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Gerontology student awarded grant for elder health research in Kenya

Amy Correll of Somerset, a Gerontology minor and student in the Honors College at WKU, was recently awarded her second FUSE grant for elder health research in Kenya with faculty mentor Dr. Dana Burr Bradley, Director of WKU’s Center for Gerontology.

WKU student Amy Correll (center) has been awarded a FUSE grant for a research project in Kenya.

WKU student Amy Correll (center) has been awarded a FUSE grant for a research project in Kenya.

In 2012, Correll was awarded a FUSE grant for research work assessing the readiness of dentists in rural Kentucky to meet the needs of elderly post-stroke patients.  For her 2013 FUSE award, Correll plans to utilize her experiences at St. Joseph Hospital in Migori, Africa, to implement a needs assessment and strategic plan for elder health services.

Faculty-Undergraduate Student Engagement (FUSE) grants are an internal funding initiative with the WKU Office of Research. They are designed to support undergraduate student’s intellectual development by fostering active engagement in the areas of research, creative and scholarly activities, and/or artistic performances. All projects are student-initiated must be closely monitored by a faculty mentor.

“My desire to become a Physician Assistant has been greatly influenced by my time spent as a volunteer in the medical, surgical, maternity and pediatric wards at St. Joseph Mission Hospital in Migori, Kenya in January 2013,” Correll said of her FUSE grant research project.

During her time at St. Joseph Mission Hospital, she was able to participate in multiple procedures under physician supervision including vaccinations, general phlebotomy, and dressing and stitching of lacerations. The theatre procedures included abscess drainage, caesarian section, hysterectomy, amputations and manual vacuum aspirations. Correll said that through work in the clinic laboratory, she learned how to successfully interpret test samples for both typhoid and malaria viruses.

Dr. Bradley, Correll’s faculty mentor for both FUSE grants, is excited to see her interest in the field of aging. “Ms. Correll is a fabulous example of the kind of research our Honors College students engage in,” Dr. Bradley said. “She combines a passion for improving the lives of older adults with a strong interest in testing clinical practices in the developing world.”

Correll anticipates that by being the recipient of a second FUSE award, she will make a positive and lasting impact with the care and services provided to elders at St. Joseph Hospital in Migori, Africa. “I hope my recommendations will be implemented by lead physician Dr. Daniel O. Agulo and this project will also form the basis for my Honors CE/T which I will defend in the Spring 2014 semester,” she said.

For information about FUSE grants, contact Dr. Bradley at wkuaging@wku.edu  or Dr. Gordon C. Baylis, Vice President for Research, at research@wku.edu.

Contact: Melanie Eaton, melanie.eaton@wku.edu

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