The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) award will aid programs that engage patients and other stakeholders in research to improve outcomes of care for PPD. The programs will be built using perspectives of patients, families, providers, and payer groups. This collaborative multidisciplinary project will be led by researchers, nurses, and physicians in partnership with PPD patients and family members.

PPD is a common complication of pregnancy and childbirth. But gaps and fragmentation in the current system of care persist, along with racial, ethnic, and income disparities in screening and access to timely and informed treatment. New Jersey is the first state in the nation to mandate universal screening for PPD, and has taken the lead in raising awareness and improving access to care with PPD screening and treatment.

The award provides the Greater New Brunswick Community Health Collaborative and the Women’s Health Institute one year to:

  • assemble a team of researchers, patients, and key stakeholders to identify meaningful outcomes;
  • plan a study comparing different approaches to improving outcomes of care;
  • apply for larger scale funding from PCORI to identify the most effective approaches to improving systems and outcomes.

The project seeks to engage organizations in central New Jersey that are involved in providing PPD care, from screening to treatment interventions. The network, which features birthing hospitals, clinics, community referral organizations, and public health and community mental health providers, includes:

  • RWJBarnabas Health
  • Monmouth Medical Center–Postpartum Depression Program
  • Central Jersey Family Health Consortium–Perinatal Mood Disorders Initiative
  • Rutgers Health
  • Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care
  • New Jersey Department of Health–Division of Family Health Services

This initiative will provide an opportunity for the partnership between Rutgers Health and RWJBarnabas Health to affect positive change on a large system of care. It also utilizes a population health strategy that seeks to partner with the community to develop effective interventions that are sensitive to the cultural and social contexts of PPD. Community-based organizations will also be part of this initiative as PPD issues are often addressed and supported with programs and services outside of health care systems.

For more information, please contact Jeanette Valentine, PhD, Director, Greater New Brunswick Community Health Collaborative, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, Rutgers University at jvalentine@ifh.rutgers.edu.