NEWS | July 31, 2014

UC Davis nursing school approved for $2.1 million award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute


A research project led by the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis was approved for a $2.1 million award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study improving health for individuals with diabetes. The study is one of 33 proposals PCORI approved for funding this week to advance the field of patient-centered comparative effectiveness research (CER) and provide patients, health-care providers, and other clinical decision makers with information that will help them make better-informed choices.

Heather Young Heather Young

Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing and Dean Heather M. Young will lead the research project at UC Davis. The study will focus on individuals with diabetes and determine if innovative approaches, including mobile technology and nurse coaching, help those people better manage the chronic disease.

The award is the first major funded research project led by the School of Nursing, which was founded in 2009 and opened to graduate students in 2010.

“This project builds on the work of our research team to discover ways to partner with individuals with chronic diseases in order to reach their health goals, as well as creative ways to deliver health care through wireless technologies,” Young said.

Specifically, Young said the new study will further the research of the Initiative for Wireless Health and Wellness (iWHW). The iWHW team is one of 13 teams of the Research Investments in the Sciences and Engineering (RISE) program  developed by the UC Davis Office of Research to establish new, competitive, large-scale interdisciplinary research at the university.

She added that researchers from other centers and organizations — including the UC Center for Information Technology Research for the Improvement of Society (CITRIS) and the UC Davis Clinical Translational Science Center — also contributed to foundational research for this study and will play important roles in completing this three-year project.

The investigation team is an interprofessional team of researchers including Jay Han, vice chair and associate professor for the School of Medicine for the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department; Madan Dharmar, an assistant research professor for the Pediatric Telemedicine Program; Sheridan Miyamoto, a 2014 Doctor of Philosophy graduate of the School of Nursing as well as a research nurse and grant project manager for the nursing school; Yajarayma Tang-Feldman, a research specialist for both the medical and nursing schools; Thomas Balsbaugh, an associate professor and residency director for the School of Medicine Family and Community Medicine Department; and Bridget Levich, a clinical nurse specialist in diabetes and program director for the Chronic Disease Management Program.

“Together, individuals with chronic health conditions and health-care providers, along with enabling technology, we can shift the health-care conversation to wellness and contribute to improved health,” Young said.

The award was approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract to UC Davis.

PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund CER that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

“This project was selected for PCORI funding not only for its scientific merit and commitment to engaging patients and other stakeholders, but also for its potential to fill an important gap in our health knowledge and give people information to help them weigh the effectiveness of their care options,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby. “We look forward to following the study’s progress and working with UC Davis to share the results.”

Young’s study and the other projects approved for funding by PCORI’s Board of Governors on July 29 were selected from 325 applications submitted to PCORI's funding announcements issued in September 2013. They were selected through a highly competitive review process in which patients, clinicians, and other stakeholders joined clinical scientists to evaluate the proposals. Applications were assessed for scientific merit, how well they will engage patients and other stakeholders, and their methodological rigor among other criteria.

PCORI has approved nearly $549 million to support 313 research studies and initiatives since it began funding research in 2012. For more information about PCORI funding, visit

To learn more about the School of Nursing and its research and education programs, visit online at

About the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis was established in March 2009 through a $100 million commitment from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the nation's largest grant for nursing education. The vision of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is to transform health care through nursing education and research. The school’s first programs, doctoral and master’s degrees, opened in fall 2010. Master’s degree programs for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, with a focus on preparing primary-care providers for rural and underserved communities, opened in summer 2013. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is part of UC Davis Health System, an integrated, academic health system encompassing the UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center and the UC Davis Medical Group. For more information, visit