The School of Social Work is very pleased to announce that Thomas Alex Washington (“Alex”), has been awarded a two-year, $397,375 grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and pilot test an intervention model to increase HIV testing among young black men who have sex with men (BMSM). The project, entitled, “Exploring an HIV Testing Intervention Model” (TIM Project) will explore the effectiveness of a motivational video intervention to increase HIV testing among young BMSM. The grant was funded by the NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which has made the development of HIV prevention and intervention programs tailored for BMSM a priority.
Alex believes findings from this study may offer new e-health information and support the use of social networking to enhance HIV interventions and increase HIV testing among young BMSM. Additionally, the intervention may be useful for reaching more BMSM who may not otherwise consider testing because of stigma or limited access to knowledge about HIV testing. Alex believes the use of a social networking site can be useful for engaging young black MSM in discussions about receiving HIV testing, particularly those who might be difficult to reach; especially since HIV prevention, HIV testing, and linkage to care, are crucial to reducing HIV infections in the African-American community.
“I am pleased that Social Work can be at the table to play a vital role in research to reduce health disparities and increase HIV testing among vulnerable populations.” Alex also expressed his gratitude for the guidance and support of Kevin Malotte, Director of the CSULB Center for Health Care Innovation, with whom Alex has collaborated since 2008 - when Alex first joined the CSULB School of Social Work.
Congratulations to Alex Washington for this remarkable achievement!
This year the CSULB School of Social Work is proud to have three of our graduate students (Sonia Guvara, Paola Rosell, and Lizbeth Sanchez) selected as Graduate Research Fellows for the Sanos y Fuertes: Healthy & Strong project. This project, funded by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, helps graduate students design, implement, and then evaluate health-related projects for the local Latino community to address the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. The project is being conducted through the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation & Leadership Training.
Our three MSW students are delivering a culturally and linguistically relevant and science-based curriculum to families throughout Latino communities on childhood nutrition, overweight and obesity education, and chronic disease prevention. In addition, they are also involved with evaluation research associated with both the intervention and the outcomes of this educational program.
This is an exceptional honor for Sonia, Paola, and Lizbeth as they will have the opportunity this year to work in participatory action research and have even submitted abstracts to present study findings at the American Public Health Association Conference in San Francisco, California and the National Health Disparities Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. After their graduation, Sonia, Paola, and Lizbeth all have an interest in continuing with community-based research and program development. Congratulations to Sonia Guvara, Paola Rosell, and Lizbeth Sanchez for their enthusiastic contributions to help eradicate childhood obesity as a major nutritional problem throughout our community.