COVID-19, Racism in Health Care and Engaging Patients in Health Research Highlight PCORI Annual Meeting


WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The sixth PCORI Annual Meeting — one of the most inclusive and diverse annual gatherings of representatives from the entire spectrum of health care decision makers and stakeholders — kicks off today with a stimulating opening keynote on flattening hierarchies and blurring the lines between "researchers" and "patients" in the clinical research enterprise.

Opening keynote speaker Liz Salmi, brain cancer survivor and co-leader of the Brain Cancer Quality of Life Collaborative, shares her inspiring journey from curious patient to co-investigator engaged in patient-centered research. Following her address, the PCORI Virtual Annual Meeting explores some of the timeliest topics in today's clinical research landscape, including COVID-19-related research, telehealth, health and health care disparities and inequities, maternal health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and big data.

"PCORI is honored to welcome more than 3,000 attendees to our largest gathering to date of the patient-centered outcomes research community," said Executive Director Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH.

Not only a scientific meeting, this unique event endeavors to focus clinical research on the priorities of patients and other health care decision makers and highlight efforts to speed the implementation of useful findings into clinical practice. Per the agenda, sessions run from noon to 5:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Sept. 16, and from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 17. Registration is free.

"Since its establishment by Congress in 2010 as the nation's principal funder of comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER), PCORI has invested more than $2.8 billion in studies and research-related projects," Cook noted. "We will reflect on our community's progress in advancing a patient-centered approach for research, generating useful results, and supporting dissemination and implementation of findings to improve care, and we will look ahead to accelerating results to patients over the next several years."

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is a theme running through the meeting and the focus of a session on the effectiveness of patient-centered telehealth. Since April of this year, PCORI has committed over $110 million to studies and research-related projects exploring solutions to the pandemic and its consequences. These investments include more than $33 million to enable PCORI-supported teams to enhance their projects to integrate pandemic-related work as well as $80 million to start new COVID-19-focused studies.

One of PCORI's long-standing research priorities has been addressing disparities and inequities in health and health care. PCORI has invested $316 million to fund 97 research studies related to this issue to date. It is a theme of several breakout sessions and the focus of a keynote address on "Racism and Discrimination in Health Care: Raising Our Collective Consciousness," by Lisa Cooper, founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity. In addition, drawing on her extensive professional experience, Cook moderates a discussion among six distinguished panelists on root causes of health and health care inequities and concrete actions PCORI and the health care community can implement to address racism, discrimination, and bias to improve health outcomes for all Americans.

As PCORI embarks on its second decade, following reauthorization in late 2019, a plenary provides congressional perspectives on PCORI's future and how PCORI-funded research can inform health policy. Cook, who joined PCORI in April 2020 and is leading the development of PCORI's roadmap for advancing patient-centered CER, moderates this session with key congressional allies who led PCORI's reauthorization effort.

Archived recordings of all sessions will be available following the meeting.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, nonprofit 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 continually seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at

About Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH
Cook is the Executive Director of PCORI. She is a cardiologist and health services researcher with a distinguished career leading key scientific initiatives and engaging patients, clinicians and other health care stakeholders in health research. Cook leads PCORI's research, dissemination and implementation, and engagement work. She also provides strategic and day-to-day oversight of ongoing programs and new initiatives designed to create a health care system that is more efficient, effective and patient centered.

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SOURCE Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute


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