University of Missouri - Columbia.
Back to Story Archive
Posted 03.22.06

New Grant Helps Mark Century of MU Social Work

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The University of Missouri-Columbia first started offering social work training 100 years ago. Since 1906, the MU School of Social Work has marked many milestones. Now, Debra Parker-Oliver, assistant professor of social work at MU, has received more than $513,000 in grant money from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the first such award in the history of the department.

"For me as a researcher, NIH funding is the ultimate goal of any scholar seeking financial support for their scientific efforts," Oliver said. "Not only are the funds themselves critical to the ability to solve the identified problem, but the passing of the highest peer review process confirms your ability to conduct scientific research at the highest level. NIH receives 80,000 applications a year and to be one of the handful to pass the competitive process is a tremendous recognition of the scientific merit of your work."

Related Links

Parker-Oliver's project will test a care strategy aimed at helping cancer patients and their families participate more in hospice care. The strategy is meant to improve the quality of care using commercially available videophones. Parker-Oliver and a team of Mizzou researchers will work in collaboration with St. John's Hospice in Springfield, Mo. this summer.

"The main thing we hope to accomplish by using the videophone is to bring patients and families into care planning meetings where we will decrease their anxiety, and they can better understand the management of their pain, thus improving their quality of life," Oliver said. "This project is an exploratory one of an innovative approach. If successful it will lead us to a wider and more comprehensive project designed to create an intervention that is not only effective but replicable in any hospice program in the country."



MU News Bureau: