September 27-28, 2001

ITEM 112-2013-R0901   Authorization to Establish a Center for Research on Chronic Health Conditions in Rural Dwellers; Montana State University - Bozeman


THAT: The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University - Bozeman to establish a Center for Research on Chronic Health Conditions in Rural Dwellers.


EXPLANATION: Chronic illness affects all aspects of a person's life including perceptions of stress, social support, and quality of life and, as a result, exacts emotional strain, alterations in physical functioning, and disruption of family/social roles. It is not a question of curing the disease, but of maintaining the highest quality of life by reducing the impact of chronic illness. Health maintenance is an important issue for people with chronic illness and includes prevention, optimal self-management, and optimal professional care. For people with chronic illness who live in rural areas, illness management and health maintenance are an even greater challenge because these people often must struggle in isolation to meet the challenges of dealing with chronic illness. The Center for Research on Chronic Health Conditions in Rural Dwellers will address issues associated with the management of chronic illness within the rural context. The goals of the Center are: a) facilitate nursing and interdisciplinary research related to management of chronic health conditions by rural dwellers with a focus on promoting healthy behaviors, avoiding complications, encouraging self-management, and supporting the family; b) enhance the prerequisite research skills to conduct research regarding the management of chronic health conditions in a rural environment; c) enhance the research infrastructure; and d) disseminate scientific information related to rural dwellers' management of chronic health conditions to a variety of audiences, including undergraduate and graduate students, nurse clinicians, and other health care providers, policy makers, the public, and the media. Research capacity building for the nursing faculty and the development of a strong infrastructure to support that research is seen as the overriding objective for this center. Ultimately, it is envisioned that collaboration with interdisciplinary colleagues and with nurse scholars across the region will occur in order to better address the needs of rural populations who are living with chronic health problems.

The National Institute of Nursing Research in the National Institute of Health recently awarded the College of Nursing a three year grant to establish and support the Center. Funding will begin August 1, 2001. No other funding will be required for Center operations.