Faculty 2023
celebrating awards

Faculty awards

A sampling of recent research awards at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. For more listings and news, please visit our newsroom and follow us on social media.

Modernizing community care for people with Alzheimer’s disease 

Heather Young and Janice Bell1.7 million caregivers assist someone with dementia, and many rely on adult day care centers for help. But who’s helping the centers ensure they are equipped to deliver the best care? Professors Janice F. Bell and Heather M. Young partner with the California Department of Aging (CDA) and adult day care centers in California to improve dementia care. A $5 million, one-year grant launched the Cal-COMPASS (California Community Program for Alzheimer’s Services and Supports) Pilot. The program hopes to create a modernized community care model to develop best practices for agencies that serve people with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.  

Outcomes for older cancer survivors and their caregivers

Alex FauerSome 64% of cancer survivors are older adults. Geriatric assessments can be an important part of their treatment planning, but could there be a better option for the survivors and their caregivers? Alex Fauer, an assistant professor in the Family Caregiving Institute, was awarded a Paul Calabresi Career Development Award for Clinical Oncology from the National Cancer Institute. With what is known as a K12 grant, Fauer’s study examines whether a combination of in-person and virtual meetings, coupled with coaching from community health workers, can significantly improve the quality of life for adults between the ages of 70 and 90 who have breast, colorectal and prostate cancer, as well as their caregivers.  

Expanding national fellowship for nurse leaders

Heather YoungA $7.4 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation expands the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators. This new grant increases the number of future fellows and builds upon the momentum of the first three cohorts who have had significant national impact. It’s all in keeping with the school’s mission of health equity for all. Fellowship director Heather M. Young says “the foundation recognizes the high caliber of people who are attracted with this unique fellowship program.”  


Answering call for more nurse faculty 

Deb BakerjianAs more nurses retire from the workforce and nursing faculty leave the classroom, the need to educate and train new registered nurses has never been greater. Associate Dean for Practice Deb Bakerjian was awarded a nearly $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Nursing Expansion Grant Program. The Residency in Education, Teaching And Instruction in Nursing program partners with California State University, Sacramento, local organizations, and community colleges in the Sacramento and Northern California regions. Leaders will recruit 20 nurses to serve as nurse faculty residents during a 12-month term and receive mentoring and education experience. An additional 48 nurses will participate in a six-month clinical instructor internship. The goal is to improve diversity in the health care workforce and address the health equity gap in America’s underserved communities, which will ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes. 

Stress and heart health in underserved communities

Julie BidwellAmericans face a national mental health crisis whose seriousness will become evident in years to come. Stress is a significant risk factor of cardiovascular disease. Julie Bidwell, an assistant professor in the Family Caregiving Institute, serves as investigator on a $13 million initiative, funded by the American Heart Association, to study the impact of chronic stress on cardiovascular disease and health. Working with the new UC Davis PRECISE Center (Psychosocial stRessors and Exposomics on CV health In underServed multiEthnic populations in Northern, California), Bidwell and team will extend ongoing work in underserved communities and will add to the understanding of their disparate risk and related cardiovascular outcomes. 

Leveraging electronic health records and informatics technology to understand the role of bilingualism in cognitive resilience, aging and dementia 

Tae Youn KimThe population of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) is expected to affect nearly 14 million Americans by 2060. Bilingualism is considered a protective factor that delays onset of ADRD but little is known about its direct impact. School of Nursing Professor Tae Youn Kim is part of a $4.1 million grant from the National Institute on Aging. Kim is a co-investigator leading the health informatics effort in collaboration with Michelle Dossett from the UC Davis School of Medicine. The multidisciplinary team will develop informatics methods to assist with extensive screening, recruitment and in-depth analysis of phenotypic information collected from three academic health systems. They will also explore novel pathways by which bilingualism influences cognitive reserve, or the ability to cope with neurological stress, in older adults.