Dr. Wanda Nicholson awarded PCORI funding for DiabetesSisters Network

DiabetesSisters Network is an online social networking tool to engage women living with diabetes.

Wanda Nicholson, MD, MPH, MBA, director of the Diabetes and Obesity Core at the UNC Center for Women's Health Research and member of the UNC Diabetes Center, will partner with Wendy Bennett, MD, MPH, of Johns Hopkins University, to create an online network to engage women with diabetes.

Drs. Nicholson, Bennett, and other collaborators have received a two-year grant from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to create the DiabetesSisters Network, an online social networking tool to engage women living with diabetes, elicit their feedback about gaps in health care, and gain their perspectives on research priorities.

The researchers acknowledge that engaging patients to understand what is most important to them is an important step in ensuring policy makers, health system leaders, funding organizations and researchers focus clinical research and quality improvement on efforts that are patient-centered and meaningful. Though the social networks to connect with patients are widely available, little evidence exists on how researchers can most effectively use the technology and how patient feedback can be incorporated into research efforts. This project aims to address both issues.

"This project represents an important step for our diabetes and obesity research efforts," said Nicholson, who is also a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UNC-Chapel Hill. "We are excited about our partnership with DiabetesSisters and the opportunity to promote patient-centered, high quality care for women with diabetes or obesity."

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