Research & Population Health Programs
Welcome to the Department of Research Population Health Programs (RPH)! RPH aims to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity through community-responsive research, leveraging population health data to inform practice improvements, offering public health programming, and supporting initiatives that create linkages between patients, health center services, and community resources. Findings from Continuous Quality Improvement, Population Health, and Research are used to inform action-oriented, culturally appropriate, translational, sustainable (ACTS) practice improvements, interventions, policy, and dissemination.
Parents & Community Research & QI Question Emerging Theme Practice/Policy Improvement Research & Quality Findings ACTS:
Research emerges from community 
and informs the development and
integration of: Action-oriented/Applied, Culturally meaningful, Translations/Trans-formative, and
Sustainable (ACTS) interventions
Who we are
Cristina Huebner Torres Vice President (RPH) chuebnertorres@caringhealth.org
Population Health Services
Research
Programs and Partnerships
Wellness
Center
Family
Planning
Publications and Press
Community Health Workers
Health Insurance Navigators
The goal of population health management is to provide quality patient care, reduce healthcare costs, and support patients in reaching their optimal state of health. Activities related to population health management include: The collection and analysis of population health data (such as disease outcome data and emergency room utilization) to identify areas of support for patients; Collaboration with departments across the health center to ensure goals related to Patient Centered Medical Home (link) are met; and Facilitation of ongoing Quality Improvement Initiatives across the health center. Data and information sharing and reporting initiatives; For questions related to Population Health, please contact Molly Totman, Department Manager at mtotman@caringhealth.org or 413-739-1100 For over two decades, Caring Health Center (CHC) has collaborated on federally-funded research projects. Since 2007, the health center has sustained an on-site, staffed research department and has completed two National Institute of Health-R01 studies. Based on its history, CHC’s research department and collaborators have expertise in mixed method, interdisciplinary and practice-based approaches to community-responsive research. All research conducted at CHC is based on the following core tenets: CHC’s Research Model: Research topics align with CHC’s mission; Research topics emerge from observations, questions, concerns, and trends identified by CHC’s staff, patients, providers and community; All research projects are reviewed by an internal grants committee and by Caring Health Center’s 51% consumer-led board of directors to ensure agency and patient buy-in and support of the health center. As with all CHC staffing, research teams aim to reflect the patients and populations served; Research projects respect patients’ general privacy, autonomy, medical confidentiality, and overall well-being; Findings result in Action-oriented, Culturally appropriate, Translational, Sustainable (ACTS) practice improvements, interventions, policy, and dissemination. Existing research aims to inform ACTS as well as next steps in research and public health programming. For questions related to Population Health, please contact Molly Totman, Department Manager at mtotman@caringhealth.org or 413-739-1100 “Medication Adherence, Health Literacy and Cultural Health Beliefs in a Massachusetts Community Health Center”, 2014-current, National Institutes of Health, R01HL120907 In partnership with the University of Arizona and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Beginning in 2014, Caring Health Center partnered with Susan J. Shaw from the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-investigator Jeannie K. Lee from the University of Arizona School of Pharmacy to explore the connections between health literacy, medication adherence, and the management of chronic conditions. Shaw and Lee were awarded a $1.48 million, 4-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (R01HL120907) to investigate health literacy and medication adherence in light of measures developed to control the state’s health care costs. Health literacy, a patient’s ability to understand and act on a doctor's instructions, plays a pivotal role in chronic disease prevention and management. This research is a follow up to Shaw’s Culture and Health Literacy study, funded by NIH and conducted at Caring Health Center from 2006-2011. The RxHL study includes both ethnographic and quantitative data to explore how medication adherence is influenced by both increasing patient costs and by cultural health beliefs. Almost 500 CHC patients from five ethnic groups (African-American, Hispanic, White, and Vietnamese and Russian-speaking immigrants) have been enrolled in the study. Participants were over 18 and had a medical diagnosis of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or depression and took a chronic daily oral medication. Patients with chronic disease face many barriers to medication adherence including frequent changes in insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act will invest billions more in community health centers over the next decade, and will enroll tens of millions of individuals in insurance coverage. Cost control measures such as formulary changes and increasing copays, which may profoundly shape patients’ relationships with their medications, will become increasingly common. This study explores how medication adherence is influenced by both increasing patient costs and by cultural health beliefs. At the end of the study, we aim to develop recommendations for primary care providers and policymakers to improve medication adherence and mitigate formulary changes among low-income patients with chronic illness. In addition, the results will be presented to the community and will contribute to the development of program and services at CHC. This project is being led by site PI Cristina Huebner Torres, MA and coordinated by Molly Totman, MPH. For more information, contact Molly Totman at 413-739-1100 ext 1231. “Medication Adherence, Health Literacy and Cultural Health Beliefs in a Massachusetts Community Health Center”, 2014-current, National Institutes of Health, R01HL120907 In partnership with the University of Arizona and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Beginning in 2014, Caring Health Center partnered with Susan J. Shaw from the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst and co-investigator Jeannie K. Lee from the University of Arizona School of Pharmacy to explore the connections between health literacy, medication adherence, and the management of chronic conditions. Shaw and Lee were awarded a $1.48 million, 4-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (R01HL120907) to investigate health literacy and medication adherence in light of measures developed to control the state’s health care costs. Health literacy, a patient’s ability to understand and act on a doctor's instructions, plays a pivotal role in chronic disease prevention and management. This research is a follow up to Shaw’s Culture and Health Literacy study, funded by NIH and conducted at Caring Health Center from 2006-2011. The RxHL study includes both ethnographic and quantitative data to explore how medication adherence is influenced by both increasing patient costs and by cultural health beliefs. Almost 500 CHC patients from five ethnic groups (African-American, Hispanic, White, and Vietnamese and Russian-speaking immigrants) have been enrolled in the study. Participants were over 18 and had a medical diagnosis of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or depression and took a chronic daily oral medication. Patients with chronic disease face many barriers to medication adherence including frequent changes in insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act will invest billions more in community health centers over the next decade, and will enroll tens of millions of individuals in insurance coverage. Cost control measures such as formulary changes and increasing copays, which may profoundly shape patients’ relationships with their medications, will become increasingly common. This study explores how medication adherence is influenced by both increasing patient costs and by cultural health beliefs. At the end of the study, we aim to develop recommendations for primary care providers and policymakers to improve medication adherence and mitigate formulary changes among low-income patients with chronic illness. In addition, the results will be presented to the community and will contribute to the development of program and services at CHC. This project is being led by site PI Cristina Huebner Torres, MA and coordinated by Molly Totman, MPH. For more information, contact Molly Totman at 413-739-1100 ext 1231.

For after hours service, please call:
(413) 739-1100


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This health center is a Health Center Program

grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed

Public Health Service Employee under

42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).

LOCATIONS

1049 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01108

532 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA 01108

860 Boston Road, Springfield, MA 01119

WIC OFFICES   413.693.1029

816 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01105

532 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA 01108

1771 Boston Road, Springfield, MA 01129

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