PHHP Research Day 2021

The UF College of Public Health and Health Professions held its 34th annual, and first virtual, Research Day on February 11. The event featured three-minute speed presentations by 76 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and associates held across concurrent sessions.

Award winners included:

Health Professions category

First place
Elisabeth RymerElisabeth Rymer
“Effects of Ovariectomy on Auditory Brainstem Response Wave Amplitudes in CBA/CaJ Mice Across the Lifespan”
Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Mentor: Shinichi Someya, Ph.D.

Second place
Justine Dallal YorkJustine Dallal York
“Dysphagia in Lung Transplant: Prevalence, Risk Factors & Health-Related Outcomes”
Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Mentor: Emily Plowman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Third place
Nicole EvangelistaNicole Evangelista
“Evidence of Potential Race/Ethnicity Bias in the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)”
Department of Clinical and Health Psychology
Mentor: Adam J. Woods, Ph.D.

Public Health category

First place (tie)
Nicole FitzgeraldNicole Fitzgerald
“Test-Retest Reliability and Cross-Cultural Applicability of DSM-5 Adopted Diagnostic Criteria for Ketamine Use Disorders”
Department of Epidemiology
Mentor: Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACE

Sara NutleySara Nutley
“Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury among University Students: Prevalence of Risk Behavior and Variation by Substance Inhaled”
Department of Epidemiology
Mentor: Catherine Woodstock Striley, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.P.E.

Second place
Anna WangAnna Wang
“The Association Between Weekend and Weekday Cocaine Use and Cocaine Use Disorder: Sex Differences”
Department of Epidemiology
Mentor: Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACE

Winners received customized glass awards and travel awards to fund participation in professional conferences.

Vikram Patel, Ph.D., M.B.,B.S., presented the keynote, “Transforming mental health globally.” Patel is the Pershing Square Professor of Global Health and Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow at the Harvard Medical School. His work has focused on the burden of mental health problems, their association with social disadvantage, and the use of community resources for their prevention and treatment.

He is a co-founder of the Movement for Global Mental Health, the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Mental Health Innovations Network, and Sangath, an Indian NGO which won the WHO Public Health Champion of India prize. He is a Fellow of the U.K.’s Academy of Medical Sciences and has served on the committee that drafted India’s first National Mental Health Policy and the WHO Independent High-level Commission on non-communicable diseases.

In his presentation, Patel discussed how mental health care practitioners can deploy existing resources in the community to prevent mental health problems and facilitate recovery in the least resourced contexts. It is important to scale up these services as the world faces a possible escalation in mental health problems caused by the pandemic, Patel said.

“We know how to deliver clinical and preventive interventions in an affordable and acceptable way in any resource setting, regardless of the strength of the mental health care system, regardless of how many mental health specialists or resources they have,” he said.

Patel described Empower, a program developed by Sangath that uses a suite of digital tools to enable front-line workers to learn, master and deliver quality-assured psychological treatments. Instead of in-person, multi-day training workshops, Empower uses an online curriculum that allows people to learn on their own with online supervision. They can deliver the interventions using online tools and with peer supervision.

“I believe the evidence that global mental health practitioners around the world have been generating is transforming and reframing mental health, not just as a biomedical condition that is important to mental health professionals, but as a global public good,” Patel said.

To view recordings of the research and keynote presentations, visit the 2021 Research Day website.