Alabama Practice-Based Research Network

APBRN logoThe APBRN is a voluntary consortium of community-based primary care providers who aim to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes by integrating research into their daily practice of medicine. Its overall mission is to find practical solutions to real-world challenges faced by patients and providers.

Since 2000, through a Coordinating Center housed in the DFCM Research Division, the APBRN has engaged in over 20 collaborative projects with researchers from a variety disciplines. The Coordinating Center helps to facilitate collaborations and provides logistical support for research carried out in community-based clinical settings.

As of 2017, APBRN membership included over 160 physicians. Most are in private practice or health system affiliated. The majority are Family Medicine, but Internal Medicine is also well represented. Members include faculty from all four UA campuses (Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa) as well as several family medicine residency programs and Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Primary Care Research Collaborative

UAB PCRC LogoIn 2009, with support from the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation General Endowment Fund, the APBRN was expanded under the UAB Primary Care Research Collaborative (PCRC) initiative. The PCRC was formed to bring academic researchers and primary care providers together and to provide logistical support for research carried out in community-based clinical settings.

The PCRC initiative nearly doubled the physician membership of the APBRN and engaged almost 200 faculty members from various disciplines across the UAB Academic Health Center including the schools of Medicine, Health Professions, Nursing, Dentistry, Education, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Public Health. A number of successful collaborations led by UAB investigators and others resulted. Topics have included health coaching for diabetes, group weight loss interventions, routine HIV and Hepatitis C testing, musculoskeletal diseases, hypertension, pain management, and sleep disorder screening and treatment.