Dr. Timothy Sowicz is a Co-investigator on Newly Funded NIH Grant

Sept. 21, 2023

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Timothy Joseph Sowicz , PhD, RN

The University of Arizona College of Nursing is pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Timothy Sowicz , PhD, RN is a co-investigator on a newly funded NIH grant. This large-scale, Community Partnerships to Advance Science for Society (ComPASS) grant is a collaboration with the Southeast Arizona Health Education Center (SEAHEC) and aims to improve access to mental/behavioral health services and ultimately improve health outcomes for Hispanic/Latino communities with lower socioeconomic status, and rural underserved communities. Great work, Dr. Sowicz!

We caught up with Dr. Sowicz to learn more about his research as well as his thoughts about this newly funded grant.

What does receiving this funding mean to you and your research? 

My research is concerned with health care access among people living with mental health and substance use disorders. This study aligns nicely with my focus given that it is about identifying and intervening upon structural factors that may negatively affect people's ability to access health care for their mental health disorders. Being a member of the project team means that I will have opportunities to learn from and with community members, staff from multiple agencies, and university colleagues.

How did the collaboration with SEAHEC come about?

Dr. Lisa Kiser, Assistant Clinical Professor, here at the College of Nursing is a member of the Board of Directors of SEAHEC. Dr. Kiser and I have written grants together to address how medications and health equipment are managed when people migrate to the United States' southern border. Dr. Kiser knew about my research interests and introduced me to Gail Emrick, the Executive Director of SEAHEC. After meeting with Gail and discussing how I might help the team, she invited me to write some portions of the grant and be a co-investigator. I am grateful to Dr. Kiser for thinking of me, introducing me to Gail and her colleagues, and most importantly, personifying collegiality! 

How will this research aid in improving outcomes for this population? 

We know that several major structural barriers for accessing health care for mental health disorders exist (e.g., care that is not culturally respectful, lack of health insurance). While the project team has identified some health-related outcomes to potentially measure, it will be very much driven by the community members themselves. They will be essential and valuable members of the project team, actively participating in all phases of the project including, for example, identifying which aspects of the structural barriers should be addressed first, what interventions should be implemented to eliminate the barriers, and how to gauge progress toward removing the barriers. 

PI: Gail Emrick (SEAHEC)

Co-I: Tim Sowicz

Title: Projector Juntos/Project Together

Funder: NIH

Award Amount (Prime): $5,890,075

Award Period: 9/19/2023-9/18/2028