Advantages, Disadvantages and Consequences of OpenNotes in Cancer Settings

Principal Investigator: Richard Brown, Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigator: Jordan Alpert, Ph.D.

Funding Source: National Cancer Institute R25 CA093423

Cancer patients in the VCU health system (VCUHS) are now able to access their electronic medical record through a patient portal. This initiative is called OpenNotes and enables patients to access information, such as scans, x-rays and radiology reports, often before seeing their oncologist. OpenNotes has been positively received in primary care settings, but its impact has not yet been explored in cancer settings. In this study we are exploring how this unfettered access to complex information may be positively and negatively impacting physician – patient communication. This formative research will explore patient, clinician and OpenNotes advocate views about, and experiences of patient access to medical data before oncologist consultations. Semi-structured Interviews will be conducted along with analysis of oncologists’ notes, comparing written messages before and after OpenNotes was adopted in the VCUHS.

Oral Health Disparities, Community Engagement Plan

Principal Investigator: Maghboeba Mosavel, Ph.D.

Funding Source: DentaQuest Foundation/Fiscal Agent Pathways

The DentaQuest Foundation funded the Petersburg Wellness Consortium (Team Lead: Dr. Mosavel) to explore the oral health landscape in Petersburg using various community engaged research strategies. The Foundation’s current campaign – Oral Health 2020 – is mobilizing a national network across the grassroots, grassmiddles and grasstops to increase awareness of health equity and racial justice in the understanding of oral health disparities.  The PWC and VCU will conduct community engaged research to assess how 1) oral health can be integrated into education and other services, 2) to optimize oral health literacy, 3) to build a strong community prevention and care infrastructure. Laypersons will be engaged in all aspects of the research. 

Petersburg Wellness Engagement Project

Principal Investigator: Maghboeba Mosavel, Ph.D.

Funding Source: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

The goal of this research is to assess: 1) The strengths and resources critical for addressing obesity, 2) The social-cultural perceptions of obesity, and 3) The family-based, community-wide interventions that can be supported citywide to increase physical fitness and improve nutritional choices. Specific aims include conducting a needs assessment informed by community input from multiple sources, and developing and implementing a pilot intervention that will address individual, family, community and societal factors to galvanize the community to increase physical activity and improve nutritional choices and options that will reduce obesity.