History

Our network was one of the first registered practice-based research networks (PBRNs) in 1996, receiving support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).  In addition to being an inaugural member, it also has a long-standing history of conducting innovative studies informed by our member practices and patients.  Findings from our work have advanced primary care, influenced policy locally and nationally, and improved the health of Virginians.

Highlights from more than two decades of research from ACORN include:

1996 – 2002 Inaugural funding from AHRQ to create ACORN and develop an innovative longitudinal method of tracking the state of preventive care in Virginia through a primary care Health Assessment Survey.
1999 – 2004 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program and the Virginia Department of Health support to define the role of clinicians and quitlines for smoking cessation.
2003 – 2007 Participation in two cycles of Prescription for Health funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AHRQ to develop practical methods to promote healthy diet, exercise, smoking cessation, and alcohol moderation through unique primary care – community collaborations.
2007 – 2012 Multiple funding awards from AHRQ’s Health Information Technology portfolio to create, test, and engage patients in the use of practice portals for health promotion and chronic disease prevention.
2012 – 2014 Inaugural pilot project funding from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to understand patients’ cancer screening decision-making processes and needs.
2013 – present Partnership with VCU’s Center for Clinical and Translational Research, funded by the CTSA, to extend PBRN methods and primary care practice partnerships as a catalyst for improvements in community health and wellbeing.
2014 – present Support from the National Institute of Health to study healthcare system redesign to (a) better inform, engage, and activate patients in preventive care through patient educational portals and (b) better care for patient with diabetes through pragmatic use of registry functionality.
2014 – present The identification, development, and testing of primary care measures that matter.

Learn more about our work, by visiting our Research page.