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University of Wisconsin-Madison

Aboneh wins Gerber Novice Researcher Award

Ephrem Aboneh, PhD Candidate in the SAS Division
Ephrem Aboneh, PhD Candidate in the SAS Division

Ephrem Aboneh, a PhD candidate working under the guidance of Michelle Chui, Associate Professor and Vice-Chair, Social and Administrative Sciences Division, has received the novice researcher award from the Gerber Foundation. The award supports Aboneh’s PhD dissertation focus of studying medication management challenges for children with medical complexity currently enrolled in a care coordination program of a Midwestern children’s hospital.

Children with medical complexity represent the most medically fragile and fast growing segment of the U.S. children population. Because of their extensive healthcare needs, which often require frequent emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and multiple encounters with different types of healthcare professionals, their care is very expensive. The current estimate is about a third of the healthcare spending despite the fact that they represent only about 1% of U.S. children.

Aboneh’s research applies Cognitive Work Analysis, a systems approach to understanding constraints that impact the work of healthcare professionals and caregivers involved in managing medications for these children. The research goal is to contribute to development of improved systems of care that enhance the safe use of medications for this patient population.

The Gerber Foundation established The Novice Researcher program to support medical research focused on infants and young children with the goal of improving their health and nutrition status.