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Current Collaborative Projects

Active WVPBRN Projects

Colleague Response to A Scoping Review on mHealth in the Clinical Setting

PI: Treah Haggerty, MD, MS; (WVU)

Although the use of mHealth technology is increasing, there remains many physicians who are not comfortable with their patients' use of this technology for health-related information either inside or outside of the clinical setting. This project will be surveying clinical perceptions related to mHealth use in the clinical setting and learn more about provider thoughts about using mHealth in the clinic. Several clinicians with prior mHealth experience or interest were identified and ask to respond to 2 brief questions.

Facilitating Improved Patient Engagement in Weight Management Through mHealth Technology Use in Patients’ Visit Waiting Time

PI: Treah Haggerty, MD, MS; (WVU)


Poster presentation at North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) Annual Meeting, Colorado Springs, CO. November 2016. (International forum)

WV Chronic Pain ECHO Project

PI: Sally Hodder, MD, (WVU); Craig Robinson (Cabin Creek)

Project ECHO Chronic Pain is a learning and guided practice model for medical education that was developed out of the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine. Videoconferences will allow chronic pain specialists to share their expertise to rural providers throughout West Virginia. Provide a model of effective care coordination in regards to chronic pain, cut down specialist referrals, and wait times for patients to see specialists.      

                WV ECHO website

Wellness and Nutrition Curriculum for Family Medicine Residents and Medical Staff 

PI: Madison Humerick, MD (Eastern Div)

CEO Small Grants

The purpose of this study is to train Harpers Ferry Family Medicine resident physicians and staff on pertinent nutrition and physical activity information to improve patients’ access to counseling and the nutrition and wellness of the resident physicians and staff. This training serves as the foundation for a system for physicians to start counseling patients on nutrition and physical activity.

Barriers to Accurate Medication Reconciliation        

PI: Jill Cochran, PhD (WVSOM)

Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation HOPE Award

The goal is to assess the feasibility of implementing the Medications at Transition and Clinical Handoffs (MATCH) toolkit within a rural primary care center, a process designed to reduce medication errors and patient harm as they transition across healthcare entities. In order to meet the goal, researchers conducted a data analysis using clinic and hospital data to conduct data validation and create a demographic profile of patients at highest risk of hospital readmission, completed focus groups with clinic and hospital staff and interviews with patients/caregivers, and implement the MATCH process across healthcare systems.


App Development and Feasibility Testing for Overweight and Obese Pregnant Women       

PI: Peter Giacobbi, PhD (WVU)

WVCTSI Pilot Grant

The purpose of this study is to develop an app with guided imagery content help from the WVPBRN, to address diet and increasing physical activity using technology and evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy of the app in 50 pregnant women. Secondary outcomes will include survey measures of self-efficacy diet, food cravings and physical activity and neonatal morbidity. This app can be used by pregnant women in waiting room areas and home. Preliminary clinical perceptions of guided imagery was also collected to utilize in this and future studies.

Potential Use of Guided Imagery


Low back Pain Prevalence and Current Treatments in Rural Areas of WV         

PI: Brianna Sheppard, PhD (WVU)

This project aims to identify prevalence of low back pain in West Virginia, identify current treatment recommendations for low back pain, and examine whether prevalence and treatments differ between rural and non-rural areas.     

WV Collaborative for Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Screening

PI: Danielle Davidov, PhD (WVU)

PCORI Tier Program I

The partnership team will connect with communities to form the West Virginia Collaborative for IPV Screening including IPV service providers and advocacy groups, IPV victims and survivors (patients), healthcare systems, researchers, criminal justice system representatives, and policymakers. The WVPBRN will help identify practices and providers to join the Collaborative.


ePHQ-2: a multi-center correlation study of a depression screening method in WV

PIs: Mary Ann Maurer, MD (Charleston Div); Mathew Weimer, MD (Valley Health Systems)

Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

The study will examine possible differences in positive results of a depression screening based on scripting face-to-face versus scripting IPAD format for this increasing ubiquitous screening tool already in use in order to inform practice and policy change among WV Alliance for Creative Health Solutions membership and other primary care settings.


Project ECHO Hep C         

PIs: Sally Hodder, MD (WVU); Amber Crist/Craig Robinson (Cabin Creek)

Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

Project ECHO Hepatitis C is a learning and guided practice model for medical education that was developed out of the University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine. Videoconferences will allow Hepatitis C specialists to share their expertise to rural providers throughout West Virginia. Provide a model of effective care coordination in regards to Hepatitis C, cut down specialist referrals, and wait times for patients to see specialists.         

                  WV ECHO website


Barriers and interventions to facilitate suicide screening in primary care

PI: Mary LeCloux, PhD (WVU)

WVCTSI Small Grant

The study will examine providers’ perceptions of the practice of providing routine suicide screens in primary care, whether there are barriers to engaging in this practice, as well as potential interventions that might make routine suicide screening more feasible and use that information to develop and implement future primary care screening protocols in WV.


WVPBRN Resident Learning Collaborative      

PIs: William Lewis, MD (Eastern); Treah Haggerty, MD (WVU)

This group aims to increase capacity for residents to engage in quality improvement. Primary care Residents were surveyed to assess their experience, perceptions, and confidence in research and quality improvement projects. The survey results will guide the development of training modules to encourage and build capacity in clinical research and quality improvement.

Presented: NAPCRG PBRN Conference, June 23, 2017, Bethesda, MD

Training Modules:

Project Better Health       

PIs: Melissa Olfert, DRPH (WVU); Mary Ann Maurer, DO (Charleston Div)

WVCTSI CEO Demonstration Project

This project aims to improve healthier eating habits among obese patients in WV by assessing the feasibility of utilizing a mobile app that allows for recording of daily goods consumed and offers immediate suggestions on what food options are best based on what the prior meals had been in the day.


CHERP (Community Health Education Resource Persons)  

PIs: Wayne Miller, PhD (WVSOM); Haylee Heinsburg (WVSOM)

WVCTSI Collaborative Project Award

This project aims to improve patient treatment adherence, decrease emergency room visits, decrease re-admissions, and improve patient profiles and prepare students to conduct community engaged research projects.


Patients outcomes in a rural pulmonary rehabilitation pilot program

PI: Chaffee Tommarello, RT (Cabin Creek)

Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation HOPE Award

The aim of this project is to compare patient pulmonary rehabilitation program outcomes between small rural facilities and those previously published findings from large centers in areas of self-reports of well-being, knowledge of chronic lung disease and treatment, and ability to exercise

Pulmonary Rehab Research Brief


Vision threatening eye disease in WV: WV Sight Outreach Program (IRIS 1)

Part 1 PIs: Ron Gross MD (WVU); Dana King, MD (WVU)

Alcon Foundation; Allergan Foundation

Presented: NAPCRG PBRN Conference- June 22, 2017, Bethesda, MD

NAPCRG PBRN Conference- July 11, 2016, Bethesda, MD

APHA Conference- November 1, 2016, Denver, CO

HIMSS Webinar- June 14, 2017

                  IRIS Case Study

Determining the rate of diabetic retinopathy in a rural health clinic (IRIS 2)

Part 2 PI: Jonathan Kline, PHARMD (Eastern)

WVCTSI Community Engagement Demonstration

This project aims to establish state-wide capacity for providing access to diabetic eye care that could eventually lead to severe visual impairment or blindness if left undetected or untreated; to establish a telehealth care process to evaluate the business model; begin process improvement to optimize the model incorporated in rural West Virginia clinics and create a sustainability plan by informing policy changes affecting insurance coverage of the scanning device technology.



The Diabetic rHeART        

PI: Paul Chantler, PhD (WVU)

WVCTSI Pilot Grant; Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

The aim is to reduce the prevalence of CVD mortality/morbidity in WV by to delivering a cardiovascular disease intervention to areas in WV to improve health and determine feasibility by examining recruitment and retention, implementation fidelity, and acceptability by assessing provider and patient satisfaction by using a CBPR approach.

rHeART Research Brief


The West Virginia-Kentucky Health Research Data Collaborative

PIs: Cecil Pollard (WVU); Mark Dignan (UK)

WVCTSI Pilot Grant

This study will test the feasibility of an integrated patient datamart from primary care partners in West Virginia and Kentucky by addressing challenges surrounding EHR data integrity, quality, and access by multiple stakeholders. WV and KY pilot data to seek additional funding.


Abracadbra: Impact of health media program          

PI: Michael Adelman; Arnie Hassen, PhD (WVSOM)

The Abracadabra Project is a PBS program for young children that targets physical activity and nutrition behaviors within the home. This study will provide an evaluation at the individual, family, and media levels.


Active Community Projects

New River Gorge Health Alliance     

Lead: Melanie Seiler (Active SWV)

The New River Gorge Health Alliance, established in 2017, are aiming to address the needs of 1) developing a resource directory for Nicholas, Fayette, Raleigh, and Summers Counties, and 2) establishing a network of various stakeholders to implement evidence-based information and techniques in their communities to address local needs.

                  Active SWV: Alliance website

TryThis Initiative    

Lead: Kate Long; Traci Jarrett, PhD (WVU)

TryThis WV is a statewide grassroots movement to help knock WV off the top of the worse health lists. CEO staff is helping to conduct analysis with the TryThis campaign. Staff has also participated in several TryThis conferences to learn more about the organization and speak more about analysis methods. Survey tools were created by CEO and TryThis staff to evaluate partnership and project impact on communities of WV.


Dual Use of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco         

PI: Melissa Blank, PhD (WVU)

National Institute on Drug Abuse RO3

This study aims to assess the behavior of Dual Tobacco Users and find psychology traits to target for succession plans to be implemented in dual tobacco users, leading to a decrease in tobacco use overall.


Live Well: Greenbrier County (Greenbrier County Regional Health Alliance)

Lead: Sally Hurst (WVSOM)

Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

Greenbrier County Health Alliance is a collaborative partnership that empowers all local communities in Greenbrier County to improve health through community action, innovative programming and grassroots advocacy.



Completed Projects

Perceived Barriers to Obesity Management Adherence for adults in Appalachia

PI: Emily Barnes, PhD (WVU)

Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Foundation

The purpose of this study is to identify and analyze perceived barriers to obesity management adherence (healthy diet and regular exercise) for adults in West Virginia family medicine and primary care clinics. The outcomes of this study will fill a knowledge gap related to the unique West Virginian population and its specific challenges to healthy diet and exercise.

Moving the needle: Creating and sustaining action-oriented practice-based research partnerships              

Lead: Adam Baus, PhD (WVU)

The goal is to inform other researchers how to set up practice-based research partnerships by utilizing collective capacity, creating action-oriented research opportunities and encompassing mutual respect and trust among all of the members

                  Presented at NAPCRG PBRN Conference 2015



Provider Perception of Demographic/Clinical Characteristics from Rural Patients with Diabetes              

PI: Jill Cochran, PhD (WVSOM)

This project compared aspect of the controlled and uncontrolled diabetic's with the providers’ perception of these groups. There was a lot of discrepancy in what the providers thought about each of these groups numerically versus what the data actually presented.

Presented at WV Rural Health 2015



Using the health belief model to identify barriers to influenza vaccination in rural Appalachian high school students

PI: Treah Haggerty, MD, MS (WVU)

The goal of this project is to assess influenza vaccination perceptions of rural high school students in WV. Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) students enrolled classmates in high schools across the state to participate in an online survey assessing perception of the flu vaccine.

                  Publication submitted

Poster presentation at North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) Annual Meeting,

Colorado Springs, CO. November 2016. (International forum)   



Identifying barriers and Facilitators of Food Insecurity Using Photovoice                

PI: Haslyn Hunte, PhD (WVU)

WVCTSI CEO Small Grant Award

The project aimed to promote healthier lifestyles among families and individuals requesting food by investigating facilitators and barriers that rural older adults and children experience in acquiring and preparing quality, healthy nutritious foods through the use of Photovoice methodology.

                  Disseminated to participants via community forums


CERA Survey: PBRN Directors             

PI: Treah Haggerty, MD (WVU)

This project was selected to participate in this national survey to identify internal operations within practice-based research networks. The goal was to improve and expand the understanding of PBRNs nationally in order to help set realistic goals for developing networks.

Publication: Haggerty, T, et al. "Family Medicine-Specific Practice-Based Research Network Productivity and Clinical and Translational Science Award Program Affiliation." Southern Medical Journal. 110.4 (2017): 287-292 

Presentation at NAPCRG PBRN Conference- July 10, 2016, Bethesda, MD


Transition Program for Special Needs          

PI: Jill Cochran, PhD (WVSOM)

This project was able to extract patients that had diagnosis that identified them as special needs. The team was able to demographically analyze the population to see what services they would need as they transitioned into adult care.

                  Dissemination Poster presentation at WVSOM Mid-Winter CME



Use of the triglyceride to HDL cholesterol ratio for assessing insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese children in rural Appalachia  

PI: Kristie Bridges, PhD (WVSOM)

This study evaluated the use of triglycerides to HDL ratio in our pediatric population. They found that this method was helpful in identifying children with metabolic syndrome.

Publication: Bridges, Kristie Grove, et al. "Use of the triglyceride to HDL cholesterol ratio for assessing insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese children in rural Appalachia." Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism 29.2 (2016): 153-156.



PI: Melissa Olfert, (WVU)

This project addresses childhood obesity prevention through intervention strategies to promote healthful behavior patterns and environments among young adults by increasing culinary, meal time and physical activity in dyads of children aged 9-10 years and the meal preparer in the home. Community Research Associates introduced the program in 2 WV areas and assisted with leading lcasses with the 4H students.


Care Coordinating for dual eligible in rural primary care network   

PI: Dan Doyle, MD (New River)

The aim of this project was to evaluate impact of care coordination through the use of health coaches for Medicare and Medicaid eligible patients. Improved patient experiences in healthcare by utilizing health coaches to provide additional information and support on a patient-by-patient basis.

                  Disseminated through CPB Presentation 2015 

Publication: Doyle, Daniel, et al. "Improving the Care of Dual Eligible Patients in Rural Federally Qualified Health Centers The Impact of Care Coordinators and Clinical Pharmacists." Journal of primary care & community health 7.2 (2016): 118-121.



CAIPEC – Central Appalachian Interprofessional Pain Education Collaboration       

PI: Roberto Cardarelli, MD (UK); Dana King, MD (WVU)

Pfizer Consortium Education and Research in Chronic Pain

Chronic pain management skills delivered to providers by utilizing an evidence-based and inter-professional approach to implement practice changes in regions with high abuse rates and provide resources to clinics to address chronic pain management in patients.

Presentation at the WV Rural Health Association, 2016, Logan, WV

Publication: Cardarelli, R, et al. "Dissemination Approaches to Participating Primary Care Providers in a Quality Improvement Program Addressing Opioid Use in Central Appalachia." Southern Medical Journal, 110.6 (2017): 421-424.

WVPBRN Webinar for result sharing

                  KY Edu TV: Inside Opioid Addiction – Dr. Elder

                  Website link

CAIPEC Research Brief



ATV Brain Trauma education

PI: Audis Bethea, MD (CAMC)

The purpose of this study is to examine patient perspectives and baseline education on the decrease mortality rate and hospital costs with increase ATV safety procedures, and find out the best way to reach patients for additional education in order to present to the state legislature to include more safety equipment requirements for adults.

                  Disseminated poster at the ATRN

Publication: Bethea, Audis, et al. "Substance exposure and helmet use in all-terrain vehicle accidents: nine years of experience at a level 1 trauma center." Journal of safety research 59 (2016): 61-67.



West Virginia Primary Care Physicians’ Dietary Counseling & Weight Management Practice Patterns    

PI: Melissa Ventura Marra, PhD (WVU)

This project aids in understanding of primary care physician practice patterns which will help us plan future research and improve patient care. Enhanced nutrition counseling in primary care physicians to improve education and skills of the provider in healthcare delivery.

                  Disseminated as a student presentation – presented to WVPBRN at retreat


Impact of Design on Patient Participation in Healthcare in a Rural Health Clinic in Appalachia

PI: Chris Haddox, PhD, (WVU)

This project assesses the outcomes of health in rural clinics based on design features of the building: design elements in clinic waiting rooms and assessing user perceptions about care.

Publication: Haddox, John Christopher. "Impact of Design on Patient Participation in Healthcare in a Rural Health Clinic in Appalachia: A Qualitative Pilot Study." HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal (2017): 1937586717696701.


My First Patient

PI: Ann Chester, PhD, (WVU)

Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

This project engages communities in online based intervention to assess goal attainment related to physical activity, diet, exercise, and stress with HSTA students as mentors. With help from the Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy schools, HSTA students experience being their own patient by going through health screenings, setting goals, and assessing progress.



Webster County Diabetic Retinopathy Scanning Program

PI: Shannon Sigley, RN (WCMH/Camden)               

This project aims to reduce the severity of diabetic retinopathy damage to the vision by early detection and treatment referrals to pilot the implementation of screening devices in rural settings.

                  Disseminated through Press Release

Local newspaper, CEO newsletter

                  Presentation at WVPBRN retreat 2014


Developing Interventions for Overweight and Obese Children Using Electronic Health Records

PI: Jill Cochran, PhD (WVSOM)

This project evaluated the demographic of children who met criteria for obesity in our clinic. The demographic description helped us understand our population and plan interventions appropriate for the age gender and location of the obese patient.  

Publication: Cochran, J. & Baus, A.(2015). Developing Interventions for Overweight and Obese Children using Electronic Health Records Data. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI),19 (1).

                  Presentation: CPB 2015


Understanding BMI in Rural Appalachian; a WVPBRN study

PI: Dana King, MD (WVU)

                  Disseminated results to the PBRN at 1st retreat.

                  Follow up done in summer 2016 – Dr. King shared data with planning team Dec 2016


Pub ??? Treah Haggerty, M. D., et al. "Patient Attitudes toward Weight Related Discussions in Rural Appalachian Primary Care