See a note below from our PI- Mark Pletcher about a new opportunity!
The goal of the Health eHeart Alliance is to “pioneer new ways to empower patients in improving research, care, and quality of life for heart patients.” We’ve got a new way to organize researchers and patients and achieve this goal; it’s called the PCORnet Cardiovascular Health Collaborative Research Group. That’s a mouthful, but all the words are important:
- PCORnet is the national network of organizations, like ours, dedicated to doing research that’s important to patients;
- Cardiovascular Health is the whole point of our network! (The heart is the key organ in the cardiovascular system); and
- Collaborative Research Group means we are working with several other major networks across the country to do research that none of us could have done alone.
The last part is what’s new, and we’re excited about it. As you know from our website and previous Blog posts, the Health eHeart Alliance works closely with the Health eHeart Study to engage in research projects that are important for heart health. The Health eHeart Study has some fantastic and unique capabilities in terms of data collection and use of technology, and almost 40,000 patients participating. But the Cardiovascular Health Collaborative Research Group (CVH CRG, as we call it) also includes major medical centers across the country like the Mayo Clinic, the University of Florida, a nationwide network of safety net clinics for low-income patients, and the University of California’s 5 major medical centers. The inclusion of these medical centers, and leading researchers at this centers, means that we can reach literally millions of patients and their physicians, engage them in research projects, and take advantage of all the electronic health record data they are collecting as they deliver health care for research. This opens up all sorts of opportunities for major, ground-breaking research projects. It’s what PCORnet has wanted to do all along, and now we really have a chance to make it happen.
Our goal in the next 6 months is to launch grant applications to support NINE or more major research projects using PCORnet resources (including the Health eHeart Alliance/Study and our partner networks) that are patient-centered and scientifically important. We are about to launch a new Community Forum linked with the Health eHeart Study website, and we’ll be launching conversations for patients and family members interested in particular conditions and asking what is important to YOU, what have you learned that could help other patients, and what research do you think we should prioritize. Look for invitations in early February! Shortly thereafter, we’ll be inviting researchers from around the country to join the Forum too and start participating in those conversations. We believe the key to doing great research is to partner motivated researchers with real patients (you!) who can help them keep the research focused on things that are truly important.
Nine teams, including a researcher and a patient leader (that could be you!) will be selected to lead these projects. Our funding agency (PCORI) is supporting travel for these teams to an all-day meeting in Washington DC with PCORnet leaders, other researchers and patients, and PCORI leadership. The goal of this meeting is to help refine the research projects with the help of national leaders, and launch applications for funding (research takes money) that will be highly competitive. Check out this Call for Proposals (it’s sort of the equivalent of this Blog post, but meant for researchers) for more information about how we’ll be selecting the nine teams and applications to support.
We hope you’ll come to the Forum, join the conversations about research, and consider teaming up with a researcher to lead a major study!