Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) are organizations of community practices that collaborate with academic and community partners to gain scientific knowledge that leads to improved health care, particularly primary care delivered in community practices (AHRQ 2013). PBRNs were developed to assure that research leads to better health outcomes because it is informed by front-line community based clinicians. Clinicians are involved in the entire research process, including:

  1. determining the research agenda;
  2. framing and defining the research questions;
  3. informing the design of the study;
  4. participating in data collection;
  5. interpreting study results;
  6. disseminating study findings;
  7. incorporating new knowledge into clinical practice.

An emerging evidence base is documenting deficits in the health care of persons with developmental disabilities (DD), including preventive health services, chronic disease care, emergency care and in-patient care. Developmental Disabilities-Practice Based Research Network is organizing with start-up support from the Core Facility in Practice-based Research within the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). The Director of DD-PB RN is Carl Tyler MD, MSc, who completed a 3-year NIH-sponsored fellowship in Practice-based Research Design and Methodology at CWRU under mentors James Werner PhD, MSSA and Kurt Stange MD, PhD. For the past 20 years, Dr. Tyler's focus has been improving the health and health care of persons with DD through clinical care, research, education, and training. The Core Facility in Practice-based Research is providing the services of Anindita Biswas MA as the DD-PB RN Coordinator and Practice Facilitator.