KCALSI and Blue KC Award Three $50,000 Grants for Healthcare Improvements for the KC Region

For Immediate Release: July 24, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO. –For the sixth consecutive year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI) have partnered to award the Blue KC Health Outcomes Research Grants. Three innovative projects by local researchers were selected in 2017 to each receive $50,000 to impact and improve patient care in the Kansas City Region.

“Since 2012, Blue KC has given close to $1 million to health outcomes research funding through KCALSI,” said Danette Wilson, Blue KC President and CEO. “The funding has allowed local researchers and physicians to make advancements in areas including autism, asthma, sepsis, heart disease, and child/teen health. As an integral part of the Kansas City community, we’re proud that our partnership with KCALSI is helping local organizations improve the health and wellness of our community. We look forward to seeing the success of the 2017 recipients.”

“We are pleased to partner with Blue KC again to fund high quality research that will improve patient outcomes in our community,” said Dr. Wayne Carter, KCALSI President and CEO. “Our region has many strengths; outcomes research was identified as a core strength in our ‘Path to 2025’ report and we are thrilled that Blue KC has continued their commitment to fund this critical healthcare area.”

Below are this year’s grant recipients and a brief description of their research projects.

Optimizing Value & Cost-Effectiveness Within Clients for Children with Special Health Care Needs
The fragmented nature of the health care system has left Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) twice as likely to have an unmet health care need and three times less likely to get needed medical care. Because of this, Dr. Jeffrey Colvin of Children’s Mercy will conduct a study assessing the costs of CSHCN receiving care in a “medical home” versus those receiving traditional primary care at Children’s Mercy.

“CSHCN represent the most medically fragile and highest medical consumers of the pediatric population. The few interventions designed to improve the care of special needs children have been high intensity and high cost medical homes,” said Dr. Jeffrey Colvin. “This study will have a significant impact on the health of those children by identifying who will most benefit from enrollment in a specialized medical home. With this study, we hope to generate knowledge of high quality, cost effective, clinical models of providing care for special needs children, including patient-centered medical homes.”

Clinical Impact of an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program on High Risk Pediatric Patients
More than 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths are directly caused by bacterial infections resistant to antibiotic treatment. The CDC estimates that up to half of all human antibiotic use is unnecessary or inappropriate contributing significantly to antibiotic resistance. Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASP) specify protocols designed to improve the appropriate use of antibiotics by selecting the right antibiotic at the right time, right dose and for the right duration. Stopping unnecessary antibiotic use is a key component of antimicrobial stewardship.

“Our overall objective is to determine the clinical impact of our established Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) at Children’s Mercy on high-risk pediatric patients and disseminate the developed analytical methods to other pediatric hospitals across the country,” said Dr. Jennifer Goldman of Children’s Mercy. “We anticipate that our approach will result in more programs assessing the impact of ASP on pediatric clinical outcomes. In the future, this method will provide a better understanding of the influence of judicious antibiotic use in hospitalized children.”

Sepsis Predictive Modeling Learned from Information Security
Dr. Steven Simpson, University of Kansas Medical Center, will use a near real-time clinical decision support tool (CDS) originally established by the Kansas Sepsis Project, that will be improved with inductive reasoning and additional variables identified to impact clinical adoption.

“Early detection and notifications of sepsis with use of value-based CDS systems are needed for the earliest possible detection sepsis and to guide treatment as a medical emergency,” said Dr. Steven Simpson. “With the use of such tools, we will be able to reduce the likelihood of continued deterioration from sepsis to severe sepsis to septic shock.”

Information about the Blue KC Health Outcomes Research Grants, including eligibility, review criteria and application procedures, can be found on KCALSI’s website.


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City:  
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri.  Our mission: to use our role as the area’s leading health insurer to provide affordable access to health care and to improve the health and wellness of our members.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.

About Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute:
Through its Research Development Grants program, KCALSI manages a variety of individual grants for area corporations and trusts, helping them identify proposals with the best scientific, medical and technical merit.  Research grants are awarded to generate initial results and stimulate the submission of major multidisciplinary research proposals to government or private agencies.  KCALSI’s Research Development Grants program includes proposal review, evaluation by subject matter experts, written reviews for all applicants, and post-award management.


Media Inquiries:                               

Shaylee Yount
KCALSI – Communications and Events Manager

Kelly Cannon
Blue KC – Public Relations and Member Communications

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