Background: The health issues faced by rural residents are uniquely challenging in comparison to urban populations. The existence of healthcare disparities in access to quality healthcare services and outcomes is significant. Currently, there is a desperate need for solutions specifically designed to address the needs of rural residents like those in Wyoming.
Proposed Solution: The creation of a community- and practice-based research network in Wyoming (CPBRN) will address the healthcare needs of Wyoming residents. Called the Equality State Research Network (ESRN), this CPBRN will actively engage rural stakeholders on the health issues important to them. This network will be built upon existing statewide networks of practitioners and community stakeholders and will increase engagement of all stakeholders and improve the health and well-being of those living in rural areas, such as Wyoming.
Objectives: The ESRN will engage clinical and patient communities in a discussion centered around current perceived challenges to achieving optimal health and cultivate a collaborative relationship between Wyoming Telehealth Network (WyTN), Family to Family (F2F), and other stakeholders that focuses on ongoing patient-centered outcomes research/comparative effectiveness research (PCOR/CER) opportunities. Network members will also gain an in-depth understanding of what a CPBRN is and how it can best serve Wyoming, and the network will provide the infrastructure needed to sustain an ongoing research network that will focus on rural health using PCOR/CER research.
Activities: This project will involve establishing the ESRN network structure through the gathering of network member MOUs, creation of a network advisory council, publishing network and advisory meeting minutes, and publishing of the network research agenda. Members will also be consistently engaged through qualitative interviews, quarterly network calls, and a 2021 ESRN conference. Finally, members will be informed via network trainings and network information documents to ensure that members are prepared to engage in PCOR and CER.
Outcomes and Outputs: The ESRN will gather 30 member-signed MOUs, obtain 10 signed agreement forms for member commitment to join the network advisory council, create and publish network communication guidelines, publish network meeting minutes, conduct 30 network member interviews, host quarterly network calls, host 100 network members at ESRN 2021 conference, and develop and publish PCOR- and CER-centered trainings.
Engagement Plan: Providers, patients, and other stakeholders for this project were identified through WyTN, F2F, and existing collaborative relationships throughout the state (e.g., additional primary care providers, child development centers, school districts, Wyoming Department of Health, and University of Wyoming College of Health Sciences). Stakeholders include patients, community members, family members, and clinicians from across Wyoming.
Stakeholders have been and will continue to be engaged in all aspects of the proposed project. Engagement will involve in-person visits from ESRN staff for qualitative interviews that will be used for network and training development, quarterly network calls for all network members, creation of a network advisory council that will meet quarterly, publishing of network training and materials for member use, and invitation to the 2021 ESRN network conference.
Project Collaborators: Providers, patients, and other stakeholders for this project were identified through WyTN and F2F networks. The Wy-CPBRN will collaborate heavily with WyTN and F2F for recruitment of network members and deployment of network trainings.