SAINT FRANCIS AWARDS FIVE RESEARCH GRANTS New Pilot Studies Support BestCare for a Lifetime Theme

(HARTFORD, Conn., Nov. 8, 2010) - Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center's Research Council has awarded a new set of grants to internal investigators. A total of $48,500 has been awarded for five pilot research projects to be conducted by members of the Hospital's Medical Staff.

"These grants are meant to be springboards to larger research projects," explained Gregory Makoul, Ph.D., Saint Francis' Senior Vice President for Innovation and Chief Academic Officer. "They all support the theme of BestCare for a LifetimeSM. through a focus on improving quality, enhancing the patient experience and/or addressing the continuum of care."

The studies receiving grants are:

  • Effect of Post Discharge Follow-up on Readmission Rates for Congestive Heart Failure Patients. Principal investigator: Richard Soucier, M.D., $14,000.
  • Physical Activity Measurement in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Predictors of Physical Activity in Patients with Severe and Very Severe COPD - and - The Effectiveness of Ongoing Counseling Using Step Count Information from Pedometers to Increase Physical Activity During and Immediately Following Pulmonary Rehabilitation for COPD. Principal Investigator: Richard ZuWallack, M.D. $9,400.
  • Operating Room Training to Improve Patient Safety Using Human Factors Engineering with Validation by the American College of Surgeons' National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Principal Investigator: Scott Ellner, D.O., M.P.H. $9,000.
  • A Prediction Tool for Identifying Patients Who Will Develop Fulminant C Dzficle Colitis. Principal Investigator: Harry A. Conte, M.D. $8,500.
  • Integrative Medicine in the Trauma Patient: Adjunct in Symptom Management in the Acute Setting. Principal Investigators: David S. Shapiro, M.D., and Kathleen N. Mueller, M.D. $7,600.

Each of the pilot projects is expected to run approximately one year.

Established in 2008, the Research Council is composed of Saint Francis' senior researchers and is charged with fostering leading-edge research at the Hospital.

Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets. It is the largest Catholic hospital in New England. For more information on Saint Francis, go to