“LEARN Tour” to kick off this month
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – 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).
Over 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;
- And to strengthen the statewide network for collaboration.
“Members of our team have developed strong relationships with each of the WVPBRN partner sites,” explained Hodder. “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,” Arnold Hassen, Ph.D., WVPBRN co-director, said. “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.
In August 2012, the WVCTSI was awarded a $19.6 million IDeA Clinical and Translational grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences titled “West Virginia IDeA CTR” [Institutional Development Award for Clinical and Translational Research, 1U54RR033567-02; Hodder (Principal Investigator)] to support WVCTSI’s mission of building clinical and translational research infrastructure and capacity to impact health disparities in West Virginia.
This grant was matched by a $33.5 million commitment from several West Virginia entities to create a total funding of $53.1 million to recruit clinician scientists and provide infrastructure support in the areas of biostatistics, bioinformatics, community engagement and outreach, clinical research education and mentoring, ethical and regulatory knowledge support, and pilot grants (to grow clinical and translational research in the state).