Avani Modi, PhD

Dr. Avani Modi’s research focuses on developing interventions to improve adherence in children and adolescents with epilepsy. Dr. Modi has two National Institutes of Health (NIH) intervention grants for youth with epilepsy. Dr. Modi led a team of interdisciplinary researchers (education technology experts, neuropsychologists, graphic designers, and videographers) to develop and test an executive functioning intervention for adolescents with epilepsy, called Epilepsy Journey. This new intervention program received the 1st place Crystal Award from the Association for Educational and Communications Technology Division of Distance Learning. Dr. Modi’s research program has garnered local and national recognition. She was one of three recipients of the inaugural 2017 Endowed Scholar Award (booster chair) from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She also receive the Mid-Career Research Scientist Award, and represented Cincinnati Children's at the University of Cincinnati award ceremony. She was recently recognized as the 2017 Outstanding Alumna of the Year within the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida.

Dr. Modi has an active research program in adherence to medical regimens and patient-reported outcomes, leads the psychosocial service for the New Onset Seizure Disorder Clinic, and plays a critical role on several NIH and PCORI funded grants with collaborators across the nation. Using her pediatric self-management model helps to better understand the complex factors and processes in the management of pediatric chronic conditions. She continues to advance adherence science with her colleagues in the Center for Treatment Adherence and Self-Management.

Center for Adherence and Self-Management

The Center for Adherence and Self-Management, in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, has received funding for a renewal of the “Enhancing Pediatric Treatment Adherence and Health Outcomes” T32 postdoctoral training program. This fellowship program trains both MD and PhD researchers to assume leadership roles in developing innovative, high impact research on adherence to medical treatment and chronic illness management that will enhance the health outcomes of children with chronic conditions. Specific training innovations involve the integration of biomedical, behavioral, biostatistics, and health services/outcomes research and reflects in comprehensive training curriculum and research opportunities. Research innovations include novel methods of adherence assessment and intervention involving technology designed to enhance the engagement of children and adolescents, improve the power and duration of intervention effects, and reach diverse populations who cannot easily access traditional clinic-based approaches. This training grant involves a collaboration among 13 divisions in Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, with primary mentors in the Center for Adherence and Self-Management. Thus far, the program has trained nine PhD fellows and five MD fellows, and graduates have been successful in obtaining early career funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (eg, K07).

Sarah Beal, PhD

Dr. Sarah Beal’s research examines development during adolescence and the transition to adulthood, with a specific focus on the impact of child welfare involvement on health and well being during this phase in the lifespan. Dr. Beal has a grant funded by the National Institutes of Health to examine the onset of substance use and sexual risk behavior among teens and young adults with a history of child welfare involvement. The goal of the grant is to use data integrated from child welfare records, and the electronic health record, to assist clinicians and caregivers in connecting young people with preventive services. Additionally, she and Dr. Mary Greiner, MD, MS, in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics lead an interdisciplinary team (biomedical informatics experts, child welfare professionals, graphic designers, and clinicians) developing a platform to display integrated child welfare and health records data for clinicians and caseworkers to use at the point of care. This will, for the first time, provide up-to-date health and child welfare records for children in the custody of Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services, and serves as a model expandable to other regions. Additionally, funding from the CareSource Foundation supports a longitudinal study of young people preparing for emancipation from child welfare, and examines the impact of education about healthcare on healthcare utilization as well as the health status for this vulnerable population of young people. These studies have allowed Dr. Beal, and her collaborators in Divisions of General and Community Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, and Biomedical Informatics to integrate research findings at the point of care, improving health service delivery and, ultimately, the health and well being of young people in foster care in our community.