Dr. Janet L. Grady, chairperson of the division of nursing and health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, has been honored by the Canadian Society of Telehealth (CST) as the recipient of the CST Award for Innovative Use of Store and Forward Technology in 2009. The award recognized Dr. Grady’s work as Principal Investigator on the Henry M. Jackson Foundation’s “Diabetes Care for Adolescents” Project.
The research project, part of a federally-funded nursing telehealth project, evaluated an e-health approach to school-based care at 13 high schools (grades 9-12) throughout rural west-central Pennsylvania. The subjects in the study were adolescent students with diabetes, school nurses, and designated support personnel who may be called upon to assist students in the absence of the school nurse. The American Diabetes Association estimates that there more than 186,000 individuals under the age of 20 with diabetes in the United States.
A main feature of the program was the use of “store and forward” technology to increase the effectiveness of a web-based learning system. Store and forward technology enables data to be collected and stored at a central point (such as a server) between the sender and the receiver, and are later forwarded to the receiver. In the Adolescent Diabetes Study, the participants (high school students) uploaded their glucometer readings to a central database, where they were stored and then forwarded to the researcher so that trends could be tracked in blood glucose readings. The readings could also be forwarded to the school nurse, who could review them at a later time with the student, enabling a technology-enhanced teachable moment using the student’s own data.
Dr. Grady commented, “While this was a pilot study, its continuation in high schools, especially in rural regions, has enormous potential to advance the use of telehealth for the benefit of a population with critical health care needs.”
Dr. Janet Grady began her career at Pitt-Johnstown in 2007 as director of the Nursing program, having taught in the program from 1993-2000. Her career has included several leadership positions, including Associate Professor and Associate Academic Dean at Mt. Aloysius College; Chief Nursing Officer and Principal Partner, Clinical Services and Performance Improvement for Windber Medical Center; and Instructor and later Term Coordinator in the Conemaugh School of Nursing where she taught medical/surgical and leadership theory and served as a member of the Curriculum and Program Evaluation Committees.
She received her Doctor of Public Health degree from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and her MS in nursing and BA in education (foreign language) from Pitt.
The CST is the first Canadian non-profit health association devoted to telehealth. The organization promotes all aspects of telehealth, which is the use of information and communications technologies to deliver health services and transmit health information over both long and short distances. The CST is Canada’s premier telehealth organization.
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a “Best Baccalaureate College” (2010), by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College” (2010), and by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School.”
Pitt-Johnstown…at the forefront of leading baccalaureate colleges…