Vital Signs » Winter 2018
A team of researchers led by the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine has been approved for a $25,000 funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to support a project focused on better understanding the health needs of Ohio’s refugee population.
Kate Conway, M.D., ’05, M.P.H., assistant professor of family medicine and director of medical education in the Department of Family Medicine at the Boonshoft School of Medicine, is the leader of the project, “Refugee Centered Medical Home – PCMH Working Better for Our Newest Neighbors.” This is the second year that Conway’s team has received a PCORI award. In 2016, the team received a $15,000 award.
Her team is composed of several partners, including Michael Murphy, Catholic Social Services of Miami Valley, Center for Families; Cathy Vue, Asian Services in Action; Surendra Bir Adhikari, Ph.D., Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; Celeste Collins, Ph.D., assistant professor, School of Social Work, Cleveland State University; Earl Pike, Center for Reducing Health Disparities, Case Western Reserve University; Jesse Reed, manager, JobConnect Ohio, CareSource; Yonathan Kebede, vice president, operations, Premier Health; and patient and student representatives.
Conway and her team will use the funds provided through PCORI’s Pipeline to Proposal Awards program to build a partnership of individuals and groups who share a desire to advance patient-centered outcomes research focused on the health of Ohio’s refugee population.
Pipeline to Proposal Awards enable individuals and groups not typically involved in clinical research to develop community-led funding proposals focused on patient-centered comparative effectiveness research. Established by the nonprofit PCORI, the program funds help individuals or groups to build community partnerships, develop research capacity, and hone a comparative effectiveness research question that could become the basis of a research funding proposal to submit to PCORI or other health research funders.
Refugees come to the United States for resettlement and begin their new lives away from conflict. Ohio has systems in place to help them integrate and succeed in their new jobs, homes, and schools.
“Health care is an obvious critical need for new arrivals, but too often they become part of a growing health disparity in our country,” Conway said. “There is confusion on all sides — the health care providers, the refugee patient, and the insurance companies. This confusion sustains an ineffective model of care that costs more and works less.”
In the tier I phase of the project, the team gathered together for the purpose of bringing patient-centeredness to the health needs of refugee patients. By the end of tier I, the team was able to recruit refugee patient representatives to the group.
“This group will now develop further recruitment and communication strategies to ensure more refugee patient participation, more health care provider education, and more insurance company connections to facilitate improved health care access and delivery,” Conway said. “During tier I, we hosted various meetings and focus groups that captured themes of health topics people were interested in further developing.”
— Heather Maurer