The Southwestern Ohio Ambulatory Research Network (SOAR-Net) is a young, vibrant, regional primary care practice-based research network. It is led by an academic general pediatrician, Dr. John (Jack) Pascoe and an academic family physician, Dr. Lisa Kellar. It benefits from an interdisciplinary leadership group that includes academic generalists, community pediatricians, and experienced Ph.D. investigators from the Department of Community Health (Dr. Arthur Pickoff is Chair, Pediatrics, Community Health and strongly supports SOAR-Net). The SOAR-Net Leadership Group meets approximately 10 times a year to monitor the implementation of existing network projects and to plan for new research projects.

Based at Dayton Children's Hospital, SOAR-Net has been active at national research meetings since its inception in 2003. SOAR-Net’s research is consistently accepted for presentation at national research meetings, including the Pediatric Academic Societies’ Annual Meeting and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Practice-Based Research Network Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.  SOAR-Net is an exemplary new regional primary care research network and Dr. Pascoe was a founding member of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Steering Committee for its Practice-Based Research Network National Resource Center.

SOAR-Net leaders estimate that SOAR-Net clinicians serve about 50,000 children and their families. SOAR-Net leaders have already collaborated with the well-established national pediatric research network, Pediatric Research in Office Settings (PROS), to write a published descriptive paper that compares SOAR-Net patients with a national sample of PROS patients as well as patients from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.  Based on those data, SOAR-Net patients are much more likely to be African-American (23.7 percent vs. 7.5 percent) and use Medicaid (41.9 percent vs. 22.0 percent) when compared to PROS patients.

In addition, SOAR-Net has strong ties to the local African-American community through its Community Advisory Board (CAB) that it shares with the Center for Healthy Communities, the Department of Community Health, and Wright State University. The CAB was established almost 20 years ago to serve as a bridge between the community and health-related activities being contemplated and implemented by Wright State University faculty members. SOAR-Net consistently has a representative at CAB meetings to share SOAR-Net projects, as well as receive feedback and ideas for new projects from community leaders.

The Department of Community Health includes the Lifespan Research Center, home to the Fels Longitudinal Study, the world’s largest and longest running (founded in 1929) study on human growth. The Center’s emphases include physical growth, maturation and aging, body composition, risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and the genetic epidemiology of complex traits. 

SOAR-Net is fortunate to count among its leaders William (Bill) Spears, Ph.D. from the Department of Community Health, who is an experienced facilitator for focus groups and will be significantly involved in SOAR-Net’s contributions to this national project. In addition, the Boonshoft Child Health Equity Project is based in SOAR-Net, and has reached out to underserved children and families in the Dayton area, including many African-American families. 

Finally, Dr. Pascoe has significant experience working on multi-site national projects, including Undergraduate Medical Education for the 21st Century, an 18-site national project funded by the Division of Medicine and Dentistry within the Bureau of Health Professions and the Head Start Transition Project, a 32-site project funded by the Administration on Children and Families.

» Visit the SOAR-Net website