Georgia Watch approved for a $15,000 award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

May 4, 2015 – Georgia Watch has been approved for a $15,000 award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to support a project on Assessing Health Outcomes in Rural Areas where Nurse Practitioners Provide Primary Care.

The Health Access Program at Georgia Watch 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 provision of primary care, particularly chronic disease management, in rural Georgia communities by Advanced Practice Registered Nurses.

Pipeline to Proposal Awards enable individuals and groups that are not typically involved in clinical research to develop the means to create community-led funding proposals focused on patient-centered comparative effectiveness research (CER). Established by the non-profit PCORI, the program funds three tiers of awards that help individuals or groups 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.

With this Pipeline to Proposal Award, Georgia Watch will convene stakeholders interested in improving patient access to primary care services, particularly chronic disease management, in rural areas.  In rural Georgia, several counties have no primary care physician, and another 13 have only one primary care physician serving the entire county. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory diseases are among the leading causes of death in Georgia. The Health Access Program recently studied and reported on the regulatory environment for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in Georgia and made recommendations for how Georgia can better utilize its existing APRN workforce to ensure that Georgians have an adequate system of care, particularly in rural parts of the state. The PCORI project will build on Georgia Watch’s previous work in this area by establishing a committee to formulate a patient-centered research question that compares the health outcomes of low-income adults with chronic conditions in rural communities that have nurse practitioners versus in communities that do not. Georgia Watch has a history of successfully convening healthcare partners to explore ways to improve patient outcomes and is extremely excited to undertake this important project. Georgia Watch is a nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization working to empower and protect Georgia consumers on matters that affect their wallets and quality of life through education, advocacy, and policy development.

“The Pipeline to Proposal Awards program is a manifestation of PCORI’s commitment to the meaningful involvement of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other stakeholders in all our research endeavors,” said Jean Slutsky, PA, MSPH, PCORI’s Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer. “It provides support to those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to contribute to the field of comparative effectiveness research. We’re pleased to follow the awardees’ progress as they develop partnerships and begin to form research questions.”

PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.