The Research Involving Outpatient Settings Network (RIOS Net) and UNM Health Sciences Center have been selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to receive a $3.26 million contract. This three year contract is part of the Roadmap Initiative, a plan for reengineering clinical research to increase its relevance to the care of the nation's patients.  

  RIOS Net is a New Mexico-wide collaboration of over 200 primary care clinicians who collectively study ways to improve the health care of the people and communities they serve.  Based in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, RIOS Net receives critical leadership and technical support from the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine.  Other key partners supporting RIOS Net have been the U.S. Indian Health Service and the NM Department of Health.  Members of the network, including many UNM primary care faculty as well as Indian Health Service and community health center clinicians, provide care for traditionally underserved communities in the state.

            Rob Williams, MD, MPH, Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Principal Investigator of the initiative, said the Research Involving Outpatient Settings Network (RIOS Net) began forming just over four years ago.  Since then, its members have undertaken research projects on topics that they and community representatives have identified as priority health concerns.  Examples of projects either completed or currently underway in the network include diabetes prevention, tobacco cessation, cultural variation in views about health care research and privacy, preventive care decision-making and complementary and alternative medicine. Other areas of interest include Hepatitis C, cancer prevention, family violence, and problem alcohol use.

Rios Net anticipates the opportunity to broaden its scope in the next few years. "Under the NIH contract, RIOS Net will expand its clinical research and will move to lead new partnerships with similar networks in Colorado and in the Southeast region of the U.S.  One key goal for the NIH is the development of a new model for conducting research through working with practicing clinicians," Dr. Williams said.

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Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322