Pilot Grants

Susan McCurryBehavioral Disturbances, Dementia, and Adult Family Homes - the Year 1 pilot project (Susan McCurry, Principal Investigator) focuses on the development of a train-the-trainer intervention to help staff in adult family homes better manage mood and behavioral disturbances in their residents with dementia. This training program (S.T.A.F.F. – Staff Training in Adult Family home Facilities) builds upon two evidence-based interventions developed by the PI and colleagues that have been shown to be efficacious in reducing mood and behavior problems in persons with dementia. Twenty adult family homes will be enrolled in the year-long pilot project. 

Susan McCurry, PhD, clinical psychologist and research professor in the Department of Psychosocial & Community Health, University of Washington School of Nursing, specializing in gerontology and geriatrics. Her research focuses on evaluating and treating behavior problems in dementia, including the sleep disturbances experienced by many Alzheimer's disease patients and their caregivers. In addition, she is interested in cross-cultural differences in dementia patterns and prevalence rates, and the environmental, behavioral, and psychosocial factors that correlate with successful aging.

Jessica ChubakCognitive Function and Breast Cancer Care - the Year 2 pilot project (Jessica Chubak, Principal Investigator), which will be conducted at Group Health Cooperative, focuses on the extent to which cognitive function is assessed and documented in the medical record of older women with breast cancer at the time of their cancer diagnosis. Furthermore, the project will examine whether treatment and surveillance patterns differ based on cognitive function. This study seeks to address knowledge gaps in the interface between breast cancer care and cognitive status, an area in which little research has been conducted.

Jessica Chubak, PhD, Dr. Chubak is an epidemiologist with experience in pharmacoepidemiology, cancer prevention, epidemiologic methods, and healthcare issues of relevance to older women. She is an Assistant Scientific Investigator at Group Health Center for Health Studies and holds an affiliate appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington. She has conducted research in the areas of medication use and breast cancer recurrence and survival, hormone therapy and endometrial cancer, and biomarkers in cancer prevention.