WASHINGTON, DC—The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) next week will host the 2021 PCORI Virtual Annual Meeting, a free event running November 17-19 that brings together researchers, health care experts, thought leaders, patients and the larger health care community to discuss the most relevant topics in health care today and how patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) is advancing in those areas.

Distinguished Speakers Lead Impactful Discussions

Presenters include leading voices from some of the most influential organizations in health care and technology. Among the dynamic health care leaders who will join the meeting’s plenary discussions are:

  • Robert Califf, M.D, MAAC, head of clinical policy and strategy for Verily and Google Health and former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, who will speak on enhancing health research infrastructure
  • Nakela L. Cook, M.D, M.P.H., executive director, PCORI, who will discuss PCORI’s newly adopted National Priorities for Health and the development of its draft Research Agenda as well as moderate a plenary session on achieving health equity
  • Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., chief health officer for Google Health, who will present on the impact of emerging health care innovations
  • Liz Fowler, Ph.D., J.D., deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Director of the CMS Innovation Center, who also will speak about health care innovations
  • Umair Shah, M.D., M.P.H., secretary of health for the Washington State Department of Health, who will participate in a discussion on the evolution of the learning health system

Timely Plenaries Cover COVID-19, National Priorities for Health

As the U.S. continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic issues surrounding inequity in care and other areas have surfaced with ever greater urgency, a plenary session will convene diverse professionals from health care and other organizations to delve into lessons learned from the pandemic, the role evidence from clinical research has played in their pandemic response and PCORI’s role in helping to address pandemic-related challenges through stakeholder-engaged research.

Five other plenary sessions expand on PCORI’s National Priorities for Health, focusing on health equity; health care innovations; research infrastructure; a learning health system; and dissemination, implementation and communication science.

In addition, 14 breakout sessions will cover a range of topics, including patients driving research, electronic health records in COVID-19 research, priorities for research in healthy aging, reducing disparities in maternal health care, and engaging people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in research.

Panel Explores Economic and Cost Burdens Measurements

Legislation reauthorizing PCORI’s funding in 2019 expanded PCORI’s authority to consider the full range of outcomes data, including cost burdens and economic impacts, in the research it funds. An expert panel of patients, stakeholders and researchers will discuss strategies to identify and measure appropriate and relevant burden and economic data to ensure PCORI-funded studies continue to generate evidence important to the entire health community.

A full list of speakers and event agenda are available on the 2021 PCORI Virtual Annual Meeting website.

PCORI’s Virtual Annual Meeting is free and open to all members of the public and media to attend.


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is the nation’s leading funder of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER). By comparing two or more health or healthcare approaches, CER generates evidence that helps people make better-informed decisions and improves healthcare delivery and outcomes. PCORI takes a holistic approach to its work, ensuring that patients and other health decision makers are engaged as partners throughout the research process, supporting dissemination and implementation of results in practice and strengthening clinical research infrastructure to advance patient-centered CER. PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress.

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Sofia Kosmetatos

  • Senior Manager, Media Relations

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Christine Frey

  • Director, Integrated Communications

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