The EMMES Corporation has partnered with New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) to establish the Practitioners Engaged in Applied Research and Learning (PEARL) Network, which will organize, train, and facilitate a network of dental practitioners to conduct research of immediate relevance to dentists and their patients nationwide. Studies supervised by PEARL will test specific strategies for the prevention, management, and treatment of multiple oral conditions, augmenting the knowledge base for clinical decision-making. PEARL participants also will conduct anonymous chart reviews for collecting and disseminating data on disease and treatment trends and to obtain prevalence estimates of less common conditions. To achieve this aim, the PEARL Network has organized four interactive cores, each of which includes an EMMES staff member as an Assistant Director, and will focus on the performance of key functions: (1) a Recruitment, Retention, Operations Core (2) a Training and Certification Core (3) a Protocol Development Core (4) an Information Dissemination Core. As the PEARL Coordinating Center, The EMMES Corporation will provide statistical and epidemiologic expertise in study design, execution and reporting, establish a web-based data management/information dissemination system, insure an appropriate quality assurance program is implemented, sub-contract with the Biomedical Research Alliance of New York (BRANY) central IRB, and provide administrative support for DSMB meetings, medical monitoring and regulatory support as needed. The PEARL Network will benefit from key resources already established through NYUCD: (1) an on-site team of experienced investigators, communication experts, and a strong quality assurance group partnered with senior academic and industry advisors;(2) a highly supportive environment at the NYUCD, including the facilities and staff of the Bluestone Center for Clinical Research, the Masters program in Clinical Research, excellent press access, award winning communications vehicles;and the Rosenthal Institute of Continuing Education;(3) a partnership with the Levin Group, the largest dental practice-management consulting firm;(4) practitioner partnerships reaching thousands of dentists through the Academy of General Dentistry, MetLife, the Scottish Dental PBRN, Health Partners, and Kaiser Permanente;(5) collaborations with distinguished researchers;(6) an External Advisory Board of experienced members of medical and dental PBRNs;and (7) a web-based P-I application established by EMMES and NYUCD in May 2004 with over 150 interested dentists identified. In summary, the PEARL Network is uniquely positioned to establish and maintain a PBRN that will conduct research studies designed to positively impact oral health.
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