UMB Launches Center of Excellence to Advance Patient-Centered Research

Dr. Eleanor Perfetto to lead new center designed to expand and improve training in comparative effectiveness research and patient-centered outcomes research.

By Malissa Carroll
January 20, 2015

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), with funding from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Foundation, has established a new Patient-Centered Research for Outcomes, Effectiveness, and Measurement (PROEM) Center of Excellence in Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Training. Directed by Eleanor Perfetto, PhD, MS, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, this center will expand and improve training in the fields of comparative effectiveness research and patient-centered outcomes research (CER-PCOR).

This center is one of only five centers funded by the PhRMA Foundation to help expand CER-PCOR graduate education and training programs in the United States. Other centers are located at Harvard University, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Washington in Seattle, and the University of Utah.

“The School of Pharmacy prides itself on serving as a leader in pharmacy education, scientific discovery, patient care, and community engagement across the state of Maryland and beyond,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School and executive director of University regional partnerships. “The establishment of our new PROEM Center of Excellence in Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Training will offer us an opportunity to expand on the University’s current capabilities and to more fully and formally integrate our strengths in CER-PCOR and interdisciplinary and collaborative research into our graduate education and training programs. I look forward to following the center’s progress as it strengthens our University’s reputation as a national leader in CER-PCOR.”

In recent years, a new emphasis has been placed on the need to engage patients in all aspects of health care research, decision making, and dissemination. CER compares the benefits and harms of existing treatment options — including medications, medical devices, diagnostic tests, surgical interventions, and health care delivery methods — to help patients and health care providers make more informed health care decisions. Similarly, PCOR helps patients and caregivers communicate and make informed health care decisions, allowing their voices to be heard in assessing the value of health care options.

“To help CER-PCOR continue to gain traction, there is a need for training that will equip current and future researchers with the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct patient-centered research activities, as well as provide practitioners with the skills to interpret CER-PCOR studies and appropriately implement findings,” says Perfetto. “UMB is a recognized leader in CER-PCOR, and we are excited to have this opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of internal and external organizations to provide high quality CER-PCOR training to researchers across the nation.”

Supported by an interdisciplinary team from six professional schools and five research centers across UMB – as well as a range of committed partners from government, nonprofit, professional, trade, and private organizations – the PROEM Center of Excellence in Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Training builds on the University’s strengths in CER-PCOR, graduate and continuing education, community outreach, and collaborative partnerships to support its innovative training programs. The center will employ two approaches to enhance CER-PCOR education and training opportunities for researchers: expanding the School of Pharmacy’s existing PhD in PHSR program to include a new concentration in CER-PCOR and developing new continuing education programs in CER-PCOR for established researchers and health care professionals, including a week long on-site training course planned for the summer of 2015.

“The PROEM Center of Excellence in Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Training at UMB is well-positioned to train the CER-PCOR researchers of the future,” says Beth Devine, PharmD, PhD, MBA, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Washington School of Public Health. “As a member of the center’s External Advisory Committee and co-director of a similar PhRMA Foundation-supported Center of Excellence for Comparative Effectiveness Research Education at the University of Washington, I am thrilled to work with Dr. Perfetto and her team as they work to develop this exceptional program.”

The curriculum for the CER-PCOR concentration within the PhD in PHSR program will be taught by full-time faculty members from the Schools of Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing, and Law, as well as external experts who will serve as adjunct and guest faculty. Students who pursue this concentration will also have the opportunity to participate in learning experiences at a wide range of training sites, including government and non-government agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, patient advocacy organizations, trade organizations, and insurers.

New online and in-person continuing education programs available through the PROEM Center of Excellence in Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Training for established researchers and health care professionals include:

“As the Center of Excellence for Comparative Effectiveness Research Education at the University of Utah looks forward to entering its final year, we are pleased to hear about the establishment of the PROEM Center of Excellence in Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Training at UMB,” says Diana Brixner, RPh, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacotherapy and executive director of the Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research Center at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy. “We are excited for the new opportunities that this center will provide to continue sharing and learning from previous and future PhRMA Foundation grant recipients as we work to improve educational and training opportunities for researchers in CER-PCOR.”

To learn more about the PROEM Center of Excellence in Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Training, please visit the center’s website or download its fact sheet.

Related News Stories