Those qualities make Cook exactly the right person to work with our Board, staff, and stakeholders to shape PCORI 2.0. As we enter our second decade, Cook will be responsible for our nearly $2.6 billion portfolio of existing patient-centered comparative outcomes studies and related projects. Hundreds of these already have produced important results; many more will do so in coming months.
We’ll also fund new studies on critical topics that our stakeholders will help us prioritize. And we’ll pursue a range of new initiatives focused on ensuring that the funds entrusted to us are invested in work providing maximum impact and benefit to patients and those who care for them. PCORI 2.0 will emphasize innovation and impact, as we continue our efforts to make the healthcare system more efficient, effective, and patient centered.
In doing this work, we’ll pay particular attention to the new and updated areas of emphasis in our mandate, seeking stakeholder guidance along the way. These include:
- Promoting the timely implementation of research findings
- Ensuring that the studies we fund capture the full range of clinical and patient-centered outcomes important to patients, clinicians, employers, and policy makers in making informed healthcare decisions. Among these are the potential burdens—including a range of costs—of different treatments, services, and caregiving
- Ensuring that we consider both long-term and short-term research priorities and are responsive to changing evidence and treatments
She is a strategic thinker with strong scientific expertise, excellent leadership skills, an innovative approach to research, and a strong commitment to funding and conducting research in partnership with stakeholders.
Cook will have a full agenda when she joins us. In addition to getting to know PCORI staff, she plans a listening tour to both introduce herself to our stakeholders and seek their input on how to best meet our renewed mandate. This will include: how we should most efficiently and effectively update our National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda, the roadmap that guides our work; how we will prioritize topics for research funding; and how we can enhance efforts to move key results into real-world practice. We’ll also update stakeholder communities on the growing body of evidence on the impact of engagement on research and seek ideas to enhance these efforts, which remain at the core of all we do.
This is an exciting time for PCORI. We’re thrilled to be able to serve patients, clinicians, and others across the healthcare community for another decade. I know that I speak for our Board of Governors and staff when I tell you how pleased we are that Cook will lead that important work. And it’s been wonderful to see that so many across the healthcare community feel the same way, from individual patients to patient advocates to professional groups, including the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Alliance for Aging Research (on behalf of Friends of PCORI Reauthorization), the Society for Women’s Health Research Policy Department, AcademyHealth, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
We’re especially happy to see notes from some of those who know Cook’s work best. American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown called her appointment “a great day for patients and PCORI.” The Sickle Cell Consortium said, “We have witnessed first-hand Dr. Cook’s commitment to patient-centered research and therapies [and] are excited to learn she will lead PCORI.”
Perhaps former PCORI Board member Harlan Krumholz, MD, a well-known cardiologist, outcomes researcher, and a fierce advocate for making clinical research and care more patient centered, said it best: “Wow. Wow. Wow. … Dr. Cook is off-the-charts good.”
We couldn’t agree more. I’m sure you will too in coming months as you get to know more about Cook and her vision for PCORI. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming her and wishing her the greatest success in her new position.
We’ve begun working with stakeholders on how we can most effectively continue our current work while also realizing the opportunities reauthorization offers us.
We also continue to be grateful for the broad stakeholder and bipartisan congressional support that led to a 10-year extension of PCORI funding. This reauthorization was welcome recognition of our work to date in funding studies comparing which care options work best for which patients, based on outcomes that are important to them, and we appreciate the vote of confidence in our ability to continue delivering on our mission.
We’ve begun working with stakeholders on how we can most effectively continue our current work while also realizing the opportunities reauthorization offers us to do an even better job of generating the evidence and information they need. And we are addressing the new directives in our reauthorization.
For example, under the leadership of Interim Executive Director Josie Briggs, MD, we’re committing up to $76 million in research support under a new cycle of PCORI Funding Announcements that seek researchers’ best ideas for studies on a range of topics. We are particularly interested in research focused on maternal mortality and intellectual and developmental disabilities, both outlined in the law reauthorizing our funding.
We’ve also prioritized three research areas of interest based on input from clinician groups: suicide prevention, peripheral artery disease, and genetic sequencing to guide cancer treatment. In addition, we’re offering up to $1 million per project to support innovative ways to promote faster uptake and use of research results by patients, clinicians, and other healthcare decision makers in real-word settings.
And thanks to reauthorization, at our next meeting the PCORI Board will consider funding for four research proposals that were considered worthy of support but deferred due to uncertainty about PCORI’s future.
As always, thank you for your interest and your support of PCORI.