TBI – Kristen Dams-O’Conner, PhD – Mount Sinai Hospital

Some TBI survivors experience accelerated decline in terms of both cognition and overall health. Those who become demented may experience a unique subtype of dementia that appears to be distinct of alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Kristen Dams-O’Conner is Co-Director of the Brain Injury Research Center of Mount Sinai. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her research focuses on applying modern psychometric and statistical techniques to measure individual differences in trajectories of change over time among survivors of TBI. Her clinical focus is brain aneurysm, brain tumor and brain cancer, concussion, dementia, mild cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and traumatic brain injury. Learn more about Dr. Kristen Dams-O’Conner here.

Rural Health and Diabetes – Lesley D. Lutes, PhD – East Carolina University

Traditional behavioral recommendations for low calorie and high exercise programs are beneficial to many people; however, for people suffering from multiple chronic health conditions, this is overwhelming for them. We’ve developed an innovative treatment approach called “Small Changes”, where we help people work with where they are at.

Dr. Lesley Lutes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at East Carolina University. She is also Director of Clinical Training for the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at East Carolina University. Her research focuses on developing innovative treatments for treatment of obesity and diabetes, particularly in underserved populations. Learn more about Dr. Lesley Lutes here.

Youth Violence Prevention Programs – Cleopatra Howard Caldwell, PhD – University of Michigan

We have developed a family centered prevention program, which is designed to strengthen relationships between nonresident African American fathers and their 8 to 12 year old sons to prevent youth risky behaviors.

Dr. Cleopatra Caldwell is a Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan. She is also Co-Associate Director of the Program for Research on Black Americans at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on intergenerational family influences on the psychological well-being of teenage parents, improving adolescent health through strengthening family relationships, and family relationships, discrimination, and the mental health of African American and Caribbean Black adolescents. Learn more about Dr. Cleopatra Howard Caldwell here

Sexual Assaults on College Campuses – Robin G. Sawyer, PhD – University of Maryland

Students tend to understand the basic concept of consent, but in real world alcohol fused situations, that understanding becomes blurred and compromised. We need to implement continuous campus programming that clearly defines sexual assault and the most effective strategies of prevention.

Dr. Robin G. Sawyer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland. He is also Associate Chairperson of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland. His research focuses on contraception compliance, sexually transmitted diseases prevention, AIDS education, and date rape. Learn more about Dr. Robin G. Sawyer here.

Obesity as a Public Safety Issue – Stefanos Kales, MD, MPH – Harvard School of Public Health

We have a growing obesity epidemic in public safety where 35-40% of those officers are obese. This has adverse impacts on fitness, work comp. injuries, disabilities, early retirements, as well as certain types of fatalities.

Dr. Stefanos Kales is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, as well as an Associate Professor and Director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency at the Harvard School of Public Health. His research focuses on the health of firefighters and police officers. Learn more about Dr. Stefanos Kales here.

Mental Health in Latino Youth – Irene Park, PhD – University of Notre Dame

Our research should help to develop more targeted and culturally sensitive interventions to protect Latino adolescents from the detrimental impact of discrimination.

Dr. Irene Park is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. Her research focuses on mental health disparities and the effects of discrimination in Latino youth. Learn more about Dr. Irene Park here.

Health Disparities – Sandra Quinn, PhD – University of Maryland

Latinas in particular have less ability to stay home when they are sick. 43 million workers, many of them Latinas, do not have paid sick leave.

Dr. Sandra Quinn is a Professor in the Department of Family Science, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Senior Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity at the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on engagement of minority and marginalized communities in research, factors associated with vaccine acceptance in routine and emergency situations, vaccine disparities, and crisis and emergency risk communication with a specific focus on minority populations. Learn more about Dr. Sandra Quinn here.

Family Meal Practices and Substance Abuse – Margie Skeer, ScD, MPH, MSW – Tufts University

If family meals are frequent and consistent, meal time can promote ongoing communication, which demonstrates to children that they and their interests are a priority. It also provides a more natural framework for discussing more sensitive topics, such as substance abuse.

Dr. Margie Skeer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University. Her research focuses on substance misuse and sexual risk prevention, both from an epidemiologic and intervention-development perspective. Learn more about Dr. Margie Skeer here.

Community College Smoking Cessation – Scott McIntosh, PhD – University of Rochester Medical Center

Our study focuses on web assisted tobacco interventions for community college students. Web based interventions are very promising for adults and youth.

Dr. Scott McIntosh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is also an Associate Director of the Smoking Research Program and Director of the Greater Rochester Area Tobacco Cessation Center. His research focuses on technology-assisted and self-help interventions for risk behavior change. Learn more about Dr. Scott McIntosh here.

Quality of Life in Chinese Older Adults – Simona Kwon, DrPH, MPH – NYU School of Medicine

Only a third of older Chinese adults engage in sufficient weekly exercise, less than reported for New York City older adults in general. Older Chinese adults were most likely to report not exercising at all compared to other minorities.

Dr. Simona Kwon is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Population Health and Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the social and cultural contextual factors that influence health and health outcomes among racial and ethnic communities with a particular focus on Asian Americans. Learn more about Dr. Simona Kwon here.