PCORE stands for Patient Centered Outcomes Research for Employees. If you’re like me, you’re thinking “what does that mean?” This week I had the opportunity to speak with Marquette University professors Dr. Dan Pinto, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, and Dr. Abiola Keller, Assistant Professor of Nursing, who helped me get a better understanding of what PCORE is all about.

Pictured above: Dr. Dan Pinto(left) and Dr. Abiola Keller(right)

Funded through PCORI, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, PCORE seeks to better understand how the perspective of employees can be used to inform workplace health and wellness decisions. Generally, workplace health and wellness does not meaningfully engage employees in program design — especially employees with multiple chronic conditions. In partnership with NWSP, Marquette University was awarded the PCORE contract in 2018; PCORE brings together employees with chronic conditions, health and wellness leaders, and researchers and clinicians to learn how best to improve the health and wellbeing of employees who live, work, or play in the Near West Side.

Pictured above: PCORE’s Leadership Team and Panel

PCORE’s short term goals include creating an environment that encourages dialogue between PCORE Panel members to discuss topics related to workplace health and wellness and the conduct of employee-centered research in the workplace. Dr. Pinto and Dr. Keller stressed the importance of establishing a solid foundation of trust within the PCORE Panel; that step is oftentimes overlooked but is vitally important to the success of any project. PCORE’s longer termed goals include helping employees with multiple chronic conditions meaningfully contribute to the conversation of workplace health and wellness and to become a sustainable and reproducible model for employee-centered research. I asked Dr. Pinto and Dr. Keller how COVID-19 has been impacting PCORE. They explained that before the pandemic hit, they decided to primarily focus on mental health, wellbeing, and stress management. If anything, they said, the virus has shown that the goals they set are still extremely relevant even though the world has been turned upside down. They explained that COVID-19 has increased the need to focus on these three things because of social isolation and the added stress in employees’ lives. Furthermore, bringing people back into the workplace will require emotional and mental wellness to be treated as major priorities. To hear Dr. Pinto talk more about how COVID-19 has changed the workplace and wellness, click the audio link below.

To conclude, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research for Employees project is a launching point for understanding the wellness needs of employees and residents in the Near West Side. Dr. Pinto, Dr. Keller, and the whole PCORE team look forward to connecting with the community and learning how to further support employees and residents in the NWS.

To hear Dr. Pinto’s closing thoughts, click the audio link below.

Special thanks to Dr. Pinto and Dr. Keller for taking the time to speak with me about PCORE. To learn more, be sure to visit PCORE’s website here. You can also contact Dr. Dan Pinto by email at d.pinto@marquette.edu and Dr. Abiola Keller by email at abiola.keller@marquette.edu.

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