The UNC Caregivers at Carolina Program has awarded funding to Drs. Ross Boyce (Medicine), Christina Cruz (Psychiatry), and Jackie Patterson (Pediatrics) to support their research. Congratulations to the physician scientists for their well-deserved funding.
The goal of the Caregivers at Carolina (“Caregivers”) program is to support the retention of junior physician scientists facing substantial caregiving responsibilities by developing not only new sustainable initiatives but also leveraging and integrating existing programs, resources, and opportunities. The program provides supplemental research funding to physician scientists to support a research technician or buy-out of one day of clinical time.
This year, the program awarded funding to three of the applicants. All applicants, regardless of whether they receive the funding, are part of a ‘Caregivers cohort’ — the program facilitates networking, research collaborations, and social and informational support. The program ensures that the Caregivers cohort has facilitated access to career development opportunities. The program also provides emotional and peer support as well as editorial help when needed.
Congratulations to this year’s awardees:
Ross Boyce, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Christina Cruz, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Jackie Patterson, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
Dr. Boyce’s research is focused on finding practical and sustainable solutions to vector-borne diseases. Dr. Cruz’s research is focused on developing and testing alternative systems of youth mental health care and studying the role of schools in improving youth mental health. Dr. Patterson’s research is focused on intrapartum-related mortality and morbidity in low- and lower middle-income countries.
In 2016, the UNC School of Medicine was one of only 10 academic medical schools in the country to receive funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to develop an experimental program designed to retain physician scientists in research who are facing substantial caregiving demands at home. The program at UNC was named Caregivers at Carolina and is directed by Amelia F. Drake, MD, FACS, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, and Susan Girdler, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Vice Chair of Faculty Development. The Caregivers program submitted a competitive renewal in 2020 and was one of the institutions that received an additional three years of funding.