Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

GIM News
Donna L. Bishop, Editor

Next issue:
April 2015

Submission deadline:
March 20, 2015

E-mail: Donna Bishop

Grants and Funding

Subject: Early Impact of Health Reform
Principal Investigator: Walid F Gellad, MD, MPH
Sponsor: Express Scripts
Purpose of Grant: For this project, RAND is working with Express Scripts to evaluate prescription use in the early post-health reform period.

Subject: Safety of Opioid Use Among Veterans Receiving Care in Multiple Health Systems
Principal Investigator: Walid Gellad, MD, MPH
Sponsor: VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D)
Purpose of Grant: Almost 25% of VA patients receive opioid medications for pain management and are at risk for opioid-related adverse events. The VA has adopted several strategies to mitigate these risks, but these efforts focus almost entirely on monitoring prescriptions dispensed within the VA. Many veterans have other forms of health insurance and access health care and prescriptions in non-VA settings. The VA cannot fully understand the safety of opioid prescribing to veterans or develop successful interventions to address opioid safety without understanding this non-VA care. This project will address this critical knowledge gap by examining the extent of opioid prescribing from non-VA sources to enrolled veterans and by examining the determinants and health consequences of this “dual use.” This project will also interview primary care providers to understand how they identify and manage dual use of opioids by patients. The study will provide the VA with the information it needs to develop more effective policy to ensure the safe and appropriate use of opioid medications by veterans.

Subject: Increasing Equity in Transplant Evaluation and Living Donor Kidney Transplantation
Principal Investigator: Larissa Myaskovsky, PhD
Sponsor: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Purpose of Grant: Minority patients are more likely than whites to have end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) but less likely to complete transplant evaluation, receive a kidney transplant overall, or a living donor kidney transplant (LDKT), the best treatment for ESKD. We will test the efficacy and cost effectiveness of a comprehensive, system-level, fast-track kidney transplant evaluation for minorities in reducing time to complete transplant evaluation and increase kidney transplants. Using a randomized-controlled trial, we will test the effectiveness of an educational video and booklet to encourage discussion and pursuit of LDKT. Findings from this work may help reduce disparities in transplant evaluation and LDKT.

Subject: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Scholars Program
Principal Investigator: Wishwa Kapoor, MD, MPH
Sponsor: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Purpose of Grant: This five-year program will draw scholars and resources from the six Schools of the Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh to develop future investigators and leaders in PCOR.

Subject: Racial Differences in Low-Income Men's Fertility Intentions and Behavior
Principal Investigator: Sonya Borrero, MD, MS
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Purpose of Grant: This qualitative study uses one-on-one, semi-structured interviews to gain insight about reproductive behaviors among adult, low-income, African American and white men in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This research will lay the groundwork for culturally relevant programs that seek to bridge men’s and women’s fertility goals and maximize the potential for increasing the proportion of pregnancies that are congruently and consciously desired.

Subject: Expanding National Capacity in PCOR through Training (ENACT)
Principal Investigator: Doug Landsittel, PhD
Sponsor: AHRQ
Purpose of Grant: The main objective of this project is to partner with minority-serving institutions to develop a training program―including fundamental, advanced, and experiential training―in PCOR.

Subject: Sponsored Health IT and Evidence-Based Prescribing Among Medical Residents
Principal Investigator: Brian Primack, MD, PhD
Sponsor: AHRQ
Purpose of Grant: The purpose of this project is to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a media literacy curriculum designed to help resident physicians (trainees) in optimizing patient communication and evidence-based prescribing. We will accomplish this by conducting a series of surveys, focus groups, and individual interviews with 60 first-, second-, and third-year residents from four residency programs.

Subject: U.S. Health Policy Regarding Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking
Principal Investigator: Brian Primack, MD, PhD
Sponsor: Cancer Institute (NCI)
Purpose of Grant: In this project, we will intensively examine federal, state, and local tobacco-control policies in Pennsylvania focusing on the content and interplay of regulations that currently affect waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS) and the attitudes and beliefs of public policymakers, public health officials, and advocates surrounding WTS.

Subject: Comparison of Two Screening Strategies for Gestational Diabetes
Principal Investigator: Esa Davis, MD, MPH
Sponsor: National Institute of Health (NIH)
Purpose of Grant: This trial will provide evidence as to the optimal screening strategies for gestational diabetes. We will identify whether the one-step screening, which uses a lower cut-point for gestational diabetes, promotes treatment that results in healthier infants and mothers.