Posted on Oct 24, 2013

Dr. Meredeth Rowe receives Excellence in Innovation Award from USF Research & Innovation

Dr. Meredeth Rowe receives Excellence in Innovation Award from USF Research & Innovation

University of South Florida College of Nursing Professor and Endowed Chair, Meredeth Rowe, RN, PhD, FGSA, FAAN, recently received the 2013 Excellence in Innovation Award from USF Research & Innovation. Dr. Rowe is the only USF scientist to receive this award.

Dr. Rowe, nominated by Cindy L. Munro, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, professor of nursing and associate dean for research and innovation at USF College of Nursing, was recognized for her research, innovation activities and accomplishments in 2013. She was honored and recognized with the award during the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors annual luncheon on Oct. 21, 2013 at the Embassy Suites Hotel Ballroom. Along with the award, she received a check of $2,000 and a special certificate.

University of South Florida College of Nursing Professor and Endowed Chair, Meredeth Rowe, RN, PhD, FGSA, FAAN, a leading nurse scientist in dementia and Alzheimer’s research
USF College of Nursing Professor and Endowed Chair Meredeth Rowe, RN, PhD, FGSA, FAAN

“I am honored to receive this award particularly in support of caregivers,” Dr. Rowe said. “I have spent most of my career researching ways to help improve the lives of people who give of themselves to help others often at significant risk to their own health.”

For more than 14 years, Dr. Rowe has conducted research important to people with cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease or autism and their caregivers. Her research on caregiving challenges led to the development of a night home monitoring system called CareAlert™ designed by Dr. Rowe and Caregiver Watch, LLC. This technology provides reliable alerts to caregivers whenever a person with dementia leaves the bed and wanders through the house.

The system helps the caregiver rest easier through the night, and improves the overall safety of the person with dementia. The findings of a study testing the effectiveness of CareAlert™ were published by Dr. Rowe and colleagues in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2009. Based on other studies regarding missing incidents in persons with dementia, law enforcement agencies across the United States create specific policies and search strategies that are targeted to this population.

“Dr. Rowe’s CareAlert system is unique in addressing both the needs of persons with dementia and their relative caregivers,” Dr. Munro said. “Her work is an excellent example of innovation in designing technology to address real world problems.”

Dr. Rowe is currently working on a $1.9-million, four-year study, funded by National Institute on Aging (NIA), to help improve sleep in those caring for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The primary focus of her research is finding an effective and easy-to-use treatment that can improve sleep in Alzheimer’s caregivers to increase their overall health and reduce nursing home placement of people with dementia.

“The goal of my work is to find solutions to support the surveillance needs of people with dementia and reduce constant vigilance that is currently demanded by caregivers,” Dr. Rowe said. “The goal is to also understand how the demands of the caregiving role relate to the health changes in the caregiver.”

Dr. Rowe completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Cincinnati, a master’s degree in critical care nursing at California State University, Long Beach, a PhD in physiologic and psychosocial stress and coping at the University of Rochester and a post-doctoral fellowship in geriatric nursing research at the Hartford Institute at New York University. Dr. Rowe is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America.

For related stories on Dr. Meredeth Rowe and her research visit the USF College of Nursing News Page here.