Happy February, everyone! It was an interesting month weather-wise here in Portland. After unseasonably warm weather for much of the winter and the first half of the month, we suddenly had a cold snap and got several inches of snow on February 20th. But it only lasted a day or so before returning to normal.

Also on February 20th was the PCORnet PI retreat in Washington, DC. I went to the meeting along with Rebecca Block and Erika Cottrell. Rebecca is our new Research Associate who is also taking over the role of ADVANCE Project Director. Erika is a sociologist with OCHIN who was the ADVANCE co-PI on the PCORnet Health Systems Demonstration project, in partnership with the OneFlorida CDRN. Erika gave a presentation at the PI meeting about the Health Systems Demo project, and did a FANTASTIC job!! It was great to have her there to tell about the great work the team had done on that project.

Most of the PI meeting centered around PCRF and the coming switch from PCORnet 1.0 to PCORnet 2.0. Each presentation prompted lively conversations ranging from increasing the quality and power of engagement, seeing gaps in research as opportunities for collaboration, recognizing synergies to maximize system change and innovating on data as catalyst. During the working lunch, CDRNs and PPRNs rallied around ideas for PCORNet 2.0 discussing specific questions about vision, benchmarks, policies and priorities. Breakouts in the afternoon provided a great opportunity to share lessons learned, challenges faced and to brainstorm solutions and strategies related to data, clinical trials, PIs and engagement. Having time together in smaller groups allowed for informal discussion, brainstorming and even some commiserating over shared challenges. It is always nice to sit in a room together, shake hands with our colleagues from across the country and leave even more inspired, even if our minds full of more ideas than we can make happen.

PCORnet network partners were notified in the beginning of February that their Year 3, Month 5 Interim Progress Reports (IPR) would be due March 1, 2018. IPRs request members to give updates on specific PCORnet milestones, engagement/dissemination activities, publications/presentations, barriers and noteworthy accomplishments. ADVANCE’s IPR was submitted on March 1, and once it has been reviewed and approved by PCORnet will be e-mailed to all ADVANCE partners and made available on the ADVANCE iMeetCentral page.

March 1st marks an important transition for two key ADVANCE staff members, Nate Warren and Molly Krancari. Nate writes, “Thank you to the whole ADVANCE team for the opportunity to serve as an engagement-focused Research Associate on this work! A quick note of transition that I’ll be stepping back from the day-to-day engagement activities in my role to a more specified focus on patient-reported outcomes, patient portal strategies and some key engagement support through the remainder of the project timeline.”

Molly will be transitioning out of her ADVANCE Scientific Manager role to assist with other OCHIN research projects. She says, “I am incredibly grateful to have been part of our CDRN and a national network focused on making research more efficient and effective. It has been a pleasure working with you all of you!”

Finally, we invite you to join us for our March Grand Rounds presentation featuring Drs. Patrick O’Connor and Jill Sperl-Hillen from HealthPartners who will be presenting on point-of-care clinical decision support to reduce cardiovascular risk. The event will be held on Friday, March 9th from 12-1PM PT. Full registration details can be found here.

Wishing you all a wonderful month of March! Remember that spring is just around the corner.

Jon