UK nursing faculty receive grant to improve health in rural Ky.

A care provider talks with a patient.

Two UK College of Nursing faculty have received a $1.7 million grant aimed at improving health in rural Kentucky.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded Sharon Lock, PhD, professor and assistant dean of faculty practice, and assistant professor Dianna Inman, PhD, the award entitled, “Enhancing the Role of the Primary Care Registered Nurse in Rural Kentucky.”

Beginning in July and extending through July 2022, this four-year award will help recruit and train undergraduate nursing students and current registered nurses (RNs) to practice to the full extent of their license in community-based primary care teams.

“Given the rural nature of our state, this work is critical to the overall health and well-being of our citizens,” says Janie Heath, PhD, dean of the UK College of Nursing. “We appreciate Drs. Lock and Inman’s continued work in this arena, as well as the work of other faculty members who were key in the grant’s success: Drs. Hartley Feld, Jessica Wilson, Fran Feltner, Kristin Ashford and a special thanks to Dr. Marcia Stanhope for consulting.”

Sharon Lock, PhD

Sharon E. Lock, PhD, FNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP
Sharon E. Lock, PhD, FNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP

Lock, the principal investigator, serves as the director of the College of Nursing’s Phyllis D. Corbitt Community Health Center in Wilmore, Ky. She received BSN and MSN degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a PhD in nursing science from the University of South Carolina. She also received a post-master’s certificate as a primary care nurse practitioner from the University of Virginia.

Lock is certified as a family nurse practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Before coming to UK in 1997, she taught maternity nursing at East Carolina University and the University of Virginia. Lock served as the coordinator of the primary care nurse practitioner track for more than 15 years.

In 2010, she received the Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award from the College of Nursing. Lock’s research interests include teen pregnancy prevention and sexual risk reduction among adolescents. She has received NIH funding to study communication between sexual partners. She serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Adolescent Health and the Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. She served as secretary of the Southern Nursing Research Society from 2000 to 2002. In 2006, as a member of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, she served on the National Panel for Nurse Practitioner Practice Doctorate Competencies.

Lock is a member of the advisory board for the Kentucky Area Health Education Centers. She consulted with UK’s Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute to develop a women’s health interactive module for health care professionals, which is now offered nationally through the Public Health Foundation’s TRAIN web site.

Dianna Inman, PhD


Inman, grant project coordinator, is a pediatric nurse practitioner, primary care mental health specialist and assistant professor of nursing at UK in the graduate program. Dedicated to serving children and adolescents, her work has focused on assessing and treating students in schools in underserved areas with primary care, developmental and behavioral health services.

She is an active member in the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, has presented at national conferences and is a member of special interest groups related to school health and mental health. She has authored articles for “Ready Set Grow Health Information for Kids and Parents” magazine sponsored by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.

After joining the faculty in 2014, she quickly became dual-certified as a psych-mental health nurse practitioner and was awarded a more than $700,000 grant to tackle the challenge of alcohol use in Kentucky patient populations. Her three-year grant project, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, was designed to teach both undergraduate and graduate nursing students how to screen for alcohol use and provide a brief intervention among primary care patients.

Inman is also developing a creative online continuing education portal with simulated model-patient avatars to practice screening, intervention and offering a referral for further treatment. This gives busy community primary care providers throughout Kentucky and the nation a convenient and high-quality continuing education option that profoundly impacts their patient population.

Inman received the Outstanding Faculty Member Award from the Medical University of South Carolina and the distinguished Palmetto Gold Nurse Recognition Award by the South Carolina Nurses Foundation. She has received funding as co-PI from the Duke Endowment and Health Resources and Services Administration for implementing evidence-based programs to decrease aggressive behaviors in elementary school students.

As an advocate for children and adolescents, Inman has served on the First Steps Board to improve school readiness for children in Charleston County, S.C. She is passionate about improving health outcomes of children and adolescents through increasing nursing students’, nurses’ and practitioners’ knowledge and practice related to evidence-based care.

This content was produced by UK HealthCare Brand Strategy.

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