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Erie Family Health Centers’ Research Team collaborates with Erie’s patients, staff, providers and partner institutions to improve access to quality care, promote best-practices, and ensure our communities are represented in medical advancements. Research at Erie is housed in the Patient Programs and Support Services Department and is viewed as an additional mode in which we support our patients and enhance the high-quality care we provide. We believe engagement in aligned research helps us improve the individual health of our patients, maintain focus on continuous improvement, and contribute to advancements towards health equity.
In alignment with our mission, Erie’s goal regarding participation in research is to collaborate and conduct research that aims to support people, families and communities to live their healthiest life.

Erie sets high standards for the quality, purpose, and relevance to the communities Erie serves for research initiatives with which we choose to engage. Specifically, Erie prioritizes participation in research initiatives that acknowledge and address sustainability and replicability in a primary care setting that works with underserved populations. Erie prioritizes research projects that are based in quality improvement, as well as those that tackle our most challenging questions around upstream approaches to improve health, wellness, and social determinants of health. We feel it is important for researchers to include community partners, participants, and stakeholders into their dissemination plan. Erie aims to be mindful of our own internal capacity, research burden on our patients, and alignment with our primary purpose of providing high quality care, and we reserve the right to decline participation in any project.

Priority Research Areas

Research proposals are assessed on a case by case basis. Decisions on Erie engagement will be guided by prioritizing projects which align with the below priority types and focus areas.  
Priority types of research for Erie include:
  • Translational and/ or quality improvement initiatives, that are intended to be sustainable and replicable in a primary care health service delivery model
  • Evaluation of evidence-based practice implementation into routine clinical care
  • Community focused, patient-centered research that seeks to engage participants as partners and
  • Research that builds Erie capacity to meet our mission and enhances our core offered services

Compensation

Erie’s primary mission is providing high quality primary care and increasing access. Although Erie knows research brings value to the organization and our patients, implemented research projects must be resource neutral.

Erie assesses each project individually and will work closely with the PI and project coordinator to finalize details regarding the cost to engage with Erie on research. The cost to partner on research with Erie is dependent on the type and intensity of the project. Some factors that are considered when assessing the cost include: number of sites involved, amount of resources required from Erie, intensity and length of the project, data requests and reporting requirements, Erie’s level of involvement in coordination and implementation, need for a provider champion, Human Resources onboarding and training costs, communication requirements, on-going coordination of the project, space requirements and level of interaction requested with patients.

Application Process

We invite interested researchers who feel their project aligns with our current goal and priorities to submit an application to our Research Evaluation Committee (REC). We charge an application fee of $50 to review proposed research applications.  

We highly encourage researchers to discuss the project and possible collaboration with our Manager of Academic Partnerships, Tina Schuh, prior to submitting an application. Preliminary discussions can help to avoid confusion and identify if the project would be a good fit for Erie before submitting an application and the $50 fee. Email REC@eriefamilyhealth.org to organize a preliminary phone conversation.

Other important items to note regarding research at Erie:  

  • All projects are required to have a dissemination plan that includes Erie stakeholders with the results of the study.
  • All studies must have an IRB of record, documentation of approval from the IRB must be provided to Erie for the project to be approved to begin implementation.
  • Currently, Erie does not accept research applications from students. Requests for limited scope projects (i.e. key informant interview with a single provider) by students who not affiliated with Erie, should be emailed to REC@eriefamilyhealth.orgto be discussed with the Manager of Academic Partnerships.