CDA Program Awardees

This is a list of the current and past awardees from the REACH Equity Career Development Awards program. If you are interested in applying for the program, please visit this page to learn more about this opportunity, the application requirements, and more. The Career Development Awards are intended to provide career development support to early-stage investigators proposing rigorous research to develop or test interventions which address the Duke Center for Research to Advance Healthcare Equity Theme.

This program is led by REACH Equity’s Investigator Development Core (IDC), please visit their page here for more information about the IDC. 


Cohort 4: 2021-2023

Dr. Osondu Ogbuoji, REACH Equity CDA Scholar of Cohort 4, 2021 to 2023
Osondu Ogbuoji, MBBS, MPH, ScD Assistant Research Professor, Duke Global Health Institute

Project Title: Value-based care and racial disparities in maternal health outcomes

Dr. Ogbuoji’s long-term career goal is to develop policy solutions that reduce racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in pregnancy-related outcomes.  Compared to Non-Hispanic white women, Non-Hispanic black women are four times more likely to die or suffer from adverse pregnancy-related outcomes. With the increase in adoption of value-based care (VBC) payment models for pregnancy care, little is known about the impact of these VBC reforms on health disparities. Dr. Ogbuoji’s REACH Equity project aims to identify factors that contribute to the success or failure of VBC reform programs overall, and to determine the impact of different VBC programs on adverse maternal outcomes in black women. The results will provide evidence for developing VBC payment reform interventions that can reduce racial disparities in maternal outcomes.

Charity Oyedeji, MD, Assistant Professor(effective 7/1/21), Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology

Project Title: Sickle cell disease functional assessment validation and refinement (SILVR) study

Dr. Oyedeji’s overall research career goal is to understand accelerated aging, functional decline, and frailty in adults with sickle cell disease (SCD), and develop interventions to ameliorate these issues. The goal of her REACH Equity project is to develop a validated assessment tool that can facilitate early identification of functional impairments among older adults with SCD to provide the framework for future work to develop personalized exercise training interventions to improve functional impairments. Primary mentor: JJ Strouse, MD, PhD.

 


Jennifer Plumb-Vilardaga, PhD,Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Adult Psychology & Psychiatry

Project Title: Engaging older African Americans with osteoarthritis in behavioral pain management and physical activity

Dr. Plumb-Vilardaga’s long-term career goal is to mitigate persistent pain through behavioral and physical activity interventions for older adults, particularly for racial groups who bear a disproportionate burden of persistent pain. Her REACH equity project will target modifiable barriers and facilitators for a physical activities intervention for older African Americans with osteoarthritis using culturally-sensitive
motivational enhancement through values clarification. Primary mentor: Tamara Somers, PhD.


Cohort 3: 2020-2022

Lisa McElroy, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Abdominal Transplant

Project Title: Living donor kidney transplant: Establishing the phenotype of an equitable program

Dr. McElroy’s long-term research goal is to identify and address structural biases within health care systems that contribute to disparities in transplant outcomes among underrepresented and disadvantaged populations. Her REACH Equity project will identify variations in living donor kidney transplant rates across U.S. transplant centers, which will then inform development of transplant program center best practices.

 

Dinushika Mohottige, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology

Project Title: Improving equity in access to kidney transplants among African Americans

Dr. Mohottige’s overall research aim is to improve racial equity in transplant access and increase the supply and utilization of organs available for kidney transplant. Her REACH Equity project will identify patient, provider, and system-level factors contributing to differences in African American’s kidney transplant access and guide development of a tailored, patient-centered intervention to improve patients’ transplant knowledge and decision-making.

Gabriela Nagy, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Translational Neuroscience

Project Title: Development and evaluation of an acculturative stress intervention designed for Latinx immigrants

Dr. Nagy’s overarching career goal is to promote health equity among Latinx immigrants using community-engaged research methods. Her REACH Equity project will develop and evaluate the preliminary impact of an acculturative stress intervention for adult Latinx immigrants intended to decrease stress and increase resilience.

 

Hanzhang Xu, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health

Project Title:  A patient-centered approach to address racial/ethnic disparities in pathways to dementia diagnosis

Dr. Xu’s overall research interests center on social determinants of health and disparities in healthcare and outcomes in community settings in diverse populations. Her REACH Equity project will analyze underlying pathways to Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) diagnosis using electronic health records and engage family caregivers of racially/ethnically diverse patients to identify key barriers during the diagnostic process. These results will inform development of actionable plans to improve the diagnostic process.


Cohort 2: 2019-2021

This is a photo of Larry Jackson II, MD, an assistant professor in the department of medicine, cardiovascular medicine, and adult cardiac electrophysiology.
Larry Jackson II, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, Adult Cardiac Electrophysiology

Project Title: Decision Support Tools in Reducing Racial Disparities in Oral Anticoagulation use in Atrial Fibrillation

Dr. Jackson’s overall research aim is to apply the principles of shared decision-making to enhance patient-centered care and ultimately reduce disparities in the treatment of atrial fibrillation in racial and ethnic minorities. His REACH Equity Center project will determine patient (African American and white) and provider factors associated with acceptance or refusal of oral anticoagulants (OAC) for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and develop an evidence-based decision support tool to reduce racial disparities in OAC use.

Post-doctoral Fellow Melissa Kay, PhD
Melissa Kay, PhD, Research Scholar, Duke Global Health Institute

Project Title:  Feasibility of Delivering a Digital Intervention to Increase Diet Quality among WIC Recipients

Dr. Kay’s overall research aim is to reduce disparities in obesity by implementing obesity prevention interventions in vulnerable populations using digital technology. Her REACH Equity project will test a digital intervention to improve maternal diet quality to ultimately influence child diet and decrease early life obesity risk.

 

Tolu Oyesanya, PhD - School of Nursing

Tolu Oyesanya, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Nursing

Project Title:  Reducing Disparities in the Transition from Hospital to Home for Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Their Families

Dr. Oyesanya’s overall research aim is to improve functional status, health, and well-being of patients with TBI discharged home from acute care and their family members for optimal recovery. Her REACH Equity project will develop and refine a TBI transitional care intervention that addresses racial/ethnic needs and preferences for Black, Latino, and White patients.

This is a photo of Tiarney Ritchwood, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.
Tiarney Ritchwood, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Project Title: Exploring Treatment Regimen Fatigue among older adults

Dr. Ritchwood’s overall research aim is to develop scalable and sustainable socio-structural interventions that improve outcomes among adults living with HIV. The goal of her REACH Equity project is to conduct interviews with older adults living with HIV, members of their social network, and healthcare providers to develop a framework addressing Treatment Regimen Fatigue.


Cohort 1: 2018-2020

This is a photo of Isaretta Riley, MD, Medical Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine.

Isaretta Riley, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine

Project Title:  AdheRence to Inhaled Corticosteroids in Asthma (ARICA)

Dr. Riley’s overall research goal is to develop clinical interventions to improve the health outcomes of adult African-Americans with asthma. Her REACH Equity project will refine and study a novel, patient-centered approach to remediate barriers to adherence to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS).

 

This is a photo of Kai Sun, MD, Medical Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology.

Kai Sun, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology

Project Title:  Reducing Disparities in Medication Adherence of Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Dr. Sun’s overall research aim is to understand and address key barriers to medication non-adherence in minorities with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Her REACH Equity study will develop and pilot-test a multi-level intervention directed at lupus providers, clinic staff, and patients to improve patient-provider communication and patient self-efficacy.

 

This is a photo of Sarahn Wheeler, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Sarahn Wheeler, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Project Title: IMPaCT IP3: IMProving the Clinical encounter To reduce disparities: Individualized Prematurity Prevention Plan (IP3)

Dr. Wheeler’s overall research aim is to eliminate racial disparities in preterm birth delivery (PTB), the leading cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity resulting in life-long medical complications such as blindness, chronic lung disease and intellectual disabilities. Her REACH Equity project will develop and test a clinic-based intervention to operationalize patient-perceptions and insights into a delivery intervention that promotes uptake and adherence to an individualized prematurity prevention program (IP3) by non-Hispanic Black women who are at the highest risk for PTB.

 

This is a photo of Charles Wood, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Wood’s overall research aim is to address racial and ethnic disparities in childhood obesity.

Charles Wood, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Project Title:  Preventing Disparities in Obesity through Early Infancy Risk

Dr. Wood’s overall research aim is to address racial and ethnic disparities in childhood obesity. His REACH Equity project will develop and pilot-test a feeding intervention in early infancy to prevent rapid weight gain in Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black babies.