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Engaging Families in Healthcare Research

Friday, April 24, 2015 2:00 PM CT

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Including family members in healthcare research provides important insights for patient care and health outcomes.  However, we don't often design studies for family level research or include family members a participants.  This presentation describes tools that collect family interactional and process data.  The presenters also share examples of and learnings from research that occurs in different contexts (i.e., clinic, community, in-home) and at different family life stages. 


Our Speakers: 


Dr. Jerica Berge, PhD, MPH, LMFT, CFLE is an assistant professor, researcher, and behavioral medicine provider in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School.  Dr. Berge's research expertise is in examining risk and protective factors for childhood and adolescent obesity in the home environment.  She conducts epidemiological research and randomized controlled trials on childhood obesity prevention interventions to reduce childhood obesity disparities delivered through Family Medicine/Primary Care clinics.  Additionally, she conducts community-based participatory research (CBPR) on family health issues to produce more effective and sustainable outcomes through democratic partnerships.  She has been awarded several National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants (K12; R21; R03; R56; R01), has published widely (JAMA Pediatrics; Pediatrics; Obesity; Journal of Behavioral Mediciine; Families, Systems and Health) and presented nationally and internationally on these topics.  Dr. Berge is a licensed marriage and family therapist and supervisor who specializes in collaborative care and democratic partnerships to address family health issues.  She supervises both doctoral-level therapists and medical residents in family medicine settings.



Monica Schmitz Frazer MA, PhD is a Family Scientist and Senior Research Scientist.  She primarily conducts qualitative researach with families and care team members who are part of the LifeCourse program, a longitudinal study of late life, supportive, chronic illness care conducted at Allina Health, funded by the Robina Foundation.  Her research interests include families and healthcare, caregiver well-being, and behavioral health aspects of medical care.  Monica also serves in a consultant role related to psychosocial aspects of care delivery and family centered care in LifeCourse.  Monica leads dissemination efforts for LifeCourse and is currently working on seminal publications that explain the LifeCourse model, its components, and team functioning.  She is also involved in efforts to implement integrated care in Allina's Ambulatory care division.

Monica has conducted research in various programs at the University of Minnesota Medical school and College of Education and Human Development.  She also worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist with a specialty in families with school age children and families whose children live with a chronic disease.  She earned a BA in psychology and human services from the University of Minnesota - Morris, and an MA and PhD from the University of Minnesota's Department of Family Social Science.






Dr. Mendenhall is a Medical Family Therapist and Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota (UMN) in the Department of Family Social Science, Associate Director of the UMN's Citizen Professional Center, and Director of the UMN's Medical Reserve Corps' Mental Health Disaster-Response Teams.  He works actively in the conduct of collaborative family healthcare and community-based participatory research (CBPR) focused on a variety of public health issues.  His principal clinical efforts center on working with families who are coping with chronic illness (e.g., dementia, diabetes, chronic pain), and his principal research efforts center on health disparities (e.g., the Family Education Diabetes Series - the "FEDS" - with an urban-dwelling American Indian community) and behaviors (e.g., Students Against Nicotine and Tobacco Addiction - the "SANTA" project - with the St. Paul Job Corps).  Dr. Mendenhall's and his colleagues' work at the UMN's Citizen Professional Center encompasses more than a dozen community-based projects that involve active partnerships between professionals and community members. 


March's webinar is sponsored by CFHA's Families and Health Special Interest Group.  The mission of the Families and Health SIG is to promote a family-centered approach within CFHA and other healthcare organizations and to foster collaboration in scholarship, education/training, practice and policy.  Learn more here.




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CFHA Calendar

April Webinar


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