Nursing gets $2.1M grant for RESTORE LIVES Center

Project will study best ways to help soldiers of Iraq and Afghanistan overcome psychological trauma and other health problems

Tampa, FL (Sept. 17, 2010) –
Helping service members and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan heal from symptoms of combat exposure, including post traumatic stress and mild traumatic brain injury, will be the focus of a $2.1-million federal grant to the University of South Florida College of Nursing. The project is part of the Research to Improve Emotional Health and Quality of Life among Service Members with Disabilities (RESTORE LIVES) Center, which was established to develop and evaluate treatments to complement services to the military provided by the VA Healthcare System, TRICARE, and the conventional health care system.

“USF Nursing is known for leading this type of innovative, evidence-based research in collaboration with our colleagues in other fields. USF Nursing has the right people, in the right place at the right time to make RESTORES LIVES a reality,” said Dianne Morrison-Beedy PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, Dean of the USF College of Nursing and Senior Associate Vice President of USF Health. “The research conducted through the RESTORE LIVES Center is unique in the nation and is critical as we now have the largest number of combat veterans re-entering mainstream America since the Vietnam era. The cutting-edge therapies tested are designed to literally restore the lives of our honored soldiers and veterans.”

Kevin Kip, PhD, is principal investigator for the RESTORE LIVES Center grant

The RESTORE LIVES Center will conduct five studies investigating state-of-the art therapies, including the promising Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). The ART method is intended to help clients bring problems to a quick and effective resolution. The client uses back-and-forth eye movements, which integrate activities in the left and right sides of the brain, as their thoughts are focused by the psychological therapist. The revolutionary intervention employs a technique known as Voluntary Memory/Image Replacement, in which the client can replace a negative memory with a positive memory of their choice, or reinterpret the memory. Studies with non-veterans have shown that clients were able to resolve memories of painful or disturbing experiences in just one or two therapy sessions, and the RESTORE LIVES researchers will evaluate whether veterans experience this same level of benefit.

 “Our principal goal is to aid our courageous military personnel,” said principal investigator Kevin Kip, PhD, associate professor and executive director of the College of Nursing Research Center. “With this research funding, we aim to evaluate and ultimately provide evidence for novel, flexible, and rapid methods to treat emotional problems and related symptoms that arise from serving in combat operations.”

Based at the USF College of Nursing, the RESTORE LIVES Center is a collaborative project with the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and includes national participation by current and former members of the Armed Forces, clinical psychologists, nurse scientists, educators and research support personnel. The grant was awarded and will be administered by the U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command and the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center at Fort Detrick, MD, under contract number: W81XWH-10-1-0719.

“The RESTORE LIVES Center will be a research hub for collaborative and cross-disciplinary studies that address a range of emotional and physical difficulties faced by military members,” said Dr. Kip. “It is part of the larger veterans reintegration strategy at USF.”

Dr. Kip’s team recently trained licensed psychologists and mental health professionals at the USF Counseling Center and across the greater Tampa Bay area in the use of ART. “This research project has the potential to greatly benefit our student-veterans and has the support of the USF Office of Veterans Services,” said retired Lt. Col. Larry Braue, director of the USF Office of Veterans Services, which assists more than 1,000 veterans enrolled in academic programs at USF.

In addition to Dr. Kip, other key personnel include Maureen Groer, RN, PhD, FAAN, Gordon Keller Professor of Nursing, University of South Florida; John Forsyth, PhD, Director, Anxiety Disorders Research Program, University at Albany, State University of New York; Edward Hickling, PsyD, Research Scientist; and Heather Belanger, PhD, Neuropsychologist at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Tampa, FL, as well as Laney Rosenzweig, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at the Rosenzweig Center for Rapid Recovery, Hartford, CT.

Dr. Kip and colleagues expect to begin recruiting participants for the individual studies in spring 2011.

– USF Health –

USF Health ( is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of biomedical sciences as well as pharmacy, and physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. With more than $394.1 million in research grants and contracts in FY2009/2010, the University of South Florida is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community-engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Ashlea Hudak, USF College of Nursing Communications, (813)396-9642 or