The Duke Primary Care Research Consortium (PCRC) is growing. With the expanding reach of Duke Health, the community-based research network now includes more than 70 practices in 9 counties in North Carolina. It represents more than 200 primary-care clinicians caring for more than 350,000 patients, with access to a total population of 1.2 million.
As Dr. Ranee Chatterjee, Duke GIM Associate Professor of Medcine and PCRC co-director, explains “The PCRC network has expanded with the growth of Duke Primary Care. We are currently visiting these clinics in the upcoming year to introduce ourselves and orient them to the existing research collaboration. I’ve enjoyed meeting the clinicians and practice staff on these road shows”
Since 1996, the PCRC has worked with community clinicians and practice-based researchers to conduct over 100 studies enrolling more than 8000 participants to help improve health care delivery and patient outcomes and generate research to support the practice of evidence-based medicine. In these 23 years, there have been a substantial shift in thinking, as providers and researchers look to partner with, rather than simply minister to, people in need of medical care. The PCRC continues to strive to bridge these communities together. This is the age of “Nothing about me, without me” says Dr. Rowena Dolor, Duke GIM Associate Professor and Director of PCRC.
Research Advisory Board
The PCRC Research Advisory Board (RAB) is a team of practicing clinicians, (pediatricians, internists, and family physicians and advanced practice providers) as well as researchers and research coordinators that reviews protocols for research studies that plan to work with primary care clinics in the Duke system. Dr. Dolor notes the RAB review is similar to holding a "community engagement studio" with primary care clinicians and researchers. The committee offers advice on how to make the project more pragmatic and feasible for busy clinical environments. "Just like researchers are expected to engage the community before they propose community-based interventions, researchers should also engage the clinicians before they propose recruiting or implementing interventions within primary care,” says Dolor. Their RAB is always open to having new members join.
PCRC research has many different flavors. Projects ranging from diabetes and hypertension to cardiovascular diseases and depression have recently been completed. The group is currently working on a number of studies around atopic dermatitis in infants, advanced care planning, COPD screening, and long-term opioid use for chronic pain.