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AHRQ Announces Next Phase of its Evidence-based Practice Center Program

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Press Release Date: October 9, 2007

The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) today announced the 14 institutions that will comprise the third iteration of its Evidence-Based Practice Centers (EPC) program.

AHRQ's EPCs conduct research syntheses and analyses of the scientific literature on clinical and other health care delivery issues and produce reports and technology assessments on the evidence. The resulting reports are used by Federal and State agencies, private-sector professional societies, health delivery systems, providers, payers, and others committed to evidence-based health care. Since the program was created in 1997, the EPCs have produced and published nearly 200 evidence reports on a variety of health care topics.

"The EPC program has risen to the challenge of harnessing the research data and making it relevant for decisionmakers in the health care arena," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "The reports generated from the program continue to provide meaningful information to clinicians, patients, and others so they can make better informed health care decisions."

The EPCs will develop reports of the scientific literature in the following focus areas:

  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, where they will conduct systematic reviews of the evidence on specific topics in clinical prevention and provide technical support that will serve as the scientific basis for Task Force recommendations.
  • AHRQ's Technology Assessment Program, where they will assess the clinical utility of medical interventions to assist the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services make informed decisions regarding its Medicare program.
  • The Generalist Program, for which they will continue producing numerous reports each year with private and Federal partners on a range of clinical, behavioral, economic, and health care delivery topics.
  • The Effective Health Care Program, for which they will provide high-quality, reliable data in the form of comparative effectiveness reviews to help patients, clinicians, and policymakers make the best health care decisions.
  • The Scientific Resource Center, through which they will provide scientific and methodologic technical support to the Generalist and Effective Health Care programs.

Of the 14 5-year contracts awarded, the University of Connecticut and Vanderbilt are new to the EPC program. The EPCs and their directors are as follows:

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Technology Evaluation Center; Naomi Aronson, Ph.D.
  • Duke University; Douglas C. McCrory, M.D.
  • ECRI Institute; Karen M. Schoelles, M.D., S.M.
  • Johns Hopkins University; Eric B. Bass, M.D., M.P.H.
  • McMaster University; Parminder Raina, Ph.D.
  • New England Medical Center Hospitals; Joseph Lau, M.D.
  • Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center; Mark Helfand, M.D., M.S., M.P.H.
  • RAND Corporation; Paul Shekelle, M.D., Ph.D.
  • RTI International; Meera Viswanathan, Ph.D.
  • University of Alberta; Terry P. Klassen, M.D., M.Sc., and Brian Rowe, M.D., M.Sc.
  • University of Connecticut, C. Michael White, Pharm.D.
  • Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center; Robert L. Kane, M.D. and Timothy J. Wilt, M.D., M.P.H.
  • University of Ottawa, David Moher, Ph.D.
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Katherine Hartman, M.D., Ph.D.

For more about the Evidence-based Practice Center program, go to

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1896 or (301) 427-1855.


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