a newly awarded grant lead by Dr. Catherine McKinley of the Tulane School of Social Work. Funded by the NIH, this $2.7 million project seeks to identify effective, sustainable, and culturally relevant and family-centered interventions to reduce substance abuse and violence among Native American Families. With over a decade of experience working alongside people of the Choctaw Nation, Dr. McKinley takes a holistic approach to promote community health and wellness that is informed by a Framework of Historical Oppression, Resilience, and Transcendence. As a community-based participatory research endeavor, the research team will engage a community advisory board and tribal community health representatives to facilitate the program.  

All investigators are part of the Tulane Violence Prevention Institute, adding to the growing portfolio of Tulane-initiated violence prevention research.