St. Lawrence Health concludes 2-year COVID-19 research project

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Left to right:
St. Lawrence Health System’s Associate Chief Medical Officer and St. Lawrence County Board of Health President Andrew Williams, MD, FACP, receives the first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine administered at Canton-Potsdam Hospital. CPH Director of Nursing Education Amy Nugent injects him with the shot. (photo: St.Lawrence Health System)

Jefferson County Public Health receives, administers initial doses of COVID-19 vaccine, January 7, 2021

CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — A two-year research project on COVID-19 has been completed in the North Country.

St. Lawrence Health announced on Tuesday that in partnership with the PATIENTS Program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, it’s Clinical and Rural Health Research Department had completed a two-year project. This project has provided North Country residents with information on COVID-19 and the importance of patient-centered research.

Specifically through the PATIENTS Program, which stands for “Patient-centered Involvement in Evaluating the effectiveness of treatments,” was designed to encourage patients with numerous conditions to increase their health care involvement. Patients were provided with the means to make “informed” and “empowered” decisions,” and connect with research and clinical trials.

According to SLH, included in the research project, the PATIENTS Program worked with St. Lawrence Health providers, clinical staff, patients and community members. This engagement effort led to the development and delivery of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research and COVID-19 webinars.

These webinars allowed researchers to then work with patients and stakeholders to address questions and outcome measures that were important to the community.

“Input from our Stakeholder Advisory Committee, which consisted of patients, past research participants, community members, and clinical and non-clinical health care workers, drove the content of these webinars,” SLH Clinical Research Director Carly Lovelett, CCRP said in a press release. “The patient-centered outcomes research webinars had a 112% attendance rate, meaning more people attended the sessions than originally registered.”

SLH added that the development of a three-part COVID-19 webinar series called “Learning Together, Leading Together: Shaping Patient-Centered Research in the North Country,” was ultimately led by clinical research. Topics included “Vax Versus Fiction,” “COVID-19: Fact Versus Fiction,” and “COVID-19 in Rural America.”

“Patient-centered research is important to the health and wellness of our community,” SLH Nurse Educator Jolene Carotenuto, RN, who attended the PCOR series added. “By focusing on the unique needs of our rural population, patient-centered research brings local health care needs to the national stage and delivers national research efforts to our small community.”

This two-year initiative led by St. Lawrence Health was partially funded through a Eugene Washington Engagement Award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The Clinical And Rural Health Research Department was established in 2015 to provide the North Country community access to clinical trials, and to conduct research that will help address rural health and healthcare disparities both regionally and across the US.

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