Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute named recipient of PCORI awards to engage patients in study of patient-centered outcomes

October 8, 2013

Projects part of national effort to improve methods for outcomes research

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute/University of Missouri-Kansas City researchers have been selected to receive two prestigious, highly competitive research awards from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The studies are part of a portfolio of projects designed to help patients make better-informed decisions about their care. The combined awards total $3,562,032.

Clinical Director of Outcomes Research at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute and Daniel Lauer/Missouri Endowed Chair at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) John Spertus, M.D., M.P.H., and Adnan Chhatriwalla, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, were awarded $1,725,651 to develop and test a personalized, shared decision-making tool for doctors and patients to discuss options in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or angioplasty, a commonly performed procedure to open blocked arteries in the heart and improve blood flow using a stent, or wire mesh tube. This project will involve numerous patients in the community in its design, and be implemented at Saint Luke’s and Truman Medical Center to help improve Jackson County residents’ engagement in care.

Kim Smoldren, Ph.D., a previous research fellow at Saint Luke’s, and Dr. Spertus were awarded $1,836,381 to study patient-centered outcomes recovery from treating peripheral arterial disease (PAD), blockages in arteries in the lower extremities. The study, designed with input from residents of Jackson County on the structure and outcomes of the project, will enroll patients from eight cities throughout the U.S., including Saint Luke’s and Truman Medical Center. It will provide invaluable insights into how to better care for PAD patients in the future.

“These two studies are prime examples of the ground-breaking work being led by Saint Luke’s investigators into understanding those factors that truly lead to improved patient-centered outcomes and how to best align patient’s individual goals of care with their therapy,” said David J. Cohen, M.D., M.Sc., director of Cardiovascular Research at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute and Missouri Endowed Chair for Cardiovascular Research at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. “Ultimately, these types of studies will lead not only to better clinical outcomes for our patients but could demonstrate important ways that we can reduce overall healthcare costs for patients with heart and vascular disease.”

The funding for Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute has been approved pending completion of a business review and a formal award agreement with PCORI.

“This is the type of translational research that is a priority for the School of Medicine and our community,” said Betty Drees, dean of the UMKC School of Medicine. “Dr. Spertus' research award will work toward positioning the physician to choose the best treatment based on the individual patient, which is the meaning of personalized medicine."

The Saint Luke’s studies are two of 71 projects totaling more than $114 million approved for funding by PCORI’s Board of Governors on Sept. 10. All were selected through a highly competitive review process in which scientists, patients, caregivers, and other stakeholders helped to evaluate more than 570 proposals that responded to five PCORI funding announcements. Proposals were evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, how well they engage patients and other stakeholders, their methodological rigor, and how well they fit within PCORI’s national research priorities.


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at

About Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute

Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, a member of Saint Luke’s Health System and a teaching affiliate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is one of the preeminent cardiovascular programs in the country. Its legacy of innovation began more than 25 years ago when it opened as the nation’s first heart hospital. Since then, the Heart Institute has earned a world-wide reputation for excellence in the treatment of heart disease, including interventional cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, imaging, heart failure, transplant, heart disease prevention, women’s heart disease, electrophysiology, outcomes research, and health economics.  With more than 50 full-time board certified cardiovascular specialists on staff, the Heart Institute offers one of the largest heart failure/heart transplant programs in the country, has the largest experience with transcatheter aortic valve replacement in the Midwest, and is a global teaching site for the newest approaches to opening challenging blocked arteries using minimally invasive techniques.

About the UMKC School of Medicine

The UMKC School of Medicine was founded in 1971 as an innovative combined degree program. From its baccalaureate/MD curriculum to a docent system that emphasizes small group learning, the school has remained a trendsetter in medical education and research. For more information about the UMKC School of Medicine, visit You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.