Editor’s note: This page was updated on March 14, 2024, to clarify the awards process through which the UCLA research team’s paper was selected.

A research team from the UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health has been honored with the 2023 Barbara Thompson Excellence in Research on Military and Veteran Families Award for their paper on a novel study that utilized a virtual home visiting model to reach military families who are dispersed in civilian communities across California.

Their paper, “A trauma-informed, family-centered, virtual home visiting program for young children: One-year outcomes,” was published in Child Psychiatry and Human Development. It was selected for the award from a pool of over 600 articles focused on military families published in 2022. The study was meant to evaluate the Families OverComing Under Stress-Early Childhood, or FOCUS-EC, virtual telehealth model for military-connected families with 3- to 6-year-old children.

The FOCUS-EC intervention, led by Catherine Mogil, associate clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was developed to mitigate the impact of trauma on families and teach them skills that promote resilience in children. Lessons learned from the study were used to support mental health teams in adapting to virtual delivery of therapeutic services for young children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Study co-authors include Nastassia Hajal, assistant clinical professor at the Geffen School of Medicine; Hilary Aralis, assistant professor in residence at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; Blair Paley, clinical professor at the Geffen School of Medicine; Dr. Norweeta Milburn, professor in residence at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA; Wendy Barrera, data director at the UCLA-UC San Francisco ACEs Aware Family Resilience Network; licensed clinical psychologist Cara Kiff; Dr. William Beardslee, director of the Baer Prevention Initiatives at Boston Children’s Hospital and a distinguished professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; and Dr. Patricia Lester, director of the UCLA Division of Population Behavioral Health and the Nathanson Family Resilience Center.

Read the full story about the Division of Population Behavioral Health’s research and recognition on the DPBH website.