The WVACHS aims to do research of direct benefit to the communities we serve. Research findings can inform practice and help create and change policy for the benefit of patient outcomes and quality of care. We view research translation and application of findings to patient care as essential.

Factors that facilitate success in medication assisted treatment programs for opioid use disorder

Martha Carter, DHSc, MBA, APRN, CNM; formerly of FamilyCare Health Centers; Jennifer Boyd, PA-C; New River Health Association; and Adam Baus, PhD; Director, WVU Office of Health Services Research

This new, network-level effort within the WVACHS is designed to learn what factors helped people get into medication-assisted treatment programs and harm reduction programs in West Virginia. We also want to know what factors helped them stay in the program. Our approach to learning answers to these questions is talking directly with people who have been in these programs through focus groups. We will also survey people who have been in these programs.

Bringing Primary Care to Residents at a Senior Housing Apartment Complex

From Sarah Hansen, APRN, AGNP-BC, Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner with Cabin Creek Health Systems:

"At Cabin Creek Health Systems, we have implemented a health care model where we are attempting to bring primary care to residents at a senior housing apartment complex in Montgomery, WV. We established a small clinic area within the community room, where we can have routine patient visits and do basic procedures and assessments. Through this program we are trying to reduce to barriers to assessing primary care and therefore improving health outcomes for this select population. We have been at this for almost 2 years now and are starting to evaluate the impact we are making on the residents in this community. We want to know things like; whether assess to health care has improved, quality of life has changed, and has there been an impact on overall view of health."

ePHQ-2: A multi-center correlational study of a depression screening method in West Virginia primary care practices

The purpose of this multi-center study is to assess if technology can offer an improved screening method for depression. We will use both the usual method of screening (face-to-face, using a script) and a novel screening using a video and response tool on an iPad to determine if this makes a difference in the percentage of positive PHQ-2 screening tests.

Mary Ann Maurer and Matt Weimer are the Principle Investigators of this research effort.

Physician Burnout

Physician burnout is a very common, yet often hidden, problem among health care providers. The WVACHS is leading efforts in WV to help assess this public health issue and gain vital knowledge to help address it.

Kevin McCann, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Health at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, is the Principal Investigator of this study.

Better Understanding Top Diagnoses among Patients Served in Rural West Virginia Primary Care

This project was designed to test the ability of the WVACHS to navigate the steps required to gather non-identified patient data from member providers. The secondary goal was to discover the most often billed diagnostic codes from those sources.  It is expected that a list such as this could offer insight and direction into future research endeavors.

Tracy Hendershot, MD, with Camden-Clark Primary Care, is the Principal Investigator of this study.

Patient Transportation Study - Tug River Health Association

This quality improvement effort is designed to better understand patient transportation barriers and solutions at Tug River Health Association, serving patients in and around McDowell County, WV.

Joanna Bailey, MD, with Tug River Health Association, is the lead of this effort.

Ethical considerations in practice-based research

Practice-based research is a well-established mechanism for supporting quality of care improvement and conducting local level research that matters to health systems and communities. However, the potential for ethical concerns surrounding the impact of research on patients, their health care providers, and the communities in which the research represents cannot be overlooked. This effort engages subject matter experts and leverages currently available literature in identifying and addressing essential considerations in rural primary care's engagement in practice-based research -- aiming to best position rural primary care to fully engage in and help lead the research process.

Adam Baus, PhD, with the WVU School of Public Health - Office of Health Services Research, Tracy Hendershot, MD, with Camden-Clark Primary Care, Martha Cook Carter, DHSc, MBA, APRN, CNM, with FamilyCare, and Laura Boone, JD, with the WV Higher Education Policy Commission are co-leads of this effort.

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