Hartford Award for Research and Practice

2023 Applications are open!

The Hartford Award for Research and Practice (HARP) program provides support for OHSU faculty research and practice change projects aimed at improving the health and health care of older people in Oregon and beyond. This research funding is to support pilot studies to assess feasibility, collect preliminary data to support an external grant application, or implement a process improvement initiative. The HARP program's core values include innovation, accountability for outcomes, and sustainable programs of research or practice improvements. With this in mind, investigators are encouraged to consider the strategic directions established by the NIA in the “National Institute on Aging: Strategic Directions for Research, 2020-2025” document.

We have two OHSU faculty calls. Applications for both the SON HARP and the Interprofessional HARP are invited for one-year projects of up to $25,000. Applicants must have a clinical or research doctorate The HARP program is aimed at early career investigators, but all applications will be considered

Applications are now open! The due date is April 24, 2023 by 5:00 p.m.

School of Nursing HARP - HARP Call for SON Faculty Applications 2023
Interprofessional HARP - HARP Call for IP Faculty Applications 2023

Through these awards our faculty have an opportunity to pursue implementation science and practice transformation. We have annual request for application announcements in the winter, with funding beginning in September of the same year.                         

The School of Nursing-HARP (SON-HARP)

The SON–HARP is for SON faculty only. All applicants must have a clinical or research doctorate.

The Interprofessional HARP (IP-HARP)

The IP-HARP is available to all OHSU faculty who hold a clinical or research doctorate. This includes those with appointments at the Schools of Nursing, Dentistry, Public Health, and Medicine; and the College of Pharmacy. For the IP-HARP, if the proposed Principal Investigator holds a primary appointment outside of the SON, there must be a Co-Investigator from the SON. The IP-HARP has a team-based science approach and an interprofessional research team is a requirement of this award.


There is also funding for advanced practice nursing students whose focus is on the health and healthcare of older adults.

Hartford Award for Research and Practice for Ph.D. students - read more
Hartford Award for Research and Practice for D.N.P. students - read more

2022 IP-HARP awardee

Firkins_Headshot_2022 resized 2.0
Jenny Firkins, R.N., Ph.D.

Congratulations to Jenny Firkins, R.N., Ph.D., who will serve as Principal Investigator on the 2022 Interprofessional Hartford Award for Research and Practice (IP-HARP), “Evaluation of Values and Preferences in Treatment Decision Making in Cancer Survivors over the Age of 65 in the Pacific Northwest”. This is a cross-sectional study with qualitative and quantitative aims designed to examine and better understand the values and preferences that impact treatment decision making in older adult cancer survivors.

This one year, $24,973, grant demonstrates the team-based science the IP-HARP is intended to advance.

Dr. Firkins is an early career-nurse scientist whose goal is to improve the quality of life for adults living with cancer. She completed her doctoral work in 2019; work that included an examination of quality of life in cancer survivorship. She will continue her collaboration with Lissi Hansen, Ph.D., R.N., and Nathan Dieckmann, Ph.D., (Co-Is on the IP-HARP) both who served as members of her dissertation committee and are on faculty at OHSU School of Nursing.

Dr. Hansen has extensive experience conducting studies using both qualitative and quantitative methods with a focus on quality of life. She also teaches graduate nursing programs in the areas of mixed methods research and ethics in the conduct of research.

Dr. Dieckmann is the Director of the Statistics Core in the OHSU SON and will supervise Dr. Firkin’s work and continue to mentor her as a biostatistician as part of this grant.

Jenny was awarded an Innovation Mentorship Grant through the OHSU SON to establish and develop a mentoring relationship with Christopher Woodrell, M.D., M.S., who is also a Co-I on this award. Dr. Woodrell is an Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a staff physician at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in Bronx, NY. His research career is focused on improving the quality of life of people facing liver cancer.

The final Co-I is Donald Sullivan, M.D. Dr. Sullivan has a breadth of knowledge in health services, mixed-methods, and qualitative research.  Along with his clinical experiences in the intensive care unit, he has extensive experience studying palliative care including advance care planning, decision-making, and patient-clinician communication.

Our Interprofessional HARP is offered annually to all OHSU faculty, including the Schools of Nursing, Dentistry, Public Health, and Medicine, and the College of Pharmacy.

2021 Awardees

IP HARP to Eriko Onishi

The Interprofessional Hartford Award for Research and Practice (IP HARP) program aims to improve the health and health care of older adults through research and innovations in care by providing support for OHSU faculty research and process improvement initiatives.

An IP HARP was granted to fund the "Developing an Inclusive Advance Care Planning Training Model for Interprofessional Primary Care Teams” project. The principal investigator, Eriko Onishi, M.D., M.C.R., C.M.D, is join by co-investigators, Seiko Izumi, Ph.D., R.N., F.P.C.N.; Sumathi Devarajan, M.D., C.M.D. and Harry Krulewitch, M.D., M.P.H. who complete the interprofessional research team that is a requirement of this award.

The aims of this project are to develop and pilot test an inclusive Advance Care Planning (ACP) training program that enables interprofessional primary care teams, including learners from various disciplines, to learn to facilitate high quality ACP conversations with older adult patients from diverse backgrounds. The project will be an expansion of a larger grant from the Cambia Health Foundation and will increase the number of providers and learners who are trained in high quality ACP conversations and, hopefully, help promote and sustain the structured ACP model as routine practice in an ambulatory setting.

Onishi HARP team
IP HARP investigators clockwise from top left: Eriko Onishi, M.D., M.C.R., C.M.D, Harry Krulewitch, M.D., M.P.H.; Sumathi Devarajan, M.D., C.M.D. and Seiko Izumi, Ph.D., R.N., F.P.C.N.
Ross_Amy 2020

SON HARP to Amy Ross

During the COVID 19 pandemic, many of you have found benefit to your physical and mental health through spending time in nature. For those who may not be able to venture outside due to the chronic effects of chemotherapy, radiation or other cancer treatments, Amy Ross, Ph.D, R.N., C.N.S., and her research team have developed a complementary therapy.

The pilot study, “Feasibility of substitution of virtual reality greenspace and volatile organic compound humidification to simulate the forest experience effects on immune system recovery”, will be funded for $25,000. The anticipated outcome will to be to “standardize procedures for main effects analysis of the simulated forest exposure intervention for use in future study” (Ross, AM. (2021).). It is a novel study of a simulated forest exposure therapy intervention using virtual reality and humidified volatile organic compounds. In this case, they will test phytoncides from wood essential oils which have been shown to induce human natural killer cells. (Tsao, et al. Health effects of a forest environment on natural killer cells in humans: an observational pilot study Oncotarget. 2018;9(23):16501-16511. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.24741).

Dr. Ross also received the Sigma, Beta Psi Chapter, Naomi Ballard Research Award and an Innovations award for her proposal.

2020 awardees

Two HARPs were granted in 2020 to fund a multi-institutional project that will add to the body of knowledge around end-of-life and the preferences of individuals in various Hispanic sub-groups. With these projects, preliminary data will be gathered to reassess the role of cultural factors in "advance directive" use among three generations of Hispanics of Mexican origin in Oregon and Texas.

They are uniquely designed as a collaboration between OHSU School of Nursing (SON) and University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) SON. The research, “Cultural beliefs of End-of-Life decision process of undergraduate nursing students and their parents and grandparents: A comparative study of two U.S. regions”, will measure end-of-life preferences and demographic-cultural factors of "advance directive" use among undergraduate-nursing students, their parents, and grandparents in Portland, Oregon and El Paso, Texas. The results will be compared by site and ethnicity (e.g., Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic Whites) to help identify potential intervention targets to be evaluated in future R-level funding and to further our knowledge of culturally appropriate, quality care for older adults.

Additionally, they will assess the feasibility of systemically engaging undergraduate nursing students from both universities in end-of-life research.

PROJECT 1, whose Principal Investigator (PI) is Lissi Hansen, Ph.D., R.N., will be based at OHSU SON and recruit from our students and their families.

PROJECT 2 will recruit SON students, and their families, at UTEP. Hector Olvera Alvarez, Ph.D., P.E., Sr. Associate Dean of Research and director of the Ph.D. program here at our OHSU School of Nursing is PI and will share responsibilities with Co-PI Guillermina Solis, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., F.N.P., G.N.P.-C., Assistant Professor and director of the FNP concentration at UTEP SON.

HARP 2020 PIs
HARP 2020 PIs (from left to right) Lissi Hansen, Ph.D., R.N,; Hector Olvera Alvarez, Ph.D., P.E.; Guillermina Solis, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., F.N.P., G.N.P.-C.

OHSU Foundation endowment

The Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence - Price Quasi Endowment was entrusted to the Hartford Center at OHSU by the OHSU Foundation in 2013. At the time, the Principal Gifts Office explained the Foundation's Board of Trustees awarded the entire Frances Price endowment to the Hartford Center "based upon our superb history of quality gerontological nursing students and talented faculty, combined with the national profile of the HCGE and the long-time generous support from The John A. Hartford Foundation."

We have funded eighteen studies over the past nine years on wide-ranging topics including symptombiology in heart failure, fall prevention, oral health clinical training, and dyadic research with multi-generational family members. Since 2014, we have awarded $437,381 to OHSU faculty and advance-practice nursing students.