Reseach Focuses on Patient Outcomes
Nursing Professor Kimberly Arcoleo is studying how to improve asthma treatment for children.
Research improves asthma treatment for children
“In health services research, we get trained very differently,” says Kimberly Arcoleo, research professor in the College of Nursing. “We learn different skills, but they’re very complementary to the training nursing Ph.D.s get. It’s been a great marriage between public health and nursing.”
Arcoleo’s research addresses the health disparity for low-income children with asthma. She joined URI in spring 2020 and brought a $2.77 million grant to evaluate the School-Based Asthma Therapy (SBAT) program she’s been working on for several years with her clinical collaborators at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
“I’ve always been based in schools of nursing on purpose even though I’m not a nurse,” said Arcoleo, who received her Ph.D. in health services research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
The SBAT program, which was developed in Rochester, NY, enhances asthma self-management and improves adherence to daily, effective preventive care, increasing symptom-free days. Over seven years, Arcoleo and her colleagues implemented and expanded the SBAT program to more than 900 students in 288 schools in Columbus, Ohio.
“The goal of this work is to increase the number of students who can effectively manage their asthma and thereby achieve better health and educational outcomes.”
–Professor Kimberly Arcoleo
“I want to have this approach broadly adopted among schools and school districts because it offers high-quality asthma care and it can be implemented and maintained at a relatively low cost,” Arcoleo said. “I plan to create a suite of resources for school administrators and clinicians to implement the SBAT program and develop policy statements encouraging increased availability of school nurses to care for students.”
Arcoleo is a standing member of the National Institutes of Healthcare and Health Disparities study section. The panel reviews project applications with the aim of “examining the systemic underpinnings of health care disparities closely associated with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage (race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, age, geographic location, education level, disability status, immigrant status, and a wide range of other vulnerable populations), and how social determinants of health relate to access to, use of, and effectiveness of health services and health promotion at the health systems level.”
At URI, Arcoleo is collaborating with Assistant Professor of Nursing Jennifer Mammen, who was already working on a smartphone- and guideline-based telehealth asthma management system, to offer telehealth to rural areas of the Navajo reservation in partnership with the Navajo nation leadership, two nonprofit organizations with longstanding relationships in these communities, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
In addition, as a public health and statistics expert, Arcoleo expects to be in the classroom teaching research design and ethics, and statistics.