New partnership helping state leaders on the frontlines of COVID-19 pandemic

April 30, 2020

The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute’s (CTSI) Monon Collaborative is partnering with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) to establish WISE Indiana, which stands for “Wellbeing Informed by Science & Evidence.” The newly created initiative mobilized efforts ahead of schedule to support state leaders as they make decisions about COVID-19, the novel coronavirus which thousands of Hoosiers have already contracted. Current WISE Indiana projects include:

WISE Indiana COVID-19 Daily Digest

WISE Indiana COVID-19 Case Tracker

“Indiana FSSA’s mission is directly aligned with that of the Indiana CTSI,” said Sarah Wiehe, MD, MPH, who is the director of the Monon Collaborative, co-director of the Indiana CTSI and an associate professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. “It has been fantastic to work with such a committed team of individuals with a focus on evidence-based practice and health impact. I can’t think of a more fulfilling way to engage our academic community and see our science come to life than through this partnership.”

WISE Indiana, born of FSSA’s desire to engage in evidence-informed decision making, is based on the nationally-recognized State-University Partnership model of collaboration in which state governmental entities engage with university research centers to better meet their research and evaluation needs. The academic experts engaged in WISE Indiana hail from research universities across the state.

“FSSA continues to push forward to deliver health care and social services using evidence and data as our main drivers,” said Jennifer Sullivan, MD, MPH, FSSA secretary. “Bringing the best minds together helps to accomplish that when making decisions for the health and well-being of Hoosiers.”

For this particular project, academic researchers and clinicians have been engaged to rapidly respond to key questions about COVID-19 from government leadership as they mount Indiana’s pandemic response. Academics have also been recruited to track, and publish to the website, relevant summaries of emerging COVID-19 literature for the benefit of Indiana’s frontline responders. Research librarians from the Ruth Lilly Medical Library, the IUPUI University Library, and the Robert H. McKinney School of Law Library are adding their expertise by providing rapid, evidence-based clinical, public health, policy, and law references, which are incorporated as part of these ongoing projects.

“In this rapidly evolving pandemic, it is critical that frontline leaders have the most updated information possible,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “The WISE Indiana partnership has allowed us to get the most current information available into the hands of those who need it to best protect Hoosiers.”

Since information is rapidly developing and changing during the pandemic, doctors have expressed their appreciation for the WISE Indiana COVID-19 Daily Digest updates, as well as the transparency of the data.

“IU Health leaders have been able to use the data referenced in the WISE Indiana COVID19 Daily Digest to make better-informed decisions about keeping patients and health care workers safe,” said Samir Gupta, MD, Professor of Medicine at IU School of Medicine and Infectious Diseases physician at IU Health.

“I’ve been lucky to work with WISE Indiana on the COVID-19 Daily Digest,” said Cole Beeler, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at IU School of Medicine and Infectious Diseases physician at IU Health. “I have gotten frequent requests for its dissemination and many groups within our system are using it as part of their own committee report-outs. This partnership highlights how our state, universities and health systems are able to work together to achieve a better product than any one group working alone.”

This pandemic response is the first project organized and implemented by WISE Indiana, but partnership leaders already have plans for future collaborative efforts. The goal of WISE Indiana is to engage Indiana’s nationally-recognized thought leaders and researchers to evaluate and inform Indiana practices, programs and policies. This partnership aligns with and furthers the visions of both organizations by facilitating timely, high-quality evidence-informed research, evaluation and analysis to the benefit of all Hoosiers.

About the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) brings together the state’s brightest minds to solve Indiana’s most pressing health challenges through research. It is a statewide partnership among Indiana University, Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame and numerous life sciences businesses, government entities, and community organizations. The Indiana CTSI engages with the public at every level of research—from basic science to patient care. It has been continuously funded by multimillion-dollar grants from the National Institutes of Health since the Indiana CTSI’s founding in 2008 and is housed at the Indiana University School of Medicine. For more information, visit indianactsi.org.

About IU School of Medicine

IU School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.

|2020-04-29T14:10:00-04:00April 30th, 2020|Comments Off on New partnership helping state leaders on the frontlines of COVID-19 pandemic

About the Author: Anna Carrera

Anna Carrera
Anna Carrera is the research communications manager for Indiana University's Precision Health Initiative, IU School of Medicine Research Affairs and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. She joined the team in June 2019 after working as a TV news reporter for ten years. She loves sharing stories about the great research being done across the state to improve the health of Hoosiers.

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