Units are organized around particular approaches or content areas. Leaders of each unit will help to set the CAPS strategic plan and work towards its goals as well as serve as a resource for CAPS by representing their Unit to people both within and outside of CAPS. Unit Leaders will support existing CAPS investigators and help to identify new core investigators, associate investigators, and trainees. Unit Leaders will use rigorous research methodology to pursue competitive grant funding and develop the next generation of researchers.
The overall objective of the Biostatistics/Health Economics Unit will be to provide scientific leadership, from the development stage of projects and preparation of grant proposals through the analysis, interpretation, and reporting of quantitative study results, by providing coordinated and efficient statistical, epidemiologic, and economic support to investigators in CAPS. This Unit will also provide guidance in developing high quality, accurate, and reliable data for analysis, and coordinate sharing of data across different projects. Biostatistics/Health Economics Unit members will be involved in study design, data management, data analysis, dissemination of results and mentoring of junior faculty. Beyond support for CAPS members, the Biostatistics/Health Economics Unit will develop novel algorithms and information systems for the purpose of discovery and data integration applicable to outcomes research, and develop capacity to use novel analytic methods such as natural language processing, applying machine learning to medical data, spatial analysis, and geo-statistical methodology.
Unit Leader: Purushottam Laud, PhD
The overall objective of the Qualitative/Mixed Methodology Unit will be to provide scientific leadership, from the development stage of projects and preparation of grant proposals through the analysis, interpretation, and reporting of study results for projects specifically using qualitative and/or mixed methodologies, including interviews, focus groups, observations, and surveys. The Qualitative/Mixed Methodology Unit will provide guidance on study design, proposal development, data collection, data management, and data analysis. Some considerations for rigorous research methods in qualitative and observational methods include development of interview/discussion guides or observational rubrics, interviewer/observer training, high quality recording and transcription, and approaches to systematic coding and analysis. Considerations for survey research include choice/development of measures, sampling approaches, selecting and implementing a mode of administration, and appropriate management and analysis of data. Finally, this Unit will provide guidance on ethical concerns regarding qualitative/mixed methodologies and offer input on ensuring appropriate consent and confidentiality of data.
Unit Leader: Leonard Egede, MD, MS
The overall objective of the VA Unit will be to develop the necessary range and number of funded VA investigators to allow the Zablocki VA to become a VA funded Center of Innovation or COIN. To do this, the Unit will support investigators who wish to pursue VA grants/projects and encourage and support current VA health services research investigators. This support will include providing guidance on routine procedures such as WOC and R&D Committee approval, facilitating access to VA resources and research databases, and guiding meaningful engagement of veterans, veterans groups, clinicians and operations partners in VA grant development and execution. This Unit will also focus on increasing the awareness of research being conducted at the VA. This Unit will help identify resource needs to ensure coordination between MCW and the VA and allow efficient support of investigators interested in engaging in VA research. Finally, this unit will support efforts to build veteran relevant research activities in the broader MCW community.
Unit Leader: Jeffrey Whittle, MD, MPH
The overall objective of the Health Systems Research Unit will be to provide scientific leadership on developing manuscripts, pilot projects, and grant proposals focused on health systems research. The ultimate goal of this Unit is to facilitate research focused on the most effective ways to organize, finance, and deliver care, as well as the translation and implementation of research findings into everyday clinical practice. A key area of focus for this Unit will be to align clinical investigators with health systems researchers to promote research collaborations between clinical and research experts, foster partnerships across different health systems, and translate and disseminate research endeavors. Perspectives from health services research, clinical informatics, and human factors engineering are included.
Unit Leader: Rebekah Walker, PhD
The overall objective of the Population Health Unit will be to provide scientific leadership, guidance, and support focused on population health research. The ultimate goal of this Unit will be to complement individual level research and public health efforts to develop research focused on patterns of health determinants and policies/interventions to improve patient care and health outcomes. The Population Health Unit will focus on engaging researchers and supporting research focused on improving the well-being and quality of life of populations served by MCW, including the quality of care received and the policies impacting populations. Research in this Unit includes a wide range of data sources (both primary and secondary) and methods (both qualitative and quantitative). Perspectives from health services research, behavioral interventions, clinical informatics, and human factors engineering are included.
Unit Leader: Joan Neuner, MD, MPH
The overall objective of the Community Engagement Unit will be to provide scientific leadership and guidance in the process of engaging community members in solving health concerns. This Unit will focus on engaging communities in research through identifying relevant issues to the community, conducting research in collaboration with communities, and evaluating and sharing results with the community. This Unit will guide investigators interested in conducting research in communities on the most appropriate and effective methods for engaging community leaders and community members, as well as ethical concerns regarding research conducted in communities. The Community Engagement Unit will assist CAPS investigators in understanding and appreciating the capacities and assets of their community of interest and in meaningful engagement of the communities, with an ultimate goal of changing health in these communities.
Unit Leader: Melinda Stolley, PhD
The overall objective of the Health Disparities Unit will be to provide scientific leadership on developing manuscripts, pilot projects and grant proposals focused on health disparities research. This Unit will assist CAPS investigators in understanding disparities and successfully designing and executing innovative and clinically meaningful interventions with the aim of decreasing disparities in health. The Health Disparities Unit will also focus on increasing the awareness of health disparities in the populations and communities CAPS engages in research and will assist investigators in considering the impact of interventions on disparities. Finally, this Unit will work to ensure vulnerable populations experiencing health disparities are highlighted in CAPS research and engaged in finding solutions.
Unit Leader: Joni S. Williams, MD, MPH