Together We Can Make It (TWCMI) is a patient-centered behavioral health research group. Behavioral health problems are rapidly expanding in the local low-income area as well as across the nation. TWCMI began as a community health center and safety net hospital desiring to facilitate behavioral health research that was relevant to local patients and clinicians. The initial Pipeline to Proposal project expanded to include researchers from four universities as well as additional patients and stakeholders. The project evolved by completing required deliverables and developing CER questions. During this process the separate groups began to internalize our true interdependence on each other, which is reflected in the recent selection of the name “Together We Can Make It.” Momentum in the project is evidenced by patient ownership and participation, researchers’ collaborative contributions to the project, and stakeholder interest and involvement. This momentum will position Together We Can Make It for full proposal submittals.
The TWCMI research topic compares the effectiveness of peers (persons with lived mental illness experience) to academically trained individuals when case management services are provided for patients, was driven by patients. Two related CER questions have been developed (with PICOTS) and TWCMI will further determine the interest level of potential funders in each CER question. The infrastructure created by this Pipeline to Proposal project will continue to be utilized as research infrastructure beyond the PCORI project and propel a culture of inquiry among local safety providers.