Statewide vision for health research advances with $1.6 million grant

Dr. Elizabeth Shenkman and Dr. David Nelson
Led by Elizabeth Shenkman, Ph.D., and David R. Nelson, M.D., through the UF CTSI, this collaborative statewide vision aims to create the OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium as 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.

The Florida Department of Health has awarded $1.6 million to UF to help establish the OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium as a statewide network that will more quickly bring the benefits of research to more than 13 million patients in all of Florida’s 67 counties.

Led by Betsy Shenkman, Ph.D., principal investigator of the grant and co-director of the CTSI Implementation Science Program, and David R. Nelson, M.D., director of the CTSI, the network builds on statewide research infrastructure developed by the UF CTSI and Florida State University and is expanding to include the University of Miami, along with the universities’ affiliated health practices. In total, the network encompasses 22 hospitals, 914 clinic and practice settings and 4,100 physician providers, which provide care for 68 percent of Floridians.

“Over the last year, we have seen a tremendous groundswell of support for advancing a statewide vision that would enable researchers, clinicians, communities and patients to unite in tackling some of Florida’s biggest health challenges,” Nelson said. “This grant will help us build on prior state and federal investments to make that vision a reality.”

In addition to supporting development of the network and related infrastructure, the grant is supporting a pragmatic clinical trial examining practice interventions to enhance provider screening, counseling and referrals for tobacco cessation, and a new minority education program in collaboration with Edward Waters College and Florida A&M University. The grant is funded by the Florida Department of Health’s James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program.

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