IHR Insider Volume 8 Issue 1

Message from the Director

John Steiner

New Beginnings

I have maintained for a very long time that beginnings and endings matter dearly in life, and therefore should be done with great care and deliberate thought. I also love reading and contemplating quotes, as I very often learn from them.  Therefore, as I begin my first blog post for the IHR Insider, I am reminded by Ben Franklin to, “either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” I plan to do both.

Seneca (a Roman philosopher) reminds us that “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Dr. John Steiner has passed the torch, reaching his beginning’s end. I read John’s last Message from the Director with great interest…”People who lead research departments create spaces where other researchers can think great thoughts and make things, where they can practice the art and craft of research….they build studios….I am ready to return to the craft of research…” Hence, John now embarks on his new beginning, having reached a deliberate, considered, and successful end to building a research studio.

I experienced a wonderful welcome (new beginning) at the IHR. Many of my new colleagues greeted me in person during my first few weeks, describing their position and project contributions with enthusiasm, and sharing snippets of their lives outside of work. Since then, I’ve been invited to and have attended countless project and department meetings, listened to suggestions for improvements, and have been presented with a bounty of potential solutions for identified challenges. My learning curve is steep, and yet embedded within a research enterprise is familiar and comfortable. I am delighted to serve as a director for research as it is a critical component of moving any field forward, including health care. Research, in my opinion, is an art form. While grounded in science, using rigorous analyses to answer well-formulated questions, it is also a highly creative endeavor.

I look forward to visioning a successful, thriving, growing, and innovative research enterprise with you all. We will celebrate the successes of the IHR in September for our 25th anniversary, and build upon that success going forward.

I will leave you with one final quote from English art critic John Ruskin–part of what brought me back to Colorado and continues to inspire me: “Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.”

Until next time, 
Claudia Steiner, MD, MPH
Executive Director, Institute for Health Research

2016 Financials

2016 continued to be a challenging year for research funding nationwide. At the IHR, the total funding increased 17% from the prior year with our researchers maintaining a diverse portfolio. Extramural grants and federal funding continued to be the primary source of funding for our research, comprising 63% of the total.

Due to a number of projects ending, we experienced a decrease in funding received from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). However, this was partially offset by an increase in funding received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We saw our funding from the State of Colorado increase through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment evaluation work related to the Cancer, Cardiovascular and Chronic Pulmonary Disease (CCPD) grants program.

Additionally, our collaboration with Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO) leaders was continued through the expansion of the Integrated Regional Analytics (IRA) initiative as part of overall Data, Analytics, and Reporting Excellence (DARE). The IRA work focuses on answering questions of regional strategic organizational importance and evaluation of key operational initiatives. This work continues to help KPCO fulfill its mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.

Total Funds


Fed Funding

Department News

25th Anniversary of the IHR
The Institute for Health Research is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2017. Look for more information about how we are commemorating the occasion as well as the roll-out of our new website in upcoming issues!

Clinical Trials names new Manager of Research Operations
Josh Gordon, MSPH, CCRP, has accepted the position of Manager of Research Operations for IHR Clinical Trials.  Josh’s career at KPCO began in 2001 in the pharmacy and soon thereafter he transitioned to the fledgling clinical trials department as a research assistant. Since then, Josh’s passion for clinical trials has continued to grow while working as a Senior Research Coordinator specializing in Infectious Disease and Oncology Pharmaceutical Trials. Congratulations, Josh!

Research News

IHR Evaluation Investigator Cheryl Kelly, PhD, MPH, was awarded and is leading an evaluation of the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Inspire Initiative. GOCO's Inspire Initiative invests in places, programs, and pathways with the aim of getting kids and families to experience the outdoors, from the backyard to the backcountry, in communities across the state. The evaluation includes six pilot communities and 14 tier two communities and will continue for up to five years. Evaluation team members Denise Hartsock, MPH, and Carmen Luna, MPH, are also working on this evaluation.

IHR Publications

Check out the most recent IHR Publications here.