CaReNet's mission is to improve health and well-being by the application of scientific methods to questions important to primary care clinicians, their patients, and their communities. CaReNet is committed to questions with the potential to understand health, disease, and illness, and the roles and values of primary care, with a particular focus on disadvantaged populations.

Founded in 1998 with 7 practices, CaReNet is now a network of over 400 clinicians (i.e., family physicians, general internists, general pediatricians, and nurse practitioners) in 42 practices, including community health center clinics, residency training sites, and university-affiliated private practices. CaReNet cares for approximately 140,000 patients, of which more than 37 percent are Hispanic and 44 percent are disadvantaged (i.e., self-pay, recipients of Medicaid, and formal discount programs). CaReNet has participated in over 45 funded studies with particular emphasis on patient safety, practice improvement, health behaviors, hypertension, mental health, and chronic diseases. 

Formed in 2004, the Patient Advisory Council actively meets to help CaReNet conduct research that is more meaningful to patients. CaReNet has affiliations with three practice-based research networks (PBRN), including our Colorado-based SNOCAP (Shared Networks of Collaborative Ambulatory Practices & Partners), Meta-LARC (Meta-Learning and Research Center with partners in Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin and Quebec), and PRIME-Net Collaborative (the Primary Care Multi-Ethnic Network with partners in California, New Mexico, Michigan, Ohio and Texas). 

Led by Director Donald Nease, a family physician, and Doug Fernald, a family medicine researcher, CaReNet is supported by experienced research staff with expertise in IRB/HIPAA regulations and compliance, research methods, study design and implementation, project management, communication, data analyses, biostatistics, focus groups and interviewing, grant and technical writing, and web design.

CaReNet has been successful in obtaining funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Health Resources and Services Administration, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation. CaReNet investigators have particular expertise in patient safety, practice improvement, chronic illness, and hypertension.

Furthermore, CaReNet has a strong history of collaboration, building partnerships with multiple research networks and institutions, and working effectively on complex, multidisciplinary studies.

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