[Below is a transcript of remarks provided by, Dr. Lisa Simpson, AcademyHealth’s president and CEO, to the PCORI Board of Governors, who were meeting in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.] Good morning, and thank you for the opportunity to speak today. My name is Lisa Simpson, and I am the President & CEO of AcademyHealth, the professional society for health services research, policy, and practice. AcademyHealth is committed to improving our health system by generating new knowledge and moving that knowledge into action. Improving health and health care with evidence is a mission we share with PCORI. In the spirit of this common aim, I am here today to emphasize three critical areas where we believe it is vital for PCORI and the work it sponsors to demonstrate advances: findings, translation and dissemination, delivered with deliberate speed. I’ll frame these within what I call the “three Cs”: comparisons, consumers, and (patient) centeredness.  First, PCORI was created with the intent to provide desperately needed evidence that allows comparisons between alternatives.  Let us not lose the “C” in CER. As a pediatrician, I want and need to know if A really is better than B. And I need to know the answer to that question with a lot more nuance than we have had to date: for whom and under what conditions is one alternative better? This is a critical gap in our knowledge, and we need studies with the rigor and reach to allow for both generalizability and subgroup analyses. As a mother, a patient, and a consumer of many health services, I can tell you this information is far too limited, and where it does exist, it is too hard to find and too hard for most people to understand or use effectively Which brings me to my second point. We need to get information into the hands of the consumers, the people who need it to make decisions, when they need it and in a form that they can use. Let me tell you a story. My son, Ethan, had several episodes of otitis media, or middle ear infections as a child. Ethan’s pediatrician recommended ear tubes. For many mothers in America, this would have been the end of the story, and Ethan would have had surgery, with its associated risks and costs. But because I am a pediatrician myself and a health services researcher, I knew how and where to find the best information on the effectiveness of surgery for recurrent ear infections in children who were similar to Ethan in their ages and medical histories.  Ear tubes would make no difference to my son’s eventual speech and language outcomes. We chose not to pursue a surgical intervention, thus avoiding a frightening episode for my son.  Ethan is fine. But Ethan and I are lucky – most American parents don’t have this kind of information at their fingertips when evaluating health care options. And they should. They, we, Ethan, deserve no less. And PCORI will help change that – by moving its findings into the hands of individuals struggling to make health care decisions in timely and relevant ways.  Working with AHRQ and others to develop a strong emphasis on dissemination and translation, as well as spurring methodologic innovation in those strategies, is critical to PCORI's ultimate success.  Similarly, your efforts to embody patient-centeredness are conscientious and commendable, and enhance these priority- and agenda-setting efforts into field-defining territory. Health services researchers are a resource for you in this effort and AcademyHealth has a long history of working with organizations to build collaborative networks, convene researchers and policymakers, provide interactive technical assistance in the application of findings, and advance the science and practice of dissemination and translation.  Finally, I was delighted to learn of your timeline for implementing Tier 1 grants. I probably don’t need to remind you that in this austere fiscal environment, time is of the essence for demonstrating the value of the PCORI investment. In closing, let me say that I admire the thoughtfulness, insight, and care that you have put into your deliberations over the last six months.  PCORI provides an unprecedented opportunity to improve health and health care through patient-centered research, and we must now demonstrate further progress through the production of timely, relevant research. The field of HSR and AcademyHealth stand ready to assist and support you in these endeavors. We look forward to future collaborations with the Board of Governors and the Methodology Committee, and I invite you to contact me if you have any questions.  Thank you.

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