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Morehouse School of Medicine, Emory researchers to study community-based patient navigation
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The National Institute of Nursing Research has awarded a $3.4 million grant for Emory University and Morehouse School of Medicine researchers to study the impact of the integration of community-based, perinatal patient navigation into the continuum of maternal care for Black women in a safety-net health system.

The R01 Research Project grant provides funding for five years to conduct a pragmatic randomized controlled trial of the patient navigation intervention to discern its effectiveness in reducing maternal morbidities and mortality and improving unmet social needs, health care utilization, and timeliness of care.

Principal investigators on the grant include Rasheeta Chandler, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, associate professor with the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing; Anne Dunlop, MD, MPH, professor and director of clinical research with the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics,  Emory School of Medicine; and Natalie Hernandez, PhD, MPH, associate professor and executive director of the Center for Maternal Health Equity at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

According to Chandler, maternal mortality in the United States is substantially higher than that of other developed nations, with Georgia ranking second highest among the states. In Georgia, racial disparities in adverse maternal health outcomes, including severe maternal morbidity and maternal mortality, are wide and persistent. 

“Equity-centered, transformational models of care offer promise for reducing these disparities and achieving maternal health equity, but data sufficient for supporting the adoption of such models into health care practice are lacking,” she adds.

Using equity-focused research frameworks, the multi-disciplinary team experienced in health services, community-based research, and equity-centered care will evaluate maternal health outcomes in a hospital system that primarily serves Black women with high unmet needs. The team will also implement a high-fidelity care model intervention and utilize health system and patient-reported data to determine the model’s effectiveness.

This research is supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01NR020756. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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