Patricia Lawrence, PhD, RN, CPNP-AC/PC

Patricia Lawrence is Director of Project Healthy Grandparents (PHG) at Georgia State University, as well as Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing. Project Healthy Grandparents is a community-based research program with a mission to improve the health and well-being of grandparents raising their grandchildren in parent absent homes. The program developed and continues to use an empirically validated, multidisciplinary, service delivery model specific to the needs of grandparent caregivers and their grandchildren. PHG is guided by the Family Stress and Adaptation Model which acknowledges the use of family strengths to help positive adaptation or enhanced resiliency against external stressors. The program’s one-year intervention includes monthly nursing and social work home visits, a monthly grandparent support group, and developmental screening and support services for grandchildren. Throughout PHG’s 12-month intervention, an emphasis is placed on educating and empowering families about health-related issues and available community resources. Research evaluating the program’s effectiveness demonstrates that PHG grandparents experience statistically significant improvements in family resources, social support, family coping, and improved physical and mental health attributes and health promotion behaviors.

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