Child and Adolescent Health Research Design and Support Unit


Child and Adolescent Health Research Design and Support (CAHRDS) Unit of the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Louisville School of Medicine exists to improve effectiveness, quality, safety, and delivery of health care and promote optimal health for all children in Kentucky. The Unit will support missions of the University of Louisville, School of Medicine, and the Department of Pediatrics through the application of pediatric health services research and serving as the faculty resource for project design, implementation, and dissemination.


The faculty and staff of the CAHRDS Unit are guided by values of 1) improving child health and well-being through developing evidence that identifies best practices, 2) pursuing scientific rigor with integrity and accountability, and 3) building collaborative and inclusive University and community partnerships.


With the mindset of "what is best for children," the CAHRDS Unit expects to produce excellent research that serves the health and well-being of children, their families and communities, and our colleagues who provide health care services to them.

What is Health Services Research?

Health services research is a multidisciplinary field of study that aims to understand factors that influence child and adolescent health, which includes families, communities, and organizations. Areas of study may include health behaviors, social influences/determinants of health, access to care, care quality, health care costs, resource utilization, and system structures, processes, and policies.


Contact Us

Telephone: 502.852.9187

Meet Our Team

Executive Committee

The executive committee oversees the programs and projects of the Child and Adolescent Health Research Design and Support Unit

Deborah Winders Davis, PhD
Director, Child and Adolescent Health Research Design and Support Unit
Director, Louisville Twin Study
Interests:  Early childhood development, health disparities, behavioral and mental health, mentorship on research design, data management, and grant and management writing.
Research Bio

Aaron Calhoun, MD
Interests: Medical education research and qualitative design and methodology

Liza Creel, PhD
Interests:  Maternal/child health, children with special healthcare needs, interorganizational relationships, health delivery systems and services
Research Bio

Scott Duncan, MD, MHA
Interests:  Neonatal healthcare utilization, healthcare costs, and administrative quality

Yana Feygin, MS

William David Lohr, MD
Interests: Appropriate use of psychotropic medications, foster parent education, and child welfare workforce education

Kendra Sikes, MSc
Manager, Research Development and Support

Michael J. Smith, MD
Duke University
Interests: Antibiotic stewardship and vaccination uptake

Michelle Stevenson, MD. MS
Research Bio

Bethany Wattles, PharmD, MHA
Interests: Appropriate medication use and medical provider and public education campaigns
Research Bio


Cevelle Barna, MS, Psychometrician

Louisville Twin Study

Kahir Jawad, MD, MS, Biostatistician (Email)

State University Partnership
ECHO Project
Antiobiotic Stewardship
Geographic Information System (GIS)

Ariel King, BA, Research Coordinator (Email)

Louisville Twin Study

Shelby Monahan, EdS., Psychometrician (Email)

Louisville Twin Study

Lesa Ryan, BS, Research Coordinator (Email)

Louisville Twin Study

Contact Us

Telephone: 502.852.9187

Programs and Studies

Antibiotic Stewardship Workgroup

Antibiotic Stewardship Workgroup  includes clinicians and researchers from the University of Louisville CAHRDS unit and Norton Children’s Research Institute who have been working to improve antibiotic use to Kentucky children for 5+ years. Their work to date has focused on improving antibiotic use in the outpatient setting. In addition to research using KY Medicaid claims, this group also collaborates regularly with state and national leaders to drive improvements in antibiotic prescribing. For more information, please email the team .

KentuckyAntibiotic Awareness (KAA) is a campaign to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use across the state of Kentucky.  KAA encourages healthcare professionals and community members to utilize the educational resources provided here.  The materials available on this site were developed by health professional researchers from the University of Louisville, Department of Pediatrics, Child and Adolescent Health Research Design and Support Unit (CAHRDS).

Child Health Equity Research Interest Group

The Child Health Equity Research Interest Group (CHERIG) started in 2020 with two goals. 1) Create an open, positive, collaborative environment which will facilitate improving child health equity through research, scholarly activity, and grant opportunities. And 2) Collaborate with University faculty, trainees, and leaders, Norton Healthcare, and community partners on policy, research, and care related to child health equity.  The group meets twice a quarter where members share ideas for projects, define project aims and methods, and share outcomes of research of interest. If you are interested in learning more about CHERIG, please email the team.


Kentucky SafeMed Program

Kentucky SafeMed is a program to encourage safe use of medications in children across Kentucky.  Our focus is on deprescribing psychotropic medications, to prevent unnecessary side effects. The materials available on this site were developed by health professionals from the University of Louisville, Department of Pediatrics, Child and Adolescent Health Research Design and Support Unit.

Louisville Twin Study 

The Louisville Twin Study is internationally recognized as one of the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive studies of child development related to multiple birth status and is unique because of the extensive, longitudinal assessments and because of the relatively low rate of mobility out of the Louisville area.

The Louisville Twin Study was an important part of the history of the University of Louisville and the Department of Pediatrics. Participants contributed significantly to our understanding of the complex interactions between genes and the environment. Twin and family studies provide a unique method to examine the many factors that contribute to developmental and health outcomes of children and to understand the underlying processes responsible for individual differences in those outcomes.


Medical Education Research Group

The Medical Education Research Group, led by Dr. Aaron Calhoun, aims to support scholarly projects involving education of medical students and residents. The group meets quarterly where members share ideas, project status and receive input on projects. If you are interested in learning more about Medical Education Research, please email Dr. Calhoun.

State University Partnership

The State University Partnership (SUP) is a research program between Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) leadership and university research centers to expand Cabinet research capacity, support development of evidence-based policy and foster a research community in the commonwealth. State University Partnerships are a collaboration between CHFS and Kentucky’s public universities to produce research that expands our understanding of how to improve the health and well-being of Kentuckians. These partnerships provide a forum for researchers and government leaders to learn from one another and apply research insights to effective policies and programs.


Contact Us

Telephone: 502.852.9187

Resources for Medical Providers and Investigators

Access thePediatrics Research Internal Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I connect my patient with one of your studies?

 Please call the Pediatric Clinical Research Unit (502) 629-5820 and select option 1 to be connected with the appropriate Research Coordinator or ask your patients to complete the Patient Interest Form.

How can I find resources to help me conduct research? 

Access the Pediatrics Research Internal Resources page for more information.

I am unsure what types of approval my project needs. How can I get help?

After IRB and Norton Research Office approval, how do request data for projects in EPIC?

     Please log into the Pediatrics Internal Research Resources page to access instructions.

I am on a research study. How do I complete my training?   

Institutional requirements:

  • Before you begin Training - Study Personnel Requirements
  • Additional trainings and forms:
    • Bloodborne Pathogens Training must be completed annually by all faculty members.  Once you log in with your UofL credentials, go to Training - Course Directory- Bloodborne Pathogens Training - Launch Course.
    • Attestation and Disclosure Form - Instructions for completing the online ADF are here.  Must be completed annually by faculty.
    • CITI (human subjects) and HIPAA Research Fundamentals visit CITI Program website
  • Sponsor requirements:
    • Individual clinical trials or sponsored studies may have specific training requirements beyond institutional training.
    • Check with your sponsor for more details.

I am the PI on a study, what are my responsibilities?

  • Provide link to online training module (Coming Soon...)
  • PI responsibilities and/or a document to verify PI training(Coming Soon...)
  • Access the Pediatrics Research Internal Resources page for more information

I need help finding additional training related to conducting research. Where can I go?


Contact Us

Division of Clinical & Translational Research
Phone: 502.629.5820
Fax: 502.629.5285

Make a donation to Pediatrics Clinical & Translational Research