Director, High Plains Research Network

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The High Plains Research Network (HPRN), founded in 1997, is a nationally recognized geographically based practice- and community-based research network in rural eastern Colorado. The HPRN Mission Statement, “To provide excellent rural health care by translating the best scientific evidence into every-day clinical practice,” has engaged the network in a wide range of research funded by local, state, and federal agencies, including: colon cancer prevention, asthma management, cardiovascular disease, cancer survivorship, underinsurance, mental health, practice transformation, and opioid use disorder. Linking primary care, behavioral health, public health, and community organizations into local communities of solution is the driving force for the HPRN.

HPRN is based in the School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine (DFM) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU) and is one of the five networks in the SNOCAP (State Networks of Colorado Ambulatory Practices and Partners) Practice-based Research Network collaborative at CU. The CU DFM is the second largest department of family medicine in the country and is recognized as one of the top academic family medicine departments in the nation.

Position Duties:

The Director will oversee with the Co-Director the research, and fiscal network activities. The position will include travel to practices and communities in eastern Colorado. The position will involve engaging in research projects that cross-cut topics, methods, and scope. This position presents opportunities to collaborate with fellow researchers in the Department and across the Anschutz Medical Campus with expertise in a variety of research methods and technologies and community members with a passion to help people in their local rural communities. This position offers potential to practice part-time in the HPRN region.

The CU DFM includes a comprehensive research team, including biostatisticians, quantitative and qualitative data analysts, grant and contracts management, and administrative support. 

The Director reports to the Vice Chair of Research in the DFM.  Anticipated hiring rank: Assistant or Associate Professor.

Program Leadership and Vision

  • Serve as the leader and key spokesperson for HPRN.
  • Ensure projects and programs align with the HPRN mission.
  • Build and maintain relationships with clinicians, practice staff, other health care facilities, and community members in the HPRN region.
  • Provide leadership and direction to the HPRN Community Advisory Council, including project identification and advocacy for the C.A.C. and community engaged research.
  • Understand rural primary care health and services delivery issues and successes.
  • Establish and maintain communication and promote collaboration within CU and other organizations.
  • Promote the work of the HPRN within the Department, CU, and local, national, and international foundations and organizations.

Research and Program Development

  • Create innovative, testable interventions with the research team and community members that work to provide sustainable solutions for practices and communities.
  • Actively discern and promote research that addresses health concerns of community members, clinicians, and practice teams in the HPRN region.
  • Regularly seek funding opportunities, develop research questions, and prepare proposals for studies and programs that address health topics relevant to rural eastern Colorado.
  • Identify opportunities to collaborate with teams across departments, local organizations, and academic institutions across the country to conduct research and disseminate findings and tested interventions.
  • Ensure projects meet regulatory, fiscal, and funder requirements.

Training and Mentorship

  • Provide professional development and research mentorship to junior faculty and research staff in the Department of Family Medicine.
  • Support the HPRN co-Director.

Clinical Care Opportunity

  • Provide care to patients in a primary care clinical setting (20%).

Minimum Requirements

  • Degree in Medicine or Osteopathy (MD/DO, PA, NP).
  • Board Certified in Family Medicine.
  • Demonstrated experience writing and managing grants.
  • Ability to obtain Colorado Medical License and possession of a current DEA Certificate.
  • Ability to be fully credentialed in the UCH (or other appropriate clinical) system.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working with community groups.
  • Experience working in rural communities.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Interest in rural communities and health.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with Department of Family Medicine faculty and staff and external partners.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team and independently.
  • Capacity for flexibility and adaptability in different work situations.
  • Ability to work well with diverse populations.

More information about the High Plains Research Network

In addition to the Director, the HPRN staff includes a co-Director who oversees day-to-day functioning of the network and projects, assists with grant writing and dissemination activities, provides direct supervision to HPRN staff, and works closely in support of the Director. HPRN employs four staff who live and work in the HPRN region, working directly with practices and community partners to implement projects and participating in the spectrum of research activities. Infrastructure support is offered through the DFM’s grants and contracts, biostatistics, and administrative support teams.  

An important feature of the HPRN is its Community Advisory Council, which consists of local farmers, ranchers, business owners, retirees, students, and other community members. This group participates in all aspects of the research from topic selection to methods and interpretation of results to dissemination through presentations and co-authorship of manuscripts.

Current HPRN studies include work on medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder (IT MATTTRs Colorado, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), home blood pressure management (Just Check It, COPD (CAPTURE, funded by NIH), and practice transformation through the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM) and EvidenceNow Southwest (AHRQ funded).

Current research projects provide funding to partially support this position initially.  A start-up package is negotiable to support transitioning into this position.


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