Laura Simmons joins CaHRU and the Lincoln Institute for Health

Laura Simmons joined CaHRU and the Lincoln Institute of Health this September 2016 as a PhD student, researching the effects of camaraderie among paramedics and their stress responses to critical incidents.

LauraSimmons2Before commencing her studies at the University of Lincoln, Laura completed her MSc Applied Psychology (2014-2015) and BSc Psychology (2011-2014) at the University of Worcester where she was also a Sessional Lecturer in Psychology, teaching on a variety of modules including Research Methods and Introduction to Psychology.

Laura’s primary research interests include mental health and well-being, in particular relationships within the workplace and the impact of this on an individual. Her previous research explored mental health stigma among university students and the relationship between knowledge and stigma, as well as the formation of camaraderie within the workplace, specifically the occupational relationships of employees in small teams.

It was her MSc dissertation and experience of working within a small, friendly team that inspired Laura to look further at the phenomenon of camaraderie, specifically the impact of this on an occupation where employees are likely to experience high levels of occupational stress. As Laura has worked with quantitative and qualitative research methods in previous projects, her PhD aims to utilise mixed methods to explore factors such as a paramedic’s performance, well-being and patient care.

Laura is also a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Joseph Akanuwe joins CaHRU

Joseph Akanuwe recently joined CaHRU as a research assistant working on quality improvement and implementation science projects in primary and prehospital care.

Joseph has a nursing and public health background. After qualifying as a registered general nurse (RGN) he worked within primary and secondary care settings as a staff nurse and a casualty and emergency unit manager in Ghana. He went completed his Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Psychology and a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Ghana. Returning to his former Nurses Training College, he worked as a lecturer before moving to the UK.

JosephIn the UK, Joseph has worked as a staff nurse (RN) in the Dartford and Gravesend NHS Trust from 2004 to 2006, and as a renal nurse (specialising in renal haemodialysis) at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. While working as a renal nurse in Sheffield, Joseph studied at the University of Sheffield, achieving a Master of Medical Science (MMedSci) degress specialising in the management of long term health conditions, and a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) with training in public health research. His MPhil thesis explored the impact of the UK Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) on the quality of diabetes care and health care inequalities in primary care settings in England. Joseph is completing his doctoral studies at the University of Lincoln exploring the perspectives of service users and practitioners on the use of QCancer, a novel cancer risk assessment tool, for early detection of cancer in primary care settings.

Joseph is a Practitioner Member of the UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH), a member of the European Public Health Association, a registered member of the UK Nurses and Midwifery Council (NMC) and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). He also contributes to the teaching of the health promotion module, as part of the Health and Social Care and Nursing programmes at the University of Lincoln.

Julie Pattinson joins CaHRU

Julie Pattinson joined the CaHRU team this autumn as a research assistant from the University of Nottingham, Division of Epidemiology and Public Health Research (UK centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies; UKCTAS). PHOTOShe has a keen interest in behavioural addictions and her recent research explored electronic cigarette shops and users across the East Midlands. Julie has recently submitted her PhD, entitled, ‘UK Older Adult Gambling Behaviour; Evaluating Psychological and Physical Health as Predictive Risk Factors for Problem Gambling Behaviour’ at the University of Lincoln.

Julie was awarded £60,000 funding by the Responsible Gambling Trust UK to complete her PhD thesis. She also completed her MSc in Clinical Research (2009-2011) and BSc (Honours) in Psychology with Clinical Psychology (2006-2009) at the University of Lincoln.

Julie has extensive knowledge in quantitative and qualitative methodologies specifically Grounded Theory and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. She is currently is working on research led by Prof Siriwardena exploring the reasons for variations in performance in the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) general practice licensing exam, specifically the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT).

Dr Murray Smith, health economist and econometrician, joins CaHRU

Dr Murray D Smith joined CaHRU this month in order to contribute expertise in health economics and econometrics to the work of the unit. He brings with him a collection of projects in health economics, including involvement in HEAT (helicobacter bacteria eradication in persons aged 65+ who are regularly using low dose aspirin) which is one of the largest randomised controlled medical trials ever to be conducted in this country.

Murray750Previous projects in which Murray was engaged in the capacity of health economics include a trial feasibility study amongst children with Down syndrome who have otitis media with effusion (“glue ear”), and the economic evaluation of a volunteer doula service targeted at pregnant women who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. A current project of Murray’s involves the econometric modelling of teicoplanin trough serum concentration levels, where teicoplanin, a glycopeptide antibiotic used to treat gram-positive bacterial infections, is administered daily as hospital outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy.

Bespoke computer programming provides a major contribution to the success of this and many of Murray’s other projects. Influencing his approach to computational work has been the use of symbolic computer algebra, oriented especially to tackle problems in mathematical statistics. In a long-standing collaboration with Colin Rose, outcomes of their work include the mathStatica© software package that adds on to the Mathematica® programming language, with uses that are illustrated extensively throughout their book entitled Mathematical Statistics with Mathematica (2002; 2013).”

Dr Stephanie Armstrong joins CAHRU’s NEAT project team

Dr Stephanie Armstrong joined CaHRU this month to work on the Wellcome Trust funded ‘Network exploring Ethics in Ambulance Trials (NEAT)’ project. She says, “I come to Community and Health Research Unit from a rather diverse background having begun my academic life in the field of Zoology. I completed a PhD in Zoology from Trinity College, Stephanie ArmstrongDublin in 2006, where my work focussed on the nutrition and behaviour of large captive herbivores and in particular zebra.

In 2004 I joined Sparsholt College, Hampshire as a lecturer in the Equine Studies section and worked my way up to Head of Department for Animal Management Higher Education. This career path however, took me away from hands on research and, after working for Sparsholt College for 7 years, I realised that I needed a change of direction. With that in mind I undertook an MSc in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Lincoln, reigniting my passion for research. I also hold degrees in Equine Studies and Herbal Medicine.

As a result I have extensive experience in a wide range of research both quantitative and qualitative ranging from novel animal behaviour studies to in-depth systematic reviews. My research interests lie within the areas of ethics and human rights.” The NEAT project is CaHRU’s first Wellcome Trust grant, led by Prof Siriwardena in collaboration with Dr Adele Langlois from the School of Social and Political Sciences.

By Stephanie Armstrong