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The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care and Johns Hopkins Medicine receive PCORI award to address health disparities gap

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) awarded the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) and Johns Hopkins Medicine funding through the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award program to develop, nurture, and train community-based networks in Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR).  These networks will be designed to effectively address health disparities among African Americans living with advanced illness.

African Americans living with advanced illness face different challenges and barriers when navigating the health care system due to a combination of complex socioeconomic, cultural, clinical and systemic issues. This is especially true for those living with advanced illness.  In order to close this gap and ensure that all Americans receive comprehensive, high-quality, person-centered care, C-TAC, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine, Hartford Memorial Baptist Church of Detroit, MI, New Shiloh Baptist Church of Baltimore, MD, First Baptist Church of Highland Park of Landover, MD and The Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church ofWashington, DC are working to build national networks consisting of key stakeholders dedicated to transforming advanced illness care. These networks will then work to develop research agendas that incorporate Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) into both clinical and community-based practice and will be piloted in Baltimore, MD; Detroit, MI; and Washington, DC.  The Award will ultimately help identify community-accepted and culturally-sensitive faith-based approaches for vulnerable populations living with advanced illness that can be tested for effectiveness in future trials and scaled more broadly.

“C-TAC is honored to receive this prestigious award from PCORI.  It provides us with the opportunity to empower communities to drive meaningful change around health care delivery in advanced illness.” said Rev. Dr. Tyrone Pitts, principal investigator and C-TAC’s Co-Chair of the Interfaith and Diversity Workgroup. “It is our hope that this national network will spark a movement towards successful, sustainable partnerships that transform care delivery for some of the most vulnerable among us.”

“As health care delivery moves from institutional settings to a community setting, more expertise about care options and delivery will be required. Communities and researchers need to work together to ask the right questions.  Without that, we won’t know the best way to deliver care to our most vulnerable populations,” says Rebecca A. Aslakson, MD, PhD, FAAHPM, co-lead of the award, and Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “By asking the right questions, we can build more effective best practices in person-centered care delivery.

According to surveys previously conducted by C-TAC and researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, parishioners indicated that they have cared for someone with advanced illness and would welcome a church-based program to better educate parishioners about end-of-life care.

“The PCORI Engagement Award is critical because it allows us to continue strengthening our work in developing partnerships between faith communities and health systems,” said Jon Broyles, C-TAC Executive Director. “Bringing these two groups together is vitally important because it provides both better access to care, and higher quality of care for all of those with advanced illness.”

The PCORI Engagement Award program aims to increase the involvement of patients, caregivers, clinicians and other health care stakeholders in the research process in order to make better-informed health care decisions. Past awardees include Columbia University, United Cerebral Palsy and Global Healthy Living Foundation. C-TAC is proud to be a part of a distinguished group of organizations that are committed to improving the health care system and thankful for the collaborators at Johns Hopkins Medicine for their continued support and partnership in this crucial effort.