Project Summary

Background: The United States lacks a strong infrastructure in rural population health with most institutions that are strong in public and population health having little association with rural communities. Consequently, patients and providers in these communities face a dearth of exposure and access to patient-centered outcomes research and comparative effectiveness research (PCOR/CER) findings. Rural African Americans are in dual jeopardy, saddled with the burdens of rurality and race.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: REESSI will build a regional learning collaborative of patient advocates, health providers, and faith leaders who are PCOR-trained and committed to improving the health literacy of patients with multiple chronic diseases. No such strategy exists in this region. Most solutions have been top-down and have not focused on the patients’ felt needs. Also, the efforts have not been sustained over time.

Objectives: The overall goal of this project is to develop a strong collaborative of patient advocates, health providers, and faith leaders who have the cumulative and sustained PCOR knowledge required to improve the health literacy and disease management efforts of African-American residents living with multiple chronic diseases. The activities of this project will be guided by five objectives:

  • Expand the collaborative membership by identifying two active patient advocates in each of the four counties and eight providers to be part of the collaborative and conducting seven information and planning meetings;
  • Develop a digital learning and communications tool that will support current and future dissemination of collaborative activities and PCOR/CER findings;
  • Develop a patient- and provider-relevant curriculum for six structured workshops that focus on the key principles, elements, and findings of PCOR/CER and conduct five structured workshops over a 14-month period;
  • Develop the content and structure for four to eight patient engagement events with 240 patients and engage with the leaders to conduct the patient events between months 10 and 24;
  • During year two, engage in expanded development activities to sustain the collaborative.

Activities: REESSI will deploy five key personnel on the two-year project. The project activities include seven meetings of the collaborative for planning, information, and networking; development of patient- and provider-appropriate curriculum related to the benefits of PCOR/CER; five training workshops on PCOR/CER outcomes and evidence related to health literacy and multiple chronic conditions and four to eight patient engagement and learning sessions with 240 patients in four counties.

Outcomes: The proposed outcomes are a sustainable collaborative of eight patient advocates, eight providers, and four faith leaders dedicated to the translation and dissemination of PCOR/CER findings to African-American patients with multiple chronic diseases; a real-time digital tool that will be used to communicate collaborative activities and PCOR/CER findings related to health literacy and multiple chronic diseases to the African-American community and providers serving the community at large; a training curriculum that can be used to educate collaborative members on PCOR/CER findings related to health literacy and management of multiple chronic conditions and changes in knowledge about PCOR/CER related to health literacy for patients with multiple chronic diseases.

Project Collaborators: The project collaborators include four churches, two healthcare systems, one social service agency, and one community-based health advocacy organization.

Engagement Resources

Project Information

Laverne Morrow Carter, PhD, MPH
Research, Evaluation and Social Solutions, Inc. dba REESSI

Key Dates

December 2019


Project Status
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Last updated: April 8, 2024