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Colorado Clinical Translation and Science Institute (Community Engagement Core)

Funding Source:

National Institute of Health via Colorado Clinical Translational Science Institute (CCTSI); The CCTSI Community Engagement Core is supported by NIH/NCRR Colorado CTSI Grant Number UL1 RR025780.


The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) is a collaborative enterprise between University of Colorado Denver, University of Colorado at Boulder, six affiliated hospitals and health care organizations, and multiple community organizations with a goal to accelerate the translation of research discoveries into improved patient care and public health. The CCTSI was created in 2008 with funding from the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) initiative of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Community Engagement is critical to increase the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of clinical and translational research. Accordingly, the Community Engagement (CE) Core of the CCTSI endeavors to transform the existing community research infrastructure using community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles while building capacity in our community-academic partnerships. Our ultimate goal is to reduce health disparities in the Rocky Mountain Region through targeted investments in community translational research, followed by wider dissemination of successful practices. A dynamic Partnership of Academicians and Communities for Translation (PACT) guides the work of the CE Core while facilitating bidirectional exchange between communities and academic programs. The CE Core has engaged 20 existing community-academic partnerships in the PACT, which encompasses more than 4 million community members, including rural, minority and underserved populations.

While CFPHE manages all the funds that are going into the community for this program using our Administrative Partnership program, CFPHE also oversees a Community Research Liaison (CRL) Program. CRLs work in diverse communities in urban and rural Colorado. CRLs respectfully engage communities to address the needs of communities, partners, patients, and health providers in order to cultivate relationships between academic researchers and individuals within a population and subpopulations so that they can identify community health priorities and design locally relevant studies that address real community, partner, patient and health provider needs.

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Western Pipeline Award Program Office (WPAPO): Patient Centered Outcomes and Research

Funding Source:

Patient Centered Outcomes and Research Institute (PCORI)


PCORI was authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as a non-profit, nongovernmental organization and is charged with helping patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policy makers make better-informed health decisions by “advancing the quality and relevance of evidence about how to prevent, diagnose, treat, monitor, and manage diseases, disorders, and other health conditions.”

PCORI’s Pipeline to Proposal Awards (also called Pipeline Awards), a progressive, three-tiered funding approach, aims to accelerate research proposal submission and dissemination and to develop a nationwide foundation of patients, stakeholders, and researchers equipped and eager to participate in patient-centered outcomes research.

Because PCORI has a limited headquarters workforce, the operational, programmatic, and fiscal duties associated with Tier I Pipeline Awards was awarded to CFPHE because of our significant research capacity building and award management experience (e.g., grant and contract award administration).

PCORI contracted with five nonprofit organizations to serve as Pipeline Award Program Offices that will support the initiative nationwide and provide awardees with technical assistance and guidance. Four of the program offices will provide regional support:

      • Eastern states: Health Resources in Action, Boston
      • Midwestern states: Michigan Public Health Institute, Lansing
      • Southern states: Georgia Health Policy Center, Atlanta
      • Western states: Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment, Denver

In addition, the National Network of Public Health Institutes in Washington, DC, will serve as a national program office, assisting with projects that extend beyond a single region.

The five organizations all have public health, healthcare, or research familiarity as well as experience in research capacity-building and award management. By supporting and managing the efforts of Pipeline to Proposal awardees in their regions, the Pipeline Award Program Offices advance the development of partnerships leading to teams ready and able to propose and conduct patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR).

Specifically, the Pipeline Award Program Offices:

      • Assist awardees in developing communities, creating infrastructure and strategic planning,
      • Assist awardees in reporting their progress and PCORI in its progress evaluations,
      • Share lessons learned and collaboratively problem-solve as the projects progress,
      • Expand PCOR across the country by tapping into their regional knowledge and networks of organizations experienced in local, regional, and national health advocacy.

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Regional Health Connectors

Colorado RHC main logo RGB-01

Regional Health Connectors use community and practice engagement to cultivate partnerships by bridging resources and systems to build healthier communities and healthier practices. This is accomplished through:

  • Practice engagement in practice transformation and quality improvement activities to reach the Quadruple Aim to improve health care, patient experience, and clinician and staff experience at a decreased cost
  • Partnership development to connect practices to community resources
  • Community Engagement to connect practice workforce into community-level activities related to the Social Determinants of Health

Regional Health Connectors (RHCs) are deployed across Colorado as a part of the Colorado Health Extension System (CHES). The Extension System, a multi-stakeholder collaborative, creates a statewide infrastructure to support and coordinate practice transformation and to connect primary care to local public health and community organizations for community health improvement initiatives. The RHCs provide a bridge between practice transformation and community health improvement efforts, building on potential synergies and avoiding duplication of effort.

RHCs serve as liaisons to physician offices, public health and community organizations. They provide linkages among the various components of the healthcare delivery system (with a particular focus on primary care), practice transformation organizations, public health system, community organizations, state, county and city agencies, and the academic health system. One function is to build relationships with primary care practices to make them aware of the resources available to help them evolve to new models of care deliver and compensation.

Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment is one of the local host organizations supported by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality through the EvidenceNOW program. EvidenceNOW Southwest (ENSW) is a collaborative of Colorado and New Mexico designed to help small and medium size primary care practices in Colorado and New Mexico with a particular focus on improving how they deal with cardiovascular risks. In addition to Regional Health Connectors, the project includes multiple practice transformation organizations (PTOs), which support practices in this type of effort.

Regional Health Connectors are being deployed in a joint effort of the Colorado Public Health Institutes*. For more information on other projects of the Regional Health Connector Program visit CHI’s RHC page.

For more information, please visit the EvidenceNOW Southwest website here.

*Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment and the Colorado Health Institute

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Contact Information:

  • Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment
  • 1385 South Colorado Blvd, Suite A622
  • Denver, CO 80222
  • Phone: 303-910-4682
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