About Us

It is my great honor and privilege to join the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute today as its next Executive Director. I extend my deepest appreciation to Josephine P. Briggs, MD, who has expertly served as Interim Executive Director since November 2019. Her expertise and remarkable contributions in such a short period of time are widely known, a true testament to her exceptional leadership. My sincere appreciation also extends to PCORI’s first Executive Director Joe V. Selby, MD, MPH, who laid the groundwork for our endeavors for years to come.

I have followed PCORI and its impressive work for nearly a decade. Its mission resonates with my personal and professional commitment to promote excellence in health and health care in a way that is patient-centered and engages all parties to help achieve shared goals. As a clinician and researcher focused on improving patient outcomes, I can’t imagine a more exciting prospect than the opportunity to build on PCORI’s successes.

Envisioning a PCORI of the future is only possible because of the accomplishments of the past. PCORI has funded more than $2.6 billion in over 770 research, dissemination and implementation, engagement, and PCORnet® and infrastructure projects; engaged with thousands of patients, caregivers, and other healthcare stakeholders to ensure we hear all voices; and enhanced methods to produce more valid, useful information.

Our Response to a Global Pandemic

It is exactly this legacy and mission that position PCORI to contribute its unique perspectives, approaches, and expertise to address the challenges we face at this moment in history, when the world is amid a public health emergency. After recognizing this public health crisis and the impact that COVID-19 will have on our nation, our senior leaders, staff, and Board of Governors pivoted to focus on what PCORI could do in coordination with ongoing efforts across government, industry, and other funders.

With a decade of accomplishment behind us, and a 10-year reauthorization sustaining our future, now is the time for audacious, innovative, and courageous action; the opportunities are ours to seize.

Our attention turned to critical dimensions of this pandemic, particularly the healthcare workers on the front lines—physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and all personnel, both medical and nonmedical, who work each day in hospitals, triage tents, drive-through testing stations, and clinics providing compassionate care to individuals with COVID-19. The Board of Governors earlier this month approved up to $50 million to fund a registry and randomized clinical trial of the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in preventing COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers. Our respect and gratitude for these essential workers is beyond measure.

Patient Focus Is Part of Our Organizational DNA

Our thoughts are also with the many patients, families, caregivers, and friends grappling with this disease’s devastating toll. PCORI is uniquely poised to focus on patients and their caregivers; it is in our organizational DNA. Thus, since the beginning of this crisis, we have collaborated with our funded researchers to explore adding COVID-19-related aims to existing patient-centered projects. Last week, we posted funding opportunities of up to $20 million for such work. Following a board vote early this month that provided up to $30 million for new COVID-19-related research, we are putting the pieces into place to solicit innovative research projects from the nation’s investigators and healthcare stakeholder communities to support new COVID-19-related research, engagement, and dissemination projects.

As we endeavor to serve our healthcare workers, patients, and their families with our mission-driven approaches, we never forget they are so much more. They are our mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, neighbors and friends.

Research and medicine adapt to new information when it comes to light, shift to incorporate novel data, and evolve when a project unfolds in unexpected ways or a disease takes an unexpected turn.

Urgent and unknowable concerns related to COVID-19 will emerge over the arc of time. At times like these, I am reminded of the lessons in humility that science and medicine teach me every day. Successful research and effective medical strategies rely on continual learning, innovation, and resilience. Research and medicine adapt to new information when it comes to light, shift to incorporate novel data, and evolve when a project unfolds in unexpected ways or a disease takes an unexpected turn.

These lessons will help us persevere through the challenging COVID-19 pandemic and enable us to attend to the next decade of leadership in comparative clinical effectiveness research. We remain committed to our mission and our vision of a nation where patients and the public have information they can use to make decisions that reflect their desired health outcomes.

Audacious, Innovative Action Ahead

In the months ahead, I look forward to collaborating with the Board, staff, patients, caregivers, clinicians, and healthcare stakeholders—all valued members of the diverse PCORI community. I will treasure their advice and support on our shared journey to continued success. Together, we will build on PCORI’s strong foundation to generate evidence most meaningful to patients and conduct patient-centered outcomes research that has significant health and healthcare impact.

As a clinician and researcher focused on improving patient outcomes, I can’t imagine a more exciting prospect than the opportunity to build on PCORI's successes.

With a decade of accomplishment behind us, and a 10-year reauthorization sustaining our future, now is the time for audacious, innovative, and courageous action; the opportunities are ours to seize.

In these days of uncertainty, I find comfort and inspiration in words from Nelson Mandela, whose life is a testament to the virtue of courage. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. … May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

What's Happening at PCORI?

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute sends weekly emails highlighting results of our funded studies, newly funded research and engagement awards, opportunities to apply for funding, stakeholder workshops, and original feature stories about our funded projects.

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