“LEARN Tour” to kick off this month

With warmer spring weather comes road trips and Sally Hodder, M.D., director of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI), is hitting the road to learn more about partner sites in the West Virginia Practice-Based Research Network (WVPBRN).

During the coming months, Dr. Hodder plans to crisscross West Virginia and visit the more than 50 clinics that make up the WVPBRN. She will meet with leaders and staff at the sites to learn more about their day-to-day work and discuss how WVCTSI can further support them in their community-based research efforts.

Titled the “LEARN Tour,” the visits aim to:

  • Help WVCTSI learn about the clinics and the communities they serve
  • Engage partner site staff in community research efforts
  • Activate Research endeavors with community partners
  • Allow WVCTSI to respond to identified needs and with realistic solutions
  • Strengthen the statewide network for collaboration.

“Members of our team have developed strong relationships with each of the WVPBRN partner sites,” Hodder explained. “I’m really looking forward to meeting all of the people who are on the front lines of healthcare in West Virginia, so we can learn more about their work and the communities they serve as we identify ways in which WVCTSI can provide additional support.”

The WVPBRN is one of the first practice-based research networks in the state and was formed in 2013 to create a cohesive, statewide “web” of providers who could work together on translational community research endeavors. There are partner sites throughout the state from the Eastern Panhandle to the Ohio River and to the southern counties. The network is operated out of the Community Engagement and Outreach Core of the WVCTSI.

"Rural healthcare providers working in community health clinics are the key to improving the health and healthcare of West Virginia. We are excited that Dr. Hodder will be traveling to our PBRN partners and will have the opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities they face in their communities," said Arnold Hassen, Ph.D., WVPBRN co-director. "And we look forward to better serving our rural communities by strengthening our relationships within the PBRN."

The WVPBRN staff is currently working with contacts at partner sites to identify target dates for tour stops beginning this month and running through October.

Partner site contacts should contact Stacey Whanger at 304-581-1821 or Jay Mason at 304-293-9786 to discuss scheduling options, particularly if there are upcoming events or activities that could also be good opportunities for visits.

The public will be able to follow the LEARN Tour on the WVCTSI Facebook and Twitter pages.