July 2017 Newsletter


Cohort Eight Applications Open on August 1!

Applications for Cohort Eight of the Doris Duke Fellowships for the Promotion of Child Well-Being will open on August 1, 2017. Doctoral students from a range of disciplines (e.g., child development, education, psychology, public health, public policy, social work, sociology) whose research explores the promotion of child well-being and the prevention of child maltreatment are encouraged to apply.

Applications instructions, materials, and frequently asked questions can be found here. If you have any questions, please email ddfellowships@chapinhall.org.

Did You Know?

The Doris Duke Fellowships' website is a great resource for those within the fellowship network and for those interested in learning about the work in which our network is engaged. 

Did you know that the website has an Expertise page? If you are looking for a collaborator with experience in a specific method or with a specific population, check out the Expertise page!

New Fellows' Blog Post:
Our Children Under Attack:
The Failure of the U.S. Immigration System to
Protect Child Well-Being

Doris Duke graduated fellows launched The Fellows’ Blog in January 2017. This blog showcases Doris Duke fellows’ original research with a goal of making content accessible to policymakers and practitioners. The content of the blogs represents the individual opinions of the authors and in no way represents the opinions or positions of the Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, or Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

This month, Dr. Megan Finno-Velasquez, a Cohort Two fellow, provides commentary on the ways in which the current immigration enforcement climate poses an additional threat to child well-being and the ways in which this threat might be countered. Read her blog post here.

Featured Fellow Interview:
Dr. Sheridan Miyamoto

Sheridan Miyamoto

Sheridan Miyamoto

Each month, Sarah Wagener, Fellowships Network Coordinator at Chapin Hall, connects with a different graduated fellow to showcase the variety of ways in which Doris Duke fellows prevent child maltreatment and promote the health and well-being of children and youth.

This month, Sarah connected with Dr. Sheridan Miyamoto, a Cohort Three fellow. Sheridan has a PhD in Nursing from the University of California, Davis and currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at Pennsylvania State University.

Sarah Wagener (SW): You received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Victims of Crime, to launch a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination and Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center. Your training center uses telehealth, or the use of high-resolution image display, along with live-examination video conferencing to support survivors of assault in rural areas. Can you describe how this center works in practice?

Sheridan Miyamoto (SM): The primary goal of the SAFE-T Center is to enhance access to high-quality forensic examinations everywhere the service is needed. Rural hospitals do not have the volume of patients required to allow local nurses to attain or maintain proficiency in conducting these technically complex and emotionally difficult exams. Telehealth technology allows a more experienced sexual assault nurse examiner consultant to connect in real-time with a nurse and patient in a remote setting. The consultant is able to participate in all aspects of the examination as if they were present in the room. We have created technology systems so we can see the exact level of detail that the local examiner sees through their magnified photography equipment, allowing the consultant to give advice to ensure that images are high-quality, thorough, and complete. A consultant can also guide the local examiner through use of advanced techniques and model best practices in interview skills and patient interactions. 

Peer review is the gold standard for sexual assault forensic care and telehealth provides a built-in colleague in settings where nurses work in relative isolation. In this context, I view telehealth as a partnership between the two nurses. The consultant is a mentor focused on building the expertise of the rural nurse.

SW: What are you learning through using this new technology?

SM: I am frequently asked if the technology is viewed as an intrusion for patients. In our previous trials, there was never a time when someone declined a telehealth consultation. The consultation partnership is presented as the opportunity to have an additional specialist present to be sure the patient gets excellent care. Patients interact with the teleforensic nurse as if she is present in the room and is part of the care team.  

We are also learning that we can capitalize on the equipment investment in multiple ways. Ongoing education is essential to maintain skills and ensure evidence-based practice is the standard. The SAFE-T Center will utilize the telehealth equipment at each site to push out interactive education on core topics in the field. This model of education allows nurses to stay in their own practice setting for education and eliminates time and expense associated with attending specialized training.  

SW: You have a Community and Expert Advisory Board who supports and guides the work of your center. How did you decide to include this type of board in your center?

SM: The decision to invite a diverse group of community leaders to advise us about the project occurred in the very early stages of planning for the Center. If we create things of value in communities, it is important to be able to sustain the work beyond grant funding. I knew we needed to create a sustainability plan from the outset and that doing so would require input from a diverse group of stakeholders. A conversation with Janice Penrod, a co-investigator on the project and a nurse leader in community-engaged research, solidified this approach.

SW: Do you have any suggestions to others who may be determining whether/how to include the voices and input of stakeholders in their work?

SM: I would encourage others to seek input from leaders in other disciplines who may be invested in the outcome of your work. My thinking about the structure and role of the SAFE-T Center has been substantially strengthened by including the perspective and insight of diverse partners such as the Office of Rural Health, advocacy groups, law enforcement, attorneys, survivors and legislators.

I am relatively new to Pennsylvania and had a lot to learn about how sexual assault care is structured here. I reached out to nurse leaders and organizations such as the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and described my vision for the SAFE-T Center. In each conversation, I asked who else I should meet or get to know. I also tapped into the accumulated expertise of Penn State’s Government and Community Relations office to get advice about who might care about the issues the SAFE-T Center aims solve. This process resulted in a comprehensive and diverse Board that is passionate about working together to make the SAFE-T Center a successful resource for Pennsylvania.

SW: As you’ve described, you collaborate with people from a variety of sectors and people with different professions and educational background within and outside of the healthcare world. How are you successful in those collaborations?

SM: Building collaborations across settings is a role nurses commonly play in healthcare. Throughout my career, I have watched my nurse mentors lead change by bringing the right parties to the table, creating value for all involved, and steadily leading the group to overcome barriers and generate solutions. I have found that I am most successful when I apply those same strategies to my work.

SW: How has your experience as a Doris Duke fellow influenced your current work and/or professional aspirations?

SM: The Doris Duke Fellowship has had a tremendous impact on how I structure my work to affect policy change. Now, I think about policy change in all phases of my work, rather than just at the end. The training we received about the importance of creating partnerships and communicating research findings effectively to different groups has changed the way I approach projects.

There are few nurse scientists focused on child maltreatment and violence prevention. The Fellowship created a network of colleagues for me. That experience led me to seek a position within an interdisciplinary network of colleagues at Penn State. I believe we have the opportunity to make a greater impact on the field when we are thinking and working together.

SW: What advice do you have to fellows who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare or in academia?

As I acquired my training in nursing, a career in academia was not initially part of my plan. That changed when I was conducting forensic evaluations for children and adolescents and realized I had questions for which there were no answers in the scientific literature. I also saw that the systems we rely on to help children and families succeed were insufficient and I wanted to work toward changing that. My advice for those thinking about how to blend healthcare training with a career in academia is to find the area of healthcare that you are passionate about and draw from that experience to identify the most pressing problems in need of solutions. Healthcare providers who enter academia bring a wealth of experience and understanding of the population for which they aim to improve their health and well-being.  Academic roles afford healthcare providers the unique opportunity to formulate and test novel ideas to solve healthcare problems.


Noteworthy Resource: A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Organizational Research Services

The Annie E. Casey Foundation commissioned a guide to help grant-makers, foundations, and grantees measure advocacy and policy efforts. This guide may be helpful to those interested in further understanding frameworks and directions for evaluation design.

Policy Update: MIECHV Program Set to Expire

The Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program is set to expire in less than 100 days. This legislation provides funding for evidence-based family support programs. More than 80% of MIECHV programs demonstrate improvement in school readiness and achievement, maternal and newborn health, and family economic self-sufficiency. Visit the Home Visiting Coalition to learn more.