News and Events

Gretchen Schwarze Awarded R03 Grant from National Institute on Aging

Schwarze GEMMSTAR Grant

Dr. Gretchen Schwarze recently received an R03 award from the National Institute on Aging to conduct a feasibilty study of a communication tool to help older adults facing difficult surgical decisions make choices that align with their personal preferences. In the project, Dr. Schwarze and colleagues will train surgeons on the use of the tool, assess patient acceptance of the tool, and lay the groundwork for a larger-scale efficacy trial.

Pediatric Complex Care Program Receives CMS Innovation Award

Ryan Coller CMS Innovation Award

Dr. Ryan Coller will be participating in a $9.45 million CMS Innovation Award that was recently received by the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the UW Health Pediatric Complex Care Program, and the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Special Needs Program. The award will enable further development of the Pediatric Complex Care Program's mission of care coordination for children with medical complexity.

HIP Investigators Awarded UW-ICTR Pilot Grants


Several HIP investigators were recently awarded pilot grants from the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (UW-ICTR). Drs. Christie Bartels, Michelle Chui, Korey Kennelty, Nancy Pandhi, and Gretchen Schwarze will be conducting projects on a variety of topics in inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy settings that engage patients and community health care organizations as collaborators.

Clinical and Community Outcomes Research Awards

Dr. Christie Bartels will be conducting an intervention to improve hypertension control and reduce cardiovascular events in patients requiring specialty care, a population that has been shown to have gaps in blood pressure care and follow-up. She will be working with the UW Health Rheumatology Clinic and academic collaborators Dr. Diane Lauver, Dr. Heather Johnson, and Dr. Yingqi Zhao.

In conjunction with the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, the Oregon Area Senior Center, Supporting Active Independent Lives, and ShopKo PharmaciesDr. Michelle Chui will be conducting a pilot project to make pharmacists more accessible to seniors while they are making decisions to support over-the-counter medications. The goal of the project is to prevent adverse drug events, and potentially reduce hospitalizations. Dr. Chui's academic collaborators include Cynthia Phelan, Lauren Welch, and Dr. Jamie Stone

Dr. Korey Kennelty will be working with Mallatt's Pharmacy and Marshfield Clinic Pharmacies to ensure that all patients being discharged from the hospital receive the medications from community pharmacies that they are prescribed. Dr. Kennelty will also be soliciting input from community pharmacists throughout Wisconsin to better understand the medication reconciliation process, and intends to solicit input from patients in the next phase of this research. She will be working with collaborators Dr. David Kreling, Dr. Margaret Wise, and Dr. Amy Kind.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Awards

Dr. Nancy Pandhi and collaborators Sarah Davis and Dr. Nora Jacobson will be conducting a project to better understand the effectiveness of integrated mental health and primary care models on outcomes of interest to patients, with the long-term goal of improving health care delivery for individuals with mental illness. To do this, the investigators will be working with several community partners—the United Way of Dane County, WORT Community Radio, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cornucopia, Inc., Access Community Health Centers, Group Health Cooperative, and UW Health—to identify and prioritize outcomes important to the public from an integrated mental health and primary care model, as well as engage delivery system partners to help identify the differences and similarities in the components of their integrated mental health and primary care models.

Dr. Gretchen Schwarze and collaborator Dr. Paul Rathouz will be working with the Center for Patient Partnerships and several patient-family programs within UW Health to clarify the pre-operative decision needs of patients who will be undergoing high-risk surgery, as well as develop a patient navigation tool for use in high-stakes surgical decision making. The goal of this project is to help patients better understand the potential complications and downstream outcomes of high-risk surgery so that they can make informed decisions about whether to proceed.

HIPxChange Toolkits Now Available on AAMC MedEdPORTAL


The Children's Hospital Safety Climate Questionnaire and Access Integrated Primary Care Consulting Psychiatry toolkit were recently posted as resources in the iCollaborative section of the AAMC MedEdPORTAL, a website that aims to equip healthcare professionals across the continuum of care with tools to improve patient care.

The Children's Hospital Safety Climate Questionnaire is a tool with 14 questions related to parent perceptions of the hospital safety climate, which were adapted from the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. You can view the Children's Hospital Safety Climate Questionnaire profile on the iCollaborative here.

The Access Integrated Primary Care Consulting Psychiatry toolkit includes a detailed flow diagram showing how the primary care physicians, behavioral health consultant, and consulting psychiatrist work together within a clinic, and the key elements of communication during interactions between these entities. The toolkit's profile can be viewed on the iCollaborative here.

University of Wisconsin Approved for $2.1 Million Funding Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Jacobs PCORI Grant

Can peer support do a better job than standard community services of keeping elderly people out of hospitals and nursing homes?

A University of Wisconsin-Madison research team led by Dr. Elizabeth Jacobs, associate professor of medicine and associate vice chair for health services research, was awarded $2.1 million by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study “The Effectiveness of Peer-to-Peer Community Support to Promote Aging in Place.” This three-year study is one of 33 grants approved in this year’s cycle by PCORI.

The study will compare community-based, peer-to-peer support to standard community services in the promotion of health and wellness in older adults at risk for frequent use of acute-health care services and/or nursing home placement.

“Only about 10 percent of grants were approved this cycle, so this speaks to the skill and community partnerships we have at Wisconsin. Our planning is already underway and we are very proud of our robust partnership with the Milwaukee-based Alliance for Children and Families, a nationwide network of nearly 500 nonprofit human-serving organizations. The fact that our work is of import to patients, their families, and is community-based research helped us secure the grant and gave us the best real-world context in which to conduct this study,” said Jacobs.

While the investigative team is based in Madison, study participants, adults over age 65, will be from three different communities across the country: Los Angeles, California; Palm Beach, Florida; and Rochester, New York. Each of those communities has established peer-to-peer programs by robust community-based nonprofit organizations that are members of the Alliance for Children and Families. They include Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles; Alpert Jewish Family & Children‘s Service of Palm Beach, and The Community of Place of Greater Rochester. A total of 360 participants will be followed over 12 months, comparing at-risk older adults receiving peer-to-peer support to the same number of at-risk older adults who receive standard community services. 

“Peer-to-peer support is basically like having a trusted friend to help you. My job is to study and find evidence of the effectiveness of this support. These three communities will give us a great opportunity to generate evidence that could be widely applied across the country,” said Jacobs.

The study will examine how peer-to-peer support enhances over-all well-being, and affects rates of depression and anxiety. The research team will also assess whether it prevents hospitalization, emergency-department visits, and nursing-home placement.

“The aging population would like to age in the communities where they live, but that has become increasingly difficult because of the structure and lack of services. We believe older adults in the peer-to-peer support groups will have lower rates of hospitalization, emergency-department visits, and nursing home placements compared to the standard service group,” said Jacobs.

Participants will be able to enroll in the study starting next spring.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. PCORI has approved nearly $549 million to support 313 research studies and initiatives since it began funding in 2012.

August 28, 2014. Press Release Contact: Emily Kumlien, (608) 265-8199 or (608) 516-9154, 

Christie Bartels Awarded Pfizer Grant

Christie Bartels Pfizer Grant

Dr. Christie Bartels was recently awarded a 2.5 year Pfizer Independent Grant for Learning and Change for her project, "Systems-based CVD prevention protocols for rheumatology teams: A low-cost multidisciplinary approach." The goal of the project is to improve management of modifiable cardiovascular disease risk factors as a path to improve the cardiovascular health and survival of patients with rheumatic diseases. The project will apply evidence-based staff-driven protocols in RA clinic visits to improve management of hypertension and tobacco use. This QI project responds to the aim of the Pfizer program to support "screening for and modification of modifiable CVD risk factors in RA patients."


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