Four awards in two weeks for women’s health

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In the first two weeks of July, the Center for Transdisciplinary Research in Women’s Health learned it will receive four grants. The awards are funded by the National Institutes of Health, Girls on the Run International and the American Cancer Society.

Founded in 2012, CTR-WH is an innovative multidisciplinary academic and community partnership committed to bridging the gap between and among professional disciplines to create a new paradigm for women’s health. Affiliated with the USF College of Public Health, CTR-WH is led by faculty in the Department of Community and Family Health. Drs. Ellen Daley and Rita DeBate are co-directors, and Dr. Cheryl Vamos is associate director. Daley and DeBate also serve as co-investigators on the grant-funded projects, which support at least 10 undergraduate and graduate students.

The grants that have been funded:

  • An R21 funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to explore effective ways to engage oral health providers in early prevention of HPV-related cancers. The project also considers ways to increase HPV-related health literacy among OHPs (including both dentists and dental hygienists). Daley is the principal investigator with co-investigators DeBate, Vamos and Dr. John Petrila, chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management.
Dr. Ellen Daley

Dr. Ellen Daley

  • A longitudinal evaluation study funded by the Reemprise Foundation to assess the effectiveness of GOTR, a Positive Youth Development program that aims to empower adolescent girls to optimize physical, social and psychological development in a nationally and internationally recognized program. DeBate serves as principal investigator and will conduct a rigorous evaluation of the efficacy of this PYD-based program with Dr. Maureen Weiss, a faculty member at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Rita DeBate

Dr. Rita DeBate

  • A second grant funded by the NIDCR will determine the feasibility of using an eHealth intervention to facilitate inter-professional collaborations between prenatal and oral health providers with regard to the national oral health guidelines during pregnancy. The award is an especially significant accomplishment, as it establishes an innovative academic and private partnership with a small technology firm. Vamos is the principal investigator, and Daley and DeBate are co-investigators on the project.
Dr. Cheryl Vamos

Dr. Cheryl Vamos

  • The ACS Institutional Research Grant funds a study that aims to examine factors influencing access and uptake of the HPV vaccine among migrant farmworkers’ children and families. This community-based participatory research fills a gap in current prevention practices that prioritize secondary over primary prevention efforts among medically underserved racial and ethnic minorities. As part of the study, the team will collaborate with community partners to examine the current state of HPV vaccination efforts for Hispanic migrant populations in Florida and conduct a needs and assets assessment to help identify potential policy or behavioral interventions that are community driven and culturally appropriate, with the ultimate goal of decreasing HPV-related cancer disparities. Vamos is the principal investigator.

The four grants represent the CTR-WH’s commitment to research on women’s health and health literacy, and they are the culmination of collaborative efforts from the Center’s leadership, doctoral students Jennifer Bleck, Nolan Kline, Laura Merrell and Erika Thompson, and several other graduate students who serve as research volunteers.

An agent of collaboration, the CTR-WH is fortunate to partner with local and national organizations across methodological, content and service delivery areas. They provide experts who serve as co-investigators, consultants and advisory board members from the following institutions and organizations:

  • Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, Inc. (Catholic Mobile Medical Service)
  • C/J Media, Inc. (InterVision)
  • George Mason University (Center for Health and Risk Communication, Department of Communication)
  • Georgia College
  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
  • San Diego State University
  • Tampa Bay Community Cancer Network
  • University of Florida (College of Dentistry)
  • University of Maryland (Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy)
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Department of Pediatric Dentistry; School of Dentistry; and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine)

For more information on the CTR-WH, contact Vamos at

Submitted by Nolan Kline, USF College of Public Health


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