Launched in 2007, the Program of Research on Outcomes for Kids (PROKids) is a health services research team whose major goal is to improve the children’s outcomes by implementing family-centered interventions and evaluating these interventions from the perspectives of children and families. Under the leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Cox, PROKids not only conducts original research (over $4.6 million in federal and non-federal research funding since 2009) but also serves as a key collaborator or consultant for other investigators at UW and beyond.
The PROKids team has considerable expertise in leveraging stakeholder perspectives to optimize the implementation and evaluation of innovative changes in systems that serve children and families. In collaboration with other resources, PROKids has developed materials and processes to successfully recruit, screen, and onboard representatives from hard-to-reach populations as research advisors. Essential to this process has been the framing of research activities in ways that meet the needs of both researchers and stakeholders from outside the research community.
PROKids is able to translate the often-stated need for stakeholder engagement into meaningful and effective processes that support success across all phases of research, from the preparation, on through execution, and ultimately to dissemination. Their stakeholder engagement plans have contributed to the group’s own successful intra- and extramural PCOR grant applications. As an affiliate of the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research Community-Academic Partnerships (ICTR-CAP) program, PROKids team successfully collaborated on PCOR with numerous researchers, clinicians, and community organizations.
PROKids also has expertise in implementing and disseminating research into pediatric clinical settings and other complex systems. For example, through analyses of staff interview data, Dr. Cox and PROKids have helped clinics to identify barriers to participation in research and then developed and implemented recommendations to address those barriers. In addition, as a result of strong stakeholder engagement, PROKids has achieved high levels of recruitment and retention among populations of research participants that are considered hard to reach, such as children with chronic illnesses and their parents, those living in rural areas, and people from challenging socioeconomic situations. Lastly, by developing and publishing toolkits from their research, the PROKids team facilitates the dissemination essential knowledge and skills to both researchers and clinicians.
Contact the Program of Research on Outcomes for Kids (PROKids) at prokids [at] pediatrics.wisc.edu