In addition to the funding for the HERO initiative, the Board today committed up to $30 million to fund other new COVID-19 research studies, as well as engagement and dissemination and implementation projects. PCORI staff already are working to identify proposed topics relating to the COVID-19 response that may be well-suited for large studies and other projects. Other topics are likely to come from key healthcare stakeholders involved in the country’s response.
A total of up to $20 million will go toward funding award increases for research and other projects related to the response. It will also address appropriate changes caused by the COVID-19 emergency. For instance, some researchers may revise their plans by adding coronavirus aims to their studies or switching to virtual environments.
Our existing programs and resources also will play a role. The Board approved up to $10 million for an existing fund earmarked for small, rapid-response projects.
Our commitment extends beyond funding research studies and dissemination and engagement projects. For example, we are highlighting the demands the virus is placing on our hospitals and healthcare systems now and in the months ahead through a series of webinars entitled Confronting COVID-19: Finding Hospital Capacity and Improving Patient Flow.
Hospitals across the country face enormous challenges because of the public health emergency. The four-part webinar series, which began this week, features a roster of clinicians and operations management experts who will discuss proven techniques for managing capacity that can be adapted to circumstances surrounding the current pandemic.
The Rest of Our Work Continues
Rest assured, PCORI remains committed to the extraordinary range of comparative clinical effectiveness research we have funded since the early days of our organization. We will continue to support these important endeavors while adding our efforts to contribute to the global effort to fight COVID-19.
Our work focuses on people. We never lose sight of the community of healthcare workers, researchers, clinicians, patients, and caregivers we are privileged to serve every day. And we never lose sight of the mission we are privileged to live every day.
That mission is as relevant as ever: PCORI helps people make informed healthcare decisions, and improves healthcare delivery and outcomes, by producing and promoting high-integrity, evidence-based information that comes from research guided by patients, caregivers, and the broader healthcare community.
Health and well-being are integral to our research funding, engagement with stakeholders, and our day-to-day operations. We will continue to assess the COVID-19 situation as we explore other ways PCORI can serve our nation.