UNYTE Scientific Session Explores Innovative Methods for Translational Population Health Research

UNYTE, the CTSI-organized group of 18 regional biomedical research institutions, presented its latest “Scientific Session” on December 3rd. Entitled “Transforming Population Health Research: Advances, New Methods, and Community Partnerships”, the session brought together investigators from institutions across Upstate New York to share innovative methods, develop new collaborations and promote population-health research programs.  The topic ties together UNYTE’s mission of promoting translational research through cross-institutional research collaboration, and the CTSI’s increased emphasis on improving population health.UNYTE_black_v

Dr. Kevin Fiscella, recent appointee to a Dean’s Professorship, was the keynote speaker.  His talk, “Population Health Matters:  It’s About Lives, It’s About Time, It’s About Action” presented a comprehensive vision for population health. He challenged researchers to work across the translational research spectrum and through community partnerships – taking advantage of progress toward a learning healthcare system, advances in the availability of real-time data, and patient input – to improve clinical interventions, preventive care, behavioral health, socioeconomic factors and social cohesion.  Dr. Harriet Kitzman reviewed her highly successful Nurse Family Partnership program, a nationally and internationally successful model for moving from research to implementation of highly effective population-health programs and policies. Wade Norwood, a leader in the Rochester community and the Chief Strategy Officer at the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, demonstrated that community-identified needs and community input in all phases of the research life cycle can be the engine that drives health improvement. Kimberly O’Brien, Professor from The Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS) at Cornell University, reviewed her department’s innovative programs and institutional infrastructure for building the bridges between population health and basic science.

The UNYTE Scientific Session distinguishes itself from a scientific symposium by providing dedicated time on the day’s agenda for informal “meetings of the minds” and cross-institutional discussions. Small group break-outs included targeted topics on community and patient engagement, novel data collection methods for research, patient-centered care and the learning healthcare system, promoting population health across the urban-rural continuum, and an extended conversation on the necessary meeting points between basic science and population health. Awards for the poster session were given:  Dr. Deirdre Schlehofer, Assistant Professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology and her research team won the Faculty Poster Award for their poster “Health Perceptions of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Female College Students;” Sheila Bruce, BS,  Post-BA Fellow/ Research Coordinator at the Deaf Health Communication and Quality of Life Center at The Rochester Institute of Technology won the Student/Trainee Poster Award for her poster “Population Health Research with Deaf/HH Adults in USA.”

Details for the next UNYTE Scientific Session, including the topic focus, will be announced soon. If you would like to learn more about UNYTE, please visit their website, http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/ctsi/unyte/.

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