Evaluation and improvement of cancer care delivery is of growing interest nationally, with a pressing need for research to support decisions by policy makers, hospital systems, payers, clinicians, and patients. Yet, there are a limited number of investigators with appropriate training to conduct rigorous research in this field. To address this need, the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center seeks to renew its R25T Cancer Care Quality Training Program (CCQTP) as a T32 (Years 11-16). During the next five years, the CCQTP proposes to support pre- and postdoctoral fellows yearly and train them for careers in multidisciplinary and collaborative research focused on quality of cancer care delivery. Led by three co-directors, Drs. Ethan Basch, Stephanie Wheeler, and Bryce Reeve, and an interdisciplinary Steering Committee supported by four external advisors, the CCQTP trains a variety of fellows, including behavioral scientists, epidemiologists, and physicians in relevant disciplines. The CCQTP has four objectives for our trainees: 1) to master a content area and demonstrate competence in pertinent research methods; 2) to develop collaborative capability by learning the basic principles of complementary content areas; 3) to gain mentored research expertise with the guidance of multidisciplinary preceptors; and 4) to develop professional skills required for a successful research career, including presenting research findings, writing for publication, and securing research funding. The flexible training is tailored to suit each fellow's needs and includes three basic elements: a) a specialized core curriculum that includes coursework, enrichment programs (seminars, special workshops, journal clubs, etc.) and training in the responsible conduct of research; b) hands-on research experience directed by teams of experienced faculty preceptors; and c) professional development, including experience in grant writing. Training generally lasts for two years, with salaries and research/development allowances designed to be consistent with other training programs at UNC. The outstanding research environment at UNC includes well- funded and nationally recognized programs in Cancer Health Policy and Management; Epidemiology; Pharmacoeconomics; and Clinical Medicine. The CCQTP enjoys close collaborations with the nationally recognized UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, School of Medicine, and Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and makes use of core facilities in each. Our 20 Preceptors and 14 Affiliates have been selected for their strong records of scholarship, funding, and mentorship. All trainees who have completed the program are currently in research-related positions aligned with the content and goals of the CCQTP. Although the CCQTP is a relatively young program, its trainees have produced 346 cancer-related publications, with 138 program-related publications, most which include CCQTP preceptor co-authors. Based on our success the past decade and large candidate pool, we seek to expand from 2 pre- and 2 postdoctoral fellows to 3 and 3, which the rich environment at UNC and well developed mentorship model can comfortably accommodate.

Public Health Relevance

Evaluation and improvement of cancer care quality is of growing interest nationally, with a pressing need for research to support decisions by policy makers, hospital systems, payers, clinicians, and patients ? evidenced by the recent creation of the National Cancer Institute's Healthcare Delivery Research Program in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Science, and its focus on Cancer Care Delivery Research. The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center's Cancer Care Quality Training Program (CCQTP) is a pre- and postdoctoral fellowship training program that prepares fellows for careers in cancer care quality research, by providing rigorous methodological training with an applied clinical orientation. The CCQTP has successfully trained researchers with a multidisciplinary and collaborative focus over the past decade, and proposes to continue its mission to train the next generation of investigators in this field over the next five years.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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Damico, Mark W
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Chapel Hill
United States
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Smith, Sophia K; Rowe, Krista; Abernethy, Amy P (2014) Use of an electronic patient-reported outcome measurement system to improve distress management in oncology. Palliat Support Care 12:69-73
Smith, Sophia K; Herndon, James E; Lyerly, H Kim et al. (2011) Correlates of quality of life-related outcomes in breast cancer patients participating in the Pathfinders pilot study. Psychooncology 20:559-64