Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Population Health

Our investigators direct dozens of research projects totaling more than $3 million in annual funding and are actively involved in numerous collaborative studies with the following networks:

CDC Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network

The U.S. Flu Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) Network is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded collaboration to assess the effectiveness of influenza vaccination each season. Patients seeking outpatient care for acute respiratory illness are actively recruited during the flu season, and consenting individuals are tested for influenza using a molecular diagnostic test (PCR). Vaccination status is compared for influenza cases and 'test-negative' controls to estimate vaccine effectiveness. Our Center has been continuously funded by CDC to conduct vaccine effectiveness research since the 2004-05 season. The U.S. Flu VE Network currently includes study sites in Seattle, WA; Temple, TX; Ann Arbor, MI; and Pittsburgh, PA in addition to Marshfield. The U.S. Flu VE Network generates mid-season estimates of influenza vaccine effectiveness that are published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), and final results are published in peer-reviewed journals. Mid-season vaccine effectiveness results are also presented to the World Health Organization Vaccine Strain Selection Committee in February. Marshfield investigators have led ancillary studies to investigate the effects of repeated vaccination and statin use on vaccine effectiveness and studies of vaccine immune response.

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CDC Vaccine Safety Datalink

Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) is a collaborative project between the CDC and nine research managed care organizations (MCOs) in the U.S. Established in 1990 to conduct post-marketing evaluations of vaccine safety, the VSD conducts high quality research to determine the risk of adverse events after immunization. The Marshfield Clinic Research Institute joined the VSD in 2001, and the VSD team is led by investigators in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health. Marshfield Clinic Health System and Security Health Plan play a key role contributing data to the only rural population in the VSD network. Our Center researchers have led and published results of studies to evaluate the safety of several vaccines including rotavirus vaccines, influenza vaccines during pregnancy, varicella (chickenpox) vaccines and the HPV vaccine.

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FDA Sentinel

Sentinel, sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is an active national surveillance system to monitor the post-market safety of FDA-regulated medical products. Classified as public health surveillance rather than research, Sentinel relies on pre-existing electronic health care data from collaborating data partner organizations that include integrated health systems, large health insurers, an academic center, and a national hospital network. Sentinel data is kept secured at each institution, but standardized to a common data model to allow for efficient data querying. Sentinel partner institutions provide responses to project data queries as well as scientific and organizational expertise. Our Center has been involved in Sentinel since 2008, addressing important topics including severe liver injury, acute kidney injury, and surveillance methodology, in addition to supporting routine safety surveillance.

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Health Care Systems Research Network

The Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN) brings together the research departments of some of the nation's best and most innovative health care systems. Collectively, the HCSRN represents more than 1,400 scientists and research staff with methodological and content expertise from an array of disciplines including epidemiology, economics, disparities, outcomes and quality assessment, trials, genomics, and more. Center scientists have been conducting studies in collaboration with HCSRN partners since 2006 on a variety of topics, with primary focus on topics in cancer, cardiovascular disease, and medical product safety.

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University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Community Engagement and Research Core

The goal of the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) is to create an environment that transforms research training and research practice into a full continuum from discovery to translation into real-world community practice. The mission is to change the research culture from “silos” to collaborations among ICTR members, the entire university, and ICTR's external partner Marshfield Clinic Health System. Major advancements in clinical and translational research are occurring. The Center is the home of Marshfield Clinic Research Institute's Community Engagement and Research Core, with core staff providing service to ICTR investigators in collaborator matching, research design, study development and support and community engagement for population research. Also, Center investigators have collaborated on research with ICTR partners on topics that include lupus, kidney stones, asthma and other allergies, diabetes, oral health, reducing unnecessary hospitalizations, and health care quality reporting.

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PCORNet - Greater Plains Collaborative (GPC)

The GPC is one of several Clinical Data Research Networks that are funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as part of their PCORNet initiative. PCORNet aims to transform the national platform for biomedical research into one that engages patient, provider, and health system stakeholders in all phases of research, and one that focuses on research questions that are most relevant to patients and other stakeholders. GPC partners include University of Wisconsin, Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Kansas, University of Minnesota, and other centers in the central part of the U.S. In collaboration with the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute Biomedical Informatics Research Center, the Center has engaged in GPC or PCORNet-wide studies on breast cancer, use of targeted cancer therapies, ALS, obesity, cardiovascular disease prevention and others.

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