SCILHS - Scalable Collaborative Infrastructure for a Learning Health System

SCILHS Network approved to participate in Two $4.5 Million Obesity Studies

by Kate McGroarty-King

The SCILHS Network has been approved to participate in two new studies on obesity. Each award is $4.5 million and is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The first study, Short- and Long-term Effects of Antibiotics on Childhood Growth, will examine the relationship between the antibiotics often given to babies and toddlers and the risk for obesity later in childhood. The second study will compare the health benefits and safety associated with the three main methods of bariatric surgery: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding, and sleeve gastrectomy. The goal is to give patients and their health care providers the information they need to choose which type of surgery is best for them. Both studies fully engage patient partners who helped develop the study and select outcomes that matter most to them.

Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH (MGH) will serve as the SCILHS lead investigator for the Obesity and Antibiotics study, with participation from Wake Forest, Boston Medical Center, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Ali Tavakkoli, MB BS, FRCS, (BWH) will lead the Bariatric study for the SCILHS sites which will include Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Wake Forest, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

This study award continues PCORI’s efforts to develop PCORnet, a large, collaborative research initiative designed to link researchers, patient communities, clinicians, and health systems in productive research partnerships that leverage the power of large volumes of health data maintained by the partner networks. PCORnet will enable the nation to conduct clinical research more quickly and less expensively than is now possible and will ensure that research focuses on the questions and outcomes that matter most to patients and those who care for them. PCORnet has established 11 Clinical Data Research Networks or CDRNs, including SCILHS, which have been developing the PCORnet infrastructure.

To date, PCORI has approved or awarded over $260 million to develop PCORnet and conduct demonstration research studies using its resources. The funding award has been approved by PCORI’s Board pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions.