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Current Research

Adolescent BehaviorsThe focus of our research in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the Golisano Children’s Hospital is to study the phenomena of adolescent health and healthcare services for young adults. Our patients range from 12 to 25 years of age and our research often has implications for patients beyond that range since we study the delivery mechanisms of health services to young adults and the transition to adult care.

We provide our faculty and fellows with mentorship and resources to aid in their research and to help them achieve their goals in their academic endeavors.

Utilizing sophisticated qualitative and quantitative research methods, faculty and fellows conduct a number of clinical studies. Through our research we hope to achieve the following goals.

  • Encourage healthy preventive behaviors and overall medical treatment of adolescents.
  • Address the risk associated with “teenage” environments and behaviors.
  • Improve the quality of life for teens and young adults with chronic diseases.
  • Promote the healthy development of teenagers especially those with special needs, and move them safely and effectively into adult care providers and systems.

Areas of ResearchSmiling Teens

  • Biopsychosocial Health Factors
  • Brain Development
  • Cultural Sensitivity and Competency in Medicine
  • Eating Disorders
  • Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)
  • Palliative Care and Bereavement
  • Risky Behaviors
  • Transitioning Care of Adolescents to Adult Providers

Current Studies, Projects & Programs

Promoting a Culture of Resilience and Health at East: A Multimodal Approach

Co-Project Directors Susan “Shellie” Yussman, M.D., M.P.H. and Kim Urbach P.N.P. are working in conjunction with the Educational Partnership Organization between the Rochester City School District and the UR Warner School of Education to improve the health of students at a local, urban combined high school and middle school. The Greater Rochester Health Foundation is funding this multidisciplinary project to improve student: 1. mental health through resiliency building, 2. sexual health through universal chlamydia and gonorrhea screening, and 3. nutritional health through breakfast in the classroom programming.

The Recruitment and Acceptability of a Project ECHO® Eating Disorders Clinic: A Pilot Study of Telementoring for Primary Medical and Behavioral Health Care Practitioners

As the Associate Medical Director for The Western NY Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders, Taylor Starr D.O., M.P.H. helps lead both the ECHO® Eating Disorders Team and the School-Based ECHO® Eating Disorders Team to advocate, educate, and consult to providers across disciplines, community agencies, and school personnel, to meet the needs of children, adolescents, young adults and their families affected by eating disorders in the 30 county region.

Impact of the Rochester LARC Initiative on Adolescents’ Utilization of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception

Katherine Greenberg M.D. is Assistant Director of the LARC Initiative, a community education and diffusion of innovation project aimed at educating adults who work with youth about the safety, efficacy, and availability of long-acting reversible contraception for teens. The goal of this community project funded by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation is to prevent unintended teen pregnancy.

Use of a Self-Reflection Tool to Enhance Resident Learning on an Adolescent Medicine Rotation

Katherine Greenberg M.D. developed, piloted, and implemented use of a novel tool prompting pediatrics residents on their adolescent medicine rotation to self-reflect on their comfort with essential tasks of adolescent medicine, set goals for their rotation and their life-long learning, and connect the care of adolescent patients to their future career goals.

Adolescent Self-Reported Use of Highly Effective Contraception: Does Provider Counseling Matter?

Erica Bostick M.D.’s study examined associations between provider counseling about specific contraceptive methods and reported method use by adolescents.  This was a cross-sectional, secondary analysis of the Rochester City School District Youth Risk Behavior Survey, to which 2 new/modified questions about long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) were added.
Research team: Bostick, Greenberg, Fagnano, Baldwin, Halterman, Yussman.

Online Implementation of Problem-Solving Skills Training for Mothers of Newly Diagnosed Childhood Cancer Patients

OJ Sahler, MD’s project developed and tested a web-based version of their highly effective in-person intervention for mothers of newly diagnosed childhood cancer patients. The results were encouraging in their support of an online educational module. A companion study is beginning enrollment using the Bright IDEAS intervention with adolescent and young adult cancer patients. This research is focused on use of emerging technology in providing health care and is easily adapted to virtually any area of clinical interest.

Pain Education

OJ Sahler M.D.’s project developed five web-based interprofessional education teaching modules focused on pain management. A pediatric pain task force was created, and a Pain Fair demonstrated complementary therapies. The department is working toward a more visible and usable complementary medicine toolkit with special emphasis on the role of music therapy. This research is focused on the use of innovative, non-pharmacologic approaches to management of mental health/psychological issues associated with both medical and psychophysiologic conditions.

Fellowship Research

View research projects of current and past fellows.