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Thelma Patrick, PhD, RN

Award Name Pilot Grant

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Health Concerns of Female CPO Residents

The Center for Clinical & Translational Science has awarded Thelma Patrick, PhD, RN, a pilot grant for community engagement in research. The grant award will be used to fund her research in Section 8 of the Community Properties of Ohio (CPO), where she plans to identify the health concerns of female residents of childbearing age.

While working at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Patrick studied high-risk pregnancies, especially preeclampsia. Now a professor and researcher at The Ohio State University, she hopes to continue looking at high-risk pregnancies and the consequences of high-risk pregnancy for women and their infants.

Patrick has noted that one-fifth of women who get preeclampsia, a condition that results in high blood pressure and protein in the urine, will get it again. Those women with recurring preeclampsia are at higher risk for early onset cardiovascular disease.

Some women have a higher risk than others. “African-American women in particular are at risk,” Patrick said. According to Patrick, this could be due to many factors such as suboptimal social, economic, and health conditions.

The community engagement grant will be used to investigate the health concerns of women in Section 8 housing, which largely consists of young, low-income African-American mothers. Patrick hopes to identify health priorities pertinent to the female residents of the CPO as a basis for planning interventions to improve health before, during, and after pregnancy.

A Community Advisory Board consisting of eight members has been formed, including two health advocates that have been selected to conduct approximately 20 face-to-face interviews with CPO residents to gain insight on common health concerns.

A survey that reflects the main issues of those interviewed will then be created and distributed throughout the CPO to approximately 100-200 residents.

The results will be analyzed to determine the biggest health concerns of the community, specifically those that focus on maternal and infant health. Once the concerns are known, Patrick and the board can begin to address the priority concerns within the CPO community.

“The important thing is to go back and look at the people at risk and find ways to help them before, during, and after they are pregnant,” Patrick said.

By Becky King, Tuesday, August 3, 2010

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