Program: Mandel School PhD candidate
For individuals with kidney disease, navigating treatment can take a physical and psychological toll. But patients don’t have to go through it alone. While working at a dialysis center, Tyrone C. Hamler saw firsthand the impact social workers could have in these situations by offering pre-dialysis support and education.
Now a PhD candidate at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Hamler is focusing his research in this area to try to make a difference. Specifically, he is conducting phone interviews with patients who have kidney disease to discuss early intervention and make the case for its benefits.
“Working with patients and their families motivated me to want to engage in research to improve the health care system and advocate for health equity,” Hamler said.
Hamler hopes his work will help alleviate health disparities and reduce the uncertainty older Black adults encounter when faced with non-dialysis dependent advanced Chronic kidney disease.
The PhD candidate recently received a dissertation research grant from the Centers for Dialysis Care’s Rosenberg Foundation, in addition to several awards from Case Western Reserve University. Hamler has garnered awards and grants for his work since 2009, including from the National Association of Social Workers, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Initiative and the Gerontological Society of America.
Outside of research, Tyrone volunteers with the Medical Advisory Board of the National Kidney Foundation of Northern Ohio, assisting with program development, evaluation and patient education. Moving forward, he looks to continue helping others.
“I study social work to advocate for equity, disrupt the status quo, and advocate for populations that are marginalized,” he said. “My plans for the future are to find employment in academia and work towards happiness and freedom.”