Professor Guo Awarded NSF Grant to Study Maternal Care for Underserved Communities

Dr. Yuqing Guo

Yuqing Guo, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor at the UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, was awarded the National Science Foundation Grant in the amount of $2,099,382 for support as Co-Principle Investigator of the study: "SCC: UNITE: Smart, Connected, and Coordinated Maternal Care for Underserved Communities," alongside with colleagues from ICS, Nikil Dutt and Marco Levorato, Co-PIs.

This project presents UNITE (UNderserved communITiEs): a community engagement model that is smart, deploying ubiquitous monitoring and lifelogging; connected, bringing together a diverse cast of community members including mothers, families, care providers, and outreach resources; and coordinated, using technology to proactively reach out to the community and use personalized intervention and education for improved self-management by the women. The UNITE project champions a model that is scalable in size, portable across different ethnic communities, and promises improved outcomes through better self-management and community enhanced motivational factors. The UNITE project will perform a controlled study using a community of underserved Orange County mothers together with non-profit agencies, hospitals, and local support organizations to evaluate the efficacy of this new community-enhanced self-management approach, and its impact on community building.

The project will build larger communities of healthcare providers, insurance providers, and governmental agencies that can work in concert to enhance the well-being and lifestyles of mothers and families across a diverse spectrum of socio-economically disadvantaged groups. The UNITE project will also train the next generation of healthcare providers to deploy socio-economically relevant Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology in a cost-effective and user-friendly manner.

This four year study will expand Dr. Guo’s work with MOMS OC and other OC facilities, engaging the utilization of nurses, aided by sensing technology, in keeping mothers healthy. We acknowledge the tremendous support of Research Directors Priscilla Kehoe and Kartik Yadav in this amazing award.