An assistant professor at the School of Nursing, Mijung Park has been awarded the prestigious K01 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research. The grant for $280,000, a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award, will support Dr. Park’s work on “FACE-PC: Family-centered Care of Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions.” The overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. The objective of the K01 program is to provide salary and research support for a sustained period of time for intensive research career development under the guidance of an experienced mentor, in the health sciences. The expectation is that through this sustained period of research career development and training, awardees will launch independent research careers and become competitive for new research project grant (e.g., R01) funding.
Dr. Mijung Park’s career goals are to improve the quality of care for older adults with multiple medical and psychosocial comorbidities and become an independent researcher with expertise in comparative effectiveness trials conducted in "real-world" health care settings. Comorbid depression and multiple medical conditions in older adults are a serious public health problem. As an important facilitator of health-related activities, families are already involved in various aspects of self-management of chronic disease in older adults. Such informal caregiving activities currently are organized outside the medical system, which potentially creates redundant or misaligned efforts. Dr. Park's research targets patient- family dyads in order to examine the feasibility and acceptability of the FACE-PC, a theory-driven, multi- component, technology-assisted interdisciplinary team-based care model that systematically involves family in chronic disease care and treatment. It aims to optimize the patient and family's collective ability to self-manage chronic disease.