Nurse Scientist Receives NIH Grant

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Rebecca P. Winsett, PhD, associate professor in the UTHSC College of Nursing, has received a five-year $1.5 million grant to exaimine health outcomes of transplant recipients managed by nurse practitioners.

Rebecca P. Winsett, PhD, associate professor in the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Nursing, has received a five-year $1.5 million grant to examine health outcomes of transplant recipients who are managed by nurse practitioners. Scheduled to begin immediately, the study will specifically allow Dr. Winsett to demonstrate how nurse practitioners in central specialty clinics can use telehealth to care for patients in outlying locations.

Under the study, transplant recipients who consent to participate will randomly be assigned for routine care in the current transplant clinic located at 920 Madison Avenue or to one of three telehealth sites located in Germantown, Jackson and Dyersburg. Through UT’s Telehealth Consortium, Dr. Winsett and her team will also establish a telehealth site at the UTHSC College of Nursing’s Center for Health Evaluation and Lifestyle Promotion.

According to Dr. Winsett, little research has been conducted regarding nurse practitioners using telehealth. She commented, “Many of these patients are medically fragile and it would be best if they did not travel so far for routine care. By conducting this study, we hope to determine that telehealth is both a clinically effective and cost effective way for nurse practitioners to treat transplant patients for routine care. Also, this will be groundbreaking research since no studies have been published on this topic.”

The UTHSC College of Nursing has had a collaborative practice and research program with the university’s transplant division for more than 15 years.

In addition to Dr. Winsett as principal investigator, co-investigators include: Cyril Chang, PhD, University of Memphis professor of economics; Karen Fox, UT assistant dean of telehealth; Osama Gaber, MD, UT’s Baptist Health Care Foundation Professor of Transplantation Surgery; Donna Hathaway, PhD, dean and professor of the UTHSC College of Nursing; and Grant Somes, PhD, UT professor and chair of preventive medicine.