Public Release: 

Group Health wins 2 PCORI awards for patient-centered research

Breast cancer study and new national data network receive funding

Group Health Research Institute


IMAGE: Dr. Wernli, an assistant professor at Group Health Research Institute, was awarded a three-year contract for $1.9 million to find out how well breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) works compared... view more

Credit: Group Health Research Institute

Seattle, WA--The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors has selected Group Health Research Institute for two awards in its most recent cycle of funding:

Karen Wernli, PhD, an assistant investigator at Group Health Research Institute, was awarded a three-year contract for $1.9 million to find out how well breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) works compared to mammography for regularly checking for new signs of breast cancer in women who have had the disease before. "Many patients and doctors are using MRI for 'surveillance,' and we do not know whether it is more effective than mammography and in which women," Dr. Wernli said. The project will also develop patient decision aids to help women and their doctors choose the surveillance method that is right for them.

Group Health has also been chosen to provide assistance to a new PCORI-funded national data network representative of patients from across the country. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute will lead the Coordinating Center for this National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network. "It is designed to enhance the nation's ability to conduct patient-centered comparative effectiveness research efficiently and learn from the health care experiences of millions of Americans, including Group Health patients," said Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute who will serve as Group Health's principal investigator for the project. Group Health's subcontract is for $424,000 over a two-year period.

Group Health Research Institute received two awards from PCORI in 2012 for other projects. PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) designed to answer questions most important to patients and those who care for them. To select projects for funding, PCORI relies on a competitive review process in which scientists, patients, caregivers, and other stakeholders help to evaluate proposals on the basis of scientific merit, how well they engage patients and other stakeholders, their methodological rigor, and how well they fit within PCORI's national research priorities. The new awards were approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.


Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

Group Health Research Institute

Group Health Research Institute does practical research that helps people like you and your family stay healthy. The Institute is the research arm of Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative, a consumer-governed, nonprofit health care system. Founded in 1947, Group Health Cooperative coordinates health care and coverage. Group Health Research Institute changed its name from Group Health Center for Health Studies in 2009. Since 1983, the Institute has conducted nonproprietary public-interest research on preventing, diagnosing, and treating major health problems. Government and private research grants provide its main funding.

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