PBRNs extend research to clinicians’ front lines

Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Robert Clark, M.D., is assistant vice president for clinical research and director of the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS). The IIMS administers the Clinical and Translational Science Award, which helps fund the practice-based research networks.clear graphic
Robert Clark, M.D., is assistant vice president for clinical research and director of the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS). The IIMS administers the Clinical and Translational Science Award, which helps fund the practice-based research networks. 

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Contact: Will Sansom, 210-567-2579

SAN ANTONIO (April 18, 2013) — Physicians, nurses and therapists of yesteryear who noticed clinically significant trends among their patients might have felt a bit isolated as they jotted down observations on index cards to store in the office files. Perhaps they also felt pressed for time, not knowing when a research project to study a trend could be designed or implemented.

The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), presented to the UT Health Science Center San Antonio and its South Texas partners by the National Institutes of Health in 2008, has significantly expanded the region’s practice-based research networks (PBRNs). These networks bring together community clinicians and university researchers to answer questions that impact patients, families and communities.

STARNet connects primary care physicians in region
The longest-established PBRN, called the South Texas Ambulatory Research Network (STARNet), is two decades old and links more than 50 primary care physicians in South Texas. CTSA community engagement funding support has significantly expanded this vibrant network, making it possible to electronically connect 24 practices to gather information to answer research questions. STARNet recently contributed data to a national project aimed at improving evidence-based primary care for chronic kidney disease.

Networks address variety of health concerns
PBRN projects are helping clinicians in research networks to:


Mitch Finnie, M.D., of San Antonio, participates in the South Texas Ambulatory Research Network (STARNet).clear graphic
Mitch Finnie, M.D., of San Antonio, participates in the South Texas Ambulatory Research Network (STARNet). 

 

These are just a few of the practice-based research projects supported by the community engagement function of the CTSA. The original five-year, $26 million award, announced in May 2008, is up for competitive renewal this year. The CTSA’s stated goals are to “accelerate the process of translating laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, to engage communities in clinical research efforts and to train a new generation of clinical and translational researchers.”

CTSA grant programs are administered by the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science at the UT Health Science Center.

PBRN websites
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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 28,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

The Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio administers the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) across a consortium of South Texas partners. Participating institutions are the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, Children's Hospital of San Antonio, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, San Antonio Military Health System, South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, University Health System, The University of Texas at San Antonio, UT School of Public Health Regional Campus in San Antonio, UT Brownsville, UT Pan American and UT College of Pharmacy.



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