Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 10:00am

Mercy College was awarded a three-year, $600,000 research grant by the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living. NIDILRR’s Field Initiated Projects program awards grants to improve the capacity of minority-serving institutions to conduct high-quality disability and rehabilitation research. NIDILRR planned to issue only one such research grant award nationwide.

The research project entitled “Adolescents with Lupus: The Impact of Patient/Provider Discordance, Depression, Cognition and Language” will address the knowledge gap in the research and care of adolescents with lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that impacts all areas of patients’ lives, often resulting in significant disabilities and poor quality of life. The potential for disability and mortality is even greater when lupus is diagnosed in childhood, in non-white racial/ethnic groups and/or in patients from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Ultimately, the study aims to determine methods a provider can use to identify depression, cognitive dysfunction, language barriers, disability and poor physical/social functioning in adolescents with lupus and other chronic diseases. 

"We are very proud of the outstanding and remarkable achievement of our three faculty who were awarded this prestigious and competitive grant from the National Institute on Disability Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR),” said Dr. Joan Toglia, dean and professor of the School of Health and Natural Sciences at Mercy College. “In addition to fulfilling an important knowledge gap in the care of adolescents with Lupus, this grant also represents a significant advancement for faculty research at Mercy College.   I look forward to supporting this research.”

The research proposal’s authors Dr. Kathleen Kenney-Riley, Dr. Shari Berkowitz and Dr. Kim Rapoza — all associate professors at Mercy — have worked together since 2014 as fellows with Langston University’s Institutional Research Capacity Building and Infrastructure Model, a mentoring program that offers an opportunity to develop disability/rehabilitation research and grant-seeking skills.