‘Partnering with Primary Care’ theme of 2016 UNYTE Scientific Session in Buffalo


2016 UNYTE Scientific Session in UB's Clinical and Translational Research Center

Published November 16, 2016

Chester Fox.

Keynote speaker Chester Fox, MD, co-director of UNYNET

If you’re asking a primary care provider to partner in your research, says 2016 UNYTE Scientific Session keynote speaker Chester Fox, MD, then you need to remember the buffet line analogy: You’re asking someone to add an apple to a plate that’s most likely already full, which means something else is going to have to come off. And that can be asking a lot.

Nobody knows that better than “Chet” Fox, a practicing family physician himself who has also made clinical research a cornerstone of his career as a professor in the Department of Family Medicine in UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Science. He sees patients at an urban medical office with a mostly minority patient base, he’s principal investigator on a large NIH grant, and he’s director of the regional Upstate New York Practice-Based Research Network (UNYNET), a Buffalo Translational Consortium partner institution. The study he’s currently overseeing seeks to improve the recognition and treatment of chronic kidney disease by primary care physicians using up-to-date health information technology.

The UNYTE Translational Research Network, University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Institute and UB’s Clinical and Translational Science Award co-sponsored the 2016 Scientific Session at the Clinical and Translational Research Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in downtown Buffalo on November 7. About 70 faculty, physicians and students attended the day-long event, which featured three guest speakers in addition to the keynote address.

Session Attendees.

The session was attended by about 70 researchers, faculty and students from western and central New York

The presenters were: Michael Hasselberg, PhD, RN, NPP-BC, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Rochester Medical Center and Project ECHO director; Amanda Norton, MSW, a performance improvement consultant and practice facilitator for SUNY Upstate Medical University, a project of three UNYTE partner institution PBRNs; and Gary Noronha, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, director of the UNYTE Translational Research Network and co-director of the Greater Rochester Practice-Based Research Network.

The speakers shared their personal experiences of integrating translational research into the busy lives of primary care practices, emphasizing the point that doctors’ incentives for participating are variable. Overall, what physicians want is to improve care for their patients. They might also be motivated by a higher sense of altruism, or a personal interest in a given disease or treatment area. They may choose to participate in order to grow their network of professional associations or expand their expertise.

Following a lunch-time poster session, participants attended their choice of four break-out sessions, each addressing different aspects of the day’s overall theme, which was “Accelerating Health Research Innovation through Partnerships with Primary Care.” In addition to methods of enlisting practice-based research partners, break-out sessions covered topics ranging from serving the unique needs of refugees to generating practice-based research questions to the challenges of embedding recruitment and study interventions in primary care.

Frances G. Saad-Harfouche, MSW, in the Office of Cancer Health Disparities Research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, won the Faculty/Staff Poster Award. Samuel Leeman, an undergraduate student in the Ophthalmology Department at the University of Rochester Medical Center, was the Student/Trainee Poster Award winner.

UNYTE is a consortium of 18 biomedical and academic research centers that conduct clinical and translational research in upstate New York and surrounding regions that was initiated by the University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Institute.