Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

GIM News
Donna L. Bishop, Editor

Next issue:
April 2013

Submission deadline:
March 29, 2013


Grants and Funding

Subject: Pragmatic Trial of Population-Based Programs to Prevent Suicide Attempts.
Principal Investigator: Bruce Rollman, MD, MPH.
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health.
Purpose: This 1-year planning grant will prepare for a multisite UH3 pragmatic trial of a population-based program to prevent suicide attempts. The trial will involve use of the EpicCare electronic medical record system and will be undertaken in collaboration with Greg Simon's Mental Health Research Network funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Participating sites include UPMC, Kaiser-Colorado, HealthPartners-Minneapolis, and Group Health Cooperative.

Subject: Cardiovascular Disease Mechanisms in HIV-Infected and Uninfected Veterans.
Principal Investigator: Matthew Freiberg, MD, MSc.
Sponsor: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Purpose: The study will use adjudicated heart failure outcomes to determine the prevalence, incidence rates, risk of, and predictors for heart failure and to characterize the type of heart failure found among HIV-positive and matched uninfected veterans. The study will also determine and compare the rates of and risk for mortality after the incident diagnosis of heart failure among HIV-positive and uninfected veterans with preserved and reduced ejection fraction heart failure. To accomplish its aims, the study team will use data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study–Virtual Cohort (VACS-VC) and the 8-site VACS.

Subject: Maintaining Activity and Nutrition through Technology-Assisted Innovation in Primary Care (MAINTAIN-PC).
Principal Investigator: Molly Conroy, MD, MPH.
Sponsor: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Purpose: The purpose is to determine the efficacy of online coaching and electronic progress reports delivered through the primary care site's electronic health portal to support weight maintenance after initial weight loss.

Subject: Variation in Use of Glucose Test Strips among Older Veterans with Diabetes.
Principal Investigator: Walid F. Gellad, MD, MPH.
Sponsor: Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) Pilot Research Program.
Purpose: This project will compare variation in the use of high-cost medications and testing supplies among diabetic patients in the VA and Medicare systems and will examine duplication of prescribing across the two national systems.

Subject: Positive Affect: An Intervention to Reduce Racial Disparities in Osteoarthritis Pain and Functioning.
Principal Investigator: Leslie R. Hausmann, PhD.
Sponsor: CHERP Pilot Research Program.
Purpose: The goal of this project is to develop a patient-centered, noninvasive intervention to improve pain outcomes and reduce disparities in African American and white veterans with knee or hip osteoarthritis.

Subject: Addiction Triage for the Homeless: Enhancing VA Medical Homes (ANTHEM).
Principal Investigator: Adam J. Gordon, MD, MPH.
Sponsor: Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Program.
Purpose: This project will implement a PACT team model with a homeless case management support approach that is focused on providing dedicated case management for homeless veterans and improving their care for alcohol and substance use. The broad aims of the ANTHEM Program are to eliminate the barriers to quality health care and to improve health and housing outcomes of veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless.

Subject: Surrogate Storytelling.
Principal Investigator: Amber Barnato, MD, MPH, MS.
Sponsor: National Palliative Care Research Center.
Purpose: Phase 1 of the study will involve a case series of 10 surrogate decision makers for palliative care patients. During this phase, the investigators will develop and refine a recruitment protocol, an experimental (storytelling) intervention protocol, a comparison (attention control) intervention protocol, an assessment protocol, and randomization procedures. Phase 2 of the study will be a randomized attention-controlled trial of 60 surrogates to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and safety of the intervention and attention control.

Subject: Train the Trainer: Critical Care Communication Skills.
Principal Investigator: Robert M. Arnold, MD.
Sponsor: Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.
Purpose: The goal of this national project is to facilitate a cultural and systemic change within the field of critical care medicine by improving doctor-patient communication and thereby improving the overall experience of patients.

Subject: Music Therapy for Hospitalized Palliative Care Patients.
Principal Investigator: Robert M. Arnold, MD.
Sponsor: The Fine Foundation.
Purpose: The aim is to use the services of highly trained music therapists to improve the quality of life and emotional well-being of patients with life-limiting illnesses.