Statewide Research Infrastructure
A collaborative vision for building statewide health research capacity and opportunities
Background & Partners
In March 2012, the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute held a strategic planning retreat to identify opportunities and needs for accelerating health research at UF and across the state.
One of the strategic concepts that emerged was the opportunity to collaboratively integrate and expand the infrastructure and programs developed over the past five years by the UF CTSI and its partners to create a “OneFlorida” network, which could facilitate clinical and translational research in communities and health care settings throughout the state. A guiding principle of the vision is to create a learning network for the state, in which lessons from research and care in diverse settings are systematically captured and translated back into improved health, health care and health policy for Floridians.
Led by Elizabeth Shenkman, Ph.D., and David R. Nelson, M.D., through the UF CTSI, dozens of individuals spanning numerous institutions have collaborated to develop a framework for research infrastructure that can serve the entire state — including researchers; clinicians; health system, state agency and community leaders; human-subject protection experts; informatics experts; and patients and caregivers. The vision has been shaped by stakeholders at UF Health; Florida State University and sites from the Health IMPACTS practice-based research network (Tallahassee Memorial Health Care, Capital Health Plan, and a group of Federally Qualified Health Centers including the Bond Clinic, Community Health Centers Inc., and the Health Care Network of Southwest Florida); Orlando Health; University of Miami; the Agency for Healthcare Administration; and the Florida Department of Health.
Central to the statewide vision is the collaborative development of an enduring research infrastructure serving all Floridians and Florida health researchers. By building on existing and emerging disease-agnostic resources, the UF CTSI and its partners aim to expand, streamline and sustain access to the following infrastructure components for a statewide network that can strengthen capacity and expand opportunities for health research throughout Florida:
- Shared Governance Structure
- Cooperative Institutional Review Board
- Community Research Facilitator Program
- Community Engagement Program
- Consent2Share Program
- Information Technology Resources (collaborative portal; ResearchACTS software for study management, data collection and point-of-care risk assessments)
- Data Analytics Warehouse
- Training and Education Programs (community clinician-, patient- and caregiver-as-scientist programs; pragmatic trials and implementation science-minority education program)
- Statewide Biorepository Capability
The UF CTSI and its partners are collaborating to develop statewide research infrastructure while advancing specific research and implementation projects that address important health priorities, engage diverse settings and populations, and help test and refine various parts of the infrastructure.
This project utilizes the Health IMPACTS network to understand which factors might influence a pediatrician to use health risk assessments (HRAs), as well as understand what encourages or prevents an adolescent patient from fully participating in the assessment. The project aims to determine what factors impact counseling related to alcohol use, tobacco use, other substance use, sexual activity, depression and weight. Findings are used to develop strategies to improve health care provider performance of and adolescent participation in HRAs.
This project utilizes the Health IMPACTS network for (1) implementing an evidence-based concussion assessment and management program to assess the relationship between health risk factors and injury susceptibility, severity, and recovery for youth participating in organized sports activities in Florida communities; (2) teaching community physicians and medical students to apply evidence-based principles for recognition, assessment and management of concussion and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) risk in children and youth; and (3) providing education modules for parents, coaches, physicians/health care professionals and the general public that are designed to reduce long-term consequences of mTBI.
As part of a genomic medicine implementation project funded by the National Institutes of Health, the CTSI’s UF Health Personalized Medicine Program is working with affiliated community-based health systems to introduce pharmacogenetic testing within their patient care processes. The program also is developing a variety of innovative educational programs for health care providers, students and patients.
Funded by the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, this project aims to decrease vaccine inequalities among adolescents enrolled in Florida Medicaid and KidCare by addressing barriers related to provider recommendations, cost and concerns about safety. In collaboration with affiliated health care providers, the research team is developing and testing a multifaceted approach to increase awareness about the vaccine among girls and their parents, and to prompt more doctors to offer it.
This project is strengthening statewide infrastructure to reduce health disparities in diseases related to tobacco use. It is funded by a three-year, $1.6 million grant from the Florida Department of Health’s James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program. The infrastructure will enable pragmatic clinical trials and implementation studies in real-world primary care settings, with an emphasis on practices serving vulnerable populations. The project includes a pilot implementation study focused on increasing use of evidence-based tobacco-cessation assessments, interventions and referrals during primary care visits. Partners and collaborators include UF, Florida State University and University of Miami and their affiliated health systems and practices, as well as Florida A&M University and Edward Waters College.