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Associate Dean for Research and Longtime Asthma Researcher Receives Rural Health Researcher of the Year Award

Posted: Nov. 21, 2013

Dr. Sharon Horner

Sharon Horner, PhD, RN, FAAN, and professor and associate dean for research and Dolores V. Sands chair in Nursing Research at the UT Austin School of Nursing received the Texas Rural Health’s Association’s Researcher of the Year Award during their annual conference Nov. 18-19 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Horner's research focuses on improving health of families with children. She has received approximately $3.5 million over 15 years in federal funding for her primary work with school-aged children with asthma and their families who live in rural areas. Her secondary research focus is on health promotion and risk prevention among school age and early adolescent youths.

She is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Nursing Research to test her intervention in a stratified randomized control trial. The focus of the intervention is to improve asthma management behaviors of parents and children; reduce asthma symptom frequency and duration, and lung inflammation. Her recently completed study found significant improvements in children’s asthma management behaviors, skill in using a metered dose inhaler, and reductions in absenteeism, days and nights with asthma symptoms, and days when activity was limited by asthma.

The award recognizes that health services research as well as education and curriculum development specific to rural health needs have the potential to make long-lasting contributions. Its purpose is to honor those distinguished professionals in research an/or education who have the potential through their own work, or through inspiring the work of others, to encourage, assist, enhance, expand and improve rural health.