Cancer Communication Research Center

A new beginning for the Cancer Research Network


The set of researchers and their history of institutional agreements that comprise the Cancer Research Network in the U.S., embedded within the HMO Research Network, kicked off a fourth round of funding from the National Cancer Institute.  This new 5-year award represents a departure for the CRN.  Its previous awards from NCI supported research projects at CRN site healthcare organizations such as Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, with the promise of comparative studies across the 15 or so member HMOs.  The new CRN award is an infrastructure grant, meaning that those investigators and staff supported by the award have the responsibility of identifying, helping, and supporting other researchers from outside and inside the CRN to draft and submit new research proposals and then conduct those studies.

All sorts of cancer-related project ideas are going to be encouraged as long as they propose to take advantage of the CRN as a resource for conducting studies.  The big advantage of the CRN is that it is a window into large HMOs with very large patient populations, as well as the docs and staff who serve those patients.  So issues of cancer communication, both prevention and care, can move right to the forefront.  As can proposals for studying dissemination and implementation, either in observational or intervention designs. 

Since these HMOs are care organizations rather than research organizations, relationships have to be built to successfully meet the stakeholders, collaborate, and engage the care delivery systems at each site.  But the reward can be access to truly impressive data systems, since each of these HMOs has sophisticated electronic medical record systems that can be queried to immediately show every "touch" or communicative encounter between providers and patients longitudinally, and the complete patient record of disease, physical conditions, perscriptions, and behavior modifications. 

Have ideas?  Contact me: 

Jim Dearing
Director/PI, CCRC

Written by CCRC at 08:05




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