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Durham Center of Innovation to ADAPT

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Resource Cores

Administrative Core

The administrative core provides broad support for the ADAPT activities, including grant submission, establishing and managing financial accounts for specific projects, human resources, acquisitions, contracting, payroll for faculty and staff and IT support through 3 ADPACs and 2 Program Support Assistants to manage scientific software used by the center. 

Coordinated by Heidi Bassani (, Joseph Bogdan (, Nancy Dixon (, Felicia McCant (, Grace Onyebuchi, MPH ( and Kimberly Porter (

Biostatistics Core

ADAPT has a long-established Biostatistics Unit that supports all studies within the center. The Unit currently includes three doctorate-level, seven staff statisticians, and two database programmers who work with ADAPT investigators at all stages of research –from project inception and grant writing, to study start-up, leading and conducting all analyses, preparing manuscripts, reports, and other deliverables.

The Biostatistics Unit has considerable expertise conducting and analyzing data from randomized trials, often with complicated designs (e.g., multi-site, dyads, provider-and patient-level interventions) and pragmatic trials (e.g., with electronic health record outcomes, stepped wedge designs). Additionally, the Biostatistics Unit has extensive institutional knowledge and expertise in VA electronic health data, now stored in CDW and OMOP within VINCI. We have designed and implemented several large observational cohort studies, becoming astute in statistical methods for causal inference.

Led by Valerie A. Smith, DrPH (
Coordinated by Micaela Gladney, MPH (

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Core

The mission of the DEI Core is to acknowledge and dismantle racism and other forms of oppression in our workplaces by promoting equity in our environment and research activities.  Our guiding principles are listed below:

  • We center the voices of those who have lived experiences of racism and other forms of oppression
  • We uphold the truth that equity and good science go hand-in-hand
  • We believe that every member of our ADAPT COIN research community has the capacity to confront and mitigate their own biases.
  • We expect every member of our ADAPT COIN research community to take action to create an inclusive environment
  • We will advocate for antiracist values in our community and the broader research community

Led by Sarah Wilson, PhD ( and Matthew Crowley, MD (
Coordinated by Micaela Gladney, MPH (

Partner Engaged Research Methods (PRESTO)

The Partnered Research Methods (PRESTO) Core supports ADAPT as a way for investigators to directly engage with partners that their research affects. The Vision Statement of PRESTO is “Collaborative Science that empowers veterans to a healthier future”, and the mission Statement is “Building Capacity by fostering partnerships for more relevant science”. The main goals of PRESTO are to increase ADAPT’S capacity to conduct meaningful robust and equitable Veteran engaged research and, to build a highly functional infrastructure to support research partner engagement efforts.

PRESTO leads the Veteran Research Engagement Panel (VetREP). The purpose of VetREP is to allow for Veterans and caregivers of Veterans who sit on the panel to have their voices heard by researchers here at the center. The Panel meets monthly and holds research consults for investigators to get feedback about certain aspects of their projects. The core has also completed an internal Quality Improvement study on engaging frontline clinicians and has a seat on the local Office of Nursing Services Interdisciplinary Research Consortium.

Led by Jennifer Gierisch, PhD (

Coordinated by Matthew Tucker (

Mentoring & Career Development Core

The Mentoring & Career Development Core at ADAPT is responsible for recruiting, accepting, and mentoring fellows into a variety of programs related to health services research.  Postdoctoral programs are available for both MD and PhD trained researchers, and Durham was recently accepted as a site for both the VA Quality Scholars and National Clinician Scholars programs in 2019.  The faculty members of this core are also responsible for developing VA-centric curriculum for fellows across the various programs.  

Led by:
David Edelman (oversees MD fellowship) (
Matt Crowley (oversees MD fellowship) (
Jennifer Gierisch, PhD (oversees PhD fellowship) (
Leah Zullig (oversees PhD fellowship) (
Karen Goldstein (oversees VA Quality Scholars fellowship) (

Coordinated by:
Elizabeth Strawbridge (

Qualitative Core

The Qualitative Core provides qualitative research and methods support to HSR&D ADAPT investigators and research staff.  The Core includes 4 masters-level qualitative analysts, 4 doctorate-level investigators, a postdoctoral fellow and a coordinator.  The Core functions include:

  • Provide conceptual guidance, analytic support, and budgeting guidance as applicable for all phases of Center qualitative projects from grant proposal development and qualitative study design through data collection, coding, analyses, and dissemination of findings.
  • Deepen capacity and expertise of Qualitative Core members, ADAPT investigators, and research staff through attending and sponsoring trainings, disseminating knowledge and skills to ADAPT members, assisting with qualitative software and transcription needs, and maintaining a qualitative tools and resources repository.
  • Foster connections and partnerships through collaborating with other ADAPT Cores, Labs and Focused Areas of Research groups as well as other qualitative units locally and across the country.

Led by Karen Steinhauser, PhD (
Coordinated by Abigail Shapiro (