The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UManage Three Cores

The UManage Center will achieve its aims through three core sections: Administrative Core, the Human Factors Core, and the Pilot Project Core. The Administrative Core provides day-to-day management of the programs of the UManage Center. The Pilot Project Core helps new nurse scientists develop their programs of research. The Human Factors Core provides support to the pilot projects by providing expert knowledge on the relationships among individuals, self-management strategies, wearable and handheld devices, relationships, activities, and the contexts in which these activities occur.

Administrative Core

The overall goal of the Administrative Core is to provide effective leadership and administration to build and sustain innovation and capacity-building at the UManage Center. It is led by Dr. Cynthia Jacelon, the Principal Investigator and Director of the UManage Center, and Professor in the College of Nursing at UMass Amherst. The specific aims of the Administrative Core are to:

  1. Establish, build, and maintain the UManage Center infrastructure to secure long-term continuation of activities directed at fostering grant-funding, creating partnerships with industry stakeholders, engaging community members, and building the capacity of multidisciplinary teams;
  2. Direct and coordinate the administrative functions of the UManage Center overseeing grant funds used by the cores and pilot-project teams, communicate with core directors, and mentor pilot-project teams;
  3. Expand the research capacity of nurse scientists to design, develop, and implement new technologies with teams at the leading edge of scientific discovery to advance symptom self-management for individuals and families;
  4. Optimize and leverage access and utilization of resources across the campus and the Center for Clinical Translational Science at the University of Massachusetts Medical School;
  5. Evaluate UManage Center activities, including successful completion of pilot projects, dissemination of findings at national and international scientific meetings, and publication of results, and conduct workshops directed at building capacity across the University of Massachusetts system (Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School).

Human Factors Core

The UManage Center is uniquely poised to develop and implement new technological innovations that empower individuals with chronic conditions to achieve a higher quality of life. For these technologies to produce desirable outcomes (e.g., higher quality of life), we must account for sociotechnical systems, the complex contexts within which these technologies will be used. The primary goal of the Human Factors Core is to ensure that project-team members account for these sociotechnical factors in their technology designs and evaluations in order to better ensure that the technologies are useful, well-used, and produce anticipated benefits. Human factors researchers and practitioners have the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS), a well-established framework for including these factors in product and process designs. More recently, the SEIPS framework has been expanded to SEIPS 2.0 to support patient-centered work such as the management of chronic conditions. Additionally, the human-factors field has myriad methods for understanding how individuals complete processes, for identifying areas of opportunity for design, and for creating and testing prototype designs.

The Human Factors Core is led by Dr. Jenna Marquard, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at UMass Amherst. It will support the UManage Center via three broad activities:

  1. Guidance to pilot-project research teams to better ensure that our pilot projects include human-factors considerations;
  2. Human-factors design workshops and educational materials, so the UManage Center team and interested individuals at UMass Amherst and in the larger community have a solid understanding of the benefits of human-factors approaches and feel competent to choose and apply specific design and evaluation approaches within their work;
  3. Guidance to the broader consumer health informatics community to demonstrate how UManage Center projects have successfully included human-factors methods.

Pilot Projects Core

The Pilot Projects Core is led by Dr. Rebecca Spencer, Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and co-director Dr. Karen Kalmakis, Associate Professor in the College of Nursing. The specific aims of the Pilot Project Core aims are to:

  1. Solicit, peer-review, and select competitive pilot project proposals in the science of symptom self-management;
  2. Review and monitor proposed pilot projects for compliance with all federal regulations governing human subjects/vertebrate animals and the use of common data elements;
  3. Mentor and expand the capacity of pilot-project P.I.s and teams to develop competitive research proposals in the science of symptom self-management.