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Kalispell Regional Medical Center was approved for a $250,000 Engagement Award

Kalispell Regional Medical Center has been approved for a $250,000 funding award through the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards (Engagement Awards) program, an initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The funds will support further advancement of rural care models increasing patient, provider, policymaker and payer knowledge about medically and socially complex patients.

Lesly Starling, BA, BSN, RN Complex Care Navigator will lead the engagement project at KRMC. The project will focus on building community and multiple healthcare system capacity to conduct comparative effectiveness research on rural care models designed to meet the needs of high cost, high need patients. Starling has formed a group of 15 cross-sector, multi-discipline stakeholders invested in rural health initiatives, including 2 patients, 1 caregiver and a representative from the Patient and Family Advisory Council. This advisory group will provide input in their areas of expertise and will conduct and facilitate 3 focus groups in the community. Patients/Caregivers, Providers/Clinicians and Community Health Worker focus groups will help key stakeholders understand engagement priorities and how to best engage the population in patient centered outcomes research.

Starling currently partners with community health workers in a health system and community collaborative to provide complex care management in rural Montana helping patients and their caregivers break down barriers to care, thus becoming more self-sufficient in serving their own needs. “I am honored to receive such a prestigious award to build on established community and health system partnerships and previous experience through CMS and RWJF to further the knowledge around complex care.” “Rural research on care model effectiveness is thin with little available evidence that incorporates the priorities and perceptions of patients and their caregivers, so this is a wonderful opportunity for Flathead Valley.

The project is part of a portfolio of projects that PCORI has funded to help develop a community of patients and other stakeholders equipped to participate as partners in comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and disseminate PCORI-funded study results. Through the Engagement Award Program, PCORI is creating an expansive network of individuals, communities and organizations interested in and able to participate in, share, and use patient-centered CER.

According to Jean Slutsky, PCORI’s Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer, “This project was selected for Engagement Award funding because it will build a community equipped to participate as partners in CER and develop partnerships and infrastructure to disseminate PCORI-funded research results. We look forward to working with Kalispell Regional Medical Center throughout the course of their 2 year project.”

KRMC’s project and the other projects approved for funding by the PCORI Engagement Award Program were selected through a highly competitive review process in which applications were assessed for their ability to meet PCORI’s engagement goals and objectives, as well as program criteria. For more information about PCORI’s funding to support engagement efforts, visit http://www.pcori.org/content/eugene-washington-pcori-engagement-awards/.

PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.