Kani Diop-Lo and team win research development award during FSU’s Collaborative Collision

Human Development & Family Science faculty member Kani Diop-Lo and her interdisciplinary team of FSU colleagues won a $25,000 award during the recent Collaborative Collision program for their project addressing health literacy and education.

Each team participated in a 10-week development program with Florida State University’s Office of Research Development and pitched their ideas to a panel with the hopes of taking home seed funding to jumpstart their project.

The health team’s project focused on health literacy, a social determinant of health highly associated with other determinants (e.g., socioeconomic status, education, community). Low Health Literacy (LHL) increases the risk for negative health outcomes. Research indicates that individuals with LHL are twice as likely to have preventable emergency department visits, while underutilizing outpatient services when medically necessary. This overburdens health care systems and may lead to delays in care.

To address LHL, researchers will develop a game-based intervention that provides individuals with actionable instructions on when, where, and how to access credible health information. The research team will focus on disadvantaged Floridians in the Big Bend area because of the overwhelming evidence of higher risk for LHL and related health complications. Given Florida’s significantly higher infant and maternal mortality rates, the pilot program will focus on the relationship between LHL and pregnancy to improve outcomes.

The FSU Office of Research granted more than $172,000 to projects addressing STEM education, coastal resilience, health literacy and clean energy and transportation. The winning team, FSU CHOOSE, received more than $97,000.

“Bringing together people from different disciplines, with different skillsets and perspectives, is essential if we want to create innovative solutions to the complex problems Floridians are facing,” said Evangeline Coker, a research development coordinator.  “Interdisciplinary work isn’t easy. Interdisciplinary work requires a commitment to communication, to understanding the problem and your teammates, and to being open to new ideas from outside your comfort zone. That’s what these teams did. The results are exciting projects that will really benefit our local communities in amazing ways.”

Read more about the 2023 Collaborative Collision at news.fsu.edu.