Dr. Valerie Hill is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Southern California.
The aim of the K99/R00 is to accelerate Dr. Hill's development as an independent scholar conducting research in life management after stroke. Ultimately, her goal is to build a funded research program through which she will develop interventions that mitigate stroke survivors' risk of second stroke and improve quality of life. Dr. Hill will use thi model to develop life management programs for other disabled, underrepresented populations. Dr. Hill's interest in this area stems from a decade of experience working in stroke rehabilitation her commitment to improving the health for disabled populations; and her research immersions in community- based care for minority populations. In the short term, Dr. Hill plans to develop and manualized, assess the feasibility of, and test the efficacy of a lifestyle intervention to improve risk factor management and quality of life for stroke survivors from disadvantaged, underrepresented populations. Dr. Hill's goals are consistent with the research priority of NIH/NIMHD RFA-MD-15-006, Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), to enable individuals to live healthy lives, improve minority health, and eliminate health disparities. In order to achieve these goals, Dr. Hill will participate in regularly scheduled meetings with her mentors, semi- annual performance evaluations by mentors, educational courses and research workshops related to health disparities, health promotion and disease prevention, and clinical trial methodology. All research will be conducted at Rancho, a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital in Los Angeles, serving over 800,000 patients. Dr. Hill has exceptional mentors with whom she has a stellar working history that are committed to supporting her K99/R00 work. Her primary mentor, Dr. Amytis Towfighi, is well positioned in administration, stroke neurology, and research at Rancho and is faculty at USC. Dr. Bruce Dobkin, her health technology and clinical trial methodology mentor, is director of the stroke and neuro-rehabilitation programs and clinical faculty at UCLA. Together they bring remarkable research and publication records and extensive mentoring experience. Dr. Hill will have access to the wealth of resources at UCLA and USC, including space, educational courses and the Clinical Translational Science Institutes. During the K99 phase, two aims will be addressed:
Specific Aim 1 to develop a manualized, life management intervention designed to enhance quality of life among individuals aged 50-75 years with disability and chronic stroke or transient ischemic attack from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups and disadvantaged backgrounds, and Specific Aim 2 to assess the feasibility of the intervention with 10 stroke survivors and 10 stakeholders. The third study will be conducted during the R00 period with Specific Aim 3 to pilot test the ability of the interventio to improve stroke-specific quality of life and meaningful activity engagement; healthy behaviors, and health-related biomarkers in 58 stroke survivors from the above population.

Public Health Relevance

Stroke is a growing health concern, particularly for individuals from underrepresented, racial/ethnic populations from disadvantaged backgrounds. The proposed project incorporates an exceptional mentoring team and supportive research environment in developing the research skills and expertise of a promising rehabilitation scientist to address the health and well-being of the target population. This project will provide evidence of feasibility and efficacy of a community-based, life management intervention designed to mitigate stroke risk factors and improve quality of life among underrepresented, racial/ethnic populations from disadvantaged backgrounds.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Research Transition Award (R00)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1)
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Castille, Dorothy M
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University of Cincinnati
Physical Medicine & Rehab
Sch Allied Health Professions
United States
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