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Current Research Projects

ECHO Telementoring for Chronic Pain, Epilepsy/Neurology, & Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Key Personnel: Susie McDonald, MA (Program Manager), Daniel Hargraves, MSW, & Sarah Brubaker, BA

Funding Agencies: AHEC, Epilepsy Foundation, & CDC

The aim of this program is to diffuse knowledge and amplify the capacity to provide best practice care for underserved people across the region through Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) telementoring clinics on chronic pain, epilepsy/neurology, and medication assisted treatment.

For further information, please visit or contact Susie McDonald

EMPOWER: Evaluating the ability to reduce Morphine equivalent dose for chronic Pain patients receiving Opioid-therapy through a Web-based E-health self-management program: a Randomized multi-site clinical trial in primary care

Key Personnel: Theresa Winhusen, PhD (Principal Investigator), Chris White, MD, JD, MHA (UC Site Investigator), Rowena Dolor, MD (Duke Primary Care Site Investigator), & Mary Beth Vonder Meulen, RN, CCRC (UC Research Site Coordinator)

Funding Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

To compare the effectiveness of a web-based Chronic Pain Management Program (e-Health) to Treatment as Usual (TAU) on reducing opioid dosage and pain scores in primary care patients with chronic pain, currently taking chronic opioid medications. 

For further information, please contact: Mary Beth Vonder Meulen

Ohio Cardiovascular Health Collaborative (OCHC)

Principal Investigator: Michael Holliday, MD

Funding Agency: Ohio Department of Medicaid, Government Resource Center

 The OCHC will aggregate and disseminate best practices for care in cardiovascular disease (CVD). Case Western Reserve University serves as the lead institution  to assist in preparing Medicaid providers in Ohio to address the social determinants of health and improve health outcomes for our most vulnerable populations, specifically those diagnosed with hypertension and other CVDs.

The project will create a repository through web presence to share best practice resources. Project deliverables include implementing education for standardizing CVD care in primary care practices with interprofessional care providers. Teleconferencing will also play a role in disseminating modules, using existing resources such as Project ECHO.

For further information, please contact: Michael Holliday, MD

Virtual Reality Simulation and Social Determinants of Health: A High-Tech Strategy to Improve Health Outcomes

Key Personnel: Sue Brammer, PhD, RN (Principal Investigator), Saundra Regan, PhD (Co-Investigator), Chris Collins, BA (Senior IT Manager)

Funding Agency: Ohio Department of Medicaid, Government Resource Center 

The aim of this study is to raise participants’ awareness and knowledge on social determinants of health (SDH) and how it can impede the ability to connect with patients on a holistic level through virtual reality (VR) simulations. SDH controls the success of patient outcomes, yet isn’t incorporated into provider curriculum. VR is an effective, validated way of providing experiential learning for attitude change in regards to SDH. The simulations offer providers a chance to experience the daily challenges of patients beyond the symptoms of their illnesses and to see how those challenges impact health care, such as unstable housing, exposure to crime, and social isolation.

For further information, please contact: Saundra Regan

Primary Care Training and Enhancement (PCTE): Partnering with underserved patients – a novel health transformation curriculum

Funding Agencies: Health Resources and Services Administration

Personnel: Jeff Schlaudecker, MD, MEd (PI), Reid Hartmann, MD, & Keesha Goodnow, BAE (Program Manager)

The Primary Care Training and Enhancement program aims to strengthen the primary care workforce by supporting enhanced training for future primary care physicians and geriatric fellows to become ‘change agents’ to lead and inspire healthcare transformation in their practices.  The grant supports professional development to establish a core group of faculty scholars with certificates and Masters in Education, focusing on teaching and learning theory and practice enabling our faculty to improve their curricula and teaching methodologies.  A Longitudinal Health Transformation Curricula was developed and implemented in six key content areas:  Social Determinants of Health, Home-Based Primary Care, Medication-Assisted Treatment, Quality Improvement, Effective Communication, and Patient and Family Advisory Councils.  Establishing partnerships with community practices serving vulnerable populations was a core tenet of our grant.  The grant outreach extends to community partner underserved sites, allowing for greater teaching and impact. The focus in year six is to train and mentor Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) staff and physician champions at four sites for successful transition from grant support to sustained site-based operations.

For further information, please contact: Keesha Goodnow, 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) with Black Prenatal Patients

Funding Agencies: Ohio Department of Medicaid, Cradle Cincinnati

Personnel: Montiel Rosenthal, MD (PI), Saundra Regan, PhD, Harini Pallerla, MS, & Keesha Goodnow, BAE (Program Manager)

This project is aimed at decreasing levels of insomnia, stress, and depression; and improving the resilience and overall mental health of pregnant Black Women. This is an evidence proven approach, in group and individual therapy, which reduces insomnia, and depression. Addressing or preventing depression is known to reduce the risk of preterm birth, as well as postpartum depression. The grant provides support for Family Medicine residents, nurses, APNs and faculty physicians to complete CBT-I training. The goal is to provide CBT-I to 90 patients over 2 years  (up to five sessions per patient), as well as expand the competency of care providers at two sites.  This will allow for further expansion of CBT-I into traditional prenatal care. 

For further information, please contact: Keesha Goodnow,

Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA): Center for Clinical & Translational Science and Training (CCTST) Community Engagement Core

Funding Agencies: National Institutes of Health Personnel: Saundra Regan, PhD, Harini Pallerla, MS, & Keesha Goodnow, BAE

Personnel: Montiel Rosenthal, MD (PI), Saundra Regan, PhD, Harini Pallerla, MS, & Keesha Goodnow, BAE (Program Manager) 

The goals of the CTSA Community Engagement Core are to improve relationships between academic researchers and community members; to engage community physicians in research and translation of evidence-based practice; and to train researchers in community-engaged research and educate community members in order to build capacity and an understanding of the benefits and risks of research involvement.  The Community Engagement Core of the CTSA seeks to broaden and strengthen collaborations between the Academic Health Center and the community to produce research initiated with , supported by, carried out through and benefiting the community.

For further information, please contact: Keesha Goodnow,


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