Brown University School of Public Health Awarded $5.5 million grant for the Learning Health Systems Rehabilitation Research Network

May 18, 2020
For Immediate Release

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] - The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a 5-year, $5.5 million grant to create the Learning Health Systems Rehabilitation Research Network (LeaRRn), a national resource network to advance stakeholder-partnered, rehabilitation learning health systems (LHS) research to improve quality of care, demonstrate value, and enhance patient and system outcomes. LeaRRN’s Principal Investigator is, Linda Resnik, PT, PhD, FAPTA, Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice, School of Public Health, Brown University and Research Career Scientist at the Providence VA Medical Center.

LeaRRN will be a collaborative effort of the Brown University School of Public Health, the University of Pittsburgh and Boston University, together with 8 health system/health organization partners. LeaRRN component leaders include Theresa Shireman, PhD, and Rosa Baier, MPH, from the Brown University School of Public Health; Janet Freburger, PT, PhD, and Joel Stevans, PhD, DC, of the  School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh; and Mary Slavin, PT, PhD, from the School of Public Health Boston University. Health system partners include: American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, BAYADA Home Health Care, Boston Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare, Johns Hopkins Medicine, naviHealth, and UPMC.

LeaRRN’s mission is to improve the quality, outcomes and value of rehabilitation care by fostering stakeholder-partnered research within and across LHSs. “There is an urgent need for a rehabilitation resource center that supports LHS rehabilitation research and develops LHS researchers to advance the field of rehabilitation care,” says Resnik.  Particularly, given the growing complexity of healthcare, continued problems related to quality and cost, and a widely-recognized 17-year evidence to practice gap.  

LeaRRN plans to: 1) create an LHS Innovation Hub that partners researchers with healthcare systems and engages stakeholders, including patients, providers, administrators, payers, and policymakers, to develop rehabilitation-focused LHS research questions; 2) provide funding and methodological/technical support for LHS Scholars and pilot study awardees to transform research ideas into full-scale studies conducted in real-world practice; and 3) develop a knowledge repository, tailor LHS resources for rehabilitation, and disseminate materials to advance best practices in rehabilitation LHS research.

LeaRRN will serve as a resource and incubator for rehabilitation researchers interested in LHS research. The knowledge repository, investigative experience, collaborations, and evidence generated by LeaRRN will transform the delivery, quality, and outcomes of rehabilitation care.