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UNF professor receives VA grant to improve care of veterans

Dr. Fei Heng, UNF assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, received a grant from the Salem Veteran Affairs Medical Center to develop statistical models to improve the care of veterans with chronic kidney disease. The grant is an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) agreement, a contract between the University of North Florida and a federal sponsor.  

Heng’s research project will analyze the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) electronic health records database to support the activities and strategies of the Center for Disease Control’s Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Initiative. The project’s primary goal is to analyze large electronic health records through more rigorous biostatistical and epidemiological methods to help understand the reasons behind the disparities in disease progression and outcome in CKD/ESKD (end-stage renal disease) among racial and ethnic groups. This study will foster methodological advances in CKD research using large-scale survival data and the findings have great potential to lead to the development of effective strategies to improve outcomes for veterans with CKD.

Heng will contribute his expertise to the statistical methodology development for the analyses of the VA electronic health records data while working with other team members from the Salem VA medical center and the University of Virginia.

Heng obtained his Ph.D. in applied mathematics (statistics) in 2019 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has expertise in statistical methods needed for this project such as survival and event history analysis, analysis of incomplete data, and longitudinal studies.