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UTHealth’s Wang awarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant

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Jing Wang, Ph.D., M.P.H, R.N.

HOUSTON – (Sept. 12, 2013) – Jing Wang, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., assistant professor in the Department of Nursing Systems at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Nursing, is one of just 12 nursing educators from across the United States to win a highly competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) “Nurse Faculty Scholars” program this year. Wang will receive a three-year, $350,000 award to promote her academic career and support her research. The Nurse Faculty Scholar award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing.

“This award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides a wonderful opportunity to develop and test an interface to connect smart-phone collected diet and physical activity self-monitoring information to Chronicle Diabetes, an existing electronic health record system,” Wang said.  “We are aiming to provide a better tool to not only support patient self-management behaviors but also facilitate patient-provider communication, thus, creating a true patient-centered medical home for those with chronic illnesses.”

During her research project, Wang plans to conduct a multi-site randomized clinical trial to examine the efficacy of this interface. If found effective, the user-centered interface in Chronicle Diabetes will be used to support patient self-management education and support, and can be implemented in all diabetes education programs recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to potentially benefit millions of patients with diabetes and obesity requiring complex self-management regimen.

Her mentors for the work will be Nancy Bergstrom, Ph.D., R.N., associate dean for research at the UTHealth School of Nursing; Jiajie Zhang, Ph.D., dean of the UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics; and Linda M. Siminerio, Ph.D., R.N., professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

“Jing is dedicated to improving outcomes of patients with diabetes by changing behaviors and improving communication with providers,” said Bergstrom. “We are pleased that her growth as a scholar and a leader will be nurtured and honed by the opportunities provided by the RWJF Faculty Scholar Award.”

The RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars program’s goal is to strengthen the academic productivity and overall excellence of nursing schools by developing the next generation of leaders in academic nursing. Wang is part of the program’s sixth cohort.

“Supporting junior nurse faculty will help curb a shortage of nurse educators that could undermine the health and health care of all Americans,” said UTHealth School of Nursing Dean Patricia L. Starck, D.S.N., R.N. “The Affordable Care Act is vastly increasing the number of people who can access health care in the United States. As the number of patients increases, there will be greater demand for skilled nurses as well as faculty to educate them.”

To receive the award, scholars must be registered nurses who have completed a research doctorate in nursing or a related discipline and who have held a tenure-eligible faculty position at an accredited nursing school for at least two and no more than five years. To learn more about the program, visit

- Written by David R. Bates, UTHealth School of Nursing Communications

Deborah Mann Lake
Media Contact: 713-500-3030