Clarkson University Associate Professor of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering Douglas Bohl and Associate Professor of Psychology and Interim Head of The Clarkson School Jennifer Knack have been awarded the Walker Fellowship to study mental health issues in rural EMS providers.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bohl and Knack have expanded their project slightly to include the effect that COVID-19 is having on the EMS community and its mental health.
Bohl and Knack, who are also collaborating with Brenton Faber, Professor of Writing at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, are conducting an online survey to determine how the current crisis is affecting the EMS community.
Following that survey, the researchers will conduct interviews with a select number of providers to get more personal responses. In approximately eight to 12 months, the group will be conducting a second round of surveys and interviews to assess the long term effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the EMS system.
“Our goal is to document the short term and then long term impact of the COVID crisis on EMS,” Bohl said. “Impacts we are investigating include mental health, PTSD and commitment to the profession. We plan to use the results of this work to develop mental health resources for the local North Country EMS system and to enable EMS services in other locations to develop their own local solutions.”
The study will be designed to examine both community type (rural vs. urban) as well as state location. State location will allow researchers to analyze the data based on state as the crisis is impacting different states at different levels.
The T. Urling and Mabel Walker Research Fellowship Program, funded by the Campaign for the T. Urling and Mabel Walker Research Fellowship Program, administered by the SUNY Potsdam's Office of the Provost and College Advancement, is used to encourage faculty from the North Country’s 11 institutions of higher education to undertake research on critical issues confronting North Country communities, with the objective of making recommendations for their solutions.