Funded Projects

Psychiatric Advanced Practice Registered Nurse TechNology Enhanced Residency (PARTNER) Program

Principal Investigator: Simone Chinnis
Sponsor / Type: The Duke Endowment
Project Period: 01/01/2021 – 12/31/2024

The PARTNER program will support workforce readiness for PMH-NPs using a continuity of care tele-mental health model for rural primary care integration to increase accessibility while lowering cost. This formal post-graduate residency training program will offer high-quality and effective care to patients and a transition path for new, board-certified PMH-NPs to advance their proficiency.

Palliative Care Certificate

Principal Investigator: Carrie Cormack
Sponsor / Type: The David R. Clare and Margaret C. Clare Foundation
Project Period: 09/09/2019 – 06/30/2025

MUSC CON will develop a post-Master of Science in Nursing to Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) palliative care track and post-graduate certificate.

Dissemination of a stepped care intervention to address emotional recovery among traumatic injury patients in the Carolinas

Principal Investigator: Tatiana M. Davidson
Sponsor / Type: The Duke Endowment
Project Period: 01/01/2021 – 12/31/2024

Annually, 140,000 Carolinians are hospitalized after traumatic injury. More than 20% (~30,000 each year) develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or depression, both major risk factors for poor quality of life, social and occupational impairment, and prolonged physical recovery.

Elder Abuse Assessment Training and Mental Health Services Program

Principal Investigator: Tatiana M. Davidson
Sponsor / Type: S.C. Office of the Attorney General/Dept. of Crime Victim Assistance Grants
Project Period: 10/01/2020 – 09/30/2024

Health care personnel and other professionals such as professional caregivers (CNAs, PCAs) etc., are in a pivotal position to help victims of elder mistreatment because they see virtually every adult over age 60 each year. However, they frequently fail to do so because they are not trained to consistently recognize, assess, and refer to services.

Evaluation of Trauma Center-Based, Technology Enhanced Stepped Care Intervention for Adolescent Traumatic Injury Survivors

Principal Investigator: Tatiana M. Davidson
Sponsor / Type: NIH/NICHD
Project Period: 09/09/2022 - 09/08/2024

Pediatric traumatic injury is the leading cause of death and morbidity among US adolescents and are associated with mental health and health risk outcomes. Pediatric traumatic injuries are associated with medical and societal costs of $87 billion and elevates risk for a wide range of health risk consequences that affect quality of life, physical recovery, social functioning, and return to previous activities.

Mobilizing Behavior Change to Promote Occupational Health and Wellness Among Firefighters

Principal Investigator: Tatiana M. Davidson
Sponsor / Type: Dept. of Homeland Security/Federal emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Project Period: 09/09/2022 - 09/08/2024

Firefighter health and safety is a widely recognized, high priority concern. Many programs target specific risk areas, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, behavioral health, and injury, but many are highly segmented and compartmentalized. What these priority areas share in common is that front-line preventative measures are directly dependent on behavior change relating to activity, sleep, diet, social engagement, and alcohol intake

Technology Resources for Improving Sleep Among Firefighters

Principal Investigator: Tatiana M. Davidson
Sponsor / Type: Dept. of Homeland Security/Federal emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Project Period: 08/09/2023 - 08/08/2025

Sleep is a major complicating issue in many if not most firefighter behavioral health conditions as well as a risk factor in a wide range of health, safety, injury, and performance issues. It is also baked into the fabric of the enterprise. Our prior FPS initiatives have prioritized needs such as stigma, depression, alcohol use, and suicide risk, but the health concern most often reported is sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality (reported by 59% of firefighters). Poor sleep quality threatens safety, impairs performance, and compromises decision making. Apps utilizing proven cognitive behavior therapy elements have proven successful in promoting use of effective sleep strategies, resulting in lasting positive change. There is a critical need for resources to improve sleep quality in the fire service and this project will address a critical emerging identified need to help firefighters remain safe, healthy, and able to succeed in their critical missions.

Improving Access, Quality, and Equity of Mental Health Care for Trauma-Affected Youth and Young Adults in the Carolinas

Principal Investigator: Tatiana M. Davidson
Sponsor / Type: The Duke Endowment
Project Period: 01/01/2024 – 12/31/2026

Ensuring access, quality, and equity in mental health care for youth and young adults is a top national priority. We are facing a mental health crisis. Over 40% of young people are struggling with persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Violence, trauma, and social risk factors are key drivers. Nearly 2 in 3 young people have experienced violence or trauma. Firearm violence is the leading cause of death for children in the United States. Annually, US trauma centers provide acute care to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable youth and young adults who are at greatest risk for mental health disorders and socioenvironmental stress.

Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training-Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults (BHWET-CAY) Program for Professionals

Principal Investigator: Joy A. Lauerer
Sponsor / Type: HRSA
Project Period: 09/30/2023 - 09/29/2025

This application requests funds to support an innovative interdisciplinary academic-practice partnership for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Nursing (CON). With children's behavioral health being declared a national crisis, the purpose of this project is to expand behavioral health services in rural and underserved communities to specifically address the behavioral health needs of children, adolescents and young adults.

COPD Management in Rural South Carolina

Principal Investigator: Sarah Miller
Sponsor / Type: South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare
Project Period: 01/01/2023 – 12/31/2024

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a prevalent chronic respiratory disease and currently, the fourth leading cause of death and fourth main cause of disability in the United States. COPD exacerbations are a significant clinical problem associated with impaired lung function, decreased quality of life (QOL), and compromised mental health.

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Electroconvulsive Therapy versus Usual Care for the Acute Management of Severe Agitation in Alzheimer's Dementia (ECT-AD)

Principal Investigator: Martina Mueller
Sponsor / Type: Sub. McClean Hospital/NIH/NIA
Project Period: 09/30/2018 – 05/31/2025

Alzheimer's dementia (AD), the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease of aging, affects cognition, emotion, and behavior. Agitation is a common behavioral syndrome that frequently emerges during middle to late stage AD and is characterized by psychomotor hyperactivity, aggression, irritability, yelling, resistance to care, and insomnia.

Nurse Faculty Loan Program

Principal Investigator: Susan D. Newman
Sponsor / Type: HRSA
Project Period: 07/01/2013 – 06/30/2025

Funding priority request for financial loan support for students enrolled in a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.) degree program and the post-Master’s Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program (DNP) at the College of Nursing (CON), Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) with a career goal to serve as nurse faculty upon graduation.

Preparing PHOENIX to Fly: Building Capacity for Research on Spinal Cord Injury Peer Mentoring

Principal Investigator: Susan D. Newman
Sponsor / Type: DHHS/NIDILRR
Project Period: 09/01/2022 – 08/31/2025

This 3 year field initiated project will drive the next steps in the development and testing of our community-based, peer-led, spinal cord injury (SCI) self-management intervention known as “PHOENIX” (Peer Health Outreach, Education, aNd Information eXchange). The aims and objectives of this project support further development and refinements of our original PHOENIX intervention in preparation for future efficacy testing on a national scale.

Self-Management for Youth Living with Sickle Cell Disease (SMYLS)

Principal Investigator: Shannon Phillips
Sponsor / Type: NIH/NINR
Project Period: 04/21/2023 – 01/31/2028

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic condition that affects every organ system and requires lifelong complicated treatment regimens. Adolescents and young adults (AYA) with SCD experience remarkable increases in negative outcomes (e.g., morbidity, mortality, complications, acute care utilization) following transition from pediatric to adult care. To mitigate negative outcomes, it is critical that AYA with SCD develop effective self-management behaviors prior to transition to adult care.

Supporting Educational Excellence and Diversity (SEED) for SC Nursing

Principal InvestigatorKristen Poston
Sponsor / Type: The Duke Endowment
Project Period: 01/01/2021 – 12/31/2024

The MUSC College of Nursing (CON) supports culturally congruent care and has developed a plan to facilitate student success improving SC’s nursing diversity and patient health outcomes that will be sustainable.

A Scalable mHealth Resource to Facilitate Behavioral and Emotional Recovery after Pediatric Traumatic Injury

Principal Investigator: Leigh Ridings
Sponsor / Type: NIH/ Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Project Period: 07/15/2020 – 06/03/2025

Pediatric traumatic injury (PTI) is a public health priority, with nearly 300,000 children incurring injuries so severe that they require hospitalization each year. Follow-up care for affected children and caregivers is critical to support behavioral and emotional recovery, but few trauma centers provide these services and established, scalable models of care are lacking. Cost-effective, sustainable interventions are needed to reduce barriers to care and reach families that need it most.

Optimizing Efforts to Restore Psychiatric and Social Function After a Major Hurricane

Principal Investigator: Kenneth J. Ruggiero
Sponsor / Type: NIH/NIMH
Project Period: 04/01/2020 – 02/28/2025

The 2017 fall Atlantic hurricane season, including Hurricane Harvey, was the most extreme in recorded history, and, in light of global climate change, a possible harbinger of future seasons to come. It is increasingly critical to understand how potentially modifiable pre-, peri-, and post-hurricane factors shape the long-term mental health of affected populations, so that we may optimize interventions to limit the ultimate impact of such storms.

Testing a Scalable Model of Care to Improve Patients’ Access to Mental Health Services after Traumatic Injury

Principal Investigator: Kenneth J. Ruggiero
Sponsor / Type: AHRQ
Project Period: 05/01/2022 – 02/28/2026

Annually, traumatic injuries affect roughly 3 million people in the US and account for over $650B in costs. Many patients are resilient and recover well emotionally, but over 20% (~600,000 people per year) develop mental health problems such as posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, both major risk factors for social and occupational impairment; poor physical health and quality of life; and lost productivity, work, and financial resources.

Augmenting Suicide Prevention Interventions for Service Members (ASPIS)

Principal Investigator: Tracy Stecker
Sponsor / Type: Ohio State University/DOD
Project Period: 09/30/2022 – 09/29/2026

The suicide rate among US military personnel remains elevated as compared to the age- and gender-adjusted general population. Researchers have identified several strategies that are effective for preventing suicidality among military personnel, but little is known about when or for whom these strategies are most likely to reduce suicidality among military personnel

The Regional Centers of Excellence in Substance Use Disorder Education Program

Principal Investigator: Tracy Stecker
Sponsor / Type: University of Rochester/HRSA
Project Period: 09/01/2022 – 08/31/2026

The Center of Excellence at the University of Rochester was established in 2019 as one of three Rural Centers of Excellence on substance use disorder (SUD) in the United States. It is funded by the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP), an initiative of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that supports programs to address barriers to treatment for SUD in rural areas.

Healthy Steps

Principal Investigator: Amy Williams
Sponsor / Type: First Steps South Carolina
Project Period: 04/01/2022 – 09/30/2024

HealthySteps, is an evidence-based, team-based pediatric primary care program that promotes the health, well-being and school readiness of babies and toddlers, with an emphasis on families living in low-income communities. The program is led by a HealthySteps Specialist, who joins the pediatric primary care team to ensure universal screening(s), provide successful intervention, referrals, and follow-up care to the whole family.

Next Steps: Enhancing Behavioral Health in Children and Adolescents

Principal Investigator: Amy Williams
Sponsor / Type: The Duke Endowment
Project Period: 07/01/2022 - 06/30/2025

Radical healthcare inequity gaps exist in behavioral healthcare services for underprivileged, rural and ethnic minority children. It is estimated that one in eight children experience mental healthcare disorders at any time. Post-pandemic data indicate that one in four children demonstrate the symptom constellations that support diagnoses of depression and/or anxiety. Additionally, suicide attempts and success are 2.4 times higher since 2020. Despite state and federal attention to infancy and early childhood care systems and school-based services to bridge inequity gaps, children and families continue to lack provisions for behavioral health (BH) throughout childhood. This contributes to missed opportunities for early intervention for conditions such as: substance use disorder; physical, mental and sexual abuse; depression, mood/psychotic disorders; learning disabilities.