The Florida Health Equity Research Institute (HERI) is pleased to announce Dr. Hyochol Ahn and Dr. Tya Arthur have been selected as awardees for the HERI Faculty Scholars Program. Funded on a pilot basis by the Aetna Foundation, the HERI Faculty Scholars Program was established to help build capacity for health disparities research in Florida. Junior investigators, selected through a competitive process, establish collaborative partnerships with a senior investigator and community partner to develop career plans and research in line with the Florida Health Disparities Research Agenda - http://cancer.ufl.edu/files/2012/08/FL_CURED.pdf.
Dr. Hyochol Ahn, Ph.D., is a fourth year tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Florida (UF) College of Nursing. His research, which focuses on multidimensional factors contributing to pain and functional outcomes in older adults, has led to a program of clinical and translational research that focuses on pain disparities among ethnic/racial minority population. After obtaining his PhD in 2012, he received the Advanced Postgraduate Program in Clinical Investigation (APPCI) at the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), which is supported in part by an NIH Clinical Research Curriculum Award. While enrolled in this postgraduate program, he earned the CTSI Clinical Research Pilot Project Award as a PI, and conducted a pilot study to examine ethnic group differences in clinical pain intensity and experimental pain sensitivity between Asian Americans and non-Hispanic whites with knee osteoarthritis. His work includes 10 published peer-reviewed articles, 1 book chapter, and 36 scientific presentations. He also has received several awards, including, among others, the Rising Investigator Award from the Southern Nursing Research Society Aging/Gerontology Research Interest Group, Interdisciplinary Primer Scholarship Award from the American Pain Society, and Award for Excellence in Scholarship form the Sigma Theta Tau Alpha Theta Chapter.
He intends to use funding from the Florida Health Equity Research Institute (HERI) Faculty Scholars Program to develop a program of clinical and translational research to advance the understanding of the relationships between multi-dimensional health factors (e.g., biological and psychosocial factors) and pain disparities in ethnic/racial minority groups. Dr. Roger Fillingim, Director of UF Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence and Distinguished Professor of Dentistry at the University of Florida, will serve as his mentor. Dr. Byoungok Kim, Senior Pastor of the Asian Community Church (Cross Love Church) St. Johns, Florida and leader in the Asian community in Gainesville, FL will serve as his community partner.
Tya M. Arthur, PhD, MPH, is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. She received a master of public health in Health Policy and Management and the doctorate in Health Education from Texas A&M University. She is certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. Dr. Arthur’s research interests focus on culturally sensitive health promotion and health care with the goal of preventing and reducing chronic disease (e.g., obesity, cancer) among racial/ethnic minorities. Her current involvement in research includes directing or co-directing grant funded community-engaged research to develop, implement, and evaluate community-based, culturally sensitive health promotion interventions.
Dr. Arthur participated in the 2012 AcademyHealth/Aetna Foundation Minority Scholar Program, received the Drum Major for Health Promotion and Elimination of Health Disparities Award from the UF Health Disparities Research and Intervention Program in 2013, and received an Aetna Foundation NIH mHealth Winter Training Institute Scholarship Award in 2014. Dr. Arthur currently serves as a Co-Chair of the Sustainability Committee for the Multidisciplinary Academic-Community Obesity Disparities Research (MACOD-R) Partnership. She holds memberships in Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, the Eta Sigma Gamma National Professional Health Education Honorary, and the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.
As a recipient of the 2015 Florida Health Equity Research Institute (HERI) Faculty Scholar Program award, Dr. Arthur will pilot test a customized health promotion intervention to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence among overweight/obese breast cancer survivors. Moreover, she will develop and pilot test the effectiveness of a novel, customized, mobile-based technology tool on sustaining post-intervention effects (e.g., adoption of healthy eating behaviors). Dr. Carolyn M. Tucker, UF Florida Blue Endowed Chair in Health Disparities, will serve as her faculty mentor, and Ms. Vivian Filer will serve as her community partner for the HERI Faculty Scholars Program.