KU News: KU researchers to study safety effects of pandemic on in-home, long-term care providers

KU News Media

0
26

Today’s News from the University of Kansas
From the Office of Public Affairs | http://www.news.ku.edu
Headlines

KU researchers to study safety effects of pandemic on in-home, long-term care providers
LAWRENCE — Demand for in-home services and supports for older adults and individuals with disabilities increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. With funding from a federal grant, University of Kansas researchers will interview providers and recipients of in-home care about safety measures, training and delivery of services during the pandemic. KU will partner with Topeka Independent Living Resource Center for the research and is currently seeking participants from urban and rural areas.

KU Engineering diversity & women’s programs to celebrate 50 years
LAWRENCE — IHAWKe, the umbrella organization for diversity and women’s programs at the University of Kansas School of Engineering, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021 with virtual and in-person events, as well as a scholarship fundraising campaign, scheduled throughout the year. A virtual celebration is planned for April 29.

Dole Institute will present ‘Baseball: The Color Barrier’
LAWRENCE — The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has announced that it will livestream the third installment of its series “A Conversation on Race” on Wednesday, April 14, on the institute’s YouTube channel. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will feature Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The program will explore the factors that made Major League Baseball a flashpoint for civil rights in 1947.

Full stories below.
————————————————————————

Contact: Mike Krings, KU News Service, 785-864-8860, [email protected], @MikeKrings
KU researchers to study safety effects of pandemic on in-home, long-term care providers

LAWRENCE — Demand for in-home long-term services and supports has been steadily growing in the United States in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased need — while also increasing risk of transmission. University of Kansas researchers will examine how the pandemic has challenged those who receive and provide the support, how they have adapted and how in-home services can adjust, both to the current situation and for the future.

KU researchers will conduct more than 100 in-depth interviews and over 800 surveys with home-based long-term services and supports consumers, personal care attendants, family caregivers and agency providers about safety measures, training and delivery of services during the pandemic. The project is part of a series of grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, to explore essential questions about the delivery of health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

KU’s 18-month, $646,620 grant project will examine a growing, yet unique service setting. As America’s population ages, demand for in-home services and supports for older adults and individuals with disabilities has grown. Such services cost less than in long-term care facilities, and older adults and individuals with disability tend to prefer home-based care.

The demand will almost certainly grow even more because of the pandemic due to increased disability and perception that at-home care is safer, said Carrie Wendel-Hummell, director of the Center for Research on Aging and Disability Options in KU’s School of Social Welfare and principal investigator of the grant. Tracey LaPierre, associate professor of sociology, and Danielle Olds, research assistant professor in the KU School of Nursing, are co-principal investigators. Topeka Independent Living Resource Center will partner in the research.

“With nursing homes and congregational settings being hot spots, demand for home-based care supports is likely increasing. Many health care services shifted to telehealth, but a lot of long-term supports, such as cooking or bathing and other personal care cannot, be delivered via telehealth,” Wendel-Hummell said. “But there is still concern about potential spread among these networks providing care in people’s homes. Home-based care is less regulated than institutional care and not always guided by a clear chain of command.”

The system of providing long-term care is also complex. A large percentage is funded by Medicaid, $196 billion in 2018, which is funded roughly half by the federal government and half by state governments. Both have an incentive for services to be offered efficiently. Individuals can hire their own personal care attendants or receive services through a home care agency, but these workers do not have licensing requirements. Family and friends also provide a lot of this care, usually unpaid.

The research will examine how policies and safety measures were adapted during the pandemic. In-home care can provide for adaptability and individualization in services, but it can also make it difficult to implement or enforce uniform safety practices. With demand almost certain to increase following the pandemic and as the population continues to age, the opportunity to help improve safety and services across a multi-tiered system is prime.

“This project will bring together the perspectives of home care agencies, formal and informal caregivers, and consumers during the pandemic,” LaPierre said. “We’ll look at who makes the decisions for safety practices in home-based settings and how they are implemented. Businesses or agencies can say you need to wear a mask when you enter their establishment and can refuse you entry, but what happens when the services are provided in a home? Do individuals in the home have a say? Do the direct support workers going into the home have a say? How are these practices negotiated and enforced?”

While individuals receiving long-term supports are often at risk due to health, advanced age or disability, the project will examine challenges presented to the workforce as well.

“This is already a workforce in crisis. It’s commonly reported that these workers often leave the field because of low pay and poor benefits, including high rates of being uninsured,” Wendel-Hummell said. “This makes it difficult for people to find reliable workers. We theorize the pandemic has only made these problems worse.”

Wendel-Hummell and LaPierre have both worked as personal care attendants in various roles and have previously conducted research on Medicaid long-term services and supports prior to receiving the grant. The researchers will share their findings with stakeholders throughout Kansas as well as Medicaid administrators and policymakers at the federal and state level and fellow researchers. The goal is not only to document what went right and wrong but to improve services and safety for consumers and safety for providers for the long term.

Researchers will not only examine safety and care at all levels of home-based service, but any differences that may occur in urban versus rural areas. They are currently recruiting participants, and anyone interested in taking part can contact the research team at [email protected]
————————————————————————
The official university Twitter account has changed to @UnivOfKansas.
Refollow @KUNews for KU News Service stories, discoveries and experts.


————————————————————————

Contact: Cody Howard, School of Engineering, 785-864-2936, [email protected], @kuengineering
KU Engineering diversity & women’s programs to celebrate 50 years

LAWRENCE — IHAWKe, the umbrella organization for diversity and women’s programs at the University of Kansas School of Engineering, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021 with virtual and in-person events, as well as a scholarship fundraising campaign, scheduled throughout the year.

“We want to celebrate the fact that we’ve been doing this since 1971,” said Andrew Williams, KU Engineering associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. “And it’s been an award-winning program ever since.”

A virtual celebration is planned for April 29. There is also an in-person event expected — safety permitting — in October.

The organization began life in 1971 as SCoRMEBE, the Student Council for Recruiting, Motivating and Educating Black Engineers, started by Black engineering students at KU: William Nunnery, Gene Kendall and Ralph Temple. Soon after, William Hogan was appointed as the school’s first assistant dean of minority affairs.

“We figured we’d try to establish a program to get more young engineers on campus,” Kendall, a retired rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, said in a 2012 interview. “We didn’t know how to do it, but we knew we needed to actively recruit. We had tremendous support from the School of Engineering, so we set about raising funds to start the program.”

At the time there were few such organizations on American college campuses. In 1977, SCoRMEBE was named one of the four best minority engineering programs in the country by the National Research Council’s committee on Minorities in Engineering.

“KU certainly had the first one in the country conceived and initiated by students,” Floyd Preston, professor of chemical & petroleum engineering, said in 2012.

Over the years, the original program expanded to include an array of groups. In 1987, the School of Engineering established a student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. In 1990, the office established a student chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and took on a larger role with the KU chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. In 1995, the program changed its name to Diversity Programs for the School of Engineering, to reflect its wider mandate.

Much of that expansion took place under the leadership of Florence Boldridge, who ran the program between 1983 and 2017.

“It’s important for students to get a sense of belonging,” Boldridge said in 2016. “When they are a part of an organization like this one, they get that feeling that ‘this is here just for me.’ In addition, we know it’s important that they realize they are valued and that they have a place in the School of Engineering.”

Boldridge was also recognized as the Minority Engineering Program Director of the Year by the National Society of Black Engineers in 2011.
In July 2017, Williams — who earned his bachelor’s degree and doctorate at KU and was introduced to KU during his high school days through SCoRMEBE’s summer early entry program — became assistant dean. Early in his tenure he reimagined and rebranded the program with a new name: IHAWKe, which stands for Indigenous, Hispanic, African-American and Women KU engineers.

IHAWKe has worked to retain current students through mentoring and tutoring programs, begun outreach to low-income and minority students in middle school and high school through its KU Engineering, Science, and Technology (KUEST) program, created summer acclimation opportunities for new students before they start class and worked to connect existing undergraduate students to summertime research opportunities. IHAWKe has also brought in guest lecturers and created a visiting scholar program that gives students more exposure to top minds in the engineering field.

Williams has also developed the Summer Bridge Program for recent high school graduates planning to attend KU. The eight-week program provides an opportunity for these students to take calculus before arriving in the fall. In addition, students gain skills necessary to succeed in a rigorous engineering curriculum, begin to learn the engineering design process, join a cohort of peers and receive engineering faculty support. All costs are covered by the School of Engineering and private donors.

Williams also seeks to expand diversity, equity and inclusion efforts within the School of Engineering as well. He works on faculty recruitment efforts, grant writing, faculty and staff training, and affinity groups.

Williams has also organized “IHAWKe-athons,” competitions that give students in the program a chance to showcase their skills in devising solutions to engineering challenges while providing networking opportunities — judges for the competition typically are representatives from major engineering firms in the Midwest region.

“I thought it was a very empowering event for minorities, to see that their creativity is valued and welcomed as other people,” said Darene Essa, an Overland Park undergraduate student in mechanical engineering, after a 2019 event. “We were able to talk to these industry reps and make connections, and that was very empowering, too.”

As a result, in 2019, KU was one of 29 institutions across the country to receive an “exemplar” bronze rating — the highest available classification during the review period — from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in its Diversity Recognition Program as one of the “nation’s leaders in inclusive excellence.”

“We have found that we are impacting the lives of students that did not see themselves as engineers or students at KU,” Williams said at the time.
This year’s anniversary celebration will include efforts to more extensively document the history of women and minority engineering students at KU.

“We’re interested in uncovering some of that history, and announcing and celebrating that,” Williams said.

There is more work to be done, to build on that history for future generations.

“To be honest, I think we’ve just begun,” Williams said. “Yes, we’ve done this for 50 years, but there still remains a lot of work to be done in terms of providing scholarships and access to underrepresented groups.”
————————————————————————
Subscribe to KU Today, the campus newsletter,
for additional news about the University of Kansas.

http://www.news.ku.edu
————————————————————————

Contact: Zac Walker, Dole Institute of Politics, 785-864-9319, [email protected], @DoleInstitute
Dole Institute will present ‘Baseball: The Color Barrier’

LAWRENCE — The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has announced that it will livestream the third installment of its series “A Conversation on Race” on Wednesday, April 14, on the institute’s YouTube channel. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will feature Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and will be moderated by Barbara Ballard, senior associate director of the institute.

“Since the founding of the first professional baseball league in this country, racism has been a persistent problem,” Director Bill Lacy said. “For the third episode of ‘A Conversation on Race,’ we will discuss the color barrier in baseball and the courageous men who broke through. Bob Kendrick is the ideal guest to explore this topic, and we look forward to what will be a fascinating and insightful evening.”

The program will explore the factors that made Major League Baseball a flashpoint for civil rights in 1947, more than a decade before the marches and rallies of the 1960s. The event streams the day before Jackie Robinson Day, in which all Major League Baseball players wear jerseys with his number, 42. This program will discuss the man who became the focus of a nation as he walked on the field as the first professional black athlete in the U.S. to shatter the color barrier.

Kendrick was named president of the NLBM in March 2011. Kendrick has been responsible for the creation of several signature museum educational programs and events including the Hall of Game, which annually honors former MLB greats who played the game in the spirit and signature style of the Negro Leagues. Kendrick has become one of the leading authorities on the topic of Negro Leagues baseball history and its connection to issues relating to sports, race and diversity.

This special program will be livestreamed to the institute’s YouTube channel and its website, www.doleinstitute.org. Due to continuing concerns regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic, the program will only be available online.
———————————————————————–

KU News Service
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence KS 66045
Phone: 785-864-3256
Fax: 785-864-3339
[email protected]
http://www.news.ku.edu

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]

Today’s News is a free service from the Office of Public Affairs

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here