The health care status of West Virginia (WV) and the surrounding Appalachian region are well known and best captured by its highest total mortality and its 43rd national ranking among states in terms of overall health. The state ranks number two in cancer deaths, number three in heart disease-related deaths, third in overall diabetes prevalence, fifth in asthma prevalence, and first in prevalence of COPD in the nation. The long-term goal of this proposal is to establish a center of excellence that produces ongoing rigorous research in health services and health outcomes that will focus on reducing health disparities and improve the overall health of the citizens of WV. The objective of this proposal is to develop an infrastructure to create a West Virginia Collaborative Health Outcomes Research of Therapies and Services (CoHORTS) Center at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center (WVUHSC). The rationale for this project is that developing research infrastructure and increasing the capacity to conduct ongoing health services research will provide timely and critically needed region-specific research information to patients, providers, policy makers, and payers of health care in WV to improve the quality of, and access to, health care in the state.
The specific aims of the study are to: 1) create a data repository of various state and federal health care data to serve as a data resource and catalyst for the conduct of health services and health outcomes research in WV; 2) develop collaborative relationships that brings together health services researchers to stimulate multidisciplinary research, and develop a plan for new faculty recruitment and investment for long-term growth in health services and health outcomes research; and 3) establish a mentoring program for junior faculty investigators to become more competitive for federally funded grants in health services and health outcomes research. The WV CoHORTS Center will be located in the WVUHSC, the leading institution for health care and research in the state of WV. The proposed Center has strong institutional support and is consistent with a strategic research plan that is being implemented at WVUHSC to increase its research competitiveness. A health data repository will be built by capitalizing on long-standing collaborative relationships with state agencies and health systems. Activities will be conducted that bring together health services researchers to form a research network, and a structured mentoring program to utilize senior funded researchers as mentors to junior faculty members will be developed. BRIC funding is vital to building a sustainable health services infrastructure and to increase capacity for WVUHSC to become competitive for larger federal research awards. The vision is for the Center to become a model for other rural and medically underserved states in the conduct of research that reduce health disparities, enhance the use of cost-effective health services, and improve overall health care quality. ? ? ?
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