Candace Burton, Ph.D., RN, FNE, assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Health Nursing, received a $30,000 research award through the Institute for Women’s Health for an interdisciplinary project. Her co-investigator is Kellie Carlyle Palazzolo, Ph.D., M.PH., assistant professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Health in the School of Medicine. The award, funded by the Virginia Department of Health and Futures Without Violence, supports an evaluation study of Project Connect Training among reproductive health nurses, staff, and clinicians, and home visitor staff throughout Virginia.

Project Connect is a groundbreaking multi-state initiative of Futures Without Violence, the Office on Women’s Health and the Administration for Children and Families. In our state, the program is administered by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and it seeks to develop comprehensive models of public health prevention and intervention that lead to improved health and safety for victims of family violence.

In Virginia, Project Connect provides training in screening and intervention options to service providers in family planning/reproductive health clinic and home visiting settings. Evaluation of the success of these trainings and the outcomes of participants with regard to practice and policy changes is needed. The goals of the interdisciplinary project are to evaluate the implementation of the Project Connect training initiative to date from the perspective of the providers and staff who have gone through the training; and to examine the perceived quality, satisfaction and success of implementing Project Connect screening and intervention strategies by staff and providers in practice.

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