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At its June 2022 meeting, PCORI’s Board of Governors approved the PCORI Strategic Plan, putting the finishing touches on a rigorous and thoughtful planning approach underpinned by extensive input from patients and many other stakeholders across the health and healthcare community.


PCORI Leadership by PCORI Executive Director Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH.
Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH
Executive Director, PCORI

The PCORI Strategic Plan provides a clear roadmap to follow as we work to ensure that people have the useful, trustworthy information they need to make decisions that reflect their desired health outcomes by generating and disseminating information through research and other initiatives guided by patients, caregivers, and the broader healthcare community.

The plan builds on PCORI’s past work and strengthens our commitment to tackling the most important health and healthcare challenges facing the nation, through the comparative clinical effectiveness research that we fund. One key aspect of the plan is its bold articulation of one of the most critical of these challenges—to achieve health equity. Throughout our strategic planning, we heard loud and clear from stakeholders the need to broaden and further diversify the communities that participate in health research, and to promote the use of evidence generated by PCORI-funded studies to improve outcomes for patients historically underserved and/or marginalized by the healthcare system. Achieve Health Equity is one of the five National Priorities for Health that are at the core of the plan.

PCORI's Strategic Plan captures the dedication, energy, and insight of the extensive stakeholder community around the country that contributed to its development and refinement.

The PCORI Strategic Plan reflects a holistic approach to generating and promoting evidence that can lead to a more patient-centered system of health, centered around four key elements:

This holistic approach also recognizes the need to consider in the research we fund the key drivers of health beyond the purely clinical realm, including the social, cultural, and environmental factors in the real world where people live, learn, work, and play. This will entail new partnerships and deepening the relationships we have built over more than a decade of robust, intentional engagement with stakeholder communities.

I invite you to read the entire plan on our website, where you can also access “at a glance” documents designed to highlight the elements of the plan most relevant to stakeholder groups: Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates; Clinicians; Hospitals and Health Systems; Payers; Policy Makers; and Researchers and Research Institutions.

PCORI's leadership discusses how the Strategic Plan will move PCORI toward a more holistic approach to our work, including community-based research, social determinants of health, and new partnerships beyond the health care and health research spheres.

The Real Work Begins

Following Board approval of the Strategic Plan, it was appropriate that we celebrated the milestone and acknowledged the input and hard work of so many. Now, as Board Chairperson Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, said at the Board meeting, “the real work begins.” We know that ultimately success will be determined not by words but by actions, and detailed planning is already well underway. We have already begun to incorporate into our activities two important elements of the plan—the National Priorities for Health and the Research Agenda—that were adopted earlier in the planning sequence.

Flexibility and nimbleness will be key. Especially in the rapidly evolving world of health care and health research, any strategic plan has to allow for refinements in the roadmap as the terrain changes. Success will entail periodic scanning of the horizon and an honest assessment of our progress—for continuous improvement, as well as transparency in sharing with stakeholders how well we are meeting our goals and demonstrating the value of our work.


The PCORI Strategic Plan is centered around four key elements: Comparative clinical effectiveness research funding, Stakeholder engagement, Dissemination and implementation of research results, and Investments to enhance the nation's health research infrastructure

Our approach to monitoring this progress and measuring our success will be reflected in an updated evaluation strategy that builds on PCORI’s ongoing commitment to continuous learning. This strategy will have a sharper focus on outcomes, reflecting the evolution and maturation of the field of comparative clinical effectiveness research and the growing body of evidence from our portfolio of funded projects that are primed to influence clinical care and ultimately people’s lives. We will ask questions like, “Are we funding research that is likely to change clinical practice and improve patient outcomes?” and “What progress have we made toward achieving the National Priorities for Health?” Our overarching evaluation strategy will also have a broader focus than before, including not only traditional monitoring and evaluation, but also portfolio analysis, research on research, and other organizational learning activities. This approach to learning will help us convey transparently to all stakeholders our progress toward achieving our mission.

Staying Engaged with You

We envision the Strategic Plan as not only a guide for our work, but also a communications tool—a framework for documenting and communicating progress. We plan to regularly provide updates on our progress through communications channels such as our website, Board meetings, and annual reports. We will continue to engage PCORI stakeholders as we update our evaluation strategy, and as we develop the Research Project Agenda, a more detailed outline of future research funding to advance the National Priorities for Health and the Research Agenda that are at the heart of the Strategic Plan.

PCORI’s Strategic Plan captures the dedication, energy, and insight of the extensive stakeholder community around the country that contributed to its development and refinement. My heartfelt appreciation to all of you, and we look forward to continued engagement with you as we continue this journey together.

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