FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2011
Contact: Angelica Shields
Dr. Paschal receives NIH grant that examines oral health and insurance issues
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Dr. Angelia Paschal, an assistant professor of health and kinesiology at Mississippi University for Women, recently received a research grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Dr. Paschal was approved for funds of $275,000 for her dental health work alongside Judy Johnston, a faculty member at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita.
Paschal is to receive a total of $36,000 of the funds for the two-year grant period from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2013.
As co-principal investigators to the National Institutes of Health, the two are involved in research for examining oral health and insurance issues among uninsured children.
Prior to coming to MUW, Paschal was involved in research and community work involving oral health among medically disadvantaged populations, working to reduce inequalities in access to care.
The Wichita-Sedgwick County Oral Health Coalition in Kansas developed an effort called Give Kids a Smile (GKAS).
With the GKAS organization, Paschal helped to supply free restorative and preventive dental services to uninsured children 10 years and younger, providing service for up to 250 children a year.
The new grant will allow Paschal and Johnston to work to increase understanding of how uninsured and racially/ethnically diverse families access dental care and insurance. They also want to “identify and explore potential strategies for improvement in access to and utilization of care” by analyzing data from child and parental information.
The study is a joint effort between the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita and Mississippi University for Women. The groundwork for the study started three years ago and will use a Wichita-based program, Give Kids a Smile, as the starting point.
It involves a community-based participatory research process to carry out the study. The approach involves extensive participation from the community.
Paschal and Johnston have partnered with the Wichita-Sedgwick County Oral Health Coalition. The coalition includes two universities, a unified school district, several health and dental clinics and a host of social service agencies.
The first data collection efforts will start with this year's one-day Give Kids a Smile event in Wichita and will include next year's cohort of children and families as well.
While the data collection process will be conducted in Wichita, the study will have research and practice implications for Columbus, MS and other communities. Paschal and Johnston hope the research will help increase access to dental care services and influence public health policy.
Paschal said, “We are extremely excited to get this funding, and look forward to getting started with our study.”
Her recent oral health-related publications were included in Preventive Medicine and the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.