CIRI Oncology Research Alliance

The Catholic Health Initiatives’ (CHI) Institute for Research and Innovation (CIRI) Oncology Research Alliance (CORA) seeks to continue to support and expand a community-based cancer research network, currently across nine states, made up of community hospitals and cancer centers and incorporate best practices in enrolling patients to National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored cancer control, prevention, and care delivery clinical trials and other human subjects’ studies. The specific aims are: to the increase enrollment in cancer control, prevention and care delivery clinical trials by providing access to a wide portfolio of high quality research studies that meet the needs of CORA’s diverse populations, annually accruing 10% of new cancer cases within the populations served by the network; identify, design and implement cancer care delivery research (CCDR) that leads to improved models of care and translates to high quality, value-based services throughout the oncology continuum; and expand efforts to explore and address the cancer care needs of racial and ethnic minorities as well as other underrepresented populations. Applying CIRI’s innovative, centralized and standardized organizational research model encompassing a network of geographically diverse community cancer programs, CIRI will continue to provide the necessary resources for amplifying clinical trials across the country. CORA’s geographic reach and involvement with diverse Primary and Sub-Affiliates allow it to offer a wide portfolio of trials to large, established programs as well as small, rural sites and new regions that historically have had limited access to cancer clinical trials. Applying best practices from CORA to all current and new Primary and Sub-Affiliates along with increased physician engagement will increase the number of patients screened and enrolled in clinical trials. Leveraging CHI’s unique, well-positioned standard oncology electronic health records (OEHR), enterprise data warehouse, and analytics capability will continue to give CORA the depth of data and access to information needed to expand CCDR. CHI's OEHR at CORA sites yield accessible data across the network that feeds into the data warehouse. CHI’s single network tumor registry database and OEHR make CORA responsive to requests for data around patterns of care. Lastly, the advanced patient navigation, survivorship, and multidisciplinary conferences and disease site specific tumor boards already in place at all Primary and Sub-Affiliate sites will support this research. Expanding to additional health systems and sites, and adding new investigators as opportunities arise will increase the number of patients from underrepresented populations that CORA can screen for enrollment in cancer clinical trials. CORA Primary and Sub-Affiliates’ community outreach coordinators’ and navigators’ integrated efforts will be utilized to improve cancer control and prevention, detection, care delivery, and treatment for these populations. Continued growth of CORA’s community partner networks, cultural sensitivity, translation support and nurse navigation training at all Primary and Sub-Affiliate sites will help eliminate barriers to care.