Background: Worksite wellness programs use an employer’s access to workers to improve worker health. Unfortunately, only 46 percent of workers engage in wellness programs. Workers with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) often have unmet needs, yet their voice is not heard in wellness or worksite-based research. Also, the individuals who manage wellness programs, health and wellness workers, are typically not trained in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) or comparative effectiveness research (CER).
Proposed Solution to the Problem: This project entitled “Patient-Centered Outcomes Research for Employees (PCORE) of Milwaukee’s Near West Side” is designed to create opportunity for workers with MCC to learn about and engage in PCOR.
Objectives: This project aims to create, apply, and assess the PCORE Panel, a partnership between employees, academic researchers, and clinicians. The long-term objectives are to train the panel in PCOR/CER to serve as advisors to researchers at Marquette University; serve as advisors to local and national researchers planning worksite PCOR/CER; train research leads to help worksites conduct PCOR; and serve as champions for including the voice of workers with MCC in PCOR/CER.
Panel recruitment and training – Five times per year for the full panel and additional informal onsite training with research leads. Research lead assignments include preparing for panel meetings and applying panel training to worksites.
Research topic prioritization and worksite engagement events – In partnership with the stakeholder panel, the project team will engage with employees in the Near West Side to identify health topics of interest.
- The voice of workers with MCC will be included in research.
- PCORE Panel will learn about PCOR/CER, Patient-Powered Research Networks, and Clinical Data Research Networks, and other PCORI projects helpful to worksites.
- Researchers and clinicians will work together to design PCOR questions and draw on the experience of the PCORE Panel to conduct PCOR.
- PCORE Panel members will serve as champions for including the voice of workers with MCC in research.
As a result of this project, the team will create the following products: training and educational materials, onsite assignments, scientific and lay publications and presentations, and priority ranking of health topics of importance per worksite.
Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The project team is creating a stakeholder panel of workers with MCC, worksite health and wellness workers, healthcare professionals, and researchers. The panel will have five meetings per year. Research leads will have informal gatherings and complete assignments during the months without formal meetings. Researchers and clinical stakeholders will be called as needed between formal meetings. All PCORE members will promote PCORE among researchers and collaborators and assist with dissemination of the PCORE structure.
Project Collaborators: The Near West Side Partners, Inc. (NWSP) is a nonprofit founded and supported by five Milwaukee anchor institutions: Aurora Health Care, Harley-Davidson, Marquette University, MillerCoors, and Potawatomi Business Development Corporation. The Marquette University Center for Peacemaking is an academic research center focused on community-based participatory research. The executive director of NWSP and the director of the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking serve on the PCORE leadership team. The project team is subcontracting to NWSP to hire a resource officer and an external evaluator who will work with the team to evaluate the process and outcomes of the work.