Happy 2018, everyone! I hope that everyone had a joyous and safe holiday season. We are now looking forward to an exciting year ahead as we work to continue the great work that you, our ADVANCE team and partners, are all doing.

Coming up in January, the ADVANCE team will be applying to join the People Centered Research Foundation (PCRF). The application is due January 26th, and all current PCORnet networks are being invited to apply. We will working hard to put out the best proposal we can in order to continue the great work the team has been doing, and also to continue the fantastic partnerships we have been developing with the other networks and collaborators across PCORnet.

We had several important achievements in December. Here are a couple:

I’d also like to mention that we will have a new Principal Investigator (PI) for the Health Disparities CRG: OHSU researcher and physician Dr. John Heintzman will take over the PI reins for ADVANCE. Dr. Mitchell Lunn of UCSF will continue as the Health Disparities CRG PI from the PRIDEnet network.

  • Erika Cottrell and Elizabeth Cope, who lead the Social Determinants of Health Research Interest Group (RIG), were awarded a grant from the Health Systems CRG to develop their proposal concept, which will expand the breadth and scope of the Health Systems Demonstration Project completed last August. They aim to submit this grant for full funding in May.

We have also had several exciting project developments this past month. Research Associate, MJ Dunne, writes:

  • ADVANCE partner, Fenway Health, was recently awarded funding from PCORI to study the best way to train community health center staff in the collection of sexual orientation and gender (SOGI) data. OCHIN is excited to partner on this study to help improve health outcomes for LGBTQ patients across the country.
  • Through the Health Disparities CRG and as part of the Sexual and Gender Minorities (SGM) RIG activities this year, we partnered with Fenway Health to submit a rapid cycle proposal to examine the health of LGBTQ people across PCORnet. If funded, we will partner with Mid-South CDRN, OneFlorida CDRN, PRIDEnet PPRN, and NACHC to evaluate the prevalence of SGM populations in safety net community health centers and determine associated health disparities and healthcare utilization with these populations. With recent introduction of SOGI data collection measures in the UDS, we are well positioned to add to the knowledge base of SGM patients in CHC settings across the nation. We look forward to learning about funding on this project in the new year.
  • John Heintzman, was recently awarded his first R01 to study asthma-related outcomes in Latino children. The study, “Bettering Asthma Care in Kids – Geographic Social Determinants Data to Understand Disparities (BACKGROUND)” will leverage the robust ADVANCE dataset to study asthma-related treatment in hundreds of thousands of low-income children across the United States. This study will also look at both community level SDOH and individual SDOH to see if there is an effect on utilization rates. We are thrilled to be able to tap in to the rich ADVANCE dataset to address the disparities that exist within this vulnerable population.

Thank you all for your continued involvement and support of ADVANCE. Through the wonderful work of our ADVANCE team and partners, I know that ADVANCE will thrive in this new year and continue to contribute in many substantial and exciting ways in conducting research and improving the care and outcomes of the safety net patients and clinics we all serve.

Jon Puro