The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have awarded the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies a $7 million grant — the largest in the school’s history — to establish it as a national HIV-prevention resource center.
About 50,000 new people become infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus annually in the U.S., according to the CDC. The grant of $1.4 million annually for five years will establish the National Capacity Building Assistance Provider Network Resource Center at the School of Nursing and Health Studies.
The center will create nine new jobs. Together with current staff, the new employees will work with more than 20 national and regional grant recipients to help the nation’s HIV prevention workforce to use best practices in planning, implementing and evaluating high-impact HIV prevention programs.
“This award, to serve as the national coordinating center for the CDC’s HIV prevention programs, demonstrates the School of Nursing and Health Studies’ public health expertise as well as UMKC’s commitment to lead in the life and health sciences,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “Through this award, UMKC will have a national impact in the delivery of high-quality HIV prevention services.”
The UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies already has established national coordinating expertise in the areas of behavioral and reproductive health programs; that expertise was a significant factor in gaining the new national headquarters for Kansas City.
“Receiving this grant also provides an opportunity to show the great work in HIV prevention being done at UMKC and in our community,” said Ann Cary, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies. “This grant team is particularly talented to serve as the national resource center.”
The co-directors of the grant are Laurie Krom, program director in the Collaborative for Excellence in Behavioral Health Research and Practice; and Jacki Witt, clinical associate professor and project director for the National Clinical Training Center for Family Planning based at UMKC.
“We’re very excited because this was such a competitive grant process,” said Krom, principal investigator of the grant. “UMKC stands out because of our expertise in national network building, instructional technology and strategic marketing. We are also uniquely located on an interprofessional life sciences research campus.”
UMKC’s Hospital Hill Campus includes the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies, and Pharmacy, and each have HIV-related research. UMKC’s Department of Psychology is nationally recognized for its HIV prevention research and strategies in African-American churches.
The grant proposal was based on the model of the Collaborative’s Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) National Office, which mobilizes the power of the ATTC Network to efficiently and effectively promote the adoption and implementation of evidence-based addiction treatment practices.
“The new resource center brings together all of the strengths of our school,” Witt said. “We have assembled an interprofessional team of researchers, clinicians, advocates, educators and administrators who will offer a fresh perspective to building the capacity of the U.S. HIV prevention workforce.”