Month: June 2013

In The Spotlight – Dr. Linda Barry

Dr. Barry pic for CICATS Team web pageCongratulations to Dr. Linda Barry who has been selected as a member of the 2014 class of the Connecticut Health Foundation’s Health Leadership Fellows Program!  Over the next year, she and 20 other selectees from across Connecticut will lend their knowledge and expertise to pinpoint health disparities and create tools to promote health equity among various racial and ethnic groups. 

A large percentage of racial and ethnic communities have poor health status and higher mortality rates from many health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.  To eliminate these and many other health disparities, communities need strong leaders who can advocate for polices that influence both health-related issues and health care.  Connecticut Health Foundation is committed to fully addressing these vital health issues through network leaders who are equipped to broach these issues at a systems level.  Dr. Barry has been hand-selected to be part of these progressive-thinking leaders whose knowledge, skills, and abilities help them recognize and seize opportunities to reduce health disparities.

Since 2005, the Health Leadership Fellows Program has brought together diverse, yet like-minded individuals from multiple sectors, who are dedicated to achieving health equity.  Each year, participants engage in a competitive, ten-month program to enhance their leadership skills in addressing and eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities through systems change.  The Health Leadership Fellows network comprises 160 diverse leaders who are currently spearheading change in their places of employment, local communities, as well as statewide to advance this issue. 

Dr. Barry will use this platform to continue her efforts and personal crusade to eliminate health disparities as already exemplified by her commitment and role as Chief Operating Officer of CICATS.  Dr. Barry also spearheads and works collaboratively with the National Medical Association/Cobb Health Institute in initiatives, such as developing and using mobile technology to promote healthy behavior and to improve health outcomes among racial and ethnic populations.  Working closely with the YMCA of Greater Hartford and other local organizations via the REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) Coalition, Dr. Barry lends her knowledge and support to REACH’s goals to train and support communities in providing outreach programs and research initiatives that result in reduction and elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities.

Congratulations again Dr. Barry!

Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) Funding Opportunity

Hearing Health Foundation (HHF), formerly Deafness Research Foundation, is excited to announce the second annual Request for Proposal in Strial Atrophy and/or Development for a maximum award of $45,000 (including institutional overhead at 10% maximum of total costs requested). 

 Applicants should hold an M.D., Ph.D., or Au.D., have a faculty level appointment at a US based institution, and demonstrate strong research training as well as sufficient institutional support (facilities, mentor-ship, effort).  The grant period will begin on November 1, 2013 through October 31, 2014.   

To apply, visit for application requirements and instructions.  The application deadline is August 30, 2013 by 5PM ET. 

Please feel free to contact Tara Guastella, Program Administrator, at with any questions about this opportunity.

To access CICATS services for assistance with submitting a grant for this opportunity, please complete this service request form.

The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), CICATS’ Newest Partner

This new partnership with The Jackson Laboratory, the Bioscience Connecticut Program for “Translational Medicine, Genomics and Personalized Medicine” was announced in late 2011. The Jackson Laboratory is establishing a 300-person center dedicated to genomic medicine in a 189,000-square-foot institute located on the UConn Health Center campus.   The institute will focus on translational genetics and genomics and will house 30 principal investigators working in genomic technologies, computational biology, systems biology, human genetics and quantitative cell biology. All efforts will be centered on solving problems relating to human disease. Jackson’s Mammalian Genetics facility in Bar Harbor, Maine, will provide extended capabilities in building genetic models of disease, as the causative mutations are uncovered.

In the Spotlight – Dr. Katie Martin

Posted: 6/5/2013

Katie Martin new photoOn Thursday, May 30, 2013, Dr. Katie Martin, Assistant Professor in Residence, Department of Allied Health Sciences and K12 Scholar presented a CICATS Seminar Series entitled From Food Pantries to Food Policy.”

Despite a national network of 200 food banks and over 33,000 food pantries, almost 15% of all U.S. households are food insecure.  Food insecurity exists due to lack of resources or access to affordable, healthy food. Chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression and anxiety are often linked to food insecurity.  Freshplace is a novel food pantry model located at 255 Homestead Avenue, Hartford, CT.  Its goals are to foster food security and self-sufficiency. UCONN researchers conducted a randomized control trial to evaluate the impact of Freshplace over 18 months. The goal is to create a replicable model for other local pantries and to influence policies related to food assistance programs. 

Dr. Martin understands the depth of food insecurity and the social injustices which commonly plague low- income families.  For example, we often see but don’t understand the paradox of food insecurity and obesity when healthier foods are needed, but unattainable.  This paradox is a result of healthy and unprocessed foods being inherently more expensive and less available than calorie-dense foods.   This places income challenged families and patrons of food pantries at a great disadvantage.  Freshplace addresses the underlying issues of poverty (such as unemployment, unstable housing conditions and mental health) that create the need for emergency food.   To understand how Freshplace helps communities become food secure and what you can do to help in this cause, click here to watch Dr. Martin’s full seminar.

 For more information about this program, visit

The goal of the CICATS K12 award was to assist Dr. Martin in her career development through mentoring and training.  Dr. Martin is pleased to announce that she recently accepted a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor and Director of a new undergraduate program in Public Health at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford.  Her mentors see this as a terrific culmination to her career development award. Dr. Martin is very appreciative of the generous support of CICATS to help launch her career.