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UF Program In The Villages Will Do Research Focused On Seniors Health

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USF HEALTH
Carla VandeWeerd of USF's College of Public Health will lead the UF project. She has done research for years in The Villages, and recently helped develop a COVID-19 drive-up screening program there.

The project begins by testing the use of blood thinners to reduce bad outcomes in COVID-19 patients, part of a study tied to Operation Warp Speed.

A research program from the University of Florida College of Medicine will be in The Villages to take a closer look at health issues affecting the elderly.

The project is part of UF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute and will be led by Carla VandeWeerd, a longtime medical researcher and faculty member with the University of South Florida's College of Public Health.

It begins by testing the use of blood thinners to reduce bad outcomes in COVID-19 patients, part of a study tied to Operation Warp Speed, the public–private partnership initiated by the President Donald Trump to facilitate and accelerate the development and distribution of coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics.

VandeWeerd has done research for years in The Villages, the nation's largest seniors community. She recently helped develop a COVID-19 drive-up screening program there and has also experimented with sensors in homes that monitor the well-being of residents.

In this program — a partnership with The Villages — VandeWeerd says she will start out with focus groups, talking with seniors about their health concerns.

“And then my goal,” she said, “is to actually be responsive to those needs and to make sure I’m connecting, you know, the brightest academic minds with the community’s needs.”

The researchers will do industry studies, as well. For example, they’re looking at a study using a toilet seat to monitor health indicators for older adults.