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2022 Pilot Grant Awardees

Juan Pablo del Rincon Jarero, MD: Biopsychosocial vulnerability in a gender diverse population: Understanding lower urinary tract symptoms and social needs

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are common in the general population with a significant impact on quality-of-life (QOL). The number of people affected by LUTS in the United States may reach over 42 million by the year 2025.

There is currently no research assessing LUTS, social determinants of health (SDOH), and QOL in transgender individuals.

This project will determine: 1) the prevalence and severity of LUTS in cohorts of transwomen receiving estradiol and transmen receiving testosterone. We will assess LUTS in relation to time of exposure to hormonal therapy, and also compare results with those obtained in general population cohorts; 2) the relationships between hormone exposure and potentially relevant factors including: age, BMI, diabetes mellitus, depression, smoking, and alcohol intake. 3) SDOH and QOL for transwomen and transmen with comparisons over time and between cohorts.


Michael Kelly, MD: Reconciling Cardiovascular and Trauma Risk Among Older Adults

Michael L. Kelly, MDThe objective for this proposal is to develop a model that includes multiple dimensions of pre-injury patient reported health status to estimate the risk of trauma events among people taking anticoagulation therapy. Patient reported risks and health status are strong predictors of health outcomes.

However, due to the spontaneous nature of traumatic injury, trauma registries usually do not contain pre-injury patient-reported measures of health status, which could improve risk models for early interventions and provide insight into the patient experience of traumatic disease.

Because there has been little work to combine patient reported health data with trauma data, we lack comprehensive models of trauma risk and must rely on incomplete information when making clinical care decisions that require an assessment of competing risks of trauma and other disease outcomes.

This clinical knowledge gap is especially concerning for anticoagulation therapies for which cardiovascular disease (CVD) benefits are well defined, but risks, especially for older adults at high risk of traumatic injuries, are not as well delineated.2,3 Research to identify models that jointly estimate CVD and trauma risks has tremendous potential to improve patient safety and reduce traumatic injury morbidity and mortality.4,5 This is especially relevant for people who are eligible for treatment of CVD with anticoagulant medications. 



2021 Pilot Grant Awardees

Dr. Agnieszka Ardelt, MD: Teaching Students to Teach About Stroke

Agnieszka A. Ardelt, MD, Ph.DThe MetroHealth Stroke Research Team is embarking on a new partnership with area high schools to “Teach Students to Teach About Stroke”, funded by a pilot grant from Population Health Research Institute at MetroHealth.

Together with the students, we will develop, deploy, and compare two different teaching methods; one a standard teaching method, and one a student-created method, to teach stroke signs and symptoms and the need to call 911.

The results from this pilot grant will inform future strategies for students teaching other students in high schools and in their communities.






Kristen BergKristen Berg, PhD: Investigating socioeconomic disparities in slow and fast aging: Exploiting residual blood samples to examine sociomedical risk and resilience in a pediatric analytic cohort

This pilot project investigates how young people’s biological aging may unfold at different rates across different neighborhood socioeconomic environments.

Research suggests that individuals who live in more socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods tend to show worse health and faster biological aging over time when compared to individuals of the same chronological age who live in neighborhoods that are more socioeconomically advantaged. Findings will aid in developing longer-term intervention that focus on engaging youth in thinking critically about the significance of their environmental and social conditions.

The purpose of this meeting is to consider the approval of a proposed settlement of a pending litigation matter and a personnel matter regarding the employment of a public employee, and proprietary trade secrets. It is anticipated that the entirety of the meeting will take place in executive session.