The Community Health Applied Research Network (CHARN) seeks to build capacity to conduct patient-centered outcome research to improve patient care at federally supported community health clinics. These clinics serve people who are significantly underrepresented in traditional health research, including those who are uninsured, poor, and members of racial and ethnic minority groups.
Background and Scope
CHARN is a unique network of community health centers and universities that was established to conduct patient-centered outcome research among underserved populations. It represents the first time that such a large and diverse group of community health centers has come together in this context.
CHARN comprises four research node centers and a data coordinating center. The research node centers are the Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services, the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Fenway Health, and OCHIN. The Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research serves as the network's data coordinating center.
The objectives of CHARN are to:
- Develop and refine clinical data systems, such as electronic medical records, in community health centers
- Create infrastructure (i.e., registries) to pool patient data across centers
- Train community health center personnel in the use of research methods and protocols
- Improve ways to translate research findings into practice
- Foster practice-based collaboration among clinics and center personnel, practitioners, and researchers
- Develop research proposals to obtain additional funding through federal agencies