It seems four times is the charm for an associate professor in the
School of Nursing at The University of Southern Mississippi when
it comes to getting a grant recognized.
a five-year grant that we almost gave up on," said Dr. Sherry
Hartman of the $1.6 million "HIV Risk Reduction Among Young
Incarcerated Females" grant designed to determine the effectiveness
of an enhanced HIV/AIDS prevention program. "It was our fourth
submission, and we finally got it."
from Hartman and fellow nursing professor Janie Butts means the
grant, of which $700,000 goes to Southern Miss, will provide the
opportunity to study incarcerated female teenagers at Columbia Training
School in Columbia.
with Dr. Angela Robertson of Mississippi State University, will
hire two educators and one nurse to be based in Columbia to provide
the educational interventions developed in the grant. Hartman hopes
the new grant will help incarcerated female teenagers make healthier
choices in life.
investigator and co-investigator is Angela Robertson, and I'm serving
as the project director and co-investigator," Hartman said.
"This study builds on BART, a program that helps teenagers
in 'Becoming a Responsible Teen,' which has been researched and
shown to be effective.
on the enhanced part of BART because it will focus only on females
who are incarcerated, from a rural setting and already engaging
in risky behaviors such as alcoholism and drug use. We hope, too,
to get these girls to start asking questions of their sexual partners,
so they can make informed decisions. It's 'enhanced' to meet the
needs of young adolescents."
has been with Southern Miss almost 15 years, said the goal of the
project is to change risky sexual behavior. "It's different
from BART because it's longer, and it's targeted to females, who
have different issues than males," she said. "These girls
are dealing with multiple risks because they are in prison already,
so they have multiple risky behaviors. We want to help them with
problem-solving skills, communication and decision making.
will follow girls for 18 months; it's more than just pen and paper
measure," Hartman added. "We'll get more accurate or precise
measures from this type of program. Angela is putting all the questionnaires
together on a computer that speaks to you. If the females in the
study are bored easily or can't read, they might be more engaged
with the computer. It's also better for collecting our data."
The grant goes
along with Southern Miss' desire to work for local communities.
"This grant is the result of many years of research and study,"
said Dr. Joan Exline, interim dean of the College of Health at Southern
Miss. "I am so pleased to see them get to take the next step
with the study and do the good work they are doing."