HHS awards $14M for patient-centered outcomes research
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, MD, said the agency will award more than $14.2 million to develop, implement and test strategies to increase adoption and dissemination of interventions based on patient-centered outcomes research among racial and ethnic minority populations.

Patient-centered outcomes research is designed to inform healthcare decisions by providing evidence on the effectiveness, benefits and harms of various treatment options. The evidence is generated from research studies that compare drugs, medical devices, tests, surgeries or ways to deliver health care.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) awarded grants to Centers of Excellence at universities and medical schools in Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico and New York.

In addition, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) awarded a $2 million contract to Westat, a Rockville, Md.-based research services company. THe OMH project is designated for research of diabetes mellitus; cardiovascular disease, including stroke and hypertension; and arthritis as the primary health conditions--for which available and appropriate interventions will be identified from comparative effectiveness research.

The awards are part of the investments made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which appropriated $1.1 billion to support patient-centered outcomes research. Of that total, $400 million was authorized to be allocated at the discretion of the HHS secretary for a variety of patient-centered outcomes research and related activities.

These awards are one part of the overall HHS ARRA strategy, as described at here, and are funded from money allocated to the secretary.

OMH and NIMHD will jointly evaluate the scientific progress of the recipients of the grant awards following standard NIH policies and procedures.

Grant awards by NIH under its Comparative Effectiveness Research for Eliminating Disparities (CERED) Program were made to:
  • University of Alabama in Birmingham, $1.4 million;
  • University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, $1.4 million;
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa, $1.4 million;
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, $1.4 million;
  • University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, $1.39 million
  • University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, $1.09 million
  • Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University in New York City, $1.4 million;
  • Columbia University Health Sciences in New York City, $1.4 million;
  • University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences in San Juan, $1.4 million

The NIH awards will focus on issues including breast and prostate cancer in underserved populations, cardio-metabolic issues in Native and Pacific people, and health disparities in Harlem, N.Y.

Interventions will be identified for dissemination and adoption among the racial and ethnic populations in two targeted geographic areas. These populations will include African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and urban American Indians/Alaska Natives, according to HHS.