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Research

Elaine Marieb Center for Nursing and Engineering Innovation Awards Four Faculty Pilot Grants

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UMass Amherst Elaine Marieb Center for Nursing and Engineering Innovation has awarded four Pilot Grants to faculty-led nursing and engineering teams that facilitate collaborative, interdisciplinary nurse-engineer research to discover and fill gaps in effective healthcare products and processes that further the center’s mission to promote healthcare innovation.

This year’s projects focused on the connection between health and local farming, nursing workload, the development of novel polymers in patient warming devices and new methods to measure actual IV pump flow rates.

The recipients of the 2024 Elaine Marieb Center Pilot Grants are:

Favorite Iradukunda, of the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing, and C. D. (Christian David) Guzman, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, for their project titled, “Culture, Climate Change, Farming, and Health Outcomes.” Iraukunda and Guzman work with local farmers and gardeners in Holyoke and Springfield for building “insights and comparisons on the impacts that local urban farming can have on culture and health.”  The team will be performing an analysis of qualitative farming and gardening data, comparing the western Massachusetts region to other areas of Massachusetts and the U.S., and looking at climate change and environment effects on local farms.

Hari Balasubramanian and Muge Capan, of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and Joohyun Chung of the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing, for their project titled, “Improving Workload Management in Inpatient Units Using Mathematical Modeling and Qualitative Methods.” Balasubramanian, Capan and Chung are working with nurses at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield to create a nursing workload measurement tool that will reduce stress on nurses and improve patient care.

Yanfei Xu, of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and Cidàlia Vital, R.N., program director of Nursing Research and Holistic Nursing at Baystate Medical Center and lecturer in Elaine Marieb College of Nursing for their project titled, “Synergistic Fusion: Advancing Thermal Therapy Systems for Patient Safety through Nursing-Engineering Collaboration.” Xu and Vitalto are working to increase the efficiency of polymers in thermal therapy systems with research conducted at the UMass laboratory space and in the Baystate Health clinical setting.

Jeannine BlakeJuan Jiménez and Sina Farzaneh, of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, for their project titled, “Use of Spectrophotometry and Molecular Concentration to Evaluate Secondary Medication Flow Through Baxter Sigma Intravenous Smart Pumps.”  Blake, Jiminez and Fazarneh are using spectrophotometry, which measures the amount of light that passes through substances to determine the substance’s viscosity, or density, to document the flow rates of IV Smart Pumps (IVSP). This method will provide a greater level of detail precision than that provided by the data previously available.

For more information about the research projects, visit the 2024 Elaine Marieb Center Pilot Grants webpage.