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New Funding Extends Core Research, SIP Grants
The PRCHN has received nearly $1.4 million in funding to continue its core research, FreshLink, as well as to fund one new and two on-going community-engaged Special Interest Project (SIP) grants. The newest SIP grant, Describing Treatment Gaps for People with Epilepsy, is led by PRCHN Affiliated Faculty Martha Sajatovic, MD, and Siran Koroukian, PhD. The existing SIP grants, both in their 5th year, continue the PRCHN's membership in these national networks: The existing SIP grants include the ) and Self-management for People with Epilepsy and a History of Negative Health Events (SMART). 

The newest SIP grant will be led by PRCHN Affiliated Faculty Martha Sajatovic, MD, and Siran Koroukian, PhD, at the CWRU School of Medicine, who will be working with a partner team at the Dartmouth Prevention Research Center. These two teams will work in concert to address issues in delayed referrals to neurologists or epilepsy specialists for patients with seizures. There are 3.4 million people in the US with epilepsy, and approximately 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with new-onset seizures each year. Unfortunately, people with epilepsy lose many years of life due to lack of appropriate diagnosis and treatment. One study found the median time of epilepsy onset and epilepsy surgery as a marker of advanced epilepsy care was 20.7 years. 

Because there is no “ideal” data set, the new study will use Medicaid claims data (MCD) to identify patterns that are best seen on a broader population level, while electronic health records (EHR) will be used to identify finer-grained clinical variables that cannot be determined from claims data only.  This one-year data analytic project seeks to describe pre-referral characteristics of individuals with epilepsy (who gets referred and in what context) and will explore outcome trajectories for people with epilepsy based upon their referral patterns (those who do not receive specialty referral vs. those who are referred to neurologists or epilepsy specialists). The team at CWRU will mine MCD to examine socio-demographic and clinical variables including factors that may contribute to known health disparities such as race, ethnicity, rural vs. urban health settings and health insurance status. 

The Dartmouth team will use an existing large EHR both to validate findings from the MCD and to assess the relationships between clinical variables not typically available in claims data to evaluate the relationship between these clinical variables and specialty referral. Taken together, the project will build on the strengths and collaborative track-record of the research teams and their stakeholder partners, who will meet regularly to refine analyses, compare findings and synthesize results in a set of recommendations on specialty referral for individuals with epilepsy.

Case Western Reserve University is one of eight funded research institutions in the CPCRN. The Greater Cleveland Cancer Prevention Research Network is a partnership between the CWRU Department of Family & Community Medicine, MetroHealth, the Ohio Department of Health and National Jewish Health. The main research project is implementing a systems-focused community-clinical linkage intervention to increase use of the evidence-based state QuitLine for smoking cessation through the implementation of an e-referral system.

Self-management for People with Epilepsy and a History of Negative Health Events (SMART). was developed to improve self-management and quality of life for adults with epilepsy with recent (past six months) negative health events (NHEs) (e.g., seizure, hospitalization, ED visit, accident/traumatic injury, or self-harm attempt). The SMART study enrolled participants from lower-income urban locations, safety-net health systems, and a Veterans Health Care System. These ongoing SIP grants help support our Tobacco Prevention and Control and Chronic Disease Self-Management research.

Cancer Prevention Research Network (CPCRN
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